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Was Lacan ever good or just nutty trying to pass as good?[edit]


Someone sent me a link to the above video about Lacan, can't say I got words for it. I mean I don't really agree with him that the thinker and the perceiver are different people, but that they are the same person. Though I guess that depends on your perspective on the existence of free will. It definitely does smack of Freud though, treating the subconscious like some sort of ghost in the machine or little man, but wasn't that disproven? Last I checked it was more like a regulator that controls stuff like breathing, heartbeat, etc, or what I call maintenance junk. I just wonder how people took him seriously. I saw some other video with him saying sex is impossible, even I know that's bonkers. Looking at his page on here though seems to confirm my initial impression of him. (talk) 02:46, 18 May 2023 (UTC)

Once the philosopher gets into postmodernism, they can just write gibberish forever more. Bongolian (talk) 19:53, 19 May 2023 (UTC)
Lacan I don’t even think is classed as post-modern. Zizek is a huge follower of Lacan and describes Lacan and himself as modernist philosophers. I think being a psychoanalyst is probably the real reason to dismiss him. Wait until you see the man’s penis algebra!! - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:31, 20 May 2023 (UTC)
Our page on him (Jacques Lacan) described him as a postmodernist. WikipediaWikipedia describes him as a post-structuralist,Wikipedia which Wikipedia lumps under postmodernism. If you have evidence to support otherwise, feel free to correct. Bongolian (talk) 23:58, 20 May 2023 (UTC)
Actually using the find feature on both wikipedia pages turns up no results for “post modern”, “postmodern”, or “post-modern”. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:08, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
oh wait the mobile version of wikipedia may be wonky if not all the sections are open. The post-structuralism page includes one mention of postmodernism and it’s from Alan Sokal who uses the term “postmodern/poststructural” in his critique. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
… and zero mention on the Lacan page itself. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:14, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
wikipedia also felt the need to mention that many who have been labeled post-structuralist have rejected the label. Within philosophy itself post-modernism isn’t really it’s own school of thought but you are correct to state that post-structuralism is often associated with post-modernism as is deconstructionism. Even Rorty is often ascribed as a post-modernist which Wikipedia lists as an example, but Rorty identified himself as a pragmatist. We wouldn’t go on to say that every pragmatist is a postmodern philosopher. Lacan has been utilized though by thinkers associated with PoMo; Judith Butler being an apt example. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:23, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
At some point, like with Judith Butler or (to cite literature) James Joyce and Finnegan's Wake, the deliberately obscurantist language forces me to conclude he was trying to pull a fast one without admitting it like Alan Sokal. Though I'm hardly the biggest South Park fan, The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerBalls had a point; sometimes there really isn't a deeper meaning. To cite a band I'm also not a particular fan of, people keep thinking GWAR stands for [insert whatever] despite it explicitly (har!) not having any meaning at all. (For metal, I'm a Death Angel guy through and through, at least on their later albums they actually try to say something, betrayal has become a common theme of theirs and of late is rather relatable for me) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:44, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
In a sense, deliberate obscurantism especially in non-hard science fields, to which Lacan is almost certainly guilty, is a sure sign of postmodernism. Lacan came to fame in France with his obscurantist tome Écrits (weighing in at 928 pages).[1] Bongolian (talk) 05:38, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
To be clear, I don't necessarily hate anything labeled "postmodern". I recently read a John Barth novel and found it highly engaging, I've only seen the Chesapeake Bay once in my life and I still felt like I was sailing along with Fenn and Susan. But Barth (still alive, in his 90s today) wrote it in such a way that anyone would recognize it was in the English language, and made it a delightful read. I don't get why other self-styled "postmodernists" can't seem to bring themselves to write their analyses in anything resembling the English language as its native speakers (to say nothing ESL speakers) would expect. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:56, 21 May 2023 (UTC)

Post modernism in the arts can be fabulous (postmodern cinema, literature, arts etc). This is perhaps where it belongs. In philosophy and the social sciences it is usually obscurant diarrhea which could and should be summed up in just one tiny book. It is obnoxious to read postmodernists who shit on the idea of knowledge/facts/rationalism or the ability to know things, and yet then wrote endless pages making claims about the world. For I tells trials who question knowledge, they seem to make more bold claims than anyone else (and laugh at those who disagree). Try to find by what means one can challenge their views and you'll find no answer. If one ls system is unchallengeable (or even set up in a way by which it's difficult to challenge) it is as useful as toilet paper. ShabiDOO 09:01, 21 May 2023 (UTC)

yeah, slaughterhouse 5 is described as post-modern literature and it’s probably one of my favourite novels. I am curious though when making these claims about post-modernist thinkers who exactly are you referring to? And what specific claims have they made relevant to “shiting” on rationalism/knowledge? Who exactly has also “laughed at those” who disagreed about the premise to question knowledge? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:59, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
Lacan was simply obscurantist, not a good example of shitting on knowledge. Light versions would include Derrida, Zizek, Nancy, Foucault and the journal Postmodern Openings, pernicious examples (when it comes to theories of knowledge) include Julia Kristeva, Spivak, Lyotard and Kellner and a series of Journals including the infamous Social Text and Postmodern Culture. Not strictly in philosophy but in cultural analysis you have characters like McClary and Negri (though we are verging into the nebulous border between post-modernism and continental/feminist philosophy). Feminist and queer philosophy is unfortunately plagued by no small number of obscurant deconstructionists. ShabiDOO 23:46, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
my question was for direct quotes not name dropping. People can be commonly associated with an idea they never really advocated for. A good example is Neitzche who is often described as a nihilist despite explicitly rejecting it. An example I find that regularly irks me is the description of Thomas Kuhn as a post-modernist, who I seen been falsely framed as suggesting theory choice and progress in science is a wholly subjective development. I know with Derrida he is often framed as “rejecting reason” but Derrida himself has explicitly argued that he only rejects certain pernicious pattern of reasoning that people try to pass as “reason”. I feel like it’s very easy to make assumptions about philosophers that border on philosophical misinformation solely because of secondary accounts and popular narratives. I don’t know for sure that is necessarily happening here, personally as someone with a background in cognitive science I am inclined to dismiss psychoanalysis as pseudoscientific; but I still think that many philosophers described as “post-modern” are often mischaracterized. At the very least I know folks like Foucault are. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 07:40, 22 May 2023 (UTC)
Sorry Onlysortadumb, I'm not dusting off my philosophy books and looking up quotes. I have a degree in philosophy from a University that embraced continental philosophy (Leuven) and I suffered reading their endless verbal diarrhea. I never claimed Derrida rejected reasons, he simply questioned knowledge, and in an evasive obscurant way which made it hard for me (or anyone really) to figure out just what his epistemology was. I'm glad I never have to read their shit again. I am not afraid to admit I may be mischaracterising some of them, it was over 20 years ago, but from my memories I was fairly aghast by their approach to knowledge (at the VERY least questioning it) if not shitting on it and having a dismissive attitude to those who questioned their approach. The issue I always had with continental philosophers (including post-modernists/post-structuralists) was how difficult if not impossible it was to challenge their ideas. Your insinuation that I am name dropping is disappointing. ShabiDOO 10:55, 22 May 2023 (UTC)
I mean even a summary of an argument and a link to SEP for citation probably would have sufficed. I wouldn’t take it so personally. Having been a philosophy student doesn’t rule out the possibility of engaging in this way. I am sure we’re all guilty of it in some way or another. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:04, 22 May 2023 (UTC)
I am not using the fact that I once studied a subject as a way of seeming like an authority. I am saying I suffered through their nonsense and am not spending further time identifying the arguments of obscurants (a ridiculous task in itself) anymore than I would dust off books by Aquinas or Augustine and identify their particularly ridiculous claims (where do I even start). I am willing to admit that I may be oversimplifying if that can get me out of reliving or reminding myself of the nightmare of reading page after page of insightful nonsense and further engaging. If you find value in post-modernist and post-structuralists, I wish you the best of luck with it. I literally never found anything they said insightful, or something that wasn't already obvious after reading the works of Sartre/Nietzsche and the turn of the century German philosophers. ShabiDOO 21:17, 22 May 2023 (UTC)
At least the Greek Sophists and the School of Names in China made questions about knowledge a bit interesting. I'm much more familiar with the latter, I really enjoyed reading Gongsun Longzi and Zhuangzi (and thinking about Huizi's 8 paradoxes). None of it it was perfect, but the Zhuangzi (despite the name of the text, the man Zhuangzi probably only actually wrote the first 8 chapters at most) especially makes for good reading even when the meanings aren't clear even in the original Chinese. Nothing like Lacan and his ilk, which are basically the definition of prolix. It makes me appreciate the laconic (har!) takes the Spartans were so famed for in their time. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:49, 23 May 2023 (UTC)

I could at least see that Derrida had some points about questioning knowledge and how we get it (at least I think that was what it was but I don't recall). Though Lacan...well...you know. I watched that video and I saw no reason to think that the thinker and the observer aren't the same person. Like...it's just an assertion with nothing to back it, just like psychoanalysis. I think I recall getting banned from a reddit for saying that psychodynamic psychotherapy was psuedoscience. When I googled it I saw the theorists they drew from were a lot of the psychoanalysts which gave me pause. They called me "anti science" for literally quoting the wiki article at them about how mixed the results are. For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychodynamic_psychotherapy#Efficacy Like...they have to be shitting me with this right? Dream interpretation? Free association? And they call me anti science... (talk) 05:48, 26 May 2023 (UTC)

I mean, it's going to vary quite a bit. A sociologist I've been reading recently, Scott Lash, has a book which engages with semiotics. It's pretty hard to understand what he's talking about without getting a slightly easier thinker like Eco to ease you into to it. And I'd imagine that's true of any intellectual tradition. You can't just whip out Einstein's works and instantly understand them, so why would the study of society or the mind or history or philosophy be any different in this regard? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:06, 26 May 2023 (UTC)

@OnlySortaDumb Wait, who is referring to Kuhn as a postmodernist? The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is very blatantly pre-PoMo, both chronologically and intellectually. Is this some other work that I'm not aware of? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:51, 26 May 2023 (UTC)

Steven Novella does in the book for the skeptics guide to the universe in the chapter on post-modernism, the youtuber carneades.org refers to Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shifts as “post-modern philosophy of science”. I even had a prof describe Kuhn as an epistemic relativist, something Kuhn himself has explicitly denied. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:33, 27 May 2023 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb Illiteracy of social sciences and social theory was a mistake.... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:17, 27 May 2023 (UTC)
Kuhn indeed denied these interpretations, but some things in his work lend themselves rather well to them though ("An apparently arbitrary element, compounded of personal and historical accident, is always a formative ingredient of the beliefs espoused by a given scientific community at a given time", I'm just saying someone could interpret and use this in postmodern or radical constructivist ways), so more relativistic stances from later authors that can be classified as postmodernist or for example social-constructivist may refer back to works of Kuhn, even if Kuhn himself disagreed with some of these interpretations and further works. So while I think it is wrong to refer to Kuhn as postmodern, it's at least understandable he's sometimes (wrongly) lumped in, if his works are wrongly used in arguing points that are. David Bloor in his 'strong programme' seemed to find inspiration with Kuhn, and while they often strongly disagree with each other, Bloor and Bruno Latour worked in similar strands of philosophy and social science, where Latour is definitely also considered postmodernist. Just to say Kuhn isn't postmodernist, sure, but his work influenced later postmodern and related ideas, even if just through misinterpretation or misuse, nonetheless. Just as a little addition. Also to add something to something someone said earlier in the discussion, I think Einstein's 'Relativity', with only high-school level mathematical background and understanding, is still largely readable and clear, even if not everything is easy to follow, which is an entirely different kind of text than the Lacanian bullshit (you can take that in a Harry Frankfurt 'On Bullshit', 'not caring about truth', or more general sense). Lacan's 'mathèmes' are pure charlatanism. Still, while obscurantist, much of what he says is definitely interpretable, he doesn't always speak incomprehensible gibberish, "L'inconscient est structuré comme un langage" ("The unconscious is structures like a language") as one key example, is perfectly understandable, at least in a simple way. Lacan's given reasons for this proposition are simply inadequate, of course since it also seems it's not true (There's 'Le livre noir de la psychanalyse' and work on Freud, Lacan and psychoanalysis in general for example by F. Buekens, but I don't immediately know good English sources, don't know if these have been translated). I wouldn't immediately put Derrida in the same category, save for obscurantism, although even some sympathetic philosophers often mention them in the same breath (probably largely for word-games, puns, associations and ideas relatable to a concept of 'The Other', 'L'Autre', as also in much Continental work like (bleh) Levinas), I am also not as deeply acquainted with his work, but he seems to like to aggravate obscurantism with word-games and puns (I seem to remember a philosopher who spoke of a text in which Derrida appeared to be trying to argue 'sans-papiers' migrants and offices 'sans-papiers', digitalised, with computers, were in some sense the same thing, though I can't immediately find a primary source for that so grains of salt, but there is a lot like "il n'y a pas de hors-texte", there is no 'out-text', unnumbered book pages, also sounding like 'there is no outside the text', as if insinuating everything is made up of related signs, his philosophy of language is basically noting that to explain one word in the dictionary, you use other words, and then continuing as if there is nothing else to say about language or no progress has been made in Linguistics since de Saussure (who he criticised, but whose 'signifiant/signifiér' distinction his entire philosophy of language is based on), playing with 'difference/differance', the latter his invention to mean a kind of 'delay' in reference, fitting his metaphysics of 'primacy of absence over presence', he's firmly in a continental tradition where 'difference' is seen as more fundamental than (logical) 'identity', something one could interestingly argue about, but much in contrast to much analytical work), and sometimes it's hard to say if his philosophical writing is actually any more than that, a bunch of obscure puns, as if wanting to be misunderstood. I'm not presenting his work very positively here, but I've sat through too many lectures on Derrida that lead nowhere, but from 'there is no meaning, but in the difference of signs' to the point that 'there is always something that escapes/lacks (cannot be captured in language)'. Good ideas sure seem to have largely escaped his philosophy. Some philosophers seem to have the ability to invent new words and phrases to no end, without any meaning behind them indeed, a way in which Derrida is neither as deep nor as general as his philosophy may aspire to be, but at least self-relevant. Luckily this isn't the case for all. Insofar as some philosophers are often mischaracterised (and perhaps I also am really misrepresenting some, I don't entirely know, although most of what I say is also based in what I have learned from lectures and works by philosophers well-willingly interpreting and explaining and perhaps sympathetic to these philosophers), most if not all of them are or claim to be by at least one or the other philosopher, more or less, at some point, and there is some use in arguing over whether something has actually been understood well, but there are philosophers like Derrida and Latour who, and mainly whose acolytes, keep claiming something has been misunderstood in one or the other way, which to me just seems like some sort of epistemic retreat akin to the increasingly creative and metaphorical interpretations of religious ideas in theology. At least Latour somewhat questioned his own earlier work in the end, in the light of climate-change denialist anti-scientific sentiments that called upon his own work as arguments. But while Derrida may claim he is only against some pernicious 'false reason that only presents itself as reason', all too often that seems more fitting to deconstructionist approaches than to what they criticise. The continental vein he writes in sometimes seems suspicious of logic, similar to how one can find rather anti-logic and science sentiments in Heidegger, I would say perhaps to immunise one's own metaphysics. Of course I say this, philosophers can properly argue this, and sympathetic philosophers and fans will come arguing the other way and claim much of it is misinterpretation. I can only say that at first I was also sympathetic or open to the ideas and possibilities, that perhaps Carnap simply misinterprets Heidegger when criticising the logic of his more literary language, that Derrida actually has interesting ideas about language, but I personally find that there is little useful in these ideas as things progress, and that more analytical works out-argue them and at least come up with clear worded ideas of substance, that seem incompatible with some of these continental thinkers' works. I've kind of gone off on a rant (perhaps too often without adding much in the form of arguments or references), to add some nuance back in, I think for example Derrida does make an honest attempt to criticise some classical ideas, and does some of that not too badly either, like arguing for the value of written text against Plato's (ironic, since all that's left are texts of course) claims about the importance of spoken discussion over writings. Although with regards to the absence of an author, these days perhaps we can remark that we can communicate almost instantly in written text, like here, and yet be 'present' to comment and clarify and discuss further, somewhat alleviating some distinctions made before (when letters were slow). Sorry for going far from the original subject, to come back to it, in conclusion, I'm pretty sure Lacan could have appreciated that his name rhymes in French with 'charlatan' (I guess you can call that 'nutty trying to pass as good') and the psychoanalytic basis for many of his ideas definitely doesn't mean much good for them, tomes of critique have been written, for the honestly interested (specifically about Lacan, not my rants on continental stuff in general which you shouldn't pay too much mind, make up your own mind regarding these philosophical ideas, I have been rather overly negative here at times, openness to ideas is good, I am not an expert on alll these philosophers, at all; although these recommendations are also on psychoanalysis in general, not always only Lacan, but the broader background), if a translation exists or you read French, 'Le livre noir de la psychanalyse' is a good start, for a psychological perspective one example of an author (professor emeritus psychology and former psychoanalyst, now critic) is J. Van Rillaer (the best works are in French though), for a philosophical perspective (one certainly not susceptible to accusations of scientism or the like, but of course philosophers still have a tendency to disagree with one another) one of the authors from it, Buekens, I know of, has written more on the subject, about how comprehensible Lacan is, and arguing that psychoanalysis is a pseudo-hermeneutics that can (pseudo-)explain anything (Freuds Vergissing, 2006, in Dutch), also going in depth criticising Lacan, but sadly I don't know if these works have English or international translations. ConverginglyRational (talk) 15:54, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
That's the biggest wall of text I've seen for at least five years. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:52, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
All philosophy, it seems to me, has an intellectual "use by.." date that varies between "already useless" to "use from now on..." All philosophy is dated, though some of it holds up better than the typical word salad placed before the student interested in the wisdom of the past. It has been said that if philosophy were not a prestigious area of knowledge, even philosophers wouldn't read it. The true benefits of the study of philosophy are, perhaps, personal. It can enhance ones understanding of the world in ways that may be incommunicable. Persons who study philosophy for the purpose of teaching what they have learned to others, may be more interested in celebrity than philosophy. Lao Tsu is supposed to have said "those who know, don't speak..." Study nonsense until you realize that it is nonsense. UncleKrampus (talk) 17:10, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

The only people who I am still aware of, in my graduating class, who do not have a notable career (be it directly related to philosophy or not) are those who chose low paying jobs for personal reasons (like low level volunteering) or are homemakers (by choice). Their jobs range from something direct like being a professor/teacher or a consultant (mostly ethics like bioethics, technolonology related ethics etc). Other's like myself eventually went into quite different work ranging from law to high level business management (CEOs), entertainment/journalism and a big chunk in government (especially high level jobs with the European Union). Critical thinking skills, grounding in strong analysis, the ability to say "I don't know yet", gain knowledge and apply it to a wide diversity of fields, understand the development and diversity of thought (and hopefully western civilisation) are all individual elements of our particular program (and many others). The questions dealt with in philosophy affect you directly, ranging from how a hospital and tech companies work (especially via ethics), research in artificial intelligence/neuroscience, as well as the technology you use (pure logic). Also very very heavily indirectly (all meaningful books and films you read/watch deal with the questions, strongly influenced by the direction our culture has taken by influential thinkers). Of course, you can just ignore this or disagree with one or two of these, but over all, dismissal of philosophy is bloody obnoxious. Yes, some fields of it are wasteful (most of continental philosophy imho), but then all fields have waste (a huge chunk of economics for example or even theoretical physics). People studying one thing, laughing and shitting over a broad filed of study, often from a sense of superiority, is fucking obnoxious. ShabiDOO 17:45, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

This regression to only the most crude physical sciences holding meaning reminds me why I stopped coming around this site. A shameful and festering tumor of anti-intellectual sentiment that really ought to be dealt with. Philosophy is not only important in technical fields, it is deeply intertwined with the social sciences and politics, to the degree that all of these emerge from philosophical developments of some kind or another. And that's without going into the regression to the likes of Carnap and his ilk, whose reductive approaches have only spawned vulgar emulation rather than the critical shift towards more fluid and versatile theories that people like Wittgenstein made. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:58, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
The "crude physical sciences," also known as the "hard sciences," are only known as such because they usually involve some actual computation to produce something like authoritative answers to questions about physical reality. Philosophy, as it is understood today, doesn't seem to do that with any reliability. Analytic methods must be properly grounded, and that is still a task of philosophy. One must be wary of religious affects, thanks to the machinations of contemporary moralism and the ubiquity of fashionable nonsense. Were we to act as philosophers, and take comfort in the fact that we would not be expected to agree on many significant issues, we would instantiate the vanities of modern philosophy. That's a trouble with philosophers; they prefer their own ideas.UncleKrampus (talk) 23:23, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
@UncleKrampus Yeah, I get it, you don't know jack shit about how social systems work. You can't ground social systems in purely physical aspects, anymore than you can ground physics in parts. You also have to study the relations, and those are not simply put under a microscope or a math formula. Bye again. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:42, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
You do indeed "get it". I can't ground social science in empirical data. "Social science" is more aptly named "social philosophy." it is very interesting,, though seldomly reminiscent of science. Few people can labor long and hard in a field of anthropic speculation only to admit there is nothing certain about it. Don't try this at home. Cheers.UncleKrampus (talk) 23:43, 3 June 2023 (UTC)

Tara Reade defects to Russia...[edit]

This person now seeks a new home. Russia is evidently a refuge for the downtrodden. UncleKrampus (talk) 16:02, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

I have no idea who this person is (well not until I read the article) - but how does a regular person "defect" to Russia? Wouldn't you just "move" there?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:51, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
By announcing on Sputnik (with Maria ButinaWikipedia no less) that she received threats. Or something. [2]
Megyn Kelly was not impressed. [3] Neither am I, in a similar manner to other chucklefucks that complain loudly about some nasty aspect of US government, and end up sucking up to the even nastier government of Vladimir Putin. In this case it makes Tara Reade's original accusations even less believable, and makes one wonder if it was some sort of *cough* foreign propaganda effort. BobJohnson (talk) 20:11, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
Gee, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't take her seriously... except Biden reappointed the snake that is Catherine Lhamon to rewrite federal guidance that would do just that in Title IX cases. Due process apparently shouldn't apply to people on college campuses, apparently there and only there people should actually take stark raving mad lunatics like Reade at their word. In my home state of Connecticut legislators pushed this "affirmative consent" idiocy for colleges, and when someone asked if any of them would apply it to themselves not a single legislator supporting it thought they should be subjected to that standard (and for good measure, in California someone asked state representative Bonnie Lowenthal how an accused person would prove innocence and her full answer, I shit you not, was "Your guess is as good as mine"). Sometimes batshit crazy people say batshit crazy things, as with here, if Reade loves it so much there she should just stay the rest of her life. Good riddance, the US is better off without her. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:30, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
My point is that "defect" is so incredibly pretentious. A spy or an important military figure might "defect" - but not some nonentity.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:32, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
1,526 people defected from the UK every day in '22. Why does it seem vagely treasonous when written this way? KarmaPolice (talk) 06:58, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
Heh, indeed. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:04, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
A lot more people defected to the UK! A rare Brexit success!
Now I think about it, an enormous number of people want to defect to the US.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:10, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
Yet Braverman hates defectors. Perhaps she should talk to North Korea; it's not like anyone tries to defect to it, is it? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:20, 4 June 2023 (UTC)

The far-right is now looming over Spain[edit]

It didn't mattered the amount of corruption scandals of People's Party, or the regressive policies of Vox, or the decent (although flawed) management under our current center-left government. Both far-right parties have achieved a monumental victory according to our last regional polls. Even in traditional leftists bastions both have achieved power...

Now I'm feeling like everything has been lost, even my little hope on a better country Guess I will give up and pray for not being gunned by police or any fascist militia Deadend (talk) 20:34, 4 June 2023 (UTC)

It seems like a continent-wide issue for Europe at the moment. Chillpilled (talk) 20:36, 4 June 2023 (UTC)
"the decent (although flawed) management" It seems that a lot of people don't find it decent. If the "center-left" people don't deal with those flaws quickly, this probably won't be the end of it. On a related topic, I'm guessing that the "far right" people you're referring to aren't monarchists. What sort of policy proposals are you talking about here? Actually saying what people want to do would probably make things more easily understandable than resorting to high-level abstractions. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 20:50, 4 June 2023 (UTC)
Anti-LGBT, pro-Kremlin or Kremlin-sympathetic, anti-immigration. Seems to be the typical overview for far right parties in Europe right now. Not sure how well it fits Spain's collection of such parties in particular. Chillpilled (talk) 21:45, 4 June 2023 (UTC)
Nobody seems to like most politicians at all at the moment.
The "far right" or "populist right" has had numerous stints in power in Italy over the last two decades, but now they've found someone that I guess is less "bunga bunga", with Giorgia Meloni of the Brothers of Italy polling okay. She is described in some articles as "the EU's most popular leader".
Her polling? According to Morning Consult, 50% approval, 44% disapproval. Not exactly that great for "the EU's most popular leader", although I guess good for Italy in recent times. Her approval over time looks, well, kind of mixed.
The only European leader that looks pretty popular at the moment (at least in Morning Consult's sampling) is Switzerland's Alain Berset. Lots of people don't like the US's Joe Biden and Canada's Justin Trudeau, but compared to most European leaders, whether populist right (Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland) or center left (Pedro Sanchez of Spain), Biden and Trudeau's numbers actually look pretty good.
I almost get a "grumpy without a real cause or real solution" vibe from a lot of today's politics, where factionalism (including the Kremlin style ruscism tendencies of some far right European parties) and certain bouts of sensationalism have caused grumpiness even when things are going pretty okay. At least, the Economist took a look at Spain and sort of came up with sort of these same thoughts. There's some European politicians I can clearly see why they poll way underwater (eg Macron and his pension reform), but in other cases I wonder what exactly is the issue that people are disapproving of. It would be nice to know. BobJohnson (talk) 22:15, 4 June 2023 (UTC)
My [simplified] working theory is this;
The left-wingers are grumpy because they desire perfection from their political party and thus end up in 'People's Front of Judea' factionalism with other left-wingers.
The centrists are grumpy because the only politicos they can really vote for are tepid 'don't spill my drink' parties who think everything is basically, going okay.
The right-wingers are grumpy because their dreams fall apart, due to mass corruption, incompetence and/or said ideas being simply batshit.
KarmaPolice (talk) 08:33, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
It's really depressing that VOX is growing in popularity in Spain. They are almost a caricature of the right. Climate change skeptics, Anti-abortion, pro church, anti LGBT, pro Putin. Almost no bandwagon is too nutty to endorse. I'm afraid to check their position on "urine therapy".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:31, 5 June 2023 (UTC)

Can we report this guy for threatening to kill the president?[edit]

This edit is particularly concerning. Threatening the president is a felony and never okay under any circumstance. 2600:1700:2241:DCF0:11F6:FCA8:E554:CC26 (talk) 14:40, 5 June 2023 (UTC)

Troll It's just some fucking troll doing a bunch of copypasta vandalism. I've suppressed the edit in question and I banned the dumbass yesterday. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 15:11, 5 June 2023 (UTC)

1990s video games have parallels with UFO/alien and New Ago woo from same era[edit]

This is something I've been interested in for a long time, ever since being exposed to said woo in my late teens, a decade after I was first exposed to some of the same themes in 16-bit console games, the woo sometimes having first come out around the same time.

For example, in the two main old Ecco the DolphinWikipedia games (the first from 1992), there's a story in which an alien species, which has ran out of food in their own world, are periodically harvesting the life of Earth – a time-traveling dolphin going back in time after gaining superpowers so as to be sucked up along with his unfortunate friends, kill the hive-queen of the aliens, and bring everyone back to Earth. The sequel (1994) involves the hive-queen, who apparently survived, following along to Earth to establish a new hive, resulting in a new, dark future – a dead, mechanical world in which the aliens mess with gravity and send their drones into the past to snatch more food. By contrast, a bright future in which the very oceans become self-aware and connect in a series of tubes forming a net in the sky also exists, and another dolphin from there goes back to help the hero dolphin get going on a journey to make sure that the nice future comes to be.

Of course, channeled New Age material sometimes talks about terrible aliens using people for food, as with the Cassiopaeans (1994). It also involves intricate stories of different possible futures, and bad aliens using gravity-defying technology coming from bad futures in which they own the Earth to abduct and program and ensure that humanity goes that way, instead of towards nice futures of freedom. Here, the video game story is basically like an animal fable version of the same story, especially when you add the alien destruction of DNA to remove special powers that are a threat to the aliens – as in this cheesy spooky animated sequence. Other older channeling, back to the 1970s at least, sometimes talks about different futures, multidimensional battles, and bad aliens using people as 'spiritual food' to their detriment, e.g. Pleiadians, and some strange ideas of DNA and special powers, too.

Then there's the stories of conquerors arriving from far, far away, hidden on space arks and quietly influencing the creation of a high-tech civilization secretly under their control, in order to enslave the solar system. And of course, a planet with an advanced civilization may be blown up in the process and become an asteroid belt. Also the Cassiopaeans (1995 this time) – and in the world of video games, Phantasy Star IIWikipedia (1989, 1990). They also share parallels in the form of a spooky supercomputer eventually governing life and deciding the fate of people, the computer being under the control of the sinister forces of course.

There's more, and also some examples on the Nintendo side of the console divide (the above are Sega examples), but how about that for starters... Also, the psychological flavor of some channeled materials remind me of video games – there's the same sense that a few weird individuals can have unusual powers and super-special roles in the fate of the world (the channeller and some chosen believers of course being the heroes) and the same sense of super-dramatic omnipresent battles between good and evil, and similar sketchiness of ad-hoc introduced explanations that fill plot holes. I'm not saying that channeled material copied so heavily from video games (even when the games came first), more likely they both copied from earlier woo sources, much like 1990s woo has in turn been copied from in later games and movies (which feature some alien themes that first rose to prominence in 1990s crank materials). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 23:35, 31 May 2023 (UTC)

For my money, I loved the AVGN's review of Ecco the Dolphin. And some years ago I drove right by what I now know to be the Atari ET burial site (I'm currently wearing a hat I got in that very city!), I'd have absolutely stopped there if I'd known then (and will if I ever return). That said, yeah, I'm not sure I'd have seen the connections myself but I can now that you point them out. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:18, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

Like XCOM: Enemy Unknown? That simply linked every UFO "meme" (that weren't actually memes back then) one after the other!! Many a post-midnight hour spent on that one in the 90's!! Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:42, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

I've not played that, but I remember seeing my cousin playing it when I was a child, and dealing with various creepy-looking aliens.
Another thing that comes to mind, though more precise details of how exactly time is supposed to work only came with the 1999/2000 sequel, is Chrono TriggerWikipedia and its weird things baked into a JRPG. A parasitic alien force mystically and invisibly feeds off of all life on the planet for a very long time, then kills the planet in a fiery apocalypse. The heroes time travel, encountering that ruined future and earlier eras, including an ice age advanced civilization obviously based on Atlantis, destroyed after they use the alien force as a power source. The less obvious and more interesting thing is the multidimensional time, where there's two orthogonal arrows of time, the normal one and another, named "time error" because scientists in a future make experiments where the results don't make sense at first. A place or being of time error lives in a different kind of time, and can observe how timelines change. When time travel takes place, the movement is diagonal (also moving "upwards" in the second time dimension), resolving some temporal paradoxes. This is like a simpler version of the "hyper-dimensional" different time and worlds which applies to paranormal timeline-altering aliens in some channeled stuff. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:29, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
I used to play XCOM. The original XCOM. You think Chrysallids are terrifying now? Hah, the original were worse. Insanely long range, can take multiple shots, etc. I would absolutely dread having to clear Snakeman bases, and on terror missions, if I saw or heard a snakeman, everyone ran back into the skyranger... at least until I had researched MC tech. Then, it's fun to mind control a zombie, and when you shot it, it became YOUR Chrysallid! Oh man, MC was the absolute best in that game; sure, it kind of broke the difficulty once you started bringing 3-4 psychics on missions and your entire strategy was "send in tank to scout, mind control everything in sight to mind control even more enemies, and have everyone march into a killing field or drop a grenade with a 0 timer." Plus, the map of Cydonia was always pre-set, so if you knew what you were doing, the moment you began your turn you could send a blaster launcher right up that brain-thing's anus. Corvee (talk) 14:25, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
The game my cousin played would have been the older one. I vaguely remember some of his people dying and him facing large brains, though on looking things up that would only be one brain.
A completely different game that I played in childhood, and then actually had a nightmare about one creepy environment in, is FlashbackWikipedia. It features the then already old theme of shapeshifting aliens having infiltrated society, the amnesiac protagonist escaping from capture and then needing to follow clues from his former self to get on with his mission to fight against a take-over. --ApooftGnegiol (talk)17:09, 7 June 2023 (UTC)

Historic speech by Olaf Scholz on the war on Ukraine[edit]

The best one minute and a half of your day. Not going to embed it as, IIRC, it's a bad idea to do this on the Bar, but watch it. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:46, 4 June 2023 (UTC)

Also, kinda sad how he was booed during the entire video. Does his party supports Putin or what? — Unsigned, by: GeeJayK / talk / contribs
From what I'm reading this speech was in response to 100 or so "pro-Moscow" protesters that showed up at an event (SPD rally or meeting, maybe?) in Falkensee Germany (near Berlin), who were the ones doing the booing.
From what I know of current German politics, best guess is that they were Alternative for Germany if anything. (Some of "Die Linke" on the far left doesn't support the Ukraine effort either, but there seems to be a lingering "pro-Russia" faction in east Germany for some reason, that also correlates somewhat to AfD support.) — Unsigned, by: BobJohnson / talk / contribs
Nice to see European leaders finally take the threat of Russia seriously and have a spine to say it. For a bit of time, I assumed the useful idiots would get their way. -Ryan1257 (talk) 07:36, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm no fan of the current Conservative party - but you know the UK is (at least geographically) in Europe, right? And most of the countries who actually border Russia were pretty skeptical of Russia's intentions too.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:35, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess I should have narrowed it down to the various nations of Western and Central Europe who seemed to be treating their own and their neighbor's security as a given. The US was too soft on Russia as well, I won't deny it, but it should have been Europe, not The US, who should have been the first to take the lead on making the world recognize Russia was a threat to the peace and stability of the continent considering the outsized effect it would have on them should something happen. The reason why I like the video posted is because for a long time, it was Germany who seemed to be acquiescing to Russia and giving them more control over their energy security while treating them with kid gloves. Unfortunately, even with a blatantly aggressive war, a lot of the continent's political establishment, both left and right, seem to have affections toward Russia meaning a lot of places are always gonna be one election away from kowtowing to Putin.-Ryan1257 (talk) 16:27, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
I honestly think that you were (and maybe still are) equating "Germany" with "Europe". As someone once said: "I think you'll find it's more complicated than that". :-) Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:54, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
Ryan, you're wrong. When it came to the leadup to the Ukranian invasion, European nations such as the UK and Poland were more hawkish and proactive towards Kyiv than the Americans were; in fact there was a couple of weeks in Jan where UK PM Johnson did the right thing [credit where it's due] and seemed to be doing his best to rally Europe/NATO while Biden was hemming and hawing over the situation, which made me mutter 'floppy, like Clinton' at his image on TV. And let's not forget; America has been the main block to the Ukranians getting either a) fighter jets or b) modern tanks. The Germans haven't been that helpful on some areas but Europe 'as a whole has been amazingly united/helpful, to a point I didn't really think possible. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:10, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
There's also a % of 'peaceniks' who aren't any particular political hue who 'just want the bloodshed to end' and [apparently] would accept any price for that. From what I can tell, most of them retreat to 'war is bad m'kay' bleating if questioned. They, generally remind me of what Orwell said about British pacifists during WW2; that they never consider the fact the enemy shall not be overcome by 'moral force', that the 'war' shall not be over even if Ukraine surrendered tomorrow [the theatre of violence would simply move] and they are only capable of indulging in such wankery because there are persons who are not 'so ethically developed' resisting the enemy. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:22, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
"[A Pacifist is just] a Coward patting himself on the back"
-Perfect Cell, DBZ Abridged Corvee (talk) 13:40, 5 June 2023 (UTC)

Writing a transgender character[edit]

I am working on a short story about a boy who slowly turns into a girl. This happens after a supernatural being reads the mind and heart of my character. As he-to-she turns into a girl, they are in denial and suffer through horrifying abuse because of it.

It is so far being written on paper as its a rough draft. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:38, 6 June 2023 (UTC)

Keep at it. I'm a big Rush fan, and when someone does it (whatever "it" is) right I think of Mission; whether it's film, architecture, lyrics, poetry, painting... it makes me wish I had their dreams. What does it for me is most certainly different from anyone (everyone?) else, but you never know who's reading. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:52, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
Try some of the fanfic (and other writing) groups on 'the usual social media websites'. A proportion at least are generally friendly/supportive and may be appropriately helpful. Anna Livia (talk) 09:55, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
For the experiences my character goes through, it is modeled after my mental health. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:03, 8 June 2023 (UTC)

Extreme Grave Danger[edit]

That is definition what the disclosure of Top Secret information can cause and yet not one Republican (as far as I know) has spoken out against Trump for mishandling such documents. On the contrary most have doubled down in their support of him. I have read one supporter blame The US Government of sinking to a new low in indicting Trump over a "Silly document", a silly document(s) than can cause Extreme Grave Danger to the security of The USA. I thought these were Law and Order people? — Unsigned, by: ITFC78 / 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 22:19, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
There's Mitt Romney. He basically said that Trump brought the charges on himself by not working with the Justice Department even though the Justice Department gave him "the time and opportunity to avoid charges that would not generally have been afforded to others."
So far, that's the only critical Republican I've heard about. Though to be a bit fair, some (like Mitch McConnell) essentially retreated into their turtle shell in order to dodge any questions. ("I may have hit my head, but I didn’t hit it that hard... Good try.") A wee bit cowardly IMHO; some day maybe we'll hear their private thoughts. BobJohnson (talk) 22:24, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
That makes the assumption he actually has any private thoughts...
Anyway, this is what happens when a political party becomes an authoritarian personality cult. MAGA has submerged the party formally known as 'Republican' to the point when the Orange Ferengi says 2+2=5, precious few have the balls or conscience to say 'erm, no' for they're fearful of the red-hats' retaliation. I think the watershed moment was the Jan 6th putsch attempt; that there were rumblings of most of the Republicans trying to break free but as Trump's cult survived relatively unscathed their flicker of backbone promptly died. Thus the disparaging remark about McConnell; the only Republicans left are the ones who either have no balls, are a content 'fellow traveller' or are utterly mercenary. I expect nothing from them, just like I no longer believe the British Conservatives can self-reform. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:59, 10 June 2023 (UTC)

Thoughts on playing absurdly on today's USA in silly ways[edit]

On Illogicopedia, I and another admin have each written little articles describing the US from an ignorant European perspective or Europe from an ignorant US perspective, respectively. For my part, and having written fewer, I've run out of stereotypes to make use of; there's got to be more to spin off from than the idea that Americans are really big on guns and bibles. Thoughts?

I've recently thought of extrapolating from the "party switch" and Republican fears of a Democratic "communist" revolution to the idea that the real "Red menace" (or Putin's Red army in the US) is in fact the current Republicans. Though that gets less funny, not quite absurd enough, when considering how Trump wants to dissolve NATO, and probably dreams of moving the US to Putin's side so as to somehow force an end to the Ukraine war within 24 hours in that way.

Additionally, when the schizophrenic divide in the US collective mind on who is really the real US president first developed, it led another member to get going on the topic of bringing it all together. It currently seems pretty likely that there'll now be 4 more years of Jonald Truden after the next election, so that "inside joke" may possibly grow much more over time. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:14, 3 June 2023 (UTC)

Guns + Bible: Blazing Saddles#Sheriff Bart… Rev. Johnson: Gentlemen, let us not allow anger to rule the day. As your spiritual leader, I implore you… [raises the Bible high above his head] to pay heed to this good book and what it has to say! [Someone blasts a hole in the Bible.] Son, you're on your own. [The Rev. leaves.]
Other suggestions… Cult of bigness (e.g., monster trucks)? Rugged individualism? Bongolian (talk) 02:04, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
I personally think it's much more difficult to come up with an ignorant European perspective given the fact that the U.S. is constantly blaring its culture all over the world and especially Europe. Most Europeans know much more about the U.S. than most U.S. citizens know about Europe in my experience so most of the stereotypes about the U.S. are based in some truth while "European" stereotypes are often extreme exaggeration of banal things (for the sake of brevity I will write "Americans" from now on). I can think of a lot U.S. stereotypes for each of which I could give you several real world examples, so here we go. Sorry if this reads like a rant:
  1. Americans are fat and/or obsessed with their body image (Think a morbidly obese guys with a XXXL Soda, sunglasses and a baseball cap or a gigachad that goes to the gym 5 times a week)
  2. An extension of that is that Americans are superficial, from how they look to how they act.
  3. Americans are rude tourists that demand special treatment for the simple fact that they are from the best country in the world.
  4. Americans are stupid (as a gross generalization)
  5. The extension of that is, Americans are terrible at geography. Europe is a country and Paris is its capital. Americans are ignorant about their own history (some viciously so). Americans have a terrible school system in which the level of performance is very low compared to other countries. The schools seemingly place more emphasis on sport than education while at the same time claiming that education is the most important thing. American High school consists of nerds, cheerleaders and football douchebags and is essentially a popularity contest.
  6. Americans are at the same time very prude and unihibited.
  7. Americans refuse to adapt the metric system out of spite, because that would mean that they take cues from other countries.
  8. Americans are highly religious.
  9. Lots of fundies and perl-clutching Karens.
  10. A redneck with a red beard, drinking whisky and yelling "yeehaw" while chasing black people on a pickup truck that has the confederate flag attached to it, during and after segregation.
  11. Texans with cowboy hats.
  12. Guns, guns, guns everywhere. Adults, children, dogs, they all have guns and will defend them on the most inane, irrational grounds.
  13. An extension of that is edgy mall ninjas, couch sargents and white teenagers with zits in Matrix Leather Jackets with darkend sunglasses.
  14. Americans never leave their own country except for a 2 week trip to Europe where they visit 10 countries in 10 days so they can claim "actually, I've been to Country X, therefore I know better than you".
  15. Americans think that all their problems are the worlds problems and that they are also the solution to all the worlds problems and expect everyone to be thankful for solving problems that are mostly American problems. -> self centered and unaware of it
  16. Thinking they are the good guys, even when invading other countries and indiscriminately killing civilians by carpet bombing.
  17. Military fetishism.
  18. Brainless patriotism and by extension, lots of brainwashed people not knowing how brainwashed they are. By this I don't mean the obvious idiots like the Orange fanboys.
  19. Rampant anti-intellectualism (which is actually the root cause for a lot of origins of these stereotypes)
  20. That hilarious fear of whatever is perceived as communism or socialism.
  21. American cardboard houses
  22. The quality of American engineering is a (reocurring) joke (in the Simpsons)
  23. You can sue anything and everything for money and you should!
  24. American capitalists would sell your baby if they could and demand a fee for the service of procuring a buyer because they "helped you out".
  25. If you get really sick in the U.S., kiss good bye to your savings.
  26. Americans joke about every other country but Lord behold if there is a medium joking about Americans without integrating a positive American character that Americans can identify with.
  27. Ridiculous Laws like you can not walk over the the state border with a duck on your head.
  28. Cult of personality surrounding entrepreneurs, visionaries and other gurus, woo-peddlers and con-artists. (Jobs, Musk before twitter, Trump, Warren Buffet and so on)
  29. Americans can not form a sentence without intespersing "like" everywhere. "It's like, you know, like I should've, like at least like be able to to talk without adding like, like... you know?"
  30. "Oh my gosh!!!"
  31. Executing people is fine, violence on TV is fine but don't you dare swear on a radio show. Nipples are scandalous, but if you cover them with a 3x3cm cloth its fine.
  32. U.S. Nationalism is a civil religion. Praised be the flag, shunned be he who does not sing the national anthem.
Those are from the top of my head, I could probably find more (and I did. More updates starting at .28. I think thats enough now). NastyNugget (talk) 21:19, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
Nice summation NN. Scream!! (talk) 21:38, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
I lived in Canada for some time as a kid. When we first drove over the Canadian American border (over a bridge in fact) as we arrived, my father said: "So boys, just keep in mind, here they can execute you, the person next to you could have a concealed gun, if you're homeless you can go die in a gutter and if you're poor...you better not get sick. Obviously my dad was saying that somewhat tongue in cheek. Obviously I wasn't going to be executed, see a gun or struggle with the medical system. Though a did see a shit ton of neglected homeless people. It really stuck with me. It always makes me shudder when I'm in any country that executes you (be it when I visited Iran, Singapore or the United States). It's grim to consider a civilised people support state homicide against its citizens. But far more creepy was the gun culture and political extremism. It's incredible how Anglo-Canadian and much of American culture is virtually identical. If you were at a BBQ in a backyard in Minneapolis or in Winnipeg, you'd have a hard time guessing which country you're in based on the food on people's plates, the jokes people tell and the way they interact with one another. Bring up a political or social conversation and zheesh or bring up polemical conversations and yikes, could not be more different. Shocking really. It's all really sad considering the long list of amazing qualities of the united states, and no small number of very positive influences America has and has had on the world. Don't know too many people from non-American developed countries who don't look at America and scratch their head with an incredulous look on their face asking WTF? ShabiDOO 22:21, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
One of these themes you both brought up, the life of the homeless and downtrodden in the US, was covered in 2008 by "THE" in an unusual Illogicopedia article, a well-written short story called Boris and the American Dream -- in which a man immigrates with an unusual "American Dream", that of becoming a homeless American with the harshest possible life, but the path to achieving that ends up a long and strange one.
Maybe I'll come up with some ways to mix things up along the larger number of things listed, or cover some of them very sloppily on purpose. Though I don't think I'll be able to write the kind of satire that "THE" did. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:32, 10 June 2023 (UTC)


The wildfires in eastern Canada are crazy. You can smell the pine smoke in New York; the air is hazy in DC. It really goes to show how interconnected the world climate is. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 13:00, 8 June 2023 (UTC)

Here in Connecticut, yesterday we set records for worst air quality ever. I actually had to walk about a mile in it and it smells awful, goodness knows what it can do to the lungs. The smoke is so thick you can barely see in places, and the sun is an oily orange that makes the late afternoon especially look very strange. Still horrendous today, though Philadelphia and south-central Pennsylvania seem to be getting the worst of it right now. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:33, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
Even as climate change is getting worse, more and more people are denying that climate change is real or caused by humans: [4] Apparently, it's because people are becoming apathetic about climate change and are accepting it as part of their normal lives. On top of that, it's because people are becoming cynical and mistrustful of their governments that broke their promise to prevent climate change. It's fucking sad, really. MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 16:48, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
It would help if climate activists in general weren't so vociferously anti-nuclear, in defiance of all the actual science they claim to be for. Plus, going into art museums and randomly throwing shit at paintings does... uh what, exactly, to solve the problem? Blocking traffic is even more monumentally stupid, since it causes people to sit in traffic and... burn more gasoline. Brilliant move there, guys. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:00, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
Nuclear's a curious case, there's also a vocal activist side (at least online) that sees nuclear as the answer to everything, to the point where some of them are even anti-renewable energy. It's like no one can "why not both" anymore...
I'll speak from a United States perspective, one political party have never really promised to prevent climate change; in fact, the radical side (or fossil fuel shill side who hides behind the fundie 'phobes) have gone out of the way to spread propaganda and disinformation about climate change via their propaganda networks. I actually think that it is more difficult to name a Republican politician who accepted climate change without question (someone like, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger) compared to most conservative parties globally. That this denialism rot has spread globally though is not surprising; as denial in the United States can be heavily explained by the Occam's Razor notion of the Upton Sinclair salary principle, social media these days often is fueled by troll farms (like the Internet Research Agency) that come from countries very dependent on fossil fuel extraction.BobJohnson (talk) 18:17, 8 June 2023 (UTC)
Yes, the climate activists definitely aren't the main issue here, they're mostly an annoyance but it doesn't make what they're doing less stupid. That said, you're correct that the Republican Party has been appallingly stupid. Say what you will about Brian Kemp, one thing he's right about is pushing hard to get Georgia to be an electric car manufacturing center; you'd think more Republican governors would see that as a huge opportunity. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:11, 8 June 2023 (UTC)

The air quality in my area is bad enough to where the sky has an orange hue and the air smells funky. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:50, 8 June 2023 (UTC)

I was uninformed and didn't know what was going on when it first started. I just thought it was gray fog. I was out in it for like 8 hours two days ago, now my throat feels like it is covered in metal and I'm coughing up a storm. Today is better than yesterday though so I should be fine, but I just thought it was very poignant how interconnected the climate really is. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:03, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
Thankfully it finally cleared up here. I was reminded of the Pink Floyd song Sorrow; the plumes of smoke on the leaden sky made my blood curdle, and whenever I had to venture outside the dust in my eyes subsumed whatever purpose I had during those two days. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:48, 11 June 2023 (UTC)

New article about a freethinker, humanist and atheist[edit]


Does RationalWiki accept articles (similar to a biography) about people who promote Freethought, Humanism and Atheism? I would like to write an article about someone whose 3 books on these subjects have helped many people to free themselves from the religious prison. He studied Theology to become a pastor, but later became an atheist.

Bento Espinosa (talk) 15:01, 11 June 2023 (UTC)

There are articles like that such as PZ Myers --Trans Fem Agenda 15:49, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
If any article fits our mission:
  1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement;
  2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas;
  3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism;
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.
then it should be good. Remember that our articles are the property of the community and free to edit by anyone - you will not have editorial control. You can create something in draft space and see how people respond. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:27, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

Monitoring Bias[edit]

I am creating this article should be up in a few hours, anyone else know anything about this Twitter user? Griffina (talk) 15:19, 11 June 2023 (UTC)

Getting a vibe of someone who is seemingly not necessarily explicitly endorsing hereditarianism on a quick scroll (I don't know maybe I need to scroll farther down) but seems a little too obsessed with "intellectually inferior" Blacks and Hispanics getting into Harvard due to the use of affirmative action. Which feels very adjacent to that whole racialist sort of pseudoscience. Kind of ironic to call oneself monitoring bias and yet doesn't really seem all to mindful or willing to monitor oneself as possibly having an anti-black bias. There is a concept in philosophy of science called the "underdetermination of data" which basically boils down to the idea that just having a set of numbers from a particular type of measurement doesn't really present itself necessarily with one objective interpretation. You see this happen in science when different researchers come to draw different conclusions about what the data "means". This guy seems to like to pull out random stats without relevant sociocultural factors to consider as a social scientist may do, but instead just simply presents a particular conclusion as if it's just the obvious interpretation, but that doesn't actually seem all that apparent. It's the kind of behavior someone would engage with deliberately in the attempt of appearing "objective" when in actuality they are actually pushing a particularly fringe narrative with only the guise of being supported by data. For people who are not trained social scientists themselves it can be pretty easy to be fooled by this I think. There are graphs, how can someone lie using graphs?/s - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 07:32, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
As an example there is a considerable amount of literature on the ways to which education as it exists in the united states as having certain cultural and structural barriers that results in worse academic outcomes for certain minorities related to the lack of funding, outdated textbooks, lack of extracurriculars, tutoring, etc. Especially true for schools that exist within low income communities. Someone may in one environment perform poorly academically, while in another environment perform around average or even exceptionally. There are adoption studies, and studies into certain educational interventions that support this. This means that judging academic performance from students who are more likely to have come from low income communities as a indicator for their intrinsic intellectual abilities is extremely flawed. That is exactly what this twitter rando is doing though. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 07:37, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
Keeping in mind that the poverty rates for Blacks and Hispanics is double that of white Americans. The majority of Black and Hispanic people are not poor however, but it still a significant chunk that can skew averages and what not. You also have to account for things like stereotype threat on test scores. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
It's essentially a very biased account obsessed with how inferior blacks are (and anyone not Asian or white, frankly... if you scroll Internet Archive you'll also see anti-liberal and transphobic posts, though this account is not MAGA... but portraying blacks as unintelligent and violent are a huge focus of this account.) Has a habit of "stat mining" (when it is not PIDOOMA-ing quotes) and not looking holistically, and is super-obsessed with IQ / brain size / etc. It is not surprising that at present the first "replied" post is one to a Bo Winegard tweet.
I get a very Scott Adams vibe from this account in that it is similarly racist, and it similarly thinks it is smarter than everyone in the room, even though it isn't. BobJohnson (talk) 14:11, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

"You cannot destroy the truth by burning pages"[edit]

Sadly a very relevant quote from the Twilight Zone; specifically the Obsolete Man. For those unfamiliar, it is a story where the world is run by a totalitarian dictatorship that declared people, businesses, beliefs and items "obsolete by the stroke of a pen. The main character in the story is a librarian who is declared obsolete and is sentenced to death. He accepts it but has his execution televised to show the weakness of the government. --Trans Fem Agenda 15:04, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

I'm still pissed at the voters at IMDB for having the audacity of putting Twilight Zone at only #20 of all time. Sure, no one's going to be happy with me saying their favorite show should be ranked low (i.e., me right now), but The Wire, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad are not more essential than The Twilight Zone. Corvee (talk) 18:17, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
TOS is just as relevant, definitely more relevant than Firefly and a few other sci-fi shows, but it's not on the list anymore. Same with I Love Lucy and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Except for a few nerds, most people on IMDb rank TV shows and movies based on how much they were entertained by them, not because they are important. And I believe that most "official" lists rank The Sopranos as the greatest and most influential TV show of all time (though I personally prefer The Wire). My favorite movie of all time doesn't even have 25k votes so it's not on the ranking and probably never will, even though I've been shilling it for years. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:30, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
There's some very good pop science documentaries in that top 20 list (eg the Planet Earth series and similar recent BBC nature docs, and Cosmos) at least.
Keep in mind that IMDB rankings are an Internet popularity contest and nothing more. Thus it tends to have a "recency bias" (the only 1950s and 1960s shows in the top 250 are Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Monty Python, and Bugs Bunny. These are classics, but a lot is missing here as GeeJayK pointed out...). They also tend to have an "Internet dude" bias (Rick and Morty at #15? Huh?). Twilight Zone has it good compared to a lot of the oldies. BobJohnson (talk) 18:37, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
There is also likely a bias towards American TV, but especially English-language TV. Ukraine's "Servant of the People" was excellent, but required far too high a bar for most Americans (reading subtitles and understanding another country's politics). Bongolian (talk) 19:00, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
The general exception here is certain anime. EG Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is #16, Attack on Titan #25, Death Note #33. "Internet dude bias!" rears its head here, methinks, all of those were on either Adult Swim or Toonami. Having said that there are a few other exceptions (eg the 2020 show Scam 1992Wikipedia on the Hindu-premium SonyLIV is sitting at #24) that show it's slightly less Western biased than it used to be. BobJohnson (talk) 19:15, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
Most of my fellow Americans hate reading things. It’s why YouTube and TikTok are so popular and why our country has such abysmal educational rankings. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:24, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
Nah, I prefer the original anime to the dub. I haven't picked up much Japanese, though it's always fun to hear "shikata ga nai", but that's a WWII thing... and probably relevant for another of OP's suggestions; Military Occupation. Basically the phrase means "nothing can be done", meaning, you can't change it so stop worrying. Americans bombed most of your cities into rubble? Shikata ga nai. They are now occupying your country? Shikata ga nai. Your sister is now a prostitute serving those occupying forces? Shikata ga nai...Corvee (talk) 20:56, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

New page idea: Military Occupation[edit]

Military Occupation has become really big discussion since the Russian invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territories. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:32, 10 June 2023 (UTC)

A fair article on it would include, for instance, the American occupation of Japan. While the term understandably sets off alarms for people, there are absolutely instances where a military occupation has been A Good Thing. Would be happy to help out with any article or draft. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:21, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
I would be kind of reluctant to suggest that any military occupation has been an unequivocally Good Thing. There might have been some positive outcomes and conceivably, in some cases, these will have been more significant than the negative ones. But there is also the question "a Good Thing" from the point of view of the occupiers, the occupied or some hypothetical disinterested third party?
One could have the same argument about colonialism or religious missionaries.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:24, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
I say, 'nah'. WP covers this topic fine. If there's a decent RW reason to cover a particular one in detail [American/Japan, Israeli/West Bank-Golan] then do it. Others [Russian of Georgia etc] I think would be more suited for the national entries. Lastly, there is the issue that sometimes the very article will take a political stance; I mean I don't think anyone here would really bitch about 'Russian occupation of Donesk' but some [esp Brits] would seriously complain if someone did a 'British occupation of Northern Ireland' page.
However, one general note I'll point out is that sometimes, 'foreign' occupations are in fact, welcomed by minority locals. This was noted in Burma as far back as the 1920s; that while the Burmese hated the British occupiers, the Karen and Shan peoples deeply disliked the Burmese and thus, were pragmatically pro-British. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:39, 11 June 2023 (UTC)

As for Golan Heights, some welcomed Israel while others didn't. I think that it was the Druze people who welcomed them. As for how I feel about Golan Heights, I don't feel bad for the Syrian government as they had no problem recognizing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as Russian. As for the people who are unhappy with the occupation, I do feel bad for. --Trans Fem Agenda 15:52, 11 June 2023 (UTC)

It’s a bit odd to cite Syria’s recognition of Crimea as Russian as the reason not to feel sorry for the regime over Golan, given that the Golan occupation preceded the Crimean one by almost 60 years and that it would be pretty hard for Syria not to recognise Russian occupation, given the crucial role Russian support played (and arguably still plays) in supporting Assad in the Syrian Civil War.
There are a lot of reasons not to feel sorry for the Syrian regime, especially given it has been a very brutal regime under the Assads (father and son alike) and that it was the one that opportunistically chose to enter the war in which it initially lost the Golan Heights. But using the Crimean question seems a rather weak and ahistorical argument. ScepticWombat (talk) 12:05, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
The Druze are weird. They did not welcome Israel, but once the place was annexed, they declared themselves Israeli due to their whole identity being "super-loyal/patriotic, no matter the ruler". The Israeli Druze and Syrian Druze used to butt heads over this very issue, since each was still loyal to their own country, but in recent years the Syrian Druze are a bit nervous about their own situation for obvious reasons. Corvee (talk) 14:20, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
I mentioned Crimea as Syria recognized Crimea as Russian before the United States recognized Golan Heights as Israeli. True that the military occupation of Golan Heights happened well before the occupation of Crimea. Syrian recognition of Crimea as Russian happened in 2014 while the American recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli happened in 2019. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:17, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

Trump papers[edit]

MBS at work

Should 'they' call in the White House Plumbers? Anna Livia (talk) 17:23, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

MBS was already on the job. Bongolian (talk) 02:36, 13 June 2023 (UTC)
Trump seems like the kind of guy who shits once a week and takes three hours to do it, so I’m pretty sure his “Plumbers” are too busy doing actual plumbing. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 03:02, 13 June 2023 (UTC)
Well, his diet is mostly greased-starch and fried-meat, so constipation is likely to be a risk... Corvee (talk) 07:25, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

A while back I did a 'compare and contrast Nixon and Trump' section, and some of the (possibly not Pentagon) papers were shown as being in a (possibly unused) bathroom, so the question was obvious. Anna Livia (talk) 09:33, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

Progressive Pride Flag[edit]

Can we change Quasar's Progressive Pride Flag LGBTQ+ rainbow flag Quasar "Progress" variant.svg into Vecchietti's intersex Progressive Pride Flag Intersex-inclusive pride flag.svg in the news section, as we are using more often due to its inclusivity? Euromec (talk) 21:18, 1 June 2023 (UTC)

NO. Both look like shit. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:34, 1 June 2023 (UTC)
I don't like them, either. The point of the rainbow in the first place was and is inclusivity; it doesn't need extra symbolism to signify that. Chillpilled (talk) 21:47, 1 June 2023 (UTC)
Since I'm a lifelong New Englander, the great majority of conservatives make a point of supporting the rights of gay people to marry, adopt children, and otherwise live the lives that everyone seems to think is "The American Dream" (I'm straight and want no part of a "serious relationship" of any kind, to say nothing of kids; I've been burned far too many times). At this point "Pride Parades" are basically a traffic nightmare in a place that literally has the most congested roadways anywhere in the country; is making my work schedule more difficult to manage supposed to make me support the pet cause more? And IRL as well as here, anything beyond the straightforward rainbow flag looks like a mess; the number of horribly clashing colors makes it an aesthetic nightmare. I'd stick with the original, that works just fine. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:34, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
The flag is not inclusive if people from subcommunities don't feel included. I don't care what the story is behind that flag, If adding extra colours promotes inclusivity....great. Non white non gay people are famously excluded if not mistreated all the time in the LGBTQ+ community. My workplace added the inclusive flag to the building today. I salute them and their attention to significant inclusivity. I recognise my privelagebas a white masculine gay man within the community. Add colours to the flag. ShabiDOO 18:30, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
I second Shabi. I don’t think the intent behind the original flag makes any difference to how it exists as a broader cultural signifier. Certain marginalized people haven’t felt included under that flag. The original intention sort of cancels out when that meaning has been entirely lost when adopted into wider culture. The intention is arguably meaningless if the use of the flag in practice doesn’t reflect that intention. I know a number of gay men who’d fly that flag and disparage trans folks, or state something racist simultaneously. It’s understood as the gay pride flag, that is almost what it has universally been used for, and that is what people read it as when they see that flag. The dominance of white gay men as the prototypical example as what gay people are, and their dominance in gay and pride spaces to the open exclusion of other queer people is not unacknowledged within LGBTQ+ circles. That flag feels representative of that to many. That seems justification enough to try to aim for more explicitly inclusive designs. Something the original pride flag was not, regardless of intimal intention. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:41, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
What was wrong with the Rainbow flag? The whole point was that it represented everyone, not just Gay or Lesbian, it was all colors. The black/indigenous/trans triangle was unnecessary, but worse, ugly. And now there needs to be more on the flag? I thought Gay people were supposed to be good at graphic design; art's kind of their "thing" after all, and how they sold themselves on being normal/harmless/useful/historical/etc. Corvee (talk) 22:28, 2 June 2023 (UTC)
I think the question is whether the priority is for the flag to represent something to those internally, or externally. Internally, the flag is constantly changing to try and keep everyone feeling welcome and united. Externally, it is a confusing mess. IMHO, I think constantly changing the flag weakens it's power, as the purpose of a flag is to be a constant; a recognizable symbol one can attach themselves to and know what it represents at a glance. If it is changing once per year, that is so rapid that it makes the entire movement look like it is unstable and doesn't know what it wants. Should people care what outsiders think? Depends on what the point of the flag is. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 00:33, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
The last bit is the sanest and perhaps least-asked question on this topic [and others revolving around this topic]. What is the point of the flag? Even more importantly, are there people who really think 'that flag "is not me", and on that reason alone I shall not join in with the others in my alleged community'? Okay, I accept this shall be a non-zero number, but I really suspect it will be a low one. The 'community' has a butt-load of issues to deal with, both external and internal - from the non-transphobic question whether gender and sexuality is even the 'same' community to issues like biphobia/erasure. I call pissing about with flag designs what it truly is; a prime example of the 'law of triviality'.
Last, if it's the 'branding' for outsiders to get, you don't keep on mucking about with it. Companies know not to keep chopping/changing their branding! KarmaPolice (talk) 05:35, 3 June 2023 (UTC)
Had to look it up. Flag was created in 2018. The Pink and Blue are Trans, obviously, and the Brown is for Black/Brown LGBT, and the Black is for everyone who died, especially of AIDS, with a chevron shape to represent progress. As for adding the intersex, etc, what does the intersex community actually think about the LGBT community, especially in regards to Gender Theory, forced sex reassignments at birth, etc etc? Corvee (talk) 14:12, 5 June 2023 (UTC)
KarmaPolice, I think you bring up the best points. If someone doesn't feel like "the community" doesn't represent them, I doubt a flag color change would be sufficient. You could put ad many chevrons on the flag as you like, but at the end of the day, a design pattern can't fix a people problem. I also want to add that one issue I could see with the "Progressive Pride" Flag is that if someone decides to stick with the Rainbow Flag, some idiot could start shit by accusing them of being racist by "choosing" not to fly the supposedly more "inclusive" flag.-Ryan1257 (talk) 17:11, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
I shall stick with the 'traditional' [Baker '79] Pride flag on the count none of the colours on it represent any particular group. Thus, nobody is excluded because nobody is technically 'included'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:17, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
That kind of undermines the whole purpose of having a “gay pride” flag. It can’t really be a political symbol for homosexuals if “nobody” is technically included under it’s banner. In that case it would be a politically nullified rainbow flag. . .which kinda sucks. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:56, 10 June 2023 (UTC)
Now that's just stupid. The '79 flag represents any and all those who pick it up. And it also means it doesn't need to be bleeding changed every couple years to represent another subsection/thing/whatever. Lastly, the '79 flag has true meaning, as the one which flew with defiant pride in the face of decades of hate and spite. You cannot manufacture such gravitas or meaning easily.
In short; this is a classic example of 'if it ain't broke...' too. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:56, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
I think it’s stupid the flag would represent “straight pride” or “white pride” depending on who picked it up. Everyone should not be included, and if this isn’t your lane (if you’re not queer) then your opinion does not matter. It is a political symbol for a particular group, making additional political symbols with greater specificity doesn’t magically make the previous symbols unusable. “Death of the author” particularly matters in conversations about social justice; which is ultimately how these symbols are used by the people who wave it at protest. Meaning is use. Symbols and words change in meaning all the time. You can get blue in the face about authorial intent all day; it doesn’t magically obtain legitimacy through repetition. When i see a swastika waved by a white dude I don’t think “ah, a hindu”. It’s a naive understanding of how cultural symbolism works. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
When it comes to semiotics the question whether I am of 'said community' is irrelevant [though I do point out the '79 flag means much more to folks due to it's history]. And as the 'more inclusive' ones are constantly chopping/changing they shall never have the time/visibility to actually bed in and develop such meaning amongst the Big Public. Saying it is "straight/white pride" is a really stupid stretch, waaay past what I meant and what's more, I think you know this too. Even more importantly, until those groups attempt to co-opt said flag for their own shitty purposes, you're simply diving into dancing-on-pins conjectures. Lastly, what the hell is stopping them coopting either of the flags at the top? None at all. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:54, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
You did say it “represents any and all those who pick it up”. Is the only reason why racists, or “minor-attracted persons” are not represented simply because they don’t/won’t pick it up? It’s not really a stretch if it’s somewhat logically implied. If the flag is merely supposed to be a symbol for “inclusivity” as a whole, then who is it are we allowed to exclude? Because in all honesty I don’t think “inclusivity” of any and everyone is actually morally unobjectionable. There needs to be a specific kind of inclusivity to call for, inclusivity of anyone would include morally objectionable people. Even people who hate gays. The newer progressive pride flags are at the very least explicit on who should be included. That to me has a stronger more specific message. The alternative is akin to a meaningless corporate buzzword like a flag for “diversity” or “strength. As a political symbol it would be useless. That’s why it should be morally treated as the gay pride flag, the flag calling for the inclusion of gay people. We can wave it alongside flags that call for the inclusion of bisexual people, transpeople, black and brown queers, two-spirited people, etc. Also your identity does matter in these kinds of conversations because that implicates your epistemic standpoint, relevant lived experience (and thus knowledge), your stakes in the game, your privileges that may bias your perspective,etc. I don’t know what your stakes are in the game, but I am a queer person and that flag has been waved by people who told me I don’t belong under that flag as a bisexual man. Also stuff like this is related to my education and background. It doesn’t mean I am therefore correct whatever I say, that would actually amount to a fallacy, but it does mean I have some credible authority on the subject at hand. If you happened to be non-queer it wouldn’t mean you were automatically incorrect either, but it’s still relevant if you have relevant lived experience with the topic at hand. I think someone who has experienced having their arm broken has more relevant things to say then someone who has zero experience having ever broken their arm or is not medically trained in mending them. It’s a simple distinction between humility and arrogance. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:00, 13 June 2023 (UTC)

So it goes to show that conservativism and stubborn privilege are everywhere. Even within a stereotypically progressive community and movement like the LGTBQ+ one. "Why change the way it's always been"? Because that inclusive flag isn't as inclusive as you think it is, no matter how much you keep repeating that story that it is "more inclusive" by avoiding specific representation. Way to miss the point. White gay men, extremely overrepresented failing to see just how extremely underrepresented the most marginalised subcommunities are. Take a marginalised group, and you won't have to search far to find within that indifference to even more marginalised people within that group. The original flag is broken. Resistance to a modified flag is little different to any other kind of conservatism. ShabiDOO 22:53, 12 June 2023 (UTC)

I don’t even care about the inclusivity of a fucking flag. The new flags look like shit. Trying to include every possible identity on a flag is hopeless and will just end up producing a goddamn circus design. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 02:22, 13 June 2023 (UTC)
There is no such thing as objective aesthetic values. It's not a matter of fact that the flag looks like shit. You just don't like the design, and if the flag isn't meant to represent you then it doesn't matter because then flag wouldn't be for you. The fact is pisses you off honestly just increases it's appeal to me. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:52, 13 June 2023 (UTC)
Dumb; you speak of semiotics. Thus you shall know nobody can ever rigidly, 'correctly' define the meaning of anything. Meanings flex and develop over time, telling others messages about people/locations/organisations. Not all messages are equal either; different people have different messaging from the same items - one person's simple 'patriotic flag' is another's 'right wing loon' and so on. When I said 'represents any and all those who pick it up' I meant that over time 'gay rights' has morphed to become much wider; from transgender to NBs and so on. Could others - like paedophiles - try to co-opt it too? Yes. They actually did kinda try that in the 70s/80s [with their entryism into orgs and so on]. Luckily, it didn't work. What's more, it is not your right to say the '79 flag is 'gay pride and that's it' either [and I don't think many would listen to you either].
I personally don't think my own 'backstory' is relevant in this case. I may have skin in this game, I might not. I personally hate when folks say 'well, as a ____' and then demand others accept their thoughts as gospel or to be commonplace to the whole group, so I don't pull it myself. Anyway, much of my pushback has been on 'tokenism' and 'brand recognition' issues which frankly, could be made by anyone, inside or out. Even more importantly, I've not even seen any stats which tell me how important [not support/oppose, though that's important too] the community as a whole consider this issue - the keystone of extrapolating personal anecdote to wider trends.
Which is an important thing to note, Shabi; that some of the people who oppose don't do it out of purely conservative/'privilege' positions. Plus, your point has some validity but it's a damn flag. LGBT rights has not got to where it is in the advanced world today because of flags - it's got there from fighting tooth and nail for the 'privileges' which the dominant class has long seen as basic rights. In this case, I would accept as a legitimate argument to change the flag on the grounds that the '79 one has been too co-opted by vested interests which have no real motivation to make said changes [similar reasons why I don't really like Pride]. However, the '79 flag is still triggering to various right-wingers, which suggests it's not completely lost it's power yet. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:54, 13 June 2023 (UTC)
You are fasley framing my argument as a descriptive argument rather than a normative one. I was never arguing about what the meaning is but what it ought to be; making any objection about what it currently means irrelevant. It’s a basic fact/value distinction, I am making evaluative claims that flags that stand for the inclusion of everyone are (ethically) bad flags. Most responses you provide to me always seems to entirely miss what the actual argument was in favour for a strawman argument instead. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:06, 14 June 2023 (UTC)


Hey folks. Old guard person here. Been dealing with Stage IV colorectal cancer for a while now. Came across this guy recently, and am wondering if more savvy people have a quick take on whether or not he seems legit. This paragraph from his bio doesn't feel right:

Alex holds a BSc in Molecular/Cell Biology from the University of Victoria, and studied Medical Genetics at the renowned Terry Fox Laboratory in Vancouver (BC Cancer Agency). He excelled in courses on cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, organic chemistry, medical genetics, bioinformatics, and ecology, and specialized in epigenetics-based regulation of oncogenic signalling pathways.

No advanced degrees? "Studied" somewhere with no claim of finishing? still bragging about his college grades as a grown-ass adult? That smells funny.

Okay. Be well. Go book a colonoscopy. RagingHippie (talk) 01:22, 9 June 2023 (UTC)

I second getting a colonoscopy. I have family that works for the company which is by far the biggest endoscope maker in the world, and they have saved millions of lives. I'm not yet of an age where I need one, but I'm absolutely getting it done when the time comes. Also, FUCK CANCER! The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:07, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
The first link says he has a Ph.D from UBC. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:07, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
Nope. It says he "completed his coursework." That's somewhere around a third to half the process of getting a PhD. (I speak from experience). RagingHippie (talk) 04:49, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
He's probably competent to do research, but I wouldn't take medical advice from a non-MD if that's what you're asking about. There have been some notable great researchers who did not have PhDs. I don't see his list of publications on the website, so is a big red flag. Bongolian (talk) 05:07, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
The qualifications of the team do not inspire confidence, particularly the two MDs, one from Dow University of Health Sciences in Pakistan and the other from Odessa State Medical University.[5] They basically would be putting you on a clinical trial, which has no control group or evidence of efficacy. In Canada, where they're based, clinical trials are supposed to be registered with the government; I don't see them listed in the database.[6] Bongolian (talk) 07:08, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
Odessa State Medical University was the subject of a pay-for-degree scandal in 2018.[7] Bongolian (talk) 07:16, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
Noted, sounds pretty bad. Sorry about the cancer diagnosis Raging. I had a friend pass of cancer in 2018. It's an incredibly awful thing to go through. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 07:18, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
Ooof, sorry to hear about that. My family includes one of the best gastro's in the US; if you need something I could probably get a word sent in... Corvee (talk) 15:29, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
Also, best wishes to you RagingHippie/AgingHippie. You were an inspiration to me in my early days on RW. Bongolian (talk) 19:54, 9 June 2023 (UTC)
I am quite sorry to hear this. I hope everything ends well-Hastur! (talk) 16:49, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
It's bad news. I hope things turn out well.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:28, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
Hope you can remain somewhat comfortable while life goes on, dire news notwithstanding. Flux gate gamma (talk) 14:52, 14 June 2023 (UTC) Spur RB.gif

7777 articles[edit]

As there are only 18 articles to go - does anyone wish to set up a countdown and/or create a banner to commemorate when this is first reached (as there may be a bit of movement up and down)? ((Not something I can do)Anna Livia (talk) 16:54, 9 June 2023 (UTC)

only 15 articles remaining. The G (talk) 01:53, 11 June 2023 (UTC)
Now 11. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 14:21, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
Down to 9 - and then the countdown can wait until 8000/8888 are being approached. Anna Livia (talk) 17:36, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

If you are an English speaker learning Norwegian: Beware of false friends[edit]

I was reading and learning about Norwegian when I found out about the false friends in Norwegian. Considering that they are both Germanic languages, it makes sense.

  • Barn= Child
  • And= Duck
  • Gift= Poison
  • Travel= Busy
  • Fart= Speed

Learning about languages is interesting. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:14, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

"Fart" is pretty much the same as Fahren, and I sorta get how Ente became And, Gift is the same word, but Barn and Travel? Corvee (talk) 01:20, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
The English word "travel" is a case of serious semantic drift; it's ultimately derived from "travail", which unlike "travel" has kept its original meaning from Old English. Same thing that happened to (among others) the words guy, demagogue, and gay. Hell, my favorite is that in Albanian "möter" means "sister"; the word for mother is "nënë" (and also gives the lie to the "m for mother is universal" nonsense I hear every so often; a few languages, such as Mohawk (it's an exonym), don't even have an m sound, and in Japanese the word to address your mother is "haha"). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:56, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
And the Scots word "bairn" means "child", so "barn" isn't too much of a surprise to me either. Spud (talk) 04:29, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Also some overlap with German words.
Bear in mind some English words will mean 'something else' in other languages. Anna Livia (talk) 09:36, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I think all the words CorruptUser mentioned were German. Spud (talk) 12:15, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
False friends are really common between all European languages I am aware of. They might share a similar linguistic root but have developed differently or the similar sound might be simple coincidence. But the existence of false friends is not really surprising.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:05, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, they are fairly common even between Romance languages and English. My favorite one is "condescending", which means "arrogant" in English, but means tolerant and friendly (pretty much the opposite of condescending) in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian (not sure about French though). Google Translator doesn't know this and translate Condescente/condescendente/condiscendente into condescending. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:52, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
In French the meaning of 'condescendant' is the same as in English, but they're probably related via Old French. However there are plenty of French false friends as well of course, like 'sensible' (sensitive), 'journée' (day), 'poisson' (fish, but 'poison' is still poison), 'attendre' (wait), and a lot of others. I think German has a lot of fun ones with other languages, like 'See' being lake (which in Dutch is 'meer', lots of Dutch-German false friends, even the names of the languages in English 'Dutch' vs. 'Deutsch'), and 'Meer' for sea (in Dutch also 'zee', although this particular one is slightly cheating as 'die See' is also used for sea and common in names like 'Nordsee', only 'der See' is lake, so not such a shocking meaning-difference with English or anything). ConverginglyRational (talk) 16:09, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So, Poisson distribution means "Fish distribution"? Thst's interesting (I'm well-aware that it was the guy's name). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 16:19, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

One fun one in Mandarin is 那个 (nèi ge). Depending on who is saying it, this can sound quite similar to an extremely offensive English racial slur. In Mandarin, however, this word is a filler word, equivalent to "ummm..." / "uh..." in English. Which means, this word can be used by some Chinese a lot.
(And yes, there have been a few issues caused by "misunderstanding" this.) BobJohnson (talk) 18:44, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Poisson was a Fisher among men (Mark 1:17). Bongolian (talk) 19:27, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
I find false friends to be an interesting concept. Kinda like for the English word "Pen". We know Pen in terms of writing but in Haitian Creole the word "Pen" means "Bread". --Trans Fem Agenda 23:11, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
European Spanish is full of very odd false friends, of all things, borrowed words. Most of the English words European Spanish borrows, gets the meaning somewhat off, which creates an odd case of false friends. Examples:
Ticket = El billete, however, El ticket = receipt
Freaky = algo que da miedo (something disturbing), however, Un friqui = a geek
mail = correos (postal mail), however, un mail = an email
There are a lot more examples. At least there are a few correct borrowings like: parquing, cliquear, influencer, penaltis etc. ShabiDOO 23:28, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
This happened with English borrowing Yiddish words, which I hear a lot being from the part of CT that's definitely in the NYC area. A lot of times they were just slightly toned down in English; "chutzpah" isn't necessarily an insult in English while it certainly is in Yiddish, while "putz" and "schmuck" are relatively mild in English but rather stronger in Yiddish. But others have gone really off the rails; "glitsh" means "slippery place" in Yiddish but glitch somehow ended up with the meaning it did in English, and "lox" is a general word for salmon in Yiddish but turned into a word describing a very specific type of cured and smoked salmon in English. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:28, 15 June 2023 (UTC)

Mentally ill people with homicidal thoughts and the incompetence of trigger happy police[edit]

I am not sure how many mentally ill people have homicidal thoughts (Not an epidemiologist) but the way the police and even the healthcare system is, mentally ill people with homicidal thoughts end up getting screwed. A person with homicidal thoughts is not automatically going to kill; they are just people in need of psychiatric attention. This is an issue of both reforming the healthcare system and law enforcement. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:17, 14 June 2023 (UTC)

Trump Arrested[edit]

Trump arrested. Interesting Times indeed. Corvee (talk) 18:31, 13 June 2023 (UTC)

Wasn't trump technically arrested for the new york case as well? A somebody. (talk) 18:34, 13 June 2023 (UTC)
Now let's hope that treasonous bastard rots in prison. After all the shit he did, Trump deserves to spend the remainder of his days in prison. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:19, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Meh, he deserves to rot several times over just simply because the whole message of electing him President was "kids, if you are a complete psychopath and an asshole to everyone around you, you too could become president!", but I don't think "treasonous" is the right word for him. Corvee (talk) 01:17, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Side note, Trump's birthday is June 14th. So... Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Jailbird, Happy Birthday to you! Corvee (talk) 01:26, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
If you asked me a couple years prior, sure... but because of his role in this, I'm okay with "treasonous" personally.BobJohnson (talk) 13:14, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm okay with 'treasonous' on the simple fact he cares nothing about anything past himself. And yes, 'yourself' can be 'the other party' in betrayal. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:36, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Jan 6 was weird. I don't think Trump organized or planned it, but I don't think he would've turned them down had they taken over the capitol and offered him the dictatorship. At the same time, there were a lot of feds interspersed in the crowd along with some far-left agitators, so it all seems extremely fishy, yet pretty much every civil rights org back in the 70s was infiltrated by far-right saboteurs and federal goons so if anything, to say the crowds were 100% Trump supporters without agitators and moles amongst them that would be the conspiracy theory. Whatever the case, everyone involved deserved a prison sentence, including Trump for waiting an hour before telling his "supporters" to get the F out of the capitol. Corvee (talk) 20:27, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Do you have a source on the far-left agitators? And I think you might confuse two things here, one is that there were some undercover agents in the attack, which is pretty much accurate (~40 in the 2-80k crowd), the other is if they were actively fueling the riot, which would need to be sourced.IluzasipalStone them! 22:41, 14 June 2023 (UTC)
Cory going full Fox News grandpa here… Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:21, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
Like Bill O'Reilly grandpa, Duce? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 07:24, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
Wasn't he sexually abusing staff members constantly, to the point where in a just world his employers should've gone to prison for enabling him so much? Corvee (talk) 13:08, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
Has 'Last (of) Trump' appeared as a headline yet? Anna Livia (talk) 14:47, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
(ec) There was John Sullivan, who is running the conspiracy theory gamut these days, but there's a much simpler explanation backed by a paper trail; he's less on the spectrum of "left" and "right", and more between "asshole" and "douchebag". His history prior to Jan 6 shows that he'd routinely join groups not for any particular cause, but to see if he could get them to riot. Notably, he was the guy who sold the video of Babbit being killed. Corvee (talk) 14:59, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
The exception don't prove the rule, Corrupt. Whether this is even an exception, which is debatable [and you accept]. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:12, 15 June 2023 (UTC)

Tough times for Jones[edit]


Heh, I hope they put him behind bars and throw the key away. Should've acted around a decade ago. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 07:31, 15 June 2023 (UTC)

So many Alt-right con artists learning actions have consequences, wúnderbar! Revolverman (talk) 16:50, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
Not feeling sorry for him, but as far as I know, at this point it doesn't matter how much he owes since he'll never be able to pay it off. Corvee (talk) 17:30, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
Theoretically, the money could be clawed back from the people and places where he hid it. He was basically doing the hiding in plain sight before the verdict. Bongolian (talk) 03:50, 16 June 2023 (UTC)

Just a funny observation[edit]

If you are from the USA-or arguing about gun control and people from the USA are in earshot-you have probably encountered a lot of people who believe American gun owners are the last bulwark against tyranny. It's no secret these people are conservative republicans. Conservative republicans generally believe we live under a tyrannical leftist president who cheated his way to power with a rigged election. He is also replacing our most precious values with the woke mind virus while weaponizing the judiciary to silence the opposition. We basically live in the nightmare scenario gun rights activists claim justifies their existence.

If you believe this is true...where is the great reaction then? Where is the second 1776? How are you contributing to the fight against creeping tyranny, the impending destruction of America? If American gun owners are supposedly the "largest army in the world" as all those rightist memes say evidently quality is more important than quantity!

Just venting about the hypocrisy, cowardice, and general stupidity of the second amendment crowd.-Flandres (talk) 20:14, 15 June 2023 (UTC)

So you're upset that the gun-nuts aren't violent enough? Corvee (talk) 20:49, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
No, just pointing out how dumb they are, and how they are failures even if you assume their belief system is accurate. After all, a central conceit of the worldview which "justifies" this crowd-that we presently live under a tyrannical leftist junta-is so far from the truth your opinion can be safely ignored if you try to advance it.-Flandres (talk) 20:54, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
This type of thing, where one is a "bumper sticker warrior" (or online keyboard warrior) is probably exactly what the NRA types want though, methinks. The real "conspiracy theory" that seems to allude the conspiracy theorists is just how gun manufacturers are linked to this push for white identity / fear of the Other being a central point of gun culture. It certainly boosted sales. Got to do something, you know, since outdoor culture has shifted and hunting has declined (replaced by things like backpacking/hiking). The gun manufacturers should be cheering on Joe Biden in 2024 because every time a Democrat is president these days, gun sales so up.
It's just another example of consumerism culture, where the solution to a "problem" (in this case outrage at Others) is buying, buying, buying. It doesn't matter that their weapons are shit against even a modestly equipped SWAT team (as the Branch Davidians found out), it's a statement of some sort, a statement that they are (as promoted by the NRA and the gun manufacturers themselves) masculine, tough, a *real man*, ready to defend themselves against what Other these chickenshits are afraid of. I suppose these purchases makes them feel better or something. BobJohnson (talk) 21:05, 15 June 2023 (UTC)
With regard to the excessive bluster and conspiratorial imaginings of the American gun crowd - it's clearly a good thing that they are all mouth and trousers, because otherwise they might actually do something.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:57, 16 June 2023 (UTC)
I find more amusing that the majority of folks who go on and on about 'a second revolution/civil war!!!!' and similar are if not militarily incompetent, quite often physically unfit to the point of being totally incapable of any form of prolonged action. Similar can be said for many survivalists, of which the venn circles show heavy overlap. I agree with BobJ on this; it's just another facet of American consumerism - 'if you want to be good at X, you need all these tons of gear [which we sell]'. You see this in every hobby/interest zone; I'm into fitness and the tons of crap you get told 'you need to have' to do it right is amazing [shameless plug; I've done a blog post on this]. Dunning-Kruger is a thing too, for you need to know enough about the subject to even start working out what gear is actually useful or not and shockingly, you're not going to learn the right lessons from salespersons and shills. And the real 'hunting' sub-section is almost extinct; I remember here confronting a pro-gun person defending 'huge amounts' of hunters by pointing out less than 4% of adult Americans do so, and about 1% do so on a regular basis by about 2018. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:44, 16 June 2023 (UTC)
It's the same thing in a hobby space I'm in (music), there is far more emphasis on pushing the latest gadget then actually shoring up any technical skills (eg music composition / theory, sight reading, actually practicing your f'n scales, etc.) Not that this information isn't available on the Intertubes if you want to find it and know where to look, mind you, but getting very good at an instrument isn't easy, and consumer culture is happy to sell you a crap ton of widgets before you figure out what you really need and what widgets are mere bullshit.
Sadly, while I see little chance of a "civil war!", the combination of paranoia and guns famously leads to the type of incidents you'd expect where the more mentally ill people get firearms. Mass shootings are the headline-maker, but also there is a bit of background level violence (e.g. road rage with guns, people shooting someone that merely came up to the wrong house, etc.) that you just don't see in other developed nations. (Not that violence isn't known elsewhere, but knives are much less lethal than bullets, and the US health care really compares poorly to other developed nations.) BobJohnson (talk) 14:05, 16 June 2023 (UTC)
Well, GAS was coined by musicians [and knowing a few, testify it's frigging true]. And the kicker with the 'Dunning-Kruger of gear value' is that it's often subjective as hell; that only a little bit of said gear is objectively useless, most falling into the category 'might be useful, depends on you'. For example with kitchen appliances such items as egg cookers, dehydrators, SodaStreams, electric slow cookers, Foreman grills and coffee machines all have their devotees but shall also feature on the 'you don't need them' lists rather often. But when thinking of this, I cannot help but remember that bit from Carter's 'malaise' speech, about valuing people on merely what they own [ie gear] rather than what they do [ie skill] - that many people will mistake the possession of lots of kit for proficiency with them [and vice versa].
With the other issue, I think the 'American malaise' is the critical part, not guns. That firearms get the rap because they are the easily-gettable [and effective] tools of people expressing their fear, anger and desperation with the myriad of socio-economic issues America has. That even if the country had the firearms control level of say, the UK you'd still see large amounts of Americans killing and maiming each other - merely with other tools [though admittedly the spectre of multi-fatality events will drop, as it's simply harder to kill a dozen even with a large axe or knife]. This has been something I've felt a long time; watching about say school shootings and noticing people end up always asking 'how did they get the guns?' but rarely 'what on earth happened to make them want to do such a thing?' KarmaPolice (talk) 19:13, 16 June 2023 (UTC)

How do I interface a temp sensor with a microcontroller[edit]

I have been assigned a task. I have to Interface a tmp1075 temperature sensor using I2C (TWI) Protocol on ATSAME70Q21 microcontroller. They have asked me to read the datasheet. I have no idea where to begin. How do I read this datasheet? https://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/atmel1129632bitcortexm7microcontrollersame70qsame70nsame70j_datasheet-2.pdf https://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tmp1075.pdf?ts=1686898522926 Leibniz Enter into the rabbit hole 18:29, 16 June 2023 (UTC)

My next separatist territories/military occupation project[edit]

Turkish Republic of North Cyprus

Still in the early stages of development. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:59, 16 June 2023 (UTC)

That's great. But if we have a separate article on the Turkish republic of North Cyprus, the Cyprus, sad little stub that is, will need some serious expansion. Spud (talk) 01:52, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
The expansion is coming along. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:55, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
@Rationalzombie94 You may have misunderstood me. What I meant was that the Cyprus article, the article about the whole island with the internationally recognized Greek part and everything, is now looking like a very sad little stub that is badly in need of expansion. Spud (talk) 11:10, 19 June 2023 (UTC)

Capitalist category[edit]

Would it be a good idea to make a capitalist category? It seems warranted given how many people who are capitalists we have articles of. Rational Dude (talk) 00:17, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

It's too all-encompassing. Most of the world is capitalist by default. Bongolian (talk) 04:03, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
Less than you think, Bongolian. But I say nay due to the fact Category:Business appears to already have this role. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:51, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
I think we should at least use this category for American conservatives, because they fit the typical capitalist archetype. Rational Dude (talk) 10:52, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure how much this would add to our articles. I have the feeling that categories tend to be added as extra insults to people we don't like a lot. I see that the Trump article as over 60 categories for example. They are at the bottom and probably nobody looks at them, but I'm not sure that we need any more.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:16, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
Tbf, some of the categories are warranted and make sense being there, because they’re descriptive rather than slander. Rational Dude (talk) 17:46, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
You may be responding to points I did not make.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:26, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
No, no, I got your point. I know some categories might be added as insults to people that we’re critical of, but that’s not always the case. Rational Dude (talk) 18:32, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

It might serve a purpose to identifying specific ideologues in the same way we identify communists, and I kind of object to Bongolians point about "most of the world" being capitalist by default. Most of the world lives in poverty and I am pretty confident don't really have strong feelings one way or another what European ideological lineage they fall into. If we are going to class people based on the dominant economic system they exist within like such a comment may be implying then about more than 1/8th of the world's population would be "communist" due to the existence of countries like China; some of the population couldn't be classed as either due to the continued existence of certain agrarian, horticulturalist, and hunter/gatherer societies that exist independently from recognized nation states. I guess though it depends on how this term is being used, are we going use it to label those advocate explicitly for capitalism publicly? Or, are we going to apply to anyone who can be classified as "capitalist" under the class dynamic of "capitalist/worker"? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:53, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

I don't think capitalism per se is that mission-oriented here, to be honest... it only is such when capitalism crosses with authoritarianism, pseudoeconomics (eg Laffer curve), crankery (eg gold), or social justice (eg economic inequality). Probably other things that I'm not thinking of at the moment, but as a category it doesn't seem like something that should be a primary target. Though to be fair, you could say similar about communism, and there's a RW category for that. BobJohnson (talk) 19:23, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
I mean there is an extent to which certain advocates for capitalism (especially for free market fundamentalists) do rub against what the empirical evidence suggests about regulated economies that would be especially relevant to what our mission is that conforms to your point. To the extent that Ratwiki does explore authoritarianism, it really depends on what we class as authoritarian. I am probably more libertarian than the average Ratwikian and my stance on what should be included as authoritarian social practices probably doesn't reflect the norm of most users. I.e. I take the dynamic between landlords and tenets, bosses and workers, etc as inherently authoritarian. I personally take the surveillance from governments and the surveillance from my boss where the former is taken as authoritarian and the latter as "normal" kind of arbitrary. My boss has the greater power to use recordings of me to harm my livelihood and is more likely to do so as of current. I am literally seating across a security camera as I write this. I think it really boils down to how "philosophical" one is willing to go in their exploration of what authoritarianism is. Which is to say it can be as missional as one chooses it to be, but given it's sort of the dominant cultural hegemony (especially for americans) there is a tendency not to think of it that way. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:02, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
So I guess I should hold off on making the category. Rational Dude (talk) 22:22, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
What I meant was most of the world engages in capitalism (exchanging currency for goods and services in a capitalist society), therefore unless a person states otherwise they're basically a capitalist. Bongolian (talk) 23:36, 17 June 2023 (UTC)
That can happen in other economic systems too. The defining trait of capitalism is private ownership of capital. If a handyman can own a toolbox and charge for services, it's capitalism. So still pretty much every modern economy, but there are a few more exceptions. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 02:37, 18 June 2023 (UTC)
If you are desiring to have a category for folks who grew up thinking Cyril Sneer was the hero of the show [and thus should be emulated], what about 'Category: Vulgar Libertarians'? [Though it could be said Category:Libertarians already does this to some extent. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:29, 18 June 2023 (UTC)
Should we also have categories like "Climate change believers" and "Flat Earth denialists"? MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 04:10, 19 June 2023 (UTC)
I once thought about creating a category called "free market supporters" or something like this, but I gave up for the reasons mentioned above. I will create a category about the Austrian School soon though. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 11:16, 19 June 2023 (UTC)
Regarding the discussion on whether the world has a market economy or not, I think it depends. China is IMO clearly a market economy (not as much as it used to be though), but how about places where the property rights cannot be secured, like most of Africa? I know that some free market fundamentalists like Somalia, but I don't see them as a market economy since there are no property rights, which is a pivotal institution in capitalism. Also, how about countries where the property rights are mostly secured, but don't have much economic freedom, like some countries in Latin America? They are capitalist countries IMO, but I some people disagree. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 11:20, 19 June 2023 (UTC)

Matyrdom and the Matrix: the fate of Andrew Tate's personality cult[edit]

What do people see happening if Andrew Tate gets imprisoned for his criminal charges? Would his cult die down, just move to other "alpha" influencers, or would he become a martyr and only increase the fervor of the modern misogyny movement?

My bet is it will seriously cut into the base. I think that a lot of these movements are just driven by moment-to-moment hype, and not being stuck in the echo chamber for a few weeks would seriously cull its population. I think maybe 70% of the cult will move to other influences, which means a 30% reduction in its size. Repeat this process a few times (assuming they also commit crimes), and the cult will drop down to irrelevant levels. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:56, 20 June 2023 (UTC)

If that happened it would be great. But criminal or other charges don't seem to have particularly hurt people like Donald Trump, Boris Johnston or the late Silvio Berlusconi. In a sane world they would have been ostracized - but in a world dominated by alt-right conspiracy silliness it's difficult to know what will happen.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:51, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
It's a difficult question to answer from my perspective, since there's always been a "toxic bro" subset of the population at least in my lifetime. And Tate proved that there is tremendous grifting power in cheap manosphere bullshit targeting this crowd. Such would be tempting for another carnie bro.
On the other hand, well, I consider Tate as much of a social media phenomenon as a manosphere one. No one would've heard much of Tate (maybe a few would barely remember his Big Brother shit) had he not combined the worst of the manosphere with the worst of MLM tactics and hijacked Tiktok's algorithm. Social media phenomenon can fade (eg: QAnon is not what it used to be). And right now, between Elon Musk turning Twitter into right-wing bot-and-troll-infested trash, Reddit at war with their mods and 3rd party developers (and pissing off a lot of other people), Facebook having flat growth, with a reputation of being a Boomer conspiracy nut hellhole, and Tiktok getting questioned for the China connection... Big Mainstream English Social Media seems to be going through some "interesting times". If the result is Big Social Media fractures, and life online becomes more a large bunch of super-fragmented community (like it used to be), well, you could see a Tate pop up in some obscure manosphere forum somewhere, but it just won't get as big. BobJohnson (talk) 14:17, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
We are assuming he actually is guilty, and not just someone who's such an irredeemable twat that nobody will care if he's falsely imprisoned. Corvee (talk) 17:38, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
Yes, true. But personally I also assume that Tate eventually will fade regardless due to two things:
A) He's been booted off of most major social media at this point, and now is residing on "alt-tech" platforms such as Gettr, Rumble, and Telegraph with much less reach. So I assume his MLM type shit will slow down.
B) Toxic Andrew Tate style viewpoints are, unsurprisingly, majorly repulsive to women (actually, repulsive to most people, but women especially). So if you have a few brain cells, even if you are infected with Tateism, eventually, one might realize that this "misogynist asshole" attitude will, frankly, wreck your dating life. (Some won't, and therefore are doomed to post on incel and red pill forums for eternity... a personal hell of choice, I suppose.) BobJohnson (talk) 18:11, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
Tate's appeal is that what he does appears to 'work'. He portrays himself as a modern Don Draper, the hyper-consumerist, alpha male with success measured in flashy cars, consumer goods, a harem of young ladies who don't talk back and so on. When you're a greasy teen in a dour bedroom wallowing in the traditional anger and loathing because of the iniquity of girls refusing to drop their knickers on demand and your parents not getting you a new iPhone and Air Jordans... the vision of a successful person having 'it all' is a powerful one indeed. What's more despite the reports of young Millennials/Gen Z etc being much more [sic] 'woke' and 'socal justice' persons, I have seen a very strong undercurrent of budding neo-Thatcherites; materialistic, individualistic and entrepreneurial. If you worship money and success, well Tate is a decent priest of your religion.
Therefore, the easiest way to wreck Tate is to make him unsuccessful. Even if he gets off all the legal charges, if his name is dirt with all women, cannot earn from his grifts/shills and his legal fights rinsed him for cash, he will present a lot less attractive character to above greasy teens. However, the issue is that the cult shall simply move on to another, younger Tate. Unless you start to disassemble the 'radicalisation factors', said cult shall continue, just with other people. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:21, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
People miss that the point of Don Draper is that he's miserable, and just an all-around terrible human being. Corvee (talk) 02:01, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
Tate's stereotype of "having it all" really isn't how it works anyways, except maybe for a portion of the certain "loud money" segment that resides in places like the entertainment industry. This fantasy shit is sold over and over again in common media, though (never mind that the cars and the mansion in that blingy video are rented, and the girls draping themselves over the lead are hired pro models or aspiring actresses playing a part).
If recent gossip reports that reportedly were sourced from Romania's DIICOT are right, Tate's net worth is an estimated $12 million. Not exactly shabby, but a far cry from ruling class level (or what Tate purportedly bragged about). Most of these assets seem to be tied up in luxury cars and watches, showing that (unless Tate actually researched enough to pick "the exceptions") Hustle University failed to teach the important concept of depreciation. BobJohnson (talk) 03:05, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
Most don't miss that point, Corrupt - I use Don Draper as a shorthand for what the incel's 'dream self' is, that's all. But even then, there are a subsect of people who watched that and still wanted to be him [hell, there was a subsection which wanted to be Betty Draper too, which was more inexplicable].
As for Tate... it does not matter that in reality such things don't work like that. We are not his target democraphic, for starters. But you point correctly that the ent industry etc has painted lifestyles like this on the screen and there are a demographic of people who think that is real [and perhaps more who in their heart know it isn't but really wish it to be]. I draw a comparison with Trump here; Trump does not really live/act like a very rich person - he lives and acts like how a uninformed poor person thinks they do. And the reality is also rather jarring; most other businesses hate Trump because he's a hectoring bully who nickel-and-dimes to the hilt and normally welches on his debts. But this doesn't matter as long as the MAGA-hats continue to believe Trump's persona of being 'a very successful person'.
As for spending habits... that is not surprising, really; I've pegged Tate as a greed-based shyster who thus, uses much of his gains to fund projections of material success [rather than a more careful 'salt and invest' strategy]. However, we don't actually know how much he's worth and where that went; may turn out ultimately that like the music video, his 'lifestyle' is in fact a Potemkin village - if I remember correctly, the Romanians refused bail on believing he had more than enough liquid funds to vanish forever if let out. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:45, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
I mean, it's pretty obvious from the show that at best, most wanna-be Casanovas can only hope to be a Pete Campbell. And THAT is if they happen to be a highly-skilled businessman who makes millions of dollars per year, but hey, at least he gets back together with Diane Nguyen at the end because the writers needed to give that twerp a happy ending for whatever reason.
I think that's part of the problem with having "super-cool" characters in your show; no matter how explicit you say that the person is actually a miserable sad-sack who gets those around them harmed or even killed (originally, Roger Sterling was going to DIE because Don sabotaged the elevator in season 1 as part of his plan to exhaust his competition, and in the final season Don admits he accidentally killed his superior officer), people will always imagine themselves as the character.Corvee (talk) 17:42, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
I use it as a shorthand to explain what 'incel' means in a nutshell to people who don't really know; ie 'often unsuccessful younger men who think it is their right to be Don Draper and think 'feminism' is completely to blame for them not achieving it'. When they reply along the lines of 'being Don Draper didn't even work for Don Draper' my retort is along the lines of that's a key fault of the ideology. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:41, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

This is over[edit]


BTW, do you know any painless and effective way to [redacted] myself? Deadend (talk) 16:29, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

While climate change is serious, a few key points here:
A) James HansenWikipedia is a very respectable climate scientist, but this is a "draft", meaning not peer-reviewed yet.
B) The paper is essentially a debate on the impact of reducing pollution to climate change. The argument is the reduction of sulfites will cause faster global warming than in the past. As seen in the article, not everyone agrees. Per the article, the IPCC thinks that overall, competing effects that happened when reducing pollution essentially cancelled each other out.
Overall, on climate change predictions, the IPCC consensus has a pretty good track record. Individual predictions have been "more varied". So don't get too excited by one scientist's pre-print paper. If it's valid, we'll find out on further publication and review. BobJohnson (talk) 18:09, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Honestly, it sounds like more scaremongering. What we are doing to the air is Not Good, but all the catastrophic predictions are doomerism that just causes people to become more apathetic or dejected about the world we live in, and result in people just simply giving up trying to fix things since it's all for nothing anyway. Corvee (talk) 19:14, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
"Saying that X is true would have bad results" is not a good argument for X being false. Also, why would a climate scientist in all things be interested in people ignoring climate change? To save his job? IluzasipalStone them! 20:58, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Except that X isn't true, it's a harmful lie.
Imagine you have someone that's overweight. If you tell them they have have various conditions X Y and Z, they might change their diet, though probably not. If you lie to them that they are already doomed and will be dead in 5 years no matter what they do, you aren't scaring them into losing weight but convincing them that they might as well gorge themselves because they have nothing to lose.
The Earth is "fat", and we are changing our diet. The change is admittedly slower than we'd like, but it is changing, and we've already reached the point where salads/renewables are cheaper than burgers/fossils. We are going to develop new health condition after health condition, but those conditions aren't fatal. Our doctors need to be honest with us, so that we know we have hope, that our diet is actually helping, etc, or we will be so discouraged as to just give up and go back to the all you can eat buffet and give up the gym. Corvee (talk) 21:17, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

1. Any news about GW is basically a "worse than expected" or "thought to be impossible" (for example: Ocean Temperatures and Twaites glacier collapse). 2. How dare you to call Jim Hansen (one of the most respected climatologists and activists) a liar? 3. Bad analogy; nobody experiences "runaway fat accumulation". Also, the patient is near multiorgan failure

Why this site tend to be so lukewarm and wishful-thinking? Time is giving reason to Jonathan Franzen and Jem Bendell.

Deadend (talk) 21:47, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

A story like this is better? https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2022/07/22/unraveling-the-interconnections-between-air-pollutants-and-climate-change/#:~:text=Similar%20to%20sulfate%20particulate%20matter%2C%20other%20anthropogenic%20aerosols,by%20scattering%20sunlight%20away%20from%20the%20Earth%E2%80%99s%20surface
y'all are anthropo...morphalising? global climate health. The analogies just don't work. 2600:8804:500:FE90:A196:C32E:422:7E8A (talk) 02:36, 23 June 2023 (UTC) 02:35, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
Those two men and "reason" should never be in the same sentence. Franzen is an author (a terrible one, I heard) who outright said he pulled his climate modelling out of his ass in his infamous editorial. Bendell has been debunked multiple times by respected climate scientists like Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt, and he's an egotist hypocrite who insists that everyone else should let go of things, but he shills carbon-intensive Bitcoin, denies COVID, and insist he gets to keep making carbon-intensive flights because his words are just so important to the world. They may as well be Jordan Peterson for all the oxygen they suck from people actually qualified to talk about climate with their pretentious word salads. Colossal Squid (talk) 06:01, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

That Titanic submersible[edit]

So if you have been paying attention to the news lately, you may have noticed that a Submersible by the name of Titan went down to the Titanic and disappeared, and I think the various conspiracy theories that quickly popped up surrounding its disappearance, I think it would make a great article for this wiki. A somebody. (talk) 02:25, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

Since people can be incredible ghouls, that one of the people on board donated to Republican campaigns is somehow relevant. And some other self-professed liberals seem to think this is somehow funny. Right now it would be awfully hard to create an article, but once it's definitively resolved (I hope ending in rescue) I could see putting something together. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:55, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
That's extremely optimistic, I don't think they can be saved now IF they are still alive. A somebody. (talk) 03:16, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I said hope, not expect. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:47, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
At this point, best case scenario is that the older people willingly sacrificed themselves to save air for the teen, though extra days of air is meaningless if there's no drinkable water. To be clear, I'm not happy these people are dying, but I understand where some of the vicious little keyboard-warriors are coming from; "affluenza"; a lot of rich people behave as if "consequences" are things that happen to the poors, because for the societal consequences they usually are. Wreck your sports car? So long as you are unharmed, no biggie, mummy and dadda will buy you a new one. Drugs, guns and prostitutes? Heck, just this week the President's son cut a plea deal that involves 0 jail time for doing all of those things. But the problem is, not all consequences are from society. So one Kennedy kid will get drunk, ignore ski patrol, go backward while playing football on a ski slope, and that tree didn't give two twigs who that kid's dad was. This voyage, at $250,000 in some jerry-rigged abomination, seems to only appeal to the people who are both so rich that dropping the equivalent of a middle-class house on a single ticket is nothing and seem to believe that accidents are problems for other people. Right now, there are 5 people who are discovering for the first time in their lives, that sometimes, there are problems that no amount of money can ever solve. Corvee (talk) 06:33, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Some people might be ghouls, but others have some 'mitigating factors'; brutalised and traumatised by decades of shit treatment by 'their betters' and aware of how severe and entrenched inquality has gotten - the chance to mock members of said betters when in a jam was too tasty to turn up. Plus, when said elite class with depressing regularity turns a tin ear to their own problems, why the fuck should they get sympathy when they have one for once [of their own making, too!]
I personally term 'affluenza' as 'the master ethic'; that most of Anglo elites genuinely believe they're better than us and that often bad things won't happen to them, and if it does they'll be able to use their advantages to get out of it. Death is the only 'bad thing' which cannot be thwarted regardless of wealth, just delayed a bit [which doesn't stop them from trying, though]. This was pointed out in woodcuts etc from the Middle Ages, which clearly had the experiences of the Black Death etc in their memory.
This voyage has echoes of that Douglas film The Game about it; in that when you get to the 0.1% class, you've already 'done' everything you'd like to when you were in the 1% - the five-star dining, the super-luxury breaks, filling out your antiques collection, strings of paid-for lovers etc. Jaded by surfit and in a kind of competition with your fellow 0.1%'ers, you are constantly looking for the truly unique to shake you out of your ennui; 'ultra-veblen' goods such as visiting space, owning a Fabergé egg, private performances from your fave musician and so on. After all, how many people could say 'I have looked at the wreck of the Titanic'? The risk of death - like Douglas found - is a feature, not a bug; that the risk makes you feel truly alive, and thus provides excitement. This is the appeal of other events such Everest climbing, skydiving, shark-cage diving or similar.
And I assume you mean that Biden leveraged the advantages another of his class would have [good lawyer, knows how to play the system] rather than implying he called in a favour from the Old Man. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:59, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Anglo-Elites? I'm quite sure that "rich asshole with a superiority complex" is not limited to the British, especially considering that there are mid-eastern "oil sheiks" who literally own slaves. Corvee (talk) 13:22, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
What surprises me (or maybe it doesn't) is this. Five hundred migrants drown in the Mediterranean - and the world isn't very moved. Four millionaires get lost looking at the Titanic - and the world's navies are mobilized.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:27, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Now some people are claiming the sub sank because of diversity equity and inclusion initiatives. I'm sure that someone, somewhere has accused someone on that sub of being "friends" with Hillary. Corvee (talk) 14:01, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
"Why did the Titanic submersible sink? Because it got too woke."
Just a quick check on r/conspiracy... aside from schadenfreude over making fun of the "move fast break things" aspect of this sub (eg the CEO hated regulations, the f'n thing was controlled by a common Logitech wireless game controller, etc.), a bit that lots of others are doing... I don't see much other than the usual "it must be a cover-up for the (insert COVID-19 conspiracy that refuses to die)!" that they already do for everything else. Maybe the true nutty opinions on this are elsewhere at this time, though... BobJohnson (talk) 14:10, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm actually not upset the sub used a game controller. As opposed to what; a custom-built part that weighs 5x as much and hasn't been tested? Good engineering doesn't just use the fewest moving parts, but the most common parts as well. You want parts that can be replaced in a pinch, that people know how to fix. Corvee (talk) 15:06, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I've worked with enough "wireless computer things" to know that they are prone to failures and disconnects relatively easy, depending on the model. So that wouldn't have been my choice (at minimum, something hard-wired). There are other reports that indicate other MacGuyvered aspects, such as construction pipes used as ballasts.
From my personal viewpoint, though, it doesn't matter a whole lot what they used or not. Like KarmaPolice alluded to, there's always been a part of rich playboy culture that enjoys a little bit of risky shit. No different than the rich folks that race fast cars or go on "heli-skiing" adventures, in some sense. So it doesn't matter too much that there's a little jerry-rigging to "get er done". It's actually baffling to me how this became a top headline story in some ways.BobJohnson (talk) 15:35, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I read your article in the The Grauniad, Bob; https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/jun/22/the-greek-shipwreck-was-a-horrific-tragedy-yet-it-didnt-get-the-attention-of-the-titanic-story
Anyway, how it got in the headlines so high I think it's mainly because it's kinda a 'slow news day' and it's kinda easy to report on. It's a tragedy, but it's not the kind of situation most of us shall ever face and the numbers at risk is very low. What's more, there's always been a bit of a peverse interest in 'people in mortal danger in strange ways', like when those kids got stuck in the cave, lost balloons and so on. But I also think there's a bit of gatekeeping going on too; a lot of media is owned by right-wingers and there's a lot of stories they'd prefer to 'tone down' the coverage of - for example, in the UK more tales of mini-subs and 'girl who IDs as cat' means less focus on the senile Tory Govt and how they have truly crippled this country.
And when I said 'Anglo elites', I meant the Anglosphere [wider type], not just 'British'. It's just don't know enough about other elites on how they think/feel. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:58, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I'd suggest learning about the non-Western world. One of the interesting thing about Western Elites is that they actually are very enthusiastic about allowing in new blood and fawning over the "success" stories like Musk, Gates, Jobs and Bezos; if anyone can become billionaires, that's proof enough that everyone who already is a billionaire due to family wealth must also have been super-talented and worked just as hard to get that fat inheritance.Corvee (talk) 17:40, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
That's a lot harder than you think; first you have to learn about the norms of said culture, make a study of that society's elite class, and then start making some extrapolations on how they actually think/feel. Oddly enough, despite the occasional flamboyant public-facing type most are fairly nondescript individuals who normally do not want public attention and shall in fact spend lots of money to avoid it. The 'acceptance' of new entrants to the Anglo elites is only partial; they'll accept you if you don't buck the elite system or the general structure of society. As Orwell noted some eighty years back with the British ruling class, this is the perfect system for an elite to survive perhaps forever - that by co-opting a select few 'outsiders' each generation, it not only replenishes the wealth/power base of the group but also deprives any possible 'rebel movement' against them of leadership. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:27, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── One thing that sets this event apart from the larger tragedies of migrants perishing on the way to Europe is novelty, though that only accounts for differences in curiosity, not for the large proportional differences in attempts to rescue.

Anyway, expert views appear split on the sub's most likely fate. There's been news reports of banging sounds, but it's not really clear if it's really from that sub or something else picked up. It seems the CEO on board fired a director for trying to do a real job investigating safety.[8] One issue pointed to in several places, e.g. also by a former Swedish marine director who I read in the newspaper today, is that the window on that sub is much larger, roughly 6 times 6 times as large as is conventional, for a sub designed for such depths, and that the sub shape also definitely can withstand less pressure than the ball shapes preferable in such designs, and that most likely, from early on the sub was "lying on the bottom like a flattened beer can" after imploding following a leak. A small leak would lead to the death of all passengers within seconds once far down.

Interestingly enough, the original Titanic accident catalyzed changes in safety standards. Likewise, this sub accident may perhaps lead to changes in this smaller business area, away from these "non-professional" practices, but maybe not if really rich people want to pay for exactly what went down. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:27, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

Actually, what causes death in a sub leak? You don't have time to drown. The pressures involved would be enough to absolutely obliterate your entire body; note that fish brought up from the deep tend to explode as they are not adapted to the lower pressures, and the compression of organs happens differently depending on the fluid/air content, effectively ripping you to hamburger from the inside out. There's the sheer kinetic force of being hit by an angry wave of water, smashing your body into paste. But before all this, the air inside the sub compresses rapidly. And what does compressed air do? It heats up. And the pressure where they are is around 400 atmospheres, meaning that the roughly 20 cubic meters of air in the sub rapidly convert into 1/20th of a cubic meter, actually I don't know the math on this one but I think that the temperature of compressed air is just "number of kelvins times amount of compression", so, umm, the temperature in that sub is 100,000 degrees kelvin... ignoring that the rapidly heating air would have massively more pressure than before and thus won't compress as much. So I think the question is; do you die because your entire body gets torn to shreds by the pressure, because a wall of water decides to cosplay as Chris Brown, or because the heat is so intense that you flash-cook before either manage to tear you all the new assholes? Corvee (talk) 18:48, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
It's sounding more like Jackass, The Billionaire Edition. Bongolian (talk) 19:04, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
More news in, wreckage found.[9][10] The implosion explanation was the correct one. Since no such noise from an implosion was picked up during the search and rescue efforts, probably it happened very early. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:06, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Any chance they could recover the remains? At this point, I kind of want the estates of these guys to cover the search and rescue costs. I mean, I understand they already pay tax, but the taxes I pay on gasoline go to funding the highways, so I think that some of that $250k/ticket for the dive should go to funding the coast guard or whoever is responsible for when an accident like this occurs. Corvee (talk) 20:18, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
It seems like a lot of work to recover the remains. So far it's not clear how much of an effort will be made for that.
Asked about the prospect of recovering the bodies of the victims, Mauger [of the U.S. Coast Guard] said he did not have an answer. “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor,” he said.
--ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:26, 22 June 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Back to conspiracy theories, the first angle in this whole discussion, I found this, though by itself it's a bit boring (hardly enough for an RW article).[11] A Simpsons episode included a vaguely similar fiction, leading some to conclude... "“I think we should watch all Simpsons episodes so that we can know their plans.” Apparently unironic, and similar to other claims about Simpsons and other popular fiction in relation to other things (see predictive programming). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:02, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

Should We Do Something With That Discord[edit]

Apologies if I'm not doing this right, I'm still on the new side, but I joined the Discord and submitted everything and--no response, and from what I've heard this is far from uncommon. Should we do something about that? Or even, if we can't, get a new Discord server? I'd happily volunteer to run it. — Unsigned, by: Ephrom / 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.
Despite the link, on the left-hand column, the Discord server is not an official part of RationalWiki. I'm not even sure who's in charge of the server. Is it @LeftyGreenMario? Bongolian (talk) 03:17, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
@Bongolian I run the Saloon Bar Discord. I lacked motivation to edit this site and maintain the Discord since I have been busy with college, and I became generally bored of RW since I've started to disagree with the liberal/anti-socialist POV more and more.
@Ephrom feel free to PM me on Discord (Rockford the Roe#0677 or rockfordroe), I'll get you in ASAIC. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 21:11, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

Made a YouTube video that parodies the Don't Say Gay bill; although it pertains to environmental pollution[edit]


The premise is that a bill called the "Environmental Business Act" is put into law by right wing Republicans in South Carolina. The (what is for now) fictional Environmental Business Act allows for the removal of safeguards against environmental pollution, the dumping of toxic materials into the environment without consequences and the dumping of toxic waste into Indigenous American land without the consent of tribal leaders. These events lead to rainwater becoming toxic and making part of South Carolina uninhabitable.

Why do I have a feeling that the concept I came up with would probably become reality? Fossil fuels companies will get congressional members in their pockets so they get rich. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:11, 21 June 2023 (UTC)

The good news: Oil age is over; Peak Oil happened in 2005 (conventional) and 2018 (shale). Collapse of our civilization is now guaranteed, as renewables can't replace them... The ugly news: Capitalism and corporations are basically unbeatable (150 of history proves me right) The bad news: It's too late anyways. Both climate and ecosystem collapse have become totally runaway, adaptation won't be possible


Extrapolating 150 years to eternity is so ahistorical that I can safely dismiss the rest of your writing as similar quality: i.e. junk. Colossal Squid (talk) 05:43, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

The Titan Submersible Disaster; Not the Worst Outcome[edit]

The main controversy is whether people should joke about it. I spent my time hoping something could be done, but assuming it was an implosion. Which is kinda best case scenario for a fatal failure in a submersible that deep. I have a friend who dives, he assured me that a death at that depth is instant, and explained any dive's depth is also paired with water density. Where they had the failure there would not have been time to even panic, they were crushed by the weight of the ocean instantly.

I know it's weird to say, but I was relieved to hear that. I understand the narrative of play stupid games win stupid prizes. I'm not a fan of rich people playing stupid games, and I understand they signed up for it. I'm just relieved the stupid prize wasn't torture. 2600:8804:500:FE90:A196:C32E:422:7E8A (talk) 02:08, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

In my book, instant death is always preferable to prolonged, painful, inevitable death. One of the passengers, Suleman Dawood, was terrified of going but was apparently coerced by his father who was also a passenger,[12] so probably not a good idea to joke about it for that reason alone. Bongolian (talk) 03:24, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
People have made Darwin Award jokes for less. CEO Stockton Rush at least gets no sympathy from me for deliberately ignoring safety warnings and dragging other people down with him as a result. He's like a cautionary libertarian parable. Colossal Squid (talk) 06:05, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
On the plus side, their deaths should serve as a warning to other rich people not to engage in these kinds of "adventures". Stick to, IDK, taking a tour of Detroit or something. Corvee (talk) 15:47, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
Except for their families, I don't care at all for their deaths. It's again a warning about why libertarianism and its occasional disregard of safety laws, etc. is a VERY bad idea.
That said, their deaths at least were instantaneous. They did not have to endure what people onboard the Kursk, or those in WWII submarines (see also in Das Boot when the U-96 is chased by destroyers and tries to escape diving as deeper as they can) had to before dying Panzerfaust (talk) 22:19, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
Re: Rich people "adventures," people still insist on piggybacking off the Sherpa people, er, climbing Mt. Everest despite all the dead bodies there. Colossal Squid (talk) 02:00, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

7,777 articles[edit]

@Anna Livia here we are. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:08, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

Now we gotta do some AfD’s to bring it back down. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:37, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
Once is not enough? Anna Livia (talk) 23:11, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
Also,[13] Never on Sunday.[14] Bongolian (talk) 04:43, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

Evolution question[edit]

It seems most of you got it right, though some of you still got it wrong. This question can easily be answered by cladistics. Cartiligious fish like sharks split from bony fishes, which would later give rise to lobe-finned fishes then tetrapods, 420 million years ago. Amniotes, like reptiles, mammals, and birds split off from amphibians like salamanders 340 million years ago. Synapsids, the ancestors of mammals like humans, split from the rest of the amniotes 320 million years ago, and archosaurs like dinosaurs and by extension birds diverged around 250 million years ago. Thus, of the list chickens and lizards share the most recent common ancestor, and thus are the most closely related. A common misconception about evolution is that it's a linear process towards perfection, and thus a lot of laypeople are likely to pick the salamander as the answer. However, salamanders and their ancestors were still evolving during those 320 million years, so they're less closely related to lizards than we are! Plutocow (talk) 20:53, 20 June 2023 (UTC)

I think this mistake might stem from the phenotypical similarities (both are small four-feeted critters, while humans and birds are bipedal), and amphibia and reptilia being often lumped together, e.g. in the field of herpetology. IluzasipalStone them! 23:10, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
Can someone explain why "dinosaurs" are a subset of "reptiles", "birds" are a subset of "dinosaurs", but "birds" are not a subset of "reptiles"? I mean, I get that this was because the word "reptile" had definitions that didn't account for more recent discoveries, but on the other wiki the literal first sentence of the Dino page says dinos are reptiles and a note specifically saying that birds are also reptiles, but the first sentence of the reptile page specifically says that the most definitions of "reptile" exclude birds. I mean, I'm fine with birds being defined as "avian reptiles" and reptiles being "non-avian reptiles", but I think birds should be a type of reptile. Corvee (talk) 06:41, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Most paleontologists are moving away from using the term "reptile" and use the term "sauropsid" instead, which includes birds, dinosaurs, turtles, and whatever else. "Reptile" is not cladistically valid and the only reason why it's still used is tradition. Plutocow (talk) 06:48, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
Ah, sort of like how "organic" specifically excludes CO2 because shut up that's why. Corvee (talk) 07:05, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
I think it’s actually because organic compounds are mostly identified by the presence of a hydrocarbon chain that is at the very least as complex as methane with the vast majority of organic compounds being vastly more convoluted in hydrocarbon shape and functional groups. Carbon dioxide doesn’t have any hydrogen atoms bound to carbon, and hence isn’t a hydrocarbon. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 15:47, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

Cure for baldness[edit]

Should we have an article on the subject of baldness?[15] Follicle Evolution (talk) 10:10, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

If you want to make one that's missional (i.e., includes pseudoscientific or scam treatments), then go ahead. Bongolian (talk) 19:58, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Yes there are some examples.[16] I'll start on a draft. Follicle Evolution (talk) 21:57, 24 June 2023 (UTC)


I wish I could get paid for spewing my uninformed opinions on everyone, research optional, and gain widespread acclaim for telling people what they want to hear. Heck, I could be a notoriously misogynistic author mired in controversy, but I pen one article saying "We're all doomed!" and all is forgiven! (yes, that last part is about Jonathan Franzen. I'm petty) Colossal Squid (talk) 15:38, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

Is it really widespread acclaim though? It seems only true of the people who are exact sort of ideologues the pundit in question is trying to appeal to. I don't think anyone besides hard-right conservatives (and even in that case mostly just the most extreme among them) are going to remember Ben Shapiro fondly after he passes away. Take Rush Limbaugh for example, just as many people were celebrating his death as much as his fans mourned him. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:57, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Also is Johnathon Franzen even a pundit? I haven't read his works but Wikipedia doesn't particularly describe him as someone with obvious and explicit political views. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:01, 24 June 2023 (UTC)


So what will happen next? Is it a case of rats deserting the sinking ship or attempting to take over the command deck? Anna Livia (talk) 23:11, 23 June 2023 (UTC)

It's the end of History. We cannot be defeated. Resistence is futile. I love the liberal order. Almost as much as I love being on the winning side. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 23:23, 23 June 2023 (UTC)
No this sounds like history, because history is full of events, but it will be the end of history if Wagner gains control of the nukes. A somebody. (talk) 15:32, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
I knew their was discussion about the possibility of a Russian civil war but I’d never believe it would happen
Then against I’d never though Russia would try to invade another country and then screw so badly it makes our performance in Vietnam look good24.240.45.217 (talk) 02:16, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
I see 3 possible scenarios:
  1. This is a huge deceptive operation to get Ukraine to make careless attacks. I don’t think this one is likely.
  2. Prigozhin has taken his role as Putin’s “counter balance” to the regular army and sop to the ultranationalists too far and things have spiralled out of control. This is possible, but I don’t see it as likely.
  3. This is Prigozhin’s desperate last gamble. Possibly he was expecting and trying to preempt a crackdown on Wagner by the military, but I doubt he has Putin’s approval. This currently sounds most plausible to me.
It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming hours, though for those who cheer at this as an expression of internal, Russian dissent and conflict, I would cite the old “be careful what you wish for” adage. A Russian regime pandering even more to or, even worse, run by the ultranationalists is not going to improve things, quite the opposite. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:12, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Supposedly, the leader of the Wagner Group wants to remove the heads of the Ministry of Defense, I guess to put him in charge of the war, not Putin which is probably aiming too high and knowing what happens with the Russian troops in terms of crappy logistics, corruption, cannon fodder sent there, etc. somehow I'm not surprised at all. I'm genuinely worried in any case. Panzerfaust (talk) 07:26, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
I am thinking it's a mixture of 2/3. He's long criticised the 'Siloviki faction' [exp the Army] for reasons ranging from 'has a point' to 'utterly stupid' for it's conduct of the war and it's clear that the Czar has long allowed him and his ilk ['Mafyia faction'] to function to counterbalance.
But then the Army fucked him over; sent his 'army' into the Bakhmut meat-grinder to decimate his forces and I've seen reports that he's been either unable to or blocked from recruiting more dregs from gulags to replenish. Yesterday, Prigozhin went a step further - directly blaming the seniors of the Army for causing the war [directly contradicting the official narrative], 'only to get Shoigu [the head of Army] a Marshal's star'. He also attacks the 'oligarch faction', by stating they're the ones who are running Russia into the ground.
This narrative is 'less untrue' than the official one. It's also one which fits better the known facts from the POV of the narod, who are not half as stupid as the Czar thinks they are [they simply cannot do anything about it]. If the milbloggers etc managed to amplify Prigozhin's message on the Runet, it is possible he might induce other discontents to join him, in particular low-mid ranking military officers who quite clearly see how Pyrrhic the advances are proving for Russia.
Referring to Panzerfaust's remark - literally or figuratively? Anna Livia (talk) 09:07, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
My conclusion is this. Prigozhin does not think this 'rebellion' would work in it's official goal. He is hoping this will catch the Czar's eye, and when considering the complaints and seeing how many people support him, will re-shuffle the pack, giving his faction higher standing and claiming a couple of the most odious [to him] scalps from the Silovikis. You can see this in the way that Prigozhin has critically avoided any criticisms of the Czar. This is a classic 'overmighty subject' rebellion against the king's 'evil advisors'.
And I was told as a teen my A-Level history would be useless... KarmaPolice (talk) 07:43, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
the thing I don't understand is this. Putin was just on TV having a public fit about this. Certainly did not hold back on his language - yet the internal Russian troops seem to be barely reacting. Do they tacitly support Prigozhin? Have things just moved too quickly for them? Of course it's early days - and we don't know how the situation will develop.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:47, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Is 'I would rather betray the world than have the world betray me' coming into play?
The Wagner group have taken Rostov. Anna Livia (talk) 09:07, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
My answer to Bob’s question of why there has been no direct crackdown on Prigozhin/Wagner yet is that there is probably attempts at defusing the situation behind the scenes without having to go in guns blazing. I don’t think this is because Putin or the security forces are unwilling to go in, but more because it would look bad to the Russian populace if there’s a sort of open civil war. Such a conflict would directly contradict Putin’s narrative of a strong and united Russia whose foes are all external or at most a few fifth columnists. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:46, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
It could be. But it still seems odd. The first city they took was Rostov-on-Don. This is the tactical control center in Russia for the Ukraine war - it's not some unimportant place in the middle of nowhere. It seems kind of odd that the Russians in control just seem to have let them walk in and take over.
And even if it were nowhereville (which it certainly is not), it's still odd. Can you imagine British or American forces simply relinquishing control of a UK or US city to an armed group simply because conflict would look worse?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:02, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Bob - no, I could not imagine this happening in the USA or UK, but Russia is not like us. Russia is a neo-feudalistic state - it suffers from a critical weakness in lack of legal systems, power legitimacy, democratic safeguards and with power concentrated in a very small stratum. This makes them rather vunerable to such 'irregular changes in leadership'. What has happened is that like days of yore, a 'noble' [Prigozhin] has ridden out with his 'vassals' [Wagner] in rebellion against 'the Czar' [Putin], using a variant of the old 'attacking the evil advisors' line.
I partly disagree with Wombat; I do think it's not simply 'don't want' to crush Prigozhin because they think they'll look bad. The peasants shall believe what they're told [or know to be silent], decapitating of one uppity noble will serve as a reminder for the rest and he doesn't give a fuck what the outside world thinks. I suspect that Putin to some extent cannot act. Remember, the Czar's power only runs as far as the nobles do what he demands and I am getting the feeling that quite a lot of them are sitting on their hands right now, which explains the relative non-violence between say, Wagner and Army/Police/FSB/Guard units and the fact it's not like many have come out with firm pro-Putin messages either. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:18, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
And suddenly it's all over!? Except that it won't be.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:48, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Of course. One of the interesting things is the fact that Russian official media admitted [though hugely downplayed] the situation. To me, speaks of a worry that the 'rebellion' would spread and thus, the narod needed some form of answer [for if it came to blows]. But - why would the nobles be worried about that? Paranoia? Or a sign of a brewing level of war-weariness within Russia? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:31, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Update; seems like Prigozhin is going into exile in Belarus and a blanket amnesty is being offered to Wagner persons. However, it sounds like their merging into conventional Russian forces will still continue [just in a more roundabout manner than before]. The ball is back in Putin's court; he's got until Monday evening [I guess] to signal to Russia whether he is going to take any of the 'Prigozhin complaints' on-board. We have to hope he will not, because I suspect some of them would actually improve Russian military capacity [though I suspect would also burn out Russia quicker]. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:27, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────While the neo feudalism metaphor is somewhat useful for discussing Russia, I think that one thing that needs to be emphasised as part of the “neo” is the presence of nationalism. This is why I considered the importance of public opinion to be one that might have influenced the relatively peaceful resolution of a very dangerous situation. A bloody rebellion or outright civil war would alienate large sections of the populace and likely fatally undermine a key part of Putin’s legitimacy: That he made Russia strong, united, and if not respected, then at least feared on the world stage (though that has taken a nosedive after his open invasion of Ukraine).

I find it very unlikely that Putin was unable to act due to pressure or opposition from his “nobles”, not least because the factions aligned with the army would probably have loved to give Prigozhin a proper smack down.

The constraint, apart from public opinion (i.e. nationalist sentiment), is more likely to have been the necessity of possibly redirecting at least some forces from Ukraine as the latter is already on the offensive, or at the very least the threat of interrupting Russian supply lines.

The rather lenient solution also means that Russian military efforts can continue fairly smoothly, or at least without serious interruptions due to Prigozhin and Wagner. Prigozhin is now basically in a more comfortable version of Siberia, but he and his supporters have not been purged in a Stalinist style house cleaning, meaning that disagreements among the Russian elites have not turned into outright life and death struggles.

While this solution has its downsides in terms of deterrence, not turning power struggles into win or die scenarios do have some advantages for Putin, because it means that opponents do have a way out (other than victory or death). Hence, subsequent struggles will not have to, say, have to be initiated by trying to assassinate Putin or similar drastic and violent actions, which might have been the lesson if Putin had resolved the crisis by utterly destroying Prigozhin and his supporters.

Then again, if we go back to the neo feudalist concept, the solution was in character for the kind of magnanimous tsar that was one side of the coin in tsarist Russia (the other being the ruthless, awe inspiring monarch that was somewhat mistranslated into Ivan IV’s nickname as “The Terrible”). And the predecessors of this can even be found in Roman imperial tradition as well, through its strategic (and somewhat selective…) use of magnanimity by Caesar and Augustus, as well as the distinction between auctoritas and potestas as sources of power. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:11, 25 June 2023 (UTC)

Except I don't think the opinion of the Big Public in Russia ['the narod'] is really relevant. It never has been before. They are treated like mushrooms and valued by their 'betters' at roughly the same. However, the view of the 'urban middle class' [folks like officials, junior officers, scientists and managers] does carry some weight; to continue the feudalism analogy, they are Russia's 'squires'. And yes, nationalism is a motivating factor for these. Which is why I note that while they didn't seem to rally around Prigozhin's flag [even in Rostov] they didn't oppose him either. They simply sat tight and waited for orders from their superior 'noble' and/or wondering how it would pan out.
I did say that it was partly 'cannot act'; I don't think the 'nobles' would have denied him outright, but may have resorted to passive resistance such as claiming they needed time to get ready and so on [ie to find out if anyone else came out for Prigozhin]. But the very fact that situation had degraded to the point such a rebellion broke out stained the Czar's reputation of being a 3-D chessmaster in managing the various infightings within his court. Or more correctly, stained further. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:19, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
I agree that Putin and the various oligarchs and other power players generally don’t give a fig about what the narod thinks, even if they might occasionally consider the opinions of the middle class, especially the intelligentsia.
However, I do think that they were rightly concerned about the role and opinion of the narod, if open civil war had broken out. The divergent popular reactions to the rebellion (some cheering it on, while others chastised the rebels as traitors) is probably an illustration of the problem for the power elites. Whether this is taken as a problem mainly within the intelligentsia/middle class, or the narod more generally is, of course, open to debate, but my money would be on the on the latter.
That said, I completely agree that this has almost certainly damaged Putin’s reputation as 3-D chess master within Russia; i.e. the one place where it actually matters. I also agree that this damage is particularly dicey for Putin insofar as it might give the other power players ideas, rather than being likely to cause some general uprising from below, either from the intelligentsia/middle class or the narod.
As for the unwillingness to simply drown the rebellion in blood, I do think that worries that it would open the very dangerous and unpredictable Pandora’s box of civil war, including how the intelligentsia/middle class and narod might react, played a significant role in Putin’s and the other power players’ decisions. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:48, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
I don't think so. The narod have been trained by centuries to be utterly passive and disengaged from anything political. The Czar has his followers, yes; but they are generally fairly tiny in number [I like the picture the BBC had of a pro-Putin supporter outside the Kremlin on Sat... as in singular]. I've seen reports, for example that rally organisers had to resort to old Soviet tactics to ensure the Czar got full crowds out, like making student's stipends etc contingent on them turning out well for it, using spooks in civvies as a kind of 'rent-a-crowd' etc [thus making the crowds more 'squires' than 'narod']. I think the Czar's TV broadcast etc was a message to all; that he was alive/in control, the situation was being dealt with and so on. Folks of Putin's age shall remember the August 1991 coup attempt, where Soviet radio just had a short canned statement on repeat and the TV was time-filling with Swan Lake, which allowed the anti-coupists line to set the narrative for the whole thing.
That mention of 1991 is also important here; because then the 'Red Nobles' in the coup-team failed because the squires didn't really follow them. The head of the KGB found too many of 'his' people had no stomach for a new Stalinist purge and were correspondingly very sloppy in their roundups etc while the Army Marshal found himself unable to find a single military unit in the Moscow region who'd do as ordered - run over protestors and then blow up Yeltsin and Co with tank shells. This is why I would argue that 'squire support' is in fact key to any successful rebellion because you can't do much without them. But can squires make a successful rebellion off their own? I suspect not - that they need a credible alternative Czar and naturally that is going to be a noble. Which is partly why Prigozhin ultimately failed; he was not a credible contender and nobody who was turned up to join him [so Putin can at least take comfort from that].
With the damage to Putin... I think the critical one is that it shows the nobles that the Czar cannot see through walls. Prigozhin's very success showed that Putin didn't have a bloody clue until it happened. This shall result in two things; one, the nobles will lose a bit of their fear re: plotting and two, will almost certainly Putin will crack down a lot harder re: dissent. And I don't think either of these events will improve the situation for the Czar. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:23, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

Putin and Godwin?[edit]

Can one link Putin's 'Knife in the back' remark to this? Anna Livia (talk) 11:31, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

CNN [17] thinks so. Although, well, the original myth was made up for political gains, while the actions by Prigozhin are in fact hindering the Russian war effort. Might be a coincidence, but I would not be surprised if Putin would reuse old narratives and try to blame whatever happens on the actions of anyone but himself. The funny thing is that he cant really demonize Prigoshin because then he would have to explain why he had trusted him before. IluzasipalStone them! 16:35, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Okay, Medvedev is now calling it a staged coup d'état and a well planned operation, with "quite probable" participation of foreigners (read: THEY). Seems pretty close. IluzasipalStone them! 17:19, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Sometimes 'borrowing a phrase happens' (as convenient/useful/the go-to cliché), sometimes there is an element of the linguistic version of pareidolia, and sometimes the subtext/similar way of thinking actually applies.
Doing a comparison with August 1991 - are there any equivalents to the 'Gang of Eight', or 'Yeltsin and Shevardnadze'?
'As a Brit' this comes to mind. Anna Livia (talk) 18:00, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
They seem to go back, to avoid unnecessary bloodshed: https://www.politico.eu/article/wagner-group-russia-forces-turn-back-moscow-prigozhin-declares/ Panzerfaust (talk) 18:23, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
But also - they have 'made their point' as to their capability to go on to Moscow - and an implicit threat can be just as effective as one actually carried out (with a lower loss of resources).
Is Putin now in a lame duck situation? Anna Livia (talk) 12:33, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
Putin’s reputation within Russia has almost certainly been damaged and he probably has had to make some concessions to the other power elites, but he is hardly a lame duck. He has also now effectively neutralised Wagner, though he would probably have preferred to do so quietly by gradually incorporating them (back) into the regular armed forces.
As far as I know, there are no similar Russian mercenary forces with the same size and resources as Wagner, but they were always in a sort of symbiotic love/hate relation with the regular armed forces and the Russian state more generally. With Wagner out of the picture, a similar rebellion is unlikely, but other types of challenges from other Russian power players to Putin might be more likely than before, depending on what lessons they draw from Prigozhin. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:04, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
Lame duck partly in the sense of people now planning for the post-Putin period on a firmer basis. Anna Livia (talk) 20:08, 25 June 2023 (UTC)

The real story[edit]

What they didn't want you to think of...

MAGA Claims Russian Mutiny Was 'Smoke Screen' to Cover for Hunter Biden --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:37, 25 June 2023 (UTC)

All of history is a smoke screen for Hunter Biden's activities :) Anna Livia (talk) 10:44, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
US politically, I actually am curious if this changes anything on the "MAGA/white nationalist" side, who have often been Putin worshipers (in contrast to the Republican mainstream). Already some of the later are taking potshots at the former. (The same goes as well for all those European populist right parties that seem aligned with the Putin...) BobJohnson (talk) 13:53, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
The pyramids were built (by aliens) over 4,000 years ago as a smokescreen to cover for Hunter Biden. Even the aliens are part of it. Open your eyes sheeple. ShabiDOO 19:47, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

Fear Mongering?[edit]

So, tabloids and clickbait media are having a blast with Putin. Constantly warning about a Nuclear War!! My father is reading a clickbait newspaper and it doesn't matter if I tell him it's clickbait, he won't listen or gets angry or says "it's a matter of taste/we all have our own opinion".

Can someone tell wtf is going on? Apparently Biden is in a emergency meeting over this with the guy who's currently running Germany(I forgot his name) or something? Is Putin really threatening with nuking the world? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:13, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

He has been threatening to nuke basically anyone over the last years, and we're not quite dead yet. But shit is currently hitting the fan bc his homie Prigozhin and up to 25.000 armed goons, ex-prisoners and neonazis are currently on their way in the general direction of the Kremlin, and they are pretty pissed because Putin isn't giving them the attention they think they deserve. Nevertheless, Putin nuking his own territory/the US/the Pope to get rid of internal problems is something straight out of r/noncredibledefense. Something else that might contribute do the general media panic (tbf i havent read any of those tabloid stories) are rumours of the Russians acting shady around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, doing highly SFW stuff like cutting off the water supply and mining the cooling pond. IluzasipalStone them! 17:46, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
And the guy passively running Germany is Olaf Scholz IluzasipalStone them! 18:18, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
We have had the Putin nuclear war discussion before. The questions are, "Where would he use a nuclear weapon and what would he gain?"
There is no obvious place where using nuclear weapon would get him closer to what his goals are assumed to be.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:52, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Yes, the outcome of massive think tank analysis (RAND Corp. mostly) is that nuclear weapons are useful as threat/deterrence but no longer useful to use in actual acts of aggression because of mutually assured destruction. All the nuclear powers know this — it's not a secret. Bongolian (talk) 20:07, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
The Western [virtual] meetings were [I suspect] to quickly, provisionally wargame a few scenarios so if they happened [if for example some other military units started to defect, Guard tanks running over Russian protestors etc] 'the West' would be able to react in a united manner. Biden might also be sounding out the possibility of Scholz acting as a conduit to the Russians, most likely via the Chinese. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:26, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
Putin had failed 'one week after' the Ukrainian invasion when it was clear that Frederick II's quote about Poland as an 'artichoke, ready to be consumed leaf by leaf' did not apply - but the issue is in part as to when or whether Putin switches to 'Après moi, le déluge' mode. Anna Livia (talk) 12:41, 25 June 2023 (UTC)

Types of arguments to use?[edit]

Have there ever been any studies done on the type of arguments the are most likely to get someone to change there mind on a topic? For example, if someone thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old, there are lots of scientific counter arguments one could use, but does anyone know which argument would be most successful in changing that persons mind? (talk) 20:36, 24 June 2023 (UTC)

I am currently reading "How to Talk to a Science Denier" by philosopher Lee McIntyre, and he only references a single study that had experts sit down with anti-vaxxers for several hours for an in depth conversation which seemed to have some efficacy. Besides that there is not a whole lot of evidence that suggests a strong effect for any particular argument into changing one's mind on the subject of science denial. This is even accounting for the overstated case of the backfire effect (which hasn't been replicated). The truth is there is currently as far as anyone knows, no magic bullet to change the mind of a science denier. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:08, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
There's no silver bullet because there's many reasons why a person would [for example] believe the earth is 6,026 years old, and each answer has their own counterpoints. But one generic starter I would use would be to simply ask them what they believe and why. Then once they answer that, you know the angle of attack - for example if they cite Biblical literalism/infallability you then know pointing out bits of the Bible which are either scientifically wrong, contradictions or just plain insanity might work. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:59, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
"The devil can cite scripture for his purpose." Many people can be fooled by a shell game as easily as by a rational argument. Is it surprising to learn that people, who are aware they can be cheated by conmen, refuse to be taken in by reason alone? Religious faith is not an object determined by reason, and I would expect faith to be immune to its consequences. UncleKrampus (talk) 02:13, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
Well, it does depend on whether you judge them to be remotely 'persuadable' on the topic. Thus the 'sounding question' at the start. A lot of folks are not capable of re-considering their position because they are incapable of real thought on the topic or refuse to do it. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:33, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
Most arguments against science denialists don't go well because they are badly targeted. It is easy to imagine that with overwhelming data and sound arguments the other person should be persuaded. But it seems to not work that way. That's because they don't actually believe these things because of evidence and logical arguments in the first place.
Why do they believe them? Quite possibly they have grown up with them but more likely they form (or also from) part of some group identity. So you are almost never going to get some road-to-Damascus change because that group identity is going to be much more important to them than your good opinion. Your best bet (I would suggest) is simply to challenge on one relatively small thing and just drop it. Let them think about and if they come back on it later then take it a little but further. But the moment you get into an actual argument you have probably lost your chance.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:28, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
One argument that I've recently heard from an apologist is that "People believe that it took millions of years of evolution to create everything, because they don't want to accept everything was created instantaneously and we descend of Adam and Eve, as described on Genesis". I doubt you can go very further with people who defend that. Panzerfaust (talk) 08:01, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Theistic evolution doesn't rule out the possibility of a 'supreme being' being ultimately behind it all. Old Earth Creationism allows some wiggle-room by accepting that elements of the Bible are not literally true. YE Creationists like Hamm etc like to portray it as a binary option when it quite clearly is not. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:01, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Surely the whole point of "Theistic evolution" is the claim that a god of some type was behind it all - that's what makes it "theistic".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:14, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

The fancy new AI industry may burn its own tech and development out[edit]

In earlier Saloon Bar discussion, there was the idea that the fancy new chatbot AIs, and other new AIs using related technology, may produce a wild new era of grey goo imitation information, drowning out other things. But possibly this new industry may eat itself up through that very development, making its reach self-limiting.

As AI-produced stuff proliferates, and given that web-scraping is such a large part of its basis, newly trained AI models are basically poisoned when trained on old AI-generated material. "Model collapse" may occur in the worst case, the quality of AI models imploding as more AI-generated data creeps into the AI training set, the capabilities being reduced to more basic babbling in a way that has been compared to inbreeding and dementia.[18] Furthermore, much of the training makes use of hordes of people paid the bare minimum to do digital chores such as teach the AI what options it should go with, or even make more source material for it, and they in turn have understandably taken to using AI to do that digital drudgery for them.[19]

I think it would be fun if this new industry burns itself out within a few years, quality of new models dropping over time in such a way that the bigger and better latest things can't be sold as improvements any more, and the bubble then pops. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 07:13, 25 June 2023 (UTC)

Every new business sector booms, flies too high and then falls to the ground on fire. If lucky, a sturdy core of viable business shall emerge from the wreckage. Plantation colonies, insurance, railways, the stock market, internet-based businesses and crypto... all of these things [and a massive load more] promised to 'completely change the world' [in some way] and while ultimately they did, it was after a lot of capital was sunk and lost on it and the changes weren't as radical as originally thought. I see no reason to not expect the AI industry to follow the same pattern.
That yes, a lot of shitty AIs shall be produced, just like many railways to nowhere in particular were built or internet businesses with no plan to actually make money were made. That many businesses shall run too gleefully into AI with big pound-signs on their eyes, thinking they'll be able to fire everyone at the office save the execs - and then promptly find their business either hacked, fall over and/or get crippling consumer backlash from their cheapskate purchases. That shysters shall oversell jerrybuilt glorified chatbots as bespoke perfect solutions to mugs. That many large companies shall sink tons of cash into building AIs which don't really work that well. And a lot of 'conservative' businesses shall stay way away from it; one of the slight surprises from the pandemic was just how many offices were still functioning in the fax-paper-manila folder era in advanced countries like the UK. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:57, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
I basically see the "self-driving cars" hype cycle in this current AI cycle. The background technology is similar, the hype cycle from certain business dweebs eager to replace humans is similar, and both the hype of AI replacing every single thing and the dystopian doomsdaying is similar. After almost two decades of self-driving car hype though, we have very little to show for it except for some limited in scope trials, certain narrow scenarios, and improved cruise control modes (of which certain companies have most certainly over-hyped, with some nasty results).
From my perspective, artificial intelligence is kind of a neat technology in its own way, it certainly has improved certain aspects of Internet search for me, and I'm sure it has helped reduce grunt-work in other areas. I've never found AI though to be "reliable enough". In my experience, it always has a tendency to do "stupid things" every now and then. The other problem with AI is Moravec's paradoxWikipedia -- simple motor-oriented skills that humans find instinctive are very difficult for computers. So many activites that involves hands and feet are not going to be replaced by machines anytime soon. Likewise, artificial intelligence is (from my perspective) not good at novelty either. It has gotten to the point where it is good at regurgitating boilerplate (and a lot of stuff out there these days *is* boilerplate, so those generating such might have some concern). But don't mistake that for genuine creativity. BobJohnson (talk) 17:12, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
I think people should be more careful about discrediting AI without being more specific about stating which types of products they're criticizing. The hype around generative AI seems to have eclipsed all previous productive AI work that has done actual useful things. These latter, older products, tend to be based on strictly-curated input (minimizing garbage input, thus minimimizing the GIGO problem) and being specific goal-driven (thus facilitating evaluation of the quality of output). AI products such as these latter ones have facilitated research in science and medicine. Bongolian (talk) 18:05, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, with generative AI there's something for skeptics to keep a watch on in a unique way -- the fake claims that general/strong AI is just around the corner as an outgrowth of it, the commercialized "AI doomerism" (basically, "our software is so powerful it needs to be regulated like nukes -- buy it, invest in us!"), and a systematic campaign to misinform the public in which many rich and famous people part of it themselves fail the AI "mirror test" (not seeing that all the human qualities they see in the AI come from their own psychological projection onto it).
My old main point was, the current age may be unique in making it "easy" to train generative AIs by scraping the web. As those systems are used to produce imitation contents and it spreads, it becomes trickier to find lots of clean source material for training such systems. (This goes beyond GIGO, towards poisoned input potentially bringing down the whole thing so that the output is no longer marketable.) Thereafter, new players could e.g. try hammering the Internet Archive in search for lots of material, which would bring it down.[20] Eventually, big "clean" databases may be sold commercially, so that AI vendors can use those instead of the no longer possible plain web scraping. But then the AI will be largely limited to being based on such databases, which will either be too old to contain AI content or be filtered to exclude all of it. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:04, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
And that is how 'paper based books' will be rediscovered.

There is a cycle to all such things - going from 'interesting new technology, assorted developments (of which you are likely to choose 'the wrong one to invest in' and scammers), panic attacks and then 'this is so not modern, even the old hands know it' and the cycle restarts. Anna Livia (talk) 20:06, 25 June 2023 (UTC)

The critical issue - I think - is when AI is treated more than simply a tool. Their very name is a misnomer, as they are not intelligent and don't think [I perfer to think of them as 'Virtual Intelligence']. Even the mighty GPT can only regurgitate rather glib comments which it's gleaned from the top of a search engine pile while Alexa is functionally not much more than a glorified speech-based UI which has absorbed several previous standalone devices/functions. Yet this is nothing new under the sun; I'm writing this on PC-#7 which has over it's iterations aborbed many other devices/functions into itself since PC-#1 came into my life in 2000.
I personally don't think there's much risk from the OPs scenario any time soon due to the fact AIs shall remain both 'weak' and 'single purpose' for some time ahead. An AI receptionist directing calls, for example only needs to know how to interact with people who are contacting it for particular reasons, for example. The risk of 'unsupervised learning' is already well-known, due to the the 'Tay' [became altie after trolls fed it] and 'Watson' [started swearing and insulting after absorbing Urban Dictionary] chatbot issues in the last decade. Much greater [alas] is not the risk of AI ruining the internet, but AIs ruining the internet at the behest of humans. The canary; social media. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:02, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
I don't know how you read my comments, but probably not as I meant them. To clarify, I described no risk from AI (other than the initial mention of junk spreading), only risk to the vendors (to their business, through damage to their "manufacturing process" for new generative AIs). Generative AIs are "dead" once trained, they are static databases that produce outputs from input and randomness (except seeming more lively when more stuff is plugged in, like web searching used as another input). "Learning" is the manufacturing process that makes or revises the dead parrot stochastic parrot, done to stay competitive or make new products. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 15:41, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

Russian military recruitment[edit]

How is it going - given that many of the males of fighting age will have been recruited or removed themselves from recruitment (fled, deliberate injury etc) - and at what point along the routes to Primorsky Krai will the necessary skillsets for modern warfare become less common (as Arctic/taiga and yak/reindeer herding become more significant) and/or they decide that 'Ukraine is a far away country of which we know little and have little interest - "the PRC, Mongolia and the 'Stans are more significant to us?'

At what point is the impact on the birth rate (fighting age = peak breeding age) going to become visible? Anna Livia (talk) 10:56, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

Russia has no manpower issues. But she also has manpower issues. It's kinda complex, so forgive.
Russia proper has about 50m males of 'military age' to tap if she needed to [and same again of females]. However, the question is not whether 'they can get enough men' but the following...
a) Can we train, kit out and supply in-field these draftees? Men need to be trained by instructors how to fight, armed with weaponry, have logistical support and so on. Russia has sent many of her instructors to the front lines to make up for deficiencies in trained manpower, is having to draw increasingly decrepit military stocks and is incapable of supporting the current level of forces in-threatre.
b) Do we have enough officers to lead these draftees? Officers don't grow on trees; they are either trained or get battlefield commissions. Either way, that takes time. Junior officer losses have been heavy, military cadets were sent out to the front early and many of their instructors were also sent.
c) Do we have enough labour to keep the Russian economy functioning and war supplies flowing? An army needs it's civilian support; from farms to factories, hospital beds to postal services. Russian businesses are suffering from acute labour shortages and have increasingly 'commented' that workers with key skills are being pulled from critical occupations to fight on the front. Nor does Russia have much 'spare labour' that it can really tap to make up shortfalls. Chinese imports and some foreign labour are not enough to plug these gaps.
d) How many folks can we 'persuade' to enlist? So far, Putin has avoided outright conscription or closing the borders [something which the likes of Prigozhin were calling for] which he has done mainly for political reasons - the former will cause huge discontent and the latter would block the escape-route for his critics. There is a law of diminishing returns of how many more people can be coerced or bribed into joining up, esp as word filters back that agreed payments are being welched on, conditions terrible and death/injury commonplace. Putin - like the previous genocidal rapist of Ukraine has very traditional views on women which effectively rules them out as use on the front. He is also somewhat loathe to force urbanites from several key cities too much, partly due to the fact foreign observers will well, notice.
What has happened is that the Czar has been hugely dithering since the invasion. He has generally refused to accept that this 'special military action' is going to be a long-running war of fairly high tempo and thus has not just refused to put into action policies to ultimately generate the 'conditions for victory', but by using makeshift solutions to plug immediate gaps has in fact degraded Russia's long-term fighting capacity [sending trainers and skilled munitions workers to fight on the front classic examples]. Russia is currently fighting a kind of 'broken-back war' because it is heavily dependent on simply drawing off 'pre-War' stocks of everything and well, they're running low and finding it somewhat hard to import new stock to replenish.
So in very short; Russia is going to run out of guns, bullets, food and trucks before she runs out of men. Russian demographics are fairly shit but she's about 3.5x the size of Ukraine and their deomographics are as bad. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:48, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
When it comes to war, "a country can't afford to do X" usually comes with the caveat "unless they are willing to suffer Y". Russia can't afford to purchase foreign supplies forever, unless they are willing to tax people to the point that nobody can afford anything beyond subsistence. Russia can't draft essential workers, unless they are willing to simply refuse care to the elderly/infirm or scale back the criminal justice system to the point where detectives, bailiffs, record clerks, judges, lawyers and prison guards are just replaced with some goon with a gun shooting anyone he suspects of being a criminal while running around saying "I AM THE LAW". Corvee (talk) 14:03, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Only a fraction of the military age men can be sent to the front - what do you do when all the train drivers have been made tank drivers, and there is nobody on the military equipment production lines, while even the yak and reindeer herders have heard of 'the meat grinder'? What will happen in the post=war period when a significant proportion of the skilled male population are no longer available/in position, there are vast numbers of disabled men, and the fertility rate declines still further. Anna Livia (talk) 17:25, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Corrupt; your statement makes a critical error - assuming that Russia has these things now. It is a deeply corrupt, neo-feudalistic state with a barely-functioning legal system, offices filled with bribe-taking functionaries, the police being regarded as simply another mafyia and so on. It's one of the main reasons Russia has had so woefully poor results in the war to date; supplies are chronically stolen, weapons come out of massive piles of rust called 'storage depots', bribery to keep better-heeled persons from being conscripted and so on. The truth is that if Russia could cut out of the corrupt 'dead wood' she could fight a lot better as much of the funds from resource extraction line the pockets of the elite class rather than the treasury. However, Russia's elite is so deeply corrupt and self-serving I think most [Putin excepted] don't actually give a fuck whether they lose or win the war, as long as they can emerge out of it even richer. You can even hear this in Prigozhin's bitching over the weekend - that he was 'losing' while people like Shoigu were coining it from the stuff captured in the Donbass.
With the post-war future of Russia... well, it depends on how, when and who ends said war. One aspect not really mentioned in the links below is that the supreme selfishness of the elite is not stressed; which I think makes the chances of Russia ending up as a depressed, rusting hyper-North Korea with the Chinese running much of what is left of the economy [ie resource extraction] is somewhat high. Thinkpieces;
KarmaPolice (talk) 18:37, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Interesting links. Thanks. Further to those, I had been looking at Wikipedia on Demographics of Russia. With the kind of demographic change which Russia is facing - a long war is exactly what you wouldn't want.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:12, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
I don't actually know the bare minimum "civilian to soldier" ratio a modern army can sustain, but the ratio drops lower the more amenities that the public is willing to do without. I'd imagine a modern country like the US could field 10-15% of its population in the army... so long as we are willing to give up on things like "owning actual furniture".
As for Karma's points, I still think there's a lot of parts of the economy that could be pared back if need be... but haven't because the average person wouldn't put up with the war if that were the case.Corvee (talk) 19:06, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
There is what can be pared back - and what is perceived as being capable of pared back (and not just because it affects the person involved personally).
How much is Putin remaining in power because nobody else wants the job when 'the wheels finally fall off the bus'? Anna Livia (talk) 19:44, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Industrial warfare is basically, a war of resources. A nation has it's pie [abstracted by GDP] and then it has to cut it the best way it can. The three ways it can increase military consumption ie a) to cut back civilian consumption, b) import from overseas and/or c) cut corners in maintenence/supplies etc. But the truth is that 'civilian consumption' isn't something which is completely frivolous; sure, some people will go out and buy new furniture 'just because' but others will go out and buy it because their old furniture is dead. And that over time, to be denied new furniture becomes an increasingly cumulative problem for the civilian population, because more and more folks will have furniture die on them and not be able to replace it. Cutting maintenence and so on can increase immediate capacity but at a loss of degrading long-term performance; for example cancelling train maintenence means more 'runtime' but increasingly risks critical failures and running it on substandard fuels wears out the engine quicker.
A good example of these issues is the state of the UK in 1945. Five years of war economies meant clothes were patched and dull, homes were lashed-up and cold, foods filled with ersatz and insufficient, new consumer goods almost hen's teeth and everything from fields and electrical plant to locomotives and typewriters either 'worn out', 'sick' or 'obsolete' [see: the SoL described in Orwell's novel 1984]. Why? Because in 1945 the UK spent 53% of it's GDP on the military and had about ~18% of her adult population in the Armed Forces. The UK only just managed to stay upright, and that was due to American Lend-Lease which pumped in about ~20% more of GDP into the UK each year of the war.
Now, the Russians are no way fighting a war of this tempo but the issue is that Putin's Russia has simply too weak an economy to support a large, prolongued military campaign. It has a shrunken industrial base which cannot even support itself and most of their population has a fairly low SoL as it is. The only thing which could really be 'pared back' is the mass corruption, and that's not going to happen because the country is a kleptocracy. What's more, the top echelons shall fear that if the Russian people [more correctly, the middle-class urbanites] are forced to bear the costs of the not-war, they will kick back hard [similar reason why they've not ordered a general mobilisation].
Somebody here [can't remember who] pointed this out in context to American involvement in Vietnam and then Iraq; that the former had draftees and war taxes, while the other had volunteers and increased national debt. In the 1960s the general American population was forced to 'put their sons and wallets where their mouth was', while the 2000s-10s required no such sacrifices. That is something to remember. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:26, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
There are parallels with Imperial Russian and Soviet military at the start of the 2 world wars - Imperial Russia had instituted massive reforms to the military in the wake of the disastrous Japanese War (1904-05) from about 1908 - but all the soldiers who had undergone the "new" tactical training were casualties early in the war - and there were only 4-5 years worth of them - then their reserves were trained in the previous tactics - pretty much "human wave". Conversely the Great Purges prior to WW2 left the Red Army in a shocking state, but they developed a competent officer and General Officer corps as the result of experience. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:56, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
There will be a divergence between the theoretical number of recruitable age and the actual numbers that can be recruited - which will be lower than it could have been as a 'short sharp shock' campaign was planned for rather than the current 'forever war'.
Anyone know what the current birthrate in Russia is? WHO gives 1.5 for 2020 - though this will conceal regional variations. Anna Livia (talk) 12:32, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
Indeed - one of the things worrying the American military now is that too many 'prime eligible males' [ie 18-30] are not 'fit to serve' in one way or another [which is why Congress recommended expanding the draft to include all women and why the brass mulls over increasing the foreigner component of the forces]. But again this isn't anything new; the UK was shocked into reforms in the 1910s on discovering a third of Army volunteers were too sick, short and/or malnourished to serve in the Boer War and even further back the Romans took to enrolling whole tribes en masse as 'citizens' simply so they could use them to make up for manpower shortages. But the truth is that quite often the very sorts of person the military would like to have as a recruit others would really like as an employee [and vise-versa].
And as you point out, national birthrates hide variations. This was noted in the USSR as early as the 1960s where the 'urban European' Soviet birthrate was at [or even below] replacement levels but the raw totals kept on rising simply because of high[er] birthrates in rural Central Asia. It has been noted that the the non-Russian minority [some ~20%] appear to be disproportionately targeted to fight in this war. [However, this is possibly due to the relative lack of other economic opportunities in said regions; similar to how the British traditionally relied on Irish and Scots while the American rank/file slant Southern]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:40, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
One can see a combination of 'fairly obvious to non-experts' reasons for a decline in the birth rate, which will persist for some time after the return of the survivors/those who left (at least two years if 'the war ended tomorrow', factoring in conception and pregnancy periods), and the likely consequences on the economy etc. Anna Livia (talk) 10:20, 30 June 2023 (UTC)

Good news: the Paris Agreement goals are within our reach according to this working paper[edit]

According to this, renewable energy adoption trends put us closer to 1.5C of warming than to 2.5C of warming. I didn't know the organization that wrote this (and I couldn't find who funds them). Apparently, they got the information from Rystad EnergyWikipedia, which, according to Wikipedia, "is an independent energy research and business intelligence company headquartered in Oslo, Norway". I don't know a lot about the subject, but I hope their predictions are right. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:06, 27 June 2023 (UTC)

This was published by RMIWikipedia (Rocky Mountain Institute), a non-profit clean energy think tank established in 1982. You can find the list of some of the contributors at InfluenceWatch.
Of note, apparently research they did was in part behind the hyperbolic Fox News panic over gas stoves, at least according to this article by Jason Hayes of The Hill (who is actually of another think-tank, the "free-market" Mackinac Center for Public PolicyWikipedia). Of Course, Mr. Hayes doesn't mention that RMI is just one of many groups pitting environmentalists vs. gas utility trade groups etc. in that bruhaha.
It's nice to hope that RMI is right, but I think they are just a pawn in this sort of the "battle of the think tanks" unfortunately, so I personally take their projections as "optimistic opinion". It is true from what I can tell that renewables are very competitive with fossil fuels now in several areas, so the luddites in the Republican side will eventually have to face up to this (as evidenced by judicious wind power in conservative stronghold states like Texas and Iowa). IMHO RMI even has an unfortunately unhelpful side in this battle (they are anti-nuclear power). BobJohnson (talk) 13:45, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
Wait, they are anti-nuclear power? So, I guess I can't take them seriously... GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:02, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
believe the cranks, and the (almost) carbon-neutral power is more polluting than fossil fuels and it contributes just as much to global warming.
i agree with the environmentalist side of anti-nukes, but anything they publish that consists of incoherent rants and railings of clean nuclear energy belongs in the trash.. er, the recycle bin. The G (talk) 14:30, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
Do you mean you are anti-nuclear weapons or anti nuclear power? Because one position is good (though overly idealistic), and the other simply silly. Both smack somewhat of virtue posturing which groups like Greenpeace are a rather prone to.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:45, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
The term 'carbon-neutral power' is a misnomer, because if nothing else you have to factor in the 'lifetime carbon footprint' of the items in question - for example, each wind turbine has tons of carbon locked into it from the production of it's parts, assembly, shipping, operation and then finally scrapping. We have - in my opinion - gotten myopic regarding carbon; merely looking at the 'operational costs', not the production or scrapping stages. Or whether it proves to be a false economy if the low-carbon variant has a much lower life-span and/or is much more difficult to recycle/reuse. Would it be better for me to use my old, 'dirty' appliances etc until they literally die or upgrade to 'clean'[er] ones now? Nobody seems to be able to give me a straight bloody answer and I can't work it out myself as nobody will 'fess up and say how much carbon it takes to produce the thing or to get it from the factory to my home. Just imagine if this was done in the world of health; that you're told how many calories, macros etc you should be consuming but nobody will then tell you the nutritional ratings of any food/drinks for sale so you can actually make an informed choice.
Anyway, said above myopia is very common in groups such as Greenpeace, ExR and so on. Yet some of this is intentional myopia; that they [well, some of them] know that the issues are a lot more complicated than portrayed but believe their overly simplified campaigns etc are 'noble lies' needed for the proles. The other one is the 'motte and bailey' approach where their motte is held with a nice-sounding maxim yet trip over their bailey's ditch when confronted with the - gah - complexities of actual reality. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:34, 28 June 2023 (UTC)
Yes, there are times when these calculations are difficult. Should I trade in my eight-year-old car (which may be sold on cheaply to someone else) in order to buy a new electric vehicle? (This is a hypothetical). There is a sunk carbon dioxide cost in the construction of the old vehicle (which may or may not be partly recoverable) and in the production of the new one.
The new electric vehicle will not generate CO2 as I run it - but the electricity to charge it must come from somewhere - and I don't really know where. If it is made from burning coal that's obviously much worse than if it comes from wind power. Probably. But I can't really specify where the electrons come from.
And there is currently no well-constructed infrastructure to power the currently scarce charging facilities. For that matter, I have seen little discussion about how the additional power will be provided to the grid to if it has to power all the personal transportation vehicles we currently use. In any event the financial cost (and the CO2 cost) of providing both the power supply and the charging facilities will be significant. (Though the infrastructure provision should be a one-off cost)
Of course, CO2-generated global heating is currently the biggest challenge humanity faces - possibly an existential challenge - but sometimes it is really difficult to work out individual-level responses.
I would say that "governments have a responsibility to advise their citizens and provide/promote the infrastructure", but, sadly, the whole question has become politicized which reduces my confidence in governments (or the people who vote for them). Meanwhile green advocate like Greenpeace have have been over-convinced by their own rhetoric which reduces my faith in them.
Happily I'm really old with no descendants - so I hope you kids figure it out!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:10, 28 June 2023 (UTC)
There's other options to consider too; keep your 8-year old ICE but use it less [invest in e-bike for short trips], have that car converted into a hybrid [if you can get low-carbon power] etc. Then there's the question of what you use it for and where you live. What happens to it after you've gotten rid is important too; for example if your 8-year old goes to a person which means they can scrap their 15-year old fume-belcher is perhaps an ecological 'good', but not if their previous car was in fact, mass transit [and it served them well enough].
However, even an electric car will 'produce' CO2 even if it's completely powered by 'green' energy because the energy source still has carbon costs [construction, maintenence and scrapping] as well does the bits of the car itself. Which is the critical issue that only now are a few people becoming aware of - that the entire product life-cycle has to be made as 'carbon light' as possible, even down to the concrete poured to make the foundations for the factory which makes the wings for your 'green' car.
The other issue is - as you point out - lack of interoperability. In the UK there's five types of charging plug and a myriad of different charging networks of which you must be a member of and have all set up right before you can use it. This is proving a massive cramp to general adoptation, for the obvious reasons. Sometimes, not even dollops of cash are needed - just for them to set some general standards and wave a legislative stick at the major players to get them on-board [though some cash does help, esp if the state itself is a major consumer; they can use their barganining power to bed-in a particular design etc].
I don't have faith in the likes of Greenpeace etc in solving these issues, beacause I mainly see them as simply 'bad thing alerters' rather than 'solution suggestors'. This isn't really a bad thing, esp as I don't think many people expect them to come up with all the solutions either. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:34, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

"Back-to-the-Vax." Possibly mission-relevant?[edit]

I'm not in the wiki-contribution bizness anymore, but someone might wanna see if Back to the Vax is worth covering: they're a couple of women who are reformed anti-vaxxers who provide resources re: deprogramming people who have fallen into that particular cult.

RagingHippie (talk) 04:59, 28 June 2023 (UTC)

Thanks, I think it's at least worth a mention. Bongolian (talk) 01:40, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

Reddit's decline, following in the footsteps of Digg, Twitter[edit]

Not yet discussed here on RW, a large protest wave came and went on Reddit, after profit-motivated changes that mean the end for popular apps (apparently including tools moderators need). In short, to make Reddit profitable, its APIs now cost millions of dollars a year to use. The CEO views Musk as an inspiration in making his changes. Around 8000 subreddits participated in a two-day protest blackout, but it had zero impact on the big decisions, and then not everyone decided to go at it longer, and over time Reddit successfully intimidated many moderators into dropping the protest by threatening to strip them of their role. But the protest cannot really be undone; some subreddits are now visible but read-only, some went NSFW to strip Reddit of ad revenue and are already filled with porn, some drastically changed rules and focus to take the piss, etc.

Above all, Reddit is screwed business-wise without unpaid volunteer moderators (Reddit can't afford to replace them), and despite so many continuing to fill Reddit's coffers through their power-tripping work instead of being willing to fully give up that role in protest, a decline in moderation is sure to come over time, Reddit changing somewhat like Twitter has under Musk's control. If nothing dramatic happens, it'll just gradually get trashier.

Personally, I think it's great that all this stimulates growth of non-corporate alternatives. Fediverse exists here, too, and receives at least a small boost (less than Mastodon did, but still...). Also, maybe some people with their own websites will be motivated to run their own old-fashioned web forums again, reversing the 2010s move to outsource almost all such things in the name of a little convenience. Personally, I miss the web forum age of the 00s, when there were lots of strikingly different and specialized web forums; for a time, it was even fashionable for every little social group that wanted to hang around somewhere to launch a little forum of their own. I was always a little uncomfortable with Reddit, and now I'll just not bother to become more active there. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 05:46, 2 July 2023 (UTC)

Reddit will be fine. The protests have been breaking up and the user exodus is quite small compared to the overall userbase. Considering the size of Reddit's userbase I believe they'll be able to source more moderators. I'm more worried for YouTube with their forced ads coming soon. However, the fact that Reddit's CEO was out doing interviews where he spoke favorably of Musk's decision-making at Twitter, saying that Reddit's cost-cutting was inspired by it, does not in turn inspire a lot of confidence that Reddit's CEO is very competent. But I don't believe he's as bad as Musk by any stretch of the imagination. Chillpilled (talk) 05:58, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
It's now vulnerable to new up-and-coming competitors, though. Digg was killed by Reddit because Reddit came along, not only because Digg became worse. But if nothing comes along that gets a lot of traction, I guess that Reddit will be fine much like Facebook is -- getting worse over time, yet too big to crumble without big competition. Twitter meanwhile has a lot going for its nearer-future demise. As for YouTube, those developments may backfire, as in order to deal with anti-anti-adblock software, it needs to get bad enough to make YouTube bad, and if it gets too bad, well, there's other websites of a similar nature. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 06:20, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Seems like Reddit's CEO has not been paying attention to the tidal waves of lawsuits coming after Twitler. The Reddit CEO said he had a few phone conversations with Musk meaning that he probably fell for the usual techbro conjob, "Look at these shiny objects!" Also Goodreads was recently compared to Reddit: both have an aging user base that revolts against user interface changes.[21] Drastically cutting staff also prevents updating software and attracting new users. Goodreads was bought by Amazon then had it's value sucked out, and subsequently ignored by Amazon as a toxic waste dump because there was essentially no content moderation. Bongolian (talk) 06:41, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
I use Reddit, and it unfortunately seems the protests will serve for nothing. Some subreddits were closed, but they're opened again, some mods have gone, but in the ones I use things are going as before. YT we'll see what happens, even if it's a REALLY dumb decision and hope that either it's reverted or someone will find walk arounds.
Twitter on the other hand is doomed. Really seems like Musk wants to kill it for good. Panzerfaust (talk) 07:20, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
The way I would put it is that Reddit still is a top tier social media destination, but is on a negative "watch" due to the above changes. It's probably fine at the moment, but aggressively driving third party developers off an ecosystem seems like a poor move to me. In particular, I understand that a lot of third party tools were used for moderation... which means the chances of Reddit becoming a lawless wasteland full of the sort of shit you get with less moderation have jumped up.
Twitter is definitely in decline though; Musk is continuously fucking up, and has basically given power to the English parts of the site at least to the shitposters, scammers and trolls. Small wonder it seems like there are so many Twitter competitors either already open, in beta, or in development.
It seems like there is a push in some techie quarters for more decentralization; I also thought the web forum days were a lot nicer than the current centralized social media deal. However, although some technology alternatives like Mastodon are decentralized, it doesn't seem like this concept is quite mainstream (although some big social networks like Discord are "virtually decentralized" in that the communities are structured into "servers".) BobJohnson (talk) 16:11, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
The Shitposters:tm:, don't like musk, the pseudo shitposters with not an ounce of comedy in their entire bodies like him. A somebody. (talk) 16:15, 2 July 2023 (UTC)

LGBT vs LGBTQIA+[edit]

There seems to be an inconsistency among articles here using both acronyms. I’m of the opinion that LGBT on its own sounds fine and any additions are unnecessary but I’m open to hearing others thoughts. 2607:FB90:E647:8A07:E5A5:895A:9B2B:C888 (talk) 23:55, 19 June 2023 (UTC)

I think either is fine and it comes down to context as to whether one or the other should be used exclusively. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 03:28, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
If I was the decider on this, I would use 'GSM' [Gender and Sexual Minorities]. But I get that reads to some being too 'jargony'. I don't like LGBTQIA+ on the basis that I think it's too long an acronym [and still does not include everyone]. Therefore, I think personally the best form is LGBT+, even though I don't really like the shoehorning of gender and sexuality in the same box. Which partly explains why I rarely use the term; a lot of topics only hit parts of the acronym. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:30, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
I go with LGBTQ or LGBT+ for convince sake. --Trans Fem Agenda 12:44, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
I've always preferred "LGBT+" and I'm surprised others have even mentioned it as an option since I was under the impression it's not widely used. Recently I've become favorable to "sexual and gender minorities" or "gender and sexuality minorities", or even just "sexual minorities". I don't really like turning it into an acronym like GSM though since most people won't recognize it. Most often though I just say LGBT. Chillpilled (talk) 17:40, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
The longer acronym looks like an auto-generated password. If "sexual minority" is faster to say than "2SLGBTQIA+", then the acronym is too clunky to be useful. Corvee (talk) 17:45, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
I've generally found that some ~90% of the time the particular topic I've been discussing has either related to either sexual or gender minorities or a subsection within one of them, and so it's easiest [and most accurate] to simply cite them outright. I don't like any acronym which gives the impression that they're all one big homogeneous bloc either, esp when the components really don't have a lot in common [ie map/territory fallacy]. However, there are occasions [admittedly, not many] where said acronym is required as a shorthand. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:23, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
"Queer" is a good shorthand that includes everyone. I am aware that that is its own can of worms, however. Plutocow (talk) 20:37, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
I think queer does well as the catch-all that "gay" used to be. I actually sometimes still use gay that way. I was reading a book on lesbian relationships (Lesbian Couples: A Guide to Creating Healthy Relationships) and found that it mentioned the younger generation using "queer" more than "lesbian" more often in recent times. It was published in 2004 so this is clearly not a terribly recent divide. Strangely, it also said that the oldest lesbians sometimes described themselves as "friends" unless they used "gay". Like some kind of euphemism. Had never heard that before. Chillpilled (talk) 22:04, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
Except the bit I don't see a lot of people actually using it. And there are folks who actively don't like it. 'Friend' could stem from the 'closeted era' where couples would masquerade as live-in friends, which I remember seeing as late as the 90s. May also stem from 'Friends of Dorothy'
Thinkpiece: https://www.johnpe.art/2018/01/23/collective-word-for-the-gay-community/ KarmaPolice (talk) 23:15, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
I think there are a lot of anti-gay people who use the word queer to mean gay. I believe many gay men despise the word. "Queer" is not that different from the "n-word" for black Americans. Many blacks use the word freely while many others shudder when they hear it. Some words can't be rehabilitated.
The acronyms like "LGBTQIA+" appear to be rather more like a password for a bank account than a proper label. Say "LGBTQIA+" = "X." I question the rhetorical usefulness of such expressions. What sorts of predicates can be used with X apart from polemical claims? The various groups designated by "X" are so disparate that apart from comprising minorities related to gender, they have precious little to do with one another. There is a trunk political utility in associating them as if they were one coherent group. Speaking of the label alone, I think X is rhetorically difficult to use effectively. When using it one can appear to be struggling to answer a spelling bee challenge.UncleKrampus (talk) 01:11, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
Looking at this again, Chilled's source does tally with what I've noticed [queer has gained on lesbian since c1995 in the Anglo world] but I think the critical note is 'the death of lesbian' because I've seen a much stronger shift to simply 'gay' to the point I suspect the plurality of younger women would call themselves that now. What's more, we're now much more aware that a) sexuality is a lot more fluid than traditional 'LGB' modelling would admit and b) female sexuality appears to be more fluid than male. Therefore, 'queer' may very well ultimately end up submerging all groups that aren't hetro, with the possible exception of 'gay' as the other side of the axis. But it will take time; 'reclaiming' can work but it needs the old wounds to heal up first [or the wounded to shuffle off the coil]. However, thinking it can also include non-cis genders I do think is a stretch too far [and perhaps shouldn't be stretched that far].
And Krampus, like Corrupt make a very good point. If the acronym is harder to say than doing it in 'longhand', becomes a 'spelling bee challenge' and folks are confused what it stands for, well then it is a failure, simple as that. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:30, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
You generalize about sexuality in a way that is going to clash with many people's self experiences and understanding. (Although not my own.) There are still young women who prefer distinctive language, or even if they use the term queer, are only attracted to women and there being no individual fluidity with that. I didn't mention this but the book also says that younger generations tended to reclaim "dyke" more frequently alongside queer. Chillpilled (talk) 19:37, 21 June 2023 (UTC)

I'd like to say that in this case, we don't have to be consistant across the entire wiki as far as which abbreviation we use. Just like we aren't consistant across the entire wiki about using British or American English.

And I always write LGBTQ+. But I'm a straight cis man, so what do I know? Spud (talk) 12:25, 21 June 2023 (UTC)

No need to abuse yourself Spud.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:50, 21 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm not 'generalising about sexuality', Chill. In fact, if you read my point the crux of my argument is 'human sexuality is too damn complex to really fit the LGB format which was coined in the 1980s'. What's more, that format is based on binary gender which I believe [and admittedly hope] is cracking up quicker than the polar ice sheets. Saying 'you are only attracted to women' [for example] becomes hugely more complex if 'what is a woman' becomes a lot more blurry and perhaps even more interestingly, if the object of your attraction does not call themselves a woman. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:39, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
The thing about sexual binary reality is that the mental construct of desire is not philosophical and I believe, label independent. For the animals, and for the male binary participant, you may move like a female, have the physique of a female, make sounds like a female, and even sweat (3-hydroxy-3-methylhexanoic acid and 3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol) in the proportions expected of a female. What one calls oneself is likely a digression with respect to sexual interaction.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:57, 22 June 2023 (UTC)
"sexual binary reality" what are you even talking about? This isn't even terminology that biologists use. Are you just describing basic sexual dimorphism? You can say "reproductive male" or "physiological male" the use of "male binary participant" is just a weird thing to say because it's not even accurate technical terminology and is confusing general dimorphism for an absolute binary; which definitely does not exist in any animal species. Straight up pseudobiology talk. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:59, 24 June 2023 (UTC)
I am not trying to imitate other people's terminology or use the technical language of biology. Since you are not a biologist why not try to be polite about your concerns?. This is the saloon, not a biology text. I am describing the predatory nature of sexuality. Males abuse females, historically. There are no absolutes, of course. But it is a fallacy to try to excuse the distinctions that do exist. UncleKrampus (talk) 02:24, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
well that went from weird arrogant ignorance about technical terminology in biology, to dog whistling TERF talking points real fast. Kind of illustrating that any politeness isn’t really deserved. The idea that sex and gender aren’t mutually exclusive binaries has been argued by biologists from at least the 90’s. Joan Roughgarden and Anne Fausto-Sterling come to mind. Shit has also come up in peer-reviewed gynaecological articles I have read. The only real distinction at least biologically is whether a given trait is present or not present. KP isn’t really exaggerating, shit is being viewed as outdated science real fast. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:38, 28 June 2023 (UTC)
Aaaand we have reached exactly the point why studies and discussions in this field are seriously hamstrung. It's fairly clear Krampus was referring to the very simple binary world mammals live in; males/females, put together for procreation etc. This was [I suspect] why for a long time non cis/hetro human drivers were literally deemed 'deviant'; for these things were only observed in fairly extreme situations for animals. I didn't see them extrapolating this to humans either, yet you wade in with the TERF-labelling which is an excellent method of causing the chilling effect on the whole conversation.
But this effect is wider than just that bit. To move beyond the 'gay-bi-straight model' requires stepping on toes. There's a fairly large cohort of folks who've got a lot of personal investment in this model, from the cliched militant lesbian to the bellowing homophobe. Hell, most of these people don't even accept the 'real existence' of bisexuality as a orientation in it's own right, let alone moving further than it. And when the sexual binary collides with the gender binary, all breaks loose - exemplified by the 'cotton ceiling' of transwomen. Lesbians won't date a gay transwoman and a straight guy won't similar with their straight variant, but bi/pan males are waay overrepresented in the love-lives of the latter women. Why? Lack of 'transphobia'? Yet if it's just mentality which is causing the ceiling, doesn't that suggest that 'conversion therapy' on some level works? [?!]. Or perhaps those bi/pans are non-bothered or even find the differences more attractive? You suggest that as a possible and wait to see how long before you get a mob screaming you're denying the self-ID of women and/or guilty of trans 'fetishisation'. And if you're in a research environment, I bet if your senior did not strongly encourage you to 'think again' [or just deny outright] they'd almost instantly be leant on to pull your funding and perhaps even worse [which is why these is so little actual data etc on this topic]. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:48, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
Minor point: From my understanding, I'm not exactly sure how, er, deviant non-cis/hetero was "back in the day", depending on the culture. Abrahamic religions certainly enforce the binary and in particular detested homosexuality, but from what I understand, many other societies had quite different traditions for the spectrum of sexuality. Even the Roman and Greek civilizations, the former of which the Judeo-Christian tradition sprung from, had a *really* different view of sexuality -- pederasty was a-ok in both societies and power dynamics were more a thing than sexual identification labels. Let alone Asian / native / etc. cultures.
At any rate, my opinion is that, at least here, "LGBT" or any similar acronym with such in it (maybe LGBTQ+) is good enough scope for this site. People are people and everyone is different, and there are tons of self-identifications. However, legally, in Abrahamic societies (others too but this is a Western-oriented site), the *really* big problem has been homosexuals, especially the homosexual male (meaning bisexual men get swept into the legal issues, but supposed (not realistic) "lesbians" and "bisexual females" become a f'n pornography kink). We're even seeing this dynamic with the transgender debate: most of the ire is directed at trans women (biological males by genitalia with gender dysphoria) instead of trans men (biological females by genitalia with gender dysphoria), and "drag queens" (which are heavily populated by gay men) are once again a subject of scorn. Some parts of the sexuality spectrum, like asexuality, generally don't suffer legal issues (social issues, sure, but I have not seen many moral panics spread by dumbfucks like Ron DeSantis on asexuals for political purposes, and likewise it doesn't seem to be a big subject of fundie scorn at the moment). This isn't an alternate sexuality site, so I think a label that covers the most legally and fundie attacked groups is enough in most cases. BobJohnson (talk) 14:55, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
Minor counterpoint; The 'back in the day' I was referring to was when scientists started to really look at sex and gender in non-religious terms; so generally speaking the mid-19th Century. That for example, the 'humans are just another animal' view which Darwin helped trigger led some folks doing forays into animal psychology and then extrapolating it [badly] into human behaviors, while behaviorism led others to cast about for the 'triggers' or 'conditioning' which had led to such [sic] 'deviant behaviour' [something which we still see now with the 'gay/trans grooming/indoctination' BS peddled by social reactionaries]. Even Freud's 'fair in his day' view of homosexuality was [in short] 'deviant but not dangerous'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:15, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

It should probably be said that the “binary world of mammals” isn’t entirely accurate. Intersex conditions do exist in the animal kingdom, and the way to which sexual dimorphism operates differs by species. For example, both male and female hyenas have a penile structure. Hyenas classed as female also get erections and use the presence/absence of an erection in displays of dominance. They even give birth through this structure.

Animals don’t really work with any conceptual understanding of sex, they simply act upon impulse. With many animals from dogs, to bonobos not particularly giving much of a shit of the sex of who they are humping.

The stepping on toes thing is also hugely overstated, limited survey data actually suggests cis-lesbians are the most accepting of trans women and most open to dating them compared to any other demographic. If pornhub data is anything to go off of it’s the demographics who most consume straight pornography and next to no gay pornography that readily consume porn featuring transgender performers.

It’s not to deny that individuals whose sense of identity feels threatened by a lack of a true sex/gender binary exist, both straight and not-straight but we have a word for that and it’s called monosexism. Which also applies to people being unwilling to accept the reality of bisexuality as well.

There is no implication about conversion therapy having any real effect, we know through clinical study it’s widely ineffective and simply doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean that sexuality is therefore absolutely rigid and fixed. It seems that sexual orientation is something that is both influenced by hormonal factors (especially in utero) and situational/cultural context. You either have to accept this or deny the legitimacy of anthropology and insist that the widespread normalization of homosexuality in certain cultures like ancient Greece simply didn’t exist.

We are talking though about something that is neither biologically determined or is wholly a cultural artefact. If you read my essay on “Rationally Understanding Queerness” I touch upon the idea of their being a variability in sexual indeterminacy on a biological level that influences people’s sense of self and behaviour but needs a cultural component to interpret and express. It just so happens that in dominant cultures in the west we treat something that may very well be a vague spectrum with fuzzy borders as something that is divisible into neatly labeled boxes. That no doubt socializes people in how they think of their sexuality, which isn’t per se problematic on it’s own — but becomes so when it’s enforced about how other people must be. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:15, 4 July 2023 (UTC)