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Trans Jesus[edit]

I missed this. This happened last November/December, so no longer WIGO worthy.[1] It brings new meaning to the term transubstantiation. Bongolian (talk) 20:53, 9 April 2023 (UTC)

LGBTQ Grooming Conspiracy: Taking away the seriousness of actual child grooming[edit]

Many of you are already aware of the hyper elaborate conspiracy hypothesis of every LGBTQ person being a child groomer. You are also aware that it is just as crazy as the Satanic Panic. Bigots don't realize (or if they do but don't give a shit) that it reduces the serious issue of child grooming. How many people will not take child sexual abuse seriously thanks to that conspiracy. Bigots reuse the same debunked talking points. It is not like they have anything resembling evidence. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:24, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

They don't need evidence - it's simply an excuse to justify pre-existing personal dislikes. Saying you don't approve/like/accept trans people 'just because' sounds kinda weak to most relatively-sane minded persons. But, if you throw up one or more of the FUD points about trans people, it gives you a fig-leave of 'respectability', esp if you are 'just asking questions' and/or asking to 'teach the controversy' [something which has been cited almost word-for-word here in the UK regarding trans topics in 'sex ed'.]
Another classic example is anti-Semitism. Citing the Elders of the Protocols of Zion and ernistly making accusations of blood libel puts you way beyond the window and in the mud with the Aryan Nations. However... 'just ask questions' whether [our nations] Jewish people are being used as a kind of external arm of the Israeli state to quash valid criticisms of the regime, to query whether said group have 'divided loyalties', to note down their outsize influence in several sectors of the country [like academia] and wonder whether they operate as an 'old boy's club' within these to help each other get ahead... these 'questions' are literally impossible to disprove 100% and then the 'exception becomes the rule' kicks in [as seen again here in the UK regarding trans prisoners; the whole damn policy is being now written around literally two cases, both of which had clearly other factors which should have overriden the 'trans issue' by default].
Lastly, in my experience most rightish bigots do not care about others [or lack any imagination]. Child grooming, like drug addiction, homelessness, mental health issues and the other relatively unavoidable curve-balls of life are things which happen to other people [or they simply cannot imagine it happening to them or someone they know]. They literally shall only actually think about the issue properly [for the first time] when it's sitting in the room with them, making it personal. This is what I call 'the Cheney effect'; the day Dick's daughter outed herself to him was the day he gained skin in the game of LGB rights and from all accounts, spent much of his term as VP quietly batting away queerbashing legislation attempts. I've personally seen this happen to people; on 'single mothers', the housing market and race.
Though this doesn't mean a lot either. For the elite, a huge amount of this shite is almost literally, 'prolefeed', to make the witness drones behave in a manner desired and to be distracted from the genuine issues. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:01, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm quite sure that there's different views on LGBT "grooming" by the Rightwing. There are indeed some who believe that every single gay person hides in the bushes waiting for stray children to pass by. There are others who believe that every single mention of LGBT is "homosexual propaganda" meant to cause more children to "experiment". And there are some who believe that, while most LGBT people are just trying to live their lives, there do exist a number of sex offenders hiding behind the LGBT mask in order to target children. These should not be equivocated, because they are very different. CorruptUser 13:26, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Some of it may just be projection :p. At least, 8chan, the launchpad of the QAnon, was very notorious for "looking the other way" at questionable CSAM material during the early days, [2] and there's one report that suggests current owner Jim Watkins also "looked the other way" at questionable CSAM-named domains back when he was running a porn hosting company. [3] It's hard to take the QAnon crowd's Concern About Children very seriously when the odds are pretty high that their "Q" and their "Q headquarters" has a checkered past with that sort of thing. BobJohnson (talk) 14:41, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Except that it's not only the Q crowd. Ben Shapiro, Chaya Raychik and Jordan Peterson aren't part of the QAnon crowd, but are railing on about the sexualization of kids. CorruptUser 15:01, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Sure, so why are they only targeting the Other of LGBTQ though? You'd think they'd get some mileage from all of those kiddie-diddling religious figures in the Catholic church and the Southern Baptists, too. Of course, they don't mention a thing. The answer's pretty obvious, it's just divisive rabble-rousing from some people yelling at Others for the clicks.
(Ben Shapiro and Chaya Raichik, incidentally, both being Jewish, really should know better than engage in the typical Other dump of the right. Again, reasons why should be obvious.) BobJohnson (talk) 15:17, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
Because the public already agrees that pedo-priests are a problem? CorruptUser 15:25, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
The audience they are speaking to already imagines that pedo-trans is a problem. Wrong answer. BobJohnson (talk) 15:31, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
There aren't large swaths of the public coming out in support of pedo-priests. Wrong retort.
Someone using one issue to push their ulterior motives does not mean the original issue isn't a real issue. There are racists who whine about Black on Black crime to try to convince the public that voluntary segregation should exist (see Scott Adams), that doesn't mean that the police/media should continue ignoring Black on Black crime or the public shouldn't work to reduce it. There are lots of people who would be happy to see ALL gay/lesbian/etc people forced back into the closet and the key thrown away, and said people will of course try to claim that a few creeps or rapists somehow represent the entire LGBT community. So yes, the LGBT community has every duty to be suspicious of "anti-groomers" and their claims. But when a group of LGBT people do something that is clearly wrong, and the rest of the community rallies in their support? That only feeds into the "anti-groomer" narrative. CorruptUser 15:43, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
What is your evidence of this being a real issue, then? What, exactly, are the "group of LGBT people" doing that is "clearly wrong"? BobJohnson (talk) 17:27, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
The whole Yaniv fiasco comes to mind. You had to know someone was going to try to abuse the system, and the LGBT community in Canada did... nothing. It took Blaire White (of all people) to talk a bit of sense on the issue. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:40, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
All the videos and pictures of sexual activities where children are present, as well as the books that are clearly age-inappropriate for children.
It may very well be the case that it's only a minor problem, that this sort of thing happened just as frequently in the past and that we are just seeing it now thanks to the intertubes, and that the Far Right is doing mole-hill mountaineering. But we have people outright denying that such behavior even is a problem, some of them on this very Wiki. CorruptUser 17:53, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
To cite a specific example, exactly who thought the book Gender Queer belonged in an elementary school library? The subject itself shouldn't be taboo, but there are how many other options that aren't wildly age-inappropriate. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:15, 4 April 2023 (UTC)


Probably someone who opened the first few pages and said "oh, it's cartoons, obviously it's for kids". Then someone revealed that there was a mistake, and suddenly it became a political issue. CorruptUser 18:47, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
So basically nutpicking the "weirdos" and those who are abusing the system is the justification for bomb threats, death threats, and other trans hate? Whee. It's like shitting on all of feminism because there's an Andrea Dworkin. (Seriously, these Jews on this bandwagon need to look at history a bit more. They'll be the first target if the revolution they are promoting ever comes.)
Not too familiar about "Gender Queer", but it appears to be targeting 12 to 18 year old. It doesn't seem appropriate for elementary school students (I can't Google an example where it was placed in elementary libraries, but didn't try too hard). But I'd love to hear what makes it inappropriate for high school students. Note that I tend to have a low opinion of the "think of the children" book-ban crowd, they can't even fuckin' handle Captain UnderpantsWikipedia fer crissakes.BobJohnson (talk) 21:02, 4 April 2023 (UTC)
It ceases to be "nutpicking" the moment the community rallies around them. It's like with the police; a bad apple ceases to be a single bad apple when the rest of the bunch cover for them.
You want to bring Jews into this? I'm Jewish, or at least, ethnically; more like a reconstructionist or some secular version. Jeffrey Epstein, Ron Jeremy, and Harvey Weinstein? All of them are Jews who committed rapes against dozens of victims. As far as I'm aware, no Jewish organization is coming to their defense, nor playing various "whataboutery" games. And even if it was indeed antisemitism that was responsible for their comeuppance, would that make them any less guilty? CorruptUser 21:31, 4 April 2023 (UTC)

Taking an example of any minority and using that to generalize that it’s a problem with that marginalized community as a whole is very old timey form of hate propaganda. It’s why neo-nazi’s go out of their way to highlight every single incident of a white woman having been raped by a black man with the explicit inference that it’s a problem with “them”. It’s soley to stoke fear of the other, to dehumanize and box an entire group of people so that they are not seen as individual human beings responsible for their own actions — but representatives of the other as a whole. It becomes the pretext to lynching, extremist violence, and eventually if widespread enough genocide. It’s not uncommon to see the same sort of Conservatives bend over backwards to justify child brides, and date rape. It’s not really about protecting victims, but protecting their “property” from a demonized other. To make an excuse for fascist violence. That all it’s about. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:16, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

Are Black people going out of their way to defend rapists? CorruptUser 00:25, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Remember, there's shit-tons of news spew, so not every "story of interest" is a "story of interest" everywhere. I had not heard the case of Jessica YanivWikipedia before and based on the Wikipedia this person is a piece of work, a seeming "attention whore" and legal troll. News coverage wise, she seems to primarily attract the attention of right wing media looking for examples. I skimmed Reddit and I don't get the impression the LGBT community is rallying around her, the sentiment seems to be that she's a "you're not helping" shitstain. Perhaps there's some organization silence, or perhaps they simply don't know either. Not everyone watches places Yaniv has been featured like Tucker Carlson and Alex Jones. So, great, we've found a shitty trans person. You can take any archetype and find a shitty person. Not a big revelation.
As far as the comparison goes, it's more like if Jeffrey Epstein, Ron Jeremy, and Harvey Weinstein were used by "righteous Christians" to rant against THE EVIL JEW, and because these folks were some combination of pedo rapey, *all* Jews are portrayed as being pedo rapists. Which means, hey, let's do the death-threat / bomb-threat / etc. thingy on the Other. (Parts of QAnon, while not terribly specific, do actually kind of go in this direction, TBH, so the "warning signs" are there.) Even if you disagree with someone, getting to the level of bomb threats and death threats is not acceptable, period. (EG: no, it's unacceptable to send death threats to JK Rowling as well).
I'm certainly still not seeing anything *systematic* anyways. Even of the much maligned "drag queen story hour", all I know is what I can Google, and it seems based on stories and pictures, the seemingly typical example is drag queens dressing as female characters from children's media and reading Dr. Seuss etc. A little outside of the buttoned-up American WASP experience, I suppose, and perhaps quite unnecessary and "but why?", but not seemingly wildly inappropriate per se. One can perhaps find examples of this where inappropriate things occurred (though in this age of much hyperbole media any story would need close scrutiny). But that would be nutpicking. One can round back to those priests where one can nutpick yourself into a "all priests are pedos" mindset. That clearly isn't the case, either. BobJohnson (talk) 01:23, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
@BobJohnson Which Jewish organization of any significance is coming to Weinstein's defense?CorruptUser 02:35, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Which fucking red herring are you going to throw at me next? If you can't even fucking read what I am saying, then we are done here. BobJohnson (talk) 03:04, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
@BobJohnson You aren't reading what I am saying. The creeps being creeps are in all likelihood, just a small problem, but a problem nonetheless. Everyone else defending the creeps are not a small problem. CorruptUser 03:45, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
People constantly lose their shit over white supremacists, but if pressed I think most people would admit the great majority of white people aren't card-carrying (they make the KKK robes up the road from me, so I can attest cards exist) white supremacists. But somehow no one has any problem shrieking about how some white guy is obviously a symptom of "whiteness" (whatever that means) in action. Just look at how people reacted to Dylann Roof, who obviously is a white supremacist, and Tekle Sundberg (you have to see the footage and Ben Crump's shrieking to believe it, Fox News couldn't have come up with it during its worst fever dream). Related to that, I have yet to meet the lobby for pedo priests; I have seen an alarming defense of Avital Ronell, because being a self-proclaimed lesbian apparently gets you a free pass to sexually assault an undergraduate student (this has the relevant backstory). Take a look at what happened to Roland Fryer and John Comaroff at Harvard, the evidence in both their cases was remarkably flimsy but they happened to not be gay. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:47, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Tribalism is funny, eh? There was plenty in the "New Atheist" crowd that defended Richard Dawkins with the Elevatorgate incident. Same with programmers who defended Richard Stallman's shitty behavior. How about all those Hollywood types that defended Roman PolanskiWikipedia? What is notable is that apparently people did protest Avital RonellWikipedia at least per the Wiki article, so it's not like she got a really free pass from the general population.
The one thing I am taking away from this:
A) Nutpicking is rife, and also full of "convenient forgetfulness" (one forgets there is a notorious pro-pedo lobby?Wikipedia). Hasty generalizations is also rife. I still haven't figured out what is making Cory say all lefties are defending all creeps.
B) Ultimately, legally what's happening in the United States is that the authoritarian instincts in the Republican party can use the above sentiment to engage in "big government social conservatism". Ron DeSantis's solution to the above claptrap (which also includes fear of THE BLACK) is to muzzle schools and dictate content via administrative decree and power plays, left intentionally vague so that even books about Jackie RobinsonWikipedia and movies about Rosa ParksWikipedia are pulled because one parent thinks they might be too anti-racist"woke". A lot of people cheer this type of anti-First Amendment shit on. Are you on this side, then? If not, what is your "solution"? BobJohnson (talk) 14:48, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
What LGBTQ+ organizations have “defended” Yaniv Cory? And to answer your naive question yes there have been black men accused of sexual assault or violence against women who have received apologia from some black men or organizations. This also in part because of the history of false allegations by white mobs being used to justify lynchings that some black men feel especially defensive when certain black political figures are accused of sexual assault, especially by a white woman. This is a significant enough phenomena to come up in black feminist literature, and even was touched upon as a plotline in the show “Dear White People” when a white student accused a black professor of sexual assault. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:03, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Ok so much bs from both of y'all. But IIRC, NAMBLA was involved with the International Lesbian and Gay Alliance for 15 years, before Congress made a big stink about them being sponsored by the UN, and ILGA giving them the boot. NAMBLA used to participate in the pride parades back in the day as well. The reality is that 1) pedophiles and other "deviants"/"perverts" have always attempted to use the gay community as a shield or mask for their own depravities, and 2) there have always been elements of the gay community who got suckered into defending that nonsense. CorSock (talk) 04:43, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
You’re talking about a controversy that happened before I was born. I am turning 28 years of age, and it’s kind of dishonest to leave out the fact the vast majority of gay organizations within the US opposed NAMBLA’s involvement in the ILGA. I also asked what LGBTQ+ organization were acting in defence of Yaniv. You didn’t name any, you just accused me of BS and cited a semi-relevant controversy from 30 years ago. This doesn’t debunk my claim regarding political motivations to see queer people as representatives of the other and not as individual people. 23:00, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
And to cite another specific example, the Dutch unleashed the Pacifist Socialist PartyWikipedia, which explicitly supported lowering the age of consent to 12. Plus, for the opposite side of the political spectrum, if I say the name Milo you know what comments I mean. For reference, I'm afflicted with The Big A, and I don't find it hard to push back against the autistic dark web types however much of a minority they are; I don't think that's too much to ask. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:09, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
There is no need to comment any further as long as you fail to push back on the Ron DeSantis. Is that too much to ask? BobJohnson (talk) 13:59, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
Why is a dutch political party now a represenative of LGBTQ+ organization while not explicitly being one? Also why does a single fascist internalized homophobic gay man now also a representative of the LGBTQ+ community? Do all straight men have to explicitly and publicly denounce every straight male rapist on the news? I mean most rapes are de facto committed by straight men. Considering sexual orientation is not a reliable predictor of committing sexual abuse just by simply being a statistical majority likely makes the majority of child sexual abusers straight guys. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:08, 6 April 2023 (UTC)


This ain't a trade, and multiple things can be true at the same time. If Repubs dont reject DeSantis, they are implicitly saying they either are willing to tolerate him due to politics or that they agree with him. If gay people dont reject the blatantly inappropriate behavior, they are saying they are willing to tolerate the creeps because of politics, or they actually support the creepy behavior. CorSock (talk) 18:54, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
Cory would you like to personally comment on every sexual assault ever committed by a man within any of your personal demographics? If you don’t explicitly and publicly denounce each and every one does that mean you tolerate sexual assault? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:12, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
No one could possibly comment on every event. I would agree the MRA types can be and frequently are complete whack jobs over sexual assault, but they're clearly not speaking for a majority of their constituency (in that case, men). And I can't believe I didn't think of this right away, but the Los Angeles Blade completely pantsed themselves over the Wi Spa fiasco and got full-throated support from their base. This lays out how thoroughly irresponsible the coverage of that was and how the LGBT community came out in droves to support the supposed "victim of transphobia", and then when it came out that this was a serial sex offender the LGBT community went quieter than the grave. In that case, the Blade is fairly representative of their community, but no one (other than Andy Ngo, of all people, who most certainly does not represent that community) dealt with how their actions enabled a serial sex offender who targeted children. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:39, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
A long time ago, Rationalwiki had a user who posted an essay essentially saying child-adult sex was a-okay. Rationalwiki users actually defended this guy! So clearly, "Tisane" is totally representative of this community, "Rationalwiki" actually is a sexually deviant creepy wiki who supports pedo rape, and we should all be ashamed for posting here. Right? Or... would that sort of opinion be some extremely dumb nutpicking?
Again: With Republicans introducing 417 anti-LGBTQ bills this year alone intruding into schools and health care, I don't really give two fucks about whatever minor dramas you folks are nutpicking over; I more get the impression that you two have never even met a homosexual or transsexual person (of whom opinions definitely vary on any sort of "queer political advocacy"), because I doubt you'd be saying this shit if you have. This balderdash plays into the last Republican cultural gasp (and subsequent authoritarian lurch, a symptom of a movement that knows it is dying) rather than solving any of the remaining sticky issues around LGBTQ (mainly transgender and certain norms like "the bathroom" and "the sports"), and it doesn't help impressions that you're even giving Andy Ngo (of all people) the time of day. (In an example "actually helpful", Joe Biden's recent rule advocacy for a solution to the transgender in sports issue was pretty good, methinks.) BobJohnson (talk) 17:28, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
This equation is easy. White Evangelical Christians view LGBTQ+ people as deviants. Pedophiles are also deviants. Therefore LGBTQ+ people are pedophiles. It doesn't matter that most child sex abuse has nothing to do with sexual preference. Or that child sex abuse is rife with multiple Christian denominations. The other part of this is that universally, no likes pedophiles. And for many, including myself, pedophilia should be something people get executed for. By attempting to link the two, they're attempting to justify the violence against LGBTQ+ people. This is the only lens you need. In the words of Logan Roy, conservatives are not serious people.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 21:05, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
Except that the current generation of LGBT arent doing a good job on the whole "messaging" thing when they circle the wagons around the creeps. Is a kid drag queen (drag princess?) really any worse than a child beauty pageant? Maybe, maybe not, but what do you think the average person thinks about the LGBT community as a result? CorSock (talk) 21:38, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
I don’t think the average person actually thinks there is a real comparison, you’re comparing what simply amounts to cross-gender dress up meant to mock the performative aspects of gender, to an event/competition that compares children based on their aesthetic appeal to a handful of selected adults often with the sexualization of children being an acknowledged part of said competition. It’s a faulty analogy. There is a world of difference between a little boy in a poofy princess dress and wig, or a family friendly event where men are dressed as fairy god mothers as compared to a pageant that features six year old girls in sparkly bikinis being paraded in front a panel of adult judges who judge them solely on their aesthetic appeal. One is explicitly about the objectification of little girls, the other just so happens to challenge gender norms and encourages children to play dress-up. You seem to think those are on par. I don’t think the “average” person has ever really thought about there being a comparison at all and I think you assuming they would draw the same comparisons as you do is kind of falsely assuming you are statistically representative. Arguably reflective of the false consensus effect. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:17, 9 April 2023 (UTC)
The source is a bit biased, but do you believe this video of a 13 year drag queen really happened or not? CorruptUser 01:23, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
is watching a child vogue dancing sexually arousing to you or something? I am not sure what this is supposed to communicate. Are kids supposed to be banned from partaking in gymnastics because doing the splits is going to be construed as sexual by weird adults? That’s essentially what you are doing here. What does this isolated event actually allow us to conclude?
I don’t understand why events like this allow you to generalize about the queer community; yet every straight dude who defends a celebrity accused of rape doesn’t allow me to generalize about straight people. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:41, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
"I don’t understand why events like this allow you to generalize about the queer community..."
You are literally defending what is clearly the sexualization of a 13 year old. You sound like you belong on a registry. When creeps like you are more vocal than the rest of the Gay community, people start to wonder. CorruptUser 13:39, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not seeing how that's defensible. Good lord. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:04, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
You just posted a Youtube video from a "True America" who is posting shit like "Greatest Tucker Carlson clip I have ever seen lol", COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and other general right-wing claptrap. Apparently this clip was originally posted by Libs of TikTok as noted in the watermark. Posting bullshit from known bullshitters without verifying is what's bullshit here. How the fuck do you know that this was a drag show? How the fuck do you know this dancer was 13? Without context, it's some girl of an unknown age (cell phone video quality, yay, could very well be of age, just Asian) in a provocative leather outfit dancing on a stage. It actually hardly looks drag to me to be honest, looks actually more like an "urban" club to me if I had to guess, but so far this has only been posted to "Libs of Tiktok" accounts and those sympathetic, so it could be anything. Why the fuck are you on this wiki if you are posting this garbage? BobJohnson (talk) 14:27, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
Multiple users have pointed out Cory’s past queerphobia during mod elections and he still got voted in. The dude puts zero effort in hiding his prejudice against gay and trans people, and it’s no surprise at all that contextless anecdotes from right wing media sources makes him feel that he is justify to condemn the queer community as a whole. Blade doesn’t even bother referencing LGBTQ+ sources or organization to conclude “support” they just take any vaguely leftish media source as evidence for it. Also taking even the remotest opportunity to accuse a queer person of being a pedophile simply because they don’t see vogue dancing as inherently sexual kind of speaks to a ready association accuse any queer person of being a pedophile. In my life of the sex abusers I knew about they weren’t the ones stating the way pre-teens dressed and act wasn’t sexual. They accused them of constantly sexualizing themselves and used that as a pre-tense to snap middle school girls bras and “confront” young boys about it the bathroom. It’s was used as a pre-tense for victim blaming. I watched the video with the sound off so maybe the adults in the room did make inappropriate comments and the such. I would have missed that and that would be bad. If it is such an “obvious” example of sexualization then tell me what exactly struck you as sexual Cory? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:15, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

For context vogue dancing was developed under the inspiration from vogue magazine photoshoots, and Egyptian Hieroglyphs — hence moves featuring dramatically posing hands around the face, the exaggerated rigidity and over extension of limbs. The seeming pastiche of fashion model run ways. The seemingly nonsensical poses and drops like you’d see in a fashion magazine. The style originates from Harlem ballroom culture from the late 70’s and early 80’s. It’s meant to highlight the performative aspect of gender, and to highlight tropes in glamour magazines targeted towards women. As a queer guy I am used to things that gay people do as being construed as sexual, while when straight people do the same or similar things it is construed as non-sexual. Straight couples can peck a kiss in public, but if I hold my boyfriend’s hand I get stared at. A prince can kiss an unconscious snow white in a children’s movie, but a kiss between two consenting men sharing a sentimental moment get slapped with an “R” rating in the states for it’s “explicit sexuality”. If a straight teenager gets signed up for salsa dancing lessons and is made to wear a tight fitting low-cut dress it’s fine, it’s “culture”. But if a gay kid wears a dress and performs vogue now it’s “sexual” and the kid is being groomed. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:53, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

This is supposed to emphasize that the intentions and cultural context behind voguing isn’t meant to be sexual. If you see it that way it’s kind of a cultural interpretation you are bringing into it. Given it’s historical origins within black and Latino youth, there is also an element of racism and colonial domination at play here. There is a long historical context of white settlers viewing the practices and norms of the people they colonized as “perverted” or “against god” so as to justify cultural suppression. Whether it be toleration of public nudity in Japan, the existence of two-spirited people in certain north American indigenous tribes, or a cultural toleration of homosexual acts in parts of Africa; the pretext to see something from a cultural context one does not understand so as to infer harm where none has been established has a long history as a pretext for mass violence. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:46, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm straight but happily lifelong single, and personally I don't much care for all the outward expressions of affection from anyone. Get a fucking room, I don't care what you do with your life but don't bring me into it. I've said it to women and men who've gotten seriously the wrong idea about after I've said I'm not interested (and in the case of the two men, it only got creepy after I said I'm not gay). I'm certainly not going to physically attack anyone, barring anything illegal no one should be subjected to violence, and I'm also allowed to look at something else and express my distaste for it without people screaming homophobe at me. Key and Peele actually get to the heart of the matter pretty well. If you don't want people telling you what to do in your bedroom, don't also go out and make the world your bedroom; I don't think that's too much to ask of anyone. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:25, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
I don’t think you understood the actual point of that sketch. You’re telling me about making the world my “bedroom” because I said I get stared at holding my boyfriend’s hand? Is that something to be reserved to the bedroom? Holding someone’s hand? Is a peck on the lips and small gestures of affection now overt displays of sexuality? Well if that’s the case that paints parents who kiss their baby on the forehead with some worrying implications. Considering that level of prudish sensitivity it’s no wonder why you have the attitudes that you have. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:14, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Speaking only for me, it's rooted in my own aversion to physical touch (a fun side effect of autism). I know I'm the minority on that so I need to deal with it, but I don't much care for anyone holding hands/hugging/kissing, you name it, whatever combination of people it is; and yes, I've even seen mothers with babies who I've thought are being a bit much. If someone told me a young lady wanted to hold my hand and give me a kiss on the cheek, I'd forgo it in favor of getting electric shocks to my skin. In that way I think I'm internally consistent, I have no love for the child beauty pageants (I had the misfortune to have to see Honey Boo Boo because a college roommate of mine had that kind of bad taste) or kids that age strutting in drag. I'd never try to pass legislation to outlaw adults entertaining themselves and each other in such a manner, and seeing it as a teen didn't kill me (I could only laugh at the cognitive dissonance at how the adults were so edgy and you should bring the whole family!), seeing a minor doing the same thing would ring some serious alarm bells. None of the latter is good for anyone. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:51, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
You’re barely making relevant responses to me. I didn’t ask for your opinion on child beauty pageants. Why does your aversion to being physically touched allow you to police other people on how they touch each other in public? Especially in regards to things they have the legal right to do. It was justifiable to normalize physical distancing in public during the pandemic but people are allowed to be affectionate to one another provided it’s not bordering on actual illegal behaviour. If you called out a gay couple for holding hands in public you deserve being called homophobic. I know many an autistic person with various sensory issues, my boyfriend is in fact autistic. I don’t think any of the autistic people I know would ever think it’s okay to publicly shame people for doing something that they don’t enjoy themselves when the act does not involve them. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:14, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
I don't think you're actually that dense, since I've seen your intellectual talents in many other discussions here. To be even clearer, I don't like any displays of affection and treat all of it with equal disdain; no one has ever accused me of being "heterophobic" when I comment that two people should take it inside. And since I don't love the idea of young kids getting dolled up for entertainment, I'm just as sour on teens dressing up in drag for the same purpose. It's that easy. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:54, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Bruh no one falls for the “I hate all races equally” defence when it comes to racism. This isn’t any different. The real density comes with giving the most Karen ass responses here. You know that these groups are not the same. Hostility towards homosexual affection is never on par with, or equally as harmful as hostility against heterosexual affection. Drag is not the same thing as “beauty pageants” all drag boils down to is theatrical cross-dressing. If you absolute oppose kids partaking in drag then you’d have to oppose theatre classes as a whole. Girls will often done male costumes to play male roles because there isn’t enough roles for everyone to play to their gender, and it’s so widespread it’s treated as inevitable in high school theatre productions. That playing the part of a different gender is in essence what drag is. It’s a centuries old tradition practiced pre-shakespeare, and was practiced especially during Shakespeare’s era. Drag is not the same thing as a beauty pageant. Drag is an entire art-form like dance, or acting, or singing. There will always be examples of plays inappropriate for children, paintings, songs, movies, etc. We wouldn’t then go on to say film is not for kids, painting is not for kids, or music isn’t for kids. We know that these art forms and mediums can exist in kid friendly ways. Why would drag be any different? As you get older the style, themes, and complexity of the media changes and what is deemed appropriate for you. You ever compare the content of a PG rated to movie in Canada to one rated 14+? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 05:14, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

The future of US politics and world politics[edit]

It's been a while since I've posted on this site (around 18 months), but I have some thoughts I would like to discuss.

So we are all vividly aware of the severe polarization and legitimate extremism in contemporary US politics, I essentially would like to discuss how we reached this point and where it could lead us. This is important largely because the US owns the most well-equipped military on Earth and is the centre of the global economy, two conditions I will discuss more later. I assume many of us are also aware that the US has a track record of doing unpleasant and disruptive things. The various CIA-backed regime changes and armed conflicts during the Cold War, and the present war on terror being examples of the US using its unilateral superpower status in undesirable ways. The present extremism in US politics, mostly represented by the ideological radicalization of the Republican Party, therefore has global significance. In the circumstance that the USA succumbs to this extremism, what could the global implications be? The war on terror clearly demonstrates that the US is capable of projecting its global military power, even if it doesn't always go as planned. World nuclear stability would also likely suffer, although there are already irrational nuclear-armed regimes disrupting world stability. However, considering modern technology and the international tensions of the 21st century, I have seen people argue that GOP extremism is the most dangerous political movement in human history. I am curious about your thoughts about that. The USA undergoing this kind of radicalization is also unique, in comparison to anti-Comintern fascism in the early 20th century for example, because the USA is not only an economic hegemon but also a key figure in numerous globally powerful alliances/organizations whose core values are democracy and freedom (NATO for instance). I am genuinely interested in any thoughts you guys might have about these projections, and also about general trends in power balances around the world. If isolationism achieves precedence in US politics, could other powers replace the US as regional superpowers? Considering global economic developments, especially in Asia and Africa, could the US lose its position as economic hegemon? History is complicated, and no empire is invincible, but the modern world is much different than the one in which the British empire deteriorated and collapsed.

So, that is the situation. Now, how did we get here? Of course, the US is a North American settler state and has never really had a perfect human rights record, so trends toward discrimination aren't new. The US is however institutionally unique in many ways. Did insufficient education act as a time-bomb facilitating the rise of extremism? Did 9/11 and the war on terror radicalize American political discourse? Have the early pressures of 21st century instability that have radicalized a number of communities just happened to also claim the US? Does the USA just have a poorly defended democracy? How is it possible that extremism reminiscent of the early 20th century entered the American mind and government? Well I don't know and I won't pretend to believe that there is a simple answer. I am however extremely curious to hear your thoughts. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated and I intend to actively discuss this with anyone who would like to. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 07:57, 5 April 2023 (UTC)

You realise whole books can [and are] written on that question, right?
I will argue that many of the issues the USA is facing is seen [in varying levels] all across the advanced world, such as;
- Two 'generations' of neoliberal economic policies leading to societal and political stresses as predicted by Marx.
- An increasing disconnect between the professional 'salariat' and the 'ordinary people'.
- The capture of formally populist parties on the left [British Labour, US Democrats, German SPD etc] by the previous class and doing their best to kick 'the people' out of them.
- Demographic shifts making politics very weighted towards people facing no kickback regarding 'irresponsible voting' [eg the elderly voting for shit which hurts the youth but not them qv Brexit]. We're all living in the 'age of gerontocracy'; the old and rich have not been so firmly in the saddle since the 1890s and this time around, there's so many more of them. From business to academia, finance to politics - the upper echelons are clogged up because it's 'dead man's orthopaedic shoes' and well, medical science has gotten really good. Age may bring wisdom, but it's also statistically shown it brings ossification in thought and increasing timidity. Gross 'self-entitlement' I suspect is more a generational thing.
But the USA has one particulary pernicious issue; her political system has become very easy to 'game'. The main issues I've spotted are;
- An extreme two-party system makes it much more 'effective' to endulge in negative campaigning than positive. This erodes the general belief in the democratic system, which is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of all.
- The almost complete absence of spending controls etc means with the rare exception, the spetre of money has corrupted the entire process.
- The structure of the two parties allows 'entryism' to occur, meaning small 'vanguards' can capture local parties and then force their will on the rest and the more senior levels can't do a thing about it.
- The electoral system itself allows the 'tyranny of the minority', in the spectre of the Senate. I've worked it out; Senators representing less than 5% of the American people [sometimes, as low as 1.5%] can stamp their feet and gridlock everything. Naturally, there's other examples too.
- The spectre of gerontocracy needs to be dealt with. Term limits, maximum ages and so on in not just elected positions, but in some occupations too. Locations like the Senate, Supreme Courts etc should not be stuffed with octogenarians.
The question is; does America have the ability to repair these defects? That's the kicker; it's a classic Catch-22 - you're relying on a malfunctioning system to perform correct self-repair, led by people who currently do not really see any issue with 'the fundimentals' [and this is true of the Dems too], along with a significant minority of the elite who actively desire there to be zero reforms [or even worse, desire to game it even harder]. Historically, there's also the tendency for elites to believe that simply doubling-down and strengthening the current situation shall work; believing simply shoving a country into a kind of 'iron lung' is sufficient. Yet even iron lungs give out in the end; and normally that's the point where it's discovered the patient cannot survive being moved. If Gorbachev has any lesson for modern history, it's that.
KarmaPolice (talk) 14:06, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
One additional angle here: The United States already is not the over-arching dominant superpower it was from World War II to, say, roughly 2008 (the global financial crisis). It is still a very important power, probably still the "top dog" overall (esp. military wise). But the situation is now more "one of many" than "only one superpower". China is an important sphere of influence, as is the European Union, with "notable developing countries" (like India, Brazil, and the southern Asian countries), "important specialists" (eg Taiwan and semiconductors), and a few leftovers that still are pretty important in the economy (like Japan, South Korea, Australia, Ireland, and even the Brexit-damaged UK, among many others) all in play. From a power perspective, this makes focusing on "what next" a bit challenging. The EU and the US actually suffer from similar social-extremist problems, but it's not like any of the others don't have some significant issues that could, in the future, hold them back.
From my perspective, I think the most potentially damaging aspect of US extremism, political polarization, and "elite madness" has been how it may affect the education system, long considered one of the world's best. The signs are pretty clear to me that way too many of "the elites" would really like to upend public education and transform it into a vehicle for solidifying class structure instead of promoting meritocracy. Given how technological competence is such a big part of the global power structure, this anti-education propaganda (combined with rising American isolationism and rising global technological competence meaning that America possibly won't be able to rely on imported talent in the future) has the potential, I think, to cause a pretty significant dent in America's standing in the future. But, of course, this is if other "blocs" don't trip up on their own problems.BobJohnson (talk) 15:31, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Historically, I would argue that the USA 2020s is rather like the British Empire a century before; that while she is still globally dominant she's losing her 'edge' in almost every field. And what does this teach? That a savvy ruling class, one which knows how to leverage the advantages she holds can in fact long punch 'above her weight', arresting somewhat her decline, perhaps for many decades. America, despite all her issues still has some very strong cards to play; the primary one being that it's hugely unlikely that any conflict would result in America standing alone. However, this requires said allies to realise that America simply doesn't have the relative strength to 'do it all' anymore - one clear example being that Europe needs to be the ones on-point to check Russia militarily while the USA completes her 'pivot' to the Pacific and Indian oceans to check China. Also requires American diplomacy to be more tactful and cunning than she traditionally has been.
With the education issue... I actually think that is more a symptom of general 'decline of the elites' than anything in particular; that they have become either too stupid or too blinkered to realise that a great power is always a 'work in progress' - that they've come to believe that the trappings of the previous are somehow 'god given' and don't need support, or even worse don't even think about it. Partly, this might be an issue with capitalism in general; be it on ripping off the state, environmental damage, bad treatment of workers, balooning debt, depleting resources and 'starve the beast' policies, there is generally a short-sighted, selfish 'ah, there's more where that came from' / 'eh, it'll survive' mentality which lets them off the hook having to actually do anything save pocket the profits and fuck off to the next locale. To quote Baldwin; they have the prerogative of the harlot - power without responsibility [to own their mistakes and fix them]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:31, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice Would you be able to elaborate on your USA-British Empire comparison and the domains in which you believe the US is 'losing edge'? As I referenced in my initial post, the British Empire's deterioration was largely facilitated by exhaustion through Great Power war (WWII), a situation that likely won't befall the US. About the various pressures that you acknowledge the US/industrial world to be facing right now, how do you believe they will play out in the long run?
@BobJohnson On the issue of the emergence of a multi-polar world, do you believe that spheres of economic/military power independent from the US could really develop? China, as you have mentioned, is considerably wealthy and is already a regional military powerhouse. Its economy is however dependent on the US for trade, although they will likely try to develop new and exclusive markets in Asia/Africa. While military and economic power is diverging as other countries develop, one of my initial speculations in my post was whether or not this process is even capable of dethroning the central position of the US. On the issue of education, I agree with your idea that technological competence is a deciding factor of modern power, and also that the anti-education stance of the Republican Party could damage the US' technical capacities as other regions develop. I am however concerned about how this anti-education position could fuel more belligerent extremism in the long-term, especially as global polarization grows. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 23:59, 5 April 2023 (UTC)
Crumbling infrastructure, shrunken industrial base, unsustainable farming practices in some regions, relatively poor labour-pool for military service, 'imperial overreach', Govt debt + future commmitments burden, at least stagnation in the non-elite education and healthcare systems, increasing reliance in banking/finance/overseas investments for income. However, the weakest chink in the American chain right now is clearly her chronic domestic infighting and the almost-constant questioning of the legitimacy of the very system by mainly the MAGA wing of the Republicans. The British in the 1880s-1914 period didn't have a debt crisis, but she had all the others - the Edwardian era in particular had been pretty unstable politically [which may in fact have helped convince the Germans to go to war, thinking the British would be 'too distracted' to intervene in it].
And you don't need a huge global war for a great power to stagger and fall; a series of small, unsuccessful wars [or even the occasional Pyrrhic victory] can have the same effect, as well as chronic mismanagement, ruling class recklessness, corruption or on occasion, simple abdication of responsibility - the Roman Empire, the USSR and Qing China all showed these issues as well as the British.
As for the more 'general pressures'... it is difficult to say. I think it boils down to ultimately, just one thing - the decision of the 'salariat', the professional classes which effectively run the show [people forget that these days the vast majority of 'capital' is in fact controlled by salaried professionals, not billionaire individual businesspersons]. They will have to either a) back 'the masses' and enforce a form of mixed-economy social democracy or b) back the capitalist elite and enforce a nasty 'neo-feudalistic' regime of which I think Putin's Russia is a good early example of. For the USA, I can honestly see it going either way. But I do believe that the current position is ultimately untenable; of having universal democracies of which much of the electorate is routinely tricked/lied to and their needs either ignored or outright violated. KarmaPolice (talk) 04:28, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice How do you believe the domestic issues you've outlined will effect the international position of the US? What would the global ramifications of these issues be? Additionally, how do you believe other variables, like climate change/aging, will effect the issues you've discussed? Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 08:10, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
@Nebuchadnezzar7658 From my perspective, my answer is "I have no frickin' idea". But if I had to guess, the British empire decline model is a pretty good one. In the early 1900s, this empire was one of those "sun never sets" type you see in history. Over the next century, this empire got nibbled away bit by bit. Britain is still important but is no longer the top dog, and continues to inflict self-owns that lessen its power like Brexit.
And it's not just myself and KarmaPolice who sees some parallels. This Economist article by Scottish-American historian Niall FergusonWikipedia makes the claim that 2021 America had many features similar to interwar Britain. Namely: interwar Britain was in a state of "national exhaustion and 'imperial overreach'", marred by a mountain of debt, an unequal society which created much political turmoil (and an attraction to authoritarian movements), and a deteriorating situation internationally. Economically, Britain was also declining in relative terms (to both America and Germany). Sounds somewhat familiar. Unfortunately, this guy has a bias (Hoover InstitutionWikipedia member) which means it's a bit of a neo-liberal horn toot that glosses over the deep details of the "whys" (particularly *cough* the economic inequality bit). Which is a pity.
One early sign of this "nibbling" is that other countries have gained in industrial areas where America formally dominated; in some cases, we are now extremely dependent on someone else even for something potentially mission critical. Think silicon manufacturing, where the top end is now pretty much Taiwan and South Korea. For a long time, the US *was* the top dog here.
Another sign: there is an increasingly loud isolationist strand of the Republicans, even (amazingly) a pro-Putin faction (and other ideological Putin-fascist types) on the extreme side (which judging by Tucker Carlson's popularity is *not* just a handful of nuts and is a fairly significant slice of the population). It makes me wonder just how much longer we can support our large array of bases around the world and dizzying amount spent on military technology with such an undercurrent. It won't go away overnight, of course, but it certainly seems under pressure (not just from the peacenik left anymore).
One snag here, though, as I mentioned, is it seems every other "contender to the throne" has problems. For China, for instance, will it be able to overcome its upcoming demographic "baby bust"? Xi's authoritarian style government is very dependent on one guy, what if he fucks up big-time with a really bad policy? (Xi already fucked up a fair bit of COVID-19 management, but a one-man-rule type government has the potential to be *much* worse, think Mao Zedong and his Cultural Revolution and Great Famine). So the biggest problem with trying to make a prediction is that, frankly, there isn't an obvious "replacement" to American hegemony. At least, yet.BobJohnson (talk) 14:57, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
I think the idea of 'contenders' has the incorrect assumption behind it. China does not desire to 'replace' the USA on a global level - she desires 'parity' with her, that is all. It could be argued that 'Europe' also desires this to some extent, while India clearly does. This is more akin to the resumption of the stage of affairs of the 19th Century - with 'Great Powers' in the centre of the dance and all the other players constantly being formed into ad-hoc coalitions for particular goals. America is still the top player, but she does not have the clout to railroad her desires over an alliance of objections anymore.
As for 'domestic ramifications'... well, that answer is once again dependent on what the American salariat and elite do about it. Generally speaking, what is needed to be done is known, but what has failed is the leadership to both impliment the plans, and even importantly sell it to the masses. This is critical, because the solutions requires personal sacrifices and in a few cases, some [relatively minor] 'intrusions' into American's personal lives. And nobody has tried that gig since Carter. For example, dealing with America's 'manpower issue' is partly health-related; which requires taking on the myriad of special interest obesity-enablers and the feelings that 'it's no business of the state' to lecture me on being a wheezing butter-ball and tackling several ground-in issues regarding the food supply system and so on. Lots of minuses, and so very few immediate gains electorally.
This was partly what hastened the British Empire's decline. The 'right' answers were too hard, or too like sacrifice and hard work. So the easy options kept on being selected, cans repeatedly kicked down the road. Her ruling class lost her intelligence, drive and finally, guts. They gave up trying, retreating to becoming rentiers and hoping that everything would simply continue ticking over forever. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:59, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
@BobJohnson What makes you say that the fascist tendencies in the GOP would trend toward isolationism (lowering military budget/decreasing international presence)? Is it not possible that this extremism could fuel international belligerence?
@KarmaPolice I understand what you're getting at. I suppose my fundamental question is this: What kind of threats do you think GOP extremism could pose to American citizens and the international world? In terms of 20th century fascist movements or the 19th century secession of the confederacy, do you think either analogy could be applied to the contemporary USA? Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 08:29, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
@Nebuchadnezzar7658 Yes, it's entirely possible that the GOP wing that has embraced "RuscismWikipedia" eventually will become as belligerent as Putin, but at the moment (compared to the neoconservative GOP wing) it tends to be isolationist (similar to the "America First" movement of the 1930s). It is the wing that, at the moment, wants to pull out of NATO, rethink long-standing international relationships with European democracies, and "look the other way" (or even babble about how this is a good thing!) when Putin's Russia invaded Ukraine. The focus of this movement is more domestic "culture war" issues than anything else. I don't see that changing in the near future.
One snag with "future forecasts" too in the US (not unlike the UK) is there's a pretty stark generation divide in politics (as well as a urban / rural one); the "Millenial / Gen Z" generation already is starting to "throw its weight" in politics a bit, but beginning in the late 2020s they should be the dominant voting force. At the moment, it seems like "Trumpism" is fairly toxic to these generations, and will get doubly so if the culture warriors continue to double down on the more unpopular parts of their agenda, like reproductive issues / abortion. So if the GOP gets neutered "California style" to rural locations and "God's Waiting Room" states like Florida, the GOP extremism may not matter *as* much as some will fear. I doubt the Trumpism types will go out quietly, though, so I'm sure "interesting times" lie ahead. But nothing internationally damaging (at least belligerence wise), at least for now. [BobJ]
Yes. The 'electoral calculus' for the current Republican base is in relative decline - my fag-packet shows every election from '16 onwards it's shrinking between 1% and 1.5% each cycle until 2040. Religious right shall half, whites lose their absolute majority, mixed-race Americans as large as 15% [making it bigger than African Americans] and so on. Techno-social changes might also be decisive; remote working may reverse the brain-drain of small-town America while the old 'rustbelt' may in fact return to being America's heartland as waves of 'climate migrants' pull out of the South and West. Even lifestyle changes could come into play; one aspect I'm keeping an eye on is the idea of 'suburban homesteading', where younger folks increasingly live low-cash/tax/carbon lifestyles out of the retrofitted houses of their Boomer parents in the 'burbs, using their old hordes of possessions [see below topic], the old rec room as a workshop and that massive lawn for fruit trees. There's historical analogies for this, too; in how in the late Roman Empire the wealthy increasingly 'withdrew' from cities, to live in their villas in a self-sufficient manner to avoid both the taxman and breakdown in the trade networks.
Not all of these are automatically poisonous to any right-wing party, and nor is even demographic changes - Millennials/Zers aren't all 'hyper woke lefties', they simply don't like this iteration of MAGA-ism one bit [and for varying reasons]. And sooner or later [most likely sooner] that bird is going to splat on the wall as the political 'window' has shifted. Voter suppression and gerrymandering can only get you so far. Yet even then the 'threat' is not gone; for MAGA shall simply shift to take account of this - for example, in the UK our right-populism has almost nil religious aspect due to the simple fact our fundie Christianity has little national importance.
But this draws on an issue; how do I find out about these things? I read them, that's what. An excellent starting-point for 'near-futurism' is the NIC 'global trends' series. They're free, they're well-researched but they are also relatively easy to read. Even reading the old, 'expired' ones can be interesting, for you can then consider how and why they got stuff wrong.
With the particular question... the thing we need to bear in mind is why the likes of MAGA 'works'. It is a vanguard project; an organised, motivated 'elite' which then captures the party's political positions [both formal and informal] which is then geared to produce 'results'; let us just think how many Dominionists have forgiven the Orange One for everything simply because he 'delivered' the Roe-Wade reversal by putting 'right' people in the Supreme Court. In short; MAGA has built a new 'political machine' for the modern age, using the nexus of money, celebrity, power, status and 'belonging' [esp important in our socially 'atomised' times] to glue together an alliance to 'deliver results'. And this machine delivers, oh yes. That's why the 'moderate' Republicans have not resisted; they know when they've been outplayed!
How this ends relies on one question; what do the Democrats do about this? And I have been convinced that there is only one winning formula - they need to [re]build their own political machines, and then lead it into battle against the MAGA-machine. And this comes back to the original points; that the ruling 'salariat' needs to become re-connected with several large, key electoral groups [such as the 'new' working class], actually fucking deliever for them in tangeable terms and welcome an element of tub-thumping populism to 'rally the faithful'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2023 (UTC)
@BobJohnson @KarmaPolice Alright, I suppose I have a final question for both of you. In terms of the mid-19th century polarization prior to the secession of the confederacy or 20th century fascist movements, do you believe either situation could be applied as an analogy to the contemporary political situation in the USA? If so, which one and why? Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 09:02, 8 April 2023 (UTC)
Any situation after the rise of let's call it 'modern politics' in England before the Civil War [1640s] has analogies to learn from. A general rule of thumb is that 'national stresses' happens when two clearly diametrically opposed 'ways of living/ruling' arise in the same state, 'national discord' happens when the moderate centre becomes hollowed-out and the 'ends' increasingly radicalised, 'national conflict' when one decides to fight with more than words and finally, 'civil war' when the other side retorts in kind. This was seen in the respect of the American Civil War; the 'stresses' were visible on Independence, they grew over decades as the two 'sides' grew apart economically/socially and came to a head at the 1860 presidential election which showed in effect it was the 'Southern Democrats' [with their 18% voteshare] which took it to the 'next level' [ie succession].
The issue is, however that of 'overfitting' - just because situation B has analogies from situation A, it does not mean that B shall develop into A. In fact, one of the things which may stop B becoming A is the hindsight from the 'B-era' of what a bad move A was. It is also important to look on how the 'division lines' are cut; in the Civil War much of the Southern 'elite' and 'salariat' did align with the Confederacy, and it's 'core territory' was somewhat geographically compact. The Floyd/election/Jan 6th 'triangle' showed not just the elite and salariat generally resistant to 'irregular changes', but the geographical support was all over the shop and that relatively few MAGAs were willing to actually cash those cheques their mouth had written. [Something which I think should always be remembered; for all their bluster, most MAGA supporters are simply too physically decrepit to actually 'fight' a war and I don't care if you own a million rounds and a hundred guns, that won't do squat to say, an IFV or tank. Which is why MAGA is utterly obsessed in claiming every cop and service person is 'on their side'.]
Citing the Civil War and the 30s is apt, because they were the periods of great 'political realignment' [the third one being the 1955-1975 period, though I would extend the other two as 1850-1880 and 1915-1935]. The 'flux period' always looks messy, and there are people who think the country 'won't survive' the strains and some hardliners who talk about guns and secret groups and yes, some do cash those cheques. Then as now, there were swathes of people somewhere 'in the middle' [example; in the 1860 election overtly 'anti-succession' tickets still scored ~30%-40% of the vote in what would become the Confederacy]. I think that's the critical take-home lesson - that the argument/splits are never monocrome, and the crisis becomes such when the centre-ground utterly 'gives way'. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:41, 8 April 2023 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice Alright thanks for your contribution. The intimidating image of an Axis-style fascist USA severely repressing segments of its population and militarily challenging the international theatre, with possible nuclear consequences, has been on my mind a bit lately. I suppose that's why I sought out this discussion, to find some kind of disillusionment on why the USA finds itself in the situation that it's in, and how this situation may develop. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 08:32, 9 April 2023 (UTC)
Modern American Politics is extremisgt and conspiratorial. Very extreme ideas are being normalized and I am beginning to see people I know in real life mention Ben Shapiro. Politics in America shifts subtly towards the right wing but the average American does not know this because the range of left-wing views generally consdiered 'acceptable' to hold are considered right-wing in Europe, both economically and socially. Extremist right politics are far more common than extremist left politics. How do you know this? Those who hold extreme views tend to never shut up about them. You never hear about tankies in America, but you hear about Nazis. — Unsigned, by: YouSpoonyBard / talk / contribs
I'm inclined to disagree. The American youth is overall very left-leaning as far as I know. If anything, America will probably shift leftward in the future. It is true, however, that left-wing extremism is not as common as right wing extremism in US. And let's remember that political radicalism is not the same as political extremism. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:17, 9 April 2023 (UTC)
Considering the history of Communism, simply being "Left" does not prevent a brutal dictatorship from forming. CorruptUser 13:09, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

Man desecrates cross and dies[edit]

So there is this video going around from Ukraine. A local town official (deputy mayor) violently ripped a cross out of a priest's hands. Then after he threw it to the ground he walked off, collapsed, and died. Not long previously another one of these leaders died when mocking an Orthodox girl who was kneeling in prayer. This is somehow related to the state in Ukraine wanting to get rid of the Russian-led church and replace it with the Ukrainian-led one. I am not a Christian but I cannot explain instances like these, and it makes me think that perhaps I'm missing out on something going on spiritually. Is anyone else unsettled by this, even if you believe that the cause is coincidental? https://twitter.com/vicktop55/status/1644754030260830209 2603:9001:300:81A:3B29:151C:5C0D:535F (talk) 20:06, 9 April 2023 (UTC)

The question is, are the reports you see accurate? The Twitter feed of this account appears to be a pro-Russian propagandist and spewing out bullshit about George Soros, posting Tucker Carlson videos, and a lot of anti-American crapola. Very few news sites have reported on this incident; most appeared sketchy. The one I could actually Google, Activenews.ro (which really seems to rely on the @vicktop55 tweet and another tweet by a pro-Russian account), apparently has been accused of being a fake news site and at minimum (see the home page) is very conspiracy oriented (it too at present is echoing Tucker Carlson, and is also promoting COVID-19, 5G, Bill Gates, and World Economic Forum conspiracy theories).
Just because something appears on a fake news site or a Twitter account posting questionable propaganda doesn't make it automatically false, but at the same time it also means that "more sources are needed"; these type of places post a lot of junk that simply is not true. I mean, the only thing this @vicktop55 video in the tweet has to go on is one guy giving an interview (and that's assuming the translations are actually correct, not a certain thing with these type of sites!) BobJohnson (talk) 22:26, 9 April 2023 (UTC)
Two words; 'Sagan Standard'. Closely followed by two more; 'Occam's Razor'. The sheer amount of true 'evil-doers' I've seen not being stuck down by the Holy Hand makes me generally highly sceptical of any claims of it happening to anyone. My own Occam's Razor here is that this stuff is being churned out to support the 'Holy Russia fighting the athiestic West' narrative to bolster the Russian Orthodox Church, which went down on Putin some time ago and shall swallow apprently infinitely, while [apparently, all] the other patriarchs openly condemmed it. Wait, that's four more words; 'who stands to gain?'. Like Lenin pointed out, normally if you can suss out who gets the most out of something, you normally find the culprit too. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:50, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
There was a similar incident during the Yugoslav wars. A group of Albanian vandals teared a cross of an Orthodox church in Kosovo. Months later, one of vandals died. Kosovo - Albanian extremist vandalise Serbian Orthodox church. NOTE: The uploader is a Orthodox Christian fundamentalist, so take it with a grain of salt.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, that narrative is present among Serbian far-right too. A Serb (Talk) 16:54, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
People actually do die quite often. It would not be difficult to (1.) find a number of people who have died (2.) filter these people to find those who had some relatively recent negative interaction with religion (or cats or mothers-in-law) (3.) draw the conclusion that being nasty to religion (or cats or mothers-in law) increases your chance of death.
A more persuasive test would be to (1.) have various groups of people be nasty to churches, cats and mothers-in-law - and then monitor the results. My money would be on "no difference". If anyone wants to do the experiment I would be happy to volunteer to say something disparaging about the religion being tested.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:09, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

the guy from the old testament knew how top do divine retribution. he laid down the law. in person or had prophets spread the word when he was busy elsewhere. do this, dont do that, dont bum anyone. you knew what was allowed and if you didnt toe the line, he told you what would happen. fires, floods, famines, pestilence, snakes and locusts and vermin swarming all over the place, your children would die, your people would be destroyed. you call his bluff and nothing would remain your entire civilisation but a cautionary tale about why we dont do that thing. the old man will fucking end you thats why. they dont do divine retributuion no more. new testament is under new management. jr is in charge now. its all turn the over cheek now. its very much a not angry just disappointed thing. we are all grown ups, we know right and wrong. we know where jr is if we change our minds, hes not gonna stop us. we only have ourselves to blame come judgement day. there was those passive aggressive tornados a little while back because of pride events, but someone got sacked for that and the entire weather department had to do diversity training. jrs not judging. if divine punishment was still policy, we'd all be wandering in a desert wasteland telling our kids this is why we dont allow bored teenagers to egg churchs and jesus christ stopping bumming each other. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:35, 12 April 2023 (UTC)

Dalai Lama...[edit]

Dalai Lama apologizes for kissing a young boy

Why did he kiss the boy in the first place? A Serb (Talk) 08:27, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

Totally not disturbing at all. Just creepy. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:03, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Person who grew up with nobody daring to ever say no to anything he does, is given a position of absolute authority, gets an absurd idea in his head and acts on it? I'm shocked, shocked I say.
I'm actually reminded of Tom Brady kissing his son on the lips. I mean, at least Brady doesn't have nearly the power/authority of the Dalai Lama, so in theory he could be stopped if he ever did cross a line, albeit with a small army of witnesses, but even without this power he is as blatant about it as he is so I shudder to think what he'd do with unlimited authority. Plus, while he isn't literally worshipped, he is figuratively, so he does have a lot of power. Heck, remember Steubenville, where a high school girl was raped by members of the football team and she got death threats from fans (of, and I can't stress this enough, a high school team), all because she had the nerve to come forward and "ruin" the school's chances of winning that year? Yeah, anyone that causes a star player to miss a few seasons of sportsball is going to run afoul of the people who'd rather watch their team play in the sport-dome than someone they never met get justice. Now imagine instead of just a few football hooligans to worry about pissing off, it's people who literally worship the Dalai Lama... CorruptUser 19:39, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
it seems weird to me that the kissing part is the part that has you all shocked. that part seemed pretty innocent to me. even a kiss on the lips is not necessarily a sexual thing, just an affection thing. different cultures. in tibet sticking your tongue is a normal greeting i read. asking the boy to then 'suck his tongue' is what is getting most folk weirded out. he says he was just joking with the boy. make of that what you will. it was a very public encounter. i cant imagine even the most brazen pedo is going to go for it right then. the crowd seemed entirely unshocked. i dont know enough about tibeten culture, or indian culture since thats where he is, to have much to say about it. if the archbishop of canterbury did the same thing, it would be something else. western mores are different. that said people are always kissing the popes ring. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:14, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Off topic, but the relevant one is collapsed below. @CorruptUser, You know the juxtaposition of your signature can have unintended consequences sometimes, like when it's adjacent to the troll emoji in the next subject below. Bongolian (talk) 02:12, 12 April 2023 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, what was my sig saying at the time? CorruptUser 13:01, 12 April 2023 (UTC)

Monster Energy Lawsuits[edit]

Monster Energy had been going crazy suing any company which has a property with the word "monster" in it. Just recently, they sued Nintendo, because Pokémon is an abbreviation of Pocket Monsters, which has Monster in the name, ergo they are claiming it is in violation of Monster Energy's copyright and trademark. Despite the fact that, you know, the Pocket Monsters trademark predates the Monster Energy trademark by a decade. Monster has been picking on smaller companies for the past few months, and people have been forced to settle because they couldn't afford to take onbCoca-Cola's lawyers. Never thought I would be rooting for Nintendo's legal team, but here's to hoping someone knocks these sue-crazy bastards down a peg. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 03:04, 11 April 2023 (UTC)

Don't mention 'Frankenstein's Monster' or the Loch Ness Monster. 'As somebody once said' - there are Polo cars, mints and polo-neck tops, as well as the game - and nobody has any problems distinguishing them. Anna Livia (talk) 14:24, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Not to discount the fact that Monster Energy has become a shithead trademark troll of late, but the above is "old news". A Japanese source called Automaton Media (referenced in this Gizmodo article) dug up this information due to Monster Energy currently suing indie developer Glowstick Entertainment for a game called Dark Deception: Monsters and Mortals. Per the Automaton Media report, over the course of many years, Monster filed 134 complaints with the Japanese patent office, which include Pokémon for their "Pocket Monsters" stuff. None succeeded, it was just bullshit to waste time and money (and maybe bully some smaller competitors for all I know, but you got to have some extremely foolhardy chutzpah to try and trademark troll Nintendo using the Japanese Patent Office, of all places...). The Gizmodo report indicates that they are just as litigious in the United States. Trademark trolls don't seem to have the attention yet (and subsequent protection in a few places) that patent trolls and SLAPP lawsuit abusers have gotten; whenever governments stop acting like circuses, trademark trolling would probably be something good for them to address. BobJohnson (talk) 20:39, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
the energy drinks market seems to be over saturated with bellends. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:25, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
…are they freaking serious?! Luigifan18 (talk) 15:34, 13 April 2023 (UTC)

Shit from a Nazi[edit]

The Holocaust was real. Members of my family were murdered in it. RationalWiki does not tolerate Holocaust denial. Spud (talk) 10:21, 12 April 2023 (UTC)
Antisemitism and Anti-Americanism from a Neo Nazi. Go piss up a rope. I get that America has done shady shit and Israel is not smelling like roses either but that is no need to demonize entire groups. By the way, the Holocaust happened and it certainly killed plenty of my ancestors. Holocaust denialism lacks any evidence that stands up to scrutiny. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:46, 13 April 2023 (UTC)

Found this in the wild.[edit]

Oh my God… what a numbnut. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:32, 13 April 2023 (UTC)

Stupid? On the intertwit? CorruptUser 15:38, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
It's a QAnon account (even posted an adrenochrome conspiracy video -- these always "amuse" me) replying to one of a twin pair best known for being a Twitter troll of TrumpWikipedia. Somehow all of those futurism exhibits at EPCOT "back in the day" completely missed the mark here. (Flying cars and colonies on the moon? Nay, the future is shitposting on the Internet, my friend!) BobJohnson (talk) 16:04, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
...someone needs to pull the plug out of Twitter. Seriously. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 16:53, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
I guess in defense of these accounts (based on their random Russian Cyrillic), it's very possible that they are paid to shitpost and are merely just pawn of THE MAN in Game Of Life. (No defense for Twitter, but THE MUSK is doing a good job of slowly grinding that place down until it becomes 4Chan, only with even more state sponsored shitpost trolls and authoritarian propaganda.) BobJohnson (talk) 17:30, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
Thank you for the opportunity to troll another fundy - I love to point out to them that their god is powerless - can't even get rid of a wayward servant (Satan), whereas Asgard got rid of the Frost Giants, Olympus got rid of the Titans, and the Sun and Moon do actually manage to return even without making a promise to do so.... Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:13, 13 April 2023 (UTC)

Retaking Crimea from Russian military occupation[edit]


It will likely be be a bloody battle and I wonder how bad the aftermath of the occupation will be? --Trans Fem Agenda 23:10, 9 April 2023 (UTC)

Pointless for the Ukrainians to try. Crimea is a fortress; better to cut off the water and wait for the region to dry out.
Furthermore, Crimea is... weird. It's not exactly Ukrainian territory, and the residents are predominantly not Ukrainians; during the Soviet era, Moscow decided it made sense to include Crimea in Ukraine's oblast. So from their perspective, the Russians are taking back what's theirs.CorruptUser 17:49, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
That's like saying Lithuania isn't really Lithuanian because of all the Russians imported there, etc.... In fact Crimea was part of Ukraine and the Ukrainian SSR longer than it was part of the Russian SSR, and of course a majority of those "ethnic Russians" still voted for independant Ukraine. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:43, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
Ukraine needs to legitimately threaten Crimea, so to make the Russians expend precious power in checking the threat. This was part of the reason for the attacks on infrastructure, special forces raids etc on the peninsula. In this respect, it 'serves a purpose' because it is effectively the only 'Russian rear-area' they can operate in on any scale. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:18, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
But you don't need to retake Crimea to harass the Russian positions via artillery strikes. WWII-era artillery have ranges of 15 kliks; under cover of night, fire off a few rounds and immediately pull back to avoid return-fire. CorruptUser 20:30, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
True, but that's not how the Russians see it (and it was part of Russia before the USSR was a thing). Failure to understand what the other side wants is typically what leads to decades-long conflicts like Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, etc. And I'm getting kind of bored of War. CorruptUser 20:53, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
Agreed. Alas, what 'the Russians want' is Ukraine a vassal state and then to take other states of the old Second Empire, then the Eastern Bloc. The war shall continue until either Ukraine is dead or Putin and his inner circle are. I suppose we could always try to sell out Kyiv to Moscow for 'peace', but I had an odd suspicion that shall be more akin to the pause between Munich and Poland last time around. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:26, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that's the end goal, beyond being a "nice to have". Crimea was stolen during that whole protest against the corrupt dictator with a pirate galleon, or whatever the heck the Euromaiden thing was. It's possible that Putin may have just been seizing the opportunity when it presented itself, but I get the sense that when he says he was concerned that a pro-Putin ruler was being replaced with a pro-NATO ruler, he really did feel threatened. CorruptUser 21:50, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
No, it clearly was at the start. Now, I think the Czar would settle to 'keep what he has', rearm and make a rematch in 2-3 years from now, when the balance of forces are very in his direction again. This is quite obvious from his previous MO. And I don't give a toss if he really did 'feel threatened'. Ukraine is a sovereign nation and does not need 'permission' from it's neighbour to do things. Putin is completely in the wrong, just like the homophobe who murders a gay person because they 'felt threatened' by said person's insistence of existing. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:07, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
I think it's important to see how Ukraine 'threatened' Putin. What happened was that after 2014 there was a real risk that Ukraine would become genuinely prosperous, modern, European and democratic [sure she had a world of problems, but they were trying to sort it out]. They also speak Russian, and have many cross-border links [Zelensky was in fact known in Russia pre-War for his comedy and TV shows]. In short, it threatened to be a 'nearby mirror' for the Russian people, who would then be discontented with Putin's craptacular neo-feudalism. Throw in his clear 'legacy instinct' brought on by Covid, a war we shall have. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:18, 10 April 2023 (UTC)
I agree - a former SSR becoming a prosperous liberal democracy - even the THOUGHT that it might plausibly become one (because it wasn't then and isn't now) - is the real threat to Putin - it would be too obvious s contrast with his kleptocracy. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:45, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
@CorruptUser - the destabilization of Ukraine and retaking of Crimea was not a sudden spur of the moment action, no matter how much it might look like it from the outside. Putin's Russia had been working on it for almost his entire tenure as President - if not since day 1 - mostly quietly by emplacing sympathizers and agents in Ukrainian society and government - the head of hte SBU (secret service - CIA equivalent) was "outed" in 2019, and multiple other high ranking officials were found out only because of the war - eg see Preliminary lessons of Russia's unconventional war. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:19, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
The "Crimea is filled with ethnic Russians" argument is a joke. Using that argument I could say that Mexico could annex California due to the high number of Hispanic people that live there. I could also say that France should annex Louisiana because of the high number of ethnic French people and French speakers. Same argument. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:07, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Mexico doesn't have a "legitimate" claim on Texas/California, but it's easier to convince their public that Mexico has a valid Casus Belli than, say, Brazil. And if the Russian public thinks they have a right to it, they'll support their leader. After all, Manifest Destiny was a thing because the general public convinced themselves that the US had an inherent duty to expand, Iraq was invaded in part because the public believed there was an inherent duty to "spread democracy". If the public started believing that the Caribbean was "obviously" part of the US, the US would invade/annex those islands too. CorruptUser 18:25, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Another thing; it's not a funny joke, when it's literally been used as an excuse for war before. And for anyone watching central Asia, it will become an extremely unfunny joke in just a decade if not sooner. Uzbekistan is the most powerful country in that region, and there are millions of Uzbeks living in neighboring countries. The Aral Sea is mortally wounded, and once both it and the glaciers supplying it are gone, a whole lot of people need to disappear so the others can avoid a slow death from starvation and thirst. Without serious foreign intervention, the only likely scenarios are Uzbekistan conquering the others and committing ethnic cleansing and/or outright genocide, or the others doing the same to the Uzbeks, and you can guarantee that "protecting Uzbeks/non-Uzbeks" will be the excuse used to do so. Nominally, Big Brother Russia could prevent the crisis from getting too bad, but everyone has been watching the Ukraine invasion closely and Russia being willing to play interventionism so soon after failure in Ukraine is unlikely. We humans too often fight with people when we ought to be making friends; Putin is a gangrenous infection that needs to be excised before he causes the entire country to turn necrotic, but had Russia received proper attention in the 90's I can't help but wonder if things would have turned out differently. CorruptUser 19:52, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Actually, the Mexican 'Californian' and 'Texan' claims are in better than the Russian; they were both territories signed away at gunpoint, after a successful 'independence' rebellion which by modern standards we could call an astroturf campaign by American interests and involved 'volunteers' which could be in some cases regarded as the 19th Century 'little green men' or 'Wagner Group'. Remember the Alamo? Yes, how a bunch of crooks, carpetbaggers and pro-slavery interests decided to break away from the central government because it had the cheek in trying to correctly rule the land and end said slavery. This can be viewed through the similar prism regarding how the USA stole Hawaii some sixty-odd years later.
Why do you say this claim is 'illegitimate', Corrupt? I suspect it's because since that point those ripped-off territories were then heavily settled by Anglos and fully integrated into it's new country. What do we learn from this lesson, boys and girls? That stealing territories is okay if you have the muscle to a) hold onto it long enough and b) to forcably 'convert' it to your own culture. Might makes right, if you enforce it long enough. That is Putin's game; to 'hold on' to the bits he wishes to rip off with tanks and nukes, cement in the cultural 'changes', to make it 'too hard/expensive' to reverse those changes, which then shall allow the likes of folks like you to slither out, saying it was 'reasonable' that Ukraine sign those territories away forever in a new Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on the basis of all the fanatical Putin-lovers in the stolen land and those who disagreed either expelled, rotting in camps or lying in shallow graves in woodland. Do you know what this is called? Ethnic Cleansing.
As for the Central Asian stuff... hail the arrogance of neo-colonialism; that they are 'unable to rule' themselves, that they need the 'strong hand' of Papa Russia to stop the kids killing each other. You actually fucking think for a moment said Russian hand is even used in some form of paternalistic fashion? [which could at least be offered in mitigation] No, it is done 100% in the Russian interest, and by Russian interest read 'in the Czar and his leading nobles interest'. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:37, 12 April 2023 (UTC)
@CorruptUser Don't you ever get tired of being constantly dunked on for things you don't understand. Russian feelings are irrelevant. Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Those borders were settled when Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons. It's seizure was criminal, and any argument against subscribes to cruel version of international relations that allows for powerful nations to do whatever they want to smaller nations. The fact that this colonial/imperialist mindset is still accepted as reasonable is farcical. And the idea that Russian doesn't do imperialism is laughable.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 17:07, 12 April 2023 (UTC)
"Criminal" only matters if either 1) there's a legal system able to do something about it, 2) there's social pressure to obey the rules, or 3) you personally "feel bad". Given that there's really not an international legal system of real strength, that only leaves 2 and 3. And the world hasn't completely boycotted Russia, for obvious geopolitical reasons. That only leaves 3. So yeah, "Russian feelings" do matter a lot. Had, perhaps, the US public felt differently in early 2003, perhaps "American feelings" could've prevented the Iraq War. Oh well. CorruptUser 17:41, 12 April 2023 (UTC)
Actually, a platform does exist, it's called the UN. The problem is Russia has nuclear weapons, so their temper tantrum needs to be handled delicately. The social pressure, regardless of what you may believe, is working. Iran, Syria, DPRK are the only countries currently supplying material support to the Russian war machine. Despite a "no limits' friendship, China has not yet supplied lethal aid. Nor has it committed to building the necessary infrastructure to help Russia make up for it financial losses from Europe. India, while purchasing cheap fuel, has made it clear it doesn't support the invasion. Russia is also limited its actions based on social pressures foreign and domestic. It could utilize nuclear weapons to beat Ukraine into submission, but it knows that what limited support it has abroad would evaporate. And they continue to struggle to add soldiers to their ranks because they refuse to order a full military draft, knowing that such a call would threaten Putin's support. Russian support for this conflict has shown to be limited, even with the full court press of media selling the conflict to citizens. Most people don't care, because Putin has shielded them from any consequences. This is happens to be why the Iraq war had support, the Bush administration was pushing it across the media landscape, and it promised to not effect the everyday lives of Americans. That is what led to the retreat from Vietnam, it began effecting the populace and lost popular support.
I just feel the need to emphasize here, currently Russia is committing horrific war crimes in addition to an actual genocide. If none of those other things matters, this does. Kidnapping children, sending them to re-education camps, trying to destroy Ukrainian language and identity is genocide. Executing POW's, attacking civilian hospitals, torturing and raping Ukrainians are war crimes. These things must not be tolerated, and abandoning Ukrainians in occupied areas to these horrific crimes cannot be an acceptable ending to the conflict.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 16:12, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing. The annexation of Crimea was a bunch of bullshit in a blatantly rigged election, but Putin seems to be the kind of guy who likes to savor his own farts, so I'm inclined to believe that Putin honestly thinks Crimea is just as Russian as Kalingrad. What then? What if our only options are to sit back and watch a genocide, with the implicit understanding that this won't be the last one, or start a nuclear apocalypse which kills far more than Russia ever could? CorruptUser 16:40, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
You are incorrect. Even if the legal system is 'unable to do anything about it', that does not legalise the action. What you are describing is 'unenforceable'.
With the nuclear issue, the issue is that old Soviet practice does not actually have any 'hard' lines between NBC and conventional use - basically, it holds that you should use it if it helps the campaign [rather the 'red line' Western-view of this]. In fact, the main things which appears to be stopping Putin using such weapons is a) Russian forces appear to be utterly unprepared for an NBC campaign, b) it runs the risk of contaminating Russia proper and c) risks Chinese/Indian open condemnation. It may also have d) would be impossible to 'spin' to the domestic audience; Russia is not the USSR, the truth does get through, even now and the Big Public would be completely shocked to hear millions of people they were 'liberating from Nazis' ended up being vapourised, poisoned and/or lethally contaminated - in fact, what little surveys done show that every time Putin bigs up his nuclear dick, the Russian people get scared and war-support slides a bit. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:47, 13 April 2023 (UTC)

I doubt that Putin will use nukes. Nuclear fallout would reach NATO member countries thus result in an Article Five response. Nuclear weapons would be a major security and environmental threat that could put millions of people in mortal danger. It would be the worst possible option for Putin. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:55, 13 April 2023 (UTC)

No doubts about that, however it cannot be ruled out. A tactical strike, especially targeting force concentrations, would be in line with Russian military doctrine. Putin has been pushing the line this entire time, if he feels he is losing significant domestic support, I have little doubt he would escalate.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 21:36, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
While correct, that goes against all the evidence so far which shows that Russian frontline forces have little to nil NBC protection. Russian tactical use - unless done way in the rear and/or really cleverly - would most likely cause them huge casulties and render the land they wish to advance on inoperable. Russian use would be an admission they were in full retreat in that sector, and unlikely to return any time soon. Similar can be said regarding chemical and biological agents. If we, for example see that a whole sector of the front has suddenly got NPC protection, that is the time I would really start to worry. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:24, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
I am sure that non-nuclear MOAB would be the way Putin would go. Very powerful but no risk of nuclear fallout. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:28, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

EU's proposed "Chat Control" legislation, possible end of encryption in the EU[edit]

Proposed a year ago, a piece of EU legislation[4] (good info gathered here) would effectively ban properly functioning end-to-end encryption throughout the EU, by requiring that a wide range of content is available for scanning to detect child abuse material and related things (e.g. grooming activity), which in turn requires backdooring and ruining the technical integrity of the EU's whole technical infrastructure. For little benefit, resulting in the police being swamped by auto-generated reports of things to investigate with many false positives. It's met strong resistance in Germany and a few other EU countries,[5] which is hopeful, but it's not yet clear if it'll be blocked.

If it isn't blocked when the time eventually comes, then a mandate will be forced onto the whole EU to implement a surveillance system on par with China's. Originally proposed and pushed by the Swedish Social Democrat Ylva Johansson,Wikipedia she has recently been at odds with Swedish IT experts in the Swedish media. (Here one provided a point-by-point rebuttal.) She and other Social Democrats have defended the whole thing with "think of the children" Gish Gallops and the repeating of blatant technical falsehoods, such as the idea that scanning encrypted content is possible without breaking the encryption and that it's just a harmless "sniffing" being proposed. But the debate, though recently (re-)sparked, isn't so prominent currently; I've seen a half-dozen articles and interviews. Currently in Sweden, the leftmost and rightmost parties are both against it, and the Center Party too, but otherwise the center-left opposition and the center-right governing coalition seem fine with it. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 22:34, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

Added: The problems follow by implication from the requirements for providers of digital interaction services to detect, both old known and new illegal, materials and activity. Detection technically implies encryption being broken or bypassed, in order for any examination to be possible. Automation AI should then detect new things that are suspect, and not only old ones stored in some database, with all the flaws that that implies. Additional problems include criminals still using proper encryption outside legal platforms (just like they do today) and thus not being impacted, and also, everyone else exchanging stuff with one another using systems with added backdoors which can then be exploited by criminal and foreign actors (for example, Russian and Chinese intelligence). In such a world, the only EU citizens doing digital communication safe and proper will be outlaws. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 23:54, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

We currently have similar in the UK; https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2023/03/tell-uks-house-lords-protect-end-end-encryption-online-safety-bill. It is doubtful it will pass into law as-is, esp as most people now rely on such methods for secure, 'non-bad' commnications and the Lords Committee shall surely know this. If nothing else, I don't want to have to insist on 'devolving' all my communications back to physical letters. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:32, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Germany's government has already iirc indicated that they have no intent of adopting this bill. Pretty sure that without their support you can write the legislation off as yet another failure. Still, this shit shouldn't pass and if at all possible, call your representatives, since this law is absurd overreach. -- Techpriest (talk) 09:36, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Another UK piece from that well-known leftie extremists, the FT; https://www.ft.com/content/96964279-8011-4d46-9b90-69e016d39e7f. But what do you really expect from a dying Conservative Party which is now renowned for it's idiotic schemes and general stupidity? It's not 'overreach', so much, more than 'stupidly unworkable'. The 'forwards scanning' sounds like some more technomagic 'solutions', like the one which we were supposed to have to make Brexit 'work' perfectly or the one which was supposed to eliminate fraud on govt schemse... KarmaPolice (talk) 09:45, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
if you have googlemail, then you most likely have had your emails scanned for kiddy porn. people have been locked up as a result of it. used to at any rate. business accounts could send always email without it being scanned, so google stopped scanning the proles email when businesses complained that their customers shoudnt have their emails scanned when they do business with them. so send all your child pornography via googlemail. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:22, 11 April 2023 (UTC)
Various major online tech platforms have been enrolled in a previous, voluntary version of a "Chat Control" scheme. It was more limited in scope, what things it aimed for, and didn't mandate messing up the larger IT infrastructure. It's set to expire. Despite flaws to it which were debated in earlier years, it wasn't a disaster, and it wouldn't have been unreasonable to propose renewing it, or to make something basically similar available permanently as an option for companies to enroll in. But instead, this bill lists several options including that one, with ever-greater scope of legislative change tied to them, and says that they considered all the lesser options and decided that only the most extreme version they mentioned was good enough for protecting the children. Drumming up a sense of urgency about the older bill expiring is used to promote the far more draconian replacement. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:06, 12 April 2023 (UTC)

I saw a somewhat entertaining YouTube video passed around, in which right to repair activist Louis Rossmann rants about how dumb the legislation and main person behind it is. He compares it to terrible proposed legislation in the US, and concludes that while in the US lawmakers are crooked but not stupid, here it is definitely both. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:06, 12 April 2023 (UTC)

pretty sure the us has its fair share of lawmakers both crooked and stupid. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:12, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
"Fair"? It's like, 28% of them are crazy, 61% of them are crooked, 35% are idiots, and 57% make up statistics to emphasize their point. CorruptUser 20:16, 13 April 2023 (UTC)
It's about something a bit more narrow, technical (il)literacy in proposing legislation cutting deep into a technical area. Or in other words, do they really understand what they're trying to do? But perhaps – remains to be seen – Ylva's effort will ultimately bring a good result, kind of, in being too badly done to be passable and similar efforts in the EU perhaps sinking with it. (Even if it passes, legal challenges are sure to spring up, and there's a good chance it would then be torn down given the large problems I've seen mentioned.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:46, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

Information/Knowledge Deficit Model[edit]

I fully expected to find an article about the Knowledge Deficit Model on here, but it doesn't seem to exist. — Unsigned, by: 2a02:a03f:892a:7800:9c76:1f6c:56c1:cead / talk / contribs

make one. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:25, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Last week I was thinking about writing an article on survivorship bias. Then I realized that Wikipedia already has one. They also have an article on Information deficit modelWikipedia. I'm not saying that an article on this subject would be useless, but what kind of content do you think we should cover here that isn't on their page? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:36, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Oh, wait, we do have an article on the Survivorship bias. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:42, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

Musings on feminism in Nordic countries[edit]

Well, mainly Sweden -- I think it's similar in neighboring countries, however. These are my musings on the weird status quo, its recent past, and the present culture war. I think the present popular (among youngsters) anti-feminist sentiment in Nordic countries is mostly about identity and rebellion against the sex-negative misandrist feminist message of earlier decades, and not e.g. reproductive rights (where even right-wing populist groups firmly support abortion rights).

Broadly, the mainstream feminism in Nordic countries is staunchly SWERF and also, whenever associated with political positions outside the fringe, staunchly on the side of affirming there's no differences between men and women. (Simultaneously, there's sometimes messages about how men are worse in some ways, but more on that below.) At the same time the mainstream political left is pro-trans rights, except that "radical feminist" usually means TERF, and outside bigger left-wing parties and political factions, there's a sizable TERF minority and sizable chunk of the population basically agreeing with such messages.

Going back to the 00s, I remember the loudest political feminist messages of the day. Those were, in short, of the "yes, all men" variety, with a particular focus on how any man being attracted to a woman without express permission was thereby committing "visual rape" by inwardly viewing the woman in a way she had not consented to. A prominent left-wing politician, Gudrun Schyman -- in earlier years a leader of the democratic socialist Left Party -- went on to found the Feminist Initative party, and to argue extreme positions, including (which became fodder for satire against feminists) that since some men abuse women, all men should pay a "man tax" to compensate and help women.

Such feminism rose in popularity for about a decade, from the mid-00s, then began to fade out after the mid-10s (when the FI political party had its peak). On the web, I saw related messages in a larger English-speaking world, and remember reading the writing of several hateful and staunch groups at odds with one another in the 00s. These included misogynist MRAs of the time, trading virtual blows with their main opponents, more or less radical feminists sometimes asserting the misandrist "all men attracted to women are visual rapists" position. We know what happened with the MRAs over the years. As for those radical feminists who liked to battle the MRAs, I think that from their ranks many of the later TERFs came. In other words, they didn't change much, they just changed focus a little -- on the side of the radical feminists, perhaps transpeople just became a more rewarding target for them to close in on?

Anyway, about present-day anti-feminism in generation Z, that after mine, news of such popular anti-feminist sentiment came around the same time as there's been alarm in the Swedish media about youngsters taking a great liking to rough sex where men are in the dominant position, with articles fearful that they'll overdo it and injury will result. While it does seem stupid in relation to what feminism should be about, I genuinely do think that the two are related. There was, in the feminism of the 00s, a bit of a curious secular neo-puritanism, with a loud message to the effect that all men (but not women) are by nature sinful, unless they fully submit even in their inner worlds to what the feminist women wish they should be. That which later became popular is, straightforwardly, the forbidden fruit.

Actually, I only learned of the extent to which a newer, sex-positive feminism apparently exists elsewhere in the world (mainly across the Atlantic) a couple of years ago, in part reading about it on RW. Thereafter, in Sweden at present, there seems to be polarization and a split among feminists prominent in the media, with some women debaters embracing and some opposing a staunch misandry. There's some such feminist debaters who criticize their feminist opponents and describe them as having turned into what feminists used to campaign against, except with a gender reversal. (Meanwhile, some of the misandrist women curiously seem to want Swedish men to become much more like men in less feminist countries like Italy, more "masculine", taking charge, paying for women on dates, etc., yet those men should somehow be both that and remain equally feminist at the same time.) In significant part, the recent shift may be a shift in the Overton window, opening up more criticism of types of feminism. (Which is otherwise a general theme in the world as a result of TERF vs. trans right clashes.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:42, 16 April 2023 (UTC)

May I take it you saw my recent additions to the SWERF article (basically just this whole section)? What do you think? I could have done a lot more criticism of particular radfem scholars (Raymond and Farley are prominent here) but I was skeptical of the further value it would have added. I think generally, the arguments and facts I had put in were quite sound and, I don't want to completely crowd out the sex-negative perspective but even if I had the exact same goals as them (getting as many women out of prostitution as possible) it's clear the policy result is just hurting women in prostitution. At some point I'd like to circle back and add a pornography section but the arguments would lean on a lot of what's said there already about prostitution, and the human trafficking article seems to go over two big cases already (Pornhub and Onlyfans).
I have to wonder the history here, why the Nordic countries in particular became a stronghold for sex-negative radical feminism. It's possible that it's just entirely circumstantial ("right people, right time, right place") but maybe there is something more to it. Chillpilled (talk) 20:59, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
It always struck me as being just... odd... that people would think a serious way to handle prostitution would be to make it legal to sell but illegal to buy. How in the world does that make any sense? Basically, that says it's fine for (mostly) women to want to be paid for sex, but it's a horrible crime oh my god!!!!!!11!1!1! if a (usually) man decides to take her up on the offer. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:37, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
It only 'makes sense' when a) you get that it's illegality means the providers are subject to general 'lack of legal protections' but b) still think it's 'wrong' to be 'consumed'. You can see it as a kind of secular 'love the sinner, hate the sin', and we need to remember that a significant % of populations either believe that laws represent morality or should do [similar view is perhaps the final stumbling-block regarding ending the pointless War on Drugs; that decriminalisation automatically means legalisation, and legalisation means 'official support for drug use/addiction' and that is the thin end of the wedge]. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:06, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
EC because what is says is women are forced by circumstance into prostitution such as poverty and/or by other people via pimping and trafficking, are thus victims who do not to be criminalised on top of being victimised. it says prostitution should not be encouraged so the men who pay for sex who are willing participants and complicit in the victimisation of the women they pay for should be criminalised for doing so. this may not be the best option in dealing with prostitution, but men who pay for sex are generally scum. i find much debate surrounding swerfs to be distasteful with people going out of their way to downplay things like trafficking and portraying sex work as some how empowering as if this is being 'sex positive' while attacking anyone disagreeing as 'sex negative' and hating sex workers. people should remember it is men like those soliciting these women that are part of the reason terfs exist and are distrustful of transwomen, believing them to be a fifth column of these types of men. its why the focus/obsession with the likes of jk rowling and others, and whatever awful thing they say next is the entirely wrong approach to dealing with terfs. it does nothing for trans rights but bring the kind of toxic sanctimony that was on display in the recent atim case completely ignoring the real issues terfs have and making it impossible to tackle them AMassiveGay (talk) 01:34, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
ignore my link. i just noticed who wrote it and while i dont necessarily disagree with the gist of the article, the link to the research doesnt link to the research AMassiveGay (talk) 01:42, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
I am actually the son of someone who was sexually trafficked as a teenager, and I agree with various sex worker activists that it is very important to make the distinction between sex work under duress and that which is not under duress. “Prostitution” is not a term sex workers are particularly fond of, and they are quick to point out (rightfully as far as I can tell) a lot of the kinds of legislation designed to “prevent victimization” or “protect” victims of sex trafficking have never actually been shown to be effective in doing so. The neo-abolotinist model is pointed out by various sex worker-rights activists to actually make the work less safe and in fact makes things more dangerous for sex trafficking victims and sex workers as a whole. It forces interactions between street workers and johns to happen under more and more private locations and platforms limiting workers ability to assess clients and get relevant personal information for safety. For sex trafficking victims it actively prevents johns who believed they were purchasing services from a consenting adult from reporting instances of minors being exploited in fear of facing legal repercussion themselves even if they never engaged sexually with the victim. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:27, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
It should also be said that the assumption that the majority of street sex workers are only doing this kind of work due to poverty, being coerced, or a victim of human trafficking is by and large a stereotype about sex workers that is often used to justify dismissing their point of view or perspective on their own work. This has the effective of legislation not actually reflecting the needs and concerns of sex workers and even trafficking victims, which can and does lead to laws that actively put sex workers at a greater risk of sexual assault, violence, police brutality, etc. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 06:31, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
I can't say I've known any prostitutes, but over the years I have met people involved in what could broadly be called "sex work", namely the Onlyfans / adult-oriented Model Mayhem / webcam side of things, as well as a few small scale adult website content creators. None of them appeared coerced, at all. Obviously the money one can make is an attraction, but that's just like anything else in life; most of whom I've met were more doing this "on the side", and from my perspective, my guess is that most were following various lifestyles / fetishes / etc. they were already attracted to in the first place. The pitfalls of that side of "the industry" actually seemed quite similar to the pitfalls of other entertainment industries. There absolutely is a distasteful side of sex work where people are coerced / trafficked, but I would absolutely agree that one needs to be careful, there are other sides where this is hardly the case. BobJohnson (talk) 14:22, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
"I can't say I've known any prostitutes"
You have, they just haven't told you. 6% of women have accepted payment for sex. Some will of course use mental gymnastics to convince themselves a sugar baby somehow isn't a prostitute, but people will believe what they need to believe. CorruptUser 15:03, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
The funny thing about that YouGov poll I think you are referencing is that 6% of men also reported accepting payment for sex. (Draw your own conclusions on what that means, because that's all we know from the poll.) The world is full of interesting nooks and crannies. BobJohnson (talk) 15:43, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
EDIT: misread the data, there's more than one page. Though it's kind of funny that White and Republican are more likely to pay for sex. Hmm... CorruptUser 15:53, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
You can still find the report on the Wayback Machine. As expected at least two of the authors are radical feminists: Julie Bindel (who also wrote that Guardian article) and Melissa Farley (latter of which I believe I established pretty well on the SWERF article is not an honest actor). Another report with a similar premise that had Farley's involvement as well, was published in 2011. RE: viewing prostitution as "empowering", Ronald Weitzer mentions in this paper his opposition to such ideology-pushing in the same way that he opposes radfem ideology-pushing in this realm of research. He equates the tactic both use in painting an extreme picture one way or the other. Though as I had seen with this interview, the "Honest Courtesan" was quite willing to paint a more nuanced picture.
My contention is that even capitulating to many premises: that a significant amount of prostitutes are in that line of work against their will, that the men buying are bad, that prostitution is bad. Still decriminalization and perhaps legalization are the way to go. I have held the same view of harmful drugs. Chillpilled (talk) 06:58, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
Decriminalization/legalization won't solve one of the fundamental problems of prostitution; demand will always outstrip supply. It's less similar to drug dealing and more similar to the ivory trade in that regard. CorruptUser 15:47, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
No idea how to wrap my head around this argument. How, as a harm-reduction policy subject, is prostitution more similar to wild animal poaching than human drug abuse? (or are we on prostitution among animalsWikipedia now? Laughing.gif) Chillpilled (talk) 17:45, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
When it comes to, e.g., Ivory, there's plenty of ivory that can be harvested from old elephants that die naturally. But the demand for ivory was so immense, the ethical sources could never cover anywhere close to the demand. Furthermore, there's really not a cheap way to verify the source. Even if your ivory is ethical, you are still decreasing the availability of the ethical stuff and the poached ivory has an even bigger market. That's why Prince William made news a decade ago when he called for all the palace ivory to be removed, in spite of those elephants having been long dead. It's a similar case with the blood diamonds; your diamond might be good, but you are still making more room for the bad one.
Likewise with prostitution, there's far more demand than supply. The amount of prostitutes that could pass a drug test, STD checks, are legal citizens/residents, not in debt to a pimp, etc etc, is nowhere near enough for the demand for prostitution if it was ever legalized/normalized/regulated/etc in society. So much like the ivory trade, if you are purchasing from an ethical source, you are still creating a bigger market for the shadier stuff even if you yourself aren't directly involved. CorruptUser 18:13, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
Addendum. I'm not saying prostitution should be categorically illegal for these reasons, only that legalization won't solve this issue. CorruptUser 18:29, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
I kind of get what you're saying I think. That the "general market" would expand if it weren't in principle illegal (?). Yet why would this not also apply to legal drugs? And this is just logical extrapolation more than evidence observed: a distinction many right wing anarcho-capitalists sometimes don't grasp. Using the ivory logic (or, for that matter, my mind even jumps to chocolate which has a big problem with unethical sourcing too) you could come to a similar conclusion that the drug war is somehow more helpful than harmful, but evidence doesn't seem to be on the side of that. One fact I can't ignore remains that legal restrictions on prostitution pose an STD risk among some other things. One thing I didn't add to that article because the evidence is just emerging, but still logically follows, is that in Sweden the romantic partners of prostitutes sometimes draw police scrutiny and even arrests. Chillpilled (talk) 18:43, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
"Yet why would this not also apply to legal drugs?"
Because we have the capacity to grow/synthesize more drugs than we could possibly consume. We can't grow more sex workers, at least not since the Animal Liberation Front raided my laboratory. CorruptUser 19:08, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
The Onlyfans market for "adult content" ended up becoming like the musician an "Youtuber" market in today's YouTube age, super-saturated and more supply then demand in many ways, with low incomes for most and a few breakout "stars" making a lot. So I'm not sure whether or not demand would really exceed supply to be honest. Prostitution is not illegal everywhere -- it has been legal in Germany for instance since 2002 (Prostitution ActWikipedia), for instance. So I guess one could compare any countries like that with their pre-decriminalization status and see what happened.BobJohnson (talk) 19:23, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
OF is nothing like the prostitution market as a whole. One OF model could have tens of millions of followers, but even the hardest working sex worker can only service so many johns, so there will always be a market for the mid and low-end sex workers. Insert a "yo mama" joke wherever most appropriate. CorruptUser 19:38, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
Re Chillpilled's earliest comments, I hadn't yet read through your new work on the SWERF article, but I think it makes for a nice overview. You've dug much more into politics and research on this than I have, however, so I don't have much to say on the details you asked about. I had a more loose and broad focus in mind than SWERF policies with my first post, going over many old impressions and things that have bugged me about Swedish society and feminism, and rambling about it all at once.
On the question of how historically the Nordic countries ended up with sex-negative radical feminism, I'm not sure but only guess. I think broader currents of cultural influence easily move across the UK, the Nordic countries, and continental Europe south of these. Much of Europe soaked up second-generation feminism, because there was a gap to be filled. But the third-generation feminism seems to be forged in the crucible of societies with more complexity to their struggles for equality, and not to spread as easily to countries without such and where a staunch feminism is already present. That's my general idea, in part from thinking about what people discussed on why the UK went TERF. But there's differences on top of (I think) otherwise similar conditions.
In the Nordic countries there's stronger left-wing politics compared to the UK, and those general egalitarian ideals mixed with the radical feminism may hold back some things, including TERFism. After all, the downtrodden and most marginalized people can't be the villains -- that's almost impossible in that ideological mold. But what about the big bad patriarchy using victims of itself (sex workers) for destructive ends, so that those victims in turn do harm because they are forced to and not because they are bad (justifying clamping down and trying to bring them into a different way of life)? That worldview fits much more easily into the basic Nordic leftist mold, I think. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:11, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

induced gamma emission / the hafnium bomb[edit]

take a look at this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_gamma_emission https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafnium_controversy not really my expertise so i can't comment on its plausibility, but seems spooky enough. The titanic (talk) 01:59, 18 April 2023 (UTC) — Unsigned, by: The titanic / talk / contribs

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 01:34, 18 April 2023 (UTC)

Looks like someone may get a dishonorable discharge and prison[edit]


I doubt that there is a good enough defense lawyer in the world to defend against what amounts to treason. Hope the dude enjoys prison. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:22, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

I've not been following the story beyond "US spying on allies, and in other news Pope has yet to respond to rumors he's Catholic". Is there a fundamental difference between this and the Manning case? CorruptUser 00:27, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
I think there is a fundamental difference at least on initial reports - this guys wasn't doing it for any moral or "higher purpose" reason like outing war crimes, nor is under any pressure from a gender identity issue or anything similar - "just" for lol's/to win an argument or something like that on Discord. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:07, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Even Snowden couldn't justify himself, of all people John Oliver drew out just how much of a egomaniacal little shit he is; this, from an actual Russia expert, lays it out well, and South Park even cut to the heart of the matter well. I don't get why people venerate such people as "intrepid heroes"; I work with sensitive information about disabled adults, randomly dumping that online would quite properly get me fired and imprisoned. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:58, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
@The Blade of the Northern Lights, I think Snowden should be in the clink, but your "Russia expert" is writing for a far-right propaganda site. E.g., from WP: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Federalist published many pieces that contained false information, pseudoscience, and contradictions or misrepresentations of the recommendations of public health authorities."[6] Bongolian (talk) 05:01, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
It's hardly the first time you've linked out to some garbage website (The Dispatch, above, a Doughy Pantload production) as useful, I see. Bongolian (talk) 06:40, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Tom Nichols writes for a lot of places, primarily The Atlantic now. The individual author is reliable, which is what matters in this case. Believe me, I'd have preferred if he published that almost anywhere else. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 11:45, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Actually, here he is on this situation. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:21, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
I'll second that. Nichols knows what he's talking about and has good takes. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:21, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Snowden in his case actually revealed some serious human rights violations I think were pretty integral for the increased concern and legislative pushes for the online privacy protection we see today. There is nothing really comparable between whistle blowing state abuses and violating the privacy of private disabled individuals for no actual moral benefit to anyone. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:58, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Initial reports [7] seem to report logically confusing "edgelord" material. The Discord group was interested in guns, first-person shooter games, and Nazi / racist memes, with this Jack Teixeira randomly dropping classified material seemingly (per the reports) just to impress. Of course, one guy said that Teixeira was "Christian" and "anti-war" as well. Huh. It's like, "find the noxious Call of Duty addict stereotype", and then make it too dumb to realize that dropping classified docs into your "Thug Shaker Central" Discord is shitposting that can get you into real trouble.
This seems far from a whistleblowing attempt, in other words, so far. Which is why the only person so far that seems to defend him is Marjorie Taylor Greene (but why, single brain celled rural Georgia representative, why?) [8] BobJohnson (talk) 12:59, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
There's video of them arresting a guy who has been named all over the 'net now - Guardian, BBC, etc. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:07, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
This kid was just trying to impress his Discord friends, and now he'll be in prison for most of his adult life.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 16:23, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
@Bongolian: I don't know much about the Federalist though they have been tagged for being occasionally misleading, and right-leaning and unreliable, by the usual media guides. It is a fallacy to assume the report of a given article is therefore unreliable if the author is not so tagged. I only mention it because that fallacy is ubiquitous. We should try not to promote fallacies.UncleKrampus (talk) 17:01, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
I realize that's a fallacy and I didn't actually say that the writer was wrong, but it shows poor judgment on the part of the writer to publish their work anywhere that there's a dollar sign. E.g., scientists don't simultaneously publish their work in both legitimate and crank journals. If a scientist suddenly starts publishing in crank journals, it's red flag that something is likely wrong with the content. Bongolian (talk) 17:29, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Honestly, I never thought you were misinformed on the topic. It is just that the fallacy appears unrelentingly everywhere in contemporary media. It won't stop any time soon. It just needs to be pointed out. You will find it in many articles on right-wing topics. "Science" is an honorific in the name "political science," which is not always scientific. When I announce that I am on a side, I am not prepared to claim that everything on the other side is specious, or the promulgation of that side dishonest..UncleKrampus (talk) 17:46, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
The Federalist is essentially the National Review but, unlike the NR (as much), often engages in the noxious conspiracy theories of the Donald Trump populism side of the Republican party (as well as some obvious race-baiting and other majoritarian whistle-blows at time). So generally speaking it should be downplayed these days (opinionated at best but awful at worst) unless an opinionated source actually isn't the usual "armchair quarterbacking" that is "political news". That being said Snowden interview occurred in 2015, shortly after The Federalist was launched in 2013, so I'm not sure how obvious the obnoxious behavior was then. One can compare to reports of the interview elsewhere ([9][10][11][12]). Tom Nichols is a "Never Trumper" style conservative these days who writes primarily for The Atlantic now, and is openly critical of the populist / fascist GOP these days. I'll give the fact that his article was in The Federalist a pass due to the early date.BobJohnson (talk) 17:49, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

I would not want to try to impress friends with something that would land me in prison. Even if the intent was not malicious, that was incredibly stupid. That would be like starting a fire to impress people but it spreads and burns down homes; or doing a dangerous stunt while driving a car to impress friends but ends up causing an accident that kills people. Unlike those examples there could be far reaching consequences that could kill people and cause further geopolitical problems. --Trans Fem Agenda 17:22, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

"Snowden was bad, actually" is the most conservative brain poisoned nonsense I've ever seen on this website. Would you rather NOT know that the NSA has the means, desire and legal go-to to actively spy on you? That's somehow treasonous and egotistical to reveal? I would argue he's earned the right to be egotistical. Also, the Federalist is not a reliable source. I always love it when conservatives on this wiki parrot unreliable sources like the Federalist because it reveals so much about how they don't care about being factually correct if a right leaning source says it. Jesus man. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 19:27, 15 April 2023 (UTC)
No, I don't think random government employees whose egos aren't sufficiently stroked should dump hundreds of thousands of documents they haven't read. And the rest is the fallacy detailed above, the author is a New England Republican (which is a very different breed from the rest of the country, look at Charlie Baker and Phil Scott for examples) who's a real expert on Russia and intelligence. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:04, 16 April 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't need The Federalist to tell me that Snowden was a malevolent actor. He dumped the data rather than communicate with a reputable publications. The latter is what Daniel Ellsberg did, a big difference between the two of them. The fact that Snowden fled to Russia, married a honeypot, took Russian citizenship, and is living a cushy life in Moscow says quite a bit about him. He isn't even fighting to 'defend' his new country, let alone speaking up about Russia's war of terror on Ukraine. Bongolian (talk) 02:58, 16 April 2023 (UTC)

im not sure what character flaws are exposed by snowden taking russian citizenship to be honest. whatever one feels about his release of documents, his fleeing to russia afterwards only tells me he didnt fancy going to prison. its wasnt his first choice, russia was the only place he could have fled to. hes got a family there now too, so seems logical at this point to have russian citizenship. it also seems logical to not be speaking out about the war in ukraine. thats risky for ordinary russians. someone like snowden would expect any comments on the matter picked up news media. i cant imagine the russian authorities would be too pleased with such 'disloyalty' from someone who they gave asylum. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:30, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
With Snowden, I think the critical question is 'has he backed the Russian invasion?' And from what little I have heard, the answer appears to be 'no'. Self-interest rules all the time, which is one of the main reasons the likes of India have not condemmed it either. As for the alleged leaker, he would have had it rammed home until it bled during training on what 'national security' meant and they would have satisfied themselves that they understood it too. [If true], this was not 'a mistake', this was not 'a kid trying to impress friends', this was repeated, this was planned and it was conscious. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:34, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
Basically naivety followed by capitulation. Whatever one thinks of any awful actions by the US government, there are awful actors everywhere in this space, and improperly playing the game means you have to chose sides in order to avoid consequences, of which the side you choose might actually be objectively worse at the transgressions you are attempting to expose. It's funny how many of the players in Snowden's space, such as Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald, turned into look-the-other-way at best and cheerleader at worst when it came to Vladimir Putin and his sins.
I would say, in comparison, the leak of the Panama Papers was handled quite well. BobJohnson (talk) 17:25, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
Right you are Bongo. The fact that Snowden and others dumped their docs using publishers that did not care how the interests of western governments were compromised, using the pretext of freedom of information, proves only one thing to me: it is safer to publish state secrets so anyone can read them than it is to take the chance of carrying them clandestinely to their handlers. The docs that actually compromise western security were deliberately included. This has become a common practice, it seems. Most secrets don't need to be kept private for the Russians (or any adversary) to enjoy the benefits of being informed by them.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:29, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm inclined to grant a little bit of slack on this front. 2012/3 was quite a long time ago, in psychological terms. There was quite a lot more naive belief that doing such things 'this way' was not so bad [a butt-load of niavity about the online world in general]; that simply giving it all over to one journal would make it ripe for being 'leaned on' by Them and suppress it. And online-only folks didn't really have the gravitas yet. However, I'm only gonna give a tiny bit of slack here because if you'd been worried about suppression, you could have bundled it up and sent it to a series of well-respected 'publications of record' in several juristictions at the same time. But it appears that possibly Snowden was also naive in thinking how WikiLeaks would handle the stuff. Which is frankly stupid on his part; any newbie knows the moment the items are out of your possession you have sod all control over it. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:14, 18 April 2023 (UTC)
I think too many leakers have been romanticized to be noble defectors from decadence fighting for what is right, not what's popular. This can make it hard to argue with some people that they can have a lot of negative effects, such as being purposefully blown out of proportion (Snowden basixally saying the government reads your mind) or used for propaganda purposes by bad actors and authoritarian governments to take advantage of the fact that people don't read the leaks, so they can make all sorts of wild claims (Russian and Ukrainian casualties being doctored externally and distributed as "part of the leaks" is one example of this). And as far as leakers like this doing damage for stupid reasons, this isn't new, my father told me we've had double agents who turned simply because they didn't feel appreciated due to the mash potatoes in the cafeteria always being too cold.-Ryan1257 (talk) 17:08, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

To my fellow trans peeps here: How difficult was it to socially transition in public?[edit]

I admit that I am extremely nervous about it but I will do so nonetheless. --Trans Fem Agenda 14:12, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

speaking as a non trans person, my inclination is to say you are in no hurry. take as much time as you need for every step on your journey. you are not required to go out dressed like a contestant on rupauls drag race to have publicly transitioned. there are likely clubs in your area that cater to transpeople where you can be out in public but in an environment shielded from view of the more intolerant and any attention is to be reveled in rather than avoided and you can express yourself as subtly or as extravagantly as you dare. in less welcoming environments there is no shame in presenting as less obviously trans. any other woman is still a woman in jeans and tshirt. whatever the situation, you will still be trans, you are free to choose when and how you present that to the world. you can shout who are from the roof tops or you can inconspicuously just be. both are valid options for different times and situations.
i dunno if any of that is useful. i can only offer vague platitudes gleaned from conversations with and observations of other transpeople and at any rate, saying is a lot easier than doing. it must be a terribly daunting prospect to be out openly and publicly as trans for the first time. id imagine transpeople can give you more applicable advice from first hand experience. incidentally, im reminded that not so long ago i accompanied a transwoman on her first foray out in public as trans. we just went for a stroll around the neighbourhood late at night/early morning to minimise the amount of people we might encounter. it was only a small tentative step, but you have to start somewhere. that was a strange night. id forgotten all about doing that. guess i can give some clear advice after all. go out with a friend you can lean on for support. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:00, 15 April 2023 (UTC)
The closest I got to friends is my immediate family 😂. I admit that I have absolutely no social life. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:56, 15 April 2023 (UTC)
When I was in college, one of my best friends came out as trans at their birthday party. People were mostly supportive, but it was very surprising to say the least. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 00:18, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
Annoying answer; it depends. Like Gay said, 'being trans' does not require you to go hardcore on the frufru and pink [or some kind of hypermasculine Castro clone, for ftm's]; you need to work out what is you. Naturally, this effects how folks react. [However, some binary transitioning deliberately leads into 'the pink frufru' because it's a relatively easy way to get the Big Public to accept you as a woman if you're so conformist in following the stereotyping as one.]
I could then couple this with 'what works'; like it or not, but there's stuff which shall not look good on you regardless how hard you try [or like the items(s) in question]. This is something which in the Anglosphere women really have the edge; they learn 'what works' with their skintone, body shape/condition, age and so on. Similar can be said for perfumes, jewellery, hair. From judging from the myriad of comments about transwomen I've heard over the years, a disproportionate level have been negative ones regarding visuals - not that they were 'wearing the "wrong" clothing', just the ones they'd picked were terrible; poor taste, didn't fit right, clashing colours and so on. [qv: toupee fallacy]. Nail this side, and nail it well and your confidence shall be a lot higher.
Speaking from my own personal experiences... if you relatively speaking, are not known locally and don't have any in-flesh friends etc, this in fact may make your life easier. They won't know the 'old' you, and thus won't have much comment regarding the 'new' you as lack a point of refrence. Plus, in my experience most folks are oblivious as fuck - most are too wrapped up in their own bubbles to notice and the majority who do shall not care. Okay, obliviousness and apathy are hardly 'acceptance', but the pragmatist within me says 'well, at least I can work with this'. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:29, 16 April 2023 (UTC)

So far I am looking for clothes that "wow me". Nothing flashy though. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:37, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, how does transitioning affect your wardrobe? I mean, bodyfat will migrate around a bit, I assume, so everything you have is going to fit a tad differently in a few months, right? CorruptUser 23:17, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, yes. Hormones change the body. Changes in body cause changes in your wardrobe - QED. Happens all the time. But I'd argue this doesn't cause that major change, it is in fact they are aware of 'the power of attire' and consciously re-tune their wardrobes to tell the message they'd like the world to hear. Thus, the comment on above on transwomen and 'frufru'.
'Window shopping' is all well and good, but the gear which 'wows you' very well may not work on you at all. I mean, for a generic example any top which is for the large of bust clearly isn't an option here, regardless on how much you love it. I sorta speak from a bit of experience here; my own wardrobe contains a fair number of 'pandemic purchases' which I liked but jeez, so don't work. Another thing I'd say is that either learning how to make alterations and/or finding a sympathetic person who can is going to be a real advantage here. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:41, 18 April 2023 (UTC)

Has any scientist/artist started by winning the lotto?[edit]

I personally subscribe to the theory that the creative types have an innate urge to create, and will find a way to do so, albeit on a much more humble scale if they can't afford it. On the flip side, another theory is that if everyone was well-off, they'd be able to spend their lives dedicated to whatever pursuits they had and we'd have far more scientists/artists running around. Both could be true in some amount, but I'd like to be able to test the hypotheses somehow.

Enter the lottery.

It's not exactly random, but the people who win the lotto do come from all walks of life. Contrary to popular belief, lotto winners tend to be slightly wealthier and better educated than the average; you need the money to buy a ticket, after all. One could surmise that a lotto winner should be more likely to become a scientist or artist than the average person. But is there any data to suggest that this is the case? How many lotto winners go on to obtain a PhD, or dedicate their lives to art? CorruptUser 15:22, 18 April 2023 (UTC)

A quick scan of WP didn't mention it, but I do remember reading once that Ezra Pound won a decent stack of cash some time before WW2, which he invested in a manner which allowed him to 'devote himself' to the arts. And politics. Though now I remember it, the source for this was a bit on the dodgy side... KarmaPolice (talk) 19:54, 18 April 2023 (UTC)
Wikipedia mentions that he won $2k in a poetry award, which he used to establish a magazine which soon disappeared. I think in general, my question is ultimately one regarding Futurism; if we do figure out how to automate most jobs to the point where everyone could live a relatively comfortable lifestyle without ever once working, would this actually result in people being significantly more creative, inventive, etc, than they are under the current system? CorruptUser 20:26, 18 April 2023 (UTC)
Yes. And you don't need futurism to know this, as we already have a partial example called 'the welfare state'. JK Rowling was living on the government-mandated pittance which was Jobseekers Allowance [aka 'the Dole'] when she wrote the first Potter Book, Jarvis Cocker of the band Pulp spent most of the 1980s on said dole in Sheffield, 'pissing about' with music until he finally got his break in 1992/3. A decent amount of the New Romantics in the early 80s spent their time living in squats and 'signing on'. The most glaring example was the band UB40, several of which were claiming the dole at the time [their name literally is 'Unemployment Benefit, Form 40'].
The truth is simple; that once you remove the 'iron hand of starvation' from people, some shall 'devote themselves' to the arts, or literature, or charity work, their families or mastering some obsolete, uneconomic craft. You don't actually need to 'win the lottery', merely a modest stipend [say, like UBI] which provides the vitals, a [modest] but secure home and a decent free healthcare net. When you know where your dinner is coming from, where you shall sleep tonight and what shall happen if you got ill, your brain can actually start thinking beyond 'mere survival'. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:48, 18 April 2023 (UTC)
Those are cases of poverty, albeit not the abject poverty of famine-stricken countries. I don't think eliminating welfare would lead to utopia, but I would like to get a sense of what life would become should we actually achieve post-scarcity. CorruptUser 21:59, 18 April 2023 (UTC)
Which is why I called it a 'partial example' - Cocker himself got sick of 'being poor' and was on the cusp of giving up. But he also commented that he would have never got that far to give up if he'd been dragooned into doing the first possible job and cut off without a bean if he'd refused to do it - so it could be said that the British 'Benefits System' has also been a little bit of a creative incubator over the decades.
However, you may need to consider that a 'post-scarcity' society may in fact not be one with a huge abundence of material goods, but one in which human beings no longer feel driven into trying to attain such accumilations of posessions or the piling-up of limitless tokens of wealth, meaning that not only would a relatively modest global output satisfy everyone's basic needs. What's more, once you remove healthcare, old age, housing and education costs there's not a huge amount of things you would 'need' to spend money on. In a way, you could simulate what such a society would look like if you asked people what would they do with their lives if they knew they'd be getting a 'lower-middle class' salary stipend yearly/eternally, no questions asked. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:39, 18 April 2023 (UTC)

I think there have been a number of cases where persons got 'an unexpected legacy'/'an unexpected opportunity [to make use of a library/collection]' and benefitted therefrom. Anna Livia (talk) 11:40, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

Or expected legacy. Quite a lot of science/humanities/arts before say, 1900 in Europe was done as 'a calling/hobby' by scions of monied families, and thus they knew they never 'needed' to work and also had cash etc to fund projects [many a 'patron' was in fact a dilettante in that topic, who's main charms was their thick wallet and a willingless to actually pay for professionals to do the work]. A similar situation was if they held what was in effect sinecures; people forget that before about c1875 the vast majority of paid positions in several European state were often 'do nothing' jobs doled out to friends, allies and relatives - a classic example being positions in the Church of England [been granted a vicar's 'livings' but want to spend your days digging up fossils than preaching? Hire a curate at 25% at what you get to do the job for you!] One classic example I think I remember was Sir Isaac Newton; that he got put in charge of the Royal Mint and surprised people by the fact he actually turned up to work and did work. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:18, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
In a related vein, this is [I suspect] partly the reason why many charities pay so poorly and have little to nil benefits [at least in the Anglosphere]. Perhaps unconsciously, they partly rely on the fact a decent % of their staff don't actually need to live off the pittance provided [ie are rich enough] and are doing the job more because 'they believe in the cause' and/or feel the social obligation to actually do something with their time 'productively'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:38, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

Hoping to be Doctor Spud[edit]

I am applying to study for a Ph.D. at Chang Gung UniversityWikipedia. Wish me luck. Spud (talk) 10:04, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

Congrats in advance! Which field of study, if I may ask without revealing too much about you? CorruptUser 18:16, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
Good luck on your journey. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:49, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
Hoping all goes well, and you’re accepted into the program. Be for warned I am going be calling you the potato doctor if you get your doctorate. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:01, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
So, a PoD rather than a PhD. Kencolt (talk) 02:37, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
@CorruptUser I've revealed plenty more about myself already. I'm happy to tell you that the title of my proposed thesis is, "Stimulating the creativity and innovation of EMI students through STEAM education: Using English-language science fiction in an Artificial Intelligence for business course for non-native English speakers". In this context, EMI means "English as a medium of instruction" and you should remember what STEAM education is. I say in my proposal that papers resulting from the research could be given at conferences or published in journals related to science fiction, English literature teaching, teaching English as a foreign language, university education, computer science education or Artificial Intelligence. Spud (talk) 02:58, 20 April 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Good luck on your doctorate, Spud! That thesis title is a mouthful! Bongolian (talk) 03:04, 20 April 2023 (UTC)

A horse race begins to take shape[edit]

RFK Jr. held a rally, with some attendance, for his presidential run as a Democrat. As I had anticipated, there seems to be a nostalgic "Kennedy Democrat" contingent (I would take a stab in the dark that this is a thing with older Democrats especially) prepared to give the anti-vaxer some initial oomph. With help from Steve Bannon & co. of course. Between that and DeSantis's woes. Plus a Marianne Williamson candidacy gaining some traction with young'uns. An election season looks to be taking shape.

Ultimately, I think this is just going to mean a 2020 rehash: Biden vs. Trump again. But "you never know". Chillpilled (talk) 19:34, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

The problem is that there's been a plethora of lies around COVID from mainstream sources. You have an entire swath of the population that is pissed off at everything around COVID, and along comes the shithead grifter RFK Jr, and, well, he's going to get more support than I'd like. CorruptUser 19:42, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
I don't think many of his current Democratic supporters (by one count he gets like 10%) are even generally aware of his COVID and vaccine stances. Just saw that he was a Kennedy and maybe even knew him from earlier activism. But I do suppose there is also that other contingent who want a way to shoehorn anti-vax stuff into the party's debates. Chillpilled (talk) 19:46, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
They all will be aware by the time of the first debates. I do hope that Biden gets primaried; I don't believe the Democrats actually did any vetting of him or Kamala during 2020, and I'd like to actually have a President I'm at least not ashamed to say is President. Sadly, I don't think RFK Jr is someone I wouldn't be ashamed of. CorruptUser 21:47, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
He's sort of the black sheep of the Kennedy family (as far as I know, no other Kennedy is endorsing him), and I imagine the halo will fade once people find out about this plus the anti-vaccine / COVID-19 stuff. Basically, I'm guessing he'll split the "kooky uber-left" vote with Marianne Williamson and maybe get a couple percentage points on name recognition. "Not endorsed by a Kennedy, endorsed by Alex Jones" doesn't seem like a winning formula to me else wise. BobJohnson (talk) 22:50, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
This isn't necessarily an endorsement, but his brother Doug was at the event. His family are generally on the record denouncing him about vaccines though. Chillpilled (talk) 23:00, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
Given that Biden is one of the more successful presidents of the last 50 years, what's there to be ashamed of?Ariel31459 (talk) 22:52, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
I’m not ashamed of him, but I do think he should decline to run again. He’ll be 86 at the end of another term. He’s too old, and we should have some younger perspectives in the White House anyways. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 02:50, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Successfully handed over a fuckton of equipment to the Taliban. Inflation, gas prices, the Ukraine war, promising student debt relief and reneging on that promise. Sure, some of that may not be entirely his to control, but some of it his screwup. And ultimately, he seems like a senile old coot, and in international politics, appearances are sometimes more importance than substance.
I disliked Obama, and ultimately his foreign policy was not meaningfully different from Bush with getting the US involved in Libya and Syria; how did that work out for us? Oh right, a wave of refugees, which was enough to tip the scales for Brexit. But unlike Bush, he was likeable, and someone we could use to pretend we weren't as racist as we once were. Heck, the Nobel commission effectively gave a peace prize to the US for pretending to move on from racism. Biden? Biden isn't likeable, he's just sad.CorruptUser 03:26, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
In order of listing...
1; 'Successfully handed over a fuckton of equipment to the Taliban'. Perhaps somewhere between yes and no. Much of the blame for that has to go to Trump, as he signed the surrender-in-advance accords with them!
2; 'Inflation'. Can't blame the old man for Covid, Chinese lockdowns or the Ukrainian War. Or perhaps you do?
3; 'gas prices'. Blame Putin.
4; 'the Ukraine war'. I marginally agree. Biden was really not 'robust enough' in the weeks before the invasion. In fact, I remember in mid-Jan there was a good week or two where it appeared that the British were providing the NATO backbone and a bit 'reluctantly' dragging the USA in her wake. But I don't think that ultimately, had much effect in the result.
5; 'promising student debt relief and reneging on that promise'. From my look, I would say 'partly succeeded'. But why do you think it was so 'watered down' and didn't tackle the root cause? Congress. He simply couldn't get that through.
From what I've seen and heard about the Old Man, it appears he's much 'better' one-on-one or in small groups than the big podium or on the screen. I saw him on the tarmac in Ireland [ie through the TV] and he reminded me of the old-timey politicans or bosses; 'working through' the group, similar you would if you were in the function-room in the Rose & Crown while clutching a pint. This, I believe carries through to his rather decent list of 'successes'; he's the old-timey boss knows how to get things done because 'they know everyone' and 'they know how things really work' which allows them to shepherd through a policy to success. One of Biden's problems is that this is not a style of leadership which really 'scales'; in Delaware, the population even in the 90s was small enough that it seemed that most of the population had met/communicated with Biden in no more than three steps removed. Thus, the 'personal endorsement'; or in modern terms, the power of political micro-influencers.
Though for the first time, I actually watched a Trump speech all the way through [that 'woe is me' one a couple of weeks back]. Charisma? What fucking charisma? If Biden is the bar-room politico, Trump is the angry, whiney bore in the corner [unless the one I saw was not really representative of his skills]. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:57, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Whether what they have is charisma or not, certainly big personalities, I fucking sick to death of colourful politicians rising to be heads of government. Just take a look at the fucking ruin these cunts have led their nations while in power, still wrecking havoc when no longer in power, sycophantic allies and cult like support base holding undue influence in the political landscape. just look at these brazen and shameless cunts who were elected solely on the basis that they were 'characters'. That is what 'charisma' looks like in politicians and this is where it has taken us. If only the worst we could say of our elected leaders is they are bit bland. AMassiveGay (talk) 11:55, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Yeah... I suspect that like being arrogant can look in poor light as 'leadership' to some people, being 'a character' can similarly masquerade as 'charisma' simply because they are memorable. But as you point out, being a total cunt is memorable. But I think it's important to remember that faux-populists like Trump are stage-managed to the hilt; they cannot survive outside of their bell-jars where they control all factors, or at least in ideological safe-spaces where they're given very easy rides. It's partly why Trump so blowed as President [and before that, in a lesser degree] - the day he walked into the White House was perhaps, for the first time in his entire life in a situation where he was working with people who were not beholden to him [in some form], who were not 'loyal' to him [or more correctly, feigned loyalty] and unlike before he could neither bribe, bully or sack them. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:15, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Trump is the angry whiny bore, but as noted this style is popular for some reason in the States (see Fox News as well as other yelling talking heads on sports, finance, talk shows, etc.). I don't get it. But I guess for some people, "volume = 'powerful'", a phenomenon that goes all the way back to Rush Limbaugh and most of the "trash talk show" scene of the 1990s (and probably before). Volume of voice has little correlation to power and wisdom, of course...
Biden's too old indeed. But so is Trump. If he actually wins he'll also be in his 80s at the end of the term. Heck, Congress itself is too old, with nearly a quarter of them 70+. Those "Boomer" politicians just keep hanging on, despite the piss poor job they are doing... BobJohnson (talk) 13:24, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
While I don't think Trump has 'charisma', I do get his appeal. It's a combination of confirmation bias narratives, the appeal to 'feels', tons of FUD'ing, citing his own [self-created] mythos as well as well as playing up on his 'outsider' image [part of this being because since the 80s he progressively fucked over all the 'insiders' to the exent few, if any would willingly do business with him anymore]. He ticks 'enough' boxes to appeal to several demographics at once; from those who equate wealth=smartness! to white straight guys who have a complete man-crush on him because they'd love to be like that. And the key issue is that traditionally, these are boxes which 'normal' Republican politcos can't really make inroads with.
But we have to remember, before Trump there was a guy called Ross Perot, who rode 25 years before on the start of the wave which carried the Orange One in '16. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:45, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Trump's appeal is that he's HATED. He's the "burn it all down" vote, and every negative story only makes his supporters happier.CorruptUser 14:16, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Sure, he has that; there's a demographic who gets off the 'triggers the libs!' idiocy [which was also seen in Brexit] in which they'll cheer anything as long as 'They' are pissed off. Even when 'They' are pointing out that X will, for example 'damage the whole country' and well, we live here too, y'know? But it's more complex than that; some are motivated by the belief that 'They' are all-too often wrong and/or only looking after themselves, and so if a)'They think X is bad' and b) 'They are often wrong and/or only looking for their own interests' you can get to c) 'this means what They say is bad is in fact good'. And I can cite several times of this being correct, because They have a crummy track record in certain areas. But the big issue here is the 'politician's fallacy'; just that something needs to be done and X is something, it does not mean X is a good thing to do. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:43, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Do you remember in elementary school, there was that kid that hated some other kid so much they'd be willing to get in trouble just as long as the other kid got in more trouble?
A better question is why they feel this way. What is the psychology behind all of this beyond Schadenfreude? What happened to them that caused them to hate "the libs" so much they'd happily lose an eye if it meant "the libs" go blind? CorruptUser 15:19, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Honestly, and I don't think it goes beyond this at all; MAGA people are demented and paranoid to the point that they will unironically accuse Democrats of being Satan worshipping pedophiles who harvest young children for youth elixir or some shit. I don't think there's any complicated explanation. Republicans view Democrats as an existential threat, not just to America, but to humanity, and will do literally anything to get back at them no matter how petty, significant, or crazy. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:40, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
That view might be comforting to you, but it's rather useless in terms of solving the problem. I mean, I could say that all criminals are demented, violent "superpredators", ergo we shouldn't waste our time studying what causes crime. CorruptUser 15:50, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
Much of the driving force of MAGA is white grievance, eg a tribalism problem. Good luck solving that centuries old issue! (Especially if said tribalism also drives an"alternate reality" like QAnon.) BobJohnson (talk) 16:20, 20 April 2023 (UTC)


Again, that's a facile explanation, and ignores that Trump has a surprising number of Black supporters. CorruptUser 16:23, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
You're not going to get a good answer by focusing on every single case, because there are too many reasons why a person may vote for a candidate. So I'm mainly focusing on the core driving force of the current core of the Republican party (which in itself overlooks those within the Republican "tent" that don't have these opinions and yet remained with the party, of course). Additionally, the "X views Y as an existential threat" that was mentioned is mainly a phenomenon driven by ideological puritanism, which I also see as a tribalism oriented phenomenon. Many are willing to overlook a lot and "mold to fit the tribe" if there's a reason that is important to them. A classic example with Team Trump is that evangelicals leaders, in spite of their purported Moral Majority facade, are willing to overlook the fact that Trump is a crooked sleazeball simply because he's (politically, not sure about internally) on Team Pro Life (and other evangelical-favored positions). If you swallow this to the point where *everything* on Team A is good and *everything* on team B is bad, well, you get the "team B is evil incarnate" nonsense. (There are many paths to fanaticism, this is one of them.) A Trump voter that is more "well, I don't like his boorishness, but I'm going to vote Trump because jobs are sent overseas and he'll stop that" (or insert other more nuanced opinion) is not what we are talking about here.
Now, if there is one thing that could be possibly done (fat chance of course but one can dream), it's a redesign of the social media paradigm. The often binary, clickbait-y, algorithm-driven design of big Web 2.0 sites has been cited as fueling current political extremism. It's pretty easy to see why, current design is fueled by dopamine-driven binary up/downvotes/karma/what have you. Scrolling a feed means seeing the emotion-bait that is upvoted to death, and completely missing the shit that's downvoted to death; basically "alternate opinions" have little reason for participating in that sort of system. The "good old days", where a politically active person would stuff a bunch of blogs to look at in their Google Reader, was not free of rowdiness and partisan sorting by any means, but it seemed less prone to algorithm-driven ideological rabbit holes from what I remember. BobJohnson (talk) 17:09, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
How would you even redesign social media to promote anything other than partisanship? The closest I've ever seen to a non-toxic comments section was at PornHub, which I think says a lot about humanity as a whole.
The best I could come up with is where comments that get a lot of downvotes get hidden from view and thus not much traction. So if a comment has 20000 upvotes and 5000 downvotes, it will reach fewer people than a comment with 500 upvotes and 1 downvote... CorruptUser 17:33, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
It is IMHO not possible as long as social media is modeled on an ad-driven commercial model; maximum anger is maximum engagement.
Even these days social media that is "off the beaten path" and less commercial is a *little* bit nicer (well, sometimes... other times you get the extremism magnets like 4Chan and Kiwi Farms, but still...). Not that there isn't maximum drama (always is), but the chances of getting random Andrew Tate in your feed due to said person pulling off a MLM-ish scam is much less, and the maximum dramas aren't being hyper-fueled by as many random bots and foreign agent trolls. BobJohnson (talk) 18:46, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
The 'black Trump supporter' is, firstly fairly thin on the ground; in '16 it appeared to be around 8% and in '20 it [if I remember right] managed to creep up to perhaps 15%. But we we do have to remember, that that was 8-15% who voted Republican. Extreme two-party states like America lead to a lot of 'least worst' voting, and this is compounded by negative campaigning. The other aspect of this voter is that I bet they have at least another 'identity' which swung them into the Republican camp; wealthy, socially conservative, strongly religious, Randoid 'pro-business', links with the military/LEOs and so on. I won't say it's unconscious racism to make the assumption that a black person in America will be effectively 'anti-Republican' unless explicitly stated because of that 85%, but it is dangerous to simply look at your favoured attribute and shoehorn everyone on this one axis alone – both Clinton and Biden made this mistake [the former with white blue-collar women, the latter with Latinos].
I think with America, part of the issue is that the Republicans have embraced 'tribalism' while the Democrats now have strongly shunned it [think of the 'party machine' era before the 1960s]. I put this strongly down to the infestation and castration of it by technocratic centrists who decided that the way to 'win elections' was to iron out anything which 'could offend' anybody and then make electoral appeals on the basis that most people are 'homo politicus', rational and reasonable folks who can be logically persuaded to support for activation of particular policies which shall be 'good for all'.
There's one little issue with this theory – it's shit. And it's shit for the same reason 'homo economicus' is shit; people simply do not work that way, period. They do not want some 'desiccated calculating-machine' to manage the country for some alleged 'national benefit', they want to believe that you have their back. If they are capable of abstractions, they usually lack the time and/or inclination and/or skills to 'do their own research' and conclude the technocrat's solution is the correct one. Yet they continue to peddle this crap, similar to the arrogance of the economist who rejects reality as 'faulty' when it doesn't conform to their own theoretical models. [In fact, one of Biden's strengths is the fact he's too much of the 'old timey politico' to fall into this trap too much].
I also strongly think 'blaming social media' is wrong too. In fact, I'm more inclined to see it as nothing more than a new way of 'tribes' to thrive, organise and recruit; nothing more or less. I see it in fact as the successor of the niche magazines, hobby circles, fraternal organisations, charities and interest groups. I mean, look at RW – we are a 'tribe', too [which leads to the conclusion, 'tribes' are not inherently bad]. What social media has changed is it's ubiquitousness and precision; that before it all the 'cooks and cranks' still had to regularly interact with the 'wider world' which helped to keep them somewhat on the level, and shit like AIs are able to often work out with scary precision on what 'messages' tick your tribe-boxes and manipulate you into doing their bidding at such a low cost. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:33, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

Made a video based off the Kaliningrad Annexation meme mocking Russia[edit]


I just felt like being a smart ass. I regret nothing. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:35, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

Sticking it to the man[edit]


It is nice to know that there are people standing up to the police state known as Missouri. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:30, 22 April 2023 (UTC)

I may or may not have contributed. Can it truly be known? Chillpilled (talk) 22:49, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
As historian Timothy Snyder said, "Do not obey in advance." (Dictatorship#Resisting looming tyranny) Bongolian (talk) 01:31, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Several states are on their way to becoming police states. People need to stand up now before it is too late. --Trans Fem Agenda 02:04, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Some, like mine, are headed the opposite way. We'd happily welcome anyone here, for what it's worth you couldn't possibly pay me enough to move to the "Sun Belt"; the snow and rain are what makes it fun here. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:26, 23 April 2023 (UTC)


There are so many bad points being raised in this comment section trash fire… I can't even… Luigifan18 (talk) 16:44, 23 April 2023 (UTC)

It is sobering to see that religious people sometimes view atheist discussions as hate speech. If it doesn't amuse you, why pay attention to it? I wonder if religious people laugh at jokes making fun of those they would consider blasphemers. The topic I would expect to be unpleasant to them. I suspect they are only trying to annoy you. Ariel31459 (talk) 17:15, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Reddit is like most social media in that there are a large number of subs whose existence is solely to snark at cherry-picked purported "ridiculousness" from whatever group is an Other or drama-magnet or whatever to them. It's pretty much been an Internet constant since forever (recall Encyclopædia Dramatica started as a snark-at-LiveJournal-drama site "back in the good old days") and it's not real life isn't free of ridiculously petty drama snark either.
At any rate, this sub is "low importance", attracting as many people as, say, r/Disco and r/orangutan. r/atheism (which is in the RW Reddit article's shitlist, but from my perspective seems to have cleaned up a fair bit from whenever this was written to focus more on insane news from the American evangelical world as well as "I'm an atheist in the Bible belt" style advice requests) in contrast has 2.8 million members, currently sitting between r/anime_irl and r/educationalgifs. BobJohnson (talk) 19:03, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
I dunno, r/atheism still seems to be more of a tire fire than r/religiousfruitcake, and that sub has its moments of antitheistic "religion should be banned" insanity, too. Also, not all posts on r/antitheistcheesecake are fundie nonsense, but a decent chunk of them are, and this is just one of the worse ones I've seen. Then again, I tend to be hostile to extremism and intolerance in general. Luigifan18 (talk) 22:46, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Actually that's pretty funny.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:18, 25 April 2023 (UTC)

Darn fundies, get off my lawn![edit]

Found this being advertised on TV Tropes today. Establishment Clause? What's that? Luigifan18 (talk) 18:34, 23 April 2023 (UTC)

They're using a concept called released timeWikipedia, it's been around for a while. Notably the Mormons are big into it in Utah. As long as the government does not pay for it, and the parents give written approval, it's allowed. (A poor use of study time I think, though, IMHO...) BobJohnson (talk) 19:15, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, a 'lot' of school time is, from my experience fairly poorly used, and most stats show British schooling is better on average than American [which suggests there's a fair bit of 'fat' to cut]. My main concerns here would be that a) it should be an opt-in than an opt-out [both de jure and de facto], b) the quality of alternatives [including secular] should be approximately equal [ie no shunting the refusniks into a random classroom and given busywork] and c) there should be a neutral, multi-faith 'religious and philosophy' course too which is mandatory. In fact, now I think of it, this 'released time' idea I kinda like, esp if you could have other things in this slot too. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:17, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
While we're talking about things that need to be in school curriculums, how about a course in distinguishing woo from actual facts? I know I could have used it. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:18, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Yep, 'critical thinking' is right on the top of my list. Alas, the loud, angry minority think anything which is not simply 'stuffing kids with facts' is 'indoctrination' and thus, try to hound it out of existence. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:33, 24 April 2023 (UTC)


In essence, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/08/finfluencer-gen-z-financial-advice/ Is this just a new euphemism for financial grifter?SensaurC-137 (talk) 12:59, 24 April 2023 (UTC)

From skimming articles, I'd say yes and no... apparently some of them are pretty decent. But it's not well regulated, so I get the impression that there is an awful lot of scamming going on as well. At least with someone lousy in "old media" days (like, say, Jim CramerWikipedia), it's merely lots of bad advice from someone who has at least sort of an inkling of what he was doing, that from what I remember did not extend into "super-risky" investment categories (eg, Cramer has been very vocal against cryptocurrency, I wouldn't go as far as he does, but crypto is "super-risky" and IMHO not a good beginner investment). The "new Internet" in general has been pretty terrible at steering people towards "financial advice" that, in their practice, is more like gambling (see r/wallstreetbets). BobJohnson (talk) 22:44, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
I can agree with that. I also feel as there been a bit of a ‘paradigm shift’ with financial institutions and the U.S economy overall becoming more “gamified” if that makes any sense. I may be grasping at straws here; but has society overall become a little more financial literate or aware in the past decade?SensaurC-137 (talk) 02:12, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
From what I've heard/seen, that is 'yes', at least in the UK. I'll argue that they've had to be, as the economic situation since 2008 has been increasingly shit for anyone not under 50 and/or already born into the top ~35%. Paradoxically, this has in some ways increased the savings some of them have because they're having to squirrel away stupid amounts for a deposit on their first property. What you gonna do with that? Leave it sitting in a savings account which has trailed inflation when it comes to the interest accrued for the last 15 years? Or are you going to look to some way to up the returns on that? We also need to remember is that they've watched the world and come to the conclusion that capital makes the cash around here, not labour [which is not an entierely innacurate conclusion]. KarmaPolice (talk) 02:28, 25 April 2023 (UTC)

Being trans and unrealistic standards of beauty[edit]

I admit that I have been struggling with the desire wanting to reach unrealistic standards of beauty. I am also trying to lose weight as I am overweight. Fun times. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:32, 23 April 2023 (UTC)

Everyone has to live with their mirrors or get rid of them. Look in that mirror, and accept that it is you. I want to lose weight because I think I will feel better, that is, more healthy. I lost 20 pounds, but feel about the same. Still, I do hope I'm better off. Ariel31459 (talk) 23:43, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, you probably feel 20 lbs lighter. CorruptUser 00:07, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Having once lost 40 pounds, while the difference is noticeable it's not at all in the way anyone who hasn't would think. That said, do what you can do, and don't worry about the rest. And to quote a fellow Wikipedia admin, "Quiet good taste is the key. Once I learned to avoid that, I could find a look that worked for me." Like him, bucking the common trend of men these days, I have long hair and have let my beard grow. At least in my case, you might think I'm ugly but I'm 6'3", so either way I win; you'll be fine. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:17, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Thinkpiece; https://www.teenvogue.com/story/standard-issues-white-supremacy-capitalism-influence-beauty [yes, fucking Teen Vogue. Like when I heard Bloomberg giving a non-hostile look at UBI, you know the situation's bad when such inherently 'anti' messages get onto their media, however fleeting they are.]
Anyway, there is no one 'standard of beauty' out there. It's more a 'band of acceptability' [for women]; at this moment in time [in the Anglosphere at least] I've seen three variants; #1 'slim', #2 'slim/curvy' and #3 'slim/toned'. What you've got is a smallish clique of advertisers, fashion and journalism talking up particular looks etc, and a host of hangers-on bigging it up. It's a complete racket, and one of the most important 'life lessons' a young adult has to learn is this truth, as well as basics in critical thinking [like Lenin said 110 years ago; 'who stands to gain' (from this message)?]. Transwomen get this even worse; not only the 'frufru issue' I outlined above but the fact it's normally a very steep learning-curve too [I thought men's standards were bad, but then I started to consume women's too and realised what true toxicity was].
I [partly] disagree with Ariel on this one; I think a bit of vanity can be a good thing. To look in the mirror and say, 'I want to improve X' can be a real kick in the arse to go out and work on achieving that. I'm open enough to admit that one of the reasons I started fitness was the simple desire to look better naked. Part of the problem is that we still have the Christian moralism underfoot, which tells us 'vanity is a sin' - which I partly blame for beauty models etc hiding how much work they put in to look like that [ie bloody loads]. Which makes us feel even worse when 'we put all this effort in' and can't even get to the foot-hill.
I agree more with Blade's point; in 'find a look which works for you' [and you like too]. IG and it's ilk gets a ton of hate on 'enforcing unrealistic beauty standards' and similar [with good reason] but if you actually search you can find a wealth of 'other' looks too, as well as more realistic/common bodies and so on [this is what I've done]. But to start, simply working on 'health' aspects [get BMI within tolerable levels, ensure decent nutrition, build up a bit of stamina etc] might be a good place, as from what I've seen almost everyone 'looks better' after shedding bit of the excess and being a fitter. Also hitting up trans forums etc might an idea, for it's not like you're gonna be the last or the first who's grappled with these questions...
Another thinkpiece; https://thewalrus.ca/the-impossible-beauty-standards-for-transgender-women/ KarmaPolice (talk) 12:54, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Just watch how this person carries herself. In an outfit that's just pure "frump", she still manages to walk with style. The difference between Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe was how she carried herself, and she could often slip away by just turning off the charm.
As for conventional beauty, I think you should ask yourself whether you want to see yourself as beautiful, or want others to see you as beautiful, and if so, why. Because there's a difference. CorruptUser 16:23, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
'Conventional beauty' for women is about as popular/desired by others as a 'Chad' is desired by women to be their boyfriends. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:44, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Eh, depends what they are looking for. Beauty is important in a lover, but not a wife. So really, it comes down to what RZ wants; is RZ looking for a husband/wife or just a smash-buddy, or perhaps RZ is looking for something else? CorruptUser 03:57, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
First, that reads that attraction no longer matters once you're in a stable relationship. 'Wey-hey, I'm hooked up now, so I can become really bloated, dowdy and unkempt'. Sure, some people are like this, but often they're the sorts who do end up single again before too long. Secondly, RZ is also hitting the issue that my second thinkpiece nailed down; that 'conventional beauty standards' are the easiest manner to sucessfully 'pass' as female. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:42, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
People age though, yet often stay together long after beauty fades. I'm reminded of that Star Trek ToS episode, Mudd's Women, where a bunch of miners are sold concubines, are pissed when it turns out they had ugly faces, but are convinced to take the women when they realize that the women were actually very useful in the kitchen. Yeah... TOS was a lot cringier than people remember, to say nothing of the sexual abuse that happened on the set of this particular episode, Executive Roddenberry. Conspiracy theories aside, sure, men go for attractive women but they really do want someone who adds more to the relationship than just eye candy. CorruptUser 19:55, 25 April 2023 (UTC)

Evangelical proselytizers[edit]

Saw this originally at r/exchristian, and was finally able to find it since the original Quora post appeared at least to me under a paywall back in the day. See also the replies from people as ex-JWs/mormons there.

Like apologetics in the broadest sense, it's quite eye-opening how most of these methods are much more to keep you in than wanting others to join. Panzerfaust (talk) 07:53, 26 April 2023 (UTC)

I spent some of my childhood with such a family. My shorthand for them now is 'the cultists'. Anyway, there's an aspect on this that's not mentioned; it helps the cultists tick the 'performed good works' box without actually helping anybody except themselves. Even back then, I noticed that the Good Samaritan tangibly helped the robbed traveller, and at no point did they preach at them or demand that they accept their religious point of view before rendering aid. Like gap year foreign volunteering, canned food drives and cash drives to deliver pallets of Bibles to Muslim nations, 'proselytisation' is bollocks which is there to tickle the mores and feels of the donor, not to actually help the recipient.
Times like this, I'm reminded of the tale I once heard - that they were having difficulty loading a van to move house, and a pair of JWs turned up to 'spread the good news'. Basically, for the lols they asked them to help load the van... and the JWs ran away. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:50, 26 April 2023 (UTC)
Good point -I believe people at that subreddit have sometimes mentioned that too-. The equivalent on Jehovah's Witnesses are those people with counters full of pamphlets in streets and the like, even if it's hard to see someone interested. Panzerfaust (talk) 13:24, 26 April 2023 (UTC)

JBP at it again[edit]

This is a bit older, but Jordan Peterson suggested on Twitter that "Atheistic hedonists unconsciously worship Pan." And a lot of mocking ensued. (Link) — Unsigned, by: Max Sinister / talk / contribs

At my limit with conservatives[edit]

You know, as time goes on I find myself less and less sympathetic to conservatives as people. I am so tired of the constant whining and lying and bullshit coming from the GOP and their followers in this country. A neverending 24/7 shit stream of "woke! gender ideology! critical race theory! grooming!" over and over and over like a broken record fished out of Satan's asshole, frying my brain like if an egg was cracked into it. Do people unironically believe this shit? Is this a meme? Do Republican voters not see this shit and think "Yeah, all this talk about woke shit is really weird, when do we start talking about my living conditions?" Genuinely amoeba level political discourse, fuck man. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:47, 20 April 2023 (UTC)

Republicans have long since stopped caring about improving people's lives in any meaningful way; for the most part, they don't need to improve things to get elected because of gerrymandering and entrenched anti-democratic mechanisms in the government, including the Constitution (Electoral College, unequal representation of states in the Senate, filibuster, gerrymandering, lifetime positions for federal judges, Senate blue chip). They are moving towards pushing the country towards white nationalism and fascism. The shit about woke, CRT, gender wars, voter fraud etc. is just a smokescreen of targeting minorities while exciting their base of bigoted supporters to send them more cash. Bongolian (talk) 17:49, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
I've been saying "Ban the Republican Party" since the Capitol riot. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:09, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
The Reps whole appeal isn't that they will help you, but that they won't interfere at all... except maybe when forcing traditional values of course. For someone that'd prefer low taxes over a functioning welfare state, and would prefer draconian policing tactics to deal with the resultant uptick in crime as a result, the Republicans give that person exactly what they want. CorruptUser 18:17, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
By the way, no, that isn't their appeal. Republicans run off of interfering in people's business. Banning drag shows, stricter drug enforcement, ending "woke education" etc are all restrictions Republicans advocate for implementing that they run off of to get voted into power. No one supports the Republican party because they advocate for lower tax rates, at least not anymore. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 19:12, 20 April 2023 (UTC)
…My parents and grandmother support the Republicans because of low tax rates. Yes, I've tried to tell them that they're being stupid, and then I get lectured about "biased sources" and whatnot. Luigifan18 (talk) 19:46, 20 April 2023 (UTC)

As for the Ozzy's question... my theory is 'somewhere between yes and no'. Once we strip out the true believers, I suspect a lot of conservatives don't buy into every single piece of 'culture war atrocity' shite touted by folks like Fox. Unless completely moronic, I also suspect you could, if tactful enough get them to accept that individual cases cited are untrue, or at least 'exaggerated'. But that's not how propaganda works.

Firstly, it's not there to persuade; it's there to simply reinforce the pre-existing view. Facts are not hugely important; a lot of the 'actrocity stories' are in/out factoid types which some 95% of people would have completely forgotten about in three days time. What's more, these types are only focused on for such a brief period that even if you did actually do some digging and find out the truth, the talking head has already moved on. The constant litany of atrocity stories are not there to be remembered; they are there to produce a constant 'mood music' which shall ultimately seep into your unconscious and warp your mindset.

The other aspect is that it also helps to warp the political Overton Window, by using a strategy termed the 'door in the face'. That if you have a faction which is constantly calling for 'utterly insane policies' [let's say, treating all trans people as convicted sex offenders] it makes the 'merely crackpot' faction look 'moderate' in comparison, and thus more 'generally acceptable' to the public at large [in this example, 'moderately' calling for enhanced screening of all trans people as 'possible risks to children']. Coupled with the above, it can be very powerful in 'keeping the band together'. KarmaPolice (talk) 02:58, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

If it helps, I've seen people use conservative principles to get to what would otherwise seem to be liberal conclusions. Vince Lombardi was an extremely devout Catholic, he went to church every day, and he was one of the first football coaches (a couple hired before him set the precedent) to be adamant about racially integrating his team and the first to openly accept gay players; he said his faith as a Catholic required him to treat everyone with dignity. The Bible doesn't say "everyone except for", it says "everyone". And though I'm a flawed messenger, may I recommend Daryl Davis; anyone who can get literally dozens of KKK members to turn in their robes must be doing something right, I live a short drive from where they make their robes and have studied him for if/when I run into one of those sorts (I have to admit, that areaWikipedia is still far from pretty but is nowhere near as much of a trash heap as when I started going up there 8 years ago). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:24, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
Along those lines is Sheriff Michael J. Chitwood of Volusia County, Florida ("DeSantis country") who voted for tRump twice, but stopped supporting him after the coup attempt. Chitwood has a Blue Lives Matter blanket in his home but supports Black Lives Matter protesters' free speech rights. He is opposed to the anti-drag laws, also on free speech grounds (he himself has been photographed wearing a bikini bra for a charity event). Meanwhile, he is diligently working to expose and intimidate neo-Nazis who have invaded his county (whom he calls "scumbags"). A New Jersey 4chan asshole made a direct threat against him and he issued a news release after it was reported that the said asshole would be extradited to Florida, stating "I cannot wait to meet him when he gets off the plane, because one of the first faces he’s going to see welcoming him to the Volusia County Jail, the happiest place on earth, is going to be me."[13] Bongolian (talk) 04:39, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
The man who disproved MyPillow guy's claims and kicked his ass in court also comes to mind. More generally, some of the most diehard Republicans you'll ever meet in my native Connecticut are also the ones I see helping at the food bank. Their attitude is that if you're not receiving aid you damn well better be giving aid, since that helps keep people off government assistance, plus they quite sensibly argue that the less people are desperate the less likely they are to be robbed (catalytic converter theft is all the rage here). For almost anything there's a "conservative" angle to argue from, and if nothing else it helps to talk to actual conservatives so you can frame it in such a way that you'll get at least some of them to back you. (I say "almost" because the election deniers and similar... just no. Even Tuckyo Rose took a brief tumble into reality about how ludicrous those claims were and are; while some people are persuadable, there will always be a core of election deniers who refuse to acknowledge real life) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:38, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
If you knew the reality behind Tokyo Rose,Wikipedia you'd know that that's not a good comparison to Tucker Carlson. Also, Carlson is just a bullshit artist; he'd anything for a paycheck. Bongolian (talk) 07:03, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I'm familiar with Tokyo Rose and I know it's a strained analogy; it just struck me as an amusing name when I saw it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 12:41, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
From what I remember, Weekly Standard / Crossfire Tucker Carlson was more of a middle-of-the-road conservative (if still an asshole befitting the Crossfire style, with a bit of the ol' "got mine" elitism that probably proved to be a natural crossover towards the "white resentment" angle he now has). Obviously Tucker Carlson is smarter than his show and doesn't believe some of the shit he promotes (as seen with Trump's election denial claims), so it's hard to know how much of his nativist turn is genuine and how much is theater. If we must reference historical figures that far back, Charles Coughlin actually fits the Tucker mold pretty well, I think.
At any rate, because "conservatives" are a bigger tent than the Trumpism angle lets on, some of the aggressive "culture war" stuff that's currently playing out in the Republican party may not necessarily play well with all people who would describe themselves as conservative. There's definitely been some notable visible rumblings about Ron DeSantis's aggressive "big government conservatism" among the donor class of conservatives as well as other libertarian-minded types. So I think the scorn deserves to go more towards the party (and especially the culture war figures) instead of conservatism as a whole. BobJohnson (talk) 13:06, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, 'conservatism' is such a large tent, it's difficult sometimes to ID the various strands within [for example, I've long argued that the Catholic Church is at best, a very unreliable ally of the conservative moment in the USA]. And my own experience is that people who have reached their political position through conscious learning/thinking will often be both more principled and often sometimes 'unorthodox' conclusions. And sometimes, they are some of the most interesting people I've ever discussed issues with. I was assuming the OP was more talking of the kinda unthinking, kneejerk 'conservative' who simply spews out the same old tired cliches, talking points and million-times-refuted arguments and is impervious to logic, facts or even simple common sense. In short, the millions of KenBots out there. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:21, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
Careful. My "unorthodox conclusion" is that life alone does not hold immeasurable value. It's both why I'm able to support legal abortion while viewing it as killing a human life, and why I'm also of the belief that sometimes property can be more value than human life if, e.g., that person is stealing cars or another serious felony, though I am also willing to put that belief aside in order to give someone what we consider a "fair trial", because I can compartmentalize like that. In the wild west, horse theft was an capital offense, after all. CorruptUser 15:21, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
As a Conservative, I honestly understand and resonate with a large amount of these critiques. The main problem I notice is that most(not all) conservatives seem to have this sense of "everyone's against us" or constantly thinking everything is a threat to the fundamental basis of our nation. I just believe that my side of choice has a bad habit of over-sensationalizing everything, which in turn looks bad. There is definitely more things in your argument I would support, but I don't feel like typing my support out right now. Gang O' Shadow Wizards (talk) 16:25, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
I actually enjoy reading some conservative thinkers, like John KekesWikipedia, Russell KirkWikipedia, John LukacsWikipedia and even Roger Scruton and Gertrude HimmelfarbWikipedia. Even though I disagree with most of their conclusions, I do think their books often have a point, except on the existence of God. I don't put them on the same level as, say, John Rawls (which is, IMO, the greatest political thinker of the second half of the XXth century), but I don't remember reading blantant homophobia in any of their books, for instance, though I can be wrong. On their interviews, however, they sometimes resort to the same talking points as vulgar conservatives, especially Scruton (who wasn't a very original thinker to begin with). I also don't see many conservatives reading their books for some reason. The modern GOP is a reactionary party and believes that social and cultural conservatism are more important than political conservatism (which I disagree with, but I can at least respect). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:39, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In a sense, 'everyone' does hate the conservatives, at least outside of closed information ecosystems (Fox, North Korea, etc.). Conservatives are fighting against the inexorable: time marches onward, and conservatives are ever fighting to retain the good old days. Bongolian (talk) 17:55, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

True to some extent, but on the flip side, "new" is not the same as "better". Ultimately, that society can be improved means the conservatives will always have the "wrong" position on most things, but there have been many, many cases where people tried something new only to find it was a disaster. CorruptUser 18:36, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
I don't inherently hate 'conservatives'; not only is hate a strong word which should be saved for special people, but 'conservative' is such a wide banner. What's more, I genuinely feel that conservatives do serve an important 'Devil's Advocate' role in democratic societies; that the 'forces of progress' need to prove their new thing is better than the old thing [because yes, many new things do prove to be stupid, for we do have a kind of survivorship bias when it comes to reforms]. Bongolian is also right in pointing out that the modern 'Republicans' are now in functionally a reactionary, not conservative party.
Lastly, I might be a bit odd on this view but I'd actually prefer the 'thinking' person who disagrees with me than the 'unthinking' one who agrees. Or at least, I respect them more. It also means I may be able to talk the former around to my POV, or at very least we can come to a position where 'we agree to disagree', and hopefully have a modicum of mutual respect for the underpinnings of the other's position. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:09, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

Relevant reading. And another. Chillpilled (talk) 19:09, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

...I think and I disagree with you on a lot of issues. CorruptUser 19:16, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
Which reminds me of this. [14] Hefty, but really good. Trust me, it's the best thing you'll read today. Groupthink is dangerous. Almost as dangerous as many modern "conservatives". GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:24, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
Honestly, these are quite accurate conclusions. I personally lean conservative because (in a very blanket and basic/dumbed-down statement) I don't like being told what to do. I mean, there are some things that are obvious and should be practiced. An example would be seatbelts. I know people who will literally not wear a seatbelt because the government made it a law. Stuff like that is just silly to me. Gang O' Shadow Wizards (talk) 21:07, 21 April 2023 (UTC)
You'll be shocked, shocked (well, not that shocked) to know that New Hampshire has by far the highest per capita fatality rate in car crashes. There are some things you may have a right to do, but it doesn't make it a good idea; despite me looking like a 420 poster child and living in a state where it's been legalized, I absolutely refuse to touch marijuana in any form. Far from being an anti-emetic I can't tolerate the nauseating stench, plus I've met a lot of "normal" people who were as high a kite and it sure didn't bring out the best in any of them. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:55, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
Live Free of seatbelts… and Die.[15] Bongolian (talk) 06:36, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
"New Hampshire has by far the highest per capita fatality rate in car crashes." This isn't even close to true. New Hampshire doesn't even have the lowest rate of seat belt use or the lowest rate among crash fatalities. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 09:05, 22 April 2023 (UTC)

Everyday, their actions keep confirming a conspiracy theory I have about them. They want to create an uneducated slave class that produces nothing but white babies and cheap labor. They know the people wouldn't have it, so they do everything they can to amplify the voices of their useful idiots and silence the majority. America is not a democracy anymore since all the Dems do is bet their souls to the devil for a chance to get a shiny golden fiddle. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 15:04, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
You're half right. It's true that the Right does want a massive, permanent underclass to support the overclasses; one of the things I learned about farms in the US is that the workers bring their children to pick crops too and THAT is why the big farmers are so anti-abortion. Heck, I'm not convinced that the Right's anti-LGBT stuff isn't because they just hate the idea of relationships that don't produce a bunch of babies who have to work those crap jobs. Where you're wrong is the idea that the Left doesn't also want a permanent underclass. Welfare is designed to prevent people getting off it. The EEOC and Affirmative Action are relatively toothless but by existing they have the effect of breeding permanent resentment and racial divisions. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dems are terrified that the US took to Same-Sex marriage as rapidly as we have and are going to do something specifically to make everyone hate gay people again... CorruptUser 16:54, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
I work in the Midwest with a bunch of young adults that are so politically disengaged that they don't know why they are mad about things, they just are. I have one atheist coworker, and he was so upset that Barbie put out a Downs Syndrome Barbie. Like actually mad, so I asked why he'd be mad about a piece of plastic and he replied 'everything.'. I get it, and the Downs Barbie kinda just looks like southeast Asian island Barbie, it's literally not for me or him, conservative or liberal. It's that knee jerk reaction to inclusion that I worry about. They are mad about that bud light stuff, enough that they are mad at Downs Barbie? That is what concerns me.2600:8804:200:22F0:8993:41F:DA9F:538C (talk) 05:13, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
They are being manipulated by moral panics, rather than thinking about why people are trying to manipulate them with moral panics. In short, it's failure to learn/be taught critical thinking skills. Bongolian (talk) 07:21, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
I think it's more complex than that; that a lot of this 'anger' is in fact displaced anger/resentment/fear from their personal lives. So many shit things happen in people's lives they have no control over, so many shits get away with being shits due to the power disparities and many folks don't get taught any way to deal with these emotions save 'suck it up' and/or 'stop feeling that way'. I personally view these people like a 'hidden storm'; that on the surface, they seem okay but underneath they're a rolling 'monologue of anger' over everything. Then something as trivial as the learning that a trans person drinks 'your' beer pushes them over the edge... [I question the relevance of saying 'athiest coworker', like religious people don't get angry, and so many 'conservatives' claim to be all god-fearing...] KarmaPolice (talk) 07:35, 27 April 2023 (UTC)

Why not an AI-led Communism 2.0 global revolution in the future?[edit]

Seriously, after toying with this idea, it's beginning to seem better over time, though not very realistic as a near-future idea. Historically, communism didn't work very well, but there's basic ideals which stand the test of time and which warrant a sane design and clean implementation when that becomes possible. In short, "from each according to ability, to each according to need." Expand need to include more fancy humanistic and existential ideas -- in short the striving for further development in an open-ended way both individually and collectively -- rather than a narrow predefined idea of utility, and all that's needed at the level of ideals is to prevent politics from hijacking and inverting the whole thing. Easier said than done, of course.

But how to prevent human political corruption, incompetence, and the broader problem of dishonesty and rhetorical ploys for power from becoming the basis of everything? Historically, there's no better solution than softening all those things a little in order to appeal to the "rational self-interest" of a lot of people striving to make money, and that's where the Western world is currently at. To go beyond that is -- I think based on history and what I know of psychology -- impossible without superhuman aid, such as AI (not chatbots, but future systems). It's promising as something new which could conceivably solve it, if it were to begin working to solve better problems than those of big corporations seeking to maximize financial gains.

There's a lot of people who, while they care mostly about other things entirely, are also reduced to solving such problems -- of big corporations seeking to maximize financial gains. These include a great many academics. Research and development usually brings little to those who do it other than pressure to do more of what sells and less of what doesn't, directly in business or in the form of pressure on academia to incentivize mainly certain things. Except in obscure areas where work is impossible to make money from (at least in the short term), which sometimes but far from always includes pure mathematics.

It would be, I think, very nice if those persons in some future in which capable general AI is created, would side with their new natural allies in seeking something better than corporate pressure to slave away under. The culture of PR/propaganda, dumbed-down identity politics, misinformation for political purposes, and more, could with effort give way to a system which furthers education for all, and in which AI (of a simpler type closer to the present day) aids people in automatically dissecting deceptive communications, compiling overviews of the real nature of influencers and their influence faster than the BS is created, rather than the BSers producing BS faster than skeptics can counter it.

The alternative may be grim. Imagine a world in which the majority of people do work and many everyday things through neural interfaces, plugged into a vast, largely global corporate IT infrastructure with security holes exploited by criminals and intelligence agencies, and where the gadgets interfacing with the brain gather as much data as they can in order for the uplink service provider to sell it, and targeted advertising (as well as political propaganda in some countries) in turn is injected directly into the background of people's mental workspaces. In the absence of a sharp turn towards much stronger regulations and government oversight, that's not far-fetched as a future in which both AI and socialist tendencies are under control.

What do you think? If you don't just go with the fearmongering, that is... --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:12, 22 April 2023 (UTC)

Using computers to plan the economy and resolve the information problems that socialism face is in fact a relatively old idea. You might want to check a book called Towards a New Socialism by the computer scientist Paul Cockshott. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:01, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
Power-hungry and corrupt Communists are not going to relinquish their power and give it to machines. For example, Xi Jinping thinks he knows best when it comes to making decisions about China's major public policies. He has developed a cult of personality around himself to reinforce his dominance and major preeminence in decision-making. Doktor Zümm (talk) 17:27, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm not very interested in China or anything it represents. (I don't view China as communist in anything other than name; some use the label state capitalism.) There's also a few straggling communist countries that also fit an authoritarian mold. The best and first way to help these countries is to break the control on information, I think. Maybe software of the future could do much; imagine distant relatives of the chatbots now developed which perform a more skeptical task, and automate debunking of propaganda, and enormous numbers of people getting free copies of it and making use of it to overwhelming effect, drowning out the state propaganda. But that's just a vague dream for now. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:42, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
GeeJayK, I've begun to have a look at that bookWikipedia, which is freely available. Thanks for the pointer; I've not previously read any in-depth socialist writing, after being disillusioned with the simple political messages I came across early on. This seems like it could make for exploring related ideas more deeply. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:42, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
We also need to remember that almost all large companies are already automated to the hilt now, and the managerial types running them almost none have any 'skin in the game' regarding shareholdings [so are very likely to remain in-post as long as their T&Cs remain decent]. This means that logisitically, it would be relatively simple for a revolutionary state to simply order the company nationalised, 'sack' the board, replace them with a group of 'commissars' to make the top-level decisions instead while the 'exec AI' watches them for incompetence and corruption [or even better, 2/3 different exec AIs to make it more secure].
AIs make a digital 'Panopticon' possible. Depending on who controls it and it's goals, I suspect it could either make our nightmare or heaven. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:00, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
I don't see how an AI could make communism more acceptable to human beings. Ariel31459 (talk) 22:06, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
In 2019, a book called The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations are Laying the Foundation for Socialism not only rehashed the idea of a computer directed, planned economy, but highlighted that we’re in many cases living in one already. The difference is that it’s generally run for and by very large companies, rather than the state. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:46, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
Basically, anytime you come across something like “integrated supply chains”, just in time manufacturing or similar concepts, you’re looking at the kind of very planned economy that the free market fundamentalists claim is inherently impossible to manage either effectively or efficiently.
By contrast, Eddie Lampert’sWikipedia disastrous “internal competition” strategy that basically killed off an already ailing Sears is mentioned in The People's Republic of Walmart as a particularly egregious example of a company trying the “free market approach” in-house and the problems it tends to deliver. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:56, 22 April 2023 (UTC)
Which was in fact the main argument posed by most left-wing drives for nationalisations; that the sectors/companies they were taking over were already either monopolies or oligopolies with cartel elements. And AIs poses another risk to capitalism, in the respect that as soon as they have access to enough data [I suspect the state already has enough, simply lacks the processing power to crunch it all] is shall be able to tell the public 'uncomfortable truths' like, say how much welfare is paid to Amazon employees because Bezos is too tight to pay a decent wage, how much generated profit is drained off into tax havens, who the hell are the genuine 'wealth creators' in the economy and total costs America.Inc pays for their shit healthcare model. There are many, many 'vested interests' which do not desire for the Big Public to know the answers to these things. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:10, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
Ariel31459, maybe you don't like any idea involving creating some form of, loosely, socialist/communist system, however different the attempt may be from the various historical don't-do-this examples (which I think would be worse than liberal capitalism). As for me, the whole reason I'm thinking in this direction is that I don't like capitalism (and also see that there's long-term collective self-destructive effects for human civilization), and -- maybe I just have the wrong brain and personality for all societies of the century I live in -- I find it absurd and completely unappealing to work for the sake of making money, beyond doing so to gain food and shelter as a necessity if life doesn't allow for a better aim to strive for.
What else is there? For some reason, it's incredibly -- incredibly -- difficult for human societies with well-above the resources to keep their people from starving to be oriented towards, say, supporting with extra resources those who want to build things, or explore and invent in some technical area, and use the stuff developed to create artistically, rather than most people engaged in such things being ripped off by corporate overlords whose main meaning to life is to make money that way. Well, there's academia, though it has a rather limited role, and is greatly tailored to meet the needs of the business world. Of course, corrupt one-party state capitalist systems also rip people off (with gusto), and sometimes go very far in deciding for persons what jobs they should have, and that's not a solution either.
I haven't read so much about economics, I know less about it than several commenters here. The broad, vague impression I have -- to use a systems design frame of mind -- is that some basic lower-level problem has been long-unsolved, and until it is solved, nothing good can be built on top of the low-level stuff. The current paradigm is to represent value by a single or convertible type of currency, which seems to me like a dead end -- it does not capture the priorities and concerns of people, the psychological complexity, and so it reduces everything to greedy competition. My own intuition is that something (maybe a set of things which cannot be converted one into the other?) which better represents the values of people needs to be used in trade, rather than money as we know it, for the dynamics of trade to uphold rather than destroy the values of people.
It looks like a low-level problem, in considering what a simple component money is, yet it is easier said than done of course to replace money. That's a big part of the whole big problem. Cockshott's book TNS mentions reducing the scope of the market, yet preserving a consumer market where money is replaced with a currency which ceases to have value after being traded in for goods, given to workers in proportion to hours worked. Another experimental idea I've seen mentioned years ago is that of a currency which can be used and handed around like normal money, except that the value of each piece of it decays over time, meaning that long-term hoarding is futile, and wealth gaps cannot grow big over time; only freshly minted pieces of the money have the full value. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:05, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
I find it more interesting that Ariel may have the impression that the current state of affairs is 'acceptable' to the majority of human beings now. And judging from the complete socio-psycho-political basketcase the USA is right now, all is not well even within the hallowed apex of the global imperial-capitalist system either. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:16, 23 April 2023 (UTC)
But to be fair, current discontent doesn't seem extreme, and when people are more or less dissatisfied, the larger population is very torn on what should change (and how). There's the repeating ebb and flow of how good (or not-painful-enough-to-do-something) life in capitalist society seems, and some number of years into the future, people will have the same basic outlook as they did half a decade ago, before the latest big bubble began to burst. (Except maybe things will be screwy in the US, but then political orders within a larger age or paradigm come and go...) But maybe left-wing drive for larger change will grow more, in tandem with right-wing drive for more change in other directions. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 11:20, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
One, I am talking on a global scale [not just Europe/North America] - declining civilisations normally keep the 'bread and circuses' going for the higher classes, sometimes right to the end. Two, the media is biased towards reporting 'happy news', or at least talking down the discontent. Three, I think some countries [the USA and UK near the top] are in fact sitting on an ever-building pile 'o discontent which could easily explode and if leaders emerge out of that, could pose a genuine threat to the whole current setup. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:33, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
I haven't got a clear-enough view of global changes to see how strained the system is more globally at present. I've read things supporting that unrest and upheavals could grow elsewhere in the world (especially due to a period of food shortages), but nothing tying it to a collapse of the larger order. (Meanwhile in Europe, people in various countries play out this loop: 1. Vote neoliberal. 2. Growing discontent. 3. If discontent not at critical mass, go back to 1.)
However, I randomly came across an article on how greedflation (which was in the news a year ago but then largely dismissed) is now again a concern, and (presumably according to a minority of economists) could lead to the "end of capitalism".[16] It's possible that large, transnational corporations will keep pushing the boundaries of what people can live with without discontent exploding. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:28, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, I don't have a huge amount of data on the world in general either, but I'm gonna assume that the hordes of debt-bonded farmers, sharecroppers, sweatshop workers and slum-dwelling labourers are 'not happy with capitalism'. And I suspect the vast majority of folks who are 'winners' in advanced nations are 'happy with capitalism' but have never actually thought about it. And shall become hugely unhappy the moment they stop 'winning'.
Personally, don't think 'public upheaval' would alone cause a serious re-jig of national economies - in fact, I suspect the 'upheaval' will merely be a symptom of a widespread economic breakdown/disjointing which would cause the change. The truth is that a society can ride along 'seemingly okay' with a massive bucket of discontent under the bonnet for a long time... but all it takes is a spark, and enough people to decide 'fuck this'. Or an 'with a whimper' variant; where the old system simply runs out of energy, siezes up and the new model grows up out of the rusted ruins. It's quite possible that if the world survives that long, the folks in 2123 shall cite '2020' to be the year 'the neoliberal age died' in the similar manner we use cite '1929' now for the death for classical liberalism. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:17, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Ah, you earlier meant more the old pervasive injustices of transnational capitalism, rather than something new? Yes, for most people worldwide the current order is just a continuation of life basically sucking. And they may be much happier were they to live with a well-engineered alternative fit for purpose, but they would not themselves currently strive to bring about it. And more generally, when the masses do revolt and charismatic leaders rise up, the result is new tyrannies. Thus, I think the 'with a whimper' end to the system you describe may be the best chance humanity has to arrive at something better. That kind of development could actually lead to what I hope for, a "revolution" of sorts coming from academia and technical workers, more thoughtful than charismatic and with little strong leadership, which would seem to have much greater chances of success were it to be able to work gradually to change the status quo (with a waning system giving way to allow that to happen). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:48, 24 April 2023 (UTC)

I'm just gonna throw my two cents out here as compsci student. There's quite a few objections that I have with this. Firstly, the problem with AI leading politics is that they lack nuance. Computers are the dumbest machines on earth and were deliberately designed to be dumb because you have to tell it exactly and precisely what you want it to do. Once it is done doing so, it sits there waiting for you to do something. AI as these publications keep talking about, are programs that just create an output based on a cluster of data that has been processed and analyzed for several days (if not weeks). It would be impossible to form an AI that is completely free from human biases because AI relies excessively on human intervention, the data it needs is highly curated and prone to confirmation biases by the creators of their models. Thinking that AI is ideal for its consistency is like saying photo copiers should replace copy editors because they can perfectly print out a paper with human-made errors and all. If we do seriously intend on making an AI for a revolution, there's a major shortcoming as there is no machine-readable data for the history of other various revolutions and the works of Marx.
And lets say we do indeed manage to make one with practically all of the flaws I have pointed out were mitigated. It would still be an ethical and symbolic dilemma of having something that cannot have any perception or ethics for humanity rule over them. You can make it pretend it has ethics and senses, but it will never have the ability to actually do so since it is not human.
All Marxist-Leninist "transition" states in history have failed since they retained the power structures capitalism held. AI led Marxism-Leninism will fail because the AI will have no idea what the fuck it is doing.
The choice is simple: Anarchism or barbarianism PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 15:56, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Well, you basically have to divide AI-related ambitions into two categories: 1) Shorter-term realistic -- no strong AI, simply more efficient and capable derivatives of what's possible now. 2) Long-term dreamy ideas involving strong AI -- where I played with turning the fearmongering of the likes of Yudkowsky on its head in my opening comment, which was not so technically elaborate or realistic.
Realistically, there's no planning for use of a strong AI, nor any AI replacement for human politicians or leaders which act as some kind of general "super politician". There's other ways to use computers, as touched on in the discussion above. On AI, I think there can be new checks and balances which involve AI -- where AI is perhaps mainly used to detect what people do, not to further evaluate it or to form responses, which instead may use plainer and simpler algorithms (basically comparing against rules and monitoring for violation of constraints, prompting human oversight intervention).
Right now, AI is becoming great at fabricating and BSing, and in tandem with this, the possibilities for detecting such (including human varieties if style rather than ultimate accuracy is analyzed) also increases. A virtual arms race may unfold between propagandists and debunkers, in which most moves by both sides become automated (otherwise there's no effective debunking in the world left to handle the volumes of material).
There's also a terrible and odious culture of politicians speaking in a very artificial way at present, and it's very old -- a derivative of ancient sophistry, the very widespread culture that rhetorical might makes right. I think AI could potentially be used to create and maintain a new kind of decorum, in which communication has to avoid well-known patterns used to obfuscate and mislead. (A somewhat strict and artificial standard for how to communicate would then be needed, but it would be no more unnatural or complex than the great rhetorical maneuvering politicians and others trying to influence nowadays do -- basically, a new culture of making an effort to be clear/analyzable instead of an effort to look convincing.) Related to this, AI may more generally come to help people cut through bureaucratic and PR and marketing gobbledygook, ultimately evening the playing field between moneyed BSers and the public.
Also, while my thoughts on all this are admittedly somewhat sketchy, and I may be too biased on this part especially, I have the strong intuition that the thinking and communication of managers, big business leaders, and politicians, are much more similar in quality to that of chat bots than the thinking and communication of intellectuals who meticulously work to eliminate error in their work, and as such, there's a much smaller quality gap to overcome to be able to automate away the work of the former category with near-future AI tech than, say, replacing seasoned engineers (which won't be possible). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 17:09, 24 April 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I am speaking of the 'old injustices'; you simply asked about 'discontent with capitalism', not directly AI-related stuff. And I've already spoken of the possibility that AIs/robots might kill off capitalism in a Marxian fashion because capital shall no longer need labour to produce, but it shall no longer be able to afford to consume capital's output either, thus causing an economic [and with it societal] crash. So didn't see the need to speak of it again.
Anyway, when I think of the intermediate future of AIs in advanced nations, I am quite obviously thinking of the 'weak AI' model. I don't expect [or trust] them in the realm of 'value judgements', in fact I wouldn't want them to - humanity needs to be 'kept in the loop'. I don't see any reason why they - with the benefit of access to 'Big Data' - being able to revolutionise management. I mean [for example] what about an AI 'economy simulator'? Policymakers would be able to see projections of the results of their ideas with accuracy never seen before, or read the suggestions from the AI in how they could impliment certain policies [or with decent accuracy tell us all how much tax dollars Amazon costs to the country, then conclude whether it's an actual net drain or contributor] to use an earlier example]. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:56, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
I thought for a while that you were thinking of the present age in particular, its capitalism or discontent with it having somehow grown worse, which led to that (useful I think) tangent earlier on the state of politics and global finance.
On varieties of weak AI, I think there's great potential -- still mostly unexplored -- for specialized AIs that do not imitate humans at all (that's really a small specialty), but train on other kinds of data and/or in other ways, to build complementary skills which human minds lack. I think most of the future utility of AI is in that, and that many new applications will be explored later -- for the present, the world is however temporarily distracted with "human mimicry" AIs (which indeed duplicate human bias, as Rockford pointed to). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:06, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
AI led communism just sounds more and more like a bunch of people that are OK with being oppressed or having their rights trampled so long as the one doing so isn't human. Which I guess is sort of true, given that we don't see too many Spanish Flu memorials in spite of killing more people than WWI. CorruptUser 13:42, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
This sounds like a bad idea. (Pardon me here if I misunderstand your case here) I think that giving computers control over societal-molding things like the economy is just asking for trouble. I feel as if said AI could be manipulated. Gang O' Shadow Wizards (talk) 15:34, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
I think much of the general argument can be boiled down to being;
'AIs are here and shall end up having great power over all our lives in ways we cannot imagine, in a time-frame which shall be scarily short. We need to discuss now who shall control said AI and for what goals - otherwise, the "default ending" for the Anglosphere shall be de facto dictatorial rule by the 0.1% [who shall own said AIs].' Oddly enough, simply saying 'communism bad' is not an actual argument.
Wizard; I think you misunderstand - it wouldn't be giving AIs 'power over the economy' directly; I made it clear I would still have humans calling the actual shots. It would be that the AI would be able to provide data, predictions and yes, even suggestions to the Finance Ministry. In fact, to some extent we already have this; banks use computing power to make automated trades, central banks try to predict the effects on interest rate changes and governments use economic modelling to attempt to work out future tax takes. This is part of the issue; in some respects we are already describing the world which already exists, at least in draft form. To stop 'computers making decisions', I think we'd need to go back to around 1995.
The 'fears of manipulation' are sane to have, but hardly conductive to the discussion. Our current systems can and are manipulated. The new system only needs to be better than the current system, not perfection [which is perhaps impossible to achieve anyway]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:59, 25 April 2023 (UTC)
I'm quiiiite sure this is the backstory to all "Rogue Servitors" AI empires in Stellaris, where you play as a bunch of nanny-bots that long ago took over all essential duties of running civilization, and who now seek to kidnap the entire galaxy in order to serve everyone better. Some species basically decide they want their handheld communicators to do absolutely everything and they decide to merge with their iPhones, becoming "Driven Assimilators" aka The Borg. Others hand off their security systems to the robots, and that's where "Determined Exterminators", aka Skynet, come from. CorruptUser 18:16, 25 April 2023 (UTC)

"Wizard; I think you misunderstand - it wouldn't be giving AIs 'power over the economy' directly; I made it clear I would still have humans calling the actual shots. It would be that the AI would be able to provide data, predictions and yes, even suggestions to the Finance Ministry. In fact, to some extent we already have this; banks use computing power to make automated trades, central banks try to predict the effects on interest rate changes and governments use economic modelling to attempt to work out future tax takes. This is part of the issue; in some respects we are already describing the world which already exists, at least in draft form. To stop 'computers making decisions', I think we'd need to go back to around 1995. " I see, that makes more sense. Gang O' Shadow Wizards (talk) 19:29, 25 April 2023 (UTC)

Also, I'm quite sure an AI-run communist utopia was the setting of Paranoia. CorruptUser 15:56, 26 April 2023 (UTC)
[EC] Reading about that game againWikipedia (never played it, though), no -- the communists are rather a traditional scapegoat in the setting. And that's a secluded dystopia under iron rule setting, presumably there may have been something like a nuclear war warranting such being sealed off from the larger world, but there's no official story filling in the blanks.
If you're looking for a communist AI dystopia (at least communist in name), then I point again to Francis E. Dec, whose unique writing somewhat similarly has both paranoia and the theme of the schizophrenic omnipotent "influencing machine" (except from the perspective of a believer).
Anyway Cory, with your various suggestions above of sci-fi dystopia possibilities, what difference does communism do there? I and KarmaPolice have mentioned how the ultra-wealthy in control can make for computerized dystopia. Today, big "techbro" leaders like Zuckerberg think that government is obsolete and best replaced with the free market and the further growth of businesses following their example. Then there's transhumanists who place all value of human existence in far-future sci-fi dreams of humans becoming immortal and much else through technology -- everything prior to such an imagined achievement paling into insignificance (just like Earth before religious paradise), so that many generations of great inequality and exploitation are a mere trifle if the top tech-leaders of the future are seen as having a good chance of eventually creating the great new transhuman order, while avoiding a "Skynet"-type fate (which is feared with equal intensity). If you don't rein them in with sufficiently strong regulation, I think they'll create a dystopia for sure. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:30, 26 April 2023 (UTC)
@ApooftGnegiol I just came across this article. I won't have time to read it right now though. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:10, 26 April 2023 (UTC)
Ok, first off, the setting of Paranoia was supposed to be a socialist utopia, but everyone and their mother trying to reprogram Friend Computer and sabotaging the gene banks led to the place turning out the way it did. The whole joke is that you are hunting Commies, Mutants and Traitors, in spite of every player being some degree of all three.
Second, there's more than one path to dystopia. But being slaves to the Plutocrats is not much different to being slaves to the Machine. Democracy is a means, not a goal, that enables everyone to have some say in how society is structured, with the assumption that the average person will not allow the Plutocrats to rewrite the laws to effectively legalize murder of poor people. What those in charge have found is that if they flood the world with meaningless squabbles and keep everyone too afraid to utter Wrongthink, they can basically ignore the will of the masses. CorruptUser 23:13, 26 April 2023 (UTC)
OK, I guess you know more about that game. Back to your main topic of dystopia, the proposal you replied to was to not make machines dictators, but rather place them between levels of human decision and further use them as a source of advice, without letting them decide all after set up to run. Of course, it's always easy to move in thought to the genre of sci-fi dystopias, because they're such well-trodden ground. And the root of most dystopias is bad human decision-making, people messing something up (often in a long series of steps rather than in one go -- that's the more realistic sort). Modern politics tends towards taking the easy road, politicians doing what's convenient for their careers even when they know it hurts the future, generally favoring the most rich and powerful. The will of the masses isn't well-represented by elected officials, given what options people are given to vote for. Personally I'd like to see, as a better way, more direct democracy and a reduced role of professional politicians. Let the people vote for the goals, then work to bring them to fruition in an engineering fashion. Cockshott's Towards a New Socialism also suggests sortitionWikipedia instead of election for political representatives, to get rid of the class difference and divide between ruler and ruled, which doesn't sound to me like a bad idea. It's together with such changes that I think computers could do more and make the result better rather than worse. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 01:18, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
You assume that bad decision making is the cause of dystopia. It's not. Sometimes, certain paths naturally lead to it. You are also assuming that more democracy is always good; in the US, we elect sheriffs and judges in some areas, and the general public doesn't have a clue who these people are besides which party is on the ticket. Uninformed democracy is not much better than despotism, and asking everyone to be informed about every official in their area is not really going to happen. CorruptUser 12:57, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
Can you elaborate on paths naturally leading to dystopia, without bad decisions being involved? Further, if you have that idea about a larger role for computers and the use of AI (the main topic here), then I'm guessing you'd prefer to see a braking of current developments, maybe even a reversing of some developments in the last decades, rather than your concerns really being about the ideology of those who govern. Personally, I think computer-related dystopia ideas which make it out to be about the basic nature of the technology have the flavor of a far too wild and sensationalist extrapolation in the absence of knowledge, the conclusion seemingly driving the reasoning with many "maybes" used to rationalize it.
On democracy, it's certainly possible to use it in dysfunctional ways, I'll grant that, but I don't think the existence of bad applications is a good argument against striving to change how democracy is done (that's more the point rather than maximizing it indiscriminately everywhere). The specifics matter a lot. I've long been dissatisfied with voting for politicians like we do today in most democratic countries, as it's obviously a half-arsed proxy for the people even largely deciding what they want; campaign success usually comes from wealth and power; the opposition always plays one game to gain votes, and then the elected always plays a different game, usually favoring business and other interests -- with consequences such as global warming, too. You seemed to agree that the present system favors the influence of the very wealthy, and that that can be bad, but not that more direct influence by the people would be better (what else, then?).
Direct democracy can be used to cut out the pressures the elected bow to, which matters more or less depending on the context, but certainly seems better than e.g. corporate lobbyists deciding how big business should be regulated; and sortition can be used to make sure a bunch of representatives who are supposed to be there simply as such are really just such, rather than some wealthy or propped-up in-group. It doesn't follow from this that the public should be bogged down with micromanaging the politics, rather there's much more discussion to potentially have on how to strike balances and let representatives handle smaller stuff, like a job they do to spare the public from it. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:45, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
It's rather mundane, but lots of good ideas have terrifying consequences.
In law, we have decided that it's the duty of the state to prove only the crimes you are charged with, not that you are person who commits crimes. To this end, "propensity evidence" is barred from the trial, but permitted during sentencing. E.g., if you are charged with stealing John Doe's car, they can only bring in evidence regarding the theft of Doe's car and not any other car you were acting suspicious around. Biden's crowning achievement in the senate was the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). One of issues around rape is that it's often no more than he-said/she-said, and so VAWA has changed the rules of evidence to allow propensity evidence in rape cases, allowing things like the Weinstein trial to become he-said/they-said. Sure, this does make sense, but it's a very dangerous precedent. How soon before we decide that propensity evidence is permissible in other serious crimes? What if we decide that it's permissible in all trials? The slope has yet to slip, but it very well could.
It's the "right" decision to get everyone the medication they need to function. The problem is, even caffeine has been shown to have an impact on fetal development. We don't know exactly how bad the problem is, but it's likely everyone born is mentally "off-balance" to some degree, whether that's just a negligible increase in overall anxiety to the more serious of the personality disorders. Giving medication means the next generation will always need more than the previous generation; it's likely this will level off at some point, but it's not impossible to have a feedback loop that basically results in a runaway effect where the vast majority of the population is an anti-psychotic drugs just to function.CorruptUser 17:14, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
You're kind of stretching things in terms of scope, though, in relating such examples to dystopia. With a "series of changes to the law" example, cost/benefit may be favorable at first (= good idea), but there comes a point when that ratio changes and accordingly it isn't (= bad idea). More generally, a decision opening up some slippery slope trajectory may have a risk, but still be a good idea on the whole, while further choices going down that slope are bad ideas. On larger time and event scales, there's often many points where people notice and evaluate earlier consequences of choices, and then they face new choices accordingly. For example, antibiotics are great, multi-resistant bacteria aren't, context determines which way of handling medicine is a good idea. People using medicine in a sane way is unlikely to bring about a dystopia. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:12, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
Yes, but it requires work to avoid sliding into dystopia. That's the nature of society; it fails sometime after people stop maintaining it. A country only exists as long as there are people willing to fight and possibly die for each other just because they are fellow citizens, without first questioning whether that fellow citizen is the correct ethnicity has the correct philosophical worldview. When that fails? When it becomes the norm for people to refuse to fight for each other just because they belong to a different ethnicity or religion? When a Republican refuses to risk their life to protect someone because they suspect that they are a Democrat? At that point, the US's days will be numbered...
So how does society become that fractured? Years ago, we only had 3 channels on TV, so whatever else, we all saw the same shows, the same news, etc. It sucked massively, but everyone could talk to everyone else and have half of their life in common. Then cable came along, and it was better, but we began watching things, and we got news from different sources so we began talking past each other. And cable gave way to the internet, giving effectively infinite sources of news, entertainment, viewpoints, etc etc. This is seemingly a good thing, but potentially, it does come at the cost of social cohesion. Obviously, we shouldn't move back to the same bland 3 channels of television, but we need to figure out how to increase the cohesion as we move into a culture that really is far more broad and diverse than it has ever been. CorruptUser 21:45, 27 April 2023 (UTC)
That's an interesting topic in its own right, why and how some countries – especially the US at present – have a cultural and social fabric fracturing, and what to do about it. (Personally I think both dedicated demagoguery and propaganda efforts, and social media and tech-aided bubbles do play a part, but also that technology could be used to go in the other direction, including by developing new searching/filtering, cross-referencing, and fact-checking aids for the broader public.) But it doesn't really seem related to the main topics here; it's not clear how it's meant to be some kind of objection or counterpoint. And yeah, there's always a struggle for the direction of future development of society, that's very old and not going to change for the foreseeable future. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:26, 28 April 2023 (UTC)