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This is an archive page, last updated 31 July 2023. Please do not make edits to this page.
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So the anti-police brutality protests in France are caused by video games and social media instead of police brutality and corruption?[edit]

The French President is really in a bubble of denial by blaming video games and social media. I am certain that the killing of unarmed civilians who are often ethnic minorities is the problem. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:43, 30 June 2023 (UTC)

Slight (ugh) "clarifications". The "video games" thing a lot of the video-game-playing nerds on the 'Tubes are focusing on is a somewhat cherry-picked, somewhat out-of-context quote inserted in the middle of his social media spiel. (Rough, machine-assisted + slight adjusted English translation: "And we sometimes have the feeling that some (rioters) are living in the street (in) the video games that intoxicated them".) It's not "blame" per se. But it's still dumb and incredibly out of touch, maybe even worse than your typical hysterical US-style "video games diddit!" rant in some ways. It is as if he has no idea why the riots happened and thinks all of them are living out some kind of Grand Theft Auto fantasy when posting riot clips to the social media 'tubes. This surely will help cement his "elitist" rep even further.
As for social media, I have some sympathies for his complaint that they do a piss poor job in stopping violent content from spreading... but once again, this also is an incredibly tone deaf, out-of-touch, elitist complaint in light of what the protests are about IMHO. BobJohnson (talk) 01:54, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
But what do you expect from a guy who in '19 basically banned the discussion of police brutality as a possibility? KarmaPolice (talk) 08:00, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
It would help if the protesters could stay on message. I'm not sure how, among other things, burning down an elementary school does anything to resolve the problem of police brutality. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:21, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Yes I agree. Burning down schools and libraries people will begin to think the immigrants are the violent savages rather than the French police. They need to sit down and discuss their protest strategy. Follicle Evolution (talk) 20:08, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
I think it’s one of those things that can simply be debunked that migrants in particular did said burning (I am assuming it’s native French rioters who did it, and if so that will become evident). I wouldn’t personally be worried about that particular message, I think the loss of the elementary school would be the more concerning issues for people in that community. To me at least it makes much more sense to target police stations not places of education. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:39, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, things were set on fire during the pension "reform" protests in March; with those protests, I don't think there was a particular group or ideology that was involved, and I'd hesitate to assume otherwise for this protest. BobJohnson (talk) 21:44, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
People will always blame it on things and not on people. If a crazy man, that loves video games, did a shooting, to them it must be video games, comics, movies, Western values (as is in my country), and not that the man is crazy. Crazy people will be influenced to do crazy stuff by anything. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 22:09, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
I would be more upset by the fact that teenagers are getting murdered by state-sanctioned thugs than expressions of community rage by people who have no other options of recourse. "Riots are the language of the oppressed." That said, burning down libraries and schools is rather counter-productive, but makes a certain kind of sense seeing as they are symbols of the state. Carthage (talk) 03:24, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
From what i've gathered, this seems to be a recurring "dog whistle" in politics. Violence? Video-games! Why look into the real issues? We can just discard any and all solutions, because they would be expensive and/or complicated, and we don't want to complicate the lives of our poor politicians, do we? {{User:TheAlePower/SignTheAlePower (talk) 10:14, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

Russia link[edit]

One of my sources came up with this].

I read 'The Week' and there is a quote:

  • 2021 Russian army number 2 in the world
  • 2022 Russian army number 2 in the Ukraine
  • 2023 Russian army number 2 in Russia

And 'a number of sources' think the Putin period has entered the end-game phase. While 'talk is cheap' there may be an element of self-fulfilling prophecy about it (even if there is no obvious succession). Anna Livia (talk) 09:46, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

2024 Russian army number 2 in Russian army, after Wagner Group becomes part of the Russian army officially. Corcery (argue) 19:27, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
And how soon could it be beaten by the combined Andorra-Liechtenstein army? Anna Livia (talk) 17:43, 4 July 2023 (UTC)


Why isn't there an article on this, our greatest strength? Follicle Evolution (talk) 12:39, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

You can spearhead that project. --Trans Fem Agenda 13:55, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Whose strength, exactly? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 15:42, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Diversity is not strength. Diversity is not weakness. Diversity is diversity. Corcery (argue) 18:29, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
There are also far right loons who claim that Diversity means White Genocide and Woke. They often hold white nationalist ideals and plenty of them are Neo Nazis. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:15, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Diversity is based. In my hometown in Kansas, I can go to a sushi place that’s set up in what used to be a BBQ restaurant. They never even changed the decor. You literally look at longhorns and cowboy hats while eating unagi nigiri. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:27, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
I simply wasn’t entirely sure if OP by their user name was speaking diversity in terms of genetic variation or in terms of cultural diversity. The latter I would argue depends on how you are talking about because it can’t really much of a strength of a place and/or nation if it severely lacks cultural diversity. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:11, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment Chef. So we are already working on the pros and cons. A pro: more types of restaurants. Rice and fish, kebabs (perhaps the cultural value of putting some squished meat on a stick could be argued here), etc. Anything else? Follicle Evolution (talk) 16:07, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
According to economist Oded Galor, some prós and cons:[1]

Although diversity diminishes interpersonal trust, cooperation, and economic coordination, adversely affecting the productivity of society, complementarity and cross fertilization across diverse productive traits stimulates innovations and gains from specialization, thus contributing to society's economic performance. In the presence of diminishing marginal returns to diversity and homogeneity, the aggregate productivity of ethnic groups, countries, or regions that are characterized by intermediate levels of diversity is therefore expected to be higher than that associated with excessively homogenous or heterogeneous societies.

Consistent with the fundamental building blocks of this hypothesis, empirical evidence indicates that interpersonal population diversity has:

An adverse effect on social cohesion, as reflected by greater ethnolinguistic fractionalization, lower trust, and great prevalence of ethnic conflicts.

A beneficial effect on innovative activity, occupational heterogeneity, and gains from specialization, and cross-fertilization in classrooms and decision making of board of directors.

Moreover, population diversity has shaped the nature of both precolonial and contemporary political institutions. In particular, although diversity triggered the development of institutions for mitigating the adverse influence of diversity on social cohesion, the contribution of diversity to economic inequality and class stratification ultimately led to the formation and persistence of extractive and autocratic institutions.

GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 16:16, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

If someone wants to see the study in a less palatable, but more scientific language, you can check it here.[2] It's very long (97 pages) and even I have a hard time understanding the models, but it's still a very good study. I believe it did receive a fair shair of criticism too, you can find it on Google. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:59, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
I believe it! It's really important to base ideas on mathematical models rather than simple observations. Science! Follicle Evolution (talk) 07:37, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Mathematical models that may or may not match what is observed in reality. Economics! Carthage2 (talk) 14:34, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
I've recently read an article that suggested that members of historically underrepresented groups produce scientific content that links different fields more often, and another one that found work councils with two or more female members to be more productive and have a better and more constructive work atmosphere. Let me see if I can find them IluzasipalStone them! 13:04, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

Changing the colours[edit]

As various people will be wondering - why such a colourful Saloon Bar? It is only 4/7 not Holi. Anna Livia (talk) 09:56, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

The Ale power's Sig broke the fuck outta the page Revolverman (talk) 09:57, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

Clarification? (And I was using British calendar format.) Anna Livia (talk) 10:39, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
I found out what the problem is. Clarification -> my signature is leaking the CSS on the page, i'm working on it to fix it. {{User:TheAlePower/SignTheAlePower (talk) 10:41, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Now it should've been fixed.
This user is RWs self-appointed culinary expert

N A Z U N A H I W A T A S H I TheAlePower (talk) 10:46, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

Yep. Thanks. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 10:48, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Note - I was not complaining, just curious (and might as well liven things up occasionally). Anna Livia (talk) 12:20, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, don't worry about it Anna. A presumably innocent mistake from a new editor that was mildly annoying/entertaining. You did nothing wrong. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 22:15, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Why shouldn't RW/the Saloon bar be colourful occasionally (so long as it doesn't cause 'galloping eye-warp') - just include a 'prompt/early return to normal colourway' for those so wishing. Anna Livia (talk) 12:27, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
Come on, my CSS wasn't that bad!
This user is RWs self-appointed culinary expert

N A Z U N A H I W A T A S H I TheAlePower (talk) 14:00, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

A generic term - for most of us only used while learning how to change screen colours and set up pages (and occasionally minor misalignments - not all colours are compatible - and the equivalent of missing out a </whatever> - I presume what happened here) and when on a 'published website' an indication of 'probable subject of a RW page/treat information with extreme caution.' Or sometimes there is a good reason/attempt at getting people's attention. Anna Livia (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
It still doesn't link to your user or talk pages. Carthage (talk) 14:09, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
That can't be done, at least not without fucking the colors up. MediaWiki doesn't allow the use of the <a> tag.
This user is RWs self-appointed culinary expert

N A Z U N A H I W A T A S H I TheAlePower (talk) 14:36, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

Actually... there is a way, but it would pretty much require the use of the same CSS that turned this place into Holi.
This user is RWs self-appointed culinary expert

N A Z U N A H I W A T A S H I TheAlePower (talk) 14:42, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

I made a new term[edit]

Freeze speech warrior is someone claims to be fighting for Free speech but aren't instead they are fighting for bigotry and for their conspiracy theories. They very often are right wing. An example of a freeze speech warrior would be Elon Musk ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 22:48, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

That isn’t a new term at all. People do the “freeze peach” term all the time. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:02, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
And misuse is frequent from people offended their ox is being gored. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:39, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

Nonsense justifications for police shootings, a non-exhaustive list[edit]

Hello guys. So as you probably have heard, a 17-year old teenager of North African decent was shot point blank by road police in France after failing to cooperate with them during a traffic stop. He previously had a run-in with them for the same or similar offences and for driving over a red light. Supposedly before being stopped (unclear, information is incomplete as of now so there might be a lot of disinformation), he had fled from the police in a stolen vehicle, running a red light before being stopped by traffic (though when he drove off there was no traffic). A video has surfaced that shows the moment the kid was shot. In the video, two policemen can be seen standing beside his car supposedly yelling at him to turn of the engine, one of them has a gun pointed at him point blank and yells "Tu va te prendre une balle dans la tête" ("You're gonna take a bullet to the head", it should be noted that the way it is phrased, it is often used as a warning as in "if you don't stop then..."). Then you can hear somebody (unclear who) shout "shoot". A second after this, the teenager starts driving off and the cop shoots him point blank. I see a lot of arguments repeating the same justifications for the shooting, most of which are logically incoherent. I want to stress that I do not know whether it was justified or not, seeing the video, my first guess would be that it was excessive force. I am however, not here to discuss this. Rather I find it quite disgusting that the majority of comments on the videos that claim that the shooting was justified seem to be deeply flawed and partisan, some openly racist (well duh). I also find that many of those arguments are commonly used for any shooting done by the police. Would you be so kind to complement this non-exhaustive list of general arguments?

The shooting was justified and/or lawful because:
  1. He was a criminal. (He had no criminal record)
  2. He was known to police for similar infractions. (For some it is enough that he was known to police, in a general sense, infractions or not)
  3. He was a recidivist.
  4. He didn't follow the law or actively broke it.
  5. He made a stupid decision. He should have known better.
  6. He had no drivers license or was not allowed to drive unaccompanied by an adult.
  7. He could have potentially killed somebody. (Because of running a red light)
  8. He didn't follow the policemans orders. (It was 5 Donuts and a coffee, not 5 donuts with toffee)
  9. "He probably had drugs"
  10. The policeman could have been squashed by the car (he was slightly leaning on the hood of the car).
  11. He was not white (implicitly stated, for instance when a comment talks of "those people") or had an immigration background.
  12. The policeman would not just have his gun drawn for no/minor reasons. A policeman wouldn't shoot without a reason (or make a bad decision).

Yes, I love lists. NastyNugget (talk) 08:11, 30 June 2023 (UTC)

What really annoys me about this shooting - and many US shootings too - is that the police seem to using their firearms to reinforce their instructions. That is not my understanding of how police weapons should be used at all. My understanding is that police weapons should only be used to protect themselves or others. But I've had arguments with Americans about this before. One even asked me "How can British police make people obey them if they don't carry guns?".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:25, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
There's long been issues with the French police; there's a very general 'consent vs force' slider for policing and esp in the metros the French are very the latter. What's more, not only are they pretty aggressive as their 'default setting' but the French Establishement basically has stonewalled even discussing the concept of 'police violence'. As for the more general point of guns... I think the guns end up falling into Maslow's Hammer territory - ie they use it to 'solve' all their problems while British police, [generally] denied this tool, have to resort to other methods. Perhaps next time an American asks how do British coppers get us to 'obey' them without guns, you can ask back how come Auzzie cops get folks to obey them without constantly shooting people? KarmaPolice (talk) 21:15, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
French cops are also known for being awful towards immigrants from Africa and citizens with African ancestry. They shot a teenager whose family came from Mali a few years ago. Those protests lined up with the BLM George Floyd ones in the US. There, as here, seems nothing changed. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:46, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
Cops are drunk on power that they often abuse. Give it time and police will probably spread their brutality to everyone. Racists think that police brutality won't ever happen to them but if you let this corruption of law enforcement go unchecked it will get to where everyone is targeted. Police brutality and corruption needs to stop or it will get worse. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:52, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about that. Personally, I think it's often more a case that they were to some level 'always like that' but it's now becoming more obvious from filming, reporting etc. Aka a reporting bias. Usually this is vital stage for the reforms because the evidence needs to become so serious that 'the bad apples' defence becomes utterly untenable. [Another being that a majority opinion swings behind 'this should not happen']. But I do caution on not overfitting; there may be overlaps, but the situations/reasoning for why X happens in a foriegn land may not be the same as why it happens in America. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:15, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
In the US, Black people make up 14% of the pop and 38% of the prisoners. In France, Muslims make up ~10% of the pop and ~70% of the prisoners. So if you think racism is bad in the US... Corcery (argue) 13:06, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
That is investigation. The bedrock of producing theories. I was cautioning against automatically assuming/stating 'it is due to X' in another country simply because it is in the USA [or any other country, for that matter]. But with the French example I would also look at other factors, such as socio-economic, geographic, edcuational etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:30, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
It doesn't take particular long to see a history of racism within a country like France given their long colonial history and occupation of countries with large Arabic populations like Algeria. There is just also so many attempts at creating policies that limit people perceived as Muslim from simply being in public. There is also just a very noted history of open prejudice against sub-Saharan African populations that is widely acknowledged. You get a similar thing in Quebec in Canada in regards to the Muslim/Arab thing (the conflation is sort of their doing). No doubt, the way racism functions in France especially against black people is different than it is in the US that it's not quite a 1:1 parallel. James Baldwin believed as much he felt drastically more comfortable living in Paris then he did the US, but he still hate noted anecdotes of police harassment and other such problems while living there.(see: Racism in FranceWikipedia). A big impression I get from some French people is claimed color blindness on steroids, while simultaneously spitting on the ground in mention of "Arabs". - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 15:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Same mindset is in Serbia. I've read comments on liberal news sites, and half of the commenters people think that those who protest are just looters and criminals. Not only that, some cheer for the protests , but with a jab on how Russia is "better". Serbs think that Arab immigrants are dangerous and some Serbs have organized patrols to track immigrants. Such is Slavic mindset.
I only saw Arabs few times around the bus station and that's it, but I also thought that they're nasty and dangerous people. I am also racist lately (is it OK to admit that at least). 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 20:13, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
There's also the whole issue of France (and Germany) intentionally importing millions of people with no intention of ever letting them integrate; the whole premise of the guest worker programs was that the Third Worlders would work their asses off to make the French business owners rich, then be ever so grateful for the French culture that they'd just fuck off back to whatever rock they dared crawl out from under. But, seeing as working as a second class citizen in France was better than crawling under said rocks, they had the audacity to stay in France. The first generation immigrants were happy-ish with their lot in life. But they had kids, and those kids grew up only seeing the rest of France and how the French had all this relative wealth while they were born into maybe one or two steps above serfdom, and they are a bit peeved. Corcery (argue) 07:23, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
I can’t tell if Cory’s choice of language is intended to mock French racism, or if Cory himself is simply just being racist. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:25, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Mocking French racism; I thought it would've been obvious. I'm not a fan of any system where entire demographics/ethnicities are used as an underclass to support another demographic/ethnicity as an overclass, and various versions of that system existed throughout history and they are all awful. Europe and the US's illegal immigration policy is absolutely intentional; the whole point is that there's a swath of people barred from the middle class jobs so they can only perform the menial but critical jobs that the middle-class jobs require; you can't be a restaurant manager nor a chef nor waiter if you don't have someone else washing dishes or doing the simple meal-prep, to say nothing of the slaughterhouses and farms. The US goes further via the criminal justice system; ensuring that being convicted of a felony bars you from ever working anything but menial/dangerous tasks is done for the same reason. The Persian Gulf is even more brutal in their immigration/labor policies when it comes to this sort of thing. Women were always in the workforce, but restricting them to childcare, nursing, teaching, secretarial, etc, ensures that those jobs had lower costs while giving more opportunities to the men. Corcery (argue) 13:27, 6 July 2023 (UTC)

The Boer is at it again![edit] I wonder what idiotic move the Boer will do next after this. A somebody. (talk) 18:30, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

You also can no longer read tweets at all unless you sign up for an account. Should this continue, among other things I think that this effectively will kill a significant part of what Twitter was used for - public service announcements. Essentially this is a massive self-PWN moment, as if Twitter DDOSed themselves. Advertising funded networks need viewers and they aren't going to get them right now. That "extreme data scraping" excuse Musk is using is a farce, you don't need to shut down a site to limit data scraping. Obviously there's some other "tech shit" going on IMHO.
It's also kind of notable that Musk, not supposed new CEO Yaccarino, made this announcement. Musk is probably still the real one in charge (and still fucking things up), as was predictable.
Just another blip, in other words, in Twitter's slow spiral into irrelevance. BobJohnson (talk) 19:09, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Musk is clearly going Galt and destroying his own site right now. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:08, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Thing is, this will make scraping far more appealing, and since recaptchas are a joke and blocking stuff via IP address might create too much of a hassle, people are going to do just that. I already have a Twitter scraper, mostly to download direct links but also to monitor some art-related accounts, and it's honestly not that big of a deal at all. Besides, i wonder what i would find if i tried peeking into the Twitter android app's code. Maybe an app-only API that can be exploited? TODO i guess.
This user is RWs self-appointed culinary expert

N A Z U N A H I W A T A S H I TheAlePower (talk) 12:47, 6 July 2023 (UTC)

All that hard work with daddy's coal mines to get where he is today! Capitalism! (This is what they mean by "failing upwards." Literally no one else BUT a trust fund baby could fail this hard and still come out on top.) Carthage2 (talk) 14:39, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
It's nice having eight cushions under your buttcheeks, isn't it?
This user is RWs self-appointed culinary expert

N A Z U N A H I W A T A S H I TheAlePower (talk) 12:47, 6 July 2023 (UTC)

After Twitter & Reddit, Youtube wants to become the third asshole in line.[edit]

YouTube is currently running what it describes as a "small experiment globally," warning users to toggle off their ad blockers and avoid being limited to only three video views.

Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 19:22, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

I have more sympathy for this - it's a billion dollar industry, and adds are it's main revenue - so if you are using it for free then you ARE the product. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:32, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
you mean to tell me that nothing is really free? wow, i had no idea... The G (talk) 23:04, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
Sorry 'bout that :) Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:15, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
They are already mining my data. Regardless, I think I'll just download all the music I listen to from YouTube and play it locally instead. 99% of the crap that appears in my feed on there these days is not worth watching, and the site is mainly used by me to play music. Come to think of it I had already been running into music videos that would get taken down all the time, may as well eliminate that possibility. Chillpilled (talk) 00:37, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
YouTube went from being founded by creeps who wanted to rub a few out to a video of a Black woman being sexually assaulted by a White dude-bro, then it was run by quasi-Libertarians obsessed with "freeze peach", and now it's run by a bunch of wienies that crawl under their desks if they see a dislike. Ok, that's all a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, I'm not feeling sorry for anyone with billions of dollars. Corcery (argue) 07:11, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
What do you mean by "founded by creeps"? I've never heard anything about that, do you have some context? {{User:TheAlePower/09:51, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
If only there was a website with informative articles on that kind of thing. Oh, wait! YouTube#Origins. (Anyway what happened to Do Not Track saving us/Apple-users from intrusive advertising and tracking?) --Annanoon (talk) 14:49, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Didn't Facebook have a somewhat similar origin story? Zuckerberg wanted to creep on chicks at his university or whatever? I'm a little fuzzy on the details. Chillpilled (talk) 21:29, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
I think he wanted to rank women in order of hotness.
Honestly, we deserve the hell we live in. Tom of MySpace offered us our own theme songs, and all we had to do was learn the most rudimentary of HTML coding. Corcery (argue) 02:37, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
There's very little the public can do to affect corporate affairs. Seeing as how meaningful control of cyberspace is by big corporations and governments, then how do we deserve the hell we live in if we have no real say in what goes on behind the scenes? Carthage (talk) 18:39, 6 July 2023 (UTC)

The smoke is back[edit]

Here in Connecticut the wildfires are wreaking havoc on our air again. Not nearly as bad as a few weeks ago, it's possible to walk outside for a little while, but that isn't saying much; there's a distinct haze in the air and the smell is everywhere. Seeing the (thankfully decommissioned) coal plant through all the smoke just summed it up for me better than any words possibly could. First we had almost no winter, now we have this. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:58, 30 June 2023 (UTC)

We had this in the Midwest these past few years. Haze from fires, holy cow, it's fromn the west, that's nuts. Now the message is 'well when the east coast gets it it's a problem, the Midwest has been sucking down ash for years you cowards' when the thing I'm kinda thinking is 'this is covering much more of the country.' I'm surrounded by Libertarians, it is fucking wild to explain any correlation to them that isn't based in the Freakonomics craze. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 03:04, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

Libertarian projection[edit]

Libertarians frequently call people who are who are leftists fascist they also say that nazis were left. They very often side with nazis and fascists on many issues. Tell me more examples of libertarian projection ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 17:33, 2 July 2023 (UTC)

Most libertarians think that only they know about economics. Problem is, modern Austran School is, despite some kernels of truth, overall one of the most stupid things in the economic thought and free market fundamentalism can be disastrous for the economy. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:58, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Do note that there are multiple versions of Libertarianism. Right Libertarianism, Left Libertarianism, Libertarian Socialist, Anarchist Libertarianism and a few others. There is no universal definition of Libertarianism although most advocate for limited government. In theory, very limited government seems to work but in practice it fails. Some Left Libertarians are democrat party members that want limited international influence while some right Libertarianism supporters are Republicans that claim to be small government but are pretty much far right. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:11, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
The Zapatistas seem to get along just fine, but what do they know. They clearly haven't gotten the memo that "limited government bad". (talk) 20:31, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Zapatista's have plenty of government - from local assemblies combined into Federations combined into Municipalities combined into Regions. They seem to have good levels of participation, but that's not the same as being "small government". Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:42, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
Participatory democracy doesn't mean it's not a libertarian socialist project. It's not anarchist, sure, but it still works. If anything, neozapatismo rather resembles democratic confederalism, a variant of libertarian socialism. All that matters from a libsoc perspective is that it's bottom up, not top down. (talk) 22:48, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
What makes it not a libertarian society is that it is not just libertarian. Zapatistas have some elements of Social-Libertarianism, but they also have as many elements of Marxism, and Catholic liberation theology. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 04:00, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
Have you ever heard of libertarian Marxism? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Liberation theology also lies outside the authoritarian/libertarian paradigm, as it is concerned with economic and political emancipation for the poor and marginalized. Both authoritarian and libertarian elements can claim influence from it, as it is religious in nature. This criticism of yours holds no real political weight. Carthage (talk) 18:06, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
Also like government can be a bit vague in topics related to indigenous lead organizations like the Zapatistas and places like Rojava because there does exist a widespread use of “governing-bodies” they just don’t typically have a strong centralized body of government that functions more like a typical state does. The small/big government distinction can really come down to whether or not you see a network of smaller governments working collaboratively (possibly with some connecting legislative assembly between them) as being no different from a hierarchy of municipal governments being controlled by provincial/state governments, which in turn is either in part of wholly governed by a larger federal government, etc., as being the same “size”. The former is quite consistently ideologically described as a type of libertarianism; but yeah, my right-libertarian brother-in-law doesn’t really see a meaningful distinction. He’d too would see both examples as being “big government” solely on the lack of emphasis on free-markets. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:01, 2 July 2023 (UTC)

I am also aware of the concept known as a "Monarchist state" aka "Night watchman state" which involves a national government that carries out basic international and domestic functions but general power is up to individual communities. --Trans Fem Agenda 01:45, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

we are here to dicuss how right-libertarians love projecting ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 02:07, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
I think you mean minarchist not monarchist. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:26, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
Dang autocorrect. --Trans Fem Agenda 15:55, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
Another interesting criticism is the fact that some libertarians like Gary North want to impose a reactionary agenda, they just believe that markets can do it better than the government. In other words, they understand "libertarianism" as an ideology where you pay less taxes. 18:11, 3 July 2023 (UTC)
Then to call themselves "libertarian" is fundamentally paradoxical, because reactionaryism is a fundamentally authoritarian tendency. It doesn't matter whether the vehicle of delivery for it is through the market or the state. Carthage (talk) 21:22, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

Personally, think it's a simple combination of 'fascist' being a generic 'bad thing, m'kay' slur and thinking the gall of anything/one telling me what to do is some kind of evil police state. So it's not really 'projection'. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:57, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

American Libertarianism is very tied with individualism but also so heavily embedded with economics that balk at anything that isn't purely economically gainful. Reaganomics or Thatcherism. The only individual success story is one where the individual, through any means, becomes wealthy, and a government is not to interfere with economics, only to prescribe morals for personal life, outside of business. Then it's really important that government curates who and who doesn't have a voice. Sounds like 1984, all these workers forced to drink water. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 04:45, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

Solutions to the Supreme Problem.[edit]

The first solution is to abolish the supreme problem, the second solution is to reverse Marbury v. Madison. A somebody. (talk) 15:41, 30 June 2023 (UTC)

Good luck with that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:09, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
Aren't the Republicans making a lot of enemies rather rapidly at the moment? Anyone who might consider an abortion, anyone who thought that their student loan debt might we written off, anyone in the LGBT+ community - along with anyone who might be sympathetic to these groups. I understand that this is all good red meat to the Republican right - but surely it's going to add up to some pain for them politically?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:53, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
The solution is to create a court that is above the Supreme Court. Let's call it the Court of God, and then let priests have the final decision on legal cases. But the priests are secretly liberals. /s MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 17:07, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
That was the 2022 midterms. Should've been a wave given all the shit that biden pulled, but it turns out abortion is a big deal for women, so nope. 2024 will be interesting. (talk) 17:35, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
'Be ye never so high, the law is above you' might apply - or an ever receding list of courts next appeal. Anna Livia (talk) 19:34, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
I love the idea that 'it should have been a wave'. Why? What shit did 'Biden pull' to justify that?
Anyway, I do wonder whether SCOTUS is now sailing 'close to the wind'. That it's getting to the point that if the overwhelming majority of Americans believe it is neither impartial or deserving of respect and it continiously meddles by 'thwarting the will of the people' with the same old 6-3 regardless of the actual topic and refuses to take heed to the warning signs of mounting public anger regarding their decisions... that is an incredibly dangerous position for SCOTUS, as it risks them losing their legitimacy. Something, I note that Justice Kagan all-but cited in their minority opinion today. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:47, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
Yeah I wish Biden would pull more shit. He’s almost as much of a pussy in the White House as Obama was. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:44, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
Digression; I'm gonna disagree; Biden [I think] has more radical than folks expected him to be and when you consider what they actually did, Obama was less so than folks think. What I think is they're almost mirrors of each other; Obama did well in appearing more radical than his actions show while Biden is the opposite way. 'Ageism' may be a part of this; we assume that a person in their 40s is going to be 'more radical' than one in their 70s. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:02, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "Justice Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." Carthage (talk) 04:11, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

Lordy, this is a death spiral. The supreme court is talking about being non-partisan and being extremely active at the same time. I don't know if they care but they are people who can't be THIS dumb. I think they are so scared of China that they are trying to regress to compete. Child labor laws, reducing worker protections. China never gave those, it's insane to try to take them away. But if they piss people off first. It's conspiratorial thinking, but how did we get such an active supreme court? 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 02:49, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
That is in fact a more reasonable question than it first appears; 'how did [SCOTUS] end up in this position'? And the answer is - I think - more complicated than simply pointing out the fact the Orange One got three picks. My provisional theory is; they are good examples of the right-wing 'Lawful Evil' types who have populated much of the upper echelons of the Republican movement.
For those not familiar with the D&D concept, it's this; the Lawful Evil person believes in things such as [duh] law/order, firm government, 'the system' generally etc. But they mainly support it because they feel it is the 'best' way to get what they want and then defend it from those who disagree. You often get suckered by them, because often they will be seen to 'respect' the facade of things like the law, democracy etc but not actually the spirit of these things, and frequently they'll win any tone argument going [qv Jacob Rees-Mogg]. But don't be fooled; they'll fuck you over in a heartbeat - just in a legal and clean manner.
Now that they have a firm, and long-lasting majority on SCOTUS, it is time for them to re-make America how they [and their friends] would like it too look like. Fuck precedent; we can cherry-pick what previous cases to cite or ignore. Screw politicians; the Constitution shall say what we define it as and if you don't like it, tough titties - we are the law, the final court of appeal. And because we make the laws, the ranks of LEOs, judges and so on shall snap at our command. And as long as they have enough political 'roof', their position of strength is impregnable. And they shall have that, because much of the MAGA-party backers like these rulings coming through. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:02, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
The answer here is The Federalist Society, founded in the Ivory Towers of the Ivy League in the Reagan 1980s. It is essentially half a political organization no matter how much they try to sugarcoat it in "originalism" bullshit, with an explicit goal of combating liberal influence. Funding is from the usual billionaire right-wing suspects (ex: Koch) and gatherings present one with regular networking opportunities with right wing schmoozers. Under the presidencies of Dubya and especially Donald Trump, this became more of a power than ever, as this society essentially whittled down the candidates that got rubber-stamped into power by these two presidents; all 6 conservative members of the court are part of this society. Obviously, this opened up the opportunity for unethical corruption at the highest level (actually enabled directly by Federalist Society's Leonardo Leo in Samuel Alito's case).
The thing with the Supreme Court's powers, though, is that its only enforcement mechanism is the willingness of politicians and law enforcement to abide by their declared authority as the last word on the Constitution. Previously in America's history, the awful Supreme Court decision Dred Scott v. Sandford (which basically said "fuck you!" to the Northerners trying to locally abolish slavery) eventually led to, among other things, the formation of a political party (ironically the Republicans) that had a major policy plank of essentially saying "fuck you!" to Dred Scott. Which, upon the election of Abraham Lincoln, they enacted.
While the modern malaise is not Civil War 2.0 bad IMHO, already we are seeing sporadic calls to "ignore the court" in politics, with one Secretary of State in Arizona actually declaring her intention to do such in the recent extremely questionable web designer case. With the increasing legal sketchiness of the court opinions, I imagine we'll see more in the future. John Roberts seems to be a "self aware wolf" in that he knows that the Court's bullshit is tainting its legitimacy, but doesn't seem to be willing to do much to stop the malaise.BobJohnson (talk) 20:13, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
It may not be 'Civil War 2.0 bad', it very could end up being such. As the quote above points out, the court relies on others to enforce said decisions, and ultimately that's the power of the executive - like when Ike sent in the troops to Alabama to enforce desegregation. But imagine a situation where a SCOTUS hands out some very dubiously-argued and deeply unpopular [and partisan] decision, then relies on say, a returned Trump to order the Federal troops to impose it on 'deep Blue' states like Massachusetts...
Hell, what happens if Trump only gets back in due to a wildly suspicious ruling from SCOTUS? KarmaPolice (talk) 06:37, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

UAP craze[edit]

With the flurry of leaks and even Congressional investigations, is there anything of substance to all this or is it just the latest bullshit fad? From what I've seen there's definitely some kind of phenomenon worth investigating here, but it's a far stretch to go from "there's a signal in the noise" to "it's aliens." Carthage (talk) 15:56, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

I'm not sure how much should be made of it all. There's a troubling lack of any information at all being put forth other than words, and the suggestion that the originator of them should be taken at their word. See: Why The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico Didn’t Publish a Seemingly Bombshell Report About UFOs. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:27, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
It doesn't help that a lot of the information that would help make sense of the "findings" we have are classified, so all we really have to go on are fuzzy radar images and whatnot. According to NPR the Pentagon received a bunch of reports in 2022, and while over half have been accounted for, a sizable chunk "remain anomalous" ( There's also the possibility that all of this is a huge disinformation campaign. The government's done weird and stupid shit before. Why should this be any different? Carthage (talk) 15:29, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
Look, I don't think the guy is lying. But his job is to analyze data at a top level security position. His claim is he found other people in a similar postition, where you're not supposed to ever disclose your info, and he says they told him he was right. That's his case. Make of that what you will. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 05:29, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
I didn't say he was. I just said a lot of the relevant information is classified, meaning all we as the public have to go on is word of mouth leaks and grainy radar footage. Carthage (talk) 14:12, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't mean 'you' specifically. I meant more anyone can draw their own conclusions, but the Paul Bennewitz story addresses a couple more razors than the Bob Lazar story. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 05:48, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

Air fryer[edit]

How long should I cook ground beef in an air fryer for? I cooked mine for six minutes and just took a bite out of red meat. Carthage (talk) 18:17, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

RTFM. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:37, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
Anyone care to write the RW Cookery Book (so long as not an accountant). Anna Livia (talk) 12:31, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
You have seen this de facto RW cookbook, Category:Recipe, right? And why not an accountant? There was Songs of a Chartered Accountant by Arthur Bennett in 1930, afterall.[3] Bongolian (talk) 18:15, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
You, dear friend, have only deviated from tartare by a single step. Also, you're a maniac, but you should be safe. Had a friend ask if drinking raw liquid eggs like in the Rocky movie was dangerous. Technically it is more dangerous to eat raw cookie dough. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 06:07, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Never raw oysters, that's pretty much it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 06:19, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Get a rice cooker, put your rice in your rice cooker, fill to just about 50-50 water to rice volume, use the veggie steamer tray' put eggs on it. Adjust your time to how much rice and how boiled you like your eggs, you will figure it out, your rice cooker will be consistent. Explain to your roommates nobody is allowed to scrape the bowl with metal, the nonstick coating comes right off. Sigh at the scratched up bowl, clean with a Plastic or silicone spatula or wet sponge over a trash can, send uneaten rice to the trash not the garbage disposal, rinse bowl with water, no need to run through dishwasher. Repeat if you're still hungry.2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 05:17, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

Here's a light one, though. Egg shells, do they go in the sink? 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 05:36, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

Articles about Robert Lazar being supposedly “vindicated”[edit]

Off the bat, I don’t really understand how news paper Op-Eds work so I’m, in all likelihood, just missing something here. Regardless, I stumbled upon this article from the Toronto Star. What really irked me is the title: Evidence suggests UFO whistleblower Bob Lazar was telling the truth all along and, well, the “evidence” in the article seems to be random conjecture and speculation. Here are a few quotes from the article that really got under my skin:

  • ”But here's the thing: 30 years later, nothing Lazar said has been disproven. Nothing.” Eh? That is not… That is not how that works?? He hasn’t provided any evidence for his claims, and, in fact, a bunch of things he claimed have been proven to be straight up fabrications. Am I going mad?
  • ”So if Lazar really worked at Los Alamos — which officially has no record of him — why should we question his Area 51 claims?” What? That makes no sense. Just because some aspects of a story are true, that does not mean other parts are not exaggerated or straight up lies. I have a nose that detaches from my face every day at 7:28 am and flies across the globe at Mach 8 speed before coming back to me. If I really have a nose, why should you question my flying nose claims?
  • ”There is also no record of Lazar's birth. Does that mean he does not exist?” Now that’s just being pointlessly facetious.
  • ”When he first talked about Element 115 as a possible power source of antigravitational propulsion, it didn't exist on the periodic table. Now it does. Is that not a strange coincidence?” coincidence? Yes. Strange? No, especially considering the element does not have the stated properties.
  • ”As far as I can tell, Bob Lazar has been vindicated at every turn.” - … I’ve got nothing…
  • ” Lazar has never once tried to profit from the whistle-blowing that ruined his career.” - This line pisses me off the most, that is just plain fucking false! Tell me how has he not profited off of his whistle blowing when just a few lines back it mentioned his fucking autobiography and one (of many) movies he’s been in.

The author of this article is Vinay Menon, he’s an entertainment columnist at the news paper that seems to, almost exclusively, do entertainment based opinion pieces, nearly all his articles have the “Opinion” label. Out of curiosity, I decided to look at if he had any more articles about Lazar, as he claimed in this one that he thought that lazar was on crack when he first heard of him. As it turns out, he seems to be quite his fan now, with almost every article that mentions Lazar putting him in a positive light and always as being “vindicated”

On top of that, in this article, he mentions Jeremy Corbell and George Knapp, ufologist cranks, as reliable. He even seems to have some sort of friendship with Jeremy.

At this point it’s obvious that Vinay is a ufologist that preaches the word of Lazar, he’s not the only one and there are so many people like him, so why do I care? Why am I writing this? Two reasons:

1) People in the comment section on these article seem to be praising this tripe and anyone who shows any skepticism gets heavily disliked

And 2) I looked up Toronto Star on Media Bias/fact check and the factual reporting rating is high. I got really confused as these articles are really bad journalism and are not factual at all. Yes, they’re clearly labelled opinion pieces and, as stated before, I really don’t know how that fits in with the overall factual reporting calculation as I don’t know how this works but my gut reactions was that the articles go against factual reporting with them supporting fringe positions with really poor and non-critical analysis.

Honestly just wanted to know what you guys think, and if you think that this is very pedantic and I’m getting too anxious about something so stupid, you couldn’t be more right! OCD is a bitch, I have been put on a waiting list for intensive CBT about 8 months ago and I still haven’t heard back from that so I’m just trying to manage how I can. I feel inclined to apologise about this so: I’m sorry about this massive ramble. I know it’s mainly anxiety fuelled—WMS (talk) 20:03, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

Just apply Hitchens' Razor and call it a day. Carthage (talk) 20:11, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
A point of clarification - your first link is from Sign of the Times (of Laura Knight-Jadczyk infamy). Now, it was posted at the Star as well, but such should give you an indication of the quality of that particular article.
This journalist for the most part writes light fluffy entertainment shit, but in addition to the UFO crapola it appears he wrote this tidbit that actually found Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s bullshit believable, somehow claiming "if what Kennedy keeps saying about vaccines and chronic diseases can be easily knocked down by scientific research, now is the time to knock it down." Even though it already has been, many times. Why the Star lets him print this crap instead of having him focus on, say, the latest Taylor Swift bruhaha, is beyond me. But at least the Star puts it in "entertainment", where I suppose it belongs. BobJohnson (talk) 22:48, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
Not surprising SOTT liked it, Bob Lazar is an early source LKJ drew upon, including for the claim that aliens describe humans as "containers" -- which led up to her 1994 channeled prediction that 94% of humanity would be totally consumed by around 2007, "reprototyped" and "used for parts" and then replaced by a new human race under alien total control, akin to farm animals. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 07:46, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
I had never heard of Bob Lazar before reading this section. After reading it (and looking him up) I find that he has no qualifications whatsoever in this field - or any other field as far as I can see. I'm not sure why I'm supposed to care about his opinions. It's like being asked to comment on the opinions of some drunk in the pub.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:58, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
Hey, there's a Rationalwiki article on him!
The most notable thing about Mr. Lazar and his craziness IMHO is that he was crazy enough in an Drug War-obsessed era, where (until ~2019) you theoretically needed a f'n permit for an Erlenmeyer flask in Texas, to run a store called United Nuclear for amateur chemists. Now that today's US drug moral panics and/or epidemics are either imported (re: fentanyl) or FDA-approved (re: oxycodone), I kind of get the impression the chemicals moral panic has subsided a little, and it seems like (though he's still around) less kooky chemical online suppliers are around these days for amateur chemists. But if you were in the aughts and on ye olde forums like ScienceMadness, United Nuclear was one of the few sources for your chemical explorations back then. He got a sympathetic Wired article back in 2006 for his troubles due to his store being a wee bit too loose for the Fed's liking. BobJohnson (talk) 14:26, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
Wow! So impressive! And yet he's still as convincing as the drunk in the pub. (And I'm sure you didn't mean to imply otherwise.)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:40, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
Definitely, of late he seems to have leaned more on his bullshit artist side than his United Nuclear side, even turning a recent investigation of United Nuclear over a thallium sale into some sort of weird "element 115" conspiracy (even though Moscovium has been a synthesized element since 2003). I think he's less a "drunk in the pub" then a carnie baiting conspiracy nuts, but either way, doesn't matter, anything he spouts on Area 51 and UFOs (including his qualifications and history, which in reality don't exist) can safely be ignored. BobJohnson (talk) 14:58, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
I did opion/entertainment pieces in the mid 2000s for my high school newspaper. I addressed things like the 2012 Mayan calendar and cell phones ruining the art of cheating, with absolutely no reverence to the subject. Guess I should have stuck with it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 03:40, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

Perfect Anti-vaxxer parody[edit]

It is sad that this parody is accurate about anti-vaxxers. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:24, 4 July 2023 (UTC)

'If we're not careful it's gonna turn us into lizards' cracked me up, there was a lot of 'this is changing your DNA' talk 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 03:51, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

Debate between realism and anti realism in mainstream science[edit]

Simple question, is there one and are the two sides showing equal merit? From what I’ve checked it doesn’t seem like there is much of a place for anti realism in science since the “unobservable” stuff mentioned like genes and electrons we have observed and know about.

I just got done arguing with someone who said some research supported and anti realist interpretation but they didn’t cite any so I don’t believe them. Figured I’d ask here. (talk) 15:40, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

There's an argument to be made that whether or not "electrons" or what have you are real is irrelevant, since as a concept they lead to predictions we know we can test and reasonably say that what the theory predicts should work does work, at least most of the time. Carthage (talk) 15:49, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
Just Googling around, "scientific anti-realism" exists but doesn't seem to be very useful to me. It seems to be in the same bucket of postmodernism; such seems to handwave away scientific experiments in favor of "nothing is real" type philosophy hot air.
As Carthage says, it is best to think of scientific identifications as a model that leads to predictable, repeatedly testable results. There's probably always a "lie-to-childrenWikipedia" element in the abstracted models, possibly (probably?) even in the most detailed and complex ones we have at the moment. I don't think that matters too much. Perhaps some would differ, but as a bit of a snide, there would be delicious irony if they were typing their anti-realism essay on a computer (of which our knowledge of electrons, whatever the limitations there may be, are literally how we got it to work -- see transistorWikipedia...) BobJohnson (talk) 16:02, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
Scientific realism is an issue in the philosophy of science, not within science per se. “Observable” in this context means detectable by the senses; while we can perform measurements of single electrons, this requires specialized equipment, so they are not counted as observable. Realism is, roughly, the stance that our best scientific theories are true, or approximately true. Anti-realists have brought forward a number of challenges to this, notably including the under-determination of theory by data (i.e. you can always develop an alternative theory that makes the same empirical predictions) and the so-called pessimistic meta-induction (i.e. most scientific theories have been wrong, so we have good reason to think that current theories will also eventually be proven wrong). Some people are also skeptical about the notion of approximate truth. Both realism and anti-realism are respectable philosophical positions, but the debate is not of practical consequence for practicing scientists. It’s worth noting that various strains of instrumentalism are anti-realist, since they hold that theories are merely tools for making predictions. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 17:10, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
What Serene said, because I lost my text in the edit conflict and they are basically saying what I was going to say, so it’s redundant to post now. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:14, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
I say "Data or Die". I don't care about the beauty of a theory or the "elegance" of its explanation. If it doesn't predict data and isn't based upon prior data, it is trash and should be discarded as such. Any who attempt to argue that "nothing is real anyways" should get out of research, engineering, and academics in general. Philosophers are the lowest form of intellectual, and too often stand in the way of getting shit done. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 20:39, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
That's such a garbage take it shouldn't even be dignified with a response. Carthage (talk) 20:42, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
Philosophy peaked with the creation of science, everything else is either gravy or actively detrimental. I'm really tired of people arguing over "moral authority" and then turning around and sending people to die or allowing others to suffer over their pet causes. Through gritted-teeth I will admit that probably not all philosophers are just dude-bros trying to sound smart by saying deepity like "nothing is even real bro!", but I have yet to actually see it. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 21:02, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
"Philosophers are the lowest form of intellectual". What the fuck did you just say about me, you little cretin? I'll have you know I graduated top of my class in my online Harvard philosophy course, and I've been involved in numerous debates on RationalWiki... OK but seriously, wtf man. MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 21:08, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm kinda unstable right now, sorry. My heart is racing and I'm just really pissed off after work. I'm sorry for just showing up and throwing insults. It was uncalled for. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 21:10, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
The easy problem to see with certain anti-realism arguments is creationists, woo-meisters, alternative medicine and the like take stuff like pessimistic meta-induction "most scientific theories have been wrong" argument and run with it for their own purpose. Rationalwiki even has an article on this phenomenon. (Science was wrong before) I personally would take issue with statements like "most scientific theories have been wrong" anyways, that is not how the progression of scientific theories work. Newtonian physics may be "wrong" these days, but the approximation is "good enough" for a huge amount of scenarios, so it is still widely used. BobJohnson (talk) 21:33, 6 July 2023 (UTC)

Ok so that's more or less in line with what I stand on with the issue. I don't think science is perfect since it is being performed by flawed meat sacks like us, however it has been thus far the most consistent form of knowledge about the world and things that I have seen today. I'm sure the anti-realists can challenge this all they want, and they will, but they can't deny the consistency and results (or they can but at that point I don't give a damn). But it seems like the debate isn't the great level of importance that person I was talking to believed it to have. (talk) 23:50, 6 July 2023 (UTC)

There is something deeply ironic in someone saying "data or die" and arguing that only predicting data matters as if that isn't the anti-realist position in this debate lmao. The realist position is the one where you are taking ontological commitments alongside data and insisting upon a deeper philosophical truth to what science records and predicts. @BobJohnson it literally says in that exact page...

While "science was wrong before" is most often used in service of science denialism, though superficially similar, it should not be confused with a traditional argument found in the philosophy of science that is leveled against scientific realism, namely, the pessimistic meta-induction from past falsification of accepted scientific theories, which roughly goes like this: Since our best scientific theories have in the past been shown to be largely false, it is probable that our current accepted scientific theories are in large measure false. Therefore, we ought to be scientific anti-realists.[8] The realist vs. anti-realist debate concerns whether the theoretical entities (e.g. micro-physical particles, fields, etc.) postulated by our best scientific theories correspond to real entities or whether said entities, and the wider mathematical framework in which they are situated, are merely empirically adequate (i.e., computational tools via which we make successful predictions).[9] Needless to say, this debate in the philosophy of science is much more complex and nuanced than shouting "Phlogiston! Hah, where is your science now?"

Y'all even read what is on this wiki? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:51, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

It should be said that most charitable and probably most accurate take is that anti-realists believe in the value of science and reject pseudoscience, they just think that the reality of unobservable entitles either does not matter or that their predictive power does not per se allow us to logically infer their existence. This misunderstanding of scientific anti-realists from those outside the philosophy of science is why some writers prefer to refer to them as instrumentalists or empiricists. Someone like Bas van FraassenWikipedia sees himself as an empiricist and would probably insist upon the empirical inadequacy of most pseudosciences as why they are pseudoscience, not because science describes some mystical objective truth that we can't perceive. Predictive power and empirical adequacy still matter to whether or not something is scientific, I don't think any anti-realist is going to think that homeopathy has any predictive power or empirical adequacy associated with it that can stand up to scrutiny. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:01, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

I had already made an assertion on that part of the Wiki: to me, "are in large measure false" is a poor description of a large portion of older, superseded scientific theories.
If the discussion was merely to remind one that what we know is merely what we have tested, and that we have only created a framework only in that scope, that is one thing (and anti-realism covers multiple styles so perhaps some only limit themselves to this). But when it gets to the postulates like "are electrons real", well, we certainly have done lots of things with electrons, haven't we? So there's something "real" enough to fit the current framework, and anti-realism assertions like "electrons aren't real" that you see on the Google don't seem to be helpful, chiefly because it seems to disregard the repeatable phenomenon that uses this framework. Sure, maybe the current framework will be revised over time (and in some cases scientific theories have been *heavily* revised or jettisoned), but I don't think using binaries on the "realness" like that is terribly helpful. I also don't think the "unobservable" separation is helpful either to be honest, because the explanation for completely observable phenomenon has evolved over time too.
Ultimately, though, this is a philosophy style debate and some people enjoy debating at that sort of level. I don't, so basically I leave the philosophers to discuss what they like. :) Actually, if I were to take a position, the "scientific realism" side actually seems reasonably close to where I would be. You are correct though that unlike the kooks, the anti-realists *do* accept scientific principles, they just frame things differently. BobJohnson (talk) 01:58, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
you’d have to recognize that “things we done with electrons” is begging the question though. The anti-realist is not saying that electrons are definitely not real just we don’t have real justification to say they are real, and for many whether or not they are real has no bearing on their scientific merit. Maybe instead of spending five minutes on google before forming an opinion spend some time on the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, or download a brief intro to phil of science. But if you honestly don’t care then why bother posting a response demonstrating your lack of understanding so confidently? Is it really so hard not to express an opinion on something you don’t know a whole lot about? It’s frustrating to read people be so confidently wrong about topics they don’t even care to learn anything about. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:08, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I've skimmed some sources, which is why I said the scientific realism arguments (eg the "no miracles" argument) is of appeal to me. As far as "not understanding fully", of course not. But your high-towered response certainly doesn't make we want to perform any further inquiries. "Begging the question" to describe labeling a phenomenon with a name, what the fuck? Might as well abuse fallacies and say anti-realism is god of the gaps without a God. BobJohnson (talk) 14:49, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Anti-realist sentiments have been expressed several times in this thread, in that it's irrelevant as to whether or not these concepts are "real" so long as they have predictive power. It seems to me the major gripe here is one of naming, not substance. Anyway the original point of this thread has been answered, so is it really necessary to continue this slug-fest? Carthage (talk) 14:52, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
existential differences are not new, coding for this site is a little different, lemme give it a shot.{{|}}. Close enough. And on that topic, any explanation that supports anti realism or solipsism is SO very close enough to the whole 'real' deal that it's kinda not worth the argument. We can experience reality, and it may be limited to what we can experience. If it's an argument about what is more important, our limitations are also the only observations we can rely on, and while it's useful to prod that void, it's also important to value the experience. We couldn't probe the unknown, the possibly non-existent, if we here didn't exist on at least a material level. So what's not real about that? 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 04:24, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

This looks like a parody article, anyone elses thoughts?[edit]

See Talk:Whiteness (talk)

I don't think it's parody, I think the user who wrote it just has limited access to better sources of information on the topic; and isn't exactly equipped to see something like "psychoanalysis" as red flag when making medical claims. Their heart is in the right place, I don't hold it against them. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:00, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
IP, you didn't need to litter this remark *everywhere*. BobJohnson (talk) 13:02, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
That article is probably not a parody, but a rework would certainly be needed. IluzasipalStone them! 18:45, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
I moved it to Draftspace. Bongolian (talk) 06:29, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Where nonsense goes to rip. UncleKrampus (talk) 13:36, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

So why would the United States give critical intelligence to an enemy nation?[edit]

The Russian government is angry that the United States didn't tell the Kremlin that Wagner was going to lead a revolt. Why would the United States tell it's enemy about something that would benefit their allies? --Trans Fem Agenda 12:07, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

The more relevant questions in this Newsweek story seem to be more like:
A) Did Russian intelligence know what the US reportedly knew about the Wagner invasion? (Or are US media reports of such merely "US propaganda" as one Moscow defense attache insists?)
B) If Russian intelligence knew about this, why didn't Russian intelligence stop the mutiny sooner? (Or did things actually go to plan, as Zolotov, er, said?) Does this mean, perhaps, a little bit of "internal dissent"? Maybe Wagner, perhaps, thought that some of the Russian military, tired of Putin's bullshit, was on their side, which gave them confidence to start the mutiny? (This is what the New York Times reported.)
I think it would be ridiculous if a Putin top bud (Zolotov) expected an enemy nation to give heads up on a mutiny. But, Newsweek is a pretty general-level paper that doesn't usually go too deep, and I don't see what is implied in the headline reported elsewhere. So I think in this case we are talking about "crappy headline". Seemingly better reporting on this is at CNN and the aforementioned New York Times.
If you go to *cough* the pro-Putin propaganda of Sputnik News, based on this, I think the actual thing being implied by Zolotov here is that, in the pro-Putin propaganda viewpoint, Western spy agencies had a hand in the mutiny. Can't tell one way or another with this, of course, because Russian propaganda blames the West for everything wrong on the planet. BobJohnson (talk) 13:25, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
Ask maga fans, aren't they Putin allies? — Unsigned, by: 2804:389:b105:d993:1:0:c58d:81b4 / talk / contribs
According to the Newsweek article: "The head of Russia's National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, said the mutiny "was prepared" and "inspired by Western intelligence agencies," who knew about it "a few weeks before it began.".
Well, if the head of Russia's National Guard says this then I'm sure it's completely true and utterly reliable. What possible reason could he have to claim it was all a plot by Western intelligence agencies? I'm sure that his "anger" is completely genuine and has nothing to do with any potential "neck saving" on his part.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:32, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
I'm generally reminded of the last few pages of The Spy Who Loved Me (I know it was panned and Fleming disavowed it, the gangsters in the movie were the only references to the book and even that went against Fleming's wishes). Bond had accidentally stumbled across some motel in the middle of Adirondacks where he rescued a young lady, succeeded, fucked her (with her enthusiastic participation) better than anyone on earth, then the next day the police did their investigation. The lead investigator told said woman that the world of espionage is a convoluted mess of agents, double agents, and triple agents, and that anyone in that line of work is inherently dangerous due to the utter impossibility of pinning down what motives anyone might have at any given moment. Given Fleming's involvement in Goldeneye (the WWII operation, not the film!), it's almost like he spoke from personal experience. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:59, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
The Spy Who Loved Me? I didn’t know the book was hated. I thought the movie was really good. One of the only Moore ones I liked. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:49, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
They give critical intelligence to Israel all of the time. In fact Israelis mostly are the American government. Can you really consider Russians an enemy nation when they're essentially the same nation (look up the etymology of nation) as white Americans. Maybe you mean "country". That would make sent. A country is confused mess, unlike a nation. Follicle Evolution (talk) 16:48, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
As in an illegitimate settler-colonial state built on stolen land and slave labor? Yes. Carthage (talk) 23:31, 4 July 2023 (UTC)
They also withhold critical intelligence to Israel all the time too, in spite of agreements. That's what the Jonathan Pollard espionage case was about. The US does what's in its own interests, every country withholds info or gives false info in the attempt at manipulating other countries to do their bidding without realizing it. Corcery (argue) 13:07, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
Countries hold secrets from even their closest allies at times. For example, the UK has the security designation 'UK Eyes Only' which might as well read 'Don't tell the fucking Yanks'. On the other hand, there's been times where America has been caught caught spying on the UK [such as running agents in the UK without permission, recruiting UK nationals etc]. But there's also times where an enemy will tell you something actually truthful, mainly due it being in their interest for you to know it [though more often than not, they'll basically let you find out yourself, like filtering it through an unsafe channel]. Then there's the times where you tell them not because you want to, but the fact you know they'll find out anyway and shall bitch at you for not telling them, or acting as though you know something which you don't actually know... then you're in the land which Angleton called 'the wilderness of mirrors'.
Now, onto the situation itself. If the likes of the CIA/NSA [I think the latter is more likely] did learn in advance of the mutiny, they had a) zero motivation of telling the Russians in advance, b) zero motivation in revealing to the Russians their abilities to know a) and c) even if they had told the Russians, chances are they'd have regarded it as a 'provocation' and/or 'disinformation'. Though if the Americans did know, chances are it was known as a possibility, not a certainty [perhaps a 'Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US' level]. I mean, read the actual brief, switch off your hindsight and think how you could stop Sept 11th with such a vague possible-warning. But back to the mutiny.
But there's no real reason to even entertain the possibility that the Americans 'caused it'; the suggestion by Zolotov is basically the same record crafted by Stalin c1928 and played on/off ever since; that all the problems ever faced by the Motherland are 'spies, traitors, wreckers and criminal scum organised by [insert current foreign boogyman here]', be it military defeats, crop failures, industrial accidents or the fact it rained on the Czar's birthday. To quote the other GoldenEye... 'Governments change, the lies stay the same'. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:11, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
I would've thought the real reasons for NATO to spy on each other was 1) so that the agents can get field training in countries that won't torture them to death, 2) for the allies to discover holes in each others' security and learn how to either exploit/patch them, and 3) creating yet another unaudited expense account for government money to simply go "missing" while you party with other billionaires. Corcery (argue) 13:55, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
A lot of the 'friendly spying' would in fact be in industrial, scientific and economic matters. While it's seen as a bit 'below them', spooks and hackers can and do help 'national champions' get an edge in bidding for overseas contracts, informing them on foreign competitors moves and so on. Then there's the attempt at covert 'free ridering'; that by infiltrating A's agencies you might learn things about Country B from A's extertions. But I would personally guess that the majority of the spying was in fact mainly political in nature; trying to gauge what their target goverment and people really think on things. And most of that isn't 'classified'; much of old-school spying is more than anything else trying to get into your opponent's head, not top-secret safes. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:51, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

Draft:Uyghur genocide hoax[edit]

'Ello. I've noticed Draft:Uyghur genocide hoax is a page that's been opened up. Considering our page on the Uyghur genocide, surely this should just be deleted, right? Is this not equivalent to starting a page called "Halocaust hoax"? — Unsigned, by: Natsuki Marx / talk / contribs

Somewhat strange article. Is it trying to make some kind of point about the Uyghurs during the Sino-Soviet split? Can't say I'm familiar with whatever the body text is talking about. Chillpilled (talk) 09:02, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm not particularly familiar with what was happening with Uyghurs during the Soviet era; the parallel between the Soviet Union accusing China of committing genocide while also genociding Crimean Tatars is at least valid. But also the draft is literally called "Uyghur genocide hoax". (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Natsuki Marx ♥ (talk) 09:26, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
All I know about the subject is the Soviets actually backed pro-Soviet Uyghur rebels in Xinjiang. Chillpilled (talk) 10:14, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
I get a vibe the article creation is not coming from a good place, and arguably some conspiracy present during the sino-soviet split (if it’s accurate to call it that) is not entirely culturally relevant and I think the title in particular is being used intentionally to evoke priming that the current attempts at ethnic cleansing is a hoax. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:51, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Even if its content were completely true, which I rather doubt, it's not interesting enough to have as an article. No point in keeping this draft. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 17:25, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
At most it should warrant a minor subsection in the article we already have on the subject. Carthage (talk) 18:33, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
It's now at AfD. Plutocow (talk) 20:26, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
Purely for prurient interest - how does one view AfD?? Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:12, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
Big L rest in peace Rakim (talk) 01:28, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

Politicians and transgender medicine[edit]

Why is it that politicians who are not qualified to speak on the subject of transgender medicine think that they can legislate it? That would be like letting a tattoo artist making regulations on mechanical engineering. If someone doesn't know shit about transgender medicine then they should drink a nice tall glass of shut the fuck up. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:34, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

That's kind of the point of representative democracy. Most politicians don't know about most subjects, and yet, they make laws about them. A bigger problem is the fact that they seem to have very strong opinions on subjects that they don't understand, including gender issues. If they just decided to follow the mainstream science, things would be easier, I guess. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 00:38, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Transgender is an other of which is things are not settled at the moment among the the lay public, so it's one of the few "boogeymen" issues which still unfortunately maintains currency and that politicians can use to exploit for votes. Like homophobia and racism, it will probably follow the trend of fading (but never fading completely away) over time into a "settled answer", and the moral panic of today will look as silly as previous moral panics did.
For some nations, it doesn't help that the radical religious have hijacked a significant amount of the party. Republicans for instance, many more of whom now follow the anti-intellectualism of fundamentalism, don't seem to understand medical care for cis women either. BobJohnson (talk) 01:00, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
The main idea for representative democracy is that while not everyone will be well-informed on every topic that comes up [which is in fact impossible], on each one there will be some politicians who are [fairly] well-informed and some more who will take the trouble to become more informed. Thing is, the politician isn't meant to be 'the expert', they're supposed to be 'the populariser'; the one who can boil down key points to pithy quips, be able to 'code-switch' depending on their audience and be able to translate the 'knowledge' of said expert(s) into the real-life applications [which often end up being very interdisiplinary in scope].
There's two issues with transgender medicine currently; one is the fact it's being consumed by the culture wars shite where the right wing is what Catholic theologans call 'vincible ignorance' [ie they could correct ignorance but actively choose not to] and the other is that there is not a 'settled answer' yet within the experts either, so it's not like the opposing side can stand on a massive hill 'o evidence on what exactly should be done and 'let's just follow that'. KarmaPolice (talk) 06:17, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
@Karma I'd also add that there's the issue of the experts getting into fights with experts in other fields. E.g., it was only 2-300 years ago that biologists discovered that the worker and king bees were in fact female, to say nothing of seahorses and so forth. Personally, I'm of the view that everyone is really just a fatbrain piloting a meatsuit, and that fatbrains are indeed sexually dimorphic to some extant so it's possible to have e.g. a manbrain piloting a womansuit, but that the questions surrounding converting womansuits from/into mansuits is really going to depend on technological, social, financial, and other factors and thus the correct answer can't be a universal one. Corcery (argue) 13:42, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
Which is the answer neither 'side' wishes to hear on this topic; that it is not an issue which can be boiled down to a maxim or two. Just like the 'phobe trap question of 'what is a woman?' has an answer which I would argue is much more situational than anything else [be it the location, the activity and the individual]. However, humans are hardwired to take the 'path of least resistance' when thinking and so the 'easy digest' lies are like the mental equivalent of junk food.
Though we have to remember that quite often politicians aren't even listening to experts, they're listening to activists. Be it suspiciously-funded thinktanks to partisan groups with axes to grind, they all have 'an angle' they're working and shall have a tendency to cherrypick the experts who back their positions. Part of the issue is even if the politician in question is a reasonable person, often they won't have the time to check the full 'backstory' etc of the activist groups meeting them etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:05, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
Which is why the most effective thing you can do is write a handwritten letter to your representative. Emails get ignored, printed words are mass-produced, but a handwritten letter catches attention. Corcery (argue) 15:28, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
I personally doubt that. The average British MP, for example gets hundreds of various communications a week, every week from constituents alone [about ~65k of them]. Now, their offices are pretty good at acknowledging your communications but whether the politician themselves actually replies to you is very much in the lap of the gods; depending on the MP, the topic the communication and who you are. And the chances that your communication is actually acted on is even less so. Acting as a pressure/action group is much more likely to get their actual personal attention, esp if the politician becomes convinced that said group represents the interests of hundreds, perhaps thousands of constituents [ie 'too big to ignore']. I go to the meetings of the local Green Belt NIMBY group and one of the MPs covered by the group [naturally, not my actual MP] usually attends, talks to people etc. Doubt you'd get that attention from a personal letter, even if written on vellum and with your own blood.
One thing the American Right is very good at is organising into groups for the purposes of lobbying etc. I see nothing wrong carefully studying them and noting what works and what doesn't. And from my admittedly far distance, one good method of that is forming PACs and using the power of money to get their attention. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:15, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
Yes, they all get hundreds of communications from the public, which is why a handwritten one stands out. There was a website from waaaaay back in the earlier days of the 'net, ok not that early, of a guy who did various fun, harmless goofy things. One of his things he did was to pretend to be a 1st grader and write to various senators; Hillary gave him a generic response, whereas McCain and Kerry both gave him a heartfelt response letter.Corcery (argue) 18:44, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
Kinda irrelevant, really. The 'first grader', I suspect wasn't actually asking for anything, so the likes of Kerry etc could afford to be magnanimous. Plus, stiffing a kid kinda looks bad [and might have been part of an attempted dirty tricks campaign]. But the point is that if you're writing to them on [for example] on trans rights chances are it would work better if your missive a) has a concrete goal which is within the gift of the politician in question and b) has a fairly clear 'what's in it for you' bit. Forming an organisation, getting a presence going and so on would help that, because most politicians have a Pavlovian response on the mere thought of say, more than ~100 possible voters in the same locale, rather than some whiney letter from a nobody. That is unless part of the campaign is one to overwhelm the politician's office with tons of letters showing the strength of feeling on it, in which some elements of 'personal touches' do help [for it helps convince the politician that it's not an astroturf attempt]. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:37, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

Ollie smith aka User:Aeschylus[edit]

This: article does us no favours Scream!! (talk) 15:25, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

I think they should have contacted the RMF board before publishing this article. The way I see, there are three solutions: 1 doing nothing. 2 a joint effort to fix the articles mentioned (I don't have time nor competence to do this one) 3 delete these articles. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:55, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Also, this "City Journal" is published by the Manhattan Institute. I think it's important to keep this in mind. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:57, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Anything published by the Manhattan Institute is automatically suspect. I vote to ignore. The article was also written by David Zimmerman, a known contributor to conservative talk radios. The source is questionable, the author is questionable, even the content is questionable. "Cancel Watch?" Seriously? Carthage (talk) 16:06, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
I read about a third of the article, but I am at work so I don't have enough time to read the whole thing currently. Of what I read so far, there is something "off" about the presentation, as it seems largely concerned with the reputation of academics associated with scientific racism then it does addressing the evidence of the allegations against them. There seems to be zero concern about balancing the concerns with the harm of scientific racism. The article tries to defend Noah Carl as having a stance shared by James Flynn, which the article takes good care to call a "renowned cognitive scientist", which...sure, the Flynn effect is a very important finding in "intelligence" research, but like..., Flynn is also very racist himself [4], and the article does not seem particularly concerned about prefacing that. Like, sure, the guy rejects hereditarianism, but he still thinks black parenting and a "restricted subculture" contributes heavily in achievement gaps in the context of the US. This sort of framing bothers me because it frames the academic success of white academics as having a higher moral benefit over the social costs to legitimizing bigotry that harms people of colour. The article makes no mention of the fact that Noah Carl has collaborated with far-right extremists, and the university he was fired from actually investigated his publications and concluded it was of "poor scholarship". The article makes it seem that a bunch of academics cited Rationalwiki and got Noah fired; all because some ex-Neo-Nazi wrote some articles here, though it does not explicitly state it per se. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:42, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
There is no reason to delete anything, the agenda of these people is to have far-right RationalWiki articles deleted, they have been attempting that for years. The articles are all well sourced. This was a planned attack via discord against Aeschylus from a group of far-right hereditarianism kooks, involved in the attack were Kirkegaard, Dutton and a bunch of his cronies. The same day the cancelwatch article was published, within minutes it went onto City Journal. The same author wrote both articles. David Zimmerman is an alias. The guy used to have a RationalWiki article here but it was deleted, it's why he is so mad at Aeschylus. I recommend doing nothing. It's how to win against these far-right trolls. They will use any trick in the book to try and get their articles deleted because they have massive Google traffic. The article shows us that this website is winning against the far-right. Johns (talk) 16:43, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
At any rate, there's no need to rush to any action. Maybe or maybe not Smith is a nasty type and truly has been libeling people, I haven't determined that yet. In reading the article and checking some of its links, but not all, here's some observations that point to the narrative not being trustworthy: 1) Direct quotes from Noah Carl included on a page here contradict some claims in the article. In turn this reminds me of some old RW article for deletion discussions in that general subject area, where it was claimed the RW article was all libel, and a link was given to the person it was about claiming it was all false, yet all citations in the RW article more closely looked at held up. 2) Wikipedia drama involving users in poor standing making claims of fighting conspiracy against Wikipedia, and not exactly meeting with approval, are cited and apparently fully believed and echoed, along with similar things about RW drama, and it being tied into a big ominous thing that the persecuted right-wing researchers and wiki editors are fighting to correct. 3) It's presented as tragic that both institutions/employers and journalists taking RW articles seriously have such bad judgment as to be so fooled, proceeding to wreck careers as a result, yet no explanation is given as to why the contents of various RW pages was so compelling; maybe, just maybe, in cases where the contents are found extremely difficult to argue with, that's because they have substance. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 17:44, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Our Manhattan Institute should be updated to include mention of that article and the "Category:Pissed at us". Also to be added: the Institute's strong support for Reagan's Supply-side economics, their promotion of Broken windows theory and their associated support for Rudy Giuliani's mayoral campaigns when he was a known bigot[5] but was still able to hide his kookoo-bananas. WP has some citations for these. Bongolian (talk) 18:12, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
So the fucking Manhattan Institute gets involved in this silly little online troll war between Smith and a bunch of largely obscure purported and/or actual "race realists". Hah! That says more about the apparently very low editorial standards of the City Journal than it does about Rationalwiki itself, in that I guess they bow down to any new "cancel culture" story without checking much about it. For instance, anyone who thinks that Smith's RationalWiki articles had much to do with the appointment controversy of Noah CarlWikipedia is delusional. I don't know how much of the RW content is Smith, but the concerns with Carl by all reports had to do with his embrace of OpenPsychWikipedia (whose problems are noted in the Other Wiki as well) and the London Conference on IntelligenceWikipedia (ditto). As noted in the Varsity article, apparently Carl also has defended The Bell Curve, something that isn't in either the RW or Wiki articles but will not gain you any favors in academia.
Now, one can (and people have) reasonably debate about how you balance concerns about academic freedom with thorny topics like genetics and behavior. But any debate in this area has to at least acknowledge the reasons why academic institutes are rather touchy about it! At the risk of invoking Godwin's Law, one example is fairly obvious, but there are even more of such if one looks at the eugenics crap from the beginning of the 20th century and some of the conclusions they were making. In particular, currently "race" is generally accepted as a social, not genetic, construct, so the instant someone tries to associate the two, they should be looked at with suspicion.
Oliver Smith is not notable and most of the people in this article aren't notable either. It's a report on a nothingburger of a fuckin' Internet flame war. My, how has the Manhattan Institute fallen! BobJohnson (talk) 18:56, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Good post! Was the Manhattan Institute ever good to begin with? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:05, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Kfotfo says he created other parody articles on different accounts on this website and on Wikipedia [6]. I am going through other articles and cannot find any so far. Johns (talk) 19:27, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Okay, I've had a skim-read...
-I do like the idea that RW does seem to have that power to indirectly get people fired etc, but alas, fear it not to be true. At best, what it could have done was draw attention to the 'issues' in a lucid/succinct manner which had been missed before. Which if actually true, is kinda the bleeding point of the article.
-I've taken a glimpse of the offending page in question at that time ( and from a surface look appears to be rather different to the one now. So there was possibly a bad page four years ago? Gods, almost dropped my monocle in my martini!
-The writers seem to have taken umbridge at the fact that Smith's contributions [may] have remained after their banning, which suggests they're deliberately being dim regarding how wikis actually work.
-I like the suggestion that only two mods were interested in enforcing the block re; socks and now they're retired they've got the run of the place. Hell, I can't prove they have been diligent on this but they can't prove the other way either.
-They are accurate in pointing out that in the Engine starting with G RW does get fairly good listings. This would be that - to quote the G - RW is rated well for 'trustworthiness and usefulness' [sometimes I've seen us beaten only by WP, and top if WP doesn't have anything]. Which unless a trillion-dollar company is wrong on this, kinda goes against the suggestion that RW is full of poor-quality content.
-Enjoyed reading the comments section, as ever.
Anyway, I agree with basically, all the expressed above. However, I do suggest that we do do something; as in look at the alleged articles and just see if there is anything dodgy about them - poorly-done snark, lack of sources, depreciated stuff etc. Hell, it wouldn't really hurt, would it? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:40, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
The articles that the far-right seem to be obsessed with trying to have deleted are John G.R. Fuerst, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Bo Winegard, Ben Winegard, Emil Kirkegaard, Edward Dutton and Anatoly Karlin. I have edited a few of these articles, they are all well-sourced with accurate quotes and references. Johns (talk) 20:01, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
@Johns, on other possible parodists, one obvious suspect is CBH, also the maker of the recent "Whiteness" article which was also suspected of being parody above, here in the Saloon Bar, and then moved to drafts. The City Journal article also links to the ATIM discussion on CBH. Sockpuppets of banned users (including maybe Smith) have been among those accusing CBH of being a parodist, though that doesn't mean the idea is wrong either. That even happened on the talk page for the just now-deleted parody article, where Kfotfo was accused of being CBH. However, whether CBH just often makes bad contributions -- and many of them have been reverted or deleted -- or is really a parodist, bad changes from that source usually don't last so long, in contrast to Kfotfo's troll claim that RW always falls for and defends the caricatures. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:37, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
Also LOL at the article citing two Dysklyver socks as the "two" admins that were paying attention to Oliver Smith. Yeah, this article can be completely disregarded. Plutocow (talk) 20:47, 8 July 2023 (UTC)
The guy behind the CancelWatch article is definitely Jonathon Kane, I believe this was really him commenting here [7] (he's had many other socks on this website). He had an article about him on this website about 2 years ago but Dysklyver and his sock-puppet quickly deleted it claiming Jonathon Kane is a personal friend. All of the drama seems to be based around this Kane person. He's angry his old girlfriend has an article here. CBH is probably him as well. The CBH account should probably be blocked. Jonathan Kane is an eugenicist and ex-creationist [8]. An article about him on this website would actually be on mission, the old article should not have been deleted by Dysklyver. Johns (talk) 21:46, 8 July 2023 (UTC)

I would like to point out that what that Ktolfo arsehole said about articles subject to a failed AfD never getting nominated for deletion again is completely false. Articles can be nominated for deletion again and again and have been deleted following a second AfD.

I know Oliver D. Smith to be a complete cunt from my dealings with him at the now defunct revival of RationalWikiWiki, which he tried to make almost entirely about him, where he tried to recreate articles about his enemies that had been deleted from RW, where he created some articles that basically said, "The RationalWiki article about RacistArsehole1933 says he's a racist arsehole. But I don't think he is," and others that essentially said, "I'm sorry there's a RationalWiki article about you, Mr. Neo-Nazi. I didn't write it. Honest."

Yes, we should continue to be vigilant. We should not allow any articles that make demonstrably false claims about people to remain. However, the articles that Smith created that are still here haven't been deleted because their claims are demonstrably true. Spud (talk) 02:46, 9 July 2023 (UTC)

I agree completely with you comment on AfD's. There is nothing in CS which says that an article cannot be renominated for deletion - and this has indeed happened frequently in the past.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:16, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
Though the articles that Smith made may still exist on RW, but I doubt they still contain all/just the content that Smith put in them. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:45, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
Yes. As others have pointed out - the important question is not the identity of the original author, the original text or even the original intent. The question is the state of the articles now.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:55, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
On Wikipedia a new account probably the same person blocked on multiple accounts on here is adding the city journal article to the RationalWiki entry into the lead, claiming falsely that RationalWiki is defaming intelligence researchers, see [9]. I don't edit Wikipedia but if anyone does here it should be removed. Johns (talk) 16:57, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
I suspect it shall not survive long regardless. As the WP'ian themselves said 'WP generally follows academic consensus' and 'the consensus' on this topic is that while we're not the greatest source in all history we're not really noted for 'lax editorial standards and hosting defamatory content'. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:17, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
It was swiftly removed with the comment, "this is the Manhattan Institute reporting poorly on Wiki drama between a banned user and some non-notable purported scientific racists." The twats will probably try to put it back but it will only get removed again. Don't worry. Our reputation won't get seriously and permanently damaged. Spud (talk) 02:51, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Have a look at the Cancel culture section on the Manhattan Institute page and see if there's anything I've missed or should be fixed. Bongolian (talk) 03:19, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

Also, it's interesting that the same day the City Journal article was published (July 7), a long grievance by a disgruntled 2-decade long former-writer at the City Journal was published elsewhere.[10] Bongolian (talk) 03:23, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
July 7th 2020. However, I do think it's 'missional' to be added to the Blogs WIGO, and/or under the Mantattan Institute's page [on the external links bit]... *gives a evil snicker* KarmaPolice (talk) 07:48, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
Oops — a hazard of late-night editing. Bongolian (talk) 18:23, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Some blog posts that shed light on the City Journal article:

Seems 'David Zimmerman' is a fake name and the article writer is the same person behind Cancel Watch. They then blackmailed and threatened the (ex?)RationalWiki admin to delete articles here or would publish the article on him. Is mentioned on the page that the admin was supposedly banned in 2019 so that might explain why they could not do anything to remove the articles. (talk) 10:56, 12 July 2023 (UTC)
The main net effect of this whole la-te-da so far is that it inspired folks to update the RW article on the Manhattan Institute. Which given their role in significant US political crankery (ranging from climate science misinformation to that whole "critical race theory" bullshit) was considerably overdue; the previous version of the article was way too wishy washy considering what they have done over the years. Works for me. BobJohnson (talk) 13:12, 12 July 2023 (UTC)

Should governments invest resources in prosecuting perpetrators of crimes against vile people?[edit]

internet kaput[edit]

The internet went out here today. I'll be having limited internet access until some Friday. Bongolian (talk) 03:32, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

A digital detox is good once in a while. I've taken a few and I'll probably take another one soon. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:23, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

DeSantis campaign video[edit]

Have you seen it? Monet Ye 08:03, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

If you are talking about that weird video the "DeSantis War Room" retweeted on June 30 (and is still generating news articles even as of a few days ago), there's already a blurb about it in the RW DeSantis article (complete with a link to an archived copy for those curious about what it actually looks like).
Or is this something else? BobJohnson (talk) 13:11, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

Spud's news[edit]

In case anyone was curious, my application to study for a Ph. D. was not successful. The worst part about making this announcement is that I feel the need to feed the troll a bit and preempt Cunt DeMyer by saying that my rejection had nothing to do with suggesting other RationalWiki users might like to join me in having one packet of crisps and one bar of chocolate once a year on 30 April, or suggesting they might like to have one meal in a fast food restaurant once a year on 30 April, or having a picture of a chip butty on my RW user page, or any inaccurate assumptions you might make about my diet on the basis of those things, or being fat (which I'm not), or being an atheist, or being British, or using the word "cunt". The fucking cunt will probably still gloat about it anyway. But I won't respond to his cuntery any further.

Anyway, it was on 5 June that I found out. So, I've had over a month to get over it.

My contract as a research assistant at Chang Gung University came to an end at the end of April. After I found out I wasn't going to be a Ph. D. student, I started applying for English teaching jobs. I was accepted for two. But now I'm being rehired as a research assistant at Chang Gung University from 5 September. So, everything's good. Spud (talk) 03:20, 10 July 2023 (UTC)

That's disappointing, but I'm glad to hear that things worked out for you in the end with getting rehired. Bongolian (talk) 03:33, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
So... the Uni won't train you as a PhD, but still wants you as a research assistant? That seems odd to say the least.
As for bullies, I wouldn't recommend even acknowledging their existence. Corcery (argue) 13:59, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
@CorruptUser You're right on both counts. But I'm really happy to carry on working at this university. Spud (talk) 14:40, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
I was devastated when I failed at my first attempt to get a MS. I know how bad it can be, Spud. My advice is, do not give up. You can learn most of stuff alone, after a certain point college is more of a signal than anything. I'm going to apply to study for a PhD soon, but to be 100% honest with you, I just want the title. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:39, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
@GeeJayK And to be 100% honest with you, I just wanted the title too. I should say I do already have an MA. I got that 25 years ago. I also haven't completely given up on the idea of getting a PhD. To pursue the study I wanted, I might have to apply to a different Taiwanese university that, unlike Chang Gung, has Language and Literature departments. Spud (talk) 16:37, 10 July 2023 (UTC)
An acquaintance of mine told me "Academia is founded upon rising in the ranks by knowing more and more about less and less, and PhD stands for "Piled higher (and) Deeper"" - I don't think it was original to them, but it does seem a fair appraisal. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:41, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
I recently lost out on a job opportunity. Worst feeling was because I knew the whole crew I'd be working with and the guy who got hired was a cousin. I had to really reach out to my buddy who referenced me, he had gone quiet once the hire was final. He told me he felt weird, like he messed up our friendship somehow. It was never his decision, we cleared the air. Life sucks sometimes, but good friends try and get each other jobs. Success in that varies. 2600:8804:500:FE90:6570:414A:C956:C782 (talk) 05:48, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
Name the packet of crisps, or the bag of chips as we sanely call them in the states, and I'll share it with you, time or space be damned, my guy. I'm not a big crisp eater, but this seems like the healthiest time. Your strange ask for others to eat something specific for your pain, I'll eat it Spud. I always have and until it's cyanide or nails, I always will. It's strange, but it's not that strange. I think you're doing okay, what bag of chips are we after? 2600:8804:500:FE90:6570:414A:C956:C782 (talk) 06:28, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
BON, because this is mid July and not late April, I won't ask anybody to join me in eating anything or doing anything else right now. However, when 30 April comes around again, you can mark what would have been my late sister's birthday in any way you choose. Spud (talk) 07:07, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to piss you off. I was asking you to join me in eating something. I guess I should have taken the lead. How are you with spicy food? 2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 03:07, 12 July 2023 (UTC)
The best pepper is a habanero, raw it will always activate the sinuses, tears and snot and you can blame it on the pepper. First time, wondering if death is the next scene, it burns like fire. Then it goes away and you get a little head high. I think it's good to cry when your emotional pitcher is full. I'm sorry if I sounded like I'm not actually in your corner. I'm doing ok, Gaul Dernitt. I left because it was getting too hard to live with people who didn't get it and then my card got skimmed and everything was compromised. I'm not being mean or facetious or sarcastic. I am really bummed you didn't get the spot and for real I didn't get mine either. 2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 03:24, 12 July 2023 (UTC)

Sorry, my old friend, I didn't know it was you. I was indeed a bit cautious in case you were a troll. And I didn't know you were talking about pain resulting from not being accepted to study for a PhD/not getting a job. Like I said before, it was on 5 June that I found out. I've had more than a month to get over it. And I've had two job offers since then that I've had to turn down because of getting rehired as a research assistant. Trust me, the pain has long since gone.

I love spicy food. Unfortunately, really spicy food is hard to get in Taiwan. So I won't be eating any death chilis. However, I will spare a thought for you next time I have a curry.

And good luck with the job search! Spud (talk) 11:58, 12 July 2023 (UTC)

I wonder. But okay, the tears that hit me yesterday are dissimilar to the ones that will hit next time I eat a really spot on Malvani. If you'd rather, I'm not asking for much, spare a thought on a Vindaloo. I'm aware tomato crops got crushed in the Indian region.2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 02:20, 14 July 2023 (UTC)

The Noise of Liberty[edit]

So apparently, Sound of Freedom is getting a lot of publicity in Right-Wing circles. It's the allegedly true story of a (devout Christian) former federal agent who goes on a personal crusade to rescue children from predators. The movie stars the main actor from Passion of the Christ, so Jesus is literally rescuing kids. There seems to be a lot of conspiracies surrounding the film, e.g., that it's a Q-Anon conspiracy-fest. What won't stop irking me is that the person it's based on, Tim Ballard, is insisting that organ slave farms are an actual thing. I mean, it's possible, but the actual medical care required to collect a human organ and surgically install it into the new host is such that it's not really cheaper to steal an organ than it is to just bribe your way to the top of the donor list, so I don't know how accurate the movie is. Corcery (argue) 05:10, 11 July 2023 (UTC)

Probably as accurate as any of the myriad of other "true stories" released by bullshitting jackasses with an agenda-driven axe to grind. Carthage (talk) 05:36, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
Looking up him and his organization on WP leaves me with the impression that it's all pretty shady.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:24, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
QED. Carthage (talk) 06:25, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm also questioning the idea that a major figure in anti-trafficking would ever dare show their face in public; if the pedo rings are anywhere close to being as large as he claims, surely they'd want to murder him and his family. Plus, y'know, it's hard to work as an agent while having your face plastered everywhere. Corcery (argue) 06:34, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
At least Kony 2012 wasn't an obvious grift, or its founder had genuinely good intentions. Carthage (talk) 06:36, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
Remind me again, what exactly did Invisible Children do besides fundraise for themselves? Or any of the related NGO's for that matter. I've not heard of anything about Kony's death nor capture. I'm inherently suspicious of NGO's, because "non-government organization" sounds an awful lot like "corporation" to my ears. Corcery (argue) 06:45, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
What I mean is that the founder of the Kony 2012 genuinely seemed to believe he was doing good, at least from what I can tell from the Internet Historian video. To say it wasn't a grift on Invisible Children's part was poor wording on my part, so it's my mistake. I don't think this asshole is genuine, I just think it's pure opportunism. Carthage (talk) 06:47, 11 July 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────BBC just came out with a story about a purported US-based Christian anti-trafficking charity, International Justice Mission, that has instead been kidnapping children at gunpoint in Ghana.[11] Bongolian (talk) 07:00, 11 July 2023 (UTC)

In fairness, no one else can kidnap the children if you get them first. Corcery (argue) 07:35, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
No, they're not. IJM isn't going out with the guns and taking the children at gunpoint. it was Ghanaian police, stated clearly in the article, under a tip from IJM. IJM never held the children either; they were given to Ghanaian social services. IJM has a quota system where they need to rescue a set number of victims and prosecute a set number of traffickers every year, and this caused overzealous tipping to the police which results in reckless operations (like the one in the article), but to say that IJM itself is "kidnapping children at gunpoint" is ignorant at best and outright lying at worst. Also, to say that IJM is allegedly kidnapping people instead of "anti-trafficking" is also wrong, since they assumed the children were being used for child labor, and therefore trafficking. (admittedly on not so great evidence). An Advocate (talk) 13:36, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
Vice News was not amused with Tim Ballard. Likewise, I'm getting a "strong grifting vibe" here from this guy. If law enforcement is not amused either, best guess on the limited information is this guy is bullshitting, attempting to exploit the QAnon crowd. Make a tall tale and you can go far with getting donations from the rubes, I guess. To be honest, better a con than a new Chris HansenWikipedia vigilante tale I guess (because as with Hansen, when you get vigilantes working out of procedure, there will be fuck-ups).
As far as the film is concerned, although fundie-targeted movies existed prior to the aughts (and there was more things like Biblical epics in America back when it was more mainline Protestant that dominated the nation), it seems like with Balkanization in entertainment being more of a thing these days, some companies have waken up to the fact that there is money to be made in "Christploitation" movies. Angel Studios has been making this stuff ever since they abandoned their copyright-thorny attempt at making a streaming service without naughty bits. They aren't the only studio, far from it. Hell, some stuff that borderline targets this crowd (eg Hallmark Channel) is semi-mainstream these days.
The only problem, of course, is that it is a narrow niche and there are narrow content rules to follow. Put one same sex couple on a Hallmark movie and next thing you know there is uproar and a no-queers-allowed competitor, "Great American Family Network". So, like most exploitation films (there are exceptions, of course), since there is strict formula to follow, I'd expect this film to be rather predictable and dumb. BobJohnson (talk) 13:28, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
Couple of thinkpieces; ,
Anyway, the thing is with fundie media is that the 'business model' is all wrong. In normal media, you produce 'content' that you hope lots of people will like, 'pay for' [in some manner] and search out to consume more of it, which means perhaps it'll be your meal-ticket for the next decade and/or lead to more work etc. Fundie media doesn't work this manner; in fact it's more akin to a vanity publisher - the funds for making aren't from customers, they're donations [direct or indirect] from the fundie orgs. In fact, there may not be any customers in a conventional sense; the media might be supplied at below/zero cost to churches, affliated groups etc. What's more, just like in the old USSR, any old drek shall get praised by the fundie community as long as it is rigidly orthodox. When you're in a world where neither 'sales' or 'consumer appeal' are relevant, you end up producing shite. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:46, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
The "interesting" thing about this particular film (at least from reviews) is that there is much crossover in this film with a film genre called vigilante film,Wikipedia whose tropes are most coded by the "Dirty Harry" and "Death Wish" films in the 1970s. This genre is not necessarily exploitative, but there's a helluv a lot of low budget garbage that is. Some of these films celebrate their (usually simplistic and stock trope-y) vigilantism; such has often been criticized by a reviewers for a message perceived as anti-social, immoral, and even "fascist". Politics aside, the worst vigilante films (like other low budget action) are also very dumb, with stock characters and shit plots that serve as an excuse for lots of guns and explosions.
Now, I get the sense in reviews that this film is "okay" on a popcorn action flick level. But reviews make it not seem very deep at all, and the child sex trafficking tropes used are QAnon whackadoodle and hardly believable.
It's not like the increasing militancy of Dominionism isn't known, but for the Moral Majority types to embrace the vigilante style... well, that's a confirmation, eh? I'm sure this film toned down the typical R-rated stuff that tends to go with this style, but still, that's quite a turn from the Cecil DeMille Ten Commandments days. BobJohnson (talk) 19:28, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
I have not seen the movie. From the WP synopsis, it is a fictionalized account of a guy who fights against the child sex trade. Not being sensitive about Q-Anon, it doesn't seem like any kind of bad thing to me. It's fiction. Take Django Unchained, for example. It's pure bullshit that left-wingers seem to love. No one cares. As far as I can tell SOF is just another violent hero-cop film. Right-wingers like it? So, maybe it's not for you. Ariel31459 (talk) 20:57, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
That's the way exploitation films go. However, with Tucker Carlson recently giving a sympathetic interview to Andrew Tate, who as we know was recently indicted for human trafficking... well, seems like we have two competing spheres of the masochism / fundie wing that will have to sort out what they really stand for, as one sympathy cancels out one outrage. Until then, we can safely ignore any claims from this lot that they actually give a shit about genuine (not imagined) human trafficking and related. BobJohnson (talk) 15:52, 12 July 2023 (UTC)
usually I can find a movie, at worst a cam just by looking for it. I can't find this one yet, but I did see a hilarious bait site description ' where to watch Santa Fe Film's latest human trafficking super heel movie for dads with brainworms' and now I'm considering a ticket. That's copy and pasted, I've never seen anything like it. However, because I have some class, I am reserving judgement of the film until I see it. It's over 8.0 on imdb, that's anamolous. Maybe it actually hits, I gotta see it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 03:59, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Eh most fringe movies start out with a bunch of good ratings/reviews from the target audience of like minded simpletons individuals or from those paid to promote the movie, its why I wait at least a couple of months before even looking at imdb ratings and reviews. Lavalizard101 (talk) 12:34, 14 July 2023 (UTC)

Climate Change Making Oceans Greener[edit]


From what I understand, this is actually a good thing longterm. Or at least, less bad.

More algae means that there's more base food for fish stocks to recover, fish can survive in previously desolate places, and vulnerable species have places to move. On the flip side, vulnerable species could face invasive species, the decaying algae can turn into methane, as algae decays there can be dead zones, and so forth.

But here's the good news. Currently, the oceans are absorbing 2/9ths of the annual carbon production, and the soil is absorbing 3/9. This means if we reduce our carbon output by "only" 4/9, the atmosphere will cease changing... until the soil and oceans absorb all the carbon they can with an atmosphere as carbon rich as it is, and it's not a good thing longterm as this makes the oceans more acidic. The oceans recover as the carbon is deposited into the abyss. Green oceans mean that as the oceans get warmer and more carbon rich, carbon is being converted into algae faster than normal, and the process of depositing to the deep is speeding up. Corcery (argue) 20:48, 13 July 2023 (UTC)

Also, it means more Soylent Green when the crops start to die... GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:09, 13 July 2023 (UTC)
It looks like someone actually watched the movie, and didn't just repeat the memes. Corcery (argue) 21:38, 13 July 2023 (UTC)
Phosphate fertilizer that bleeds into streams and rivers feed algae blooms that consume a lot of the oxygen available, choking out a lot of natural freshwater wildlife and making way for invasive species. There are new advances in mid season crops, 'Cover Crops' especially root hearty species that absorb phosphates. These are not harvested for the market. They are specialized to turn excess into soil and not let it slough away in groundwater. I assume this is less of a problem in the vastness of an ocean. But it's a really big problem for rivers, lakes, and coasts. 2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 02:35, 14 July 2023 (UTC) 2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 02:51, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Greening has helped slow warming for decades. Has its limits though. But anything helps. Another interesting thing that helped reduce emissions semi-recently was the economic slowdown from the pandemic. Overall I'm not optimistic about the climate. These things strike me as slight reprises compared to the longer-term size and consistency of the issue. Chillpilled (talk) 11:39, 14 July 2023 (UTC)

So, what are we gonna do about twitter links?[edit]

There are a lot of links to twitter all across the wiki, especially in the WIGOs. Nitter instances don't work anymore, could some archive-type-thing work? What are we gonna do about old links? take screenshots a-la conservapedia? Just spitballin here :) (talk) 17:13, 2 July 2023 (UTC)Bumpf

A month ago Bongolian already warned about the possibility of Twitter links disappearing.
Generally, it is a really good idea when writing articles to either use or for any social media sites (including Twitter). Social media sites are notoriously prone to web rot. If one runs into a non-archived Twitter link now, it is best to search the two archive sites and change it to an archived one if it exists. BobJohnson (talk) 17:20, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
For things which do not already exist in archives, screenshooting may not be such a bad idea for new things from Twitter -- but it's a bit more of a pain, and to avoid clutter best only done when the material is valuable. That's also the usual solution for material in websites not visible to the public. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:30, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
The login wall is supposedly temporary. I guess we'll see. Many Twitter posts especially pre-2021 were auto-archived by the Internet Archive. Chillpilled (talk) 21:01, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't wanna be that guy, and I admit that some of the content that people post on their personal social media is missional (I'm looking at you, Donald), but how about seeing this as an opportunity for the Wiki to focus less on Twitter drama? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:27, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
However, sometimes a target can distill their crankery etc into just one Tweet. Plus, it doesn't hurt if I'm writing a biog page and I can find them to cite as evidence of views, personality and/or tactics. Though the fact they can now [I believe] be edited post-release has made it less useful... KarmaPolice (talk) 08:45, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
Twitter drama does not extend to politicians messaging on twitter. The timeline seems to go, Twitter was receiving a lot of threats of legal action by people who didn't like nonsense being vetted, so a very rich man threatened to buy it, owners decided the buyout was worth not having the hassle, buyer tried to back out but it was too laye, buyer circulated to the deal, started losing money, tried to capitulate to a base that barely drew revenue, tried to charge everyone for a 'real' Twitter account, which didn't mean anything special, lost support and has decided to charge the 'terminally online' Twitter addicts. In an attempt to fight 'skimming data' you need to now provide an email address for limited access and a payment method just to look at the site. Very silly, I cannot believe how many people buy this narrative. 2600:8804:500:FE90:E92E:B4C0:9A1E:4850 (talk) 03:40, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
For the same basic reasons folks buy into Trump - Musk was 'so successful' with Tesla [not as much as he'd like us to think, but an impressive success all the same, and waaay much more than the Great Orange is with his 'empire'] that people assume that Musk has a wonderful Secret Plan™ for Twitter up his sleeve. I remember at the time doing a quick Buffett-style analysis on both Twitter and Musk's proposal to investors and they simply didn't make fucking sense [example; Twitter was already running in the red]. And if I could see it, sure as hell the investors did too. Which leads to the conclusion; they only went through with it because it was Elon. Folks continue to hold on due to the old sunk cost fallacy, as well as not desiring to lose face for being fooled. And now Meta has put up their own Treads-tent triple-quick [I think it was that they simply threw colossal resources at it than piracy as Musk alleges] and has the pockets deep enough to make it a 'loss leader' longer than Musk could afford to continue with Twitter.
So I think ultimately this is going to be an issue which solves itself. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:33, 9 July 2023 (UTC)
'loss leader' is an interesting term. I heard that Amazon spent a lot of time operating at a loss in order to kill other markets, mostly 'brick and mortar'. Is that what you mean? 2600:8804:500:FE90:314E:5AB7:93BD:7EA4 (talk) 04:41, 12 July 2023 (UTC)
It's a very common tactic in business. Get in, have key prices below the competition [sometimes below cost] and rely in the fact your deeper pockets can sustain the price longer than the competition can [then when the competition is dead, shove your prices up again]. In this case, Threads has zero ads [though is still stealing your data] but is being cross-subsidised in their running costs by the profits Meta gets from FB, Instagram etc. Twitter not only does not have any other products to do this but is also saddled with debts shoved on it's back by Musk. The only real thing in Twitter's favour now is that Threads seems determined to not have politics or news on it [but that does not stop them going for alternatives like Bluesky etc].
Though perhaps surprisingly, I don't think the break-up of the 'Twitterverse' is actually a bad thing. We've got to the stage where search engines provide a good 'glue' [as long as the sites allow them to be crawled over] which means we can avoid a real kind of 'format war' as in the past, and social media management tools are pretty good these days [reducing the costs of running multi-channel for companies, celebs etc]. Perhaps it's time for us to admit that the 'town square' analogy for it is completely wrong, and that instead a more fragmented system [Twitter for pol/news, Threads for the corp world, Mastadon for individuals etc] would be ultimately be better? KarmaPolice (talk) 09:17, 12 July 2023 (UTC)
Twitter seems to be back up for non users like myself, which is good because local weather stations and police affiliated scanners post urgent messages on the site. We had some storms rolling through this morning, I actually listen to the radio when I drive, but I worry big alerts need modern reach that they just can't get if we centralize them in a private service that can go dark as fast as a wall cloud If the people in charge of it decide you can't interact with it anymore. Weather alerts on the radio are literal life savers in tornado alley. 2600:8804:500:FE90:B15E:A97C:1B87:83AC (talk) 04:56, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
Well, any body worth it's salt knows not to rely on simply one medium; even in pre-Musk Twitter I expect most corp/official Tweets were also re-done on FB, their own site and so on. They're normally aware that different people get their news in different ways, and sometimes at different times too [I do my online reading mainly in the morning, normally see the lunch news at work and listen to the radio on the evening] so in an emergency situation, it's best to simply flood every medium. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:04, 15 July 2023 (UTC)

Events in Russia[edit]

Given the 'vanishing senior brass', various statements put out by 'Putin and associates' and the Wagner group etc, is something changing? Anna Livia (talk) 11:37, 14 July 2023 (UTC)

The US is moving reserve forces to Europe, so... yes, yes something nasty is about to happen. Corcery (argue) 13:33, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
A lot of people who were/are associated with the Wagner group should probably steer clear of those dangerous Russian windows.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:08, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
It's such a shame that for all the funding that breast cancer gets, nobody seems to care about finding a cure for the leading cause of death in Eastern Europe; mysterious circumstances. Corcery (argue) 14:28, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
If you're implying what I think you're implying, Corrupt - either put up or shut up. Ie show evidence. I've been a semi-regular reader of the ISW reports on the war, which is perhaps only equal to Jane's in regards to non-state analysis etc and it suggests as of yesterday that nothing 'foreign' is even hinted at. However, 'domestically' in Russia there does seem to be a continuing fallout re: Wagner mainly the Czar's loss of face.
The whispers are getting louder re: the true situation and they're also becoming increasingly aware that the Czar cannot see through walls - some of the officer sackings are in fact, loyalists trying to quash the 'grumblers' and perhaps also remove them from pivitol commands lest they get any ideas like Prigozhin did. Another aspect which Putin continues to do what I think of as 'the Hitler shuffle'; ie move about various mid/high theatre officers in the hope that a simple change in leaders will produce victory. However, like Hitler Putin is an 'armchair general' micromanger, which even if he did put a 'Zhukov' in command, it wouldn't make much difference because Zhukov could at best merely execute Putin's shit plan excellently, which echoes a German General [can't remember who] who complained that under Hitler they were merely 'highly paid NCOs'. There's also the issue of trust; that like Stalin he'd prefer to have 'loyal dullards' in command because he feels threatened by true skill. Yet Ukraine has not been such a shitshow [or is unaware of it] that he feels he has to sack his 'Voroshilov' ie Shoigu to simply survive. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:32, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Much of what is on the websites etc will be wishful thinking, noise, balloons being floated, echo chamber effects etc which muddy the waters - but which collectively have an effect on opinion, and then there are issues with money, men and military resources... and we are waiting for someone to pull the short straw to say that the Emperor has no clothes on/decide that 'There is a tide in the affairs of men... (and why not me taking the spoils such as they remain - the alternatives for me would be worse). [Mangled metaphors I admit.] Anna Livia (talk) 19:18, 14 July 2different
There were murmurs that reserve is going to get activated. I really don't think that's real news. I have enough real reserve friends and friends who have more reserve friends, it's the old folks talkin. Like the beginning of 'All Quiet,' but nobody needs boots even if Russia does old school lean hard on the border with numbers. That strategy worked with lots of powerful allies, not as an invasive force. 2600:8804:500:FE90:B15E:A97C:1B87:83AC (talk) 04:13, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
I mean, what is the Russian plan? Take over Ukraine, entertain civil war until it shakes out in Russia's favor, and then have a standoffish eastern European country between Warsaw and Moscow? 2600:8804:500:FE90:B15E:A97C:1B87:83AC (talk) 04:29, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
However, Russia does not have the capacity to order a general or even partial mobilisation. She might be able to get the men, but she would not be able to logistically support them, deploy them and possibly not even equip them [she is having difficulties supplying her current active forces]. At best, you'd end up with a ton of very poorly led, rather unfit foot-slogging infantry of Vietnam-era vintage with a hodge-podge of elderly/civilian kit. And that doesn't even include the political or economic costs of doing this.
On the American front... Politico reports possibly 3k reservists being called up for the European theatre. That's about a single brigade. My money is it being one of the specialist ones, such as engineers, logistics or trainers. The other option is that it's part of a NATO force being sent to bolster Finnish defences, or perhaps to the 'Suwałki Gap', the thin-ish strip of NATO which cuts Kaliningrad off from Belarus [pre-War NATO planners decided it was indefensible, but then saw how much of a rusted tiger Russia is]. However, the most important point to remember is that this would take all US European commitments to 100k. In the 1980s, she had 350k. [Euro nations, take note].
As for the 'Russian plan'... well, it's pretty much the same plan as 14 months ago. Russia simply throws waves of men and materiel at the front, until the West runs out of weapons to give and/or Ukraine runs out of men. Then Russian forces advance to the Dnipro, all the while working on 'softening up' both the West and Ukraine with the terror attacks, pillaging, ethnic cleansing, raping etc. At this point, they'll ask Putin for a cease-fire [ie has lost the 'battle of wills']. I think Putin has [for now] accepted outright puppetdom is impossible, but I'm sure he'd like a breather too. So he'll accept it; so he can 'digest' his conquest and re-arm for the next phase. Meanwhile, all the sanctions etc shall vanish and 'normality' will resume... until he tries again.
I'm not going to spend any time pointing out the various flaws in this plan, save one - the battle of wills. Putin and his inner circle are completely convinced that 'Western values' are weakness, decadence, cowardness and sloth. All the signs are that he has simply doubled-down on this viewpoint, and thus believes that if he can 'tough it out' long enough the West will either grow bored and walk away, feel sick from seeing so much blood and beg for peace [this is, I believe the primary motivator in the terror bombings etc] and/or Ukrainians [ie 'western-corrupted Russians'] can't take the heat for much longer and desert on masse.
This is the mentality of the WW1 general, crossed with an elite which does not really understand the psychology of their opponents or [I suspect] actual history from the non-Russian POV. Case in point; the fact that old Soviet detritus is returning to the occupied Ukraine [flags, stars, Lenin etc], not realising [or perhaps not caring] that the Ukranians do not have half as fond memories of that. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:46, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
I just want to point out one thing that is driving me crazy. You are using brackets in your own speech when you should barely be using parentheses. In reporting, the brackets are used to fill in speech that is implied, normally without replacing words. So if I saw Becky and Anne arguing about whether the Earth was round, then was quoted as a witness, it would look like 'she [Becky] told her [Anne] to do her own research.'. What you're looking for is a secondary thought, (which doesn't deserve a separation from the points you are making), but I can understand why you are using (incorrectly) the punctuation. Being said, I do appreciate your WWI/elite take. I'm really looking for context in this conflict. It was supposed to be over, limp pressure from Russia was not what anyone expected when it started. 2600:8804:500:FE90:7C10:899B:4280:4E02 (talk) 02:12, 17 July 2023 (UTC)
Does it matter as long as it's comprehensible? Carthage (talk) 03:15, 17 July 2023 (UTC)
I find it quicker/easier to type using square brackets rather than circular. For similar reasons I would use singular quote marks than double even if I wasn't using them British-style. I do know how to use brackets 'correctly' and do so when it is important to do so [ie RW articles I've done] but in things like this I have the slider much more towards 'speed'.
As for 'it was supposed to be over'... well, we in 'the West' suffered from our own cognative biases and wishful thinking too, which is partly the reason we're in the situation we're in now. Our biases told us that Russia wouldn't make a general invasion of Ukraine because the forces apparently slated for it were insufficient, which was naturally what we desired to hear because the underpinning wishful thinking that was basically 'it can't happen here' [qv: 'The old concepts of fighting big tank battles on the European landmass are over' (PM Johnson, Nov '21)]. However, even then there was a case of doublethink going on; that on one hand we would say 'the Russian forces were insufficient for an invasion' but in the other 'the Ukrainians would collapse within days'. Naturally, if you're kicking in a rotten door, you don't need much force, do you? I remember at the time that I was in a very distinct minority in believing the Ukrainians had the will to resist but simply lacked the metal. This was then used to justify continued bad decisions, like Kyiv shouldn't get Western weaponry because 'it would simply fall into Russian hands'.
But why was it 'supposed to be over'? This, I suspect is a cognative bias too; that the 'CNN blitzkrieg' like both Iraqs, Afghanistan and other interventions like Grenada were now the norm involving advanced major powers. Except that's a very limited lesson pool which featured the American military juggernaught attacking folks waaay weaker than they. Truth be told, America hasn't clashed with a comparable enemy for yonks; her last naval action was WW2, tank/air battles were Korea and infantry was 'Nam. But the truth is, there are recent historical examples of wars which have turned out rather like this one; Iran-Iraq and Yugoslavia [which also started with more similar ratio of forces to this war]. But here wishful thinking kicks in; we didn't want to cite these examples because both were corpse-laden, draining wars. Then when Putin's starting dash failed, all the signs were that we were going to settle down for said long war but we were either unwilling or unable to mentally adjust to this - it is why we have dicked around and stalled on every 'step up' of weapons supplies [if we'd allowed the Poles to give their MiGs back when first offered Kyiv would have them now for the counter-offensive and would be getting their first F-16s by this fall] or failed to rachet up our arms production capabilities. Yet I suspect part of this is deliberate opacity on the West's part; that if nothing else we wouldn't wish to admit to Kyiv that our desire was to simply return them to their '22 borders, not the '14. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:27, 17 July 2023 (UTC)

Meanwhile, on the Wikipedia talkpage from our site...[edit]

This was a thing a few days ago. Someone who sounds like a Smith sock being backed up by a weeb (Solaire The Knight) (check edits). Apparently City-Journal is a conservative Think Tank and they don't really like us (go figure):

"Overall, we rate City Journal Right Biased based on policy positions that favor conservative and libertarian causes and Mostly Factual in reporting due to a few misleading statements regarding climate change and same-sex marriage."

CentristPedia being CentristPedia again... 🙄 Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:44, 14 July 2023 (UTC)

I think it's just a massive coincidence that one of the Wikipedia editors arguing to keep the City Journal stuff off the page is called Mr.Ollie. He seems to just be trying to be a fair and balanced editor. And surely Oliver D. Smith wouldn't be so stupid as to use that sock instead of one of his 600 others. Spud (talk) 16:03, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Indeed it is a coincidence, Mr. Ollie is a well regarded editor on Wikipedia. Lavalizard101 (talk) 16:39, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
City Journal (as noted elsewhere) is aligned with the Manhattan Institute, which has been rather American conservative crank for a long time. Now that they are obsessed with the "evil trans" and critical race theory (just look at their home page now, that's basically most of the stories when they aren't bitching about affirmative action) I guess they are more susceptible to a dumb article about dumb Wikidrama that had a wee bit of "scientific racism" encoded.
The net effect is just to inspire improvements on the Manhattan Institute article among others. Like, apparently, after seeing this blurb on the Manhattan Institute and Googling, Rod Dreher is now a Viktor Orban stooge now per the SPLC. So this might be something to add to that article after a double check. BobJohnson (talk) 16:44, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
They literally did something like this when I tried to categorize Nick Fuentes as a neo-nazi. Rational Dude (talk) 16:46, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
How is being backed by a weeb bad? (if that wasn't your intent i'm sorry)--2600:4040:475E:F600:4525:4CC:F85D:F0CF (talk) 17:36, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
I actually meant DuxEgregius. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 18:58, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
That discussion is ripe for being dragged to Wikipedia's Reliable Sources Noticeboard at some point. My first-ever impression of City-Journal, if I recall correctly, was stumbling across an article from it making some kind of genetic argument about race/crime.
As a side note, I was a little confused by the claim by City-Journal of legal limbo regarding consequences for any illegal content posted here by individual editors, being based on a single case in an English court. At most this tells me that the English legal system is stupid (as far as defamation goes I already knew it was), but more likely that that particular court didn't feel the need to pursue his RW contributions as evidence of anything and/or realized they don't have easily-established jurisdiction over an American foundation for a defamation case (see: the SPEECH Act).Wikipedia Theoretically couldn't a court order, or series of them, towards the RW Foundation by a US court uncover or at least help to uncover an editor's identity? Because of the SPEECH Act, an English court determining a libel case was especially poorly positioned to do so, though. Chillpilled (talk) 20:42, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
There is no illegal content. Calling a racist person like Edward Dutton who attends neo-Nazi conferences a racist is not illegal nor defamation. In European law, especially the UK there is a one year rule for defamation. It is under (section 4A of the Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980), as inserted by section 5 of the Defamation Act 1996 (DeA 1996). Most of the RW articles on these racist intelligence researchers were written in 2017, 2018 or 2019 and have since been re-written by dozens of anonymous editors. They have no case. (talk) 21:30, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Having fished around a little, I turned up an article by Nicholas WadeWikipedia seemingly whitewashing E. O. Wilson's support for racialism,Wikipedia somehow reducing it to a conflict over whether genes determine hair and skin color. I'm not certain this was the first article I saw from that website but it's certainly a candidate. Chillpilled (talk) 21:49, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Rationalwiki is United States based, so my "I am not a lawyer" understanding is that the site overall is protected from rogue editors by Section 230Wikipedia, so as long as there is a good faith attempt to remove any editor's content that is libelous. It's one of many things the City Journal article glossed over.
Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac DonaldWikipedia got a bit attention during Black Lives Matter, as her positions can be charitably be described as "pro-police no matter what", and some of a lot of articles could definitely be seen as racist -- essentially, many articles respond to complaints of racism by essentially saying "NO U!". This irked a college where she was scheduled to speak at in 2017. It is not surprising that, digging in the archives, the Manhattan Institute has a copy of a National Review article she did in 2008 where she was an apologist for the notorious Abu Ghraib torture incident of the Dubya Iraq war. BobJohnson (talk) 22:15, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
One thing I do wonder is this; what is the legal position of editors? If I say Mr Neo-Nazi is a neo-Nazi on their RW page and they decide to try to sue me [as in the editor personally] for libel, do we have any extra protections? KarmaPolice (talk) 23:48, 14 July 2023 (UTC)
Whatever "extra protections" you may have are completely circumstantial to the fact that the RW foundation is hosted in the US, the fact of wherever you may happen to live, other facts of your individual case, and the interaction between these circumstances. If you are American, and you were sued for libel here in the United States on reasonable grounds for something you posted on the wiki, you would certainly be on the hook for it. It becomes a question of determining your real world identity at that point; although the site may not store IPs of individual users (as the City-Journal article claims at least, may not be true I have no idea), I think the site may be compelled legally by court order(s) to help figure out your identity, or may assist in such a case voluntarily (though not every user can be de-anonymized -- imagine a case where somebody edits using Tor for example -- but at such a point it's likely the community would remove any offending content or else the site itself could face consequences I think). That's my understanding. There is not some kind of special legal limbo that this site occupies. Chillpilled (talk) 02:50, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
So it's a case of 'if you can find me, serve me then'. Though in my case it would be [most likely] a case of a UK citizen going to an US court to try to get RW to cough up the IP of another UK citizen. I'm gonna assume here that RW doesn't crap itself and roll over every time it gets a menacing missive. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:30, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the situation of one (identifiable) UK citizen writing something libelous about another UK citizen on an international platform. Be it RW, Facebook or WhatsApp. I'm not at all sure that the defense "This platform is not based in the UK" would work.
It might well be a defense for the platform though.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:26, 16 July 2023 (UTC)
I vaguely remember reading something about RW being covered by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which I note SCOTUS decided to not shred back in May. Though that doesn't defend against frivolous and/or vexatious suits designed purely to scare/bully people into compliance. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:50, 16 July 2023 (UTC)
A platform may still have an interest in engaging with foreign requests, or else face possible (more localized) sanctions by the country in question. See: Twitter complying with Germany's anti-hate laws and other special considerations (Turkey and India under their respective strongmen). This doesn't necessarily mean compliance; Wikipedia for instance engaged with the Turkish government's attempted censorship via the Turkish court system. I doubt a US platform would be blocked in the UK in particular for non-compliance in a petty libel case, though. I've never heard of it. Maybe it has happened, but I doubt it. Chillpilled (talk) 12:27, 17 July 2023 (UTC)
True, hoewever sometimes [perhaps often] the requests are best dealt by 'referring them to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram'. I don't write anything on RW that can't be covered by the defences 'true' and/or 'honest comment' which means chances are the requests are frivolous and/or vexatious in nature. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:53, 17 July 2023 (UTC)
My point wasn't about whether or not RW is protected by US law. I was pointing out that I'm not at all sure that an identifiable UK editor would not be liable under UK law for something they wrote here about another UK citizen. I suspect that, as an individual (and under UK law) they would be.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:40, 18 July 2023 (UTC)
From what I've read, yes they would be. And English libel law is very pro-plaintiff. However, this is one of those situations where most solicitors would cite 'could does not mean should' for it would cost a decent chunk o' change to file in the USA against RW to disgorge an a IP address which may or may not allow an ID'ing of a editor which then may or may not allow a suit which depending on the complaint in question may end up being from 'winning damages' to 'being laughed out of court'. Which is why most of the time, I'd guess they're vexatious suits designed to scare RW/the editor to simply torching the offending bits.
I mention this whole thing because it appears a variant of this happened with the old editor who was the centre of the CJ hit-piece. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:18, 18 July 2023 (UTC)

I'm pretty certain that nobody on that talk page is Oliver D. Smith. DuxEgregius added the City Journal citation in the first place and is arguing for it to be put back. Weirdo though Oliver D. Smith undoubtedly is, he's not going to want to call himself a Neo-Nazi obsessed with cancel culture who libels innocent people to destroy their careers. Mr.Ollie is arguing that the reference should not be included because City Journal is not a reliable source and the article only represents its writers view (Wikipedia doesn't have to include everybody's opinion about everything). Solaire the Knight is trying to be impartial and is listening to both sides.

Anyway, it really doesn't matter. Like I said before, there's no way that reference is going to be put back. Our reputation on Wikipedia is safe. Spud (talk) 04:53, 15 July 2023 (UTC)

Whatever C-J claims of RW's "unique legal status" would pretty much also have to be applied to Wikipedia, since they're both open wikis hosted by a nonprofit American foundation. And Wikipedia certainly has its share of bad actors as well. Chillpilled (talk) 23:49, 15 July 2023 (UTC)

El Bagholder of El Salvador.[edit]

So I have been keeping up with the insanity of the current dictator of El Salvador, and I think his section on the El Salvador page is not enough, and should have a page of his own, possibly debunking the myth that he is tough on crime and instead just made a deal with the crime lords. A somebody. (talk) 21:59, 17 July 2023 (UTC)

If you want to create one, go for it. Bongolian (talk) 03:13, 18 July 2023 (UTC)

Judicial Foxes Watching the Hen House[edit]

This is a copy paste from a paywall, I found it for free, just to pass along. Not the most ethical way, but y'all should be allowed to read it.

In Nebraska, A judge can only be fired for ethical violations in a formal hearing. A judge, before that formal hearing, must be informed in an informal meeting. The judge is then allowed to resign and keep all benefits, including pension, provided to the apparently not civil service position regardless of whether an investigation was going to happen or not.

like, they really said 'hey, you been banging this meth addict, and we know' and he said 'right, I'll retire' and we just let him retire like meh, good work, you're set for life on the dole.

It's kinda hard to have faith in the judiciary, I was never a fan of the executive that gave him the position, but are they not all slimeballs? 2600:8804:500:FE90:7C10:899B:4280:4E02 (talk) 03:08, 18 July 2023 (UTC)

Mike Nifong still gets a government pension after the Duke lacrosse case (and look up the name Darryl Howard if you think that was a one-off from him). I've read KC Johnson's extensive writings on the procedural failings which allowed Nifong to take a nonexistent case as far as he did, and part of it involved judicial reform (I'm lucky enough to live in a state where only probate court judges are elected, goodness knows unqualified fucking morons get selected but they're usually shunted off to family court); ending elected judges was one idea, any other suggestions? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:42, 18 July 2023 (UTC)

is this gaslighting?[edit]

"Jesus received in the cross the punishment we deserve", "We are beings unworthy of receiving the gift of eternal life", and other similar Fundie sayings. Panzerfaust (talk) 12:49, 15 July 2023 (UTC)

No. This term is becoming a bit overused. Gaslighting is a very specific form of emotional abuse where one person manipulates another into doubting their sanity. This is to make them vulnerable by having them trust the judgement of their abuser about the reality of events over their own. These fundie sayings just seem to be the re-phrasing of “Jesus died for our sins”. It has no implicit meaning about the status of your mental health. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 15:29, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
It is a different form of (internalized) manipulation, though. Imagine an imperial power subjugating a group of people, and as part of that, telling them that they are inherently inferior and deserving of punishment, and threatening them with torture and more until, generations later, a large submissive population who believes and parrots those talking points lives on in obedience. That would be the psychology if the "heavenly order" was real. But in place of that, theocratic and cult-like theological authorities, and to a lesser extent ordinary preachers, play a similar role, like crusaders sent out on behalf of an empire, except that the empire may be imaginary. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:20, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
That makes no fucking sense. An Advocate (talk) 16:31, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
I mean the "unworthy" and "punishment we deserve" parts, which are all part of the overall larger "obey or burn" package, where you get to obey to be in the right (except still inherently viewed as inferior) instead of burning (though usually only in the afterlife and not at the stake nowadays). Obviously meant as an offer you cannot refuse. Added: If it helps, the heavenly world of the Abrahamic religions has sometimes been compared to a military dictatorship by others, e.g. in The Revolt of the AngelsWikipedia, --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:37, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
Growing up in an evangelical family can lead to all sorts of abuse if you don't conform, and the "obey or burn" package is part and parcel of that. Carthage (talk) 16:57, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
Regardless the message from these religious actors is genuinely believed and not presented with the intention to undermine your sense of sanity, so's not gaslighting. You can describe many aspects in the ways these ideas are sometimes communicated as abusive or oppressive for other reasons, but it's not gaslighting unless someone is trying to convince you that you are not clinically sane (when in reality you are). This term is being used so widely now its becoming harder to have clear conversations regarding what gaslighting in an emotional abusive context genuinely looks like. It's akin to the weird watering down of the clinical term of "delusion" by certain atheists' when they describe religious people. This is despite simply being religious and a having a psychotic disorder having a widely different outward characteristics, and different associated physiological states within the brain. Overusing terms like this can obscure the realties of people who really struggle with these sorts of problems. Don't get me started on the memes surrounding "intrusive thoughts" which bothers me to no end as someone with OCD. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
So far I agree. Even in the cases of the more cynical preachers who don't believe what they say, usually they have a different aim than getting people to question their sanity as such. But what about something related, when some religious explanations calling into question perceptions, feelings, thoughts, etc. are used by manipulative spiritual people? Such as claiming that all doubts, or particular heterodox ways of thought, are due to demons or their influence, making those who question theological authority question their sanity in religious rather than secular terms, and turn to the manipulative person for a sense of what's really real. Then calling it gaslighting may be justified. Believers may end up going "damn, I feel so angry at [cult leader], and recently doubted everything said, but it is all due to their evil influence. I should feel love, not rage. I must trust or I will lose my sanity." Etc. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:24, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
I think an issue with that is that people who claim that demons are influencing your thoughts so as to create doubt are often genuine believers that demons are doing that. There isn't a malicious or abusive intent per se. Maybe the first con-artist to conjure up the religious system did have such intents and it was used for manipulative or abusive reasons. And sure, in the context of a cult that is very often the case. In mainstream religions though we don't necessarily have a historical reference to how they were started. It could very much have started with a group of people prone to magical thinking and attributing intention to event. Something which we seem evolutionarily prone to do. Gaslighting can happen under a religious context, but in that specific instance the person doing the gaslighting knows full well what they are doing. They intend to undermine your sense of reality so that you will treat them as the ultimate authority of the reality you occupy. You are mentally ill, your perception is unreliable, but they are healthy and see things like a "normal person" does or how things really are. It's important to distinguish genuine gaslighting from people simply thinking and feeling differently then you do. In the case that a religious leader was intentionally trying to convince their followers that they were, in fact, suffering from a psychotic delusion. Then yes, that would be gaslighting. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
I guess it may be most likely when a lower-ranking devotee (in any religious or spiritual organization) happens to find out something about an authority figure (e.g. priest) sinning or doing something illegal. "You didn't really see what you think you saw, it was the demons making you perceive that! What really happened was..." --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:42, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
More like Orwellian "double think" in that case. Or cognitive dissonance.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:53, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
If it was said by the authority to the follower (possibly as part of something larger), I meant. Otherwise, if it was just the follower's own thoughts, then I agree. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:01, 15 July 2023 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. The more I see how these people work, the more I'm convinced they command cults in everything but name, especially the worst of them and seemingly the older their leaders the more extreme they're (climate change denialism, antivaxxers, NWO BS, one who also claims leftist parties (this is not US) practice occult and demonic rituals and the current government (a center left with left coalition) is "Babylonian and Satanic"), and of course that the February 2023 Turkish earthquake was sent by God so they'd convert to Christianity seeing how much psychological manipulation is going on there (see also This. Panzerfaust (talk) 08:09, 16 July 2023 (UTC)
Gaslighting is gentle. Along with prayer,I understand the original question as is this an end that gaslighting will have you believe. You prayed for that A, don't you see that your prayer combined with your work got you that good grade? there is a lot more in there, magical thinking, Painting the target after shooting the arrow, but you know, sometimes when everything works out, you just gotta toss it up. 2600:8804:500:FE90:7C10:899B:4280:4E02 (talk) 01:48, 17 July 2023 (UTC)
There is nothing gentle about genuine gaslighting. It is abuse, plain and simple. Spud (talk) 06:30, 17 July 2023 (UTC)
What I mean about the gentle abuse of gas lighting is it doesn't start as something big. It does start as something nasty, but it's built slowly. If you're being gaslit, you aren't just being lied to. You are being encouraged to believe the lie. Which I agree is gross, but I also want to point out it is easy to fall victim to gaslighting. I don't think the most recent idea, that it's just being told you should believe what I say,is gaslighting. 'I would give an example but you've really worn me out, I just want to go to bed.' 'You're always on my ass and not letting me explain things.' Sometimes, those arguments are dirty tactics, sometimes they are real. There are lots of dysfunctional relationships, lots of social meters. Gas lighting as a catch all doesn't help. Gaslighting is very manipulative, manipulation in itself can be called violent, it's abuse, I'm not saying it isn't, but I stand by saying it's mostly done gently, with an intent to no longer have to gaslight,but to simply dictate. 2600:8804:500:FE90:7C10:899B:4280:4E02 (talk) 02:14, 18 July 2023 (UTC)
OK. I completely agree with all of that. Spud (talk) 06:20, 18 July 2023 (UTC)
this is one of those things, where a smart person I respect has said a thing and I can't tell if it's commentary on the subject but it's just so teed up, so without any ill intent I just have to do it. 'Finally! We agree on something. So anyway, about that pepper...'2600:8804:500:FE90:9DFA:6142:3CC9:6BB (talk) 06:52, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
I've had the curry. Spud (talk) 09:00, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
My man. Love ya Spud. 2600:8804:500:FE90:9DFA:6142:3CC9:6BB (talk) 04:28, 20 July 2023 (UTC)

I've tested you.[edit]

Rough storm pirate.png Ahoy, matey!
Beware, for there be a great sea of
Concern Troll Bullshit ahead!

Yes, I admit it, this looked somewhat controversial.

But seriously:

  • Do we agree that there are many whackjobs on the extreme left too?
  • Do we agree that apologists for pedosexuals are a thing?
  • Do we agree that child rapists are scum?

I don't know about you, but I'd answer all of these with "Yes".

So if we agree about these: Doesn't it make sense that this (Antifa wanting...) might be the truth, although it's also quite probable that the alt-right started yet another nasty rumor, as they have done so often?

Then why do you call me a troll?

As said, I've tested you by asking a controversial question - which should be fine though, if you look closer and think about it. But sorry, you've failed the test.

There are many good things here to read. Unfortunately, it seems like the smart people who wrote it have all left now. --Max Sinister (talk) 04:08, 19 July 2023 (UTC)

Ngl. Even with context I am not even sure what is meant to be conveyed here. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:44, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
Ironically enough using the phrase "pedosexual" always struck me as a hallmark of "apologists for pedosexuals". Chillpilled (talk) 05:01, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
Why are you saying pedosexual instead of pedophile? A somebody. (talk) 05:20, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
very strange. I mean, I'm very left of the US Democrat party, and strangely, nobody I've ever met has even cared to talk about sex with children. Except one time.

I have met people who went to church with this guy and say he made a mistake, and he repented and should be allowed to have a concealed carry, mostly because Obama was gonna take em and we had to stockpile quick.
Some of the grossest takes I heard bargained the idea of pedophilia being better than what the Catholics are doing.
I have also sat in for a friend at a Planned Parenthood tent during an art festival. Worked with an actual OBGYN and we gave out condoms and kid friendly pamphlets that explained what inappropriate touching is.
I do not understand this idea that you are going to bait the left into admitting they are everything you fantasize about. It's in your head, dawg, it's in YOUR head. 2600:8804:500:FE90:7C10:899B:4280:4E02 (talk) 06:01, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
Fine. Just to help - to your points. There are whack jobs on the left.
Apologists for pedophiles exist, in my experience it's just the right, but I will allow that whack jobs might hold any political leaning. Child rapists are scum, the least controversial take in the history of takes. So you can get how your three points are a non sequitor, yeah? 2600:8804:500:FE90:9DFA:6142:3CC9:6BB (talk) 06:30, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
I was wondering what the connection was between the three points was too. Presumably there is an implied "therefore" at the end. But I'm not seeing it.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:44, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
It doesn't serve anyone to play dumb when this is implied so boneheadedly. You get the implied 'therefore' so address it. There is not an argument here. Don't try to wrap your head around it. It is born of nonsense and relies on nonsense. Every point is implied 'the left is at fault' as if 'the left' is something cohesive. The wacky right is congealing into some terrible slime monster that only has to agree on binary blame of the other. The Democrats and Republicans can both be bad, Joe Biden can be a racist scumbag and Donald Trump can be too, it's not mutually exclusive. 2600:8804:500:FE90:9DFA:6142:3CC9:6BB (talk) 07:23, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you are responding to me. I assume from other comments that this is some US thing. All I see is a string of non-sequiturs.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:51, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
As one of the main contributors to 'the test' [which I mainly answered because I knew about PIE], I call out bollocks on comments done by the OP. The 'desired questions' were not outrightly asked and indirectly most were answered anyway - I pointed out that paedo 'entryism' was all-but destroyed by c1995 in the Anglophere LGBT communities and the 'Minor attracted person' title was from a very small group which is suspected of really being paedo apologists, while Bob pointed out the sheer impossibility of 'Antifa' making a decision of this as it has no formal leadership structure. And like the person above, I've hung about with some 'antifa' types for decades now and I've never heard anybody defend/support paedophiles [well, nothing more than 'they need to be able to access treatment']. In fact, the only times I hear that it's from altie hit-pieces, mainly on social media. And with few to no evidence cited. Fucking odd, that. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:55, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
Pedophilia and child abuse is a global phenomenon; it is strange to apply a "American politics binary" to it.
Pedophilia is also a moral panic (in the West at least) in that people sling that word around as an accusatory weapon, fancy wild conspiracy theories around it, and work themselves into a tither over it.
Generally, I think attempts to assign "pedo" to someone or something political in a debate are a desperate smear, and in a similar manner to Godwin's Law, one can safely assume that the conversation is over, and the person who flailed the "pedo!" accusation lost. The exception (again, like Godwin's Law) is if one actually writes genuine, verified pedo apology; there is no question, for instance, that Nathan Larson is a pedo apologist. But most of the time, it's just dumb noise. BobJohnson (talk) 14:32, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
It's not strange to see the American political binary applied to it, it's a combo of 'stupid' and 'parochial'; I've seen it applied to weaker things before, and sure I will see it again. In fact, one of my main rules of thumb on ID'ing a person who is at least circling the altie-fascist-authoritarian slime-monster to watch out for statements regarding 'the left' like it's an organised, monolithic block [*pins award on Sinister*].
On the topic itself... I suspect the slime-circulars 'confuse' [deliberately or not] two vaguely 'progressive' topics; cultural relativity and sex ed. The former can be viewed as eroding 'traditional' white American cultural supremacy while the latter is touted as the 'sexualisation' of kids. However, I would argue that if any 'side' has a real paedophile problem, it's 'the right'; particulary when you have swathes of people with the 'Right-wing authoritarian personality' which stresses a combination of a) submission to 'superiors', b) obedience by 'inferiors', c) a system of 'privileges' not 'rights' and d) strong conditioning to conform with the group. You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to realise that any wannabe abuser can [and do] use these to their advantage. But you are also right that general apologia/advocacy is not particular to any single political ideology. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:54, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
Many of the RW articles on pedo apologists (and yes, selection bias and all) indeed are from a particular "flavor" of the "right" (well, not quite, but more on "that side" than the other). Usually it's either somewhere in the libertarian or neo-Nazi space, but also critically they usually also seem to inhabit "troll" / "edgelord" space online. Other examples (aside from Larson) include Abd ul-Rahman Lomax. Also, the whole Ye presidential campaign circle (Milo Yiannopoulos, Nick Fuentes, Ali Alexander) has gotten pretty creepy in various ways in this regard. As noted in the online pedophile activism article, places like 4chan and 8chan have (in addition to their odorous politics) hosted CSAM material, and the manosphere is known, if not for pedophilia, then for people with strong attraction to post-pubescent underage.
However, "right" is too simplistic. This lumps in too many conservatives / libertarians that would never apologize for pedophilia. An alternative postulate I would come up with is you might see more pedophilia apologists in spaces known for their complete lack of social empathy and/or that are known for an advocacy of an extreme "traditional" patriarchal society. This fits things outside the American political binary such as the Catholic Church on the patriarchy side, as well as the pedophilia of the TERF Germaine Greer (as the extreme end of second-wave feminism also notably lacks social empathy) and the GNU guru Richard Stallman (who I can't place politically, but as someone possibly on the autism spectrum, he might have severe social empathy issues). Now, in RW articles, the one pedo apologist I've come across that might not fit either is the pedophilia apology of certain postmodernism philosophers. Not terribly familiar with 1970s French philosopher quirks, I honestly don't know what really drove their quest to remove age of consent laws. So obviously the above postulate isn't a catch-all so "there may be other spaces". To me, it ticks a lot of boxes though.
(Note that this is more "pedophilia apologist" instead of "pedophilia", I think the scope for the later is much broader.) BobJohnson (talk) 14:14, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
Stallman walked back the worst of his pedophile advocacy, though not very forcefully. By the way if you haven't seen my recent comment on the online pedophilia activism talk page, you may like to read it. It's about how those types have adopted the Fediverse, such as their very own Mastodon servers, as a new home in recent years. CSAM seems to be present on all the largest social media platforms pretty much, though. Twitter and Facebook have a massive problem with it. I have heard rumor that it's especially bad when the people distributing it are not English speakers. That's harder for the Anglocentric sites to track. However about a million Twitter accounts based in India were banned about a month or two ago for mainly CSAM reasons. But there's a distinction between sharing the stuff and politically advocating for its acceptance. The latter is not something I saw happening on Twitter until maybe a handful of years ago. NewgonWiki seems to be the nucleus of it. I have seen them cited by people on both 4chan and Mastodon instances. They have a chatroom somewhere I'm not going to go fish out, but I would expect that's where a lot of this is being directed. Chillpilled (talk) 14:40, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
I did make it obvious that I felt it was a subsection of 'the right' which had the issue, ie the ones which also had the 'authoritarian personality'. If nothing else, a lot of these folks find it difficult to grasp that children aren't property, have a tendency to defer to 'authority' in all things and if caught 'in a pickle', more likely to victim-blame and bury the issue than 'take the public shame' and deal with it. I think you're fairly right, BobJ; most apologia comes from either right-wing authoritarianism or libertarianism, though naturally this doesn't mean the majority of either of those two groups are apologists. However, I would argue that the former group has more of an issue because the above makeup makes them much more incapable of dealing with 'problems'; I mean in more general terms fundie churches have long proven to be poor actors when it came to dealing with 'shenanigans' coming from pastors or elders.
I disagree with the example of the Catholic Church, however; in this case I think the main reasons for complete denial and then sloth in 'cleaning out the stables' was not apologia, but simply a strong desire to 'protect the institution' and a lesser extent, their views of it. In that they deliberely did not ask the questions required, they did not discuss the matter with others and when a few cases arose which were utterly impossible to deny arose, it was put down to a 'few bad apples' and attempted to minimise them. The net result for the victims was completely the same, but feel the cause-difference is important to mention. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:18, 20 July 2023 (UTC)

@Max Sinister If we've failed your fucking troll test, why don't you just fuck off? Spud (talk) 11:59, 19 July 2023 (UTC)

Plan to raid this website being developed on the kiwifarms private forums rn[edit]

Sorry if this is an an inappropriate post, feel free to remove it, but I've stopped by to warn you guys (sorry if this is the wrong board, fele free to repost or delete) that some users in the Kiwi private section are plotting to raid this site. They're making accounts and organizing it on a discord vc. — Unsigned, by: 2603:9001:300:81A:3B29:151C:5C0D:535F / talk / contribs

Thanks for the heads up, I guess. We're kinda used to these antics by now, though... Kencolt (talk) 07:02, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Actually it's interesting to know they are still on-line. I thought they had too much difficulty getting hosting.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:56, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Which might be why they're organising via Discord. Who knows who's providing the server, or if they're aware of what it's for? KarmaPolice (talk) 12:28, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Kiwifarms is still a thing? Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 13:59, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm curious, is there anyone in particular on this site they are going after? I remember way back when, they targeted a "lolcow" that was otherwise no end of grief on this site. Corcery (argue) 16:20, 21 July 2023 (UTC)

Vote buying in Spain[edit]

[12] Vox, local far right idiot association, is using this to call for mail-in votes to be all thrown out, because of course they are. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 09:28, 22 July 2023 (UTC)

Also these are kinda old news, by I didn't get up to speed with election stuff until today, one day before the elections, because I am well known for correctly organizing my time. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 09:30, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
Well results in a few hours. Nail-biting time!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:42, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Neck and neck at the moment. But much better than I had feared.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:43, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
I’d say that the most positive aspect of the result is that Vox has taken a significant hit in both vote share and the absolute number of votes it received. Vox appears to have lost roughly 600,000 votes since the last election, despite a higher overall turnout. Now, if this is a result of the PP moving to the right to try to scoop up Vox voters, it’s a decidedly mixed blessing, but the signs that Vox might be on the decline, or at least has reached a ceiling (for now) is at least a somewhat hopeful development. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:43, 24 July 2023 (UTC)

I'm back bitches[edit]

well im back after a long hiatus. i have a question tho. how do you change your username cuz im no longer a hindu lol. RationalHindu (talk) 23:05, 22 July 2023 (UTC)

I can do it for you, just post on RationalWiki:Requests to change username. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 23:18, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
thx Jacklyn N Stuff (talk) 18:56, 24 July 2023 (UTC)

Man, Fuck Putin So Hard[edit]

Rich of that asshole to say Poland is only a country because of Russia. Stalin in 1937 was literally executing the Polish nationality and killed over a hundred thousand. Russia is only a country because Poland beat back the Swedish Empire in the Battle of Prague in 1648. The weakened Swedish Empire was then defeated by Russia in Poltova only because the Poles held out against incredible odds. Fuck that shit-lord fascist squinty-eyed cock-sucker Putin. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 13:48, 23 July 2023 (UTC)

Putin just destroyed a UNESCO-recognized cathedral in Odesa. B-but I thought he was the guardian of the traditional values that were degenerated by the evil liberal west? I wonder if Nobs will blame Zelensky for this too. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:38, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Putin also doesn't care about allies: given China have been one of the few countries not to call Putin out you'd think he'd at least try to avoid the Chinese consolate. Lavalizard101 (talk) 15:01, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Also, Stalin and the Soviets worked with Hitler and the Nazis to conquer Poland until the Nazis turned on them, so there's that. Rational Dude (talk) 17:24, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
If they can blame Ukraine for the war they can blame them for anything happening as a result of the war. Chillpilled (talk) 21:57, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Putin is 70 years old, he's not going to be alive forever. I'm terrified of what replaces him... Corcery (argue) 19:19, 24 July 2023 (UTC)
Whoever replaces Putin might be a lot worse. That is a disturbing thought. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:42, 24 July 2023 (UTC)

Manhattan Institute[edit]

Manhattan Institute have deleted their libellous article about RationalWiki. Shouldn't the section about CancelWatch be removed? (talk) 22:23, 19 July 2023 (UTC)

No. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 22:49, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
I like the fact that the whole thing has triggered a debate within WP itself whether CJ is anyway a reliable source. I particulary like the line 'RationalWiki by its own admission really acts as hosting site for what on Wikipedia would be described as attack pages (though that does not mean that the content is untruthful)'. Coupled with this, the continuing debate on WP's RW talk page and the fact the RW pages mentioned in the original hitpiece and the Manhattan Institute got a fair tidyup suggests to me it's the Streisand Effect in action again. There's one WP'ian who seems to have it in for us but as they're a CP'ian too that is not entirely a shock [*waves to them if they're reading this*]. So, on this episode, mainly yay for us? KarmaPolice (talk) 23:15, 19 July 2023 (UTC)
The person who started the reliable sources debate about City Journal (and has now withdrawn his support for it) says on his Wikipedia user page that he is Conservapedian DMorris. Yes, he's really got it in for us. But it ultimately didn't do him any good. Spud (talk) 05:29, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
Yes. Yay for us. Spud (talk) 05:34, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
It's interesting that it's been removed. But under no circumstances do I think that our references to it should be removed as our anonymous IP editor suggests. If anything they should be expanded, so if anyone in the future is investigating this somewhat bizarre series of events they can find the whole story here. Normally I'm not a big fan of documenting internet drama - but as we are right in the center of this thing it would seem to be appropriate.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:45, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
There's something in that, methinks. That while not overly interesting tale in itself, it is interesting as an example the sort of thing which happens all the time. Plus, as CJ clearly wanted to bury it, I think we should find an archived version of the article and link it on their RW page. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:45, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
Yeah I just noted in the RSN debate that he was a conservapedia admin and that he was already told on the rationalwiki article talk page that an RSN discussion was pointless but decided to go on one anyway. Lavalizard101 (talk) 15:14, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Lol, they are mad that they were called and out decided to call RW "a cesspool that is too cozy with WMF office banned users and other trolls." and "a troll farm not only for Conservapedia vandals but also numerous troublemakers on Wikipedia." despite him unironically in the same edits saying he's "trying to be fair". The bias is obvious to anyone watching. Lavalizard101 (talk) 21:59, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Any idea who he meant by "WMF office banned users"? Maybe Smith, or who else otherwise? Not sure how RW is causing any trouble for Wikipedia. Chillpilled (talk) 22:53, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
On WP's talk page for its RationalWiki article, he called RW "the home of User:Keegscee and former home of User:A Den Jentyl Ettien Avel Dysklyver (whom they made a board member despite him admittedly being a troll)". Actually, I once had a brief run in with him, where he thought I was Keegscee and a check was done which cleared the sockpuppet suspicion. (Otherwise there was no claim I had done anything wrong on WP.)
Anyway, I think it's best not to bother him. He bluntly admitted to being biased about RW, and didn't pretend otherwise. Also, in this matter about the City Journal article, he supports deprecating not only it but also Manhattan Institute, and them discussing the latter on WP isn't pointless if they're able to go somewhere with that. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 23:38, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't know who either of those people are, but Keegscee hasn't edited here since 2010 at least from a cursory look, unless has another account. I googled the other username and turned up this which (other than giving a quite nasty description of this person's gender) just leads to two RW accounts banned as sockpuppets. Apparently the latter was banned just late last year (for exactly the sort of behavior on RW you'd expect a WMF office ban to have been issued for) so maybe that guy just never caught wind of that. Chillpilled (talk) 08:12, 24 July 2023 (UTC)
@Chillpilled What? You'd never heard of Dysk? That makes me feel old!
As I stated on that Wikipedia talk page, RationalWiki does not encourage or condone the vandalism of other websites and someone who used to vandalize Wikipedia (and probably Conservapedia too) back in 2010 is not typical of RationalWiki users in 2023. Spud (talk) 12:15, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
I didn't pay close attention to the users behind this site until pretty recently, I'm not sure I even noticed the saloon bar being here until maybe even this year or last year. For a very long time I was just a non-editing reader, that's all, never even IP edited. Chillpilled (talk) 15:37, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

LGMs in Congress[edit]

"Schumer proposes new legislation 'revealing' that government or contractors have been hiding evidence of 'non-human intelligences' for decades"

What the fuck is this shit? Carthage (talk) 06:33, 20 July 2023 (UTC)

Why specifically him?A somebody. (talk) 20:38, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
Idiot posing with stupid thing to attract more idiots? I mean, even if they were 'hiding greys' or something I seriously suspect this proposal isn't going to stop them. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:22, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
How much do you wanna bet all this is a stupid political stunt to distract from real political issues? I mean, this has historical precedent. Part of the reasoning for the Apollo missions, as scientifically valuable as they were, was to distract from the imperialist nightmare going on in Vietnam at the time. Carthage (talk) 18:42, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
That's the Area 51 ruse in a nutshell: get the rubes to believe in !!!ALIENS!!!, while secretly working on your experimental military aircraft. I am thinking after some Google that this has to do with the recent David Grusch UFO whistleblower claims,Wikipedia however, so far, any concrete details on this seems very light. I cannot conclude anything now, but judging from history, I wouldn't place bets on the "non-human intelligence" thing ending up being valid. BobJohnson (talk) 18:58, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
It is petty funny actually. Of course there is "vast web of individuals and groups” somehow managing to keep this super-secret for decades because .... well, why? And how?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:31, 20 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm gonna play devil's advocate here for a second. I've seen "theories" that suggest it's to prevent rival nations from one-upping us. After all, if we could reverse-engineer Clarketech it could give us a huge advantage over our competitors. However, why only leak it now? As you said, it'd been decades. Carthage (talk) 10:36, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Not buying it for one moment. If the US had alien superweapons then why not advertise it? It would be a fantastic deterrent.
And how would revealing it allow other nations to "one-up" the US?
Furthermore: atomic secrets got leaked to the USSR; the handful of Watergate intruders were revealed; some junior military employee leaked the Ukraine details to impress his friends. Yet apparently this alleged "vast web of individuals and organizations" has kept this momentous secret for decades? The "why" and the "how" are as unanswered as ever.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:00, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
I suspect that this is the nonsense that Jason Colavito has been covering in his blog for years: A group of “alienists” (If I recall correctly, those connected to Tom DeLonge) are lobbying Congress (Kirsten Gillibrand tends to show up quite often), apparently to achieve a combination of airtime for and some sort of legitimation of their crankery and possibly funds for their “investigations”. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:24, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Of fucking course they are. Greed makes the halls of Congress go round. Carthage (talk) 13:31, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Per that Colavito blog and a New York Times link, Schumer's effort (which has bipartisan support) is to get the military to share as much as they know in order to diffuse rumors about "aliens and shit". Due to the razor-thin Republican margin in the House combined with the Trumpization of the Republican party, loons in the House have to be taken more seriously than they should be, and one of those loons, Tim Burchett,Wikipedia is really pushing hard for a hearing on UFOs, with some help from a few other Republicans and a lone Democrat (Jared MoskowitzWikipedia) for some reason. Such makes more sense now to me. The obvious problem with this strategy is I don't think "transparency" is going to change the mind of a UFO conspiracy type one bit, but at least more data will be good for "the rest of us". At any rate, I expect the hearing on this subject to be a pointless shitshow. BobJohnson (talk) 20:49, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Indeed, it’s a bit analogous to those “debates” on evolution and climate change: Having the evolution/climate change deniers or “alienists” on stage is, by itself, a win for them, because it signals some sort of equal value between their crankery and the actual facts, based on the flawed notion that any kind of rational back and forth will “set record straight” and that they will then change their crank beliefs accordingly.
Aside from that, it is depressingly telling that Congress is willing to waste their (and the US’s) time on this freak and shit show, rather than tackling the multitude of real and huge problems facing the US and the world. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:10, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

Britain and France are great at drawing borders then turning tail and run when shit hits the fan[edit]

I am referring to the Israeli Palestine Conflict. The Brits and French drew borders then ran when shit hits the fan. --Trans Fem Agenda 11:59, 21 July 2023 (UTC)

They did that everywhere. A lot of pointless conflict would've been avoided if a) the global north didn't start acting like colonizing parasites and b) they actually paid attention to local issues, like ethnic boundaries, when drawing up maps. Carthage (talk) 12:14, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Very simplistic. In fact, part of the issue the British faced in the 30s-40s was that they were trying to find a 'middle course' but neither side liked it. In fact, the most serious terrorism the British forces faced in this period was from Jewish groups.
I politely suggest you do more background reading before bitching? KarmaPolice (talk) 12:24, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
I feel like we should not leave out that the British promised the land to multiple factions prior to the official British occupation of Palestine. There wouldn't have been much of a need for "a middle course" if the British didn't promise the land to Zionist groups to begin with. Many European states were sold on establishing a Zionist state due to thinking it would help get rid of "Jewish cabals" in Europe, keeping in mind that this was agreed upon long before WWII.- Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:20, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
Nowhere did I state any particulars related to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I just stated that colonizing powers in general carved up maps with zero regards for the people that lived there. I politely suggest you don't assume things about people without evidence. Carthage (talk) 12:40, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Sorry, replying to OP. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:34, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Thanks. Carthage (talk) 13:40, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Given how the Europeans treated the Africans based off their ethnicites (see Hutu and Tutsis, where pre-exisitng ethnic tensions were worsened by colonization) I sometimes wonder if dividing African nations off ethnic boundries may of ended up being worse then what they did IRL. My point being that if they divided based off ethnic boundries, then I'd imagine the Europeans trying to make one ethnicity states, for example making a Hutu Rwanda and a Tutsi Burundi for the two ethnicites. The Europeans I would imagine deporting every Tutsi in Rwanda to Burundi and every Hutu from Burundi to Rwanda to make such states. I'm not saying they'd make a Hutu Rwanda and Tutsi Burundi as a fact, I'm just trying to illustrate my point. An Advocate (talk) 14:15, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Obviously the optimal solution is for the West to have never started colonizing in the first place, but that clearly didn't happen. As for your criticism, a good example of where the Brits did do this is the partitioning of the subcontinent. We all know how well that played out. Carthage (talk) 14:29, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Obviously colonization was a bad thing, but we have to work with what we got I suppose. You mentioned that the British Empire did do this in the partioning of the subcontinent, which subcontinent are you describing? An Advocate (talk) 15:22, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
South Asian. Carthage (talk) 15:25, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
One of the problems is that both borders and states are not real things. They are social-political constructs which line up with a whole series of other factors: historical, cultural, linguistic, tribal, geographical etc. European (or other) borders are not necessarily "better" than the ones the colonists made up. Even people living in European states will almost certainly not be the direct descendants of the people who drew the lines and they often cut through different ethnic groups. This is obviously not to diminish the historical damage caused by European colonizers - I just wanted to point out that there is nothing particularly natural about any border (apart from the sea I guess). Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:27, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
An alternate argument is that they're real because they have very real effects. Social constructs are real because of the effects they have, not whether they have a hard physical basis. Carthage (talk) 15:31, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Sure. People really believe they exist and act on those beliefs. My point is that they exist because people believe they exist. But a lot of social stuff is like that.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:14, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
As a general point, I think it's important to realise that the 'drawing arbitrary borders' thing happened on every continent - including Europe. They simply 'seem' natural in many places because over centuries the populations have grown to fit said borders [or were forcibly changed long ago enough folks have forgotten about it]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:17, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
On that note, there's still plenty of ethnic tension within European borders, as with imposed French (the ethnic group) cultural hegemony over indigenous ethnic minorities within France like the Occitans, Bretons, and Basques. Carthage (talk) 17:21, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Quite true. That is because every nation-state is an artificial construct [in one way or another], and even if there is 'homogeneous ethnic groupings' the borders between them and others are always naturally fuzzy on the edges [go and look at an ethnic Euro map from say, 1914 or one of Belgium today]. Then there's what is classed as an 'group'; many of those mentioned maps would include Scots, Irish and Welsh into a 'British' [or even 'English'] grouping which many would not thank you for... KarmaPolice (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Of course, the problem with Africa's borders isn't just because of ethnic conflicts, but also because they split apart communities that had been connected for centuries. Another example of this problem is the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, which was drawn as a result of colonial wars with the British, and the arbitrariness of that border caused the west no end of grief over the past two decades. Plutocow (talk) 19:16, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Discussions of I/P have a tendency to bring out the worst in people. All I'm going to ask of y'all is to attempt to keep this discussion civil, remain calm, etc etc. Corcery (argue) 18:49, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Re: Afghan-Pakistan border. True, but there is no 'natural' line for that border to be drawn anyway - wherever that border ended up, it was going to 'divide' groups which had been connected [in various ways] for centuries. I would argue here that it wasn't the location of 'borders' which was the issue, it was the fact that a meaningful border appeared where previously it didn't exist. Generally speaking, it was only in about the 19th Century that 'borders' became properly defined [due to modern cartography] and only after WW1 where they started to become important. In places like Europe and the advanced bits of Asia this was gradual and organic, but in other parts [esp Africa] it was sudden, arbitrary and unexplained. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:58, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
Karma: everything humans do in an organized fashion is an artificial construct. Europeans ranged into Africa as far back as 631 BCE (Cyrene). It's hard to accept that developed civilizations are predatory. Drawing a border is pointless by itself. There has to be a political entity with enough power to control and actually define the territory. Ariel31459 (talk) 20:11, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice I was talking about poor planning. I am aware of the Zionist terrorism that happened during the Mandatory Palestine era. My main point is that European powers screwed the pooch when decolonizing. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:30, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
RE: decolonising. Part of the 'screwing up' by the European powers was that the colonised were often screaming 'get the fuck out NOW!' and hurling petrol-bombs at them - which at the best of times, isn't that conducive for 'statebuilding' [something America has also learned, just later on]. The other niggling issue was the fact that a lot of colonies were not ready for independence; as in lacked the economic capital to make a 'decent go of it' and more critically the human capital [quite a lot cost more in administration than it took in resources/taxes and were reliant on foreign brain-power to operate]. But few if anyone wanted to [openly] admit this because the former ran against the 'West stole all our wealth!' narrative pushed and the latter was denounced loudly as 'racist'.
RE: Borders. Yes, I am aware that a border by itself is pointless. Which was my whole earlier point; the people on the Afghan-Pakistan border long knew there was a border, but it was long irrelevant because there was no external forces to do anything about it. In fact, if I remember right back then there were border posts etc within Pakistan, basically dividing between 'core areas' in which Islamabad's will was firmly felt and the 'border areas' which it was not]. This is quite analogous to the situation in Europe in earlier centuries; that [for example] mediaeval England some of the 'edge territories' were held by quasi-independent nobles called 'marcher lords' [who often would politely tell the English king to stuff it] and beyond that the 'borderlands' [with Scotland] which was infested by clans of raiders [who would scream defiance at either king]. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:27, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
That narrative isn't wrong, however. No matter how much you disparage it. Hell, to this day African countries still are economically, politically, and culturally subservient to their colonizers. A quite big issue with independence in Africa is that it wasn't true decolonization, African countries became politically independent but quickly found themselves still subservient to their former? colonial overlords. Colonialism from the get-go is designed to make your colonies dependent on you, that's how colonialism works. Carthage (talk) 09:31, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
The colonization narrative is used often as a sententious strategy to get a better trade deal. That's fine. African countries want to be developed civilizations, which they can become, or already have become. Trade, sale of resources, and regional conflict, are all part of that bargain. The history of trade between Africa and Europe was not a good deal for Africa. Sad to say, the people of Africa will never get that wealth back. Ariel31459 (talk) 19:35, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
I 'disparage' it because it is wrong, Carthage. I'm not one to quote Stalin often, but on this topic, he was actually correct.
'You know that we inherited from the past a technically backward, impoverished and ruined country. Ruined by four years of imperialist war, and ruined again by three years of civil war, a country with a semi-illiterate population, with a low technical level, with isolated industrial oases lost in a sea of dwarf peasant farms — such was the country we inherited from the past. The task was to transfer this country from mediaeval darkness to modern industry and mechanized agriculture. A serious and difficult task, as you see. The question that confronted us was: Either we solve this problem in the shortest possible time and consolidate socialism in our country, or we do not solve it, in which case our country — weak technically and unenlightened in the cultural sense — will lose its independence and become a stake in the game of the imperialist powers.
At that time our country was passing through a period of an appalling dearth of technique. There were not enough machines for industry. There were no machines for agriculture. There were no machines for transport. There was not that elementary technical base without which the reorganization of a country on industrial lines is inconceivable. There were only a few of the necessary prerequisites for the creation of such a base. A first-class industry had to be built up. This industry had to be so directed as to be capable of technically reorganizing not only industry, but also agriculture and our railway transport. And to achieve this it was necessary to make sacrifices and to exercise the most rigorous economy in everything; it was necessary to economize on food, on schools, on textiles, in order to accumulate the funds required for building up industry. There was no other way of overcoming the dearth of technique. That is what Lenin taught us, and in this matter we followed in the footsteps of Lenin.'
['Cadres decide everything', 1936]
This could be said about any colony on independence. A massive lack of capital, in every form. From tractors to factories, trucks to modern skills. Yes, people got rich under the 'old system' but those people were very few in number and it didn't develop our country because they were mainly rent-seekers in nature - no way enough was 'stolen' to give everyone in the colony a decent SoL now. Neo-colonialism continued [and continues to this day] because most ex-colonies never managed to generate enough capital of their own to develop enough to escape this trap. And the advanced world still hasn't really answered this yet. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:14, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
Development for who, and for and to what end? Under the system of classical colonialism development would never have been for the native Africans. A classic example of neocolonialism is the flooding of free clothing donations from the West drowning out any chance for an indigenous African textile industry from growing and thriving. You could also argue that the reason Africa lacked capital is because of the exploitative nature of colonialism. From West Africa's manpower being drained through the slave trade to the industrial extraction of minerals from Southern Africa, Africa's wealth was very much drained by colonialism. This is not in dispute, so I don't know why you claim it is. Carthage (talk) 20:26, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
I do not buy the lack of capital argument given that the continent contains the largest reserves for uranium, diamonds, cobalt, platinum, etc.; while also containing more than half of the worlds arable farmland. The means to generate systems of mass production, mass agriculture, to establish systems of trade, etc. have been and still are very much present in the continent. Even asshat Peter Singer acknowledges in his book the Life You Can Save that the mass extraction of valuable resources by international corporate interests is a big part to why extreme poverty exists there. This does not even touch the predatory loaning practices of institutions like the IMF. This is a continent that possessed some of the most historically influential and wealthiest civilizations in history, this is not some backwater wasteland that never contained a mass empire. Many of our "machines" in the modern developed world are only possible because of the cobalt we mine using child slaves in Africa. If Africa did not contain within it an abundance of potential capital, there would be no reason for Europeans to plunder it. A very similar narrative plays out in many parts of southeast Asia as well. So much of what we consume in the west, is not even produced here. Our wealth and ability to accumulate massive amounts of cheap comforts is through capitalist exploitation of the global south. Arguably they have a stronger foundation to self-sustain themselves off of what is produced on their land then we do for ours. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:50, 22 July 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is the probably the best article out there explaining why is Africa poor.[13] Unlike most stuff I post here, there are no equations and regressions, so you guys don't have any excuse to not read it. Colonization is one of the main issues, but Africa was already poorer than most of the world (and some places are poorer now decades after their independence), so it cannot explain everything. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 22:18, 22 July 2023 (UTC)

Can you add anything to a subject without being condescending? I think a number of us know what a regression is. They are used in statistical analysis broadly across disciplines. This isn't some magic technique known only to the mystical economist. I posted an essay on here that talks about the limitations of multivariate regression analysis in quantitative genetics. Like some folks on here have studied the actual sciences, you don't need to talk to everyone as if they are some uneducated rube. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:32, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
I didn't mean to be condescending, I just wanted to encourage people to read the article. The point is, sometimes I share links that lack readiblity here. This one is very readable. That's all. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 22:34, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
And By the way, Jim Robinson is a political scientist, not an economist. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 22:36, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
There are barely distinct fields in practice when a political scientist isn't acting as some post-modern political theorist tbf. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:40, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
You mean "they" or "there"? And why did you put my comment in bold? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 22:45, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
Why the hell don't you actually read the damn thing before bitching, Dumb? Neither history or economics is your forte. This pdf was written by a pair of seemingly well-respected economists. Thanks for the .pdf, Gee. It's waaay too late for me to read it tonight, but I shall do so and comment on it later. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:52, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
And Gee's mention it 'doesn't have any equations or regressions in it' isn't being condesending, it's an relevant comment because a lot of economists have severe physics envy and fill their works with them to the point they're almost unintelligable even to people studying Economics. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:03, 22 July 2023 (UTC)
The bold thing is an accident, and assuming the question is genuine its because I am at work and posting on Ratiwki. It is a lot easier to post quickly then reading a whole academic article. I got to look like I am doing my job. Reading a PDF when my desk is in full view of the lab is less than discrete. I'll get around to reading. Still doesn't give Gee a pass to do be a snob, also he just corrected the idea that Jim Robinson is a economist; effortless display of reading before posting. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:05, 22 July 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In fact I just checked and according to Wikipedia, he's an economist and a political scientist. I don't think I was acting like a snob. In fact, as Karma suggested(and I've said before) I do have a hard time understading much of the methodology of those economic/PolSci papers coming out nowadays. I'm sorry if I sound like a snob, but again, that wasn't my intention. I guess that's enough for now, no need to derail OP's topic with this squabble. Also, please don't bring older stuff to the bar, I think I've already apologized for calling you a rube. If I didn't, I'm doing it right now. That was uncalled for, unworthy of a board memeber and a mod, and the fact that I was having a terrible day is no excuse for my behavior that day. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 23:15, 22 July 2023 (UTC)

From a skim, an executive summary of the paper could be:
A) Politics was fragmented and only centralized much later than other places; "absolutist and patrimonial" governments also were present for much later periods than other places. This hurt the economy.
B) The slave trade, which was extensive even around the 15th century, was devastating to the African economy.
C) Colonialism was devastating to the African economy, and set up structures that shackle the economy even to this day
I don't think any of these conclusions are terribly problematic. The shackles of Europe are very significant in this paper, it's not an apologist paper.
At this point, Africa (that is, the countries not wrecked by bad governance or constant wars -- African countries with passable to good governance are more numerous than some might "popularly think") is growing pretty good (with some places saying growth in the region even outpaces Asia these days). A fair bit of Africa is not as poor as it used to be, and the stereotype of the continent sometimes seen from Westerners (extremely poor, always at war, extremely primitive, etc.), in these places at least is bullshit. Undoing the damage further will take time. BobJohnson (talk) 01:03, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
That's a good summary, though I don't remember the article very well (read it 4 or 5 years ago). One thing I disagree with the authors is how they dismiss geography. I still believe it plays a major role on the wealth and poverty of the nations, even if it's not as important as institutions. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:42, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
African scholars have also written prominently on the subject of colonialism and neocolonialism. If we want to discuss actual scholarship we should consult the scholars of the people we've been writing on and see what they have to say about it. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a good overview of African scholarship on the neocolonial phenomenon, and contains a good rebuttal to Karma's assertions that Africa wasn't "ready" for independence. I've also pointed out that neocolonialism continues to harm indigenous African development, as we can see with the case of textiles, but that doesn't seem to be in dispute here. Carthage (talk) 17:19, 23 July 2023 (UTC)

Okay, so I read that essay. Here is my general summary. In the essay Gee cites, the authors admit that societies flourished within Africa comparable to global contemporaries, supporting exactly what I been saying about there having existed wealthy empires within Africa. They just think these empires were “exceptional” and unrepresentative of the relative wealth of Africa as a whole. The authors themselves admit that the essay being provided is “speculative” about why Africa is poor, and states explicitly they are not interested in re-treading old debates and actual empirical evidence.

The authors credit a lack of “economic development” to a lack centralized politics, enforcement of property rights, etc. They still credit the exportation of of human slaves as contributing to why these social institutions didn’t develop as they did in Europe. They argue that African societies didn’t get to exploit the technologies and innovations happening through the colonization of the Americas in the way Europeans were able to. The authors are not shy to admit that massive plundering of places like Madgascar and Nambia, and the mass murders that took place probably didn’t help these nations establish stable institutions to economic development, in fact, actively impeded it.

This authors reference the 1940’s work of Douglas and the 1970’s work of Vansina who cites the “lack of authority” to why the Lele people were so poor compared to the Bushong people that lived across the river. Apparently they didn’t subject their natural resources to the “upmost exploitation”. Bushong is cited as being wealthier and with greater productivity because of the establishment of centralized political institutions. Productivity and wealth is stated to have increased because it was “demanded from above”.

This gets juxtaposed to the essay authors crediting “political absolutism” (think: absolute ruler) with African societies as “predating on property rights” thus preventing economic development. Notice no mention of “lack of capital” here.

The economic shock of the Atlantic slave trade still gets an entire section of focus, and is credited as preventing economic development as well because colonization did involve a large degree of destroying established states and political institutions. So, no shit.

Then we get a whole section on “backwards technology” and tbh I think it would be fair to call some of the language utilized by these authors as racist. They admit to sparse historiography about technology in pre-colonial Africa, but cite a refusal to adopt wheeled transportation as a clear disadvantage.

Several sections are then dedicated to the impacts of colonialism actively impeding the development of certain institutions that the authors deemed relevant to economic development. Several more function as a case studies of specific African nations, I am not going summarize every section.

But the authors even admit that the essay is just taking it for granted that African poverty is best explained by the failture to develop certain political institutions, and that there is a death of empirical investigation on the topic. Hence the authors state that this is a “very speculative” essay. They are not above however given partial blame to Africans throughout the essay. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:22, 23 July 2023 (UTC)

That's not to say African empires didn't try developing their states. The Songhai started breeding horses, instead of buying horses through the trans-Saharan trade network, and ended up creating a breed of horse resistant to the tsetse fly. (It must be noted that West African empires relied on cavalry extensively for military power; they got these horses from traders. The Songhai sought to modernize their military and make it less dependent on the whims of fickle trade routes and foreign powers.) Also, with all of the methodological problems mentioned, how is this the "best study" available on the topic? Carthage (talk) 20:28, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, the author themselves are not even confident enough with their conclusions to classify it as anything other than speculative and emphasize the need for more research. Regardless, colonization is still emphasized as being the major factor in why these institutions fail to develop, and the authors themselves express explicit suspicion for anyone who thinks the poverty is better explained by geography or culture. There is a clear inconsistency here with the “lack of capital” point that Karma was making. The authors think that these nations are capable of economic development, and have the natural resources to do so. I think a big criticism I have is what is being used as the yardstick for economic development — as it does read throughout the essay as something resembling the economic systems of Europe. The authors disparage “traditional” systems in Africa as preventing further development. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:34, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
So they use a very Eurocentric measurement (a problem inherent to economics) to insult and degrade Africa. Sounds par the course for traditional Western scholarly discourse. At least they emphasize the problems colonialism has played with African development. Carthage (talk) 20:44, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Oh shit, that essay is by Acemoglu & Robinson? I read (or rather listened to) their longer work on this topic , Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (2012), some years ago and let me you, it was godawful. Not because they are particularly despairing of Africa or especially Eurocentric (though you could argue that they are both) in that book, but because it’s an awful example of cherry picking to “prove” their notion that broadly “Washington consensus” states are the only really successful societal models, as well as demonstrating that they know basically fuck all about the historical cases they muster to back up their hypothesis.
Not to mention that Acemoglu & Robinson mainly seem to have written that book to dunk on Jared Diamond’s “geographic determinism”, through emphasising their somewhat “black box” of supposedly “good institutions” as the key factor in the wealth/poverty of nations, but without having much to actually demonstrate what these are or that even their cherry picked cases back up their assertions.
I still recall their chapter on the Maya as particular egregious, because they claimed that the collapse of the great Maya city civilisation was due to institutional factors (as opposed to, say, environmental changes), which they can’t and don’t demonstrate. This was exacerbated by their claim that archaeology would probably help prove their case, but I have a hard time seeing how the hell archaeology would be able to yield proof of institutional failure (as opposed to other factors) as the key determining factor in Mayan collapse.
Even more hilariously, they cite the Mayan case as an example of an “unsustainable” societal model, despite its 600-700 year longevity far outstripping the current span of their ideal(ised) and supposedly “sustainable” model of the modern, capitalist, industrialised West.
Hence, they use an example of a societal model that worked for several hundreds of years as an example of a failed system, in contrast to a supposedly successful societal model that has so far only existed for, at most, a couple of hundred years, give or take.
In another awful chapter they triumphally depicted the 1688 “Glorious Revolution” as a sort of broad (re)distribution of power within England, rather than as a religiously motivated palace revolt that mostly rearranged power within a narrow elite. Worse yet, they use this as part of their argument for why England (and then the UK/British Empire) became so “successful” without apparently realising that at the time, power was far more broadly distributed in, say, the Netherlands or the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. But this is again because they really don’t know much or care fuck all about the history they cite, but only view history as a grab bag for mustering convenient examples to back up their views.
In short, they are the sort of updated variant of the “Whig interpretation of history” neoliberal defenders of the status quo of the late 1990s/early 2000s that assure everyone that we’re living in the best of all possible worlds (Panglossianism) and things are on an ever upwards trajectory.
Basically, they are the Econ./Pol.Sci. version of Steven Pinker with just about the similar grasp and understanding of history. In that sense, Why Nations Fail a sort of mirror image of the equally (but differently) awful book Carnage and Culture (2001) by Victor Davis Hanson, but with Western triumphalism from a neoliberal, rather than a neoconservative, point of view. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:03, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
The Classic Maya were ruled by divine lords (that was their literal title; for example the rulers of what is now called Calakmul called themselves ku'ul kaan ajaw, or "Divine Lords of the Snake", with the Calakmul polity being known as Kaan to the Classical Maya) who got their power from intercessing between mortals and the gods to make sure that the crops would grow and the people were fed. The Maya cut down all the trees in the lowlands, which contributed to heavy erosion rates. The soil of the Yucatan is inches thick in some places. We know that eventually there were revolts by the peasantry against their rulers, and this contributed to a general systems collapse. It was a feedback loop, so perhaps it's best to talk about the Classic Maya collapse as not solely the result of institutional failures (although it's been argued if the Maya were a single polity and not many, they could've weathered the resulting refugee crisis (and overall crisis) better) but rather a complex system of cascading failures with many causes (both environmental and institutional) that led to the collapse and subsequent abandonment of the Mayan Lowlands during the Terminal Classic period. Carthage (talk) 20:56, 26 July 2023 (UTC)