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LAUSD strike[edit]

For any of y'all not in the know, workers in LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) are potentially going on strike tomorrow to Thursday for higher wages and better benefits. Fingers crossed. Workers solidarity! --Ozzyboo (talk) 15:33, 20 March 2023 (UTC)

The ICC finally did something relevant to Ukraine.[edit]

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, for the illegal deportation of children. [1] Ariel31459 (talk) 18:37, 17 March 2023 (UTC)

Oh no. Serbian ultra-nationalists are going to seethe.ASerb (talk) 08:13, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
He’ll never see a day in court, but it is pretty funny that the list of countries he can safely visit has now shrunk massively. Not that Putin was ever gonna come out of his little Kremlin bitch bunker to begin with. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:10, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
Putin is pinned inside his own country. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:25, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
Hm, wonder if ICC will do something similar to the Azov Battalion... Everwhere100 (talk) 02:50, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
I'm glad to see that Putin has the warrant against him as it shows how the world feels about his obvious criminality. Though I'm not sure how helpful it will ultimately turn out to be. At some point somebody will need to negotiate something to end end the war. I worry that this might make that final negotiation more difficult.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:25, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
So how is this relevant to Ukraine? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 14:32, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
How could it not be?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:47, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
It's an unenforceable political stunt that makes no material difference to anyone or anything involved in the Ukraine situation. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 15:06, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
But, even by your definition, it's still "relevant" to Ukraine. I mean his criminal actions in Ukraine are the reason for the arrest warrant. How can this action not be relevant to Ukraine? It's a bizarre position to hold.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:45, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
There’s actually some teeth to the move since ICC signatories are obliged to at least attempt to arrest people with warrants on them. The ICC warrant also takes priority over diplomatic immunity. So Europe, a big chunk of both Americas, and a nice handful of countries in Africa are all off-limits to Putin. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:46, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
Sure. It reduces his ability to move internationally. On the the other hand, he's not doing a lot of that right now.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:58, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
"But, even by your definition, it's still "relevant" to Ukraine." So who or what does this materially affect? As Bob notes, it's not like this changes Putin's travel plans, even if you think someone would be willing to arrest a traveling head of state.
"ICC signatories are obliged to at least attempt to arrest people with warrants on them." This varies, actually. State sovereignty is still a thing, and some consider heads of state and other acting officials off limits to such arrests.
"his criminal actions in Ukraine are the reason for the arrest warrant." The allegations in the article are dubious. Russia is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions, and it is indeed generally a war crime to remove civilians from occupied territory... unless the area under consideration is at risk from ongoing conflict, in which case the occupier is specifically allowed to do that. In the case of institutionalized people like orphans in an orphanage, the text may be read such that the occupier is obligated to remove them to a safe place. Whether Russian actions violate the Geneva Convention (at least as described in that article) would depend on whether or not the moved people are allowed to return after the end of hostilities, which hasn't happened yet. And while war crime charges can apply to commanders who give orders or refrain from giving orders that they reasonably should have given (rather than personally carrying out actions which constitute a war crime) what Putin actually had to do with the relocations in question is unclear. I'd expect that sort of decision to normally be handled at a lower level than head of state. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 02:45, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
Your suggestion that this charge against Putin is not relevant to Ukraine continues to be absurd. If Jane Doe is raped and Suspect X is charged with with raping Jane Doe - is this not relevant to the case of Jane Doe?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:19, 19 March 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If Suspect X never actually met Jane Doe, and was in another country at the time of the events that apparently don't actually qualify as a rape, if the charge was issued by an Entity A with no capability of arresting Suspect X or affecting the plight of Jane Doe, and which has no influence over the entities B and C which would actually be involved with opposing Suspect X and bringing any charges to bear against him (which they had already been doing for over a year by that point), and (straying from the metaphor because it doesn't parallel here) all of which does not influence what's going on with the orphans and such or other people still in Ukraine (an ongoing issue), then no. The charges issued by Entity A would not be relevant to the case of Jane Doe. Do you have an answer to the question of who or what the ICC's warrant materially affects?

As a point of clarification, relevance is not commutative. Ukraine is relevant to the arrest warrant because the allegation is about Ukrainians. The arrest warrant is not relevant to Ukraine because it's an unenforceable political stunt that makes no material difference to anyone or anything involved in the Ukraine situation. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 08:03, 19 March 2023 (UTC)

I have lost interest in trying to point out the obvious.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:35, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
I think the easiest way to see this is that while this is not immediately helpful to Ukraine, the warrant has just increased the diplomatic 'price' of being Putin's friend. By itself this won't add enough weight to the scale to really sway anyone desicively against Moscow, but like the very public gathering/publishing of Russian 'war crimes' evidence by Kyiv it shall give more and more previously 'neutral' powers [mainly in the developing world] increased pause before giving a big smile to the Russian ambassador etc.
This is gonna be a long 'war' and very well may continue even after the Ukrainian bit is 'over'. This is one of many moves required. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:19, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
Hey, so, tankie troll, I shouldn't have to be the one to state the obvious but his indictment was on his actions IN UKRAINE, specifically his kidnapping and deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. This, on the face of it, makes it relevant to Ukraine. Hope this helps. Stop being stupid in the future. --Ozzyboo (talk) 15:38, 20 March 2023 (UTC)
The other person the ICC put a warrant for is Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the president.[2]There has been evidence since March of a concerted effort to deport children, including forcefully separating children from their parents. The commissioner has straight up admitted the purpose is to eliminate any connection to Ukrainian culture for these children. That's a genocide.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 19:56, 22 March 2023 (UTC)

Is there a term for this?[edit]

I have witnessed at some moments in my life where marginalized people have used the concept of privilege to dismiss criticisms of their bigoted behaviour towards other marginalized people. This sometime happens when say a lady TERF justifies their transphobia by insisting that their transphobia is the result of the absence of male privilege. Especially appealed to if the source of the criticism is from a cis dude (though nothing stops them from incorrectly applying it to trans women). Or another example is when an certain individual black communist dismisses the relevancy of Anne Frank because “she had white privilege” while just generally using anti-whiteness as a cover for antisemitism more broadly. In my case I have a co-worker who is Indian who accuses me of “white privilege” when I say that typically for many working class people they often struggle not to be working class due to an absence of any starting capital. “Debunked” by her assertion (that I don’t doubt) that her dad started a business with nothing but a paint brush in a “third world country”. Angered by the fact I would suggest it’s an unrealistic expectation for other poor people. (Also rings to that whole “pull yourself by your boostraps” logic of appealing to exceptional rags to riches narratives). This by no means a general trend, nor am I attempting delegitimize the concept of privilege — the fact is I see it as a self-evident consequence of inequality that one should be mindful of when on the receiving end of inequality. My point is in the specific use of the term “privilege” specifically to justify certain others kinds of inequality or prejudice against a group that is by all means also marginalized (though not necessarily equally). - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:55, 18 March 2023 (UTC)

I don't think there is a name for what you describe other than resentment. I would like to think there shouldn't be a special name for blaming another group for ones own disappointments. The term TERF as used today by many activists means little more than "women salty about having to deal with transwomen." I expect that would be a majority of women, mostly because there are so few transwomen and the cis-women are not used to the new paradigm despite many mentions in the media. Why black communists care about Ann Frank entirely escapes me. I understand that a majority of new small businesses in America were started by immigrants. It doesn't surprise me that many successful minority-based entrepreneurs disrespect people who cannot do what they have done. White privilege is confusing because non-white people can have it too, contrary to popular belief.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:59, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
I don't really follow in the arguments how they are getting from the premise to the conclusion. Which suggests to me that it may be a non sequitur.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:34, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
I know what you're describing, Dumb, and would say it's closest to 'golden hammer' in regards to privilege. That they can only really see one axis of privilege [race, gender, class etc] and think all the other types are at best 'purely secondary' to the key one and worst, not real at all.
Example, I know a very 'girls doing it for themselves' [now] elderly feminist and I'll grant, yes she's done well and did 'have her cake and eat it' [kids, career and several long-term partners]. However, she came from an solidly bourgeois background and was earning quite a lot of money for most of her career - this meant she was able to buy in childcare, cleaners, personal shoppers, a personal assistant etc. In short, much of her cake-eating was gained by her class privilege, as she was able to shunt almost all of the 'double shift' onto mainly working-class women. The fact said women have not 'done it for themselves' she doesn't think about - in fact, the very few times it's been raised it's like the Orwellian term crimestop - she halts, and immediately changes the subject. Worse, she clearly believes that she's on the side of 'all women' - aka 'all true women' would support her in sisterhood solidarity or some shite. The idea that when it comes down to it said working-class women might find much more 'common cause' with their working-class brothers over her stodgy bourgeois feminism I believe would shock her.
Basically, they need to understand the principle of 'intersectionality'; ie many factors are in play when it comes to how the dice are loaded, and that bias can ebb and flow depending the situation [ie being white is 'the bonus' when staring down a cop, but being rich is 'the bonus' if you're going into a trial], most people wear many 'identities', you can't tell which one is the most important to them right now and lastly, how the value of said IDs are in different times/locations. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:05, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
I suppose it is already obvious that intersectionality as a practical tool isn't available. It is a technical term used to describe why something goes wrong in social interactions. It is a kind of hand waving over the problems we have in our complex society: "the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage." Yes, epistemically useful for talking about problems. Empirically useless for preventing them.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:09, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
With regard to Anne Frank, I know who you're referencing; it seems to be part of a broader trend, being in the NYC area there's news about anti-Semitic attacks but a frankly disturbing lack of acknowledgment as to who's carrying them out. On the other side I've also seen a handful of people in the LGBT community claim her diary "proves" she was actually a lesbian; even before the rather tortured interpretations of her writing it takes to get there, no matter how you spin it speculating about the sexuality of a preteen/teen is pretty fucking creepy. How she became some flashpoint for culture warriors remains entirely beyond me. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:28, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
Personally, I shall chalk this thing up to the kind of dogmatic idiot who thrives in the hothouse of social media or at best on the fringe of the group in question. And once such persons make sweeping statements which are clearly missing vital details. [In this I say both 'sides' are wrong; yes, Frank was white and thus had that 'privilege' but it didn't save her here, just like her family had some 'class privilege' too but that also gave out]. This is because oddly enough, the world does not conform to 2D 'privilege lines' which the more moronic/blinkered end of CRT pushers. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:19, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
Some kinds of privilege have more value depending on context. Anne Frank's white privilege would have mattered significantly more if she was not in a society that actively persecuted Jews regardless of skin color. Because she was, the context of her situation placed the value of her perceived Jewish identity over her perceived white identity. It's entirely context based and privilege does not exist in a vacuum. It is societal and societal ideas about what groups of people are better or worse change over time. --Ozzyboo (talk) 15:40, 20 March 2023 (UTC)
Nothing specific-enough comes to mind, but these are examples of moralizing rationalizations. And I think whenever there is a culture war, those are very, very common. While sides may differ in how good or bad their ideals and behavior is as an aggregate, I think about a fourth to a third of the participants in any large group engaged in a culture war can be expected to just behave like trolls seeking to maximize a "war-like tension" on at least the level of thought and rhetoric. (A fourth to a third of the population is how common authoritarian followers generally are, but my extrapolation from that is shakier, to be honest. But I expect them to be found in every group in which there is an "establishment" to "defend" and cling to.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:32, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
More an 'orthodoxy' to cling to/defend, in my opinion. Those sorts normally a) end up screeching at everyone who isn't on the 'party line' 100% and b) provide perfect persons for nutpicking and driving 'amicable neutrals' into the arms of 'the other side'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:20, 21 March 2023 (UTC)

Matters of interpretation[edit]

If one reads/watches something and is not aware/does not pick up on the cultural references and agenda being promoted is that material actually 'clean' to one. (When I was a young person I saw a bit of 'Birth of a Nation' when I switched on the TV, and, being a Brit, what I saw was 'this is a black and white film, these people have taken over a fort, those people - why are they wearing such weird clothes? - are riding to retake the place' [and switched over to something else]. I did not then have the knowledge to see the message.) Anna Livia (talk) 11:49, 9 March 2023 (UTC)

the risk there would be not being aware of its agenda or the relevant history that you maybe be influenced by it but not realise, giving you all kinds of unconscious biases in later life. if you were aware of what such a film or art work is about before hand, you can more easily steel yourself against undue influence and see where it is pushing a line that is abhorrent/false and recognise it thus. so if, as with the birth of the nation example, you find yourself cheering on the kkk in the rousing battle scenes of the film, you make a distinction in mind between film and reality, so you'll not associate the real kkk with the good guys. which is why disclaimers should be present to explain the context of what you are about to read/watch. propaganda is far less effective when you can see it is propaganda. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:40, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
Given my then age and my cultural references/context (and only seeing a section of the film) I would not have picked up on the racist references - beyond that it was 'one lot of people fighting against another lot'.) Do we always pick up the 'negativising aspects' of texts and images produced in the past/in other cultural contexts - we read at face value and neutral what the intended audiences knows actually means something else. (The Sherlock Holmes story 'The Adventure of the Yellow Face', I understand, might have been a reference to the then newly defined 'mongolism'.) Anna Livia (talk) 13:36, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
With my history hat on, it's most likely a reference to 'High Yellow', a term used in the American South denoting folks with mixed Black/White ancestory. Plus, said 'Yellow' kid [the protagonist's stepdaughter] was wearing a yellow mask. It may also be a reference to the fact his wife's first husband [and supposedly this kid] died of yellow fever. [KarmaPolice]
As Arthur Conan Doyle was British and a doctor and Down's syndrome was known at the time that was then of interest (I am paraphrasing from 'somewhere'). Holmes and Watson might well have been scientifically interested in seeing a child with the syndrome. Anna Livia (talk) 14:14, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
They would have been interested, but truth be told in 1893 if they'd wanted to see people with Down's Syndrome they could have visited an asylum, gone to a eugenics exhibit/museum or attended a lecture on the topic [which would have brought a couple in for folks to gawp at]. And Doyle would have known this too. This was perhaps the only time Holmes was wrong [well, half-wrong]; he got that the 'Yellow Face' was a mask, however he had thought it was related to Mrs Munro's first husband [ie he was blackmailing her and was scaring her]. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:55, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
On the point above, anything not a straight documentary is 'biased' towards some viewpoint(s) [and even then they can be biased]. To pick something innocent(ish), is Harry Potter biased in the respect of schooling, as it mines [esp in the earlier books] the old 'boarding school' shite from Billy Bunter? What's more, everyone shall go away with different interpretations from the same subject-matter; the only way you can 'avoid' this is to be so heavy-handed that the 'message' is hammered in with a sledgehammer. Lastly, there's the debate whether the author's intended 'message' is the 'correct' one, or whether any interpretation - as long as it can be argued and with evidence - is correct?KarmaPolice (talk) 13:45, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
As another example - with the parable of the Good Samaritan, those being originally addressed would have had a quite different interpretation of the story to us with their views of Samaritans.
The point is - how readily can an intended hostile (or other) message be lost? Anna Livia (talk) 14:14, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
I would argue fairly easily. Creative works rely heavily on semantics [meaning of words], semiotics [meaning of signs] and the use of socio-cultural refrences to communicate their 'messages'. The first two are constantly developing and the latter can degrade as the basis for the allusions etc become generally forgotten - for example, a novel written in 1923 UK the majority of your audience would get Latin tags, Greek allusions and Biblical characters - for the majority of your readers would have had a Classical education and having had the Bible ladled down your throat. In 2023 most British readers are pretty unfamiliar with both subjects, and thus something in the 'meaning' has been lost. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:55, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
you can look at the likes of alf garnett or more recently the pub landlord. characters intended to satirise racists or nationalists and the like but wind up with racists and nationalists seeing them as positive representatives for them and not taking the piss out of them. even non racist folk might see their show/act as being racist rather the opposite. another example would be uncles tom cabin, an anti slavery novel, a message obscured in the public imagination as by as popularising racial stereotypes with the title character becoming a byword for subservient race traitor. as much as an author can lament that people are 'missing the point' and insist on what they intended is the correct message and people are reading/viewing it wrong, if the message is too subtle, too ambiguous, that people come away what was intended then the author cant complain. if they wanted a specific message conveyed and nothing else, then they should have been clearer. they cannot dictate how people should be viewing their works once its out there. multiple interpretations is often good thing in art, and its no bad thing if it can be appreciated even the intended allegory is missed. its not unheard of for an author not to see a particular interpretation of their work until after they were made it aware of it post release prefer it to what they had intended. if some people view it not as intended, then so be it. if no one views it as intended though, the author has probably just done a shitter job than they are prepared to admit. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:08, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
Think in those cases, it's more an issue of people who have not actually consumed said work, or may have done it in a very slipshod manner. For example, if you ever hear anyone say that Orwell's 1984 was 'against socialism' it's very unlikely they ever actually 'got' the story. Say what you will about Mary Whitehouse, the old bag at least had the decency to consume the material before bitching about it. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:47, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
"It depends" as always. The alt-right and certain capitalist trolls has embraced certain movies like "Fight Club" and "The Matrix" despite these being in part a satire of the men's movement in the former case and a plot loosely based on a postmodern critiques of capitalism in the later case. Part of the issue with these films though is that they've been buffed to a shine by Hollywood to appeal to the id. Thus, they frankly ended up being more about the fistfights (in the case of the former) and the mainstreaming and digitization of Hong Kong style wire-fu and John Woo shoot-em-ups (in the later case). It's no surprise why all the background was lost.
That being said, there are cases where to me the fault is entirely the sheer stupidity (or opportunistic greed) of the consumer in question. I remember for instance when Ozzy Osbourne was sued (unsucessfully, but of course it caused an oh noez media storm) for his song "Suicide Solution" due to some folks arguing that someone committed suicide after listening to it. Now, that song is so obviously a warning about drinking yourself to death Bon Scott style that everyone involved in the media frenzy and the lawsuits should be ashamed of themselves for their collective doorknob-level intelligence. At the very least, it should have been a warning that the American public should not get angry at a mere title without, er, briefly skimming the content at minimum. This lesson, unfortunately, has not been learned 40 years later. BobJohnson (talk) 18:18, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
Classic example; Afroman's 'Because I Got High' in 2000. Attempted bans because it 'glorified drug use' from cretins who never listened to the fucking thing [for those who don't know it, it's a long list of reasons you shouldn't get high, showing how it can screw up your life]. KarmaPolice (talk) 05:19, 10 March 2023 (UTC)
I don't think it matters much what the perspective or cultural agenda a work of art happens to present. Provided with the modern contexts, one can evaluate old works for their underlying themes and cultural prejudices. It is probably wrong to believe that you might unintentionally adopt some racist or other immoral idea by viewing dated artworks. This is because a competent person never surrenders complete credulity to a new experience. If one is paying attention, one is always an anthropologist and critic as well as a consumer when viewing films or graphic art. If you can't tell if a work has problems, then, for you, it doesn't have problems. You may later learn that the work is problematic and you will no longer like it. But you may continue to like it for reasons unrelated to the work's current disrepute, say a poem by that awful colonialist, Mr. Kipling, who occasionally wrote interesting stuff. One must sometimes ignore the critics. UncleKrampus (talk) 22:27, 9 March 2023 (UTC)
The 'competent' bit is the difficult bit. What you're asking for is 'critical thinking' lessons and that is so fucking rare in public schools. Fake news in general would have never gotten such a foothold if the population had been armed with this. KarmaPolice (talk) 05:19, 10 March 2023 (UTC)

And with my original example - I was a 'young person' (perhaps 10-12), brought up in a non-US cultural context who had no reason to see anything more in what I did watch of the film than 'one lot of people attempting a takeover and another lot trying to stop them.' The question is - how far does 'innocence of knowing the backstory' result in 'absence of influence'/result in someone thinking 'that concept seems wrong'/'puts ideas in people's heads'. Anna Livia (talk) 10:28, 10 March 2023 (UTC)

Media intended for children has been treated with "kid gloves" when it comes to old and outdated things that were once acceptable, but now less so, by anyone who knows anything about child psychology. 2 year olds aren't racist at all, but they can pick up bias and paradigms quickly. Even if they don't 100% understand.
For this reason, I would hesitate to show films like "Birth of a Nation", or similar Lost Cause of the Confederacy claptrap (Song of the SouthWikipedia, Gone With The WindWikipedia) to anyone young. All of the above were controversial on release (at least among members of the Black community) and the "whitewashing" that perhaps is more obvious to an informed adult would whoosh over many young people's heads. "Song of the South" in particular is aimed at "all ages", so it's no surprise Disney has been very reluctant to release that at all in the US (although personally I don't agree with the "repress all the things!" approach Disney uses, it's somewhat understandable). There's other old children's media that are more "judgement calls" though. (DumboWikipedia is one that comes to mind, it has a kinda bad and very dated "ethnic stereotype" with the "Jim Crow" character, but IMHO the portrayal is not negative, particularly in the context of the main movie message.)
Now, it seems like Fox News and others of their ilk gets, er, "triggered" whenever older works for children get edited, but some of the intent is to avoid outdated bias and prejudice (the type that the old farts that watch Fox News tend to have, of course :p ). Granted, sometimes the "edits" are ham-fisted and clumsy, but the clumsiness is usually not what the outrage is about. BobJohnson (talk) 17:22, 10 March 2023 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice, the ngo moderators of media have always graded content for its suitability for children. There was the comic book code of 1954 and, the Motion Picture Association Film Rating System was devised to keep violent and sexual content away from children. I suppose one might discuss adding new criteria regarding warnings for racist or sexist content. On the other hand there has been something of a backlash against so-called woke content in entertainment media. The following video is a fairly succinct description of that controversy. What is Woke?. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:58, 10 March 2023 (UTC)
Generally speaking, I think kids are a lot less suggestible than what adults believe they are. That by the time they're about ten, kids are being positively bombarded with a myriad of different viewpoints/ideologies and some of these shall be judged as either subjectively or objectively 'wrong' at least in part. What they end up doing is mixing up all those conflicting information up in their heads and trying to come to a conclusion of sorts. What's more, kids shall generally be unconsciously 'grading' the information they receive, partly judging them on things like 'past experience' and possibility of bias - for example, most kids this age know what adverts are and shall take the word of their teacher over some rando kid they met in the park once.
What's more, from the age of about four kids can start tell between stuff which is 'real' and what is 'pretend'. The biggest risk in this situation is both false judgements; a 'negative' might be given to say, an accurate documentary on the Wild West ['so strange, can't be real!'] but a 'positive' given to a wealth-fantasy sitcommy show ['everyone has a big pool and all the new gadgets!'].
It may be the easiest way to go about it is to simply tell your little spawn all stories/songs/shows/etc are all 'pretend' unless literally [Main Carers] say otherwise. Then, as they age you can start introducing them to the concept of 'past events' and 'fictionalised events'. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:56, 14 March 2023 (UTC)

It was not my age at the time that was significant - but that I had no reason to understand that what I was looking at was intentionally racist - it was the 'strange costumes' that registered. This 'innocence as to the undertones' could apply in other contexts to adults - they are not the audience intended to be influenced. Anna Livia (talk) 20:31, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

I was talking a bit in generalities again, because a major plank of the 'wokewashing' [sic] of older fiction etc is the argument that kids are like inert, rather dullard sponges which shall 'suck up' Bad Views™ from said sources. And so I apply my maxim to your example; I would have tried to put into your kid-head before 'lots of things on TV aren't real' and would have only been a bit alarmed if you'd decided to use some of the words learned off the film and/or decided to play dress-up with white sheets. Then we'd have had a little sit-down and I'd explain why those were very bad.
Times like this, makes me seriously wonder whether in fact, it's just the really lazy parents who are calling for stuff like this, really. They simply cannot be arsed to actually genuinely parent their kids by dealing with shit like this, so they work to ensure their kids never see the stuff that provokes discussions. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:52, 20 March 2023 (UTC)
I'm sure it "depends on the parent" and the maturity of the kid in question (along with, er, the parenting skills in some cases). As I said, I would be a little hesitant personally to show very obvious Lost Cause claptrap to children. Though, I should add "young" means "very young", which in practice probably means Song of the South would be the only concern (I doubt too many little kids could sit through an old fashioned silent or a nearly 4 hour historical romance film). By the time you hit double digits (maybe a little before, maybe a little after) children are starting to get context, and thus more media starts opening up as kosher depending on the maturity of the kid. I think I first saw Birth of the Nation around late high school, certainly no issues at this age. It's an important film, even though it's an appalling KKK love letter and has a connection to Jim Crow culture (basically, it's the movie equivalent of the Richard Wagner operas, which are musically very important, but were composer by a virulent antisemite, plus the music later became fairly tied to the Nazis).
(The other factor that might influence my thought, though, is because I live in the South, and Lost Cause style whitewashing is still unfortunately really prevalent. Right, Ron DeSantis? If the kid is old enough to understand the social history behind, say, the Southern Strategy or even rock music, no Lost Cause claptrap will be of any concern. Perhaps one gets a wee bit sensitive about a topic when "alternative histories" are still a thing down here.)
Like I said, though, I don't have as much problem with other less blatant examples like DumboWikipedia or, to give another example, the Roald DahlWikipedia books (of whose recent sanitization attempt by its publisher seemed extremely silly and overboard, especially given that these books target older children). So there is a big "judgement call" factor, which is why I see detailed context labels as a positive, as no one is going to have the one single answer. And I'm one who thinks it's probably better for media to remain available even if it's not quite as appropriate for kids anymore. For Song of the South, for instance, I think it would be better if Disney released it in the US instead of keeping it in the vaults (as it's also reasonably important in animation history), but it is best done through channels that don't directly target very young children. (EG: Put it on Turner Classic MoviesWikipedia, not Disney+Wikipedia.) BobJohnson (talk) 00:39, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I'd be pretty strict on what what any kid under say, six in my care consumed media-wise. To the extent I don't think I'd allow them to even watch trad-TV [unless it was CBeebies] on the grounds they'd not be able to tell the difference between the shows and adverts. And you're also right in the sheer 'datedness' of much of the 'wrong-messaged' works is the main protection - production quality which now looks pretty shoddy, writing which is seen as turgid/windy/fusty etc meaning kids shall not really consume it unless forced to or had no choice [my personal example of this; Famous Five]. The risk here is not so much that folks shall make/find say, Ethnic Cleansing, but the one where it has the creative and production values of GTA.
In comes Song of the South. Now, I've never seen it and it's doubtful I ever shall, but it would appear that on the objective level it is a 'well crafted' creative work [drawing, voice acting, songs etc] and what's more, is likely to have been recorded/preserved in a manner which full-scale remastering would let it approach modern quality visuals. And is at a 'level' which is consumable by smallish kids. It's these combination of factors which makes it dangerous, and generally speaking not many things tick these boxes. KarmaPolice (talk) 03:10, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

Finally got round to it...[edit]

Draft:2010_United_Kingdom_general_election. Intended to replace; 2010_United_Kingdom_general_election.

Because I think it sucks and needs a rebuild. Thoughts? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:38, 10 March 2023 (UTC)

Looks like a major improvement to me. JumboWhales (talk)
The page you are going to replace seems to have been written during the run-up to the election, so your page is better under the topic heading, but could there be a way to keep the old page by re-naming it something like 'Timeline for 2010 Campaigning for the UK General Election'? It looks like it has some historical value. FairDinkum (talk) 10:11, 14 March 2023 (UTC)
Was thinking of relegating it to 'Fun' status, personally. I mean it has a bit of interest, but not much. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:22, 14 March 2023 (UTC)
Well, is anyone gonna make a call on this or something? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:05, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
As nobody did or said anything, I did it; my draft is now the 2010 GE page and the old verson relegated to the Funspace. Next on the chopping-block; the 2015 GE page. KarmaPolice (talk) 02:07, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
im not entirely convinced a page on the 2010 election is needed. the old one was wank thoughAMassiveGay (talk) 10:30, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
Well, it was now 13 years ago, so counts as 'history' now - we shall now have readers who don't remember it first hand [as well as folks who have either forgotten details or never noticed in the first place]. It's also important enough in regards to context to other UK events [esp political]. What's more, you find me a better, condensed précis of that election [or any of the others I've done] online - for example, the WP ones are waay too long, only cover the election itself [lacking pre-election context etc] and dry as hell. And as you rightly point out, the old one was wank as a mainspace page. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:27, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

Spring Equinox[edit]

Suitable greetings (and 'the card manufacturers have not yet discovered another means of making money). Anna Livia (talk) 12:47, 20 March 2023 (UTC)

Correction; it's the autumn equinox. (talk) 10:28, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

What does being raped in a dream mean?[edit]

The other night I had a dream where I was the victim of rape (I felt every physical sensation of being violated that way). No matter how much I tried to escape it failed and got worse. I woke up and I was hyperventilating. I felt so dirty and violated and was on the verge of screaming. I nearly cried due to feeling everything in that horrible dream. I was terrified of going back to bed fearing that I would suffer like that again.

That was absolutely horrifying knowing that I was violated in my dream and couldn't escape. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:49, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

Fear of helplessness; everyone has that type of dream. For you, that could more narrowly mean fear of sexual helplessness (or fear of sexual predation against you), but maybe not. I try not to read into dreams too much, since they can just be random rather than "meaning" anything. But for me, helplessness dreams often involve having to evade spiders. Chillpilled (talk) 20:33, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
Just remember that at the end of the day, no matter the contents of the dream, it was still just a dream. Nobody hurt you, nothing was done to you, and odds are you're unlikely to have that dream again any time soon (hopefully never, but we don't dictate what we dream). My advice would be not to dwell on it or search for some "hidden meaning" or "prophecy of the future" since there isn't any and you'll only add to your stress. If it's reoccurring, I'd talk to a therapist about your night terrors.-Ryan1257 (talk) 21:36, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

My newest creation[edit]


A purpose of my channel is providing a voice for transgender EAS fans. If I can help people like me even in a small way, it is worth it. --Trans Fem Agenda 14:19, 15 March 2023 (UTC)

Pretty cool. Is it horror? If so I’ll give it a watchJakester499 (talk) (contributions) 20:09, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
Just subbed. Hope you scare the beejeezus out of me!Jakester499 (talk) (contributions) 20:22, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
Thanks for the sub! Here is the Reanimation EAS philosophy: King of the Hill gets interrupted by the Emergency Alert System. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:16, 24 March 2023 (UTC)

When terrorists are so desperate for members that they advertise on pornographic websites[edit]


Wagner Group must be that desperate to get members. Sex sells people! Even if you want to recruit members for terrorist groups. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:40, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

You learn something new every day. In my case, is that I thought the folks at PornHub were 'better than this'. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:53, 16 March 2023 (UTC)
The website that steals content from sex workers and allowed users to post their own videos of rape and CHILD PRON until they were threatened with being excised from the 'net has such a low moral compass that they are willing to let Putin advertise with them? I'm shocked, shocked I say. CorruptUser 15:04, 16 March 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, Pornhub / Mindgeek are pretty shady, not surprising at all. They built their empire on piracy and "looking the other way" at questionable content. My understanding is most of those that actually work in the porn industry have much hate for this company.
(This, of course, is not too much different than the YouTube story.) BobJohnson (talk) 15:25, 16 March 2023 (UTC)
I must admit that I thought the story was fake. But multiple news-sites are covering it - some with images to the twitter post.
I guess they know their audience - though I wonder what the average life expectance of a Wagner Group recruit is.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:00, 16 March 2023 (UTC)
PH/MG was so terrible that OnlyFans was created specifically for the stars to eek out a living. But, being PH, most of the OF content makes its way to PH anyway.
The very fact that they have a "celebrity" category with leaked sex tapes proves that either 1) PH is still stealing content and committing what is effectively committing some sort of "invasion of privacy" crime, or 2) those sex tapes were never "leaked" but intentionally put out by the celebrities. Or possibly a mixture of both. CorruptUser 16:14, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

At least Stephen Colbert will have additional material to mock Russia with. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:08, 16 March 2023 (UTC)

Regarding life expectancy for new Wagner recruits: 4 hours on the front line, according to a US Marine.[3] Bongolian (talk) 07:32, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
They can probably afford to promise fantastic retirement benefits in their porn-hub advertisements in that case.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:43, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
God damn. In WH40K, life of the average Imperial Guardsman is 15 hours. CorruptUser 19:17, 17 March 2023 (UTC)
The odd thing about this is that their most recent recruitment targets, prisoners, wouldn't have access to the internet let alone Pornhub. It would seem to imply that the prisoner-to-frontline pipeline is close to tapped out and now they're going after subintelligent masturbaters. Bongolian (talk) 04:24, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
I think it's more in a vague hope that some PornHub watchers are also evil violent fuckwits who frankly would love the idea of going off and spending a few months committing mass rapes, murders and looting in a locale with no legal 'comeback'. It was part of the 'appeal' of serving in holes like Angola in the 70s/80s. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:31, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
@BongolianThey can't recruit from prisons anymore, they're trying to recruit outside of the military blogger space as well. I bet this type of advertisement is target at PH users in economically depressed regions of the Russian Federation.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 19:50, 22 March 2023 (UTC)
'Economically depressed regions' of other states too; I've heard reports that they've been trying to recruit in not just Central Asia, but also Serbia, Moldova etc. If the Ukranian high command informs us by this winter that they've started recovering North Korean bodies from known Wagner-fodder locations I'd not be surprised one bit. KarmaPolice (talk) 02:00, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

Should Hamas, Taliban and ISIS start using PornHub for advertising? Why not? Wagner Group is on the same level as them. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:18, 24 March 2023 (UTC)

What the f*ck are they even doing there? I thought anti-porn was their thing.ASerb (talk) 17:06, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
They're not. Those three are idologically-based outfits, and religiously conservative at that [of differing levels]. Wager is just a bargain-basement outfit who are basically a semi-militarised gang who simply wants bodies for Putin's meat-grinder. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:54, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
The major social media platforms are so porous and haphazard in their content monitoring, from what I can tell, these orgs simply use them, there's no need for Pornhub. Particularly Twitter since the Elon Musk takeover is attractive to them,[4][5] since to Musk, banning journalists, left-wing activists, and people being mean to him are far more important.BobJohnson (talk) 16:49, 24 March 2023 (UTC)

Happy birthday![edit]

One of the greatest disgraces of our age turned 20 today!-Flandres (talk) 14:37, 20 March 2023 (UTC)

Newsflash; Blair still says it was the right thing, it worked and I'm not sorry. Not really, but I'm sure he'd say that. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:55, 20 March 2023 (UTC)
Probably an unpopular opinion, but for all the Iraq War was a disaster I can't imagine the would would've been a better place if Saddam Hussein was still around. They didn't call him the Butcher of Baghdad for nothing. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:24, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
No ISIS. A lower-tempo 'War on Terror' [including no 7/7 in London]. No sectarian gore-fests in Iraq. A somewhat more boxed-in Iran which would be somewhat less scared of 'regime change' [stimulating them to get Da Bomb]. Perhaps a less spooked Israel, due to previous [which might have retarded the growth of the hard-right there]. An America which hadn't squandered her 'moral capital' gained from 9/11 and may have had the strength to actually really sort out Afghanistan and perhaps even 'do more' in regards to Syria [in fact, Syria may have not happened at all]. In the UK, it may have stopped Labour losing the 2010 UK GE and thus dodging the strands of the evils of Austerity and then Brexit. It may have even allowed America to avoid the Orange One in '16. Lastly, it may have made Putin a bit more hesitant in his own wars, as the main plank of the charge of 'western hypocrisy' would be missing and the feelings of 'American isolationism' wouldn't be so strong due to lethargy. Yes, it's quite possible that if Abrams hadn't rolled towards Baghdad in '03, T-80s wouldn't have gone towards Kyiv in '22.
Can we say our alt-2023 would look better without the Iraq War? Of course we can't. Can we say it could have been better? That's the thing with alt-history; as Camus noted, 'stupidity has a knack of getting it's way' and it's quite likely other stupid decisions would have been made and we went off along another timeline [which may ultimately be as crap as ours, simply a 'different crap'].
And lastly, on a purely subjective level, was the 'blood and treasure' the Alliance spilt on this worth the result we got? KarmaPolice (talk) 03:02, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
I don't think I'm necessarily the best judge of it, but then I also (unlike many who speak to the war) don't presume to talk for the people who actually had to live there. This is something I always find interesting about the Vietnam War, people talk about it as if it's a history of some assholes in Washington and some hippies in a mud pit in upstate New York; just as I've taken time to read about what the people living in Vietnam actually thought, I'm interested in what Iraqi people today think of their lives now. As best I can tell, most of them seem to think it's a dramatic improvement over what was happening before. The path to get there was ridiculously error-ridden and led to who-knows-how-many unnecessary deaths, that's not in tension with the proposition that overthrowing Saddam was A Good Thing. (And I was 12 when the war started, it's not like I had any say in it either way) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:44, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
Then we seem to be consulting very, very different people. The Iraqi reports I've seen put their experiences 'post Saddam' as generally 'neutral' or 'negative' in general tenor - usual minuses mentioned are 'rollback of womens/LGBT rights', 'collapse in government services', 'widening inequalities', 'enfeeblement of central government', 'chronic political infighting due to sectarianism', 'twenty years of constant foreign meddling', 'serious attacks on minorities' and lastly, 'chronic and deepening brain-drain'. The only groups who seem to have overwhelmingly 'won' on this are the Kurds, the upper echelons of the 'Shia block' which is aligned with Iran and naturally, those who did well off the Occupation.
Which leads back to the question; was the amount of blood and treasure worth the result we ultimately got? Could it have been better, for example to have simply installed some Iraqi general in the big chair on arrival in Baghdad, told him not to be outrightly evil and then left them to it? KarmaPolice (talk) 03:57, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
from 'the conversation' AMassiveGay (talk) 10:16, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
By all measures, Iraqis on average have longer life expectancy and significantly more money; here is where it lays out the numbers. Freedom of speech is nowhere near all the way there, but at least it's more than what used to be. There's far too much corruption there, but the last few years have sure been an improvement over Nouri al-Maliki. And even if, arguendo, the Kurds were the "only" ones who won, I'd say stopping ethnic cleansing counts for something; I don't know if it was "worth it", but it wasn't the total loss that people now seem to like to claim. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:42, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
The main issue here is 'apples and pears'; we cannot compare 2003 to 2023 Iraq on the simple fact it makes the assumption that under a 'continuing Saddam' hypothetical there would be zero developments anywhere in-state in twenty years. What's more, it makes the assumption that Saddam would still be ruling in 2023; in this scenario he'd now be 86 - quite possible he would have been 'retired' [in one way or another] and in our alternative world the post-Saddam ruler was now trying to trying to find a 'pathway back to the normal world' in a similar manner [for example] the 'post-Fidel' Cuba has been attempting.
And I'll see your Kurds for my dead Yazidis, Christians and Shia who perished from ISIS [oh, and all those dead Kurds from fighting them]. For while many things are hypothetical regarding a 'continuing Saddam', we can be pretty clear that he would have crushed any proto-ISIS brutally [if needed] and they only arose in the first place from the post-occupation power vacuum. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:19, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like there was any "good" way to resolve it. US intervention was well-intentioned but went horribly wrong, I would absolutely agree; that stands whether or not Iraq is better for it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:08, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
This is true; Syria being an excellent example of relative non-intervention. Though I honestly don't really think for many of the neocons who backed the invasion had much in the manner of 'good intentions'. Anyhows, I think one of the most important elements of this is to look at the various issues and try to work out which ones were visible at the time. Regardless of whether you thought it was a good idea or not at the time, I think all can agree that a) the disbandment of the Iraqi Army/Police/Government was a mistake, b) going in without any real idea of the post-Saddam political setup was stupid and c) that the Alliance got very poor 'value for money' in regards of the some ~$75billion they spent rebuilding the country. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:28, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
The Onion has a good take on it (talk) 16:20, 24 March 2023 (UTC)Bumpf

How difficult would it be to revive Latin as a spoken language?[edit]

Contemporary Latin already exists and there are Latin language courses. The big hurdle, from my understanding, is that there are no communities that speak Contemporary Latin. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:34, 18 March 2023 (UTC)

I think it's the official language of the Vatican City. So if you are thinking of becoming Pope one day it could be a useful skill.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:21, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
Or a cardinal, or a Catholic bishop... less a requirement, but highly useful in that area. Or perhaps as a professional sedevacantist. Latin's pretty much a go-to there, or at least it should be. Or... um... is there a career for people who name new critters and plants when they do get found, taxonomically? Anyhow, there's a few jobs it applies to, still, a little bit? Kencolt (talk) 23:05, 18 March 2023 (UTC)
A somewhat related journal article by Benjamin Harshav: The Miracle of the Revival of Hebrew. Bernstein (talk) 07:41, 19 March 2023 (UTC)
I read somewhere a while back - there was an Anglican vicars versus Roman Catholic priests (possibly a Vatican team) cricket match and they amused themselves by translating all the cricket terms into Latin (silly mid off, leg gully etc). This is a good definition of Englishness (even if one does not understand cricket.) Anna Livia (talk) 18:01, 22 March 2023 (UTC)
It wouldn't be hard if there was the will. Hebrew was revived from a liturgical and/or barely spoken language to a thriving one. You should note there have been many radical changes to it since it's revival (and even a high level of change to a living literary language), so Latin would very rapidly appear quite different from works from centuries ago (both literary and colloquial). I cannot see there being any will to revive it. In a sense, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Sicilian, Catalan etc are "Latin". What lived on of Classical Latin, was a sort of academic, liturgical, intellectual means of communication (and a prestige lingua franca) for quite some time. To give you an idea of how odd it would be to revive Latin, it would be like reviving Old-English somewhere, say on the Isle of Wight, while English was still being spoken in its various forms around the world (not that Old English continued in any meaningful form). Not only does it barely resemble English as we know it now, it would change very quickly and almost certainly be heavily influenced by modern English (as would a Latin revival be heavily influenced by Italian/French/Spanish). While it is hard to imagine why we would try to revive Latin into a living colloquial/standard/mother language, and the oddities that would come along with it, it would not be that hard if there was a desire to. Hebrew is a far more challenging language to learn and Master and is now the functioning language of a nation. ShabiDOO 01:38, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
I think Shabi nailed it; what you need is 'will', and that is normally done by having a purpose. Unless there was a definitive benefit for using Latin, attempts at 'revival' shall be half-hearted at best. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:04, 25 March 2023 (UTC)

Ukraine: DU rounds threat?[edit]


Propaganda or genuine threat? I'm a bit freaked out by this... 2A02:A459:4859:1:F57B:4C4D:702C:F1DA (talk) 17:22, 21 March 2023 (UTC)

I'd say; a threat, but mainly a case of radiophobia, being pushed by Putin apologetics. Here's WebMD on the topic. If I recall right, there is a risk of DU poisoning for civilians [abandoned/lost munitions etc] but to be honest, a) conventional lost munitions are a risk period [people are still being killed/maimed by old munitions from the two world wars] and b) it's only related to the Challenger tanks being sent - which only the UK and Jordon have. Which are 14 in mumber.
The fact Russia has been using white phosphorus now/then since the invasion is more a long-term threat to all than some old DU tank shells. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:17, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
I was more referring to if this might be used as a pretext to escalate. 2A02:A459:4859:1:6CCA:E998:8382:2DB7 (talk) 18:22, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
No. Or more correctly, if that bastard was going to use something on Ukraine, he would find some reason to do so. What's more, it's 90% certain Pooh-Bear told him to not do that, or China shall pull the plug. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:34, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
So, as ISW has put it, another "tired, low-credibility nuclear threat"? 2A02:A459:4859:1:6CCA:E998:8382:2DB7 (talk) 18:46, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
Pretty much. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:54, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
So what? The US used DUWikipedia in the Gulf War, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, and against ISIS in Syria. It's nasty and morally reprehensible but not unprecedented. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 18:55, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
Still, it's notable that Shoigu mentions it in one breath with a (arguably hyperbolic) nuclear threat. 2A02:A459:4859:1:6CCA:E998:8382:2DB7 (talk) 19:06, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
Update: British government (which considered sending the DUs together with the Challenger tanks) claims it's a targeted disinformation campaign. 2A02:A459:4859:1:6CCA:E998:8382:2DB7 (talk) 19:33, 21 March 2023 (UTC)
Depleted Uranium sounds scary but it's actually not. There isn't a concern for radiation poisoning, the shells are just denser, so impact will be deeper.RipCityLiberal (talk) 20:00, 22 March 2023 (UTC)

As has ben noted there is no "nuclear" threat from DU - however it is still a "heavy metal" so ingestion of it causes "heavy metal poisoning", particularly affecting kidneys when in high doses and generalized illness at lower ones. The action of penetrating armour causes it to disintegrate resulting in lots of what is essentially dust in the environment - the "long rod" abrades at the penetrating tip as is pushes through armour. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:31, 22 March 2023 (UTC)

Not saying that isn't worrying, but I think in the grand scheme of things a bit of heavy metal poisoning is the least of the Ukranians worries right now. And I suspect Ukranians care more about the average Russian than their own leaders do [ie more than 'none']. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:54, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I would imagine that actually being hit by one of these things would be a more immediate worry.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:14, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
We also need to remember that the ammo in question is exactly the kind gear the Ukranians want right now - stuff which can stand 'toe to toe' with the T80/90s which make up the bulk of Russia's 'advanced' tank forces [of which it appears to lack the capability to replace in numbers]. And that reports are suggesting that Russia is fast running out of T72s [themselves 'obsolete' when compared to Challengers/Leopards/Abrams] and having to resort to the 1950s vintage T54/5s to arm troops [which is frankly 'WW1 butcher commander' level of competence even before the Western tanks show up]. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:31, 23 March 2023 (UTC)
Coming back to the "escalation risk"... apparently the idea of escalation over DUs got a talking head laughed out of the room on Russian state TV - which is notoriously hawkish to begin with. Also the Kremlin has pretty much shut up about DUs period after the US and UK pushed back earlier in the week.
I think we'll be just fine. (talk) 21:11, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
Welp. Apparently the bastard's planning to host nukes in Belarus now, while claiming it's a decision pulled forward in reaction to Britain sending DUs. What a fucking ghoul. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/what-did-putin-say-tactical-nuclear-weapons-belarus-2023-03-25/ 2A02:A459:4859:1:25CC:C600:EFD5:D381 (talk) 19:29, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
Good to hear. Every time he does this, I smile because it means he has nothing else he can really 'do' than bluster and rattle the nuclear sabre. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:06, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
As much as I know bluster is a huge part of his strategy, I still get riled up a bit every time he does this. As in: "what if?". I absolutely hate that feeling any time it comes up. Still doesn't lessen that point though. And regarding the DUs themselves, he responded by saying he'll deploy DU tank ammo in kind, which tbf sounds pretty weak since those apparently already have been used by the Russians in Ukraine for some time. 2A02:A459:4859:1:25CC:C600:EFD5:D381 (talk) 21:47, 25 March 2023 (UTC)

TERFS in the UK, why?[edit]

I've always wondered why the UK specifically has so many TERFs. I don't mean transphobes broadly, specifically optically liberal "feminist" women and men who attack transgender people from a "feminist" perspective. It's always confused me, because transphobia here in the US is just open bigotry veiled under a disguise of "protecting children", while in the UK it's open bigotry veiled under a disguise of "protecting women" from a "feminist" viewpoint. Any explanation for this? --Ozzyboo (talk) 17:02, 24 March 2023 (UTC)

My guess it partly has to do with a certain fantasy book author. (talk) 17:20, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
JKR is a symptom, not the cause. --Ozzyboo (talk) 17:23, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
She is in fact a perfect example, of the strength of the 'radical feminists' from c1975 onwards which has seeped generally within UK general 'women's culture', like the musings of say, Germaine Greer et al. Problem was, so many of their cut-price derivitives focused on the 'oppression/abuse of women' to the point it became [sometimes very thinly-covered] misandry in general. For if you have an ideology that states 'all men are rapists' and 'being a woman is so terrible' then you pose the situation regarding transwomen Occam's Razor leads you to the conclusion that if it's not simply a ploy to 'get into women's spaces' to abuse women it's the result of an 'extreme end of sexualisation of women' as in they get off on the idea of 'being women'. I mean, one of them literally defined womanhood as 'the life of oppression she has faced since birth', which in fact presents the fucked-up conclusion that if we ever had a true gender-blind land, no women would exist.
I also suspect some of the now elderly heads of the RadFems are loving this. Going after transwomen and revelling in the pushback/'cancellations'/etc they recieve [sometimes unjustly, other times justly] is almost like old times... and means they do not need to actually answer the defects in their own ideology or the failures in their policies. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:36, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
I'll admit, I have a guilty pleasure seeing these misandrist type, "#YesAllMen", feminists finally facing the fire for their all men are evil axiom of beliefs since I remember if I tried to argue with their logic, I was "siding with the rapists and alt-right". Now that they have to contend with the existence of trans people, people can finally see the logical conclusion of such uncompromising beliefs. It shows how bigotry can present itself with a "progressive" aesthetic just by utilizing progressive buzzwords.Ryan1257 (talk) 18:59, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
This New York Times article seems to identify a few factors:
A) While in the United States the trans has been almost exclusively a boogeyman of the right, some of the origin of the transphobic paradigm actually dates to the days of second-wave radical feminism (this source, Left Voice, a "Trotskyist news network" associated with La Izquierda DiarioWikipedia for what it is worth, dates some of the rhetoric to Janice Raymond's 1979 book The Transsexual Empire.) While this radical strain of feminism has largely died out in the United States (where it began), it "crossed the pond" and still lived on in Britain, apparently.
B) The New York Times article also implies that the "skepticism" movement, which was very strong in Britain in the late 1990s/early 2000s, influenced the TERF movement by providing a framework to push back against what they perceived as "junk science". (Personal commentary, though, the "issue" here is that the TERFs haven't really skimmed actual research papers on transgenders, so it's a bit of a facade if such is the case.)
C) The New York Times article also implies that due to a relative dearth of social movements, there has been no push-back from other feminists outside feminism of the white, well-to-do variety, as has happened in the United States.
D) Not in the Times article, but in the Left Voice one: British tabloid culture is IMHO even worse than American tabloid culture (not by much though), and in particular is susceptible to multiple moral panic outbreaks. The Left Voice identifies these tabloids as an amplifier for the movement. In addition, Mumsnet is cited as another factor in the transphobia popularity. This seems to be confirmed by this Vice article which also notes that some reasonably respected British publications like The Guardian have crafted articles seen as transphobic. (I'll personally add that Economist and even the BBC have taken transphobic stances, too.)
Essentially, in Britain, transsexual rights seem to be under attack by "both sides" (the far right of course, but also the ultrafeminist left with more support from "mainstream media" as well), in a strange application of the horseshoe theory. In America, the dialog between "womyn" type feminists and organizations that are all encompassing have already, by and large, played out, with transgender (mostly, I think) being accepted among American LGBTQ+ activists. This hasn't quite happened in Britain yet. BobJohnson (talk) 17:40, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
I actually think a major issue in the UK is a generational one. In that it's basically the folks born before say, 1970 who are the TERFs and well, they're the ones who are overwhelmingly dominating our academic halls and journalistic offices. Part of their bitching about 'being cancelled' [which is in fact pretty fucking rare] simply reeks of old people bitching about the fact their 'privilege' of not being contradicted or questioned is being eroded by the masses and in a manner [ie social media] they don't really get/like. Coupled with the fact that the British mediascape/academia is relatively small and concentrated on London, you can find a relatively few [older, white, straight, bourgeois and educated women] absolutely dominating the 'official narratives' on feminism and trans issues - even when younger, less visible/connected '3rd/4th gen' feminists are doing some very interesting work on the topic. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:10, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
On the whole, London is more socially conservative than the rest of Britain and it has some substantial and intense areas of traditionalism. Bernstein (talk) 19:14, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
the take home from that article is the religious nature of the socially conservative. its interesting that article doesnt discuss ethnicity because ethnic communities in london are largely where the religious reside. i didnt think people still went to church before i moved to london. my commute on the bus to kch passed a dozen little fire and brimstone style churchs down walworth road, offering conversion therapy and handing out leaflets offering faith healing exorcism. and thats after getting on the bus at elephant and castle opposite the tabernacle. it should be noted these areas are, more often than not, safe labour seats.
as for terfs, i said it before - they are not seeing trans people as the enemy, they are seeing men as the enemy. until we adequately address that issue with them, we are on a hiding to nothing with them. the met police arent exactly helping with that one AMassiveGay (talk) 20:48, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
i also would like to point out if you are lgbt, london is the place to be in the uk - for community, for safety, to live and to be free AMassiveGay (talk) 20:54, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
used to pass the former labour party hq on my commute down walworth road too, incidentally AMassiveGay (talk) 20:59, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
addding on to karma police's point, terfs arnt radical in the uk. they are the establishment. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:06, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, as soon as we see this as a 'male issue' rather than a 'trans issue', then we can start combating it. Dealing with this would also help turn down the incel shite a little bit; because when you've got elderly TERFs screeching via every medium they can muster about how crap men are all the time and they learn that 'this is feminism', well I can understand why they may come to the conclusion that 'feminism' is in fact a poisonous ideology [something which I suspect tallies with that recent social survey report that showed a strong minority of Millennials/Zers believed society was 'going too far' in regards to feminism.] KarmaPolice (talk) 09:01, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
I can't say this is an authoritative list but these are some of the main theories I've encountered or formed through following in the rising tide of transphobia:
1. Feminism in the UK doesn't seem to have progressed beyond the second wave at an institutional level. A popular explanation is that the UK hasn't reckoned with other forms of systemic injustice to the same extent as Australia, Canada, NZ, and the US. Maybe that has something to do with those countries' status as former colonies. As they've tried to navigate their way out of that history, they've been forced to confront issues of race, gender, class, disability, etc. more directly. White second-wave feminists in those countries got pushback from indigenous feminists, Muslim feminists, trans feminists, etc. That made those national feminist movements more diverse and focused on a broader range of issues. Whereas Britain's feminist thought-leaders remain overwhelmingly white, educated, upper-middle-class cis women of a certain age. Their concept of feminism hasn't changed much since the 1980s and they're only getting more and more out-of-touch as time passes. Even relatively uncontroversial feminist issues like period povertyWikipedia seem to be met with scorn by British feminists.
2. Class still seems to be baked into the fabric of British society in a way that it isn't in other English-speaking democracies. Power structures in the UK seem to tilt more toward a privileged ruling class than anything resembling American-style meritocracy. A talented or at least determined enough American/Canuck/Aussie can often elbow their way into politics, journalism, or academia. It seems a lot harder to break into those spaces in the UK if you don't come from the right family, go to the right school, and make the right friends. Consequently, the British media often seems like a cliquish circlejerk. It enables a relatively small circle of people to wield outsize influence over what gets reported and what doesn't.
3. For all the flaws of the current American media landscape, there's nothing quite so vicious, partisan, and small-minded as the British tabloid press. Even formerly well-regarded papers like The Guardian have spent the last five years in a race to the bottom. Jesse Singal (RW really needs an article on him) was able to launder transphobia into American newspapers in that same timeframe but his career is pretty much over now that his journalistic integrity has seriously been called into question. That kind of accountability isn't really possible in a British media ecosystem that breathlessly and uncritically publishes whatever ridiculous nonsense TERFs dreamed up that morning as front-page news.
4. In contrast to other Western democracies, where conservatives have been the primary force driving the anti-trans backlash, many of the UK's most prominent transphobes are ostensibly left-leaning. The left- and centre-left vote is split at least three ways in the UK. Major political parties and leaders in the UK don't want to stand in support of trans rights when it means getting branded a "destroyer of women's rights" despite their actual record on that front. This has limited the UK trans-rights movement's ability to effectively organise in resistance. It's also made the movement seem a more lot scary and radical to onlookers.
5. The UK had a more robust skeptic movement than the US and seems to be more comfortable with secularism. In general, that's a positive thing. However, the last decade has seen several New Atheist figures begin peddling the same reactionary/anti-progressive nonsense as the Christian right. It's easy for rationalists to discount preachers pointing to the Bible to justify gender essentialism. It's harder to discount famed biologist Richard Dawkins using science to justify gender essentialism.
6. English defamation lawWikipedia is bonkers. It places the burden of proof on the defendant rather than the plaintiff. The defendant must prove they didn't libel the plaintiff, rather than the plaintiff being required to prove they were libelled, as in the American system. As a consequence it's easy for well-connected and moneyed Brits to SLAPP their critics into silence. This is how J. K. Rowling has repeatedly sued people for calling her transphobic. This has had a chilling effect on a UK media already hostile to covering trans issues. Nope Rocket (talk) 11:04, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
My counterpoints...
1 - The 'second wave feminists' [mainly of the bourgeois radical stripe] have become 'the institutions' in the UK. In short, their general tenor have become part of 'official progressivism', which explains why they're strong in what Americans would call the 'bastions of the liberal elite'. Truth is, while racial and sexual minority injustices are accepted, most of the above second-wavers generally think those are very secondary when compared to the 'female issue' [and in more general, different campaigners seem to operate in isolation]. What's more, said second-wavers generally speaking do not accept/address class at all - this is partly because 'Marxist sociology' was the previous 'dominant thought' in this field [and in their defence, the post-War Marxists who they kicked against did ignore women and their issues, often quite completely]. This is why their bitchiness is almost personal; for the Marxist fems and later generations are quoting some of the very people who the second-gens 'cancelled' back in the 70s/80s.
Naturally, this makes said second-gens a form of 'useful idiot' for the capitalist elite; for their creed does not threaten the fundimental structure of the capitalist state. This naturally means it's gonna get a much better hearing in the media etc than anything which is genuinely 'Marxist' in scope. This aspect cannot be forgotten.
2 - Yes, the USA does have a bit wider ability for an outsider to 'crash the elite' because said elite is larger and wider in 'origin'. And basically, you're repeating what already said on that. What's more, social mobility has been declining since the 1980s as Conservative cuts have basically involved taking those 'ladders up', turning them into logs and using them to keep the rich warm and simply 'surviving' as a newbie media/journalism/academia bod is almost impossible for anyone not already relatively wealthy [esp in London and the SE, which almost everything happens at] which limits the pool even more.
3 - The centralised nature of the British mediascape (see above) means it's easier for a small clique to capture the 'mainstream opinion' on anything and then set the narrative - for as Gramsci pointed out in his 'Hegemony Theory', once a clique has achieved this it can then warp the discussion along axies that it decides, in terms it defines and with them controlling the 'rules of battle'. And I contend that as Gay pointed out earlier, the second-gen radfems have achieved this and are going to fight their removal tooth-and-nail.
4/5 - This is mainly an issue with the electoral system. FPTP seriously enourages wide-tent parties, being 'pro-trans' does not promise to gain many votes but could cost quite a few in the fabled 'Red Wall' [basically, our Rustbelt] which the Conservatives shall amplify to create the culture war shite [as they have nothing else left]. Generally speaking, I quietly, cautiously hope that the LDs/Greens/Plaid shall help nudge a Labour Govt into some advancement on trans issues 'on the quiet' in a similar manner Blair did with LGB rights in the 1990s [credit where it's due].
The Scottish issue is somewhat different, as they are a land which has PR, and the SNP did it partly at the behest of the Greens [who are truly 'pro trans' in this respect]. But their actions were frankly a bit kack-handed; in that they simply lumped en bloc all complaints about the policy as 'transphobia' when some of them were somewhat legitimate, or at very least came from an 'innocent' origin.
6 - Hell yeah. As Marx would say, it's all about power, baby and the second-gens are the ones with it and by fucking jove, they'll keep it by means fair or foul. They are not just the ones threatening libels to gag, but they're also the academic seniors, on editorial boards, chairing interview panels and chatting with fellow 'important personages' over coffee, wine and nibbles etc.
KarmaPolice (talk) 12:15, 25 March 2023 (UTC)

What's up with this wiki's article on electroconvulsive therapy?[edit]

A couple months ago, someone strongly opposed to ECT edited part but not all of the page, which was previously fairly sympathetic to modern forms of the treatment. Now the page is an incoherent mix of pro- and anti-ECT rhetoric. What should we do about this? I personally don't know what side the article should take, but it shouldn't try to take both. — Unsigned, by: 2601:249:9302:9b50:18fe:e009:a1de:d634 / talk

This is largely a single editor article, with little overall movement since then.
That being said, there are a few contributions from a BoN, who as I recall from this conversation, are probably from a banned user who is largely anti-psychiatry. While a few of the edits look OK, the bulk of the edits are similar POV or unsourced bunk found in the same user's attempted edits on the antidepressant article; this probably should be removed. BobJohnson (talk) 00:05, 26 March 2023 (UTC)

Hello, new member.[edit]

Hello, I'm a lurker who's made a few minor edits in the past who recently deiced to make an account. I figure I should give a semi formal introduction. I'm Valeria22, or Valeria for short. I've been aware of RW for at least a year and decided to finally make an account to write about articles regarding technology and privacy. Something I tend to do on new communities, and I figure some might be interested here, is disclose one of the skeletons in my closet. I'm an Ex-Kiwi Farms user. I regret spending time there and actions I did on there, but it did give me insight as to how it works internally and I made a post about my experiences on it back when I was using Dreamwidth. San some typos in it I believe someone might make use of it here for the Kiwi Farms article. I'm also an active IRC user on Libera.chat , if anyone else here uses IRC... Valeria22 (talk) 03:33, 26 March 2023 (UTC)

i don't browse kiwifarms cuz the site stresses me out every time. but i recall being told that being 'noticed' on kiwifarms usually starts off as a disgruntled nasty ex-community member who wants to get revenge for being "wronged" so often it's not the same shitty strangers saying shitty things. to what extent is that true? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!
That's interesting that you claim to regret posting on Kiwi Farms when your self-description (User:Valeria22) here (non-binary, furry, Asperger's) indicates that you could have been a potential target over there. There have been Kiwi Farms users in the past who have been targeted by Kiwi Farms. What was your attraction to that site? Bongolian (talk) 06:47, 26 March 2023 (UTC)
For User:LeftyGreenMario's question: I would say a significant amount of posts are made by disgruntled ex-community members, but how many I can't say for certain due to how seriously hiding ones identity (both IRL and elsewhere online) is taken on Kiwi Farms. My personal guess would be at least 1/3 of posts, and up to 2/3 of posts about an individual or group are done for the purpose of revenge.
For User:Bongolian's question: I explained my attraction to the site in my post on Dreamwidth, but to summarize: I joined Kiwi Farms because at the time several family members of mine were following Alt-Right influencers and I choose to lash out against them through Kiwi farms instead of something more productive after seeing a thread on an Alt-Right influencer on the site. Looking back it was clear what I did was out of impulse for a desire for petty vengeance, and I’m not sure if I can ever fully make amends for the actions I did on it. This wasn't a question (I think?), but I do wish to explain it. I never said I was autistic, non-binary, and a furry on Kiwi Farms for different reasons. I've only recently been identifying as non-binary earlier this month, I've been considering myself a furry since late 2022, and I was smart enough to know saying I'm autistic on Kiwi Farms wasn't a good idea. Valeria22 (talk) 07:43, 26 March 2023 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. Bongolian (talk) 18:18, 26 March 2023 (UTC)

Snark fail[edit]

I don't think I'm good at writing snark into the articles I edit here, though I'd say I do alright here and there. It's probably influenced by a long stretch of editing for Wikipedia with dedication to NPOV; I'd actually say I'm far better with humor outside of wiki editing.

Anyone else? I believe I can improve on this front. But for now, I perceive my strengths are elsewhere. One of the draws this wiki had for me originally is that it made even just attempts at humor, instead of staying totally dry. So I'd clearly like to write in a way that retains that character. Chillpilled (talk) 23:42, 23 March 2023 (UTC)

Not everyone finds the same things funny. My observation has been that as articles evolve over the years, especially towards silver and gold ratings, they tend to get less snarky. Snark, if it's good, is more likely to be preserved within photo captions. Bongolian (talk) 17:45, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
You're not alone in this regard. "Snarky POV" strikes me as the inevitable product of mid-2000s online skeptic culture. Back then a lot of the movement's energy was focused on mocking the absurd claims of creationists like Ray Comfort. Thunderf00t had a forty-part video series called "Why Do People Laugh at Creationists?" Some of that humour hasn't aged well in my judgment. It feels rather dated, and sometimes cheap. You can usually tell an article hasn't been touched in a decade if there's multiple strikeout jokes in the lede. I love a well-placed bit of snark but RW's satire game hasn't kept pace with changing times as well as The Onion. Nope Rocket (talk) 12:02, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
After a few recent edits of mine I'm inclined to think I may have been too hard on myself. Apparently this was too crude for Bongolian, though, aha. Chillpilled (talk) 00:34, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
I personally don't aim for snark, but it does creep in now and then. I take it more as an open invitation to simply 'write as a human being' and thus, produce something actually readable. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:26, 31 March 2023 (UTC)

Why are the global warming denialists so inconsistent?[edit]

First they say that climate change is not real then say that it is caused by the sun, then say that it is caused by water vapour then They scrap all that and say that it was made up by neo-Marxists to control us . They just keep being so inconsistent ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 21:32, 24 March 2023 (UTC)

they do not need to be consistent. they cannot afford to be consistent. if they had a single consistent and organised rationale you can focus all opposition into showing its all bullshit. what is needed is dozens of different arguments to say climate change aint a thing, or no big deal. you need an alternative everytime the current one is shown be false. you dont need to convince anyone, you just need to keep enough doubt in the general population, that any anxiety about climate change is overridden by presenting the cost and self sacrifice and personal effort is a crutch to grasp to justify not doing anything for something they dont personally feel they are not directly experiencing and if they do admit to themselves it is a thing, its hyped up, tomorrows problem, primarily for those on foreign shores. climate change is real but it isnt real enough for too many people. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:34, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
in australia and california, where the world is literally on fire, its not real to people. it wont be real for many if the whole world was a blaze or underwater. consistency is not needed. its the doubt that is needed. a consistent argument for climate change needing to be defended from all directions is the harder sell. dozens of counter narratives all needing constant debunking? it sows that doubt. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:43, 24 March 2023 (UTC)
Much of the root cause is what should be called Upton SinclairWikipedia's "salary law". ("It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.") Climate change denial, from what I can tell, seems most fervent in places where extraction industries (in particular oil) would be affected by corrective policy and also dominate certain parts of the economy. So, to give some examples, it runs more rampant in places like the United States, Brazil, and Australia in comparison to, say, much of Europe.
In the United States, the "obfuscating" is largely driven top-down by politically active extractive industries (with, in my opinion, no long-term vision) in a manner similar to other dying corporations of the past did (eg tobacco). Koch is the most famous of this lot. Part of what you are seeing is a couple of different approaches. One of them is to appeal to more (semi) educated types with bullshit studies passed on through thinktanks and uppity political mags, or even have stoic "talking heads" babbling some smart sounding but empty crap. You saw a lot of this back in the good old days of the 1980s and 1990s; most reasonably smart people have figured out that the Heritage Foundation type bullshit on climate change is bullshit, so you're seeing less of this now, I think. The other angle was to spread the message through "populists" who are primarily Culture Warriors first. This is the Tucker Carlson or Rush Limbaugh type model, where one sets up gut-appeal boogeymen (eg scary Blacks); this allows one to sweep in other boogeymen the audience may not quite understand, but will accept if the argument is forceful or deepity sounding. The politically informed aren't fooled, but there's many who are politically naive. BobJohnson (talk) 00:03, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
The question is mentioned here. The staircase.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:17, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a combination of a 'fighting retreat' and simply 'throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks'. The latter is more serious, as it's the hirelings and hacks who are tailoring their message to the planned demographic and it's not an overtly planned 'message' from above [at least I don't think it is]. For example, one catering to Boomers often works the 'appeal to selfishness/greed' side - they don't deny the ecological destruction, but carp on about 'by 2050' and similar, the unspoken message being 'you'll be dead by then, so why worry about it? Turn the heating up and plan your holiday flights!'
It doesn't help that the 'opposite side' is sometimes a bunch of liars or at very least, confused and unwilling to admit holes in their plans/policies. For example, here in the UK the Greens are hard-on for the 'zero growth' thing - I argue this is a terrible mantra because it suggests to poor people that their SoL shall never be allowed to increase 'for the planet'. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:27, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
noticed the same thing with anti-vaxxers they keep changing the Covid vaccine death toll ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 22:27, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

Indictment at last[edit]

New York has done its duty. Trump Indicted.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:55, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

Queue up the sequel.[6] Bongolian (talk) 22:53, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
Trump should refuse to show up for his indictment so he can be arrested for evading the law. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:29, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

Now I can breath a sigh of relief that his chances for running in the 2024 presidential election are mostly quashed. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Trump's first instinct, of course, was to get posting. Aha. Chillpilled (talk) 23:50, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
This is the more "technical" of Trump's looming crimes -- the charges haven't been revealed yet as far as I know, but I suspect it's the same stuff (tax evasion and campaign finance laws broken) that others have been convicted of in the hush money incident. (Allen Weisselberg, CFO of Trump Organization, who pled guilty to similar charges, got only 5 months in prison; Michael Cohen, a lawyer close to Trump who orchestrated the hush money deal, got sentenced to 3 years.) The problem is, technical finance shit is harder for the general public to understand (as Republican agitators discovered when trying to make big deals about Clinton's whitewater controversyWikipedia). So I don't think this case changes many minds, unless what happened was such a drastic degree of tomfoolery, it puts Trump in prison for a long time. We'll see.
The possible upcoming Georgia indictments on the other hand are IMHO potentially more fatal: here, the charges relate to Trump trying to get Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election. That's pretty easy for everyone to understand. Trump's fascist base won't care if Trump is convicted of charges relating to this incident, but plenty of others IMHO will. BobJohnson (talk) 00:23, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
If Trump is unable to run in 2024, we'll have President DeSantis, which is like Trump, but without all the, y'know, the tweets and sex abuse. So that's, what, only 50% as bad. CorruptUser 03:27, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
Or not. Because oddly enough, the future is not fixed. What's more, I've done the maths re demographics and the 'ratios of support' shall be about 1.5% towards the Democrats than last time. Does DeSantis have the charisma and skills to both hold on to the 'Trump Coalition' and reach out to nibble enough the white sububans and/or the youth to win? KarmaPolice (talk) 06:37, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
It will also depend on the enthusiasm (or lack of same) for Biden and the extent to which the “Never DeSantis” urge is less than “Never Trump”. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:17, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, this is hard to triangulate. Personally, I shall say that I think DeSantis may be able to win vs Biden if the Orange One has been banned from running and then throws all his weight behind that dead fish. It might just be able to 'straddle' the groups. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:09, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
I actually fail to see how DeSantis loses to Biden unless 1) Trump runs/splits the vote, 2) Biden replaces Kamala with someone extraordinarily likeable, 3) mail in ballots are ubiquitous the way they were in 2020, 4) DeSantis is caught in a public bathroom trying to hook up with random men. CorruptUser 18:22, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
To repeat; a) DeSantis has zero charisma, b) does not have Trump's appeal to the MAGA-hats. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:45, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
This indictment keeps Trump in the news as well, just when DeSantis was trying to break through.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 19:38, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
Is it not the weakest of the Orange One's legal issues to boot? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:41, 31 March 2023 (UTC)

NATO bombing and anti-Westernism again[edit]

Yesterday marks the anniversary of illegal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia which killed thousands of civilians and damaged buildings, which ended a huge political clusterfuck in the 90s. But it also caused anti-Western sentiment and contrarianism among Serbs to grow even more. Conspiracy theories about the effects DU causing cancer also emerged.

Idk how many Serbs today would rather be contrarian and think opposite of whatever the West says, even when it has weight, just to spite West. One of main TV channels occasionally hosts conspirational cranks, yet also broadcasts a reality TV show. It also has a show where some "analysts" spew the same far-right shit RT says, but with nationalist slant. And popular "independent" political shows on YouTube are also right wing.

Now being a crank is apparently being a good Serb. While a hopefully normal Serb thinks that war in Ukraine is bad and Russia is the aggressor, a True Serb thinks that Russia defends itself and the world from imperialist West. And being anti-LGBT, anti-vax, anti-globalist is apparently pro-Serbian too.ASerb (talk) 10:47, 25 March 2023 (UTC)

Human Rights Watch says civilian deaths were between 488-527 - where do you get "thousands" from?Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 10:55, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
Serbian Wikipedia, although it was sourced from RTS and Politika. It also had the numbers from HRW too.ASerb (talk) 11:01, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
Also being peddled by Chinese sources. The ICTY on the other hand, states they believe the true number is ~500 dead and ~6,000 injured. Couple with the ~1,200 service personel killed [current NATO calculation], counting later 'died of wounds' and a bit of 'margin of error', then yes, perhaps we can technically get to 'thousands', if only just. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:10, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
Anyway, I have to wonder how much of this is just old fashioned 'Serbian exceptionalism'. Why does so much of the last century's history seem to focus around either expressions of this poisonous ideology or the reactions to it by other powers? KarmaPolice (talk) 11:12, 25 March 2023 (UTC)
And what of the genocides? Oh who am I kidding, the response from the likes of you would either approve of it or deny it with the usual excuses. NATO didn't make Serbia pro-Russian and far-right, it was already like that.Ryan1257 (talk) 01:07, 26 March 2023 (UTC)
As someone who was friends with Bosnian refugees, fuck you.
With a cactus.
Using lemon juice for lube.CorruptUser 01:40, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
saying the nato bombings radicalized serbia is like saying will smith's oscar slap last year made black people look bad, insofar as using a convenient excuse to justify pre-existing beliefs. this ignores the fact the two countries go way back (though their relationship has never quite been perfect). The G (talk) 00:34, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

"Parental Rights"[edit]

"Parental Rights" is good euphemism for transphobia, homophobia, restricting free expression, free speech and support of theocracy.

Much like the euphemism "Special Military Operation" instead of "Hostile invasion". --Trans Fem Agenda 00:08, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

Just because they have ulterior motives doesn't mean they don't have a point. The LGBT community needs to stop defending the "all ages" drag shows, regardless of how frequent or rare they are. The LGBT community has spent decades trying to prove that they aren't just a bunch of perverts that hide under rocks to snatch your kids, but then you end up with creeps doing pretty much just that... CorruptUser 01:43, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Someone is going to have to explain how a man merely wearing a dress is now rated R entertainment (and if it is, I can produce a long list of light comedy that suddenly will become "adults only"). Generally speaking, I understand that the "drag queen story hours" are G rated in content. So really, the biggest problem here therefore is the "homosexual" part (eg the event promotes diversity), and that some people think that the concept of men wearing dresses to tell inclusive stories is "weird". Guess what, I think shit like speaking in tongues is fucking weird too, but we have some parents who are perfectly fine with taking their kids to Pentecostal services with that claptrap. If "parental rights" extend to simply banning shit because they don't like it, fine, I modestly propose that if you get to legislate away the drag queen story hour weirdness, I get to legislate away the Pentecostal weirdness. Hell, most things are not liked by someone, but if "parental rights" were really that open (and not just a thinly veiled vehicle for homophobia, transphobia, and racism, reminiscent of "state's rights") I betcha everything and anything will be banned in no time. BobJohnson (talk) 02:34, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
As best I can tell, drag seems to want to have it both ways. All the way back in 2004, as a teen I went to Provincetown (my family was primarily there to see the dunes) and saw the dissonance even then; the dueling messages from the people out on the streets in their costumes came off as, "We're really That Transgressive And Super Edgy, so here's our show where you can bring your family along!" For obvious reasons it just doesn't work that way, think about what happened to leather and studs; Rob Halford so thoroughly popularized the look that it hasn't been the exclusive domain of the the gay community for decades. Same thing happened with Twisted Sister, they were That Transgressive enough that Dee Snider got hauled before Congress and then 17 years later campaigned for a Republican governor. At least in those two cases Halford and Snider stopped pretending they were still on the cutting edge of being EdgyTM and leaned into it. To take it out of gender, it's the equivalent of sticking a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac, then getting grievously offended when someone either points out the dissonance or chooses not to engage with you because it's not something everyone is all that interested in. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:58, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
You aren't wrong that drag shows are associated with bawdy adult humor, and trying to G-rate such throws up a bit of cognitive dissonance. There's a difference though between questions like "er, why the drag, really, is this really helping?" and "LET'S THROW UP THE BANHAMMER", and when the side doing the later is also simultaneously trying to whitewash educational material of any notion that America could *gasp* be racist, and is throwing a moral panic on anything transsexual etc., you suspect that the motivation to be a wee bit beyond questions like the above.
Most of the arguments you hear in fact are more of the "think of the children!" variety. Now, I haven't personally heard of any massive child abuse scandals with drag queens. I have heard massive child abuse scandals with the Catholics and the Southern Baptists. So, continuing my "modest proposal", we should THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! and ban all religion. Or, in the spirit of Ron DeSantis administrivia attacks, take away their tax exemption. (Given how Republican propaganda pulpits some churches are becoming, it makes perfect sense to me!)
Euphemism for brainwashing kids with whatever the parents' think the kids should be thinking - eg religion is the classic - for 90% of religious peopled the "right" and "only true" religion is whatever you were raised in. But it has always been like that and it is pretty difficult to see any sort of way society will change to be otherwise. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:07, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Remember in Mrs Doubtfire, there was this hilarious scene where Robin Williams was twerking in Mara Wilson's face while she put dollar bills in his thong? Me neither.
There's a HUGE gulf between "we are just another type of normal, trying to live our lives in peace" and "we are going to sexualize your kids". CorruptUser 03:24, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Interesting, I don't seem to remember that scene either. And while this has nothing to do with the legality of it, how does it in any way enhance the experience of kids to hear a story from a man... in a dress? Even if it's not overtly sexualized, as the Provincetown "edgy family friendly" shows clearly were, something can be both harmless to and add no value whatsoever to the task at hand. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:06, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
In theory, Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is much like having LeVar Burton in Reading Rainbow; by having a member of a minority group interact with kids, you raise a generation that is not afraid when they meet another member of the minority group. In practice? I don't know how many people volunteered with DQSH so I can't make any conclusions, but I know that at least two were convicted sex offenders.CorruptUser 04:26, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
My rule of thumb is this; if a person uses the line 'parental rights' it normally means I'm dealing with a person who views their kids as a form of property. I shall not convict on this line alone, but it sure as hell be fairly alert for corroborating evidence. Why? Because my experience has taught me that this POV is an orange flag for abusive/neglectful parenting. Now, onto the tangent.
I am no way an expert on this, but it would appear that the moral panic regarding let's call it 'cross dressing' [as I desire to make the discussion wider] is almost uniquely American [at least in the Anglosphere]. Here in the UK, we have the tradition of 'Music Hall' which started in the early 19th and often featured Drag King/Queen acts [yes, for ladies did this too]. They were often regarded as somewhat 'racy', but by modern standards they weren't 'sexy'; the Queens charms were much more the 'dirty smirks and double entendres' sort - something we still have as an echo in the 'pantomime dame' character at Christmas. The Moral Guardians hated music-hall with a passion, but it wasn't directed against the Queens/Kings in particular. The American variant seems to be simply obssesed about 'people wearing "wrong" clothes' to a much greater extent; for example the bitching about the Python 'Pepperpot' characters in the 70s or the fact that some locales had gendered public dress codes [something which I believe was never on the books in the UK].
The other aspect of this is the renowned American prudishness, which is perhaps the most severe in the 'Western World' - to the Helen Lovejoys and Ned Flanders' of the country, their demands of female 'modesty' is often so high the admission that you have knees or breasts puts you in the same category as a pole-dancer. I mean, go and Google some of the Story Hour persons in question - often, they' object to the attire regardless of who was wearing it [normal people, on the other hand normally would see it as 'acceptable']. The last bit of this is the simple fact that Helen and Ned simply cannot see any 'reason' for drag which was not sexual in intent. This view is reinforced by the fact the only association they can think of is the tradition of 'carnival' in Rio etc, of which they shall generally view as something approaching what Sodom was like [though I am not sure what is Sodom; either LA or Vegas, I assume]. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:05, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

Anytime I hear people use the term Parental Rights, it is from homophobic and transphobic jerks, anti-vaxxers and Christian fundies. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:14, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

you've never heard of (shit)fathers for justice then AMassiveGay (talk) 19:13, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Is that part of the Manosphere, where dads complain the courts are biased towards the mom or that child support payments are too onerous? CorruptUser 19:18, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
It's kinda 'proven' of being biased against fathers, at least traditionally. And sometimes. I suspect this was partly a 'feature, not bug' of family court, because it might have made the assumption a) father would always be able to 'outgun' mother with lawyers [as he would be the wealthier] and b) mothers made the better parent. From what I've seen of life so far, it can be said that normally if fathers play silly buggers over maintenece, mothers shall play similar with contact. And when it comes down to it, courts are much quicker to knife you about not paying dosh than not allowing the spawn to see their other creator. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:41, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
It's perhaps pointing out that "someone in drag" is several centuries old, not a new invention - the Pythons did it half a dozen of times in their acts. The term literally comes from Shakespearean theater - women weren't allowed to perform in stuffy British theaters (because quite literally sexism; they were seen as inferior to the men and therefore only men were allowed to perform), so the men would have to be put in big flowy dresses that dragged across the floor to hide their more manly features. It's believed that in Romeo & Juliet, the first performer of Juliet was a man as a result. The sexual association some people have is really just the association that comes from the sudden popularity of VaudevilleWikipedia in the 1920s, easily accessible comedy that in part featured jokes about men dressing as women and as a result had slightly sexually charged comedy (because the second lowest form of wit is a sex joke, only surpassed by a poop joke) whilst also having people in drag. This is the entire appeal of drag and drag shows in a nutshell; it's a modern day vaudeville act. The association with trans people is there like... well, any form of "people being able to dress as something they not usually are" is, but I would point out that unlike what conservatives would have you believe, being trans is not a requirement for drag. There was a rather popular television show here a few years back that largely featured straight guys (stuffy TV presenters mostly, a few bi dudes and I think one gay guy?) in drag and a jury who would have to guess who the presenter was. That's... really all it is. The outrage is rather blatantly charged about hating trans people but that's only so obvious because the people passing the bills are constantly screeching about them. If it was actually about drag queens or drag shows, we'd have actual arguments about that, but instead it's constantly screaming about how trans people want to rape kids or whatever. -- Techpriest (talk) 20:02, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
theatres at the time of shakespeare were hardly 'stuffy' AMassiveGay (talk) 20:10, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Frankly anything British automatically is stuffy to me as a non-anglophone European :p. -- Techpriest (talk) 20:12, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Now that's a bit unfair; we've been telling each other dirty jokes and stories since forever. Hell, even the Canterbury Tales had them. And I don't hail from a land which gets all offended when pictures of get shown to students. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:22, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Hah. Point taken. The uptightness of United States parents and the outsized influence they like to muscle around on school boards is disconcerting. -- Techpriest (talk) 20:51, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
For some context, the David statue uproar was triggered from three parents; all were attending a "charter school" which (hilariously, given what happened) was supposedly specializing in "classical education". Things makes more sense when you realize these "classical education" schools are often really thinly veiled fundie schools in disguise, designed so that parents can escape the "horrors" of having their children subjected to a broad-based public education in favor of a supposed "Judeo-Christian" one, but without being so obviously religious that they'd get their tax dollars yanked. That Tallahassee school is part of a network of charter schools designed by the conservative Christian Hillsdale CollegeWikipedia.BobJohnson (talk) 21:32, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Charter schools, what a joke; I too can outperform public schools by expelling any child that doesn't perform the way I want.
Sorry, I just hate that we are once again returning to the 2-tier system of education for the haves and have-nots. CorruptUser 04:48, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
No, the USA has a three-tier, possibly four or even five. And contains sub-tiers too. From what I can tell, Charter Schools almost overwhelmingly cater to lower/mid middle class types who feel they are [in short] 'too good' to be in the state run system but lack the fiscal firepower to genuinely go private. However, most of said parents are 'uninformed shoppers' and like any such shopper, can very easily be taken in by advertising, peer pressure, woo-peddling and similar. And as they don't have to literally pay for it the level of actual 'research done' shall often be rather shoddy as they don't have so much 'skin in the game'. And as charter schools are rackets, much work shall go into pandering to the customers' own desires over the needs of the customer's spawn.
This is relatively normal for business. You have the informed choosers who take quality but have to [and do] pay for it, the ignorant choosers who usually get crap on the cheap and then the beggars can't be choosers who either go without or get the mandated minimum doled out on the plate.
And on the 'British stuffiness'... even now, we are more 'reserved' - it's a particular class thing, but I'd hazard even working-class English are moreso than say, their American counterparts. Personally, it's partly because we have stronger divisions between private and public 'personas'. Like with say, Russians and Swedes, the outsider need to work on cracking through the public mask before you hear our dirty jokes and personal feelings. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:59, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
In my hometown, we had several religious academies and public schools. The public and religious schools were actually equivalent, and the public schools did have honors/AP and remedial courses so there were 3 tiers but all within the same school. So I don't know if that actually counts as different tiers, the way you would have literally separate schools for Black and White students a la Jim Crow.
As for British Stuffiness, I once saw this one British play where in the opening act, the men make fun of each others' dick sizes, raping/murdering virgins, and pooping on heads. The play was "Romeo and Juliet". CorruptUser 19:28, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Well, there is the question of how you judge as 'equivalent'. I suspect you mean 'results'. Now, I think if you actually did a 'value added' calcualtion between the two systems you may find that the state-run system was in fact better - that the academies ran a poorer curriculum and had too much an eye on 'teaching to make the parents happy', but this was counteracted by their higher per-head funding and how their entry critera are skewed to minimise/eliminate minorities/immigrants/special needs/the poor. Thus, if the state school is producing 'equivalent' results with less per-head and 'worse' input material well, clearly they're the better school. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:54, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
The immigrants tended to outperform the locals. As for funding, the religious academies tended to be underfunded, not overfunded; the teachers were paid less, for starters. Plus, my public school was weird for, well, it's weird enough that telling you HOW weird would probably let you find out which one it was.
As for kicking people out, etc, yes there was a bit of that, but what people seem to gloss over is that sometimes the bad kids aren't just bad by bringing down the average but bad because they make school so miserable they ruin things for everyone else. Sometimes, simply removing them from the class room is all you need for everyone else's grades to improve. CorruptUser 13:57, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Were said immigrants 'Model Minority' types who's families aready had some 'class capital' behind them? What's more, as you go up the class ladder the level of 'social capital' and 'cash spent on extra tuition etc' both rise, meaning that the total spend on education per-head shall be higher. Lastly, if you bell-curve all your kids and eliminate the 'bottom 10%' you shall find the results improve simply because said 10% usually consume a much higher-than-normal amount of 'resources' - like your own example [that 'bad kid' is only 4% of the class but takes up 15% of the teacher's time, their elimination increases the other kids 'teacher effort' input by 14% each. This is even before, as you note the 'Bart Simpson effect'.Ads KarmaPolice (talk) 14:40, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Mostly refugees fleeing genocides, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Bosniaks, Vietnamese "boat people", Kurds. (EDITED) As for the Bad Kid, the "Bart Simpson Effect" is far, far greater the issue than the extra resources from the teacher. The teachers don't mind spending extra time with students who struggle, so long as they really are trying. But the ones who don't want to be there and want to make the place miserable for everyone else? Sometimes children do need to be left behind.
As for Black people, my town was almost entirely White (other than the refugees) until the 90's. When a large portion of the town moved away, there was a bit of a budget crisis, which one mayor decided to solve by working out a deal with a major city to take in a lot of people on Medicaid. It... didn't work out so well. CorruptUser 16:03, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Cannot comment on your particular situation, but one thing which I have often seen with immigrants/refugees in general is that they frequently are more 'pick of the litter' than you'd expect from a random pick of their 'origin population'. For example, a decent % of the 'Boat People' had to either pay and/or use their contacts to get that boat-slot - which suggests they had some either cash and/or contacts to 'make it happen'. What's more, often the ones which ultimately end up in the advanced world are the ones with the most gumption to 'get on'; I read recently that some 70% of refugees stay close to their countries of origin, so the remaining 30% who go further are the ones who are most driven - which often bodes well for their future careers etc. Even the ones who don't tramp across a continent or two to get to their final destination often require what we Brits call 'sharp elbows'; the ability to 'work the [refugee] system', which can become a lot more effective if you simply know the basics of how that system works and have at your command the ability to communicate in esp English. Lastly, I shall quite heavily 'discount' the immigrant factor for 2nd-gens.
As for the Bart Simpson effect... it has nothing to do regarding whether the teacher minds 'spending the extra time' with one particular student - if that teacher is spending an above-average amount of time dealing with one student, this means the other students shall get less attention [as lesson time is finite]. And as there's a good correlation between teacher attention and educational 'value added', less time means worse outcomes - QED. This is why in the UK, the ones needing the extra help qualify for extra cash, which at least lessens the disincentives to [as you put it] 'leave behind' the kids who require a disproportinate level of teaching resources. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:04, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
Did not read most of this thread but to OP's point, the Christian Institute argues that bans on smacking children are "anti-parent". Chillpilled (talk) 20:01, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
meh, i'd say "parental rights" is a trojan horse for authoritarianism in general. some parents used their "rights" to ban a historical film that offended them, for instance. i have yet to see how the story of ruby bridges is harmful for children enough to justify banning it from an entire ass school district. The G (talk) 00:39, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

Everything is woke[edit]

They keep saying that everything is woke even vaccines and caring about the environment. At first it was just people like sargon of akkad saying that black people, women, LGBT are woke it was bad that now every movie, TV show, Comic is woke. I bet in 5 years that conservatives will call even goats woke. They can't even define the word since it is as consistent as global warming denialists' claims, speaking of global warming denialists the conservatives are calling environmentalism woke now. Thanks to the Covid pandemic they are calling vaccines woke, so not believing that Bill gates injects 5g microchips is woke now. ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 22:25, 27 March 2023 (UTC)

With how much 'woke' is being said by the Alt-Right for... Well, anything they dislike I'm starting to think it's their bootleg version of Prop 65Wikipedia. Though dispute its overuse, at least Prop 65 has a real meaning and purpose behind it. Valeria22 (talk) 23:24, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
At least here in CT, the Latino population has had about enough of "Latinx" bullshit. Latino Democrats here are leading the charge to recognize how ridiculous it is, and this in about the most liberal state you could think of. When I see Frontline documentaries with some black "community organizer" (whatever the hell that means) from Wisconsin trotting that word out, I can't help but cringe at such an obvious and unnecessary self-inflicted wound. It's that sort of hill way too many liberal types are willing to die on, and I've sure never seen any of them helping out at the food pantry or sorting through the donation bins. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:08, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Yep, 'woke' is basically 'I don't like this'. And yeah, crap like names and similar are so important compared to people's actual lives. I shall only genuinely entertain neo-pronouns for trans folks once shit like conversion therapy, teen/young adult issues and the class-based problems are sorted out. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:06, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
The far right cannot define woke but use it as an insult. --Trans Fem Agenda 11:03, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
According to merriam-webster (Yes, I know they are not far-right) woke is defined as "“aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice)” That's a bad thing then?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:05, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
If that was actually how people used it all the time, I'd be fine with that. But it's not, and I don't think anyone seriously disputes it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:26, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Actually I think that "the right" would broadly accept that definition. Except they genuinely believe that being concerned about social issues is a bad thing.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:36, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
That certainly hasn't been my immediate experience. My current state representative is a Republican; I don't agree with him on a lot, but on social issues he's done a tremendous amount to get more funding for organizations serving disabled people and food distribution. Certainly did better than our previous Democratic governor on that issue, who is himself dyslexic and relied on services for the blind to get by in law school; he did a lot I like, but basically gave the finger to those very same places and slashed their funding (our current governor has been much better on this). It doesn't neatly fit into boxes. And since I live relatively close to Yale and sometimes go to the art shows up that way, people there most certainly do not use "woke" to just mean "supporting social justice awareness"; it's a very specific vision of social justice, I've seen "White silence is violence" buttons being hawked by the same people who then make it a point to "center [insert your abbreviation of choice] voices"; I mean, I can either talk or be quiet, but I can't do both. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:12, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
As used by the reactionaries (eg Fox News, Ron DeSantis) the term has gone well beyond mere social justice though. For instance, if one attempts to address climate change issues, this crowd will now whip out the "woke" label regardless of merit. Thus a Ron DeSantis will whip out the term for the major passive Wall Street investment firm BlackRockWikipedia simply because they have some token marketing attempting to attract the "ESG investing" crowd. "Woke Blackrock" is honestly a hilarious concept to me, it's like taking the latest stereotype fad targeting "those darn liberals!" and pointing it at the exact same type of "stuffy suits" the right would worship in the Ronald Reagan days.BobJohnson (talk) 15:52, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, there I would agree. DeSantis is about as bad as it gets with that sort of nonsense. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:25, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Woke means nothing and everything at the same time. Woke has no meaning. You could put a gun to a Republican's head and they could not give you a coherent definition even after a million years. Woke is a vibes based term. It is literally "everything we do not like." Black people in movies? Woke. Tampons? Woke. Gay people kissing? Woke. Children having independence from their parents? Woke. Non-religious education? Woke. All of these things are "woke" despite having no connection to each other at all. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:52, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
You could make the same argument about "porn" and "art", since there's no coherent definition of either. But I'm quite sure that currently, "woke" means "constantly pushing 'social justice' issues where it doesn't make sense". Adding a Black character alone is not "woke". Adding a Black character where it makes no sense, is "woke". E.g., let's say you make a historical drama about Christopher Columbus and include a Black sailor. Some might whine that it's "woke"... except that there really was at least one Black sailor in Columbus's crew. So including said sailor would actually be undoing Whitewashing and thus arguably "based". Now, if the Black sailor is given excessive focus or heroic actions with no basis in history, you are back to being "woke". CorruptUser 19:47, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
The word is used a lot, with different meanings. Some use it genuinely for social justice, some use it to mock social justice, some use it to promote wacky ideas.ASerb (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Woke has a meaning; being alert to racial prejudice and discrimination. It has been twisted by conservatives to apply to basically anything they don't like. It didn't help that white people started using it judiciously, especially after the George Floyd lynching, but it isn't a way to explain away a bank failure, nor is it some all encompassing menace that is a threat to Americans way of life. I guess except for those that refuse to acknowledge that Black Americans face no prejudice and discrimination.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:44, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
For Conservatives, the word "woke" is useful because it lacks a single meaning: As long as it's a snarl word it can be used to attack anything and anyone and can't be defended against. — Chbarts (talk) 05:11, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
So basically it's like "racist", in that it means whatever the user claims it means? CorruptUser 13:48, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
I think that's what the pejorative has devolved to, thanks to people like Ron DeSantis.
The word seems to have gone through a few "phases":
A) <2014: It just means "be aware", but often used with a particular Black America context (as described here, an "association with Black Americans’ need to be aware of racially motivated threats and the potential dangers of white America".) A part of the vernacular since the 1930s, at least.
B) 2014-2020: In the face of Black Lives Matter and the fury over multiple incidents of police brutality, the term "woke" became a buzzword among progressive activists for awareness of social injustice in general, encompassing more than just the Black experience. Shortly afterwards, this is when I also think the alt-right started using the word as a pejorative, but it was kind of more like Cory described; it was used more for perceived social justice excess, which for many online dwellers heavily leaned towards the (sometimes ham-fisted tokenism, sometimes not) diversity attempts in entertainment.
C) 2020-2023: Republican politicians pick up on the alt-right pejorative slang and dilute it to where it honestly means nothing anymore, just a vague shake-fist at anything not Republican. Some trolls online take this concept even further and apply to dumb manosphere / machismo shit. (EG: a plant based sausage at Cracker Barrel is "woke", WTF?) Pretty soon I'm sure Jesus Christ himself will be "woke" for feeding the multitudes and turning the other cheek, the way things are going.BobJohnson (talk) 14:31, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Good post!CorruptUser 14:37, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
It would be perfect if Jesus becomes "woke"-snarled at. After all, the New Testament contains a teaching telling people to watch and stay awake and "sleep not" in a metaphorical sense, and that's an established religious theme relating to avoiding temptation, staying rooted in what matters in terms of the religious ideals vs. falling into a stupor under worldly and other negative influences, etc. This has of course in turn morphed into the Western esoteric and later conspirituality varieties, all mixed-up with the modern conspiracy theorist version of "wake up". In short, you better stay anti-woke woke, according to the alt-right. Such exhortations are only one small typo away in popular online discourse. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:24, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

Looking for critique on Draft:Cloudflare[edit]

For the last few days I've been working on Draft:Cloudflare and I've gotten it to a point where I'm hoping to see what other people think about it. I'm hoping to see what I can expand on, where to add snark, and any other suggestions you guys might have for it. Also thank you Chillpilled for highlighting and fixing formatting mistakes I made. Valeria22 (talk) 18:41, 2 April 2023 (UTC)

I think it's good enough for mainspace. Bongolian (talk) 19:25, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
Thought about adding some stuff about Cloudflare's relation to copyright enforcement and popularizing IPFS (see here for a recent story). I don't know if it's all that important though so wasn't very set on it. Chillpilled (talk) 07:24, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

What do you guys think of the Butlerian Jihad?[edit]

LessWrong is at it again. 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 13:01, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

That was a whole lot of fearmongering with very little logical substance.
Is there anything being said that actually has a little more oomph? Shit like ChatGPT, the current "AI trendy thing", seems too wonky to inspire this sort of fear, gloom, and doom.BobJohnson (talk) 13:14, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
I don't want to derail your topic, but I hate how Herbert died and we'll never know the details of the Butlerian Jihad. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:52, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
His son wrote a bunch of prequels including The Butlerian Jihad - unfortunately the quality of story telling is nowhere near the father's level and they are "C" grade novels at best, but kinda fill in the holes. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:24, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
I was gonna say, isn't that a Dune thing? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 17:51, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
The idea of pausing or stopping chatbots or other massive-dataset AI is nonsense. The genie is out of the bottle. Some other entity will do it that doesn't care about rules and has the money to pour into it (e.g., Russia or China). Regarding Chatbots, GIGO is still the rule. Bongolian (talk) 21:15, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
RE: GIGO. Chillpilled (talk) 22:29, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
How do you motivate an AI device? It can be designed to solve problems. It will only provide services it is asked to provide. It will never enjoy its work or care whether it is turned off. How can one design a device that will understand which problems can or should be solved? An AI could spend an infinite amount of time solving Diophantine equations. There is no algorithm that solves all of them. How do you stop AI devices from wasting their time if you set them free? Well, you can't stop people from wasting their time either. UncleKrampus (talk) 22:49, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
Many modern developments have revolutionized the world - cars, computers, the internet, microchips, and most of them had luddites initially attempting to stop their progress. And now we see it again with AI.
But suggesting a six month moratorium on AI development is absurd. Firstly, because that horse has bolted. It's running down the track and it won't be stopping soon. Secondly, because in practical terms we are not going to get Europe, Russia, the US, China and the rest of the world to agree on a moratorium. And in the highly unlikely event that we did, I doubt that we could trust entities to keep to the accords. Finally, we have military AI. Which is probably more frightening though less-talked-about than civilian AI. There is no chance that development of that will stop.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:45, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
I agree. The box is open. We now need to talk about how a post-box world shall look like, not about trying to halt the box-spread for six months or so. It is disturbing how few politicians and other 'leaders' are even considering how 'disruptive' this innovation could ultimately be. Consider it; humans are already technologically obsolete in routine clerical and many manual tasks. The mantra for some ~50 years in the advanced world has been to those replaced workers has been to 'get educated', to get into managerial, creative or high-skilled 'brain-work'. Now AIs show a future within our lifetimes where humans shall be obsolete in all those occupations too. This is the point where someone shall cite the 'Say's Law of work' aka 'the AIs will produce more work than it displaces'. But produce work for who? More robots and AIs, that's what.
This may be the way AIs 'destroy' humanity. They make us working stiffs obsolete, capitalism collapes due to lack of demand and the last days on earth feature a mass war between billions of starving humans vs armies of robots controlled by a handful of the super-rich from fortified compounds. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:24, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
There are two "interesting long-term questions" regarding the sustainability of the "current capitalism model" that I've think should be of concern to people who like to hype this system:
A) How this paradigm responds to the challenges of climate change. Here, there is a balance of the hopeful (capitalists coming up with neat ideas) mixed with technology decay and "Upton Sinclair salary law" style resistance, best exemplified by former futurist Elon Musk deciding that shitposting bad transphobic jokes was more important than making 0 emission vehicles, and the climate change denying Republican Party.
B) How this paradigm responds to the near world-wide "baby bust", of which much of it is due a combination inequality / affordability issues, as well as nasty, inflexible overwork cultures (eg "996" in ChinaWikipedia). Once again, even though the futurists in the past promised that technological progress would *save* us hours, it has not come to pass, largely due to the paradigms of the ruling class system which overvalue "hardcore" overwork on one end and undervalue "the retail job" (and other things like the "gig economy") on the other, paying them as little shit as allowed in a race to the bottom. So now, no one has time and/or money to raise babies anymore. Low birth rates aren't necessarily *bad* per se but the current paradigm is not designed around this, and some of the capitalist paradigm solutions to get "the labor" ("bring in the cheap immigrants!") are partially, unfortunately, why you've seen a rise of the strongmen type in America and Europe. I see practically zero bigwig corporate types addressing this issue with any ideas of substance; in fact, they seem to fiercely resist this to a T even when a solution works well (see the companies now shitting on remote work, which may have helped a little baby boom among the class that could take advantage of it...).
So yes, AI can be seen as part of the "part B problem", in that (like other computer automation) it has potential to hollow out the "decent paying middle" job market of the past. Sadly, not much has been done about this in the past, and I doubt much will be done in the near future (maybe this is another thing though that will change a little with a generational shift). Personally, though, in the near term, I'm more worried at present about pushing the shit too fast based on the hype. AI works well enough if you respect its limitations. If you don't, you might get another Boeing 737 MAXWikipedia type situation where your over-reliance on automation kills people. In this respect, I guess the doom and gloom (while really overdone) is a bit welcome. BobJohnson (talk) 20:33, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
I see AI as another bat to beat workers with by the capitalist class. The powered loom, threshing machine, assembly line, personal computer and automated systems have all been used to demand workers go harder, for longer and with less pay/benefits than before. As you point out, each of these innovations has granted an ever-greater 'surplus', but that extra slice of the cake is always disproportionately given to capital, not labour. The only mitigations against this has been via trade unionism and democratic systems, which is the main reason why Big Capital tends to try to destroy and subvert them respectively. But the risk is even worse than you paint - if AIs turn out to be as disruptive as say, the steam engine was in the 19th, it's not just going to be a 'baby bust', it's going to be a complete 'economic bust'. It's simple; the middle class create the demand which employs most of the rest of us, and if the former is thrown out on the scrapheap due to AI the working stiffs are next. It's Marx's old 'crisis of capitalism'; if nobody can afford to consume, nothing is produced and the whole system falls apart.
You're right in that nobody is talking about this. I mean, you ask Google [yeah, the irony] and the 'suggested blurb' bit told me;
'But, as has been the case in the past, experts argue, AI will likely offset much of that by spurring the creation of new jobs in addition to enhancing many existing jobs'.
I prod a bit further, and what I end up seeing is variants of this vague handwavy shite;
'The relevant question is whether most people can do a job that’s just a little more complicated than the one they currently have. This is exactly what happened with the industrial revolution; farmers became factory workers, factory workers became factory managers, and so on.'
It tells you nothing. It isn't even accurate; because AI theatens almost all the occupations robotics and automation currently can't touch. Though not like this crap is even consistant; in close successon it tells us;
'the share of jobs potentially lost to computerization at nine percent' and then 'AI will be bigger than electricity, bigger than mechanization, bigger than anything that has come before it.'
How can something be the most revolutionary thing ever yet not overly change the employment landscape?
Which is perhaps the critical issue. A deeper look tells me that generally speaking, the sorts of clowns telling us the above are also the most dewy-eyed supporters of neoliberal economics. That would explain why the hell they remind me of those Econ lecturers etc who'd tell me ernestly how free-market economics shall save the world but suspiciously light on the bleeding details on the 'how' bit. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:47, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
Having a religious relationship with real machines that actually exist is not healthy. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 04:20, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

I see some problems ahead, but they are not those which LessWrong cares about. Most immediate is the nature of the corporate world developing these AIs as part of its surveillance capitalism (i.e. its recording everything from its users (or "useds"), selling all the data, and advertisers using that sold data to try to burrow beneath the skin of the audience). Before the present AI bubble, it was all developing towards a world of everything done with connected "smart" devices filled with security holes (because it's not worth it to fix that business-wise, and that will never change without very tough government regulation making errors costly for the seller), all milking their users for data to sell, this being part of modern cars for instance.

Now? Half-baked AI is to be crammed into everything, and currently there's plans to integrate it with the advertising monstrosities, for the obvious aim of profit. And half-baked solutions that sell are good enough because they sell -- and this new bubble took off (and will keep going for some time, maybe a long time) because the corporations found to their initial surprise that the demand for half-baked instant gratification AI answers truly is there. Lots of people want it, and many do not even want to understand that there's a categorical difference to the quality and nature of what super-chat bot technology produces, and real intellectual work with self-scrutiny and error correction.

Any intellectual work without self-scrutiny and checking for errors is, strictly, only pseudo-intellectual. Human beings can confabulate, and their brains can broadly misinterpret and make up stuff -- and these AIs are inherently prone to "hallucinate" and mix up and BS. But human minds can at least try to do better than such errors, using their more complex capabilities; it's slow and effortful but it works to the extent that method is careful enough. These current AIs categorically cannot -- it is impossible to truly fix what ails them without constructing something qualitatively new and more complex, more multi-layered and self-scrutinizing systems. And perhaps any "mind" without that as part of its basic nature is categorically incapable of knowing the difference between fact and fiction. I think a fair portion of humans are functionally close to such a sad state of affairs, too, through habitual intellectual laziness (i.e. doing things the fast and easy way) -- and sometimes they are loud and famous, in business, politics, etc.

I think the masses want instant gratification so much, they would not really mind if AI-generated text filled with errors replaced encyclopedias and their sources. They would claim that the old resources had errors too, so there's no problem. Or perhaps I became overly cynical after reading too many online comments. But looking ahead, there's practical problems for corporations in the way of taking up the time and energy of the people with never-ending AI-plus-ads-filled auto-generated content everywhere in the years ahead. Energy requirements go up at least 10 times for web searches when baking AI into the mix, and web searches are just the start in terms of what's envisioned. Energy inefficiency will grow, energy scarcity possibly too, if more and more energy-guzzling current and near-future tech is used for an AI "revolution". Maybe later generations of computers will use new nanomaterials for their circuits, with orders of magnitude greater energy efficiency, but right now there's a barrier to how much computation (inane or otherwise) could be done using the world's electricity supplies.

Anyway, I think the future will be messy and stupid, but not necessarily unbearably dystopic. There's going to be more digital chaos and confusion, and we may end up living through a wild new age of entertainment at the cost of reason. But AI could potentially be used to go in the opposite direction -- against dumbing-down. Imagine a spam filter, except rather than spam, it's trained to detect textbook deceptive rhetoric, and everyone can use it to live-analyze debates -- and tally up what their politicians are up to at the level of words. Imagine online searches and filtering which buries vapid clickbait and slogans and promotes anything -- anything -- which is argued in a clear and coherent way without any textbook manipulative rhetoric. AI could help people turn the tide against nonsense, and erase the ancient advantage which Gish Gallopers have had over their debunkers. It could be used by a population to dethrone rhetoric and elevate logic in its place.

But those good things will probably never be worked towards by for-profit corporations. Rather, the aims of such things (which are now easily imagined) seem to go against the aims of those with most of the money and labor at their disposal alomost 180 degrees. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 15:32, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Yet, a kind of 'Newtons Third Law' comes into effect here, and all the signs are that people are becoming a lot more hostile to this kind of future. People are not just becoming more aware of the value of 'data', they're also becoming more aware on how to actively 'fight back' too - never giving any data away, jailbreaking their devices, using anonymous modes and so on. Even more importantly, both the 'vision of the future' and the 'prophets' of this world are both heartily disliked and distrusted in equal measure by an overwhelming majority, so I don't think folks will go wilingly into it. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:27, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Lets debate the topic of this article "The Case for Socialism" because it's an extremely slow work day for me and I am bored.[edit]


The article presents multiple main arguments for socialism, the argument of inequality, the argument of global warming, and the limits of markets, etc. Ideally the debate should be on the merits of these arguments and not about say the sustainability of the soviet model because that's not what is being argued. For the sake argument we will define socialism as "an economic systems to which the means of the production are predominantly under collective ownership as opposed to ownership by private individuals" which I understand is more specific then what the article itself argues as socialism but it still broad enough as to keep some degree of flexibility here to what is considered socialism. I would like to include which is not mentioned in the article the argument of exploitation though divorced from the LTV and surplus theories of Karl Marx but instead focused on the following thought experiment from G.A Cohen taken from the article the Labour Theory of Value to which I added....

"Consider a talented homeless man that is being offered paint supplies to produce a painting for a local business man. Needing the money to survive and having no access to paint supplies of his own the homeless man agrees. The business man offers to pay the homeless a wage for every hour worked. For the sake of argument lets say the homeless man is paid $10/hr. The painting takes the Homeless man 8 hours and so he receives $80 for his work. The business men then proceeds to sell the painting he received for $8'000 claiming the painting to be of his own without the consent of the homeless man. Was the homeless man exploited?"

The socially implicated conclusion being that yes, the homeless man was taken advantage of and was unfairly compensated for his labour given the actual value of the work he produced (keeping in mind we do not need to subscribe to the labour theory of value to reach this conclusion the painting itself could have the market value it has for whatever reason).

so how would you address said arguments? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:55, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

'Insufficient Information'. You do not tell us how much the kit cost, how many hours of organising it took 'Businessman' to make it happen and other sundary costs. It's possible, for example that $4,000 in materials was consumed, $3,000 is for kit depreciation and $720 in other costs - and that 'Businessman's' various duties took him 10 hours... meaning that he earned $20 p/h.
However, even incomplete this example shows us the truth - that 'exploitation' is vital in any economic system. One or both 'workers' [the Businessman being a worker in respect of their managerial role] have to forego some of their hard-earned becuase that is the only way 'capital' can accumilate. Yes, they could spend all that $3,000 on their own consumption, but that would mean the 'capital stock' to produce paintings shall degrade. Which when you think of it, would be a bad result for both parties. Only the 'building of surpluses' shall make more and better machines who [could] benefit us all with higher SoL.
But you're not talking about that - you're talking of the 'passive income' element of things. That in a normal capitalist system, 'Businessman' would seek to carve a slice of those earnings... for doing nothing in particular. Shareholdings are the classic one; the faceless persons who get quarterly bank deposits on the critera that they had the capital in the first place to purchase the shares. How do many of these people get this 'capital' to invest with? Why, they normally inherit at least the money-seeds, and well money begets money.
Now tell me why this rentier investor, who's only claim is by dint of already having capital, should get more as a 'reward'. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:44, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
I am assuming you never actually bought art supplies because a paint brush, paint, and canvas definitely would not total into the thousands of dollars. (Assuming too that we're not talking about dollar store art supplies here but professional quality art supplies). The actual total of the money profited is not entirely relevant (in fact for the thought experiment it is decided upon arbitrarily for the sake of argument) only that is vastly greater then the pay the homeless man received to produce the painting. It could be the case that the businessman's "duties" acquired to 10 hours but that is highly unlikely. I can provide all such services myself to a talented individual in less than an hour with a cost less than $50 if I really wanted to. This of course assuming I didn't go the dollar store route, because I could do the same with much much cheaper supplies for less than $10. I would also object to the business man being a "worker" in this context because he is not selling his labour, and we have no basis to assume to that his "hard-earned" was earned on the basis of selling his labour. In this example he is the owner of the means of production but is not the producer himself. He is the proprietor, not the laborer. For the sake of the thought experiment we shouldn't be making additional assumptions as to make the proprietor more sympathetic as a fellow laborer. He exists solely in this isolated case. We don't even know if it cost him anything at all to get the art supplies, and that he did not in fact steal them. So we shouldn't make an already contrived example more contrived by making unnecessary assumption to rationalize his profits. Especially so if it's not really based in any economic reality ….speaking as someone who regularly buys art supplies and see homeless people sell their art on the regular. It's an incredibly cheap process. You don't really need to utilize all this "additional information" because it's a thought experiment....it's not a real case. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:03, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
It is important, and it a little sad you didn't notice what I did there. I seperated between 'earned income' [ie the 'work' the Businessman did on his end to make the project work] and the 'passive income' which he deducts simply from providing the capital. This means I have already nailed the 'but he did work for that money!' argument, which would be a frequent refrain from the bog-standard capitalist apologia. This is why I said 'insufficient information'; a better framing of the situation would make the businessman clearly a mere 'investor' - that the worker provided everything [skills, customer, time etc] save the capital inputs yet when it comes down to it the worker nets say $200 for their work while the investor nets $1,000 profit.
What's more, mentioning the worker is homeless may not be productive. It shall lead to tangent discussions of which 'if he's homeless, he should be grateful for anything' shall turn up sooner or later. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:09, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
I feel like that whole tangent could have just been charitably assumed as just a matter of good faith, but I digress. I am also not convinced that you'd think that the whole "grateful" thing would be anything other than a kind of fallacy in this context. Below I think it makes all the more relevant the point which I tried to add while you were posting. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:16, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
(EC)You can also highlight the fact that the agreement is being made under a context that realistically the homeless man has no other options and must accept any wage he is offered because it is in his rational best interest in getting fed, it is always rationally preferable arguably to accept any sort of monetary compensation over nothing. The situation is however dire and under a context of situational coercion. The homeless man does not agree necessarily to the terms that the product of his labour be sold at a much higher price than what he is compensated and he does not have any individual power to dictate differing terms or pursue the full value of his labour on his own. This is basically the only choice he has, and on that basis the businessman is finding a way to maximally benefit from it while minimally benefiting the homeless man. It's the power imbalance and the situational coercion that makes it exploitative not necessarily the raw difference in the compensation and value of the product itself (though Marx would argue that it is what defines economic exploitation and his conception of communism kind of blows a hole in the idea that in any economic system this exploitation is vital). Think of the situation differently instead of making a painting what if the businessman offered the homeless man money in order to receive a blow job, or imagine a situation to where a landlord demands sex in exchange for housing instead of receiving rent. Both situations would be arguably described as a form of rape, as it definitely would not meet the standard for affirmative consent -- at the very minimum they would stand as examples of sexual exploitation. Now what would make those sexual situations an example of sexual exploitation, but the example with the painting not an example of labour exploitation? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:15, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
One thing I noticed about this sort of thought experiment is there are usually extenuating suppositions that may be considered. In the case of the talented homeless artist, the man exploiting the artist's labor would be no better than a fool if he did not attempt to employ the man on a regular salary. Production of such valuable works as the artist might create would be an obvious next step for the exploiter. The artist would soon find himself sought out by other speculators willing to pay more for the works of art. Soon the artist would make all the money, thanks to the first, cheap bastard that hired him in the first place. I realize that this narrative is the capitalist POV, but it would work pretty well in the situation we are considering, that of a worker who were capable of creating works of extraordinary value.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:51, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
Ariel nails the core issue. A 'thought experiment' needs to be as simple as possible, with a level of clarity in which good-faith 'diversions' and 'derailings' are difficult to impossible to happen. You really cannot bitch at the other party for 'being wrong' if your own experiment was poorly designed in the first place. Therefore, if you wished to have a thought experiment regarding passive income, perhaps this question would have been more suitable...
'Adam knows a way to earn $300 for a day's work. However, he needs $50 for travel, supplies etc and has no money himself. Bob offers to lend $50 - on the condition Adam pays him $100 back tomorrow. Adam needs that extra $50 more than Bob does, and knows of no other way to get that $50 in time. Is Bob exploiting Adam?'
KarmaPolice (talk) 12:03, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
good faith diversions and derailments” — the thing is it’s not “good faith” if you baselessly make an assumption about what the argument is trying to communicate and run with it with zero indication of that it is what the argument is actually about. I made no mention of an argument from passive income, I stated it as an argument from exploitation. There is plenty reason “to bitch” when you treat a thought experiment as being for a particular conclusion that isn’t intended to communicate or argue for. It’s like taking an argument about all men being mortal and responding that it is a terrible argument for the morality of chickens. The thought experiment itself is fine for what it’s actually supposed to be an analogy for, not whatever conclusion your straw-man construction argues about. There is no “good faith” derailment happening, you just made up a conclusion and patted yourself on the back for noticing my argument isn’t a good analogy for the conclusion you pulled out of your ass. This thought experiment comes from a famous analytical marxist published in a peer reviewed philosophy journal, you haven’t made this publishable refutation of it — you haven’t even established you understand what the argument even is. There is zero reason what so ever to assume the problem is about passive income. How does that even make sense in the context of the analogy to sexual exploitation? What the fuck does paying a homeless man to give a blow job have in common with “passive income”? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:32, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Ah, so the experiment is perfect, it is I who I am wrong! Now I see it! Therefore, I go back to my original statement. I cannot say whether it is 'expoitation' because of these lack of details on the situation posed. I shall also proposition the theory that you don't know much about actual economics if you're bitching about me talking about passive income. What, you think you're the first person who has ever posed such a question ever? That I may have actually seen how these things have been derailed? And don't you again cite experts in an attempt to say that I must automatically be wrong? What, you think I wouldn't be able to find experts of my own to trump your expert, eh? And fucking hell, do you not actually even suspect that as a fellow socialist I may actually desire to assist in helping you improve your 'discussion skills' on this [mine too, for practice always helps!] to help 'propigate the cause'? But nay, because you're the guardian of what 'socialism' means too, aren't you?
If this is the 'wrong answer', I humbly suggest you go off and find other, 'less defective' people who answer in the manner you intend them to. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:18, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I also suggest that in future, it may be best we do not interact with each other in the Bar. I have tried. Repeatedly. To get you to see viewpoints on topics which are not 100% yours but not inherently against yours either [hell, you might be able to get me to see aspects I've not spotted before too, as other folks here have]. But the general experiences have been akin to mental road rash. You have clearly already found your salvation and shall brook no 'deviation' from it, so what's the point of talking? KarmaPolice (talk) 09:36, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I am starting to think you may be genuinely philosophically illiterate if you think the intent and meaning of a thought experiment (in this case from G.A.Cohen) is somehow controversial among experts and not solely decided upon by the author of the thought experiment themselves. You have another expert besides G.A. Cohen who disagrees with G.A. Cohen on what G.A. Cohen meant in his own coined thought experiment?
It can’t possibly be the case that you’re just not educated enough or trained well enough in philosophy to adequately assess an argument via analogy without strawmanning the conclusion, no it must be the case that G.A Cohen is a shit philosopher and the peer reviewers are only pretending that the thought experiment he proposed is relevant to the topic of labour exploitation.
Despite no mention, or hint, or implication about the objection being about passive income there is just zero reason to suspect you simply didn’t just decide to read into a thought experiment an objection about passive income because that’s how you prefer to think about objections to capitalism.
Again we can change the thought experiment, if the business man did not pay for a painting but a blow job would that not be sexually exploiting the homeless man? If so then why does suddenly changing the service provided not go from sexual to labour exploitation? Why do you need more information? Doesn’t the inherent power imbalance and situational coercion in the context undermine any basis for legitimate consent? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:31, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Joe Biden resigning?!?!?![edit]

CMV: Social change is impossible at this point[edit]

No matter what you try, the establishment has become too powerful in all ways to be defeated And before showing me those classical examples: Nope, those were fake victories; any gains have beeen offset by loses elsewhere (for example: 8 hours work schedules led to our current overconsuming society). Any change inside the system will lead to zero gains in social justice; and revolution has become impossible due to extremely powerful police depts., armies and intelligence services.

If you have ever cared about this stuff, JUST GIVE UP ALREADY Deadend (talk) 21:05, 2 April 2023 (UTC)

HIV patients would like to have a word with you. Just yesterday I saw Magic Johnson on national TV talking college basketball, imagine that 40 years ago. Sometimes progress doesn't happen overnight, that doesn't mean you have to quit. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:21, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
'This message brought to you by "Republicans for Apathy" PAC'. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:56, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Feudalism lasted a thousand years. Imagine that, a system of government which was cruel, but took a millenia to finally overcome. As long as powerful people need armies staffed with humans to project power, they can always be overcome. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 11:49, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Social change comes with technological change. We're facing a lot of technological change right now, and that might make things better or worse but things are going to be much different we can tell that much. Chillpilled (talk) 12:55, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Right. Far from being impossible, social change is inevitable. By many metrics humanity has been slowly improving quality of life standards, especially in the tech countries. What is certain is that change is not predictable and not in the least because we are a various bunch, acquiring ever greater insight into the world and subject to all sorts of cultural affects, probably beyond the control of anything like an intellectual center.Ariel31459 (talk) 16:35, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

-> Blade of northern lights: Apart from more tokens, what achievements? AIDS keeps being a deadly and stigmatised disease (not very different from the 80s)

->Mirror|rorriM: I forgot to add "positive" to the term "change". Today we have capitalism and fascism, basically evolutions from feudalism to worse systems (at least in feudalism you had commons lands and few state opression). None of those systems were imposed by grassroots action, but from those same despots in collaboration with some power-hungry bourgoises; this "great transformation" (in Polany's terms) lasted 3 centuries until reaching full crapitalism. For the rest, just watch how any genuine revolutionary effort havd ended in tragedy (Arab spring, for example), and how global society just has gotten worse over time. Deadend (talk) 20:26, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

The statement that capitalism is worse than feudalism is interesting; I don't necessarily agree, but it's worth emphasizing the luxuries that even common people often enjoyed during feudal times. People regularly enjoyed decent amounts of time off for festivities (in a way religious holidays served this purpose too). People liked going to bathhouses even in the medieval era. On the other hand, we certainly benefit significantly from certain modern medicines and technologies, though perhaps the internet has caused some harm too. We don't have religious and monarchical regulations breathing down our neck quite as much. Chillpilled (talk) 20:34, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Does the Republican Party get ideas from North Korea?[edit]

A lot of their ideas for public policy, especially Florida and Texas, remind me of North Korean dictatorship. Possibly Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy or the Soviet Union.

There is no way to convince me that they don't get ideas from past and current dictatorships. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:26, 2 April 2023 (UTC)

It's more like convergent evolution. There is a certain repertoire anyone seeking authoritarian power draws from, anywhere, at any time.-Flandres (talk) 21:38, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
Florida should declare independence as the "People's Democratic Republic of Florida". It would be a nod to North Korean politics which they emulate. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:39, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
April Fools was yesterday (at least in New England), I'm sorry to inform you. An Advocate (talk) 23:51, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
I know but they should. It is not like Florida is hiding it's authoritarianism. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:04, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm probably taking this too literally, but think it's a bit fucking insane to compare Florida and Texas to North Korea, Fascist Italy, the USSR, or Nazi fucking Germany. If I may, Orban's Hungary or Bolsenairo's Brazil or even Trump at his lower moments would be a more apt comparison. An Advocate (talk) 00:10, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
heck, even the latter three comparisons are a bit hyperbolic. The G (talk) 00:15, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Agreed, but given what I was responding to I didn't think I had much to work with. An Advocate (talk) 00:21, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I actually don't see comparing DeSantis (or Trump) to Orban terribly hyperbolic at all, the main difference here from my perspective is that the United States' institutions are at the moment stronger at holding wannabe strongmen back than Hungary's. However, the United States' democracy clearly has slid backwards, and Trump (along with DeSantis and other Republicans with authoritarian tendencies) are symptoms of this.
There's basically a wave of democratically elected, but populist politicians in the world trying to engage in "democratic backsliding"; they are not uber-authoritarian (eg they don't typically intimidate using full-on police/military violence) but they are not fully democratic either and they love to try to tinker with the governing system to hold on and expand their power; in some cases they also are not shy with flirting with whatever violent / big government intimidation tactics they can get away with (nothing direct, but little things on the side). Most seem to use ethnic prejudice and/or social / religious conservatism to propel themselves to the top. Aside from Trump, Orban and Bolsonaro, there's Narenda Modi (India), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel) (not originally but lately), and probably others I can't remember off the top of my head. There are exceptions to using ethnic prejudice / conservatism to get into power, of course: Mexico's López Obrador is also engaging in some democracy-erosion, and he's more socially progressive than the other strongmen / strongmen wannabes. But such seems rarer to me these days.BobJohnson (talk) 02:33, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Don't forget the British Conservatives; who the current wheeze seems to be to have Sunak as the [reasonably] 'respectable frontman' and let the doubled-down right-wing authoritarianism roll on in the background, hoping enough folks don't twig that the former is authorising the latter...
Anyway, BobJ the issue I with your theory is that you never know whether the 'populist tinkering' is in fact, the canny wannabe-autocrat playing the 'boiling frog' game over perhaps decades. Putin is perhaps the textbook example of this; he cannily filleted out the remaining checks etc but generally left the 'democratic' facade of Russia in place - in both society and politics. That there were warnings, repeatedly over the years but they were generally written off as hyperbole and/or politically motivated.
Hmm... how often are 'pushbacks' on the leaders you cite witten off as that, eh?
I cite the Kremlin butcher because he is us, just further down that 'populist tinkering' road and more successful at it than most. A land where the democratic facade became so thin, the underneath so corrupted that when that mask fell off we're left staring at that vile-spouting, dead-eyed man having 'raving dictator monologues' and wondering how the hell we didn't spot it before.
We did. You just didn't want to see it, so you wished it away. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:53, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Vladimir Putin indeed used a very similar playbook to many of these strongmen. So far, by "pushback", well, Trump and Bolsonaro were voted out (for now), Netanyahu is triggering massive resistance, and even Erdogan might be in trouble in the next election. But... Putin is a reminder that, unchecked, it is possible for what is widely described as a "flavor" of fascism to emerge from this type of leader. Godwin's Law aside, with caveats, even a cautious mention of 1930s fascism isn't unwarranted IMHO, even if the playbook ("RuscismWikipedia") is not exactly the same.
Obviously when referring to the above, there's a "spectrum". Many of the countries with the leaders above (eg US, India, Brazil) are still working, if flawed, democracies with a reasonably free press. But Orban and Erdogan are examples of leaders in countries that are "half way there", the democracy's starting to get shaky and the press is starting to get muzzled. In the cases of Trump, Bolsonaro, and Modi, from what I can tell, these leaders, the parties they represent, and many of the voters they represent are far more sympathetic to authoritarian tendencies (including the obligatory Putin worship) than they should be. Certainly the storming of the Senate after Trump's loss, and the storming of Brazil's Congress after Bolsonaro's loss, showed this. As did the rhetoric emerging from these leaders and many of their party members. BobJohnson (talk) 13:55, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, there is a 'spectrum' and what's more, it's one which has nations like the UK and USA on it along with Russia, India, Turkey and so on. It's why I describe Putin as 'us via a darkened mirror'; he is what we could all [too easily] become if wholesale disbelief in democratic systems reaches 'consensus level', that special interests are nakedly served by a bought politico class, laws are now the playthings of the powerful than defenders of standards of behaviour and the 'masses' are fed nothing but lies and propaganda through a utterly mercenary media. It is also why so many strong-left types find it difficult to really see a hell of a lot of substantial difference between say the Ukranian war and the Iraq one twenty years previous.
And sometimes, 30s comparisons are not just warranted, but downright important. For we need to remember that the Republicans of Wiemar had gotten fixated on 'defending' a Constitution which the President was already circumventing repeatedly, it had too much faith in the integrety of the civil service holding up and lastly, the Austrian Man of Hate was helped into power by 'mainline' conservatives and was given the keys to the country by a President who was if not actually senile, was 'decayed' enough to be easily decieved into violating his oath and his own gut instincts and [I assume] expert advice. This is often the truth; the majority of autocrats get into power not by bashing down the doors, but by having 'the establishment' not just holding it open, but standing there with the invite and a drink to give to them. Which was what I think ultimately the thing which saved America from Trump. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:21, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
ok, i think i misunderstood the comparison earlier. yes, i agree that comparing every dictator we don't like to the dprk or the third reich or the ussr is usually quite hyperbolic, while comparing florida and texas are more comparable to hungary under orban. The G (talk) 16:23, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this counts as karma, but...[edit]

Marjorie Taylor Greene wanted to speak out at the Trump arraignment, but she was drowned out by people blowing whistles. Well, at first it was assumed (understandably) that these noises were coming from anti-Trump activists, but... seems the whistles themselves came from a Trump supporter who wanted people to "make a noise". And he had no idea that MTG was there or going to be. [Confused Trumpist Twitter Clip Here] Kencolt (talk) 17:38, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

Finland is officially a NATO member[edit]

[7] Monet Ye 16:46, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

And I don't see giant flashes of light outside my window, so that's good too. For now. But basically, this is Game Over for any conventional war Russia would have; there's just too much territory to defend, so Russia would basically be forced to use nukes if a war broke out with NATO. Note that Russian philosophy regarding Nukes is that tactical nuclear weapons could be used in warfare without triggering the apocalypse, so long as the cities themselves weren't targeted. But in reality, it's pretty much impossible to guarantee that a pissed-off general won't order the launch of more nukes in response, and then the other side launches more nukes, and then the first side launches even more. Basically even an accident can trigger a snowballing effect of nuclear launches, and we've actually had some close calls from both the American and Russian military because mistakes DO happen. I'm not anti-nuclear because I think they are inherently "immoral", I'm anti-nuclear because I believe that the real risk has always been someone making the world's biggest Oopsie. CorruptUser 17:00, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
If Russia used nukes, NATO would not have to use nukes as they would go with conventional but devastating and decisive military response. Responding with nukes would create nuclear war. Russia using nukes would be suicide if NATO didn't use nukes themselves. --Trans Fem Agenda 17:11, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
You know, for my entire life, NATO has been stumbling around searching for something to do with itself. And now Putin has completely revitalized it. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 17:13, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Exactly - like Voldemort, Putin has created the very boogeyman he claims to be defending 'Mother Russia' from - an angry, hostile NATO 'encircling' them. It's his fault Finland joined, it's his fault Ukraine is being very well armed, it's his fault NATO forces are in bases all across the old Eastern Bloc and it's his fault the Alliance is rearming. And I remember that by 2019 US - Europe relations under Agent Orange had gotten to terse I actually started to wonder if NATO was in long-term risk of splitting.
As for nuclear security, it is pretty tight. Anything bigger than a battlefield device authorisation is held right at the top, and the 'mini-nukes' authorisation I believe is held at the theatre level. Can you 100% assure that you won't get a 'General Ripper' scenario? Sure you can't. But that risk is a lot less than say, the early 60s because military command is much more centralised [in this day and age all communications are done by hyper-secure satellites, including launch authorisations] and even more importantly, there's a lot less of the bombs about; the USA had some 24k in 1989 but less than 4k in 2020. Less baskets, better screening of the basket-holders and all that.
And when it comes down to it, I fear Russian cyber attacks, disinformation, assassinations and chemical/biological attacks way more than the nuclear one. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:31, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
If Sweden joins, The Baltic will be a complete no-go zone for Russian forces. Kalinigrad may as well be demilitarized since it's practically doomed strategically from land, sea, and air. National pride dictates they won't though...-Ryan1257 (talk) 18:18, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Sweden is only unable to join NATO because Erdogan wants to extort Sweden to hand over Kurdish exiles before he'll approve them joining. Turkey in general is an embarrassment for any of the alliances it's in. -- Techpriest (talk) 19:31, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
It's politics; first rule of politics is that no matter how obvious something is "good", you always squeeze for the best deal you can get. The bill in question could be the "clean energy and free puppy" act, and the politicians still need to get some riders in there. CorruptUser 19:38, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
In this case, Erdogan doesn't so much want things from Sweden, as he wanted: 1) military things from the US; 2) to impress his voters with displays of dominance while making Sweden a "problem" for them to focus on instead of problems in Turkey. Prior to the earthquakes, showering voters with populist money give-aways was another part of the election plan to go along with that, but now Erdogan is likely to lose and Turkey's NATO veto go away with him. Erdogan made absolutely sure that Sweden could not give him what he demanded, with the number of journalists and other terrorists to extradite increasing several times, and then a for Sweden unconstitutional demand to make Quran burnings illegal being thrown into the mix, in violation of the agreement between Swe-Fin-Turk from the year before on how to proceed. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:05, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, 'pre-War' NATO wargames said that the 'Suwałki Gap' [ie the bit between Poland and Lithuania cutting off Kaliningrad] was in fact indefensible due to the scale of the Russian forces in-region and the fact the only NATO ones were the locals. Now, with the Ukranian experience to go on, the bods are now considering whether the Gap could be held. Ironically, with the advent of Finland and ultimately Sweden [she will be in by the end of '23, I am sure of it] holding that gap during war is not so important, due to the fact [pointed out above] that NATO can now easily blockade Petersburg at the Gulf of Finland and Gotland is the prime location for both air superority and keeping the Kaliningrad naval forces bottled up [meaning that air/sea reinforcements to the Baltic states is now more viable, which is helped with the fact the Baltics themselves now consider defending themselves 'worth a try' and are preparing accordingly. KarmaPolice (talk) 02:22, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Victory in Wisconsin[edit]

Liberals have flipped the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Scott Walker's legacy is in danger. Amazing news.𝔖𝔲𝔪𝔪𝔞 𝔄𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔠𝔞 (𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔦𝔰) (𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔭𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞) 02:32, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Thank fcuk for that! Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:42, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Apparently this is big for abortion rights in the state. Chillpilled (talk) 03:21, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
This means Wisconsin’s horribly gerrymandered House map could be overturned. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 08:45, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
finally! it's about time. those gerrymandered maps have been allowed for far too long. The G (talk) 20:39, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Great news. --Trans Fem Agenda 12:21, 6 April 2023 (UTC)

Indictment of you all know who[edit]

I've got a bad feeling that something is going to happen, I have no idea what it could be but mark my words that man is nothing but trouble. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

I heard on the radio that state and federal officials raised the terrorist threat level due to the high risk of violence. --Trans Fem Agenda 12:14, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
I've hated Alvin Bragg for a year now. First, Jose Alba should never have been charged. Just a couple days ago, a security guard was shot twice by a thief, and managed to grab the gun from the thief and shoot him; the guard was charged with attempted murder. So now he's going after Trump? Trump's been impeached twice, had constant accusations and investigations. If Trump gets convicted, sure, yay, but in all likelihood it's just political theatre for Bragg to make himself not look like an incompetent fuck. CorruptUser 14:05, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
The current "exclusive" (from, of all fucking things, Yahoo! News (whee!), so "extremely preliminary" and subject to change) suggests that Trump will be charged with 34 class E (lowest level) felonies for falsifying business records, meaning it was falsified with the intent to conceal another crime (likely campaign finance fraud given the other cases against Cohen and the Trump org). No one should get terribly excited, "Trump is a sleazy businessman" was known even before he got into politics, so all the media churn and excitement and anger is honestly a waste of paper and pixels. Extremely speculative, but I can easily see this case ending in "Trump is convicted but only gets a token fine", which will be great Internet drama wise because it will piss *everyone* in the political forums off. BobJohnson (talk) 14:53, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
"As long as everyone else is miserable, I'm happy" -The Average Trumpster
CorruptUser 15:45, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Wouldn't "as long as the Other is miserable, I'm happy" be slightly more accurate? Luigifan18 (talk) 04:52, 7 April 2023 (UTC)

bad news for north carolina[edit]

a democratic lawmaker in nc's house of representatives went against the will of her constituents and switched parties, giving republicans a supermajority in the legislature (the senate already had a republican supermajority). now the republican-run legislature gets to run the state for the next two years, as democratic governor roy cooper has effectively been made a lame duck. i see abortion restrictions, voter suppression, and gerrymandering on the horizon. The G (talk) 20:27, 6 April 2023 (UTC)

[censored] Luigifan18 (talk) 04:15, 7 April 2023 (UTC)

Another school shooting[edit]

Recently there was another school shooting in the United States, and now news outlets are immediately saying the shooter was transgender, what a load of bull! Conservapedia is gonna milk this one — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

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cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:51, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
Link or it didn't happen - what media is saying he shooter was trans? Got a link? All I see currently is she was a former student. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:52, 27 March 2023 (UTC)
The shooter was a biologically female trans-identified man. No words on motive yet. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:09, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Another source here. Just hope this manifesto never gets out, no need to inspire anyone. If the police reports are true (yes, I know better than to assume), I'm glad they won the shootout and ended it there. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:12, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
It's also very preliminary information (first the shooter was a teenager, than a "28 year old female", etc.) Transgender individuals have been involved in mass shootings in the past,Wikipedia so it's possible (as any other motive is). But given the trans hate in this country, there have also been some nasty rumor mill shit with this topic (notably for Uvalde.Wikipedia) So I feel like one needs to be a wee bit cautious here.
At any rate, we're already starting to see the "guns for me, not for thee" hypocrisy pop up among the reactionary conservative crowd.[8] It'd be actually quite revealing if Conservapedia and others rant about THE TRANS; not that it wasn't obvious before, but such reveals what feelings are *really* behind the supposed "libertarian 2A / MY GUN RIGHTS!" mask. BobJohnson (talk) 00:23, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
The Tennessean, a local paper affiliated to the USA Today's network (Gannett), reports specifically as a trans man, as DuceMoosolini mentioned. Based on what I've seen, I believe this report to be accurate. It's contradicted by many other reports, especially but not exclusively in right wing media (NY Post, Daily Mail, Fox News but also another NBC report, Metro Weekly, and some others) that claim the suspect was a trans woman. From my view this seems to be a misinterpretation that probably originates from the cop who made the announcement misgendering the suspect. The Advocate also says that these reports seem mistaken. Snopes reposted a statement given to the Daily Beast by a family friend of the shooter that Hale had: "recently announced she was transgender, identifying as he/him." One police spokesperson said the suspect was assigned female at birth, according to NPR. Also went by Aiden, though this was already known to anyone who saw the LinkedIn account before it was deleted.
Regarding a motive, the fact that a manifesto was allegedly written is notable. I originally thought it may have been because the school was transphobic but: 1. this is an elementary school so that would've been a long-held grudge (suspect was 28) 2. apparently other locations were potential targets 3. the denomination of the school is Presbyterian which is very pro-LGBT according to HRC. Chillpilled (talk) 04:05, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Does anyone have any actual stats on Trans/NB criminal rates, and how it compares to the general population? CorruptUser 04:28, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
I'm aware of only two other cases where a trans man was in a mass shooting, which would be Aberdeen and the other shooting linked above by BobJohnson (which had a second shooter who wasn't trans). For nonbinary people, I'm only aware of the Colorado Springs nightclub shooter, whose identity I suspect (for more than a few reasons)Wikipedia was taken on as a harebrained scheme to get out of hate crime charges. For trans women, I know of zero mass shooters. Even if that'd be an anomaly, it'll eventually emerge, I'm sure. Shootings are very frequent now, and when something unique about one happens we get more attention on it like this, so three trans men as mass shooters feels like a lot, but relatively it isn't. Chillpilled (talk) 04:47, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
In fairness, women in general are much less likely to commit mass shootings. If transwomen have "woman-brain", one would expect they'd behave more like women than men when it comes to mass murder.
In terms of how to identify mass shooters beforehand, one of the warning signs of mass murder seems to be suicide-ideation, so perhaps ironically, the solution may be better suicide-prevention measures. CorruptUser 05:01, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

Oh this is some pretty unimpressive “discourse”. Some of y’all can’t really resist, huh? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:45, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

Thank you for improving it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:01, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Usually trans men are cast as helpless victims in the trans culture war narrative. So I'm a little bemused at the trumpeting of this point going on, though willing to provide the facts of it... yet some of the things I see being said on Twitter about it, would be unthinkable if pushed to their logical conclusions (e.g. "ban testosterone for mentally unwell people"; it has not been confirmed he was even using testosterone btw). Chillpilled (talk) 05:35, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

On the other point the OP was making, who cares what take Conservapedia has on this incident? After all it's not like that site has any relevance whatsoever these days, except perhaps in the mind of Andy S. Kencolt (talk) 05:38, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

View from Blighty - that bloated Tory hack Ferrari is reporting it as 'a female transgender'. This being close enough to give the impression to the vast majority of listeners that the shooter was a transwoman. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:12, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Conservapedia is irrelevant, but the 2A phenomenon is not.
Again: if it isn't obvious, much of the fetish (and I speak of the fetish, not the Ordinary Joe gun owners) is largely a "culture war conservative" white male identity / grievance phenomenon, as gun manufacturers and rights organizations have successfully transformed a tool that you can use for hunting or self defense into A Political Statement (a phenom that has probably served gun manufacturers well). Sure, many of the major gun organizations will talk about the Evils of Government and Freedom and 2nd Amendment and all of that. But there's a noticeable, much-commented-on cool-off whenever the rights of minorities carrying guns is mentioned. In fact, since it's Culture War, the 2A fetish seems to be quite linked with websites that over-promote the black brute narrative (excessive coverage of black crime etc.). There's also a narrative floating around the 2A fetish sphere that only conservatives own guns for some reason (how they correlate this with their Scary Black stereotype, they never say, and the 2A forum talk on liberal gun organizations like Redneck RevoltWikipedia is, shall we say, rather enlightening.)
So basically, the reactions from that side of the Internet, as well as prominent single brain cells aligned with that side like Marjorie Taylor Greene, are predictable towards a mass shooting caused by a Hated Identity (even if it's preliminary information, what's stopped Internet, or Greene before?). Middle East Islam was a "trigger" in the past, for instance. Likewise, if the shooter ends up being a "culture war conservative" type, the reactions also will be predictable (eg denialism etc.). One can certainly also comment on the predictable reactions from the "other side" of the silly culture war binary, of course. The "fun" ones are identities that mess with the silly culture war narrative (eg the Boston Marathon bomber was a white male... and Islam!).
But this is a reason why any sort of gun control measures aren't going to happen anytime soon, IMHO; the fetish that speak loudest against gun control measures of *any* sort is tied to identity and a deep rooted issue that has dogged this nation since the founding days. It's more than just an amendment. BobJohnson (talk) 13:46, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
And what fraction of the mass shooters come from the Ammosexual families?
Let's be fair; the largest source of gun fetishization is not from the NRA, but from Hollywood itself. How awesome was that hallway scene in The Matrix? Many of our movies are little more than glorified commercials for Beretta. CorruptUser 14:11, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Not really, in terms of how it applies to laws and culture. The Matrix borrowed heavily from 1990s Hong Kong cinema, including the shoot-em-up flicks of John WooWikipedia. Hong Kong gun laws are pretty strict (even before the China takeover). Mass shootings in Hong Kong are very rare (I actually couldn't find an example Googling). A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled didn't change this.
Many mass shootings have no ideology. But extremism linked shootings of the last few years in the US have heavily been oriented towards white supremacy and related, or Venn diagram cousins like the incel movement. Since the NRA ammosexuals and white supremacy go hand and hand, I'm going to speculate the answer is "actually, a fair bit of em" of these high profile type mass shootings incidents, if you want to be honest. (Obviously, if one talks more of gun violence in general, the demographic answer is more "everyone". Well, actually, mostly men, but that's another story). BobJohnson (talk) 14:51, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
NBC reports that the shooter was ostensibly a trans man. A former school headmaster is quoted as remembering them as "...just one of our young ladies."Ariel31459 (talk) 15:42, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Wow, this is some high level discourse isn't it? "What if the shooter is... trans?". I think I can speak on the consequences of this a bit, not to do idpol but I am trans. I do expect conservatives to parrot this as a reason to ban trans people specifically from owning guns. This is a bad thing. If nothing else, the 2A exists for self defense. Depriving an actively persecuted minority group of their ability to defend themselves with guns will get people in that minority group killed. This shooting is an anomaly. The vast majority of all mass shootings are committed by cisgender white men with no history of mental illness. We obviously do not raise the question of banning men specifically from owning guns, because that's insane. Even if I was to raise that as a possibility I doubt any of you would even engage with it is because it is so obviously crazy. Conservatives will try to disarm trans people using this as an excuse. Don't take the bait, don't buy into the narrative. --Ozzyboo (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Ah, the "cis white men" claim. White men are actually slightly underrepresented, the most disproportionate demographics are black and Asian men. See here and here. And if any conservatives try to use that as an excuse to ban transgender people from having guns (and unfortunately I can see someone at least trying), I would agree that's completely ludicrous. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:50, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Oh, I don't expect right-wingers want to keep guns away from anyone. That's not what they do.Ariel31459 (talk) 15:54, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Almost exactly 2 years ago, a white man shot up a grocery store, and Twitter (and even here) were parroting that it was yet another white guy committing a mass shooting. Then they revealed that his name was Arabic, and suddenly the entire news story just disappeared. When the Colorado Springs shooting happened, Twitter was full of people blaming Matt Walsh et al for the shooting, and then the shooter was revealed to be NB. What happens and what you see are not always one and the same.
In terms of WHO commits the shootings, the biggest red flag for a mass shooter, albeit TOO big to be useful, is suicidal tendencies; these aren't mass murders, but mass murder-suicides. Heck, armed guards actually INCREASE the odds of a mass shooting, because for the shooter, the guard is a feature not a bug. Suicide prevention likely does more to stop mass shootings than anything else. The problem with pushing for this is that it's not too far a leap to say that anyone from a population that has high suicide rates should be barred from owning guns, i.e., Incels, Trans, etc. CorruptUser 16:23, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
No, the biggest flag is not suicidal tendencies. Most mass shooters have no record of mental illness. Additionally, the "shooter being NB" was a LIE, literally Google it. The fact that you bought it uncritically speaks to how little you care about this issue, like all conservatives do. Also, no, that is a far leap. Do we ban black people from owning guns because of their disproportionately higher suicide rate? Obviously not, that's insane. Additionally, trans people do not commit anywhere near the level of gun violence as larger population groups. This logic is completely inept. "Suicide rates mean more mass shootings, so we should ban groups with higher suicide rates from owning guns," is genuinely one of the stupidest takes I've heard on this wiki so far. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:46, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Since when do Black people have higher suicide rates? And if suicidal tendencies not the biggest red flag, there exists a bigger red flag. Please, what is this bigger red flag. CorruptUser 17:27, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
I wasn't advocating for banning trans people from owning guns, only that there's an argument that could be made. However, given that having a gun in the home MASSIVELY increases the risk of both suicides and suicide attempts, and that 1 in 5 Trans kids already attempt suicide at least once, if the Republicans really did want to reduce the number of people attending Pride rallies they'd be trying to ensure that every home has a gun. Wait a minute... CorruptUser 17:48, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Rebecca Watson did a whole video about how the biggest predictor for mass violence is a past history of misogynistic violence, as most mass shooters have a history of domestic violence or non-domestic assaults against women. Suicidality has not been established as a predictor for future violence — guns or otherwise. I really dislike this rhetoric of “propose hypothesis X without any empirical evidence and just assume X is true until someone provides evidence for an alternative hypothesis”. It’s pseudo-scientific thinking paired with an appeal to ignorance fallacy. That is not what scientific-skepticism is. You don’t accept an empirical hypothesis until external evidence has been provided, and all alternative explanations have been ruled out. Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:04, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Suicide prevention, mass shootings. From 538. CorruptUser 18:41, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
According to CBS, 72% of mass shooters were suicidal before or during the event. Apparently, 54% of mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. CorruptUser 18:49, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
There are studies that claim suicidality is a strong indicator for potential mass violence. Also, see NIJ report. Domestic violence can be strongly linked to mass shooting events where one of the victims had been a dating partner of the perpetrator.[9]Ariel31459 (talk) 18:54, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
Would it have killed you Cory to have cited the sources before hand? Also I wonder to what degree that “during the event” impacts those numbers. I would have only included prior-to-event suicidality if I was investigating it as a predictive factor. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:20, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
>"Oh, I don't expect right-wingers want to keep guns away from anyone. That's not what they do."
Well some seem on board with limiting access for "mentally ill people" by now. I've always suspected that line was ripe for abuse; in practice it can be used to strip rights from people with minor anxiety disorders or whatever else more often than anyone actually dangerous. And in this case, we see them anticipating it can be abused against transgender people. The ability to strip rights from neurodivergent people has been abused against autistic people frequently. And at the end of the day that means less people seeking help if they know that they'll be put under more legal scrutiny for it. Chillpilled (talk) 20:34, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
I mean if I am not mistaken the political right and even the NRA was pretty on board to restricting the black panther’s access to guns. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:52, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Let's face it - conservatives harp on about everything LGBTQI+ because they get a boner/wet-on just thinking about them - but hety have to APPEAR all angry and repressive to hide it because everything sexual is evil if pleasurable. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:17, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
I feel that narratives like that only serve to give cishets an out so as to relinquish themselves any responsibility for systematic oppression and bigotry against queerness. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:26, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
That it's ripe for abuse, or that the ulterior motive actually is said abuse, does not mean the actual issue is invalid. I fully support "red flag" laws and taking guns away from anyone that's suicidal or otherwise violent, the obvious problem I brought up is someone could start using LGBT as a proxy for suicidal alone.
This is a light-talk page, not the articles themselves; citation isn't needed for every claim, though obviously you are allowed to ask for citations when someone makes a claim you have reason to be suspicious of. Don't continue to try to blame me if you don't like the taste of foot. CorruptUser 21:15, 28 March 2023 (UTC)
How this person chooses to identify or projects to society isn't the factor here. The only factor is easy access to guns. It took the shooter 14 minutes to kill 6 people, it could only accomplish that with a gun. Everything else is window dressing. Across the world, the number of gun deaths is directly correlated with the number of guns, period.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:49, 28 March 2023 (UTC)

Could revenge against a bigoted system be a motive? Sure. Is that the underlying issue? No. Easy access to guns is the biggest issue as is lack of school security. It is bad when school security becomes necessary. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:40, 29 March 2023 (UTC)

Security seems to increase the chance of mass shootings, not reduce them. As mentioned earlier, they are a feature not a bug for shooters. As for ease of access to guns, I suggested a month ago that maybe there should be waiting times of sorts for the gun licenses, and different licenses for bigger guns compounding the waiting times. Eg, learners permit for rifle (with a sponsor!), then after year of responsible use you get the license itself. Then another year before you get a handgun or assault rifle license. So, like 3 years between applying for first gun license and actually being able to get an AR15. It wont stop the people who already have an assault rifle license or w/e, but I dont think mass shooters plan events out 3 years in advance and if they do, that's 3 years to change their minds. Instead, they might just try mass shootings with bolt action rifles, which are admittedly good at taking out people 1x1 but not larger crowds... CorSock (talk) 01:00, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Because gun violence won't disappear overnight schools have to be made safer. Yes gun violence needs to be dealt with. --Trans Fem Agenda 14:43, 29 March 2023 (UTC)
Gun violence is the worst aspect of American society. There are all sorts of oppressive and destructive patterns repeating every day in America. Just ask yourself, who would you least like to live next door to you? For me, it's a man with a gun who appears to be unstable. Why did the press report the gender detail? I don't know but I have a few reasons to not be surprised. Gender is a lurid topic for many readers, and attracts the attention of puritans to perverts. I guess that it is a man bites dog story. Transmen are not believed to be intimidating. I don't know if the perpetrator called themself a man, but I think the media would look at it from that angle.
As far as gun rights for trans people, I don't think there could be a problem because the 14th amendment requires equal protection of all citizens. I can understand why a trans person might want a gun permit out of fear for their safety. OSD has mentioned the NRA move to outlaw gun ownership for the Black Panthers in the 1960s. Fair enough. But that went nowhere because of the 14th Amendment. If you know about Robert F. Williams' work on Black-American gun ownership, then you know why the NRA opposed the Black Panthers. Huey P. Newton read it a few times I think. It may be relevant to consider that people are not physically intimidated by the typical trans person. The Panthers, on the other hand, scared the shit out of most white people in the 1960s.UncleKrampus (talk) 02:12, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
I'd say the rampant drug us is the worst aspect, with the gun violence being a symptom of it. CorruptUser 13:59, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
US is not the only industrialized nation struggling with drug abuse. It is unique in that it allows pharmaceutical companies to advertise to the general public, viewing medications as a product to maximize sales. But the gun thing is completely unique. Guns are the number one killer of children, just combining homicide, suicide and accidental discharge. It's not even the in the top 5 for most of our peer countries. And our lax gun laws are fueling criminal enterprises in Mexico, where nearly all firearms used in shootings were purchased legally in the US.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 17:27, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
The US spends $100B every year on narcotics, not the pharma stuff. The EU spends something like $30B each year on narcotics, in spite of having far more people. Solve the drug problem, and you solve the murder problem. Does that mean safe injection sites? Decriminalization? Better social services, CPS, social safety net? Maybe, and we can discuss, but we've got a whole herd of elephants in the room. CorruptUser 17:45, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
You're arguing a complete red herring. The drugs isn't causing the school shooting. Guns are. Committing crime is not high of a mental health bar to cross as you think as long as you have an instant-kill button that decides the fate of schoolchildren. If anyone can kill others with weapons some will. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 18:31, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
The majority of the gun crime in the US is NOT at schools, or mass shootings in general. Most of the kids killed by guns are also not killed in mass shootings. Take out the drugs, you take out most of the murders in the US, as well as crime in general. CorruptUser 18:45, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
Drug prohibition probably has more to do with that then the drugs themselves. The association to gun violence is only because both the accessibility of guns and the occurrence within the black market. If drugs were freely accessible, and legally controlled it probably wouldn’t be a problem. I also a highly doubt more kids die from gun deaths related to the drug war over school shootings. That seems questionable. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:16, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
I already mentioned de-criminalization, but yes, ending the war on some drugs would go a long way to lowering the murder rate.
As for kids killed by guns, the Time article is locked but according to the Brady Institute (or whatever it's named), about 1000 minors are murdered by guns, and another 700 commit suicide. A different source says about 110-120 people are killed in mass shooting each year, which includes the adults. I'm trying to find out how many minors are killed in mass shootings annually, but it's safe to say that it's just a fraction of those killed in regular homicides or suicides. I also don't know exactly what fraction of the 1000 minors murdered each year are due to the drug trade, but according to this admittedly old source, 86% of all murders involve drugs in some fashion, so it's not an extreme assumption to make that more kids are killed by the drug war than mass shootings. CorruptUser 20:22, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
You can read Time articles (and many more) using incognito mode. Though I prefer one-use temp-sessions with the browser extension SessionBox, which gives the same function for desktop. Chillpilled (talk) 20:29, 30 March 2023 (UTC)
The drug problem is complicated and nuanced. Despite what you may think, most Americans drug addictions start with pharmaceuticals. Opioid epidemic is case and point. Now it has evolved into Fentanyl, which is still prescribed by the way, and sold as a narcotic. The root is still over-prescription, aggressive marketing and easy access to synthetic opioids. It's complicated by the fact that there is a ton of undiagnosed depression and Americans self medicating to deal with that.
The gun problem is simple. If it's easy to get guns --> People use guns. Like the AR-15 is the weapon of choice because it's easy to acquire, easy to fire and causes maximum damage. What is the purpose of letting this type of weapon be accessible to the general population? The only reason I can think of, is so companies can sell more of them. Just saying three children were killed with lawn darts between 1978 and 1986. They banned them in 1987.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 16:16, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
But the AR isn't the weapon of choice. All rifles combined kill a small fraction of the people killed by handguns. Handguns are popular because they are easy to conceal; if you are walking with an AR people know you have an AR. CorruptUser 18:46, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
An AR-15 is the weapon of choice for mass murder though. Literally every single mass shooting. That should be where we start.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 19:37, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
On wikipedia's list of mass shootings in the US, the last mass shooting to happen before Nashville, in Michigan State U, was committed with 2 9mm handguns. The one before that? Half Moon bay shooting, also a handgun. And the one before that? Montery Park, ALSO handguns. CorruptUser 20:57, 31 March 2023 (UTC)
Reporting bias? After all, it takes something 'special' to cut through the Americans' metre-thick blase/fatalistic skin regarding shootings now. However, while I don't have stats at hand, I know the following two things to be true - a) the heavy majority of 'death by firearms' is from the pistol category and b) mass shootings like the above is relatively rare a percentage. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:04, 1 April 2023 (UTC)
Handguns are the most popular weapon used in mass shootings, according to Statista. CorruptUser 13:55, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Rifles are used in something like 2% of all homicides, since they're not exactly the easiest thing to conceal under a jacket. AR-15s, contrary to what seems to be popular belief, are actually fairly underpowered compared to hunting rifles; they very much have agricultural uses, to scare away predators and such. I still think the most obvious step is to go after straw buyers, prosecute them (or, if it's someone being coerced into it, prosecute the person doing that). I'd also support requiring rifles be securely stored (which you'd think would be pretty common sense), and I don't know enough about ammo but there have to be ways to ban more deadly forms of it. In an ideal world, I'd mandate unless you have some reason to use your gun for your job it can only go directly to and from the range or hunting ground, nowhere else; if I had some feasible way of making that happen I'd suggest it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:05, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

For reference, police body armor is typically Level IIIA; most AR-15's are 5.56, which Level IIIA might stop on a good day, whereas the most popular hunting rifle bullet is the .30-06, which requires the Level III or better. I had to look it up, but a 5.56 typically has 1750 joules of energy, whereas the 7.62 or .30-06 is about 4100 joules, so basically the .30-06 requires more than double the force to stop. For reference, the average human punches with about 100-200 joules, and a professional boxer has around 1000 joules with Mike Tyson around 1600, so getting shot with a 5.56 while wearing good body armor is similar to Mike Tyson punching you in the chest. CorruptUser 16:49, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
This is all just posturing. Make getting guns harder. I have to register to vote. I have to register to drive. I need to register to travel abroad. Obtaining a firearm should be at least as difficult as it is to drive a car.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 19:59, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
"Obtaining a firearm should be at least as difficult as it is to drive a car." Cars don't need licensing or other regulatory things for purchase or use on private land, and people can build their own without a requirement that they be registered. They do need those things for use on public roads. The analogous situation with guns is concealed carry licenses rather than obtaining firearms or using them on private land. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 09:48, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

Why there is no pseudochemistry?[edit]

I have seen plenty of pseudobiology like germ theory denial, alternative medicine etc. Seen pseudophysics like cold fusion and quantum woo so why does chemistry get ignored by pseudoscientists ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 16:11, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

There is no such thing as a pseudoscientist looking for a fake science to create. Pseudoscience imitates science. Religion is not usually regarded as pseudoscience, for example, but Christian Science would be. It comprises a totally erroneous theory of disease. Simply denying a theory is not pseudoscience, that would be what one should call unscientific opinion, but only if the theory has strong evidence supporting it, like evolution, for example.Ariel31459 (talk) 16:44, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I'll also note that "unscientific chemical opinion" does happen. Water fluoridation scares probably counts. Cold fusion is in my opinion more a failed low quality chemistry experiment than "pseudophysics" (the two scientists that created the failed experiment that started it all were electrochemists), which then had some woo take off from it. If we include biochemistry, add the DDT woo. The supplements side of alternative medicine, and things in a similar direction (eg the steroid-y side of bodybuilding, nootropics), can also veer heavily into biochemical type woo. For a mixture of chemistry and physics conspiracy, look at chemtrails. BobJohnson (talk) 17:08, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Would abiotic oil not count, at least partly, as pseudochemistry? Of course it also involves other kinds of pseudoscience and it depends on which version of abiotic oil woo you’re looking at, but I would assume chemistry woo to be the biggest ingredient(?) ScepticWombat (talk) 17:32, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
People deny and twist every type of science. If you can think of something to deny or twist, there are people already doing it. There's even pseudomathematics. Though I don't know if math is really "science"; I went down the "what is math?" rabbit hole recently and it felt disturbingly inconclusive. Chillpilled (talk) 18:00, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Alchemy was once a protoscience of chemistry, but it would be considered pseudochemistry for those who still practice it.— Unsigned, by: Bongolian / talk / contribs
Chemistry is used to make drugs. The absolutely most blatant bit of pseudo-medicine is homeopathy. But arguably it's an example of pseudochemistry too.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:50, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I would argue that. As much of it's 'medicines' work on a total BS concept of 'strength' which runs counter to chemistry [and also, common sense]. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:01, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
Pharmacists used to be called chemists (still are in some places) for a reason. So yeah, much of pseudomedicine can probably be called pseudochemistry. Chillpilled (talk) 19:28, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
And that reason was; before the days of 'Big Pharma' [ie before WW1] pharmacists also produced medicines, to order [of the doctor, patient or the pharmacist themselves], like their apothecary ancestors did. Thus, they needed a good working knowledge of chemistry. Now I think of it, a lot of sodas started out as a kind of pseudochemistry in which like usual snake-oils, some of the ingredients did bugger all. Along the same lines, I bet some of the early crop pesticides were approaching pseudochemistry status.KarmaPolice (talk) 20:38, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
@Chillpilled. Classically the ideas of mathematics are regarded as analytic. Perhaps a good elementary way to explain the concept of an analytic space A is as follows: all the objects of A are well defined, and all of the rules for manipulating the objects in A are clearly stated. A plane geometry comprises an analytic space, for example. Show me a geometrical object and I should be able to tell you if it belongs to a particular space given the definitions of the space. Science on the other hand typically studies objects that can not be idealized to the point that we start off knowing what they are.
Language, science, and mathematics and logic, when regarded from the perspective of consciousness and human understanding, are what I would call truth technologies. The earliest sciences, astronomy and geography, basically entailed using language and drawing to give useful descriptions of the observable world. Later, arithmetic and geometry were used to improve the descriptions. In this regard, arithmetic and geometry are simple extensions of the linguistic ability to describe the world. I am not expecting that any of this will be useful, but I hope that it answers the question. Science is about examination of real objects too complex to be completely described with mathematics. Mathematics can describe some spaces that have no real analogs. Ariel31459 (talk) 00:57, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
I'd argue that the anti-psychiatry movement relies on pseudochemistry. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 01:26, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Naturally. But isn't anti-psychiatry a catchall category, therefore incoherent, therefore it can't be a consequence of anything in particular? For example, Michel Foucault started an anti-psychiatry movement. I don't see the connection.Ariel31459 (talk) 01:39, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
don't forget about the alkaline diet /Alkaline water, its proponents think all alkanity is good for you because some acid are bad for you ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 07:41, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
There's plenty of people who believe there's some super secret chemical that could be added to fuel to make it 10x more powerful, though that's more overlapping with pseudo-physics. CorruptUser 16:17, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Fullerined antimatter would do the trick, but that's not practical at present. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 09:56, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

Restricting the Right to Vote[edit]

Ok, this is a bit Amero-centric, and more of a rant than anything else.

Technically, the Right to Vote belongs to the "Public", not the individual. When the US was founded, who was eligible to vote was left up to the states. Surprisingly, a small number of states actually allowed Women and Free Blacks to vote, before removing that right almost instantly. Wyoming in particular allowed women to vote in the late 19th century, but that was in part because they wanted to inflate the number of voters in order to become a state. After Reconstruction more or less failed, many states began enacting literacy tests and poll taxes along with outright naming the "Grandfather clause" loophole, to ensure that poor/uneducated Black people could no longer vote, and often those literacy tests had questions where the correct answer depended on what the reviewer said the answer was. Obviously, that tool needed to be removed from the states, which they were in the Civil Rights era. Another tool states used, and still do today, is restricting the voting rights of convicted felons. It's obviously ripe for abuse; only enforce laws or do so more strictly with one ethnic group, convict of felonies then change the law to reclassify more misdemeanors into felonies, rinse and repeat until none of those people can vote.

So obviously, restricting the vote is NOT a Good Thing in itself.

However, we currently have a crop of absolutely batshit crazy congress-critters. I understand that most elections are going to be between a Douche and a Turd because those are the only two bastards willing to suck up enough to their corporate backers or to the nutjobs in the electorate to make it to the polls, but it seems like every year the election gets even dumber. I mean, I grew up with a presidential election that was in part decided by "beer drinkability", so when I say elections got dumb, they got dumb. I don't know how BOTH parties screwed up so bad in PA that the election came down to a glorified snake oil salesman and someone with a traumatic brain injury, or how we collectively decided that saying "people with TBI's shouldn't be in charge" is somehow too offensive a position to hold, yet here we are. We have members of congress blatantly using their insider knowledge to get rich in the stock market, and we still have people insisting that it's just slander or whatnot. It's tempting to just say "fuck it, the general public sucks and not everyone should be allowed to vote".

But, restricting the right to vote requires two major assumptions. 1) That the idiot/insane electorate is the main driver of idiot/insane leaders being elected 2) That we can give the government the tools to literally restrict the right to vote without having them abuse the shit out of it

Point 2 has been proven to be false. But is Point 1 also false? Are the idiots in the voting booths actually responsible for the mess we are in today? Or is there something much, much worse going on? CorruptUser 20:39, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

Maybe the problem is the concentration of power into a relatively few individuals who can create policy changes that don’t impact them personally but can destroy the lives of other people actually effected by it. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:00, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
"Or is there something much, much worse going on?" The procedure by which political leaders come to power selects for people who shouldn't have it. In a modern representative democracy, people who are most interested in and ruthlessly effective at promoting their own position in political systems are generally the ones who reach high level positions, while people who are primarily interested in accomplishing some practical policy result generally haven't devoted decades of their lives to developing skills in politicking and making backroom deals. Incentive structures matter a great deal for how social systems perform, and some of ours today are worse than what was in effect 2500 years ago.
At any rate, any serious democracy restricts the right to vote somehow. Children usually can't, nor can non-citizens (e.g. New York residents are not eligible to vote in Pennsylvania elections). It's been known for millennia that democracies can fail when people can vote themselves personal benefits at public expense, so there has usually been some effort to restrict voting to people believed to be less likely to do that (e.g. restricting voting rights to landowners who would mostly be the people paying for any given policy implementation). The entitlement debates in the first world would look rather different if voting were restricted to net taxpayers, though whether they would be better depends on the goals to be achieved. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 20:58, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

Flat tax proposals in Kansas[edit]

This Flat Tax bill seems disastrous. What do you all think here on RationalWiki? I am limited in my understanding of economics in general, so I rely on appraisals from those who know far more than I, and it seems that a flat tax plans simply expand the wealth gap between the middle class and the rich, or am I missing something with this plan in particular? Smells like trickle down reaganomic trash or is this not really related? Anyway, it's supposedly spun as a compromise to the governor's push to eliminate food sales tax. The poor are going to benefit which is nice and all, but then there's that huge hit in revenue, some saying like 1.3billion over 3 years I believe. That feels like it will offset any savings the poor receive directly and negatively impact them with reduced gov. services. In short, I'm fearful of the future here and didn't know if I'm getting ahead of myself. Always appreciate any insight provided. (talk) 04:48, 7 April 2023 (UTC)

The easy start would be to read our flat tax article whose general points also seem to hold true in the article cited. You also mention a consumption tax (food sales tax, but these also include VAT, various stamp duties etc.) that is not touched and these are almost always outright regressive, and food taxes in particular, since the poor spend a very high proportion of their income on such basic necessities.
Another issue is whether this tax cut will actually help the very poor, since they may be exempt from the income tax altogether, either outright or through offsets. And as you mention, the poor will be much harder hit by the accompanying cuts to social services, meaning that even if they do see some tax relief, this might be eaten up by the falls in social services.
Finally, even though a tax cut will save less well of people hundreds of dollars, if it also saves rich people thousands, it means that they have even more money to invest, including in property, which is likely to drive up prices to the disadvantage of the middle class and probably the poor as well (as rising property prices also tend to lead to rent hikes). ScepticWombat (talk) 06:55, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
PS. The existing income tax brackets don’t seem particularly progressive either, at least looking at the difference between the “middle” bracket of 5.2% and “high” of 5.7%, though the “low” bracket is at least markedly below the two others at 3.1%. ScepticWombat (talk) 07:12, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
So Kansas Republicans have learned nothing from the disastrous Kansas experimentWikipedia, I see. BobJohnson (talk) 14:58, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
@BobJohnson I swear I read the title and thought, Kansas already did this and it failed spectacularly.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 21:06, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
Welcome to Kansas politics. Such a beautiful state, but the Republican legislators are so fucking stupid, it’s crazy. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:26, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
"Everything old is new again!" Bongolian (talk) 02:31, 8 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, Thomas Frank’s famous 2004 book What’s the Matter with Kansas?Wikipedia was recently republished as an audio book (read by the author), so I guess it’s the season of GOP Kansas déjà vu. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:58, 8 April 2023 (UTC)

The Boomer Dieout[edit]

So... I'm helping a Boomer relative doing the 'going to retirement flat' clearout. The sheer tonnage of what needs clearing and the Boomer's resistance is perhaps more excessive than normal [though suspect not by much], but the thing which has struck me is the fact few, if anybody wants the vast majority of stuff. The apparently mandatory acres of brown furniture/china/glassware/texiles was a 'known known' but finding out they had zero [or even minus] value was a touch jarring [I mean, that 80s china set was still useable as crockery even if you didn't think it was worth cocooning in a cabinet]. Similar can be said regarding generic collections of books, multimedia, art and objets d'crap [can't even give them away at times] which I'd chalk up as a 'known unknown' - I mean, art styles go on and out of fashion too and so on. But what struck me was the discovery that even the gear I would have felt would have retained some value - stamps, coins, banknotes, vinyl, pop-culture memorabilia, sports gear, old diecast cars etc - have generally not. When I mean 'value', I don't mean literally zero [at least not always], more the stage where it is no longer economic time-wise to bother selling. In fact, the only things which seem to have held was the gold and silver, and that's clearly on the melt value alone.

Took some time to realise the reason; and it was exactly the same as why brown china cabinets are dying. They're things mainly in demand by Boomers, and they've already got them. Worse, they're selling them as they 'downsize'. The market ends up glutted, depressing it even further. This is something which I've particulary noticed with stamps, something I do know a little bit about - the [inflation adjusted] values I'm seeing now are some 50% plus lower than the 1990s. This is something I've heard said about the used market for golf clubs, Elvis memorabilia and 'crafting' supplies. Anyone else noticing this or along these lines, a perhaps under-reported aspect of the demographic change we're currently going through? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:36, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Yes, these observations are fairly universal. It's basic supply-and-demand, too much supply and too little demand. Many fewer people have the inclination or space to collect stuff. Baby boomers downsize their houses when they retire or move t assisted living facilities. Additional pressure is put on the supply side by the internet: e-books and the Internet Archive's lending library (assuming they ultimately prevail in the lawsuit against them). A small fraction of items retain value because of inherent rarity. It used to be that bookstores would gladly buy whole personal libraries, but they're a lot pickier now. The same goes with university libraries: they're moving towards technology-based library facilities and don't have the staffing or funding to process great quantities of physical books to be added to their collections. Bongolian (talk) 00:39, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
Both my parents have long since died and I whittled away their stuff until I was left with the only things that really matter - Pink Floyd/Led Zeppelin/etc records, personal keepsakes and rare books that have been passed down. I have possibly 5 1st edition Beatrix Potter books which are woth a good 5 - 10K each. Acei9 01:02, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
A few years back, people were just tossing pianos. These used to be the ultimate sign of upper middle class, now trash. Because millennials didnt all want them wasting space in their apartments. CorSock (talk) 04:11, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
I think it's more than just space; I also suspect it's time and energy constraints. Poisonous, evil ideas regarding 'hustle culture' leaves little time for whiling many an hour on 'unproductive' tasks like playing the piano, just like 50+ hour workweeks don't gel well with frequent fishing trips and being a 'have it all' goals-focused working parent is not conducive to keeping up on your reading. It's why traditionally TV and now social media shite is so 'popular', it requires very little actual energy-effort to be put in to consume. I think this time/effort neurosis starts rather early too; as a kid [in the 90s] I do remember getting it laid on somewhat thick that stuff like hobbies etc was 'wasting time/money' and something which should only be done when you have completed everything else. As an adult, I know the truth - that position is never achieved [however, I shall point out the people who gave me that pearl led very boring lives, had zero interests, retired to their armchairs and promptly did nothing much until death. Quite ironically, they did in fact have a piano. I wonder what happened to it?] KarmaPolice (talk) 05:47, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
Interesting, I was always told that hobbies and interests were important and encouraged in pursuing them during my childhood (‘80s/‘90s), though my parents were less enthusiastic about computer games, or rather if I spent too much time on them; which was honestly a pretty legitimate concern.
I always worry if people don’t have hobbies or private interests that they really “nerd out” with, because it seems to be a sign that they are either too financially strapped to exit “survival mode” or that they really have nothing much to fill their life with beyond work.
This is also why I find the “you owe it to society to work till you drop” and “retirement is an unaffordable luxury” attitudes to be particularly galling, not to mention pretty generationally and socially skewed. Somehow these slogans just happen not to apply to either those just about to retire or to wealthy people in general, but only to those for whom retirement is still years in the future and who will be unlikely to simply pull the plug whenever they wish to do so, due to being well heeled. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:56, 6 April 2023 (UTC)

Most 'collectibles' (eg King Charles III coronation memorabilia) will not retain their value - they are produced in large quantities and will mostly be kept; stamps and other such ephemera *are* just bits of paper (and most of us do not care whether one stamp has a different number of little scallops to the usual) and 'current fashion' will be bought at the same time and return to the (secondary) market over a shortish window (so the new market becomes glutted). We have all seen things 'on the usual selling sites' where the owner has vastly overpriced the item (rarity ≠ valuable, trying to get their purchase money back, now outdated technology that has not become vintage etc).

Collect what amuses you, do not spend too much, and assume that it will not make you rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Consider hobbies such as 'visiting 100 (places of interest in a category)', 'all the stations (on one line]' etc and keeping a record. Anna Livia (talk) 12:45, 6 April 2023 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand a bit, Wombat. They also said hobbies were important. But only once all your 'jobs' were done. And it better not cost money. Oh, and while you're at it, wouldn't it be good if you did [activity], something which oddly enough not only looks like 'more work' and would 'help with school/CV'. They were no way 'Tiger Parents' [far too fucking tight, for starters] but with hindsight, they had this tendency in embryo. Later on, it's helped me to spot one of the worst aspects of Anglo culture - the 'cult of busyiness', something which Orwell noted [and called 'Anglo time-neurosis'] about 90 years ago. I mean, it's only recently I've noticed I'm very coy about just how much 'free time' I actually possess, because I've been conditioned that the moment someone learns of it's existence, they automatically attempt fo fill it with more 'jobs'. Another aspect generally downplayed is what I see as 'Newton's Law of Housework'; that every innovation to save time is normally cancelled out in some manner. Example - washing machines and tumble dryers; plus. Many more clothes etc to deal with; minus.
And yeah, eBay is the place where stuff does to die. Waay too many people clearly suffer from the endowment effect regarding their own stuff. Every day I'm at 'the hoard' I have to fend off the Boomer is waving their phone at me, 'proving' that [item] is worth lots of money because of a overvalued eBay listing which has zero interest or similar [which is part of the pain; have to show them that those values are not real]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:51, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
My recollection doesn’t include this ”only once all your 'jobs' were done” requirement, though I do recall some worries over, say, gaming interfering with homework, but not to the extent that I was told or heard others being told anything about hobbies having to be “productive” or not costing any money. The only time the issue of money seemed to crop up was when money were generally tight due to unemployment etc., which, in hindsight, I think was fair enough.
I do recall being told no to some of the kids’ fads that were around at the time, but was generally encouraged to pursue various hobbies in terms of sports, music and the like that were not particularly “productive” or useful on a CV. Of course, I may simply be misremembering or have overly rose tinted glasses in my recollections, but this is what I remember of growing up with working/(lower?) middle class boomer parents (born in the late 1940s).
I should probably mention that I’m not part of or grew up in the Anglosphere, though the issue of “Protestant work ethics” (for whatever it might be worth) does apply to my cultural context to some extent.
As for the law of housework, that seems very redolent of Parkinson’s lawWikipedia and while it was formulated in the 1950s to account for bureaucratic inefficiency, I think it has broader implications in terms of not only expectations of, but the outright requirement to fill out any time gained through improved efficiency with even more work (or make-work/bullshit jobs, if actual work is not possible). ScepticWombat (talk) 17:08, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
I admit, I nutpicked here; they were the perhaps worst example from all the families I lived with as a kid. But I saw variants of this from most of the others too; they had very set ideas on what 'hobbies' you should do and that tallied quite closely to 'what would look good on your uni application'. In fact, the only ones who were genuinely 'hobbies for hobbies sake' were a) the creative professional class and b) the unapologetically working-class families. But yes, it is clearly the old Protestant work ethic I'm citing here, along with the clear chronic 'fear of poverty' - the day I read Orwell's Coming Up For Air [set in 1938] I saw they were basically, Hilda Bowling.
I think the 'scarcity mindset' is a factor too; these were the kids of the folks who went through the Depression/WW2/Austerity but they grew up into the post-War materialistic glut. Created a serious dissonance; a youth of being yelled at to 'never waste stuff', 'snap up bargains and put them aside' and wearing decade-old cut-down hand-downs but then exposed to £10 t-shirts from Vietnam for sale in every supermarket. My experience is that while their parents hoarded stuff like jars of buttons, zips, strap-hooks etc salvaged off old clothes, their kids ended up just hoarding the clothes. When it is always raining, you really don't need to rush around collecting it in buckets, do you?
With Parkinson’s Law, I think we see variants of that about everywhere. Quite often, it gets caught up with the 'perfect is the enemy of good' situation - that the time/effort to achieve X has reduced, but the general 'public expectations' have increased, cancelling the savings out. One example off the top of my head; personal hygiene - I remember having one/two a week as a kid and a bit of sweatiness etc was not the end of the world [and this was only the 90s]; now the prevailing level is 'daily' and woe betide you if you're sweaty. Even if you've just come from the gym. Now, I don't particulary miss the odour of stinky people but the fact that 'labour saving' has not really done that is never really mentioned. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:08, 10 April 2023 (UTC)