RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive440

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When is it okay to be mean?[edit]

Thoughts about sexual abstinence?[edit]

I am a 20 year old virgin heterosexual male. I was thinking if I should remain sexually abstinence for the rest of my life? I am pretty average looking and I do not think it is worth it to bother looking for love or sexual activities. I am sceptical of the claims of the "sex positive" movement. I would love some advice. Ggall (talk) 09:18, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

It's up to you. If you personally don't feel any need or strong desire to have sex, then don't have it. But for the record, an important part of the sex positive movement is fighting against the ideas that one is socially obligated to have sex, and that one's personal worth is determined by arbitrary standards of sexual activity. (talk) 10:50, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
I am not a psychologist but I would have to say that you are asexual. --Trans Fem Agenda 10:51, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Not necessarily. People may avoid sexual contact for any number of reasons. Chillpilled (talk) 11:02, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Do what you want. I'm straight but like coming back to an empty place at the end of every day, it works for me. I'm socially liberal about sex, I generally don't much care who does what, but I'm personally very conservative about myself. If I had it my way a lot more people would just get a room, but as long as you're not trying to get me involved it's not that big an issue; I can always look somewhere else. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:26, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Sex has become difficult for young men to obtain, due to a combination of society causing men to have unrealistic standards/expectations, society training women to also have unrealistic standards/expectations, and the whole issue that we've become much more isolated than in prior generations. Now mix in porn and tinder, and well, 27% of men aged 18-30 will have NO sex this year, and that's including the ones who have wives/girlfriends (or husbands/boyfriends). Some men have just "given up", and it's not because they are asexual and it's coming from a place of health.
My advice for OP would be 1) if you're fat and ugly, you can go to the gym and just be ugly 2) work on your personality; this actually matters more than the gym, 3) do activities that involve meeting people, e.g., any sport in existence. CorruptUser 19:00, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't want to derail the thread too much with a large counterpoint to the above (hint: it's the economy!), but there is nothing wrong with asexuality (or similar states). One of the things that might be affecting the whole "not having sex" thing a little in the USA, though not primarily (hint: it's the economy!), is that American culture seems to be moving away from the alcohol-fueled often-questionable-consent hookup culture of the past and is less obsessed with sex as a gender role stereotype (where, for men, "getting laid" was expected and "virgin shaming" is a thing). It's still present, of course, but it was much worse in certain recent "good old days" periods. Overall, I see this part as is a good thing. If one is an asexual man, or something similar, that's fine, nothing wrong at all. It's only an issue if you think it's an issue. BobJohnson (talk) 19:48, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
I can only speak for myself, but it's not for lack of attraction that I do what I do. Partly The Big A makes physical contact of any sort very difficult, but I've also been burned too many times by the people who call me "friend" that I don't want anything more. It's not for lack of opportunity either, since just recently I had someone openly express a great crush on me; I made it clear I'll only go as far as being a friend, and we mutually agreed that keeping it strictly friends is the best for both of us. There's not a single person I have a better relationship with because of romance, but there are a whole lot of people who've done some really lousy things to me in the name of having some fuck buddy that I've concluded I'd sooner take electric shocks to my skin. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:14, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
There are two issues, really. Of course there is a sex drive to consider. Some people want sex every day and need to find a partner who has similar requirements. Some people want sex from time to time and even are only seldomly interested in sexual activity. It is quite possible to locate a partner with similar desires. The second issue is companionship. Some people don't want it. Being asexual does not necessarily mean one will never want to have sex with a partner. There is a sort of paradox that involves being attracted to people you do not want to have sex with. You may still desire a life companion. What your activities will be are, of course, a private matter. In any case it is a highly personal choice. Perhaps, abstinence makes the heart grow fonder. Rarely can one make a decision that will hold for a lifetime. Good luck.Ariel31459 (talk) 20:35, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Ggall you're far from the only one. i'm turning 27 before the year ends, and i'm still a virgin. not only that, i have no plans to sleep with anyone anytime soon. it seems like too huge of a responsibility given my current situation. my point is, there's nothing to be ashamed about. whatever you do, it's your choice. you shouldn't care about what other people think of you unless they pay your bills (and even then...). abstinence isn't a bad thing in and of itself. in fact, this site is only really critical of enforced abstinence. The G (talk) 01:12, 26 July 2023 (UTC)

Again, hit the gym, get outside and meet people, etc. CorruptUser 02:09, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Sex includes a huge number of things other than inter-personal penetration, most commonly masturbation. Take a look at The Encyclopedia Of Unusual Sex Practices (free to read here) or the more eye-popping book, Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex. Bongolian (talk) 02:38, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm fairly abstinent nowadays, maybe through age, but I dunno, I think 'sex positivity' is okay. I dunno if that implies girls being sluts or whatever, but here's what a can say. I have a high libido and find it tough to say no to sex with a girl even if there is no attraction, so I'm not looking for it like I used to. In my travels, I have figured out that I'm not homosexual, I am willing to sell a girl the sun and the moon if she's flirting with me, I am able to stop if consent is suddenly withdrawn, but not able to say no myself if pressured. I was lucky to have two long term girlfriends early who treated sex as exploratory before we broke up for irreconcilable young adult differences. Sex is not marriage, but it should be consensual, well communicated, collaborative and fun. Condoms are key. Whether you have sex or not, sex is not a test, it is not a measure, it's not standardized, and it's ok to be at a different level of the horniness from the people you are around. I've had to escape hornier situations than I was comfortable with once I figured it out, and that is, woof, saying a lot. It's all fine, chase your freedoms, learn your limits. No lifestyle is going to promise you'll never get your feelings hurt, so just be sure it's honest. 2600:8804:500:FE90:4DD4:9C69:25D3:C984 (talk) 04:48, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
I have three girlfriends and numerous exes. I am decidedly not a virgin. However, for me personally sex is overrated. I can go without sex. Carthage (talk) 17:20, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Or maybe you are just exhausted.Ariel31459 (talk) 21:00, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Somehow I don't think those are actually girlfriends, just girls that sleep with you on occasion. $20 says they are sleeping with someone else on the side too.CorruptUser 20:05, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
That's not the own you think it is, considering I'm queer and polyamorous. Carthage (talk) 20:17, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I can go without beer. Don't mean I say no to it if it turns up, though or fancy a couple now and then. Anyway, onto the point.
I actually agree with Corrupt a bit here, on the 'standards/expectations' issues. There's loads of single females who are thinking exactly the same way as the OP, perhaps more so, due to the prevailance of a larger industry to feed and reinforce their insecurities and fears. What's more, a lot of stuff which would make you 'more attractive' on the dating scene would normally follow through into all areas of social interaction - such as friends, workmates, the boss etc [most obvious points; decent hygiene and grooming standards, work on becoming a more interesting/capable person, sharpen up those old-school 'people skills' and so on]. Yes, a lot of the issue is crappy economics situation but part of the grand thing is that it's crappy for lots; being in your early 20s and still living at home [for example] isn't that embarrassing if some 40/50% of your cohort is in the same position and most who aren't are only a half-rung 'above' you. Lastly, where you are and how often you go out into the world are important factors - if you live in Bumblefuck and rarely leave your home, chances of relations with another are gonna be pretty low. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:35, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

So Twitter is now called "X".[edit]

Changing an iconic name and logo. The site has changed a lot since Musk bought it not even allowing tweet viewing without logging in. Any idea what the future of Twitter is with the rebrand? — Unsigned, by: 2607:FB90:EA9D:CF2B:AC39:C397:E473:8C3F / talk / contribs

Musk has long claimed to want to make an "everything app" which also integrates payment functions, hoping that people will end up living most of their digital lives through his "X app". It does not seem likely to succeed though, given the problems Musk has... Thankfully, I'll add. (Hopefully no one else makes such an "app" a success either.)
Lots of people have also begun parroting a joke... Twitter is now an ex-parrot. ---ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:46, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
The police have got involved in the renaming (absence of a crane licence or something) - so as one UK nickname for them is 'the boys in blue' can respond to the previous comment with a Norwegian Blue reference. Anna Livia (talk) 15:22, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
The hiding tweets from non-logged-in users seems like yet another really bad idea. Advertisers generally want as many eyeballs as possible, and advertising seems to be the only revenue stream (advertisers generally pay based on number of viewers or readers, particularly if it can be independently verified). That said, if one knows the URL for the tweet, one doesn't need to be logged in to see it. Bongolian (talk) 17:55, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Especially given that 'IPs becoming signed in members' is a phenomenon on wikis and probably applies elsewhere. Anna Livia (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Just a few more billions gone. Chillpilled (talk) 18:42, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
The Boer's life mission of burning Twitter to the ground and salting the ashes goes along swimmingly. He should be proud. Carthage (talk) 18:46, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
"Tweet changing to "xeet", to throw with more force and certainty of damage than "Yeet". E.g., "Musk sure xeeted that last SpaceX launch, there was a 'rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation' and destruction of the launchpad!"
By the way, I've been getting "Secure Connection Failed" messages in the past few days from archive.ph links but not archive.is links on Firefox but not on Safari. Anyone else? Bongolian (talk) 19:00, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
X is for eX-wife. Carthage (talk) 19:08, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
The more Musk messes with Twitter, the more it seems to me this is nothing but huge and expensive trolling. Panzerfaust (talk) 22:19, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Since I'm a subscriber to Serious Trouble (its predecessor was All The Presidents Lawyers, apostrophe moved from President's to Presidents' after Biden; the only podcast I would ever subscribe to), I also read both hosts, Ken White and Josh Barro. When Musk was forced into buying Twitter (one of the few good things to come out of the national parasite that is Delaware) Barro made a convincing argument that Musk's best move was to try to monetize the pornography that exists rent-free to steer web traffic elsewhere. So in that sense X is an oddly good name, if only 1/3 of the way there. That said, being someone from "the New York City Area", have you ever heard anyone refer to Sixth Avenue by a certain obscure nickname? No? Then don't fret about what people will call Twitter. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:32, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Mass ex-it? And what does X mark the spot of? Anna Livia (talk) 16:03, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Brand X, Brand X, It's simple and plain. Brand X, Brand X, it's different but all the same. Patty Pat 01:26, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Elon musk is unsuspended an account which posted child sexual abuse.[edit]

The title says it all. A somebody. (talk) 00:58, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Evidence? Bongolian (talk) 01:37, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1684248597603155976 Here's lying here btw, a bunch of Q nutters saw the child sexual abuse pictures/videos. A somebody. (talk) 01:41, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Here's more evidence: https://twitter.com/chetfaliszek/status/1684321501426876416 A somebody. (talk) 01:42, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
The basic gist is that this "Dom Lucre" account posted information about Liezyl Margallo's arrest (assistant of Peter ScullyWikipedia) and included a censored image from one of the videos. Which Twitter flagged as CSAM immediately. (See this Daily Dot article which alludes to the picture posting via some tweets he made after the fact, as well as this Vice article.) This led to Lucre's suspension.
Now, if you read the Wiki article on Scully (which will tell you what side of the "CSAM" this material is on, eg it's some of the worst kind you can think of), you might wonder: Why the fuck would *any* sane human want to post any images, even censored ones, from these videos? Of course, this account thinks that Elon's mad due to Obama or something... nope. I doubt any other social media network would have done what Elon just did and unsuspend the account, IMHO.
FYI, without going into further details (sigh), at least one of this account's problematic tweets made it to Google Cache and Internet Archive, so yes, Musk is lying about only the CSE team seeing the pictures if it made it that far. BobJohnson (talk) 19:36, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

So, those UFO hearings[edit]

What’s up with that? Haven’t been watching but have been hearing ppl say shit about it (talk) 06:36, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Didn't watch, but the executive summary I seem to be gathering from reports:
(*) A "David GruschWikipedia" testified and made some wild claims ("intact and partially intact vehicles" of non-human origin). Generally speaking, this guy has no evidence, just talk, and seems to be quite the crank (eg the Vatican is involved in a UFO coverup!). That Congress gave this person the time of day is frankly embarrassing.
(*) A couple of folks from "old news UFO sightings" (David Fravor and Ryan Graves) also testified.
(*) Congress nevertheless wants more transparency on UAP (the new military name for UFO) reports, so it seems some of that was discussed. Nothing wrong with that. BobJohnson (talk) 14:59, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Who Uses Rationalwiki, for What? and Why?[edit]

Just curious, do we have any data on what the most visited pages are in any given month? I'd like to contribute more to articles but I also don't want to get too caught up in editing niche pages of interest to no one but myself and one other crank on the internet... Tikitime2 (talk) 11:20, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

'Curiosity and amusement, and otherwise working on quiet parts of the wikiverse (so wanting to engage with other people); being able to express an opinion rather than merely sticking to Wikipedia's neutral point of view/seeing what the range of views are' will cover (in various combinations) at least part of most people's reasons.
It is mainly by people contributing that pages cease to be niche - and putting 'is [this particular aspect] worth developing' (and similar) on a talk page and seeing the response (from 'why not add' upwards) may be a way to answer your question. (Also - check if there are other topic-specific wikis of a suitably rational outlook out there.) Anna Livia (talk) 12:00, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
For me, it's a combination of things. There's nothing quite like WIGO, and the Saloon Bar, even though I don't really participate much in it, I mostly lurk, kinda feels like an old style forum, which I always thought were way better than social media. As for data, we don't collect analytics, but I think it's a safe bet that most people visiting us are interested in either our political articles, or articles debunking on some pseudoscience. If you keep up to date with politics in the US, you can make a pretty good guess of what articles are most likely to be linked to from the rest of the internet. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 13:13, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
For better or worse (largely the former IMHO), RW is a relic of an older web time. So you aren't going to see *too* many references these days. But occasionally one will pop up. During Scott Adams' racist meltdown this year, for instance, Rationalwiki was used in a thread that made it to Reddit r/all to introduce folks to his 2010 era misogynist opinions on women. You also still see the occasional "pissed at us" crank pop up (like on that recent Manhattan Institute/City Journal debacle). BobJohnson (talk) 13:21, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm partly here for the nostalgia of a more slower paced internet experience and partly because I enjoy research and find it healthy to butt heads now and again. The impression I'm getting is that we are occassionally a useful aggregator of information when countering bullshit but during our down time a lof our engagement just comes from people enjoying the process of contributing?
Still feel like someone with some higher level access in this thing should be able to figure out which pages are the big hitters? Tikitime2 (talk) 13:26, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I think the value/impact is very relative to the way people engage with the specific areas covered. One page may get many hits, but the topic is one that gets a lot of views all over the web and RW's coverage changes little. Another page may be mediocre in page hits, but it describes something more fringe which fewer look for, and has a proportionally larger impact. While it would be interesting to know more about numbers of page views, there's much more that matters.
Personally, I value RW's coverage in places where there's little other good coverage to be found, and especially when Wikipedia can't cover things because it's not notable enough or the only WP reliable sources available basically only say the topic exists. That's the case for a good portion of the articles on spirituality and conspiracy, cult-related topics, alternative medicine, other pseudoscience, etc. In those areas, a pretty visible RW article on a non-notable movement that plasters its influence all over social media can do some good.
As for politics, while it engages lots of people, I think RW's coverage there is less important most of the time, and furthermore across pages and topics it tends to be pretty mediocre in quality on the whole. (It takes a whole lot of fairly dispassionate work to make such coverage really good.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:07, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
If I had to guess, a lot of the religion and atheism pages probably get more traffic than you may think. That's what brought me here originally anyway. Chillpilled (talk) 15:11, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
RW's strengths here is the much looser 'notability' rating and the fact it doesn't aim to be an encyclopedia [so no aggressive NPOV]. These, coupled with our fairly high ratings by the engine starting with G means that if you're looking for a biog of a crank or a pick-apart of a theory from a firm pro-reality angle chances are we're the top listing. I've also argued that I suspect RW does okay in some of our précis articles where people discover the 'WP edition' too damn long, confusing and dense [I cited the example of 'Spanish Civil War']. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:54, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I think that that original research is allowed on RW is just as important as the much lower notability threshold. While on Wikipedia, you're expressly forbidden from putting 2 and 2 together if you have sources for both but not for the conclusion, 4, on RW by contrast articles often rely in very large part on the primary sources of crank websites, books, etc., and provide skeptical content derived from wholly unskeptical or anti-skeptical sources. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 17:22, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
As noted above, the more likely areas to shine on RW are those where WP is absent (due to notability standards) or where WP flounders (NPOV getting in the way of critical judgment or failure to put 2 + 2 together). There are some cases where RW is superior even outside these areas (e.g. I'm biased here but compare AristolochiaWikipedia to Aristolochia, and Blazing SaddlesWikipedia to Blazing Saddles). The Wikipedia pages didn't have to be inferior in these cases but there are additional forces at work: the tendency towards the encyclopedic rather than the critical, the burden of massive bureaucracy, and a lingering anti-expertise bias on WP.
You can also consult RationalWiki:Mentions for examples where RW proved useful to people who have published. Also, there was once an attempt in the past to keep track of which pages were popular (RationalWiki:Pages by popularity). There were also some graphics made of most-edited pages from around that time (Category:RationalWiki#Media in category "RationalWiki"). Bongolian (talk) 18:32, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Sexual gratification, mostly. Acei9 19:06, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I think WP's tendency towards the encyclopaedic rather the readable is perhaps the most glaring flaw - their presumed 'TONE' appears to be culled from what passed as essays in school and by accident or design ends up often being pretty turgid. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:37, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
That stood out to me when I wrote large language model (compare with large language modelWikipedia). I mainly distilled it from various articles I found more readable than the Wikipedia article, and I think my article is better at explaining the basic concepts of what it is to someone not looking for in-depth technicalities. But it may be a bit lopsided, I've only covered things relevant to a skeptical overview yet. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:55, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Hasn't the atheism vs creationism internet battle been kind of won by now? I mean the war still rages but I feel like people are much more familiar with the atheist arguments than they were in the 2000's. Maybe it's just living in super secular Scotland, I don't really see religious crankery as having much pool outside of a very small minority in my country.
I do wonder about the amount of political articles on RW and the way they, naturally, just reflect the political dispositions of the majority (broadly liberal with some minor anarchist flirtations). Which is comforting and a pleasant experience when you agree and just infuriating/depressing when you don't. Seems almost impossible to establish a bi-partisan line that everyone can agree is well-researched. I certainly enjoy arguing political philosophy with Rational Wikians but I don't know if that's the best use of my time here. I definitely agree though that the snarky tone makes rationalwiki a lot more readable and incisive when it comes to tackling controversial issues. Tikitime2 (talk) 20:02, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Personally, I kinda take my 'tone' from Private Eye - hopefully, a blend of knowledgeable, snarky, irreverent and readable. And I see RW's remit more now to be cover all the different cranks, loons and idiots [and the groups they make] which fail to clear WP's notability rules in the hope it warns others taking them too seriously. As for the political articles... well, there's varible quality on some, others are outdated and quite a lot are written from a kinda parochial American POV. I personally try to be kinda fair; I re-did [for example] the Christian People's Alliance recently and I think it wasn't a hit-piece. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:30, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Creationist arguments are far from over in the US public sphere. Supreme Justice Scalia was the sole dissenter in Edwards v. Aguillard that ruled against balanced presentations of creationism in public schools.[1] Today there are 6 of 9 conservative justices on the court, most of the 6 are either stated originalists or lean towards originalism. Among other things, originalism leans heavily towards states' rights, and against stare decisis (precedent, e.g., Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization). Don't count on them to support science over religion — they don't understand science or like it. Bongolian (talk) 20:50, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
[EC] I agree that creationism vs. evolution and/or atheism is old (added: but I'm in Europe too, and I guess it may be different in the US). Nowadays, some other things have grown big in their place, though. Conspirituality is big and not going away anytime soon, I think, and "new" sprawling conspiracy theory and alternative medicine and spirituality cross-overs will probably keep spreading like wildfires worldwide every so often, including during every pandemic (e.g. swine flu antivaxxing was rehashed for COVID-19), for the foreseeable future. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:55, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Which is I think is the issue; like anti-vaxxers, the creationists etc don't have anything really new to say. Much of the work in this area would be simply updating the catalogue of cretins and occasionally doing a bit of 'polishing' and general 'goundskeeping' on the major pages of the section. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:46, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Conspirituality people and other cranks sometimes invent new teachings in a bigger way, though -- new scriptures, new channeled sources, new cults, ties to new political movements, etc. -- while ingredients such as anti-vaxxer thought have remained largely the same. (E.g. Rudolf Steiner was an early big figure who taught that vaccines spiritually damage and separate humans from spirituality.) The landscape of ideas is big, colorful, and a sprawling mess often only sketchily described here. (I think many skeptics stop looking when they've seen enough crazy to describe something as crazy, often writing a short summary which seems wrong to those who enter the woosphere, because those on the inside read more and then reject what skeptics write when skeptics are sloppy with some smaller details, or the cranks provide uncountered rebuttals.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 22:50, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
RW's "core subject material" is, well, quite political. It started "back in the day" as a troll reaction to Conservapedia and fundamentalism (so, political from the get go!), and its current mission subjects (authoritarianism, fundamentalism, crankery, pseudoscience) heavily touch on politics. The "political lean" of the editors I think reflects opposition to the general political lean where the above exists, I think, at least in USA / Anglo space (and RW's bias has changed over its history). However, I personally don't think that this bias has prevented RW from documenting crankery etc. on "all sides of the coin". So I'm guessing the complaints are more: A) variable quality (an issue on all Wikis across all subjects, but more prominent on smaller Wikis); B) non mission political articles (which I agree exist, particularly in the American sphere); and C) too much of an America focus (a problem, but one I'm not sure how easy it is to correct). BobJohnson (talk) 22:20, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I'd add to that that: 1) US culture has polarized so that pure scientific skepticism is now inherently more left-leaning (center-left) rather than politically neutral (this happened in recent years). 2) Sometimes, the mentality of the social media keyboard warrior (it's basically the same whether SJW or anti-woke) creeps into some articles with politically charged snarling becoming the main tone and the focus shifting too much to extrapolation from social media drama. Added: That said, the tone has, on the whole, become more calm and mature in RW articles over the years, I think (the RW culture changing), comparing older and newer ones, with some exceptions affected by #2. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 22:50, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
a) I've seen enough of RW now to know we have at least two sector weaknesses - economics and history. b) I'd defend 'non-mission articles' if they provide the context for mission articles (and there is no decent alternative elsewhere, which is why I did those UK GE pages). c) Can only be really corrected by non-American RW'ians (that was in fact my motivation for joining). KarmaPolice (talk) 09:45, 28 July 2023 (UTC)

Found a weird videogame on itch io[edit]

This game is weird. I didn't know that Joe Biden was known for his infamous farts. /s The Krusty Krab (talk) 21:42, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

it says 404. A somebody. (talk) 23:05, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

Miss Italy trans protest[edit]

The Miss Italy beauty Pageant has banned trans women from competing saying that only those "women from birth" can apply. In response more than 100 trans men have applied as the "women from birth" rule allows those who still are legally regarded as female apply. [2] Its GB News but still. Lavalizard101 (talk) 15:21, 27 July 2023 (UTC)

The swimwear portion should be a hoot this year. Kencolt (talk) 17:08, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I support this protest, as it takes the organizers' argument to the logical conclusion. The smarter form of sleazy the pageants could have done would've been to simply ban all cosmetic surgeries from beauty pageants, and they could just say "ooops, sorry, you had feminization surgery, nothing we can do". But we all know the pageants never cared if the women were more surgically altered than the Kardashians, because they are nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to produce a bunch of sex-objects for men to slobber over. CorruptUser 17:15, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
I like this on the grounds it also reminds the world that 'trans' isn't just the women. If you went by Anglo mainstream media coverage, you'd be forgiven in thinking some 90% of transitioning was done by bio males [when stats show it much more even; I in fact remember reading somewhere once that the NHS stats has a slight bias in the other direction]. If I recall, some transmen pulled this stunt in the UK a little while back when they were going on about 'single sex spaces'. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:32, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
As a trans fem I support the protest. --Trans Fem Agenda 17:33, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Well yeah, that's always been my gripe of mine too. When someone is described as Bi, the default assumption is a woman. When someone is described as Trans, the default assumption is a Transwoman. CorruptUser 18:38, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Whatever the historical reason for that may have been, I'd bet the ranch that the modern perception has to do with the fact that there's way more MtF pornography out there than the other way around. Some of that is doubtless due to the prevalence of pornography from Thailand, which has the whole kathoey culture, but more generally there are a lot more otherwise straight men who'd rather see a feminine-looking person with a penis than a masculine-looking person with a vagina. What I know on this subject stems from being an admin on TOW, and there's only on FtM pornstar that ever comes up (Buck Angel), but whatever their level of "celebrity" there are way more MtF pornographic actors whose biographies need careful watching. And sometimes from the opposite side you'd think, people lost their minds over Bailey Jay's interview with Amy Schumer (I have enough of a stomach for this sort of thing and have no strong attachment to pornography of any kind that I'll wade into these things, just as long as I can take a good long shower once I'm done). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:14, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
I …I am genuinely at a loss for words. Why are you like this?- Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:09, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
If you're at a loss for words, don't say anything. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 12:54, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Beyond pornography, the one article I found on this subject (based on presumably this paywalled study) suggests that gay men are more disliked than lesbians in the 23 countries surveyed, largely due to gay men being more in conflict with "traditional" "beliefs about the gender system". There is some "your mileage may vary" between countries noted in the NBC News report, but Italy was seen as similar to the United States when it comes to negative attitudes about homosexuality.
I have not found an equivalent survey for trans, but I suspect the same root cause; MtF trans is more affronting to "traditional masculine culture" than FtM trans, so that's why there is more uproar in the media about MtF trans.
Heterosexual attraction to MtF trans (including pornography), which apparently academically is called "gynandromorphophilia", seems like a separate subject from what I am Googling. BobJohnson (talk) 14:11, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
They're called "chasers" by the trans community. Carthage (talk) 14:57, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Well Blade, I think I am going to go with the explanation from Julia Serano that trans-women get so much of a focus because of misogyny. The idea that someone would make the decision to live life as a woman willingly when society has assigned their gender as male, is taken as irrational. Why would someone want to be the “inferior” gender? Cis people broadly do not identify with experiencing dissonance with their assigned gender, and have trouble understanding the experience of dysphoria. So from their perspective they just assume that people who transition to the performatives and presentation of a woman are simply choosing to do so. Seeing it as a choice, it is seen as inherently bizarre, senseless, but facisnating. However, the idea that one would “choose” to live as a male and obtain the privileges of being male is taken as a no brainer, even a rational choice. There also just the fact that society as a whole likes to objectify, subjugate, and even brutally dominate women at rates much higher then we do men. Trans women still often are perceived as women, even if bigots do not like to admit it openly. So no doubt they get subject to this patriarchal violence which no doubts get attention. Thus it’s misogyny to why trans women dominate a cultural image of a trans person. It does not discount the separate intersections of oppression purely related to being trans and how that destabilizes the identities of cis people. Something that all trans people regardless of gender are subject to. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:37, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
1/ I suspect the 'toupee fallacy' comes into play here; in any Westernised society it's much easier to pass as a guy than a gal, thus most transmen go unnoticed to the point of invisibility, so they don't threaten one bit the classic binary gender viewpoints. 2/ If dating/interest stats are anything to go by, the male consumption of transwomen materials would be at 6.1% of total population, of which 48% are hetrosexual, 9% are homosexual and 43% are bi/other. Remembering that stats say about perhaps 90% of males are straight and about half of the remainder the other two 'groups', my napkin says that gay men are ~3.5x more likely to view transwomen porn and bi/pan men ~15.5x more likely than hetro guys. Though I would go a bit further in saying I suspect some of the hetro group are in fact pan guys who are unaware of this. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:25, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, that makes some sense. And misogyny would explain a big part of conservative backlash towards transgender people, especially, that's certainly not mutually exclusive. Plus, there's never been a transgender FtM equivalent of someone like, say, Caitlyn Jenner. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:53, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Elliot Page? Though last I checked, Elliot didn't kill anyone right after transitioning, nor support Trump. CorruptUser 17:03, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
My 2/ was a bit wonky [me bad] - I revised it. And visibility bias comes into play here; I am sure you could find a transman or a hundred who is a ardent Trump supporter and would nut you if you looked at them funny, just not from a simple Google search. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:08, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Billy TiptonWikipedia is actually a classic example of the "easier to pass" angle. He was a very minor trans man jazz leader in the 1940s-1960s, who now is notable enough for a Wiki article simply by managing to completely and discretely pass as a man throughout his entire life, during a time of much greater homophobia.
Yeah, for the moment, there aren't as many majorly known trans men. Chaz BonoWikipedia might be the most well known, I guess. Most well known trans women are celebrities (sports, film, music, etc.) who transitioned while they were well known, so perhaps this is just "selection bias" that will correct itself over time. — Unsigned, by: BobJohnson / talk / contribs
Even Chaz Bono is largely known for being the only child of Sonny and Cher, though, not necessarily for any major life accomplishments. Not a slight, we all come from somewhere and you may as well take advantage of what opportunities you get. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:51, 29 July 2023 (UTC)

I've added the story to WIGO World, citing Pink News as the source. Spud (talk) 08:48, 28 July 2023 (UTC)

There are no beauty contests for men, only body-builder contests. It doesn't surprise me that the transmen jumped at the chance to be in a contest. If they actually appear to be men, I should think they would be screened-out very early in any beauty competition. Trans women get more attention than trans men because they appear to be women. Most men are interested in women and ignore other men. We say they are women, although I am confident a large majority of men don't really agree that they are females. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:02, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't think they're doing it because they want to be in a beauty contest, they're doing it to make the ruling look stupid. It also draws attention to the little fact that Italian trans rights are in threat of a general 'rollback'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:16, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Old traditions are difficult to discard. So much is left to the imagination with respect to beauty. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:23, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
As I mentioned before, "beauty contests" have always been about the men ogling them, not the contestants. They could made a beauty contest with female oglers in mind, but oddly enough, women seem to have a much wider view of the "perfect" male body. Then there's the issue of whether the pageant is going to be for the ladies, or for gay men, and just how much overlap there is between the ideal bod for gay men vs straight women.
As for good definitions of beauty, honestly, there's only two objective measures. 1) What does it signal about health/fertility? 2) What does it signal about social status? If it signals negative on both, it's ugly. If it's positive on one and at least neutral on the other, it's always sexy. If it's neutral on both, it absolutely can go any direction. If it's positive on one and negative on the other, it could go either way, but when the high one is social status that tends to be "pretty". CorruptUser 18:47, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
I can't comment on Italian beauty pageants, but all information I know suggests that, during the height of their relevance at least, the television audience for American beauty pageants was quite lopsided towards a strongly female audience. [3][4] In other words, these were shows about beauty "for the ladies" (make of it what you will). It seems as if these beauty contests are less relevant these days, though; the ladies who gossip over what expensive evening gown some other woman is wearing still exists, but it seems smaller these days. BobJohnson (talk) 19:20, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
It makes perfect sense because men wanted the real thing and women wanted to know what the men wanted but were disinclined to ask. Men are not getting information by watching pageants. Frankly it seems like a jerk-off thing to do.UncleKrampus (talk) 20:02, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Explain what you mean by "the real thing". Carthage (talk) 20:27, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
It's hard to make progress if one can't take insults in stride. Most men won't consider trans women the real thing. That said, I meant no such thing. I meant real activity chasing women, as opposed to passively watching the TV.UncleKrampus (talk) 20:39, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
From what I can tell, professional beauty pageants are with sporting competitions, awards shows and general news programmes as 'declining TV genres' that it's actually rather hard to find anyone who watches them at times. I mean, at the apex you can still get a decent crowd [say, for example the Olympics opening/closing or a cup final] but c'mon... who really wants to see the second round of the hurdles at the Euro athletics competition? I personally see these shows as something which won't outlive Boomers, and suspect a lot of these were shown because it was a cheap way to fill up loads of broadcasting hours.
With Krampus' point... my variant of this would be that they date back to the days where a sexy-20ish lady in a bikini was perhaps the nearest thing you'd got to porn on mainstream TV and was perhaps about as erotic as Playboy of this era. It was either this or watching Happy Days and hoping one of the younger ladies wears a snug sweater... KarmaPolice (talk) 20:53, 28 July 2023 (UTC)

Name change[edit]

As clicking on the Social Media/Twitter link leads to 'X' can someone 'do the necessary' - or is another name change expected? Anna Livia (talk) 23:26, 28 July 2023 (UTC)

Twitter.XXX (what with all the Nazis, trolls, and apparently now kiddie porn pushers being allowed to fester there...) Carthage (talk) 23:59, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, no one calls Twitter "X" at this point, just like few people refer to Facebook as "Meta".
Googling X reveals a whole lot of things that the Google thinks are way more relevant as "X", such as a 2022 slasher film, XWindows, the XBox game console, or the excellent 1980s LA punk rock band.
Name change? Probably not yet. BobJohnson (talk) 00:34, 29 July 2023 (UTC)
X.com redirects to Twitter.com still. Even Musk isn't taking this seriously enough to warrant such effort. Chillpilled (talk) 07:46, 29 July 2023 (UTC)

Odd Video featuring the black sun that was posted and promptly deleted by the Ron DeSantis campaign.[edit]

https://twitter.com/PopulismUpdates/status/1683157829224632321 I have a reasonably good idea where they got the idea to use the black sun from. A somebody. (talk) 16:59, 23 July 2023 (UTC)

Can the guy go any more mask off? Carthage (talk) 17:19, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Also https://twitter.com/richardbspencer/status/1683169582406864897 lol, imao.
When courting fascists, one shouldn't be surprised that one ends up with Nazis. The Sonnenrad (black sun) superposed with DeSantis and storm troopers is at 1:02 in the video for anyone who doesn't want to parse through all the other alt-right mimetics. Bongolian (talk) 18:08, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
A friend of mine made a, uh, a "joke" of a DeSantis rally just filled exclusively with guys donning Swastika tattoos shouting "SIEG HEIL" while DeSantis cringes for a second and wonders "what the fuck have I done that this is the sum of my political career?" Carthage (talk) 18:12, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Do we know that the Twitter account that posted this (supposedly "Ron DeSantis Fan Cams") is actually affiliated with the campaign? For instance, the "DeSantis War Room" account (infamously now known for posting that weird bit of manosphere media a bit back) was reportedly launched by the DeSantis team in August 2022,[5] so anything coming from that Twitter account can be credited to DeSantis (or at least "endorsed by the DeSantis campaign"). I see no such articles about this account.
According to the source of this retweet [6] "at least one campaign staffer RT'd it", though no further information on which one.
(Not that this changes much about DeSantis's authoritarianism and how he's fascist enough for the Nazi pond scum to make Nazi videos about him... but, also, never by default trust anything on Twitter, especially the Twitter of the Elon Musk era.) BobJohnson (talk) 18:43, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Looks like Team DeSantis retweeted a video without watching until the end. Seems like basic stupidity. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:21, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
Given that the entirely of Team DeSantis is made up of HITLERCUNNY88 and HEINRICHLOLI14 I don't think it's 'stupidity' A somebody. (talk) 20:42, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
How could this happen? Chillpilled (talk) 22:33, 23 July 2023 (UTC)
It's basically fallout from a controversy from Florida's recent social studies standards which gave the media a field day with the following "benchmark clarification" on page 6 of their African American history studies:
Clarification 1: Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.
Hey ho, Florida will now teach that slavery will give you valuable life skills! :p
Beyond quote mining, I'll say this. These standards have plenty of stuff that definitely belong, it's not all crap. But there's definitely some quotable nuggets that are frankly terrible (this quote and the balance fallacy on page 17 regarding "race riots" -- "acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans" -- got the most media attention). "I am not a historian", but overall also, the standards suffer from what I would call "glaring omissions" with a tinge of Lost Cause of the South too-positive whitewashing. It's not as bad as some Lost Cause claptrap I've seen by any means, but it definitely seems to have some "smoothing" applied where some "negative incidents" are either omitted or balance fallacy-ed away.
For instance, basically, the Jim Crow era seems to be glossed over to quite a degree. From what I see in the document, for instance, the Birmingham campaignWikipedia is not mentioned, despite the widely shown news clips of Birmingham police using high pressure water hoses and attack dogs to attack peaceful protesters having a huge impact on the civil rights movements of the 1960s. The Tuskegee syphilis experiment is not mentioned. Martin Luther King's assassination isn't even a bullet point, what the fuck, why? Even the whole f'n Civil War seems to be glossed over -- no mention that I see of the Confederacy, their Constitution, and noteworthy events like the Cornerstone SpeechWikipedia that showed exactly where they stood. There's a heavy emphasis on African-American accomplishments without instruction to discuss the challenges the artists and inventors profiled faced, seemingly. (And even here, some weird omissions. For instance, no mention of certain notable sports "color line" crossings like Jackie Robinson? At least Jesse Owens gets a mention...)
Race issues from 1980 onward seemed to be bypassed completely (Incarceration discrepancies? Crack vs. cocaine? Police brutality, including notable events such as Rodney King? All not there. Certainly not Black Lives Matter!) There's a weird bit that seems to promote "by the stats" shallow analysis for this era ("Instruction includes the use of statistical census data between 1960 to present, comparing African American participation in higher education, voting, poverty rates, income, family structure, incarceration rates and number of public servants." - page 21).
To be fair, given DeSantis' inclinations, things could have been far worse, but it still has the type of "whitewash" you'd expect from his administration. Now, so far I haven't seen too much in depth commentary from historians, unfortunately, so I'd love to hear more from their viewpoint. Honestly, my guess is that they will find a fair bit more than I am seeing... BobJohnson (talk) 00:43, 24 July 2023 (UTC)
Regarding the link to the "DeSantis says Black people benefited from slavery by learning skills like 'being a blacksmith'" story. That shows ignorance, wilful or otherwise by DeSantis. Evidence of African metallurgy dates to 3000-2500 BCE, including in the area from which many slaves were later taken, Western Africa (Iron metallurgy in AfricaWikipedia). DeSantis' ancestors were harvesting their grains with sticks and rocks back then. Bongolian (talk) 01:47, 24 July 2023 (UTC)
Hah. Those slaves were taught those skills so their masters could exploit them better. In this case, the slave-owners were similar to colonialists who improved the colony by putting in plantations and railways - ie nothing more than an 'enlightened stationary bandit'. Let's not forget either that a skilled slave was worth a lot more than an unskilled one; in capitalist terms the owner had 'improved' their asset which could be released by selling them [I've never seen any mention of them, but surely a few people made their living from 'slave training'; from skilled trades to house 'servants']. The fact that said skills might allow the slave to do some outside work to save up to buy themselves was more 'bug, not feature' of the system of slavery that prevailed in the Old South. Which shows [apparently] in Florida law of the time which made slaves doing this illegal. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:03, 24 July 2023 (UTC)
I think what's remaining of the DeSantis team is so desperate they gone full Nazi. It really might be enough, if nobody trusts Trump to do pure white populism. The donors pumped the brakes, because if they wanted Trump they'd fund Trump but Desantis essentially said watch me turn it up to 11. The scary thing is, Desantis has a better crew than Trump, so it doesn't rely on his personal constant communication. The cult of personality is gone. It's back to cult shit and Desantis is definitely courting cults. 2600:8804:500:FE90:AC0B:2536:6062:76EE (talk) 03:33, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
For better or worse, my impression is that Trump did a decent job connecting to "white working class machismo". Of course since his skill set was not in politics but in real estate (poorly), grift (more successfully), and the "I am rich" reality TV persona, that wasn't enough to prevent his presidency from being a disaster. And sure, some of this was somewhat fake if you looked even slightly beneath the surface (particularly the fundie outreach parts, plus the fact that he bowed to the donor class on too many other things). But it was there. "Working class machismo" is not the same as full on Nazi per se. Yes, Trump had Archie Bunker style racism, but there also was some things that the "got mine!" donor class probably felt uncomfortable with, such as the trade isolationism.
Ron DeSantis to me combines what certain parts of the "got mine" donor class of Republican thinks Trumpism is about (think "southern gentry", not "Nazi", methinks, though with recent staffer bizarre video retweets my opinion on this might change) with his own brand of arrogant petulance. Of course, since all he has is authoritarian culture war blabber (has he said anything about anything else of late?) this means that DeSantis has gone so far to the right he's even put off some of the "got mine" donor class these days. But even before this, I never got the sense that DeSantis connected well with the "white working class machismo". He's no Trump, far from it, no matter how much he tries. Unfortunately, he's very possibly going to fuck up Florida considerably while flailing his way through this campaign, though, unfortunately. (At least, the education system and immigrant-dependent industries are taking a considerable hit...) BobJohnson (talk) 13:48, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Let's also not forget that slaves in the US were often forbidden from gaining literacy skills,Wikipedia which again flies in the face of the kindly-owners narrative. DietMondrian (talk) 21:39, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
It's known that some of the slaves brought over were actually literate (being Islamic scholars and such), so if anything slavery represented a regression in technical skills for a lot of the Africans brought over. Carthage (talk) 14:59, 28 July 2023 (UTC)

UPDATE: a fired staffer secretly made the video. A somebody. (talk) 22:40, 25 July 2023 (UTC)

Not just "a staffer", but Nate Hochman, a former writer of the National Review [7] who was hired by DeSantis to work as a campaign speechwriter.[8] When he was hired in March 2023, the Never-Trump-conservative site The Bulwark noted that he once hosted a Twitter space with the f'n neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes (of all people) in August 2022. Certain conservative sites of course howled at the attention payed to this back then, [9] calling the complaints a variant of "oh noes he's cancelled". But in retrospect, even in August 2022, IMHO you'd have to be either extremely dumb or an online edgelord Groyper style troll yourself to even think of associating with Fuentes like that. I suppose we now know which side of the coin this is now... BobJohnson (talk) 23:35, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
but DeSantis is and Trump voters are apologists and consume different media. This makes no difference to them. Do not celebrate, this just means Fuentes got a chance to get in the ear. That shows political power. 2600:8804:500:FE90:B8BA:61C5:86EE:292D (talk) 03:14, 29 July 2023 (UTC)
Eh, nah, maybe a couple years ago Fuentes had some credence in the fringes of the GOP, but it's pretty clear that Nick Fuentes is toxic even to almost all of that side now. At any rate, such is more tangential. The more important note is that the DeSantis campaign is (at the moment) a disaster zone, to the point where a campaign staffer can create a video with fucking neo-Nazi imagery and no one bats an eye. Right now, for instance, DeSantis is making headlines for doubling down on his Lost Cause style history standards... and feuding with Black Republicans. He's not even "threading the social group needles" well in the GOP primary, let alone the general election. It's just an interesting side note to me that some of the less "Trumpy" side of conservative media noticed Hochman before the Nazi video news broke.BobJohnson (talk) 18:09, 29 July 2023 (UTC)

Q Anon: Dungeons and Dragons for domestic terrorists[edit]

Q Anon heavily reminds me of Dungeons and Dragons. With Q Anon, it is role playing. You act as if you discovered secrets (which is equal to something that I could make up on the spot). You try to find hidden messages. Much like dungeons and dragons; except that Q Anon has had real world consequences like terrorism. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:09, 26 July 2023 (UTC)

QAnon needs to smoke a blunt and read the Illuminatus! trilogy. Zontar (talk) 00:10, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
There's an old article on QAnon this reminds me of and I'll recommend, "A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon: Playing with reality". It shows the psychology of "gaming’s evil twin. A game that plays people." --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:55, 30 July 2023 (UTC)

Whatever happened to Very Serious People?[edit]

I can see from the old talk page that some people felt the article didn't fall within the purview of our mission and that it was an ill-defined hit-list of centrist politicians but I do think it could be re-built in a constructive fashion. There is something very important/interesting/dangerous in the way that authority and status create a sort of intellectual orthodoxy that is bolstered indepedently of the evidence for its claims - and in particular the tendency of people to ape that orthodoxy because they know little better. It would help ensure we're tackling the question of "why do silly people believe silly things and why are they wrong" in a way that doesn't pretend that the world consists of "silly people" and "people who appear on 'reputable' talk-shows". Tikitime2 (talk) 15:44, 30 July 2023 (UTC)

I think it's best as a new sub-section of Overton window, to be honest. Very Serious People often occupy the 'centre' of this window and bill themselves as 'the voice of reason/experience/intelligence' [ie the status quo] and rest on their titles/positions/background, even if these are woefully out of date and/or in a different field. The fact they're 'serious' is a kind of inverted Tone argument; 'I speak lucidly, calmly and at length on this, so I must be correct'. Now I'm thinking about it the page does seem to have enough to warrant it existing again, but there's no pithy title to give it. Well, I cannot think of one. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:37, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
I'd be partial to helping restart it under the banner of the Overton Window article. If it warrants further development and the community feels its up to standard then it could be given its own article at a later date? Tikitime2 (talk) 17:03, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
If you do, put in a redirect on VSP to it. I've spotted a link to the now-gone page on an external site [which now points to nothing]. Though the Window article could to with expanding/improving; for example pointing out that there are multiple, overlapping windows [for example, 'General US public opinion', 'Republican party members', 'Republican party donors' etc] and they don't often gel well - examples being the simple fact most 'NeverTrump' Republicans are still Republicans and we have to assume were perfectly happy with all the shite that flowed in since Reagan [in fact, this could be seen in some cases false-flag VSP's; they're not actually 'centrists', merely right-wingers who aren't cranky carpet-chewers in a cult. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:21, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
I think the biggest problem with that article is that it was very narrow -- the vast majority covered American pundits (mostly neoconservative ones) active in "old school" "Beltway" media between the 1980s and 2010s. In fact, it seems like this term really only existed within the realm of US political blogs (in particular Paul Krugman) of the 2010s.
There is a Rationalwiki page for groupthink and style over substance, and while Krugman's complaint was really more about the former, I think there is something to be said about political punditry for both categories as a whole. I speculate that at least some of this is due to commercial interest -- people who consume political media tend to seek affirmation of already held beliefs, so when newspapers seek out columnists, they seek out neither radical outliers nor in-depth analysis. Another part of this is due to tribalism -- a lot of the deleted page was on the upper middle class Northeastern / MidWestern "tribe" quirks that the VSPs tended to have. As such, the "Very Serious People" pundits performed the same (seemingly genuine) shift against the Donald Trump GOP that many of their reader demographic target did.
The problem is, these same dynamics play out in, say, Rush Limbaugh style AM radio populism political talk as they do in Beltway newspaper op-eds; actually, I suspect this sort of dynamic is a *world wide* phenomenon, when constructed in generic terms like "groupthink" and "style over substance". Any page on "VSPs" would have to be way more generic than that deleted page, in other words. BobJohnson (talk) 17:51, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
Another problem with the page was that at one point (October 2019) it had a lengthy list of pundits who were purported to be VSPs. That list had almost no citations. By the time the page was about to be deleted (May 2020), the list was significantly pared down and only contained people who had cited accusations of being VSPs. Bongolian (talk) 18:13, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
Which is why I'd be very wary of calling anyone explicitly a VSP; it's more a series of traits which people can fall in/out of over time or even on subject. But I think the best modern description of this creature was from that creature called Michael Gove, when he said 'I think the people in this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong.' [emphasis mine, the bit of the quote often left off]. Okay, he was saying it for all the wrong reasons but this creature has a long pedigree; I've read of complaints about them going back to at least the 1880s. It could be said that the VSP is the 'oracle of conventional wisdom', much education but nil vision, a well-cut suit wrapped around a mound of polysyllabic pessimism. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:15, 30 July 2023 (UTC)
Nicely put, I'd position it as a product of the veneration + lack of accountability in the media/think-tank world. I'd also wager that a VSP is something a certain kind of person aspires to be rather than a distinct set of political beliefs and so who is considered (both admirably and pejoratively) to be a VSP will come down to who you are talking to. That said it's not a totally subjective term as a prejorative as it does refer to some objective level of "being wrong" while maintaining a generally respected reputation through sheer gloss and connectedness. Tikitime2 (talk) 20:26, 30 July 2023 (UTC)

A real problem with the VSP category is it applies very well to all political spheres. They all have their very serious people. Not stupid, not really insightful or helpful for understanding the difficulties, not usually because they don't understand, but rather because those occupying their sphere don't want to hear it.UncleKrampus (talk) 23:46, 30 July 2023 (UTC)

Yes - which is why I think of the VSP being more an 'agent of orthodoxy' than simple centrism; for example, you can have a progressive 'social justice' VSP who follows the orthodoxy of identity politics. Or even an orthodox anarchist. Or MAGA-hat. Even extends beyond politics. Thinking about it, these are my four key points of a VSP...
1. "Oracles of conventional wisdom", which may or may not be the status quo currently in operation - as they represent orthodoxy in the subject, not either public or official opinion. If orthodoxy is "in power", they shall be a grey blanket of pessimism regarding possibilities of better alternatives. If "in opposition", everything is about to go to pot because we're not following orthodoxy.
2. "Style over substance" in the respect much of their influence comes from their apparent high-status attire/positions, that they are being portrayed as an "expert", their polysyllabic verbiage [which may or not include appropiate jargon] and inverted Tone Fallacy due to their calm, "professional" manner - rather than their actual words.
3. "Intellectual amnesia" that the VSP seemingly never remembers their previous failures of prophecy, that the conventional wisdom has shifted over time or the fact that when taken together the total sum of wisdom requires severe doublethink or even ignorance of whole fields of their alleged expertise.
4. "'Professional incestuousness" in which most VSPs are drawn from a small educational pool, inhabit one of a few geographic pools, work in one of the many small, linked pools etc. That to the untrained eye it appears there is clear turnover and fresh blood, when the truth is it's mainly musical chairs with people who are linked by three degrees of seperation or less. Coupled with the normal issues of groupthink, this often leads to collusion [conscious or not] as both sides have personal incentives to not show up the other party and hopefully 'work together' again.
KarmaPolice (talk) 00:46, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
I suppose one of the great ironies of the term is that Paul Krugman could himself be seen as a Very Serious Person. He's a Keynesian economist first and foremost, and stuff he writes in this direction can at least be considered reasonably representative of that sector of that field. His branching out into liberal political op-eds, on the other hand, is to me a fair bit more mixed in knowledge depth, seemingly banked on his economist celebrity status. For instance, I seem to recall him being "over his head" in technology in the past. So even though something like his current pessimism on AI is needed (in light of the over-enthusiastic technological hype-masters in Silicon Valley), someone who got the Internet so wrong "back in the day" is the last person who should be making these sort of statements. BobJohnson (talk) 14:28, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
I've not read Krugman's non-Econ stuff, but I did read his AI pontifications and will argue they weren't the work of a VSP. His view were solidly rooted within the experiences of economic history [so within his professional remit], and basically reached the same conclusions as I mentioned here in the past - ie 'I see no reason why the situation with previous 'revolutions' will not repeat itself with AI'. Now, if he'd delved into particulars technicals of AI, yes that's the work of more an ultracrepidarian than a VSP. He made similar comments regarding the Internet in the mid-90s of which were with hindsight a butt-load more correct than the 'animal spirits' who were shovelling pallets of cash into online startups thinking they'd be bigger than Walmart by 2005 - when in reality it was only by the mid-teens that long-term viable business models were found for online-only businesses and there it is debatable whether the likes of Amazon etc have actually created wealth rather than simply displacing pre-existing wealth into their own pockets [an subtle, but very important difference, the thing which divides business/finance and economics]. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:37, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
Krugman IMHO was as over-pessimistic in some of his "less rigorous" writing on the Internet as the Silicon Valley types are over-optimistic. (As demonstrated by his much-passed around 1988 quote: "By 2005, it will become clear that the Internet’s impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine’s", which he admitted to Snopes that it was a "provocative" toss-off.) Yes, I think Krugman does quite well when he sticks with "the economic side", and therefore when Silicon Valley tries to play economics (see Bitcoin), I think Krugman's technology curmudgeon economist view plays well, no matter how much the cryto-bros howl. But sometimes his columns tend to have a more generic sorts of tech pessimism -- even when making interesting arguments, they sometimes are peppered with curmudgeon flourishes. Why, for instance, when talking about AI's probable milder-than-hyped impact in a column, do you have to make non-sequitur toss-offs about cubicle farms as your sole example of the economic benefits of computers realized in the 1990s? Couldn't you think of, er, anything better? I know I could. It sort of weakens the column to me.
That being said, he's an "op-ed" writer in this role, and that's the sort of thing a pundit does; it's entertainment first. Subtract his economist hat though (which leaves you mostly liberal political punditry for the New York Times) and I really don't see how he is that different from other accused Very Serious People like George Will and David Brooks, except for the political alignment. That I tend to agree more with Krugman quite a bit more compared with Will is irrelevant, it's still the "pundit style" of preaching to the choir. BobJohnson (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
The economic historian within me cannot help but point out that the fax machine *was* revolutionary for businesses of all stripes; it was, for example the first near-immediate method they had for sharing wads of documentation [invoices, contracts, production figures] which were simply too large for telex and too difficult for the telephone. Also, I shall point out he said By 2005. Hmm... in 2007 the estimated 'e-sales' in the USA was [according to Pew] about $35bn. Yet Walmart's revenue in that year was $345bn. The UK loves online shopping, and as of '22 it's only taken some 30% of the total sales market. Truth be told; not only has it taken a lot longer to bed-in than expected, but so far the Internet has proven less revolutionary in total terms than predicted [for example, many of the earliest online sellers simply replaced mail order catalogues, partly because they both specialised in stuff which was easy-ish to send via postal services]. What has proven revolutionary have been other inventions that combined with the Internet; most obviously the smartphone. But then again, if you make a series of predictions, at least some of them shall come true.
That op-ed could have been done better; I'm not really annoyed with the cube-land flourish, but I am a bit that he didn't mention the most obvious reason for slower uptake of NewTech; the desire of businesses to exploit their OldTech to the max. The steam/electric issue he mentioned was a classic; in the UK quite a lot of factories continued using steam plant right into the 1980s, only modernising when they literally needed to. This tallies with my first ever ProperJob in the mid-00s; The Company was upgrading to Wintel PCs. Reason why; it was unable to source new 3-inch floppy discs for backup purposes. Which is part of my cynical quip; AIs/robots are not coming for all our jobs because human beings are so often cheaper. [Yet I also have sympathy here. Krugman's piece takes in 1,151 words, which is touching the top of 1,200 the NYT allows for op-eds. Most want them to be 800 words. There's only so much that can be said here, as well as remembering that your audience isn't automatically well-versed in either a) economics and/or b) tech.]
This is why the 'VSP' definition is very subjective. Personally, I would argue that Krugman isn't one as a rule because if nothing else, he does not need to whore himself out for small pouches of gold and the delight of sitting in a cheap studio couch talking ex cathedra on whatever topic has come up. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:44, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

New fundie school page in the works[edit]

Draft: Ambassador Bible College

I think that it would be a good addition. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:52, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

Psychological trauma after a zombie apocalypse is almost never addressed[edit]

There is one piece of zombie fiction where the psychological aspects of a zombie apocalypse are explored: School Live

In the anime School Live, a group of highschool girls live inside a school after a zombie plague decimated the population of Japan and possibly the world. The main character Yuki Takeya is the main character who acts as if that everything is normal and wrapped herself up in a delusion that matches her mindset in response to intense psychological trauma. The other characters Miki, Yuri and Kurumi face the reality of the zombie apocalypse but are shown to be impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Why is it that a lot of zombie fiction doesn't show the psychological aspects of a zombie apocalypse? --Trans Fem Agenda 22:01, 24 July 2023 (UTC)

World War Z (the novel) does a pretty good job of addressing it, I think. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:06, 24 July 2023 (UTC)
Because zombie movies are a fantasy where you suddenly become a badass because the rules just changed, nevermind that if you suck in this life you'll probably still suck in another life. You might as well ask why the James Bond movies don't go into extensive detail about how much it actually sucks to be James Bond beyond maybe a couple minutes of crying before it's back to cool gadgets, gunfights, and sexy ladies. Heck, one of the greatest action movies ever was about the psychological aspects, Rambo, and it should be noted that the sequels simply ignored all of that for the cool action fantasy stuff. CorruptUser 02:14, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
I watched that Sound of Freedom movie, and that was one thing that struck me. Aside from the millions of fade cuts, which I think probably create the illusion that the movie is slower than it is, when one kid id given back to their families it is shown as a big slow-mo tribal dance number. The kids were immediately healed by interacting with the main guy and the communities they were returned to had nothing to do with the trade. I think it's just more expedient to tell a story that way. George Lucas didn't write everything in the Star Wars universe. 2600:8804:500:FE90:AC0B:2536:6062:76EE (talk) 04:24, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Grave of the Fireflies is an important watch if you haven't seen it. It's an anime movie about a kid trying to do everything right as Japan falls to the US in WWII. He's just a kid, it's very heartbreaking. 2600:8804:500:FE90:AC0B:2536:6062:76EE (talk) 04:45, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Not often I say this; Corrupt is right [on the main]. Zombie films are escapism, and normally pretty formulaic ['Do you want us to find a cure and save the world or just fall in love and fuck?' 28 Days Later]. Stuff is done for rule of cool, even when there's no way in hell They'd ever, ever do that [qv: 'Battle of Yonkers', World War Z.] And just like Bond films, we see the main characters [often] riding into the sunset like the Lone frigging Ranger after surviving/killing the Big Bad, not answering the question on who the hell does the huge-clean up afterwards [though some serious bods do use these as 'outside context problems' for thought experiments, such as the now-famed DoD 'Zombie Plan']. One of those aspects would be trying to re-forge a civil society and functioning economic base out of the pillaged wastes of our cities and a population of survivors which if not psychologically traumatised would have picked up some bad habits during 'the Emergency'.
Truth be told, zombie films are simply another iteration of 'civilisation collapse' media which I've seen go as far back as HG Wells. As Corrupt points out, the sorts of people who would actually like some form of collapse are often the 'losers' in this civilisation. Others amongst us are scared witless regarding the prospect; not just the material losses but the breakdown of 'law and order' it would bring. There's also the part of me which wonders whether some makers picked 'zombies' because it was easier to get it past the censors than say, enemy invasions or civil wars. Also easier to tell; 'the enemy' needs a reason to be Evil; zombies are just being zombies. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:53, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Nah, Zombie films aren't escapism in a way that licenses them to fully give no fucks about lack of realism - at least any more than any other former of entertainment gets to give no fucks. Like sure there is a power fantasy element to some zombie media but also a lot of zombie media is appealing because of the way in which it disempowers. Project Zomboid being a good example, though that is a game. I personally like apocalypse and zombie stories because they flip the "natural" order on its head and ask "what would it be like if we were prey and had to run and hide our entire life?". A lot of apocalyptic fiction is about a trauma that forever changes humans' relationship with the environment and eachother. Feel like there is a lot of good material there for zombie film makers. Tikitime2 (talk) 11:54, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
If I recall correctly, "Night of the Living Dead", the original zombie movie (or at least the one that codified zombies), chose zombies because the director wanted to basically do his version of I Am Legend, but wanted to focus on the human survivors so he made the vampire-things mindless but still very much dedicated to devouring the humans. Thus, zombies as we know them now. CorruptUser 16:54, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
The problem with the "zombie movie" is similar to the horror genre overall: for every zombie movie that actually thinks about things like psychology and ends up being better for it, there are tons of garbage zombie movies that use the zombie as a generic Oooh, Scary Other!! device (very common in pre-Romero zombie films in the B drive-in era) and/or wallow in gore and other dumb base shit (very common post-Romero) and/or use tired tropes or plot devices. Most of these garbage films are indeed pure escapism or exploitation, which "at their worst" are unintentionally funny and will wind up on the places that relish taking apart bad movies. (If you're lucky, you'll find a zombie film director that recognizes the most tired tropes and plays them for laughs.) Such is a pity; there is definitely places you can take a zombie movie beyond demonstrating gross-out special effects skills, as mentioned. BobJohnson (talk) 17:22, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
Isn't that EVERY movie genre? Even the ones that do try to be political end up undermining their own message, especially when they try to force-feed you their message. For example, Elysium, which was about the plight of illegal immigrants, but in the effort to make the migrants more sympathetic the movie lost the entire point it was trying to make.
That's why I love The Expanse; yes, it's very much political in that it's a retelling of the Cold War, in space, but from the perspective of the 3rd World, but the show never tries to force you that message, and never pretends that the 3rd Worlders are just a bunch of primitive innocents. What makes it work so well is that it never forces you to ask the question that you inevitably ask; why is this universe so shitty for the Belters/3rd Worlders, who do all the dangerous but essential mining jobs that the Americans/Earth and the Soviets/Mars use for their own projects? Then you start asking, wait, isn't that essentially the same situation in places like the DR Congo; why are THEY so impovershed when they are the ones mining all the bauxite and cobalt needed for our fancy iPhones and knick-knacks? The later seasons even let you understand just why so many 3rd worlders would support someone like Marcos/Osama, a perspective we definitely should see more of if we ever want to prevent the next Osama. CorruptUser 18:51, 25 July 2023 (UTC)
I hadn't seen 'First Blood' since I was a kid, I watched it last night and it does a couple thematic things. The town of Hope, which is a little explicit but carefully never referred to outside of road signs that you see when traveling in the US, puts him out when he is hungry. It has police that won't abide his presence, because Hope doesn't want a beat down veteran. It puts the society police in a spotlight, then it turns the people chasing John Rambo in the position which is implied Rambo chased down people himself. It gets really interesting, with Rambo protected as the protagonist sending a message. 40 year old movie spoiler alert, Rambo sobs at the end because he can't figure out why he is still fighting. (talk) 03:05, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Zombie media in general does have a lot that can be explored, and I think it inspired the short lived 'NPC' angry right wing nutso meme. Zombies were people, and that's tough if it's interesting. They are also fun in a way that only being stupid gets you bit. It's a trope at this point, so there are only two interesting ways to play it. Psychological horror of trying to survive, or goofball being so struck by fear or disbelief that you fall victim. 'One Cut of the Dead' is really fun, if you haven't seen it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:4DD4:9C69:25D3:C984 (talk) 03:21, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Zombie stories are like any other story; if held in skilled hands, can make something great, or at least decent. What's more, it can be the narrative device to tell a survival/collapse story. And while they are not 'realism' [duh] quite a few makers do try at least to make the rest of the thing hold together logically/realistically, so the 'suspension of disbelief' bit is only that zombies exist. Though I think my point of 'escapism' is that there's a type of person who does dream about all the shit they'd pull if they were no longer bound to the daily grind, laws, bills etc. Naturally, not all zombie media scratch this itch, but sometimes it can. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:28, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
"Why is it that a lot of zombie fiction doesn't show the psychological aspects of a zombie apocalypse?" It probably doesn't fit well with fast fast-action fantasy films, or the producers think viewers would find boring.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:25, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Economics has most of the answer here. Films cost a bomb to make; even a generic setting/small B-list cast/no CGI 'mid budget' can be $20m. TV series? Similar quality standards as before would come out a about $250k per episode, so we're looking at $5.5m for a standard 22-episode series. Video games? This is much more secretive stats, but it seems a 'no-frills' AA (mid-tier) game would be about $5m. Zombie films often call on large amounts of CGI, SF, on-location filming etc which bumps up these figures.
It doesn't take a genius to work out when such numbers are involved, the corp suits are in control and they are very conservative. This calls for a) sticking with previously known formula [ie remakes, prequels/sequels, reboots, spin-offs and 'reimaginings'] and b) doing their best to avoid anything 'nichy' lest it makes possible punters run away. Psychological stories may make some people bored, it might make them uncomfortable or even worse, make them feel stupid. None of these things cannot be allowed, when so much money is at stake. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:02, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
Actually, now I consider it some more, I think the most simple reason that Zombie movies don't reflect these real-world issues is because they are escapist fantasies and not documentaries.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:54, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
I was gonna leave it alone but come on man. If you like documentaries, that's fine. All art is escapist the moment it Strikes you. You don't watch a documentary and come out with no new perspective.
A lot of modern psychological horror is tough to follow because it plays loose with the monster rules and puts characters in Kafkaesque positions without sealing that position. So protagonists are isolated just because nobody believes they are turning into a bug, and then it's impossible to end the movie on terms that satisfy the reality, because there has to still be a monster but is the monster real or part of the metamorphosis, and it's really hard to answer that, so a lot of these movies just don't, which is really bad storytelling. It was all a dream, or was it? Two movies that are just as good as any zombie survivor story are 'Alien' by Ridley Scott and 'The Thing' by John Capenter. 'Dave Made a Maze' I think is a really good one, it's not scary though, but it is definitely Kafkaesque and has a unique style.

Mostly, I'm trying to agree. I like any genre of art if it's done well. I stay away from non fiction documentaries and bio pics aand imagined retellings of the past for that reason. 2600:8804:500:FE90:F475:D40E:1569:DBA8 (talk) 04:20, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

'this belongs in the Smithsonian' and the problem with GOP staffers.[edit]

As you all know from my previous post about this, the Ron DeSantis campaign has a problem, a problem with it's own staffers, and as I was reading this articlehttps://www.semafor.com/article/07/31/2023/desantis-meme-factory it suddenly came to me why the GOP staffers are like this. The Republican party is utterly repulsive to young people for various reasons, and so the only young people willing to work for the GOP are people called HITLERLOLI88 and HEINRICHCUNNY88. Which will probably turn out to be a massive problem for the GOP a few decades down the line. A somebody. (talk) 00:10, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

It's not already a massive problem right now? Carthage (talk) 00:11, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
Well Person, the GOP still has a bit of the old guard left, Ron DeSantis iirc has one of the guys who managed the ronald reagan 1984 campaign on his team. But it will be a massive problem when all those guys either die or retire. A somebody. (talk) 00:12, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
I don't see Reagan advisers being able to do much. It was easier to prop up an actor who was nasty (Reagan) than a non-actor who is nasty (DeSantis). Reagan was able to sugarcoat a lot of what he was offering. Nothing that DeSantis has been offering is sugarcoated. Bongolian (talk) 03:14, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
I am the old guard of the GOP staffers has definitely been pushed to the sidelines but they definitely still do exist. But I agree. A somebody. (talk) 03:16, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

Chadian-Libyan conflict[edit]

I want to continue work on Draft:Chad but I can't find any good sources on the Chadian-Libyan conflict, which I feel is an important part of their history to cover. Can anyone give me any pointers? Plutocow (talk) 02:16, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

You can look through the references on the WP page Chadian–Libyan War.Wikipedia Books older than a few years from major publishers can often be borrowed for online viewing at the Internet Archive (e.g.:[10]) Bongolian (talk) 03:10, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

Afrocentrists stealing native American history[edit]

They claim that aztecs were blacks, they claim Omelcs were west Africans. They like to claim that African Americans are native Americans and they call native Americans "Five dollar indians". ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 02:25, 26 July 2023 (UTC)

This isn't news. Carthage (talk) 02:36, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
No one has a monopoly on batshit crazy historical claims. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:21, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
I think it's possible the first Americans were black in skin tone but yet not African. Skin color can evolve very quickly (relative to how long humanity's been around for). I think many of the ancestors for modern white Europeans were much darker in skin tone. Chillpilled (talk) 20:35, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Yes, this article gives some basic detail about why northern Europeans especially ended up with lighter skin. And as an aside, this article also explains why northern Europeans have far more diversity in hair and eye color than anywhere on earth. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:47, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
Just as crazy as Black Hebrew Israelites and British Israelites. Crazy pseudohistorical nationalist ideology is not limited to one group I suppose. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:34, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
I would like to point out as someone who has been around these groups and analyzing them for sometime now is that they like to use the terms “black” or “African” and “dark skinned” interchangeably as if they always mean the same thing in context. They’re are many dark skinned groups across the globe(past and present) that are not what the vast majority would consider “black” or “African” in mainstream Western society. It is used as a sorta bait-and-switch especially in regards to the Recent African Origin hypothesis or the Ancient Egyptian race controversy.These people and groups also have a tendency to become quite fascist so painting ethnic groups with a large racialism brush is very helpful in bolstering into their ideologies.SensaurC-137 (talk) 00:45, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
You think they're insane. Wait till you hear Serbian nationalist pseudohistorians, who claim that Serbs descended from Tribals or Indians and are oldest nation in the world. They also claim that Serbs are God's nation. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 17:35, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Are Black people the original Jews, or the original natives? CorruptUser 13:00, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
The Nuwaubians did all this shit decades ago. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 13:15, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
There are African people who have sincerely converted to Judaism but are not batshit crazy. There are also the Beta Israel people aka Ethiopian Jews who have a little bit of ancestry from the Levant Region. --Trans Fem Agenda 17:46, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
There was a pseudohistory publisher called Transaction PublishersWikipedia that put out a fair number of African pseudohistory books. It as run by Ivan Van Sertima.Wikipedia Bongolian (talk) 19:02, 27 July 2023 (UTC)
Meh, my issue with the Beta Israel is that while they converted years back, they made up this myth about how King David had sex with the Queen of Sheba/Saba and therefore they predate everyone else. CorruptUser 16:15, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm convinced the Ethiopian Jews may really be descended from the tribe of Dan. Some of them claim this is where they came from (although they are probably made up of a number of converts as well) and a number of other facts make it seem plausible. There was scattered testimony of meetings with the Ethiopian Jews centuries ago, although they were initially thought to be Karaites (considered somewhat as heretics back then), they were practicing something close to Second Temple Judaism. In fact they had no idea the Second Temple had been destroyed until their rediscovery in modern times, though they knew the First Temple had been destroyed. It could still just be a myth of course that they're descended from the tribe of Dan but it's certainly less far-fetched than a lot of theories about descent from the ancient Israelites that I've seen. (Keep in mind I'm talking about descent as a community-group or culture. I'm not saying the original tribe of Dan was black as modern Ethiopian Jews are and I'm not talking about genetics.) Chillpilled (talk) 18:01, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
There's some evidence that the Lemba people of South Africa may have some Jewish heritage. This includes genetic evidence of Middle Eastern ancestry, oral traditions of descent from Jewish or Arabian (I say Arabian because there's a difference between Arabs and Arabians, even if it's a subtle one. The early Arabs are now known to have originated from northern Arabia and the southern Levant, and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula only started identifying as Arab shortly before or coinciding with the advent of Islam. The Arabic language would only penetrate further south into the Arabian peninsula a few centuries after, and to this day there remain non-Arabic (but still Semitic) languages spoken in the south of the Arabian peninsula) tribes, and religious practices that are similar to and possibly derived from Abrahamism. Carthage (talk) 22:07, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

RFK jr Continuing the PROUD Kennedy family tradition of being nazi-aligned.[edit]

https://twitter.com/RobertKennedyJr/status/1684909385376575488 A somebody. (talk) 22:00, 28 July 2023 (UTC)

Joseph Kennedy was a Nazi apologist, but John F. Kennedy served in the US armed forces during the war. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:23, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
George Lincoln Rockwell served in the Battle of the Atlantic and look how he turned out! And besides Kennedy didn't fight the nazis, he fought the Japanese! — Unsigned, by: A somebody. / talk / contribs
Just to be clear, are you claiming John F Kennedy was Nazi-aligned? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:48, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't think the tweet remotely suggests that he supports nazism. Unless you consider the "88" a dog whistle. It is stupid tweet, but not everything that is stupid is related to nazism. 23:18, 28 July 2023 (UTC)
He said 14 and than he said 88. It's pretty obvious that he is dog whistling for some ungodly reason. A somebody. (talk) 01:13, 29 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't think JFK was a Nazi, but he allowed Nazis to work for the US government, so... Carthage (talk) 00:00, 29 July 2023 (UTC)
JFK did write extensively about hitler and claimed that he was "fascinated" by the nazis and their ideology, but people generally claim it's from a historical and topical perspective. Rational Dude (talk) 00:13, 29 July 2023 (UTC)

Everyone was fascinated with the Nazis. Hundreds of movies, thousands of books, endless journalism, contributed to the interest in the Nazi phenomena post WWII. So-the-fuck what? Ever hear of Operation Paper Clip? Between 1945-1959, 1600 Nazi-era German scientists and engineers were brought to the US and into government employment. Much of the tech we use depends upon satellites those guys helped make possible. UncleKrampus (talk) 22:03, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

I already mentioned Operation Paperclip. Carthage (talk) 22:05, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
Nice shot kid. Don't get cocky...UncleKrampus (talk) 22:09, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
Regardless, as I told A Somebody politics isn't a zero-sum game. You can recognize the positive contributions made by a group or person or whatever and still also recognize the bad aspects. Yeah, we hired Nazi scientists and they did good work. That doesn't mean they shouldn't've been prosecuted to begin with. Carthage (talk) 22:14, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
Sure. I don't want to argue Kantian idealism versus English empiricism. I am a consequentialist, of course. But It's not about that.UncleKrampus (talk) 22:55, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

Some more twitter news: Elon musk threatens an anti-hate group, an X is installed and than removed from the top of the twitter building, and elon musk continues to be an idiot.[edit]

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-66365968 https://triblive.com/news/wire-stories/brightly-flashing-x-sign-removed-from-the-former-twitters-san-francisco-headquarters/ A somebody. (talk) 22:19, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

I don’t know how this alleged genius thought installing a giant strobe light on his building without authorization would fly. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:27, 31 July 2023 (UTC)
Is there some reason that what should be your first paragraph is a gigantic header? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:28, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
I would be more surprised if Elon hadn’t ignored regulations and permits. It’s not only something he has done before, it’s at the core of the Silicon Valley/tech startup business strategy and ethos: Rules don’t apply to us, because we’re innovative entrepreneurs and real world laws don’t apply online. The odd thing is how long and the extent to which these types have gotten away with this kind of behaviour. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:55, 2 August 2023 (UTC)

Is Belarus aka Russian puppet state, trying to start a war they can't win?[edit]


From DW News:

Belarus is currently attempting incursions into Polish airspace. I bet that the Belarusian military would be met with overwhelming force. Does the Belarusian military want to be greeted with high powered machine guns or missiles? It is not like Russia would bail out Lukashanko. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:59, 2 August 2023 (UTC)

I've been wondering whether this is part of a attempt to scare nato into pressuring ukraine to negotiate,— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
I don't know. Maybe? --Trans Fem Agenda 00:35, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Why would anyone think Belarus can intimidate Poland?: Poland's population is four times larger, their defense spending is is over 14 billion while Belarus' is under one billion, and their economy (GDP) is roughly 10 times that of Belarus. Why do you think Putin is warning Poland not to attack Belarus?Ariel31459 (talk) 04:38, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Belarus wouldn't deliberately threaten Poland. Now, while Lukashanko owes Putin big-time [Russian soliders basically kept him in power after an rigged election couple of years back] he is trying to be 'accommodating' to Putin's wants without outrightly going to war with Ukraine [mainly on the basis a) he doesn't trust his army and b) it's more decrepit than the Russian one]. War with NATO would be even stupider a move. Also, despite what Moscow says, Russia does not want a war with NATO either. Therefore, we can assume here that those pair of helicopters were simply an accident, or perhaps a bit of a 'provocation' to test Polish/NATO responses. I mean, Russian bombers have done this with the UK on/off since the 50s; ie fly right up to national airspace and see how quick the response is. If you play chicken like that, now and then you are gonna slip up. Even more common are variants of 'mistakes'/'accidents'; less so in the era of satnavs but we don't know if these craft had them. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:04, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
But, the Belarus' political scene has been a car crash for decades. What Putin may have done in the past in regard to the UK border, is not really a measure of future behaviour here. Remember, there were people saying that the Russian troops on the Ukrainian border were not a sign of Russian invasion. If memory serves, commentators on this very site. Cardinal Chang (talk) 09:34, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
But a) Lukashanko said no to the Russian invasion last year [a lower-risk war than with NATO for him] and b) there has been near-nil signs of Belarussian mobilisation. The general 'mood music' coming out of Minsk right now is not of a power planning to go to war. The music coming out of Russia last Jan was much stronger but many discounted the music mainly on the assumption 'it cannot happen here'. [I at least was less wrong; I thought Putin was planning to do a 'March on the Rhineland' move with Donesk/Lutansk republics, not a general invasion]. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:50, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
And yet, last month, Putin deployed Nuclear weapons into Belarus. While I would love this to be simply a case of dick waving on an international scale, I'd be reluctant to simply say it's all posturing. Cardinal Chang (talk) 10:43, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
I don’t particularly worry about the nuclear weapons deployment in Belarus. They are no more (or less!) destructive or a potential threat when based in Belarus than if they were in Russia. I see it mainly as a show of support for Lukashenko, basically an attempt at giving his regime a “nuclear guarantee” of survival. However, I consider the “exile” of Wagner to Belarus to provide the Lukashenko regime far more security against its own populace than any symbolic nuclear missiles.
And I totally agree with KarmaPolice: Militarily, Belarus is a joke. Its army is awful (it never even had the hype surrounding the Russian army pre Ukraine) and, as a whole, the army’s support of Lukashenko is not even particularly solid (another reason for moving the Wagner thugs to Belarus).
While there is a lot of caveats and hedges, a poll conducted in Belarus showed that an overwhelming majority of respondents expected the army not to fight if deployed to Ukraine (either by outright deserting, by pretending and making a lot of noise without actually fighting, or by just refusing orders). If sent on an obvious suicide mission against Poland, the results would probably skew more towards desertion or even outright rebellion. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:36, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
The deployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus was to protect the Belarussian people [and their father, Lukashanko] from the depravations and aggressiveness of NATO, who caused the Ukranian special operation after they installed a puppet Nazi government and then gave them huge amounts of weaponry to attack Mother Russia with. Who knows; if we'd done this a decade ago for Kiev, we might have been able to save them too? Alas, Putin was too generous, deciding to give the corrupted evil Westerners too many chances to show they weren't as malign and greedy as some folks were warning...
But what is the actual truth of the matter? I'm no expert, but this is my reading.
Russia is deploying some SRBMs to Belarus which will be fully Russian-operated. This is equivalent to the American Perishings which were in W. Germany in the 70s/80s - Bonn had zero say on when/where they'd be used. Russia has promised to help Belarus by providing ALBM missiles to be fitted to her own SU-25 bombers. Now, Belarus does have some ~65 of these Soviet-era planes in inventory, but who knows how operational they actually are. What's more, the reported ALBM is very limited in stock and requires quite a lot of modding to fit them to the plane. Not only will this take quite some time to do [ie years], but is most likely to be operated under 'dual key'; ie Russia would need to release the missiles to Belarussian possession and then Belarus can authorise launch, if so desired. The equivalent to this would be the American B61 bombs which are held in various USAF sites in Europe, earmarked for possible ally use.
In short; when you weigh up this 'threat' on it's simple merits, it is found very wanting. This isn't the 1960s; Russia does not need the 'extra range' in which Belarussian positioning would give them. The Belarussian Air Force is so minimal in which dual-key facilities/capabilities aren't that much of a bonus. Conclusion; all this is simply for domestic consumption and perhaps scare a few of the more gullible end of Westerners who think Putin's going to start plastering regions with nukes so we'd better throw Kyiv under the bus right now. Lukashanko himself has tried to portray to foreign journalists etc that he has command of said arsenal, but deflected actual details [which is obvious why, as I've laid out]. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:58, 4 August 2023 (UTC)

Two years since I came out as trans[edit]

To me, the month I came out of the closet is special. Other people might not think so but it is a personal celebration. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:54, 1 August 2023 (UTC)

Best wishes to you on your anniversary! It's important to be authentic to yourself. Bongolian (talk) 23:16, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
It is a lovely day. Also, Trump was indicted in Washington today. Cheers!Ariel31459 (talk) 23:47, 1 August 2023 (UTC)
I read about the Trump indictment. Awesome. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:19, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
rationalzombie, gaul dernitt, I'm happy for you. Two years, feels like the other day. Very proud of you, hope you forgive me for backing out of a voice acting promise. I recorded a lot and consistently hated myself, it wasn't your project that was the problem.2600:8804:500:FE90:F475:D40E:1569:DBA8 (talk) 04:45, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
@Rationalzombie94 I also celebrate certain anniversaries that are special to me (and usually not to anybody else). None of which represent events anywhere near as life changing as the one you're marking now. Have a great month! Spud (talk) 08:50, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
Remembering a loved one is a powerful event Spud. It is also very important.Ariel31459 (talk) 12:30, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 Thanks. I do also mark some personal anniversaries that aren't as significant or poignant as my sister's birthday. Spud (talk) 10:56, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
My gut feeling is, and gut feelings enter the world by being pulled out the ass, transitioning is akin to a "second puberty", where you get a flood of hormones you've never had before. But "first puberty" took years to fully master the changes, and even then most of us haven't mastered it, so I can't imagine that "second puberty" results in full control overnight.
So, congrats on being a teenager again. Do you have any experiences to share? How, for example, have you noticed the world around you changes its treatment of you as you go from "bloke" to "chick"? CorruptUser 15:43, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
Because of my psych meds and genes for some medical conditions, I could never do HRT. --Trans Fem Agenda 18:15, 2 August 2023 (UTC)
All questions are optional, only answer what you are comfortable with. Or don't answer, just because; you don't owe me nothing. So, living/presenting as female then? Assuming you pass as female, does the world treat you differently, etc? Do you try to date men or women (or both or intersex, etc, etc), and how do they treat you differently than before? If you're dating men, how do they treat you differently than they would, say, (I'm not sure if I'm using the proper terms) treat a femboy or a twink? CorruptUser 19:35, 2 August 2023 (UTC)

I wouldn't feel comfortable answering. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:00, 2 August 2023 (UTC)

If you've explored the HRT route and conclusively established you can't do HRT now, it's always worth keeping an eye on it - the science moves all the time [so don't say 'never']. Though personally if I wanted to go down this path, I wouldn't take the word of one MD, esp if they weren't a specialist.
One thing which I will ask is how far have you outed yourself to this point? After all, everyone's experiences are different and their tactics tailored to their lives etc. Since the pandemic I've basically been following a policy of ambiguity in public, and I'm now starting to find passing [as cis] annoying. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:50, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
If you find your appearance creates the impression, in others, that you are a cis person, what about that is annoying you? It is sometimes said that people care too much about what other people think. If you google the question "Should I care what other people think?," you will find over two billion references (2.25 b.). Mostly, the answer is "No!" Ariel31459 (talk) 22:11, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
Heh... good question. It annoys me because I'm doing gender cakeism and I damn well know it. I want to go out into the wider world as me [or more correctly, more like the RealMe] but I don't want the the extra attention/effort this would result in - fielding the same inane questions, to be drawn attention to at work during a 'inclusivity' training session or end up as some form as local 'NB ambassador'. In this case, it's mainly laziness than actual fear per se, though the ultimate effect is about the same.
Though I don't want to hijack the OP's anniversary. I mainly asked the question because I was curious what one we were celebrating. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:07, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

Internet Archive copyright ruling may be imminent[edit]


I doubt this would impact the Wayback Machine, but I can't rule out the possibility... mainly that if this impacts them especially badly financially, it could hit their other projects than the lending library (which would be an awful loss on its own, nevermind how bad losing the Wayback Machine would be). Nevertheless it's not a sure thing that this case will go badly for them. I just think it will (they already lost it once after all, this is just on appeal). There is an outside chance they could win though, because they're framing themselves as just being a library. They only loan a limited amount of books, as many as they have physical copies of. I'm not sure if they actually fulfill the functions of a regular library at their headquarters or not. It's possible they do. Something they messed up on, was lifting the limitations on lending during 2020 (the idea was to stand in for IRL libraries during the pandemic). That pissed off the book companies, who launched this suit. Originally it was against them lending scanned books in an unlimited way, now they're challenging the IA's original lending library model altogether.

Right now, I'm finding copies elsewhere online of the books I had favorited on the Internet Archive. They had certain books that couldn't be found elsewhere (their scanning machines, and collection of older books especially were huge assets for free access, without having to go through an IRL interlibrary loan). Chillpilled (talk) 19:24, 3 August 2023 (UTC)

Copyright law really needs to be reformed. It's dominated too much by corporate interests and not the genuine interests of the creators. Carthage (talk) 19:31, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
The house of mouse is probably the worse offender. Every single time Mickey Mouse is due to enter the public domain, they manage to extend copyright even further. Which is ironic when you consider a large part of their movie content is from the public domain originally. Cardinal Chang (talk) 21:11, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Nintendo has become notorious for issuing takedowns against fan works and archives of games they no longer sell. Chillpilled (talk) 21:31, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Pretty sure fan works are covered under fair use... Carthage (talk) 21:34, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Even if it was, good luck. Most creators will surrender immediately at the threat of legal action, rather than hunker down and go to legal war with such a big company. Chillpilled (talk) 21:43, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Unless it's an explicit parody, I think fan fiction may or may not be covered under US "fair use" laws, depending on how much transformative useWikipedia is in the work. That means legally it's subject to a pretty subjective test, which would require Lawyering Up, something most fanfic writers probably won't do.
A lot of creative types "look the other way" at fan fiction type copyright violations to some degree. Because fan fiction comes from, well, fans, it can be goodwill for the fan community. As a general rule, it seems to me that the more the IP is associated with "bean counters" (eg large corporations) and not the creatives themselves, the more likely they will act like a Nintendo or Disney and be hardasses, fans be damned. There are exceptions, of course... but still. BobJohnson (talk) 22:59, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Nintendo mainly goes after people who create fan games, I believe. Not illustrations or written stories. They used to go after YouTube lets-players, but mostly stopped. Chillpilled (talk) 23:28, 3 August 2023 (UTC)
Nintendo had a big issue with unsanctioned Super Smash Brothers tournaments because they didn't want to be associated with competitive gameplay. The only honest reason I can interpret that with is a real dedication to game design, and recognizing the game is unbalanced without addressing it. Best case scenario, they want every player to play every character and not be encouraged to slot down to 2 and kick everyone's ass with a cracked Roy. But if you own the game...
Here's the turn in my take. Nothing besides absolute corporate launches ever got big without word of mouth and really dedicated fans. And in those late fans are collectors and people who come across something and say 'I had better buy that.' I really liked what I saw from the graphic novel Sweet Tooth, so I bought all the volumes, read it till I decided I got it, and gave it all away to a friend who was also interested. half a decade later, somebody made a terrible live action adaptation, but that's fine. I have given away a lot of super nintendo and n64 cartridges, I never wrote it off as charitable donations on my taxes. It's entirely different to say 'paid in exposure' before something is made, but owning a library and sharing it just doesn't seem like a problem. I purchased the new Bill and Ted, I didn't charge anyone to watch it. Blockbuster when I was a kid purchased the old Bill and Teds. My mom spent money to rent them for me. I just absolutely don't understand the legal complaint of when it's okay to sell or lease and how zero dollars can actually be the problem. 2600:8804:500:FE90:D93:8FE5:93C1:D02B (talk) 02:21, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
There's a relatively simple answer to fan fic: you insert a disclaimer claiming fair use as parody, with a caveat that if a copyright claim is received it will be interpreted as a challenge to the claim that it is parody and rather than taking it down it will be edited so that a better job is done making fun of the copyright holder. They generally leave you alone. 2607:FB91:29:9173:FC4B:DF08:A1B7:187E (talk) 02:45, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
parody law was done really well in 'Nathan for You' with Dumb Starbucks but probably with the help of better lawyers than I could afford. 2600:8804:500:FE90:D93:8FE5:93C1:D02B (talk) 05:18, 4 August 2023 (UTC)

Back to the property library, you can't transfer ownership of a car without 'selling' it, you need a bill of sale. You can't sell a car for 0 dollars?2600:8804:500:FE90:D93:8FE5:93C1:D02B (talk) 05:26, 4 August 2023 (UTC)

No, but you can sell it for $0.01. There are also legal methods to 'donate' items or jiggle around with the rights to make them less restrictive. And even if American law has 'fair use', it will cost you a lot of lawyer-time to prove this for your parody/fanfiction etc, which means 95% of the time they'll end up caving due to fears of massive legal bills.
Anyway, onto the main point. Like many of these things, there is already a solution to this issue. One, the USA needs to adopt the Public Lending Right so authors etc still get residuals from lending. And two, the form of CDL [controlled digital lending] needs to be nailed down which makes it very difficult to circumvent [such as timed .pdf self-destruction] and then spread about as a de facto standard. In this case the IA would need to find some $ to help pay the per-loan residuals [as well as the long-term running of this], which makes me wonder whether ultimately this project is better suited to a better-muscled org. 'The Gates digital lending library', anyone? KarmaPolice (talk) 09:50, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
I assume that's a joke, but I do not like that for the same reason I do actually like Project Gutenberg and the free proliferation of abandonware. If everything comes down to a system where money is gained off every transaction, even if it requires .01 cent, in the end everything is transactional in a theoretical economic cash money system in which dipshit actors such as myself might just hand something over without a second thought to monetary value. It requires that .01 transaction. I'm now asking, what if that transaction was with .00 cents, but still treated as a sale? The economic ideal that everything increases in value by ownership thus creating a weird sinkhole in economic growth as something unexpected, Related to currency is nutso bonkers to be confused by. The idea that collecting more than you are giving requires an unlimited supply. Just sometimes things have value that doesn't tie to a purely transactional dollar amount. Economy brain is always baffled by that.2600:8804:500:FE90:D93:8FE5:93C1:D02B (talk) 03:09, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
If it’s supposed to be the Gates as in Bill, then forget about it. This is the guy who pressured Oxford University to restrict access to their COVID vaccine in the middle of a pandemic in order to avoid any precedent that might weaken IP, even temporarily during force majeure, and that’s just the most egregious example of Gates using his “charity” to bully other actors into restrictive IP procedures.
However, I agree that some form of Public Lending Right might be one partial solution, as long as it sets fees at a level that is realistic for libraries (incl. The Internet Archive) to pay. Currently, publishers are trying to use the transition to E-books to squeeze both the buying and lending public into either shelling out even more money, accept even more restrictions (e.g. on resale), or both. The major publishers are basically acting as a cartel and their behaviour is a textbook (hardiharhar) example of oligopoly at work.
Another, far larger problem with copyright is the ridiculous duration that now applies in most of the first world (with the rest of the world being bullied to follow suit) and the problem of automatic copyright, which is what creates the hassle of orphaned works and similar issues in the first place.
I would like to see a return of the shortened overall duration of the past, and if not the outright ditching of automatic copyright, then at least the requirement to actively apply for an extension after an initial automatic copyright term of a few years. The ever increasing duration and restrictions due to copyright is a prime example of a move towards economies dominated by rentier capitalism and the wholly unproductive aspects that this entails. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:47, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
PLR and an online global library doesn't actually threaten the principle of copyright - as I point out, it is a simple extension of what already happens in places like the UK. So in this case, I wouldn't be overly worried for taking Gates' green to do it [that is any more than any 0.1%'er]. I won't argue that copyrights don't need a huge overhaul, but that's a discussion for another day. Yes, the big publishers are working as a cartel [in fact, all publishers of creative works] but to some extent you can appreciate why; they're trying to find a new business model which works from the old-school physical unit shifting. My point was that instead of trying to fight the cartel all the way down the line [a battle which the likes of IA will almost certainly lose, due to vested interests] to try to cut a deal where the public gains free access to tons of eBooks while the publishers/creatives get some per-checkout residual payments. This will if nothing else allow 'divide and rule' between the publishers and the creatives - for the latter both a) need money to live off but b) like the idea their older works continuing to be accessable. Something that the standard 'stuff should be frwee!' crap the nameless person above is spouting doesn't address. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:30, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
I was suggesting that if some form of PLR gets Gates’ support, it’s probably not going to be in a guise that actually secures reasonable public access for reasonable fees, and if PLR system with these laudable characteristics is put in place, Gates probably isn’t going to foot any bills to support it.
As for the strategy of IA pursuing a PLR model, that may be all well and good if such a model, embodying the aforementioned reasonable fees and access is likely to be on the table in the current US political system. And the latter caveat is why I can see an argument for going down the current route.
Furthermore, while I also agree that driving a wedge between the publishers and authors is a great idea, that presupposes that the fees in a US PLR scheme will be designed to mainly benefit authors, rather than publishers, which again is a prospect I’m somewhat sceptical of. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:02, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
I don't think this is a job for the IA; to operate a PLR would need a lot more revenue than it currently does [pennies per loan over millions of books is still a large number]. It also has history [not all of it positive] with copyright holders which might damage any realistic prospect of my 'digital lending library'. What's more, IA has exemptions [cracking DRMs etc] because it is an archive, not a distributor - this project might threaten these. I suggested Gates because he has literally spoken about a) the importance of libraries and b) of the use of digital tech within [and more importantly, I remembered this]. The PLR is [I think] the biggest issue; while simply copy/pasting the Canadian or British PLR is clearly an option, bringing it in would immediately put every American lending library liable to pay said royalties [which would need to be sorted somehow]. Getting the MAGA-party to agree to this, I accept is the biggest roadblock.
Anyway, PLRs do benefit authors more than publishers because normally, authors hold the copyright to their works, publishers have only the publishing rights which normally lapse/expire way before the copyright does. This means that in America alone, the vast majority of works produced between say, 1955 to 2010 is a) still under copyright but b) have zero current publishing/distribution rights, thus being 'unvavilible to the public'. Thus, a lending library lending out such books would be paying the PLRs to the authors [or their partners or offspring], not the publishers. The exception being, naturally situations where the copyright is explicitly granted to another; for example authors of Star Trek novelisations will find the rights remain with Paramount while ghosts working on Goosebumps/Fear Street will not get either copyright or even credit for their work. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:11, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

A college waging war against public education[edit]

Draft:Hillsdale College

This is my next RW project. Hillsdale College, a fundie school, is promoting the destruction of public education and far right extremism. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:07, 5 August 2023 (UTC)

Good pick, they are mentioned in a few articles already, and probably should be referenced in a few others (eg Ron DeSantis wanting to turn Florida's New College into "the Hillsdale of the South"). BobJohnson (talk) 22:14, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
Unlike a lot of right wing Christian colleges, Hillsdale openly teaches the evil doctrine of evolution. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:17, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
And at least they put their money where their mouth is and refuse to accept any federal funding. If you're going to be openly ideological, at least spend your own money. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:28, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
Article is now main space. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:10, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

Hillsdale College - I think that I did good. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:11, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

Potential revolution in Gaza Strip?[edit]


It seems that the people in Hamas controlled Gaza Strip are fed up with Hamas rule. The Israeli blockade certainly played a role in the current protests but the priorities of the government in Gaza Strip is to act like they are fighting the occupation when they have been playing the same song and dance since 2007: Rocket attacks that have changed nothing.

Now the big question: Will Israel use these protests to their advantage? --Trans Fem Agenda 15:44, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

Judging from the current Israeli govt, my guess is 'no'. In fact, the best thing I hope for here is that they don't make things worse. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:10, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

Why do I get this nagging sensation upon hearing about the potential existential-apocalyptic threat of AI that I am being exposed to some kind of grift?[edit]

I feel like in the prospect of applying machine-learning and various algorithms classed as "narrow" forms of AI, there are genuine worries to be had. Potential risks of unemployment, these systems unintentionally replicating human biases and perpetuating inequality, producing fatal errors in life saving contexts when applied to healthcare, etc. I don't want to minimize those seemingly plausible risks with the technology as it currently exists. The thing that always struck me as extremely difficult to take seriously, is all these public figures that insist this technology is going to develop into some dooms-day scenario, all because some unfathomable superintelligence will be establishedas the product of AGI. It always struck me as panicked speculation that does not have much, if anything, in terms of evidential support. I noticed that some of public figures most vocal about these dooms-day scenarios are also people who stand to benefit from increased public and private funding to organizations related to AI. It is absurd to hypothesize that this may actually be the primary motivation? To get the public and private investors to invest in your projects or organizations in particular? All by scaring them into it? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:23, 5 August 2023 (UTC)

From what I can tell, a lot of these doomsday type supporters tend to be technological advocates more than technology implementation experts. Lots are in the CEO class, including some CEO classes that are actually abusing the technology now. Elon Musk may have spoken of AI doomsday, for instance, but his Twitter still has all the algorithmic bullshit in certain timelines (as well as plenty of bot abuse, fake news, etc.), and he's still overselling his Tesla cruise control "autopilot". If he's really that concerned, he should stop fucking doing these things.
Generally speaking, the main concern I would have with AI at the moment is that certain CEO class people buy into AI technology that really doesn't work (at least, like they think it works), and dumb things result - more Murphy's Law than 1984, in other words. Though it's very easy to think of a situation where over-automation (without sufficient human overrides) actually killed people (beyond Tesla's autopilot, there's the obvious case of the Boeing 737 MAXWikipedia) so in some cases this concern is more than just the annoyances of glitchy tech. But ever since the Y2K days (and probably even further back) there seems to have been a tendency for certain people to over-exaggerate and over-fearmonger over computers with apocalyptic fury. Call it a bit of a panic, I suppose. People seem to forget that computers have issues on a daily basis, they are coded or modeled by humans to begin with (even AI), and that as much as computers are integrated into daily life, there are ways around things without them. The only way AI doomsday can happen IMHO is if the whole of society becomes extremely dependent on computing and AI, and the developers failed to implement overrides, 737 Max style. Generally, I would think that society corrects itself before this happens (already I think there's a significant cooling on "big social media" on account of all the algorithmic bullshit there.) BobJohnson (talk) 23:15, 5 August 2023 (UTC)
I think there is a lot of truth to what you are saying. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:09, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
When AI can operate a Hoyer lift, change someone's diapers, and prepare food, liquids, medication, then I'll worry. Until then, there's exactly zero chance AI will make my profession of helping disabled adults (though I'm a job coach I've helped group homes before, I was one of the very few willing to work with COVID+ people in April-May 2020) obsolete in any way. That makes it easy to brush off the blowhards who scream about how AI will totally KILL US ALL!!11!1! The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:24, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
I guess there is always the danger of an AI killing people by accident, like in a driverless car. There are any number of theoretical examples of an AI causing harm, typically due to flaws in their programs, or by tasking an AI to accomplish some action beyond its capability. Noam Chomsky made the point that superintelligence is a concept that may not make any sense. We can build devices that accomplish tasks, but almost never in the manner a human would.
The first automobile could travel about as fast as a horse, and power was calculated in terms of horsepower; but in no way did autos operate like horses. The flight of birds inspired humans to attempt replication of the power of flight; but airplanes operate nothing like birds in flight. Can we make a machine that can think? Yes, we already are machines that think. But it is very unlikely that we can make a machine that thinks like humans do. Intelligence is measured in the ability to accomplish tasks. Being angry, resentful, hostile, or dangerous, are animal-like tendencies one would not expect to see in a machine any more than one would expect to see an airplane that flapped its wings in order to gain altitude.
Now, as far as the grift is concerned, I think there is a very real case to be made that the "AI taking over" meme is powerful because humans tend to be careless and pusillanimous, and because it appears to be a rational possibility that science will fail the human race. We have seen plenty of science denialism. Never mind that humans are aware of the dangers of mishandling explosives, unstable structures, or diplomatic relations with Russia and China. "These clowns will give hazardous jobs to automatons and consequently kill us all." Media loves stories like that.
There are academic departments in higher education that will produce scholars to investigate the problem, real or otherwise. A grant is a grant, and colleges don't refuse money to pay guys to sit around and theorize. Usually that is a good thing. The irrational fear that seems to persist, despite the absence of grounds to suppose it even being possible, is the one that models the AI as an evil genius. The terrors of new technology have from time to time evoked the name of Frankenstein with as little justification as is required by any common social panic. Ariel31459 (talk) 01:44, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
See ChatGPT#Regulations and lobbying for a main example we have on RW of how tech leaders who publicly claim AI needs to be regulated like nukes to avoid doom, less visibly lobby to weaken regulations in order to maximize their AI business. This applies to megacorps and their CEOs who do their "our work is so powerful it may doom us all, invest in us now!" routine, but otherwise "AI Doomer" intellectuals may be more sincere in their beliefs at least sometimes. There's many who have, in my view, too narrow and oversimplified views of the nature of intelligence and consciousness, who become true believers nowadays because what they see happening fits their old mental models. Douglas Hofstadter, otherwise reasonable, is an example of that. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 03:49, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
Some regulation will probably be necessary/put into place to cover obvious possible problems arising (which will generate other problems and issues 'as is the norm for such legislation') etc etc, but AI's influence will be less than the advocates and doomsayers predict (and probably somewhat different to what everybody expects), and after a while it will be absorbed into 'the activities of society as a whole', changing the range of jobs and other opportunities available (much as technology available to the masses since eg the typewriter has always done).
(Dad's Army 'We're doomed' reference.) Anna Livia (talk) 10:07, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
I'd expect regulation to be half-assed, shaped by big corporations who are generally under-regulated at the cost of society at large. It's not that there is a need for very strong AI regulation specifically, but rather more generally of big business (I have little hope for this). Tech megacorps are going wild in many ways, with surveillance capitalism, doing what they want with personal data and being slapped on the wrist when laws are broken, now polluting the information landscape worldwide, and abusing the works of the world in their AI training. Given the way the hype and all works, I'd also expect further bubble growth followed by a big and rude crash.
Another little thing, about education, cheating, and plagiarism. Turns out AI can't reliably detect AI cheating, since when the statistical mimicry is good enough, can't make it reliable at all. It gets worse as generative AI gets better. I think it's a lost cause, dealing with such cheating and plagiarism. Thus, something else is needed -- a rude awakening to just how badly people and institutions have for very long tested people for knowledge and understanding, and understood such matters, and maybe a revolution in educational and examination standards following a long journey and much research, and maybe in the meantime some wailing and gnashing of teeth. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 01:23, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
AI as an apocalyptic existential threat is more about instrumental convergence and paperclip maximizers than economic disruption from taking over jobs. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 02:19, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
Yes, such are the doomsday scenarios, and those are very wild sci-fi dreams in relation to what exists now. Maybe AGI will be invented at some point, maybe not, but realistically it has nothing to do with the current boom in chatbot and image-making etc. technology. It would be some new and yet unknown paradigm. Something other than stochastic systems that perform "autocomplete on steroids" with zero agency and without learning from experience. That's why focus shifts away to the things that are more plausible, like the economy and job market changing (in yet unclear ways). And unethical megacorps driving developments are somewhat like real here-and-now paperclip maximizers, by analogy and in contrast to their meager technology, and could (in a less total way) get to humanity that way long before an AI ever does (like big tobacco and big oil already did). --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 02:46, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
- I'm not worried so much regarding 'AIs taking jobs' because if current birthrates are anything to go by, the advanced world is going to have decades of rather tight labour markets. They may in fact be the keystone of the 'intensive growth' that we'll need for the next few decades; getting per-head of economic output higher to compensate for the relative dearth of working humans.
- As BobJ ably points out, the biggest hypers of AI are 'the CEO class' who dream of a world where they've replaced everybody except, naturally themselves. The CEOs who don't really get tech dream of billions of bonuses to themseves ['let's downsize everyone!'], not realising that if every big corp did this, the economy would implode due to nil consumer demand. The CEOs who do get the tech are to extent 'on the grift' because they normally run AI 'solution companies' who rely on the former's ignorance to buy sub-optimal AI products. Naturally, they don't have a real incentive to pop those bubbles. But as they then point out, this isn't new either - every new field of tech has the 'grifters, dreamers and charlatans' at the start, and a lot of that ends in tears. That's capitalism, baby.
- Lastly, BobJ gets close, but just misses the point; the general risk of AI is that if we allow humans to be 'taken out of the loop' re decision-making. We've already had issues with this before, for example the stock market 'flash crashes' caused by algorithmic trading leading to all the big players doing the same move at the same time, because they're using the same algorithms. There's a 'less severe' but higher-probability outcome where the elite class tries to use AIs etc to reduce us stiffs into a grinding 'neo-feudalism' and debt bondage or the formation of a totalitarian panopticon - but those are more a 'human problem' rather than an 'AI problem'. The lowest risk but highest probability problems would be humans following AI orders without thinking; like the situation we had in the early 00s where HGVs kept on being sent [and getting stuck] on roads/bridges which were incapable of supporting them that the satnav told them to [but again, more an human problem].
- Ariel also makes a good point; in that much media coverage is shit. I've seen many a journalist covering topics they don't really know much about, and they're pressed to produce sensationalist copy - after all, it's that which sells. Much of the mainstream media is also dumbed down to hell; articles with the reading age of a 10 year-old and reports squished into perhaps 90 seconds. There's a significant % of the population who seems to actively resist actual thinking; I've got a Karen who bitches if my explanation on any topic takes more than two sentences. Ironically, AI-produced content is about as shit; for it mainly simply scrapes the top rankings off Google. Fiction is perhaps worse; sensationalism turned up to eleven to make the story to shift product.
- KarmaPolice (talk) 08:36, 8 August 2023 (UTC)

On Lies[edit]

I've been thinking recently. Lying is generally considered a pretty bad thing. As is distortion of history? But what if we distorted history for a positive goal? I.e. lets say there was a disenfranchised impoverished ethnic minority group. And lets say we told them that they were once a greatly successful race and invented all kinds of things they didn't actually invent. This is not an analogy to black people or any actual group, but a fantasy scenario. Or it could be a gender, nationality, orientation, disability group, or anything else. If we could dominate the culture/media and make this the dominant narrative, and anyone who disagrees publicly (even if right) gets shut down, would you be in favor of doing so? What about lying about the actions of historic figures? Like saying the Nazis were anti-vegan, therefore Veganism is good. Let's assume you agree that veganism is ethically correct. And let's say this became the dominant narrative and the majority of "normies" just bought into it, anyone arguing that Hitler was a vegetarian was abused and told that was "debunked pseudohistory" etc. And it was enforced as the dominant narrative. Would this be a good or bad thing, why or why not? Sorry fi this seems like a troll but it's an actual thought experiment that I have had. It's partially inspired by me seeing good-intentioned people making false assertions about science, history, etc. As a semi-autist who cares a lot about science and history I like to try to "push back" on anything I know to be incorrect, but wonder if this could be a harmful (to others) impulse if the false information/distortions/etc are for a "good reason", such as decreasing some form of bigotry and or empowering a marginalized group. This shouldnt be construed to say that "leftists" or "sjws" are the only perpetrators of lies and distortion of history. I frequently respond to politically-motivated distortions/lies by right wingers as well. But I'm wondering if its justified to have a "must spread the truth" as if the truth is inherently good, or if this is an irrational impulse. 2603:9001:300:81A:BD40:5F0E:A603:69A0 (talk) 13:04, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

Maybe you could come up with some thought experiment involving greater benefits for the people who believe in falsified history, or for humanity at large, but it seems far-fetched outside of that. I don't find your scenarios motivate it, it would take a lot to do so in my view. (This is similar to other ethics where contrived thought experiments can arrive at something being good, when in practically every real case it is bad.) By default truth has an inherent value, as it's key to dealing with what's real while going against it makes it more difficult to deal with reality, which is damaging and disempowering.
I'd also argue that facing a challenge is not in itself bad, and that it's not worth it to bend ethics to minimize challenge for people. (Exceptions may exist.) The real relationship between Hitler and vegetarianism is a very small challenge to vegan ethics, and it's an example of where changing what people believe may make some support a good cause for bad reasons, but what would be more valuable would be a cultural maturation that would allow those people to move past being influenced by such things -- a little challenge. The world is filled with challenges where, if people believed something else they'd act better (e.g. if an X supremacist believed you were X instead of Y, they'd be nicer to you), but the bigger challenge is that of arriving at a cultural maturity where it doesn't matter so much, because people can have sensible ethics and constructive ways anyways. Only taking on that challenge can lead to progress in my view. When people are nice simply because they believe something that makes them view stuff through rose-tinted glasses, the niceness is best viewed as an accident, a matter of external circumstance rather than part of who they are, and that's flaky and not an achievement. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:56, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
(EC) Well, for a start, that Hitler wore shoes is not a good reason for me to give them up; the proposed argument for veganism likewise isn’t very good, since it has the same form. Besides that, there are a number of objections one could raise to this, for instance (i) that it poisons the epistemic environment, and thereby (ii) undermines people’s ability to make autonomous decisions and (iii) develop well-justified beliefs; (iv) that it is anti-egalitarian and paternalistic, since it presupposes that whereas you (the liar) are able to come to have true beliefs justified by sound arguments, others must be deceived into adopting the same views; (v) that it quietly buys into false suppositions, such as that the equal rights of minorities must be grounded in a history of inventiveness, which is absurd. Some of this can be combined into a political critique of your suggestion as being illiberal. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 14:18, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
Everything Serene said are all the most relevant objections here, and I agree with them full heartedly. I wanted to add though that the entire premise strikes me as way too similar to Roger Griffen’s theory of fascism as palingenetic ultranationalism, just being proposed to apply to minority group. As a theory of fascism, and I think we do see this tendency sometimes in certain nationalistic movements involving ethnic minorities. It’s already sort of what a great deal of hotep bullshit is based upon in regards to black people. It’s simply applying the bullshit historical narrative that white supremacists apply to themselves, and adapting it for an minority. Historical revisionism is already a fascist political tactic, and I think the whole “can’t destroy the master’s house with his tools” applies in this context. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:08, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "Semi-autist" so are you or are you not on the autism spectrum then? Otherwise that label is not even wrong. Carthage (talk) 21:14, 6 August 2023 (UTC)

"I don't find your scenarios motivate it, it would take a lot to do so in my view." "We've kind of got to tell a lie. We'll go back into history and there will be black people where, historically, there wouldn't have been, and we won't dwell on that. We'll say, 'To hell with it, this is the imaginary, better version of the world. By believing in it, we'll summon it forth'." 192․168․1․42 (talk) 23:53, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
Dr. Who? Eh, I can't really care that much about fiction. Regardless of how it's good or bad in either way, it's not anywhere near as serious as distorting history in education. I think in a few decades, the trend of squeezing in racial diversity everywhere, even where it wasn't supposed to exist, will be viewed as a cheesy characteristic of the TV/movies/entertainment of these and probably the near-future times. A seasoned critic in the future may go, "See that? So 2020s!" --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 01:43, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
(EC) I think comments like that kind of reflect a sort of whiteness (inb4 I am not even white); just the idea that non-white people exist in stories is taken as “forced diversity” when the majority of people in the actual world are not even white. People just expect that a character being “white” isn’t its own kind of representation, and it’s just taken as default. I think it’s far more like likely that people will find it weird that in American productions despite apprx. 60% of the population not being white, white character make up over 90% of the protagonists in film and television. Even now, redheads are over-represented in film and television compared to their real world occurrence, and they appear vastly more often in stories produced in the west compared to people of colour. “Squeezing racial diversity” into things is not even really a thing that is actually occurring if you take the time to genuinely look at the numbers. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:58, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
The problem is that sometimes the "ooh, we're diverse now!" angle is used as pure gimmick. This is less a commentary on diversity efforts and more of a comment on lousy writing and lazy marketing, which ironically all those alt-right Pepe keyboard warriors that flood movie review sites whenever a movie/show/etc. is "woke" don't realize they are helping by actually bringing unnecessary attention to the movie in doing so. At least Hollywood etc. isn't playing every single race as white actors/actresses like they used to. BobJohnson (talk) 03:22, 7 August 2023 (UTC)
Proportionally, it may be that adding a few such diverse characters in the places where they weren't supposed to be shown (relative to history or relative to some older story turned into a movie) is a cheap way to stand out. With just an actor or two, there's news stories and controversy from culture war people, whereas if lots of actors were used to make a population seem more realistically represented elsewhere, it would be less of a story or meet with less reaction. So I think it's kind of going to seem cheesy in hindsight. In some later decade, diversity may statistically be better, while where it shows up is less contrived and marketing-driven. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 08:42, 7 August 2023 (UTC)

Our Media Section is a Mess[edit]

We have seperate sections on Media Bias, Media, Mainstream Media, Journalism, Fake News, Propaganda and a lot of it is in dire need of consolidation. It not clear why we have so many overlapping small poorly referenced articles but it does seem to indicate that we should look into rehauling that area. I'd suggest pooling Media Bias, Fake News and Propaganda into one article, and keep Media and Journalism as their own standalone articles for now. Tikitime2 (talk) 14:37, 8 August 2023 (UTC)

Usually people only edit their own pet interests. If you see something needing to be done, you're gonna have to do the work yourself. At least, that's what I've observed. Carthage (talk) 16:40, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
Yep! This is partly a plea for others to get involved if they are interested and partly an opportunity for people who disagree with me to have their say before I take a crowbar and big red pen to the aforementioned articles. Tikitime2 (talk) 17:13, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
Fake news is gold, so you might wanna take it to the talk page and get consensus before doing anything to that article. Carthage (talk) 17:14, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
Yes, it would be a good idea to be more cautious about major changes to Fake news. Bongolian (talk) 17:37, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
Fake news isn't necessarily propaganda. It can be purely profit-motivated or even just mischief-motivated. Chillpilled (talk) 20:25, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
The issue with consolidation is that it might make the resulting article too large. If nothing else, when you have monster articles it a) makes it difficult to keep reasonable 'flow' within it re writing and b) can be offputting to some readers. I mean, there's very low costs to having to click on a link. Though personally I think Media Bias / Media / Mainstream Media might work as single article while Fake News / Propaganda another. But in this case, there's nothing stopping you re-doing each of these articles in turn, and when they're all done, start doing some merging. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:16, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
And for the record, I don't just edit my 'pet interests', I also pick bits where I'm fairly sure I am vaguely qualified to write it too. I barely have time to do much page editing/making, let alone having to teach myself new stuff so I can write about them. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:16, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
There doesn't even seem to be a page or category for "media bias". Chillpilled (talk) 21:47, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
Noted. I'll keep Fake News intact and take a look at merging/improving media + mainstream meda first. I personally prefer slightly longer articles. Whenever I click on a Rationalwiki article and see that its got a good bit of meat to it I get very excited. Conversely if I want to learn about something and the Rationalwiki article to be only a few paragraphs long I tend to be a bit disappointed. Hopefully we'll hit a happy medium. Tikitime2 (talk) 22:27, 8 August 2023 (UTC)

So I Google translated the Anti-racist is Anti-white mantra[edit]

Asia Africa, all countries!

Everyone says RAS is a problem. Everyone says the race problem will be solved if third world countries say everyone is white.

Countries like Australia and Belgium have people like Japan and Taiwan, but who knows whether Japan and Taiwan can solve the RAS problem by attracting millions of ordinary people from all over the world to collect "or not? I'm not saying that .

The best solution to the race problem is for all white people to be white, that is. They say he loves all black people.

If it is a RAS problem, do millions of black and white people only have RAS problems?

How long does it take for someone to realize I'm not talking about RAS issues? Am I talking about a practical solution to the ORDER problem?

As long as white people accept us, what can black people not object to?

But when I speak openly about extermination, torture, freedom and discrimination, I say that I am a Nazi who killed sixty million Jews. I believe that. ……………………

He said it was a sign of division. What is the white matter?

I am against racism against black people.

←§ Edward the eight (talk) 20:56, 8 August 2023 (UTC)

I tried, and failed, to make any sense of this. Is it just me? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:32, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
What?? Makes no sense sorry. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:03, 8 August 2023 (UTC)
There's this "telephone game" like thing you can do where you feed a phrase into Google Translate and shuffle it through multiple translations. With enough iterations, it ends up as nonsense.
So I think Edward did this using the mantra on the "anti-racist is a code word for anti-white" RW page.
I actually got a version even more bizarre, using English->Japanese->Russian->Arabic->English (and some massaging since the translation glitched some), as follows:
Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, Elaia for everyone!
Best of all, there is no other.
Did you know? You are problem, proud and “assimilative” of millions of people from Mira’s treasury.
In that all white nations, and only white nations, "installation" of whites,
RACES? Experienced problems?
What do you do?
Comment, comment, comment, comment, comment, comment, note 6 comment, comment.
They say, which is anti-inflammatory.
Antiracist is the jargon for ANTIBEL. BobJohnson (talk) 22:27, 8 August 2023 (UTC)

Russia restricting anonimity and privacy[edit]

[Putin outlaws anonymity. User ID verification for online services. VPN bypass advice a crime]

What the hell is Russian government thinking? Do they want Russia to be a far-right Slavic nationalist bubble?

Also, it's disappointing that many Serbs are Russia simps. Yeah, Slavic Orthodox brotherhood, smh. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 08:23, 9 August 2023 (UTC)

Putin & Co. know exactly what they are doing, they want to silence any possible opposition. IluzasipalStone them! 08:49, 9 August 2023 (UTC)
I suspect that computer programmers will come up with something else to bypass internet censorship. It will probably create a new market for privacy technology. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:05, 9 August 2023 (UTC)
"Do they want Russia to be a far-right Slavic nationalist bubble"? well.... yes, they do.... where have you been the last year?? Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:39, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

Kazakhstan is rejecting the old Russian colonial legacy[edit]


If the Russo-Ukrainian War had any positive benefits, it would be rejecting the legacy of colonialism. Kazakhstan is increasing the amount of literature, TV, theater and what not in their native language instead of Russian. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:02, 9 August 2023 (UTC)

Hmmmm, An article on Kazakhstan international relations that doesn't mention China. Bongolian (talk) 01:33, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

What do you think of this article?[edit]

hero vegans attacked for exposing alt-right countryballs community ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 09:30, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

holy fuck this is another kind of rabbit hole. The OG site is satire, and the HIV stuff is a bunch of right-wing kiddos RPing as the evil lefties. IluzasipalStone them! 10:26, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
and yes, the Big Guy on their discord is called hea[t]ler.IluzasipalStone them! 10:31, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
Are you sure this isn't just a prank? Carthage (talk) 10:35, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
It's a shitpost edgelord jackoff "satire" site, commenting on a shitpost edgelord Discord server which impersonates what they think lefties are like, about some shit Internet phenomenon. It's a waste of time unless you are 13 year old troll, on the Internet way too much, and have alt-right viewpoints up the ying yang. BobJohnson (talk) 13:08, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
Basically a knockoff The Babylon Bee which is really saying something since the Babylon bee is already bad ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 17:42, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
You can actually trace this particular site to a "network" of multiple other past and future troll webshites either doing this same sort of "parody", or actually trying to portray themselves as a straw man uber-leftie for the lulz or something. In particular, if you Google the phone number of the related [11] "Globe Media Holdings" webshite, this brings up a lot of other similar unfunny edgelord webshites. It seems that this is likely a far-right troll "group" of some sort who got a slight amount of net attention in the past as both part of a fake "Boston Antifa" ([12]) and a "Journalist Excellence Worldwide" (of course, "J.E.W.", sigh) [13] This group was led by accounts named "Dustin Levitt" and "Quinn" (pseudonymous so far, though some other webshite claims to have doxxed them, whatever).
So, only sort of related to the Bee. The Bee is more fundie culture and actually tries to be funny (usually failing, but occasionally a funny happens, and it was better in the beginning when it was gently poking fun at fundie culture before it swallowed the Fox News parroting pill). Initial appearances suggest it is more like if the noxious side of 4chan tried to have a funny and failed miserably (unless you are an edgelord 13 year old, or never grew out of that stage). Hell these trolls have a Twitter account Elon "Unban Everyone" Musk hasn't even unbanned yet, that's saying something. While some of their past trolling unfortunately got attention as seen above, apart from one article on the Nashville shooting I think these recent troll efforts are going nowhere, so best to ignore the dweebs for now. BobJohnson (talk) 19:14, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
The countryballs community got mad at healer because they took his trolling seriously. The countryballs community is notably very young often under the age of 14 ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 11:54, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
So it's pointless bullshit I could've gone my whole life without knowing. Thanks. Carthage (talk) 12:46, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

My anti-virus software won't let me open this link. I'd advise against opening it. Ariel31459 (talk) 13:50, 10 August 2023 (UTC)


Can we create a page for fitzinfo? https://fitzinfo.net/

Here is the gist of their beliefs Extremely anti Russian. Believing it is still communist. In fact this is the main point of the blog

Anti Nazi (beleiving they were puppets of Zionism) source: https://fitzinfo.net/soviet-nazism/

Holocaust deniers source: https://fitzinfo.net/holocaustianity/

Sedevacantists (beyond pius XII, all the way back to pius ix) These people are the biggest nuts on the internet — Unsigned, by: Samuel1998 / talk / contribs

Looks like it's run by some guy named Timothy Fitzpatrick, who has a Gab account. If you'd like, you can propose a page at RationalWiki:To do list/Suggestions, though that doesn't guarantee it will ever be made. Chillpilled (talk) 18:23, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

Thanks He blocked me on gab when I confronted him on his loony tunes worldview — Unsigned, by: Samuel1998 / talk / contribs

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. Carthage (talk) 00:35, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

Might this site be a bit too much?[edit]

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

On one hand, it tries to critique. However, is it possible that it is too much and being unkind to people it critiques? Is it possible nobody deserves to be mocked no matter what they do? — Unsigned, by: Thecluelesseditor / talk / contribs

At first I thought you had a point, but then you followed up with "is it possible nobody deserves to be mocked no matter what they do" and now I know you're JAQing off. Carthage (talk) 02:49, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
Hullo? I'm just a new person who was saying something on my mind. What has "jaqing" got to with it (is it even a word)? In any case, this site can be kind of too much when mocking people. Why not be a little nicer? — Unsigned, by: Thecluelesseditor / talk / contribs
JAQ. Yer on a wiki, Harry. Its also generally considered "nice" to sign your comment. And I guess most of the people are here because you are able to mock people that deserve to be mocked. This site has a SPOV, a snarky point of view, so its considered tradition to leave the rational, purely describing point of view (yes, yes, I know) when confronted with the most evil assholes and the most stupid quackers. TBF, you don't have to, and some pages are snark-free. IluzasipalStone them! 09:09, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
Let's answer this properly, people.
As far as I have seen, I have not seen any RW pages which had personal attacks on individuals [with the possible exception of a clutch of CP editors like Conservative]. Yes, there is snark and mockery, but it is regarding the person's views and/or actions. As these are all 'public figures' [even an amateur blogger who turns up to an event now and then counts as this] and has made the choice to be such makes them fair game [in my book] for critique - which can take the form of snark. There is a bit of a grey area when the snark might infer a personal attack; for example commenting that X says Y repeatedly despite any 10 year-old knowing otherwise is inferring that X is stupider than a 10 year-old. But... if both parts of that is true, does it not count as 'fair comment', even if it is hurtful to the person it's about?
That's the problem. Even critiquing something is 'hurtful' to those it critiques, even if you did it in a tone of politeness rendolent of an character in an Regency novel. Should nothing be critiqued lest it hurts someone's feelings? What about contradicting narratives which are plainly, obviously BS? Should we 'hurt' them by standing up and calling that out [perhaps in manner they would lose face], or should we politely mutter something about 'different truths' or do some 'false balance' crap?
Actually, what the world needs is more snark, not less. Part of the reason the Anglosphere is in the shit position it is because we've had a generation of people who have politely rolled over and allowed the cranks, the mouth-frothers and plain loons big platforms without the ability to be laughed/heckled off it. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:25, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
I think my feelings have been hurt by Thecluelesseditor's critique. Bongolian (talk) 17:26, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
I always find these generalised criticisms very frustrating. Could our poster give us an example of specific individual or group that they think we should be kinder to?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:19, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
Eh, my suspicion was it was 85% chance being a rando tone argument [ie, troll] , 10% some 'Why can't we just be nicer to each other?' viewpoint touted by very sheltered centrists and 5% devil's advocate. I treated it as the last one, and used it to sharpen up succinct reply that I can whip out again whenever needed. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:00, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
Or, alternatively: Troll Carthage (talk) 04:03, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
Late night talk show hosts literally do the exact same thing as us. Why pick on us specifically? Is it because you have something against this wiki? MayGodSaveUsAll (talk) 06:50, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
I get that, Carthage; but it always pissed me off as a lurker to see them come into places like this, throw a crappy comment/question at the top and only to be called a troll, their position was wrong because in short 'it is self-evident' and then ignore them. This allows them to appear that we cannot answer them, allowing them to claim victory. Well, I did answer it. I didn't do it for the perhaps troll OP, I did it for the lurkers out there. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:43, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Florida Man[edit]

So, if someone where to create a fun page called "Fun: Florida Man", would that be ok or not really the kind of funpage that fits the site? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 12:34, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

As long as it's 'fun' and not libelous, it should be fine. Missionality doesn't really apply much in funspace. Bongolian (talk) 17:18, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
Is FM something like 'Mondeo Man/Essex Man' and 'the Man on the Clapham omnibus' in the UK? Perhaps a page of such hypothetical persons might be more suitable than individual ones for each. Anna Livia (talk) 10:26, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
People going to google to type in their birthdate followed buy "Florida Man" (you can also use "Texas Man") and see if they got any weird or fucked up results (mostly the latter). For example, let's take todays date "12th August" and I ended up with this: "Drunk Florida man drives lawnmover down mayor road, tells police 'Just take me to jail'". Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 13:22, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I find a lot of "Florida Man" stereotypes to be incredibly classist. Take care not to fall into that trope if you make such an article. Carthage (talk) 13:33, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

A big reason why “Florida man” as a concept exits is because of Florida’s incredibly relaxed privacy laws for people who get arrested or charged with a crime. There is nothing generally special about the rate of crime, or types of crimes within the state itself. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 14:59, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
To the extent there is any, it also has to do with the type of wildlife. New York sewer legends notwithstanding, there are large parts of the country where you're not likely to encounter crimes or crazy encounters involving alligators. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:41, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

'Evolutionary' arguments[edit]

Is it just more or do a lot of people seemingly argue that something is good (or bad) from an "evolutionary" perspective? For example, I was talking to a guy who was saying things like weak, disabled, etc people should be left to die because they failed "evolutionarily". For another example, I am a pro-natalist but I often see people say not having kids is an "evolutionary failure". As far as I'm aware, evolution is not a sentient process. It has no plans or intent. Why should we use a traits ability to reproduce itself as to the optimality of that trait? Do people sometimes confuse reproductive fitness with other fitness, or what's going on here? I'm not commenting as to the morality of it, just why is it an argument? As far as I'm aware, in developed countries the genotypic IQ is now declining. Poorer and less intelligent people have more children - would that mean that they have "won" or are "better", therefore we should strive to promote that? I severely doubt most people who follow the "evolutionary success is good" argument would agree with that logic. So what am I missing, is there a term for this logic? 2603:9001:300:81A:7C7C:B550:DAC0:6D0A (talk) 14:09, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

Not having children may have an evolutionary benefit - even if there are no 'genetic problems'; these people can contribute to the upbringing of other people's children, undertake activities that benefit the society as a whole etc. There is an evolutionary benefit to the species as a whole in having a relatively stable population.
And to what extent does 'declining IQ' actually only reflect 'divergence between current [skills etc] and the [skills etc measured by the IQ text]?
People are influenced by their environment in the number of children they will have - (simplifying somewhat) if 'a large proportion' of dwellings are 2-3 bedrooms and there is a large price jump to (relatively few) houses with 4 (or more) bedrooms there is an external incentive to have fewer children. Anna Livia (talk) 15:06, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
The OP seems to have been in contact with people who have picked up the somewhat nutty ideas of Social Darwinism. The concept has no academic or other support but is popular amongst many on the right.
All my reading indicates that IQ scores are rising and not declining - which makes any conclusions based on such an imagined decline irrelevant. (Even assuming that IQ population scores are meaningful in the first instance)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:12, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
I've heard of "social darwinism" before but I thought that was more a Nazi Germany-inspired ideology about fighting wars against other tribes and so on to see who survives, whoever survives is the "master race" etc. But now looking into social darwinism it seems like its pretty close to the kind of thing I keep running into. I think its also the "nature fallacy" so to speak. I usually push back and point out that evolution isnt sentient, and that reproductive success =/= success by other metrics. It is often spoken of alongside with appeals to "human's true nature", often taking the form of things like "we should do this, because we evolved to, its natural. This other thing is artificial, and we didn't evolve to do this. anyone doing this is going against evolution, therefore is wrong." I don't accept that anything humans do is unnatural to begin with. As to the IQ scores, that is more of a counter-point from me. To show that something having reproductive success doesnt make it a desirable trait. They are rising in nondeveloped countries, falling in developed ones. They are meaningful to innovation on a population level, as well as some other things. But my argument isn't that people with lower IQ genotype shouldn't pass on their genes, my point is that a trait can become prominent without having a "beneficial" outcome. Perhaps they confuse reproductive fitness with "fitness" in some other way? I honestly don't understand into this logic but I run into it all the time. 2603:9001:300:81A:7C7C:B550:DAC0:6D0A (talk) 16:20, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
G.E. MooreWikipedia dedicates a whole chapter to this in his work the Principa Ethica way back in 1903. He specifically targets Herbert Spencer’s particular brand evolutionary ethics that is presented coupled partially with a kind hedonism that Spencer proposes. Moore does in fact call the entire system as being an example of the naturalistic fallacy. Natural selection is simply neutral natural process that exists in the world like gravity. To attach a prescriptive element to the theory is to go beyond what it exists to do as a scientific theory according to Moore. The focus for Moore is treatment of things like “pleasure”, “survivability”, and “fitness” as being synonymous with “good”. He takes that his open question argument undermines any such notion, that no one uses the terms “good” as interchangeable with “pleasurable”, “evolutionarily fit”, or “survivable”. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:34, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
I mean if someone was serious about only allowing the naturally fit to reproduce and survive, as if they existed “in the wild”, then you’d have to be opposed to life saving medical interventions all together. I always found it ironic when I meet someone who frames only allowing the “fit” to survive and breed in this sort of “pre-civilization” conception of who would be classed as “fit” — when the person in question had previous suffered from appendicitis and had to get their appendix removed. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:43, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
The global decline in fertility (and it is global, even in developing countries these days) is, as far as I can tell, related to several factors:
A) Thanks to advances in modern medicine and sanitation, you don't need to have as many kids as you used to. 100 years ago, there was a lot more children did not make it past a few years of age. So more children were needed so at least some could survive into adulthood.
B) In current society, more resources need to be devoted to raising each child. Education has also dramatically advanced, and more resources are used to educate children these days. The more resources needed per child, the less one can have. Also, people put off having children until they are educated or trained, likewise meaning there is less time to have children.
These are not inherently bad things. I don't think one can reasonably make an argument that a larger uneducated populace that is still dealing with otherwise conquered diseases and is not educated is actually better than a smaller, but healthier and a better educated one. At least, history seems to argue heavily against this. So in general I really don't hear these sort of social darwinism / eugenic crank arguments even among those who are more reasonably concerned about the impact of global fertility decline. The exception is with those who have a wee bit (or a lot of) ethnic nationalism, and this lot has never been the sort that seems to be able to think very broadly.BobJohnson (talk) 17:23, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
I don't accept the notion that someone surviving or reproducing, makes them "fit" in the sense most people use it. Clearly it has some relations, as some very medically-troubled people would die without modern medicine. But fitness in evolutionary terms is different from someone being physically fit, obviously. Someone can have a gene that makes them depressed, sad, angry, miserable, stupid, more predisposed to some illness, and violent: but if this increases their ability to pass on their genes, they will have more offspring. Now, perhaps someone with genes that would make them happier, more content, smarter, and more peaceful, simply has less children and gets bred out. Was the first person more "fit"? Yes, evolutionarily, sure. But it's not what most people would think of as "superior". But by using this "appeal to evolution" logic, the first person's genes are "better" and makes them "superior". It's less contradictory when it was rich, white people having the most kids in old England, because then people could say and look "evolution is taking its course! the weak just need to die off!" but that wasnt some fixed "state" of things. It just happened that those people reproduced their genes more in that environment. But I doubt those same people would admit Hispanics are "superior" due to "outbreeding" white people, on the contrary they'd cry its white genocide. Or if it was poor whites, theyd say its "dysgenics" and blame the 'welfare state'. But the point is that all of this is silly because the traits that "natural selection" pass on arent necessarily traits that we as humans want. Most mutations that get passed on are neutral anyway, and plenty are "harmful" from a non-reproductive perspective, but get passed on through drift. And not only drift, as (non-reproductively-speaking) negative traits can be sexually selected for, IIRC some bird species nearly died out because of sexual selection for extravagant and impractical colors. As to the concept of "the wild" being the "natural" state of humans, well as far as I can tell anything humans do is natural. If humans do something, it must be in our nature: otherwise we wouldn't have done that thing. A city is as natural as an anthill. I also reject the notion of some fixed, unchanging human nature thats present in most humans. If I had to ask one question, it would be: why do people treat something "natural" or being "chosen by nature" (not even necessarily true in many instances) as some kind of mark of it being "better"? As if Nature is now an omniscient, omnibenevolent deity? Or at least that we'd be better off following it than "ignoring" it (as if it has a will, and isnt just totally random). And why do they think it is some "fixed" thing? What is favored by nature can and does change all the time. A group of organisms that succeeds competitively now may be defeated in the future, or have to change tactics and strategies and evolve new behavior. 2603:9001:300:81A:7C7C:B550:DAC0:6D0A (talk) 18:10, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

Honestly, the only real argument this could realistically be applied to would be people who are carriers of particular genetic issues which are dehabilitating/fatal, such as cystic fibrosis. Which is why a few groups - such as French-Canadians and Ashkenazi Jews - have long had genetic counseling services. In past centuries, this 'dehabilitating/fatal' list was much, much longer - before 1800, not only would CF children be dead before 'breeding age', but so would most with cleft palates and basic heart defects; both of the latter being quite cost-effectively treatable now in the advanced world. Thus the worries that we might pass on 'bad' genes is a lot lower than in say, Francis Galton's day.

The important thing to remember is that IQ testing is not everything. In fact, it might not be much at all - from what I've generally seen, IQ tests mainly test your ability to do academic-style work. There's lots of situations where a high IQ is not really a huge plus - and such people can have their own demons, poor personalities, problems with substance abuse etc which make them more 'unfit' to survive now. Then there's the little issue of what 'fitness' applies today, rather than yesterday. Some folks quite literally do have 'fat genes' which make them predisposed into becoming girthy [the metabolism being slower etc]. That would have been good in Iron Age Europe because you'd literally 'plump up' for the lean times [and thus more likely to survive winter to breed] but a couple of millennia later, their descendants are fighting hypertension, diabeties and the fact said metabolism is so damn thrifty with every joule that comes into the body.

However, to quip that not having kids is an 'evolutionary failure' shouldn't be take too seriously [well, most of the time]. If it's 'survival of the fittest' [to reproduce], if you fail to reproduce there is something 'unfit' about you, right? The desire for 'legacy' is strong in humans in general, and producing offspring is perhaps the easiest way to do it. We can, however displace this desire into other things; the 'next generation' from other family members, a project which would outlive you, creative works etc.

But ultimately, Social Darwinism [in the OP's form] is a pseudoscientific covering for right-wing selfish shitheads to justify why they are right to be a shithead. They gripe about 'useless mouths' [disabled etc] because they simply hate paying any form of 'taxes' to others. They dabble in racialism to explain why non-white nations have lower SoL etc and why we cannot do anything to assist and shall bitch at 'the poors' being such because 'they're breeding like rabbits' because it justifies why it is right they are personally, wealthy. This is the crux of what I call 'the master ethic'; the view that they are superior to us oiks, and thus, simply 'right' and 'natural' that they're in charge. I mean, didn't you hear; there's a natural order ... Those most deserving will end up with the most ... KarmaPolice (talk) 18:48, 11 August 2023 (UTC)

To OP: A century ago, these would have just been called eugenic arguments. Chillpilled (talk) 21:26, 11 August 2023 (UTC)
What exactly does IQ have to do with poverty, or how does it explain it better than systemic injustices can't? Does IQ play into the intergenerational wealth gap, especially the intergenerational wealth gap between blacks and whites that has everything to do with slavery, Jim Crow, and continued marginalization of black existence? I've seen some really ingenious solutions by poor folk that the rich would never think to do. Also, take a trust fund child and have them do burger flipping for a day without training and see what happens. There's no such thing as "unskilled labor." Carthage (talk) 13:29, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
It explains inequalities in a manner which isn't goddamn Marxist, that's what. Social Darwinism offers a secularised answer to why inqualities exist and what's more, should exist. This was needed because the Christian justifications for a hierarchical society ['god made them high and low and ordered their estate'] was getting increasingly threadbare by the final years of the C19th [ironically, most amongst the upper classes]. What's more, this explanation was also shorn of all the socialistic crap and preachings about charity etc which littered Scripture. Look, I want to keep all my damn money and remain in charge... what's there not to like about 'a scientific theory' which tells me that not only was it natural and right that I have all my money, but the possession of it showed that I was clearly a superior human being which meant I should be in charge?
The truth of the matter - that you've managed to win the 'Game of Life' because you started with $1m than $10k, you got the best-paying job by default and you get to rifle through the Life cards to avoid the bad ones - is unpleasant to accept by people ego-wise. The Trumps of this world like to believe they're there because they're great, and that you should fall in line behind them because of this.
What's more, our society is a capitalist one. Worth is measured in money. If you do a job which doesn't pay a lot of money, ergo it's not that important. And we are conditioned to see 'low wage' to mean 'low skill'. This is partly to brutalise and depress us working stiffs ['you're crap and can be easily replaced so sit down and shut up'] but also to pump up the egos of the high income workers that they're scoring those extra £ beacuse they're so skilled and smart [it's also a powerful wedge issue between working and middle classes, in the plan to get the middle to side with their oppressors than their fellow oppressed]. We might have rejected the particulars of eugenics itself, but we haven't really ditched the idea of Social Darwinism. Just look at the many millions of Americans who hang on the Orange One's every word because they believe him to be a billionaire. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:33, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Please be a Poe[edit]

Please let this be a Poe. If you want to know why, "Ligma" is not a real disease. In a nutshell, "Ligma" sounds like "Lick my", so... Well, you probably get the point. Also, it says, "It is a condition that the creators of the game Fortnite created. It is an extremely rare form of skin cancer caused by overexposure to electromagnetic radiation." Sounds like some weird 5G is harmful conspiracy theory. The Krusty Krab (talk) 17:00, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Somebody had fun trolling a Discord chatroom somewhere. Chillpilled (talk) 16:57, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
Ligma is like so 2018. Why do they bother?[14] Bongolian (talk) 18:02, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
Because people new to the internet are always flowing in, certain memes seem to never die. What's passé to you and I is brand new to some Gen Alpha kid (looking up the boundaries for Gen Alpha, these kids are as old as thirteen already, which is slightly unsettling somehow). Not to mention the international translation of memes, combined with incomplete internet penetration worldwide (Pepe the Frog took on a different life on the Chinese web for instance, and I'm not just talking about Hong Kong). It may surprise some of you to learn that YouTube Poops are still actively being created. Chillpilled (talk) 18:29, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

New article[edit]

I wrote a new article on Jack Idema. Could use some polishing. Carthage (talk) 17:49, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Great job. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 18:25, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
Thank you. Carthage (talk) 18:27, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Russia blows up dam[edit]

So basically, Russia has destroyed the Nova Kakhovka dam, which would effectively wash the city of Kherson off the map. Strategically, the reservoir behind the dam is critical for several reasons, such as the hydropower it generates, the nuclear power plant the water supplies, and most importantly, water supply to Crimea. The destruction of the dam says many things, such as how the brutal the Russians are willing to be to win... but it also says that Russia fears it is losing. Destroying the dam is in many ways a petty way of burning everything before the Ukrainians retake it, but from a defensive standpoint it also makes the river too hazardous to cross if there were to be an invasion. Russia is effectively giving up any chance of taking any territory north of the Dnipro, in exchange for Ukraine being unable to march south until the floodwaters recede. CorruptUser 13:15, 6 June 2023 (UTC)

I guess it makes some sense tactically at this moment, but strategically it's exceptionally dumb. Looks like desperation to me.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:01, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
Like I said, it's what you do when you are expecting to lose. But there's also another message Russia is sending to Europe; we have a nuclear power plant and we aren't afraid to destroy infrastructure...CorruptUser 15:28, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
If it was the Russians [I suspect but don't know for sure] and it was deliberate [wouldn't put it past them, but again don't know for sure] I think it's more out of sheer spite, not desperation. The raping, the pillaging, the abduction-murders, the turning of cities into artillery-blighted piles of rubble, the attempted eradication of 'enemy' culture and society and the throwing of waves of drones and missiles at nothing more targeted than 'Ukranian cities'... tells me of an enemy which does not seem to give a flying fuck about anything approaching 'future value of territory', 'world opinion', 'post-conflict relations' or even 'military efficiency'. It's war, when waged by a mafyia state. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:58, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
Russia controlled the dam and had it rigged for demolition from mid-late 2022 in the wake of their loss of Kherson. They also raised the level of water behind the dam in the days before it blew. There is no possibility that shelling by Ukraine (if it did happen) caused the dam to collapse - artillery is not that powerful and it would take tons of properly placed explosives to blast a hole that wide! So no - there is no "if" at all. It was deliberate. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:26, 6 June 2023 (UTC)
An idea in the "Reporting from Ukraine" video summary for yesterday: Russia may have aimed for a smaller hole in the dam, in order to flood some islands with Ukrainian positions while leaving their own ones intact, but ended up making a bigger hole which over time became even bigger through the force of the water flow, making for a faster flooding than they'd expected, which doomed a lot of Russian soldiers and their equipment downstream, and explains why the Russians downstream weren't prepared to evacuate in time. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 06:57, 7 June 2023 (UTC)

A war crime in my opinion. People in both occupied territories and Ukrainian controlled territories will suffer from lack of clean drinking water. The environmental effects will be disastrous in it's own right. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:40, 6 June 2023 (UTC)

So, Russia-controlled infrastructure has been destroyed, resulting in long-term harm to Russia's strategic interests and a short-term mess in its occupied territory. This occurred as Ukraine was about to launch an offensive. Ukraine has employed tactical flooding of its territory from the start of the war, and struck the dam in question and its roadway last year with rocket artillery, with flooding the river stated to be a "last resort" at the time. And yes, this could constitute a war crime if the destruction of the dam were intentional. There's a lot of narrative here but little analysis. On a thematically-related topic, who do you suppose is responsible for destroying the Nord Stream 2 pipeline? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 12:30, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
Yes, the dam was Russian-controlled when it was destroyed apparently by a by the deliberate placing of explosives. When Ukraine finally expels the invaders they would hardly want this crucial piece of Ukrainian infrastructure to de destroyed. It plays into Russia's short-term interests as it temporally checks Ukraine's advance in that direction.
There is no way to see the destruction of key Ukrainian infrastructure and and the slowing of its counter-offensive as an advantage to Ukraine.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:48, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
Old Ukraine Map
Note, the blowing of the dam now means that it is impossible for Ukranian forces to move from Kherson down south [towards Crimea] or east [to the key city of Melitopol]. This means the Russians have effectively shortened their 'front' to about a third as the nearest 'crossing point' for large Ukranian forces is Zaporizhzhia. Even after the floodwaters drain off, the infrastructure to support operations shall be damaged, perhaps totally.
As the Russians are not planning any offensive right now and the Ukranians may have begun theirs, it is patently obvious this flooding benefits Russia. Thus, Occam's Razor suggests it's fairly cert the Russians did it [the loss of drinking water etc is simply a bonus]. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:10, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
As for Nord Stream, my theory is that Russia did it in a deniable manner so Gazprom didn't have to pay huge amounts in contract-breaking fines for cutting off gas supplies. Europe had already been complaining/noting for months beforehand that the pipeline was having lots more downtime for 'maintenence' than it had never had before [the contracts again, take into account maintenence downtime].
The chances that Ukraine 'did this' is very low, for the simple reason that if they desired to stop Russian gas exports to Europe, they could just turn off the pipelines which run through their own territory. [15]. Going to attack Nord Stream, in a sea Ukraine does not have any real access to and surrounded by NATO members [plus Sweden] who'd notice anyone playing silly buggers? If Ukraine was able to pull that off, why haven't they utterly destroyed that Crimean bridge, eh? KarmaPolice (talk) 14:23, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
I think the two events are very different. With Nord Stream, there's something outside Ukraine that Ukraine would want destroyed to advance long-term interests, the question is if they really could and really did do it. (Russia could very easily have pulled that off, but that's not enough to be completely sure they did it.) I'm not so sure, there's more information coming out and we'll see where things end up at ahead. Sometimes the unlikely does happens.
With the dam, from those links it seems Ukraine considered making smaller damage to it earlier as a possible last-resort countermeasure against Russians, but: 1) They didn't need that now, Russians weren't on the offensive there. 2) They wouldn't want it terribly wrecked as it is now, and the destruction now is going to be very costly in the long term for Ukraine -- something I think Ukraine would have been willing to fight to prevent. 3) This event impedes and postpones Ukrainian counteroffensive efforts in that area.
It seems the damage was large enough that planted explosives are the reasonable explanation (missiles won't make that large a hole), and the area in which the hole was made was reachable by people from the Russian side but not from the Ukrainian side. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
Yet I don't think the Ukrainians would have done in Nord Stream unless they were pretty sure it couldn't be traced back to them; they know they are critically dependent on outside support to continue fighting and thus, need to remain fairly 'clean-handed' so they can keep the previous. What's more, the loss of Nord Stream means little because the Czar does not give a fuck about economic pain for Russians and more importantly the butcher's machine is more likely to run out of men and matériel before it runs out of money. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:46, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, it seems a bit far-fetched -- I'm just saying I don't rule it out, given some newer indications pointing in that direction.
In other news about the dam, a week before the blast Russia authorized the non-investigation of damage to facilities including hydraulic structures. "Until 1 January 2028, technical investigations shall not be carried out into accidents at hazardous production facilities and accidents at hydraulic structures that occurred as a result of military operations, sabotage and acts of terrorism."
@192․168․1․42, do you have any analysis to share? You thought there was too much narrative and too little analysis, yet you didn't share more than pieces of narrative earlier. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:17, 7 June 2023 (UTC)
"apparently by a by the deliberate placing of explosives" How did you reach this conclusion?
"When Ukraine finally expels the invaders they would hardly want this crucial piece of Ukrainian infrastructure to de destroyed." As previously noted, Ukraine has long been destroying its own infrastructure if doing so is believed to hinder Russian operations.
"There is no way to see the destruction of key Ukrainian infrastructure and and the slowing of its counter-offensive as an advantage to Ukraine" As noted above, the flooding hit occupied Russian military positions. Rather than, you know, Ukranian forces as they moved in. It also disrupts logistics in Russian territory including the Crimean water supply, putting the peak chaos at about when Ukraine would be attacking. The long-term effects of that also make it harder for Russia to maintain operations in the region. In any case, destroying a dam like that is a desperate measure of the sort typically enacted when confidence in normal miitary operations is low. How likely does it seem that the Ukranian attack will dislodge the Russian forces there?
"This means the Russians have effectively shortened their 'front' to about a third as the nearest 'crossing point' for large Ukranian forces is Zaporizhzhia." Which also means that the Ukranian offensive (which had been mobilized, vs. the Russian forces which were entrenched) can concentrate on a smaller area (of their choosing, if Ukraine blew the dam), and do so with greater agility than their opponents.
"As for Nord Stream, my theory is that Russia did it in a deniable manner so Gazprom didn't have to pay huge amounts in contract-breaking fines for cutting off gas supplies." Gazprom claims that supply cut was due to sanctions impacting their operational capabilities, and cited a contract clause to that effect. It appears however that this was a tit-for-tat response to the sactions on Russia. Consider that Russia's gas exports were a major aspect of Russia's economic leverage on Europe, and destroying the pipeline mostly eliminated that. Russia or Germany could have shut off the flow any time they wanted, while leaving the option of turning it back on later if desired (Nord Stream 2 was never officially operational due in part to disputes with Germany). So those parties are unlikely to have done it. To a lesser degree, most other European countries now paying more for gas are not particularly likely to have done it. Ukraine, however, would benefit from the direct harm to Russian interests and the loss of Russian leverage over countries that were assisting Ukraine, with this being done covertly to avoid antagonizing those backers. The US had that and also the profits from taking over European gas supply. Let's see what the current media narrative is on that. What do you suppose the narrative about the dam will be in nine months?
"missiles won't make that large a hole" Pressurized flowing water is usually very erosive to structures containing it, so small holes in dams tend to become large holes of their own accord.
"do you have any analysis to share?" I wasn't the one who posted a section heading of "Russia blows up dam". Anyway, matters of fact are things that are or could be observed. Jack and Jill went up the hill, for example. A narrative is a story which relates matters of fact to intention (Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water), values (Jack fell down and broke his crown, and that's a good thing), or other concepts which indicate how people should feel about something (children should be careful when going about routine tasks). Analysis is the process of breaking down something complex into simpler parts which are easier to evaluate, and evaluating them in some relevant way (the path up the hill is poorly maintained and presents a significant risk to travelers).
"You thought there was too much narrative and too little analysis" This is a narrative. What I actually said was, "There's a lot of narrative here but little analysis." See the difference? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 13:36, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
That's at least more to discuss. Yeah, there's plenty of narrative in this thread, but also various pieces of information gathered in it. There was the heading and opening comment (not mine either), but also things of more substance that you didn't focus on replying to earlier. But anyway, from the above...
One big issue, greatly determining the overall plausibility of Russia being behind it in the way widely assumed now, is the strength of the dam structure vs. the force of what broke it. Obviously, both of us are forced to piece something together from some external sources in order to reach a conclusion. (You and I can post disconnected snippets, but if/when we go for any conclusion, we're definitely relying on things from one or more places.) I basically rely in large part on the expert consensus in media that it takes planted explosives to blow through it in the way that happened at first, that those who claim to know their stuff about explosives are speaking the truth about the structure of the dam, that it was built to be sturdy and can withstand outside barrages without anywhere near that size of damage. Also reported is that the flow of water did erode it further, but only after explosives made an initial sizable hole. Then, there's news of a seismological signature from an explosion in the area at the time, which means something pretty strong was used.
On how willing Ukrainians are to blow up their own infrastructure, there's obviously some trade-offs they are considering when they make such decisions in general. We however seem to have rather different ideas on what they're willing to sacrifice for what, how they make such trade-offs. There also seems to be no slam-dunk evidence to point to for either position here [regarding whether or not Ukraine would have been willing to do it]. We also seem to disagree on the basic significance of observations on the effects of the dam destruction. 1) If Ukraine did it, then they also drowned some of their own troops and equipment on islands which were hit before the Russian troops further downstream were. I think that's significant and speaks against it. 2) There were widespread Russian rumors and fears of Ukraine moving across the river in the time before the dam was blown, from what ISW has gathered. That speaks towards Russia possibly making a (rushed?) move. Particularly since Russian confidence has been reported as being low and Ukrainian as being high. 3) Crimean water supply from Ukraine is something Russia had successfully dealt with not having for years before, it was restored with the 2022 invasion. Is there any reason to think Russia couldn't manage it being cut again? --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:46, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
As noted above, the flooding hit occupied Russian military positions. Rather than, you know, Ukranian forces as they moved in. It also disrupts logistics in Russian territory including the Crimean water supply, putting the peak chaos at about when Ukraine would be attacking. The long-term effects of that also make it harder for Russia to maintain operations in the region. In any case, destroying a dam like that is a desperate measure of the sort typically enacted when confidence in normal miitary operations is low. How likely does it seem that the Ukranian attack will dislodge the Russian forces there?
As stated below the quote/above this, I note Putin has shown little to nil regards to Russian losses in men/materiel - qv: Bakhmut offensive. Thus, not giving a fuck if some Russians drown and kit is lost is within the MO of him. What's more, when you're dealing with a country's forces which have done their best to replicate the results of the German offensive in '41/'42 [mass killing, raping, looting etc]. So my belief that Russia is not considering any of the 'long term effects' of the region as they simply don't give a fuck about that.
"This means the Russians have effectively shortened their 'front' to about a third as the nearest 'crossing point' for large Ukranian forces is Zaporizhzhia." Which also means that the Ukranian offensive (which had been mobilized, vs. the Russian forces which were entrenched) can concentrate on a smaller area (of their choosing, if Ukraine blew the dam), and do so with greater agility than their opponents.
You think now that Ukraine now has a lot less options to consider the counter-offensive 'strengthens' their hand? I am not a military strategist, but hell, at least I am not as stupid as you here.
Gazprom claims that supply cut was due to sanctions impacting their operational capabilities, and cited a contract clause to that effect. It appears however that this was a tit-for-tat response to the sactions on Russia. Consider that Russia's gas exports were a major aspect of Russia's economic leverage on Europe, and destroying the pipeline mostly eliminated that. Russia or Germany could have shut off the flow any time they wanted, while leaving the option of turning it back on later if desired (Nord Stream 2 was never officially operational due in part to disputes with Germany). So those parties are unlikely to have done it. To a lesser degree, most other European countries now paying more for gas are not particularly likely to have done it. Ukraine, however, would benefit from the direct harm to Russian interests and the loss of Russian leverage over countries that were assisting Ukraine, with this being done covertly to avoid antagonizing those backers. The US had that and also the profits from taking over European gas supply. Let's see what the current media narrative is on that. What do you suppose the narrative about the dam will be in nine months?
Gazprom is a de facto government entity of a nation which is a mass liar and has long used the gas-taps as a weapon. So I think it's reasonable to not take Gazprom's word on that. I never said your scenario is not impossible, merely that I rate it as less plausable. You are also deliberately not mentioning the tensions in the ~6 months before the explosions, in where Germany and Russia got very sour over how to pay and when - for example, remember when Russia demanded Germany pay for gas in Rb via embargoed Russian banks?.
The suggestion that the Americans 'did it' to capture the Euro gas market is also very far-fetched. For starters, American companies were in no position to ship huge amounts of LNG to Europe anyway and nor did Europe have the infrastructure to accept it [so what profits?]. What's more, the Euro medium-long term reply to 'no Russian hydrocarbons' is to make a dash for renewables and even take second looks for coal and [sometimes] nuclear, not simply re-hook themselves to American gas [in fact, more of our LNG is going to come from the Gulf, what with it being closer to us and all that]. Lastly, that makes the suggestion that the American state is so corrupt that it shall perform sabotage attacks on a third party they're not technically at war with simply so some fuel companies can make more stacks of money. Hey, things are bad, but they're not that bad. And if it got out the USA had been behind it, much of Europe would have been really pissed.
You complain, but there's more analysis here than you'd credit. You see how I did analysis on your positions? I cited evidence [such as past actions by the players] to reasons why I don't think your hypotheticals are that likely. I could really litter this with quotes from various stodgy sources [for example, about the LNG issues] but I didn't, partly because I don't see the point of doing so. Your sole link doesn't actually add much more to the bones; I never said Kyiv didn't do it, merely that when it comes down to it they have less 'capability' to pull it off than Russia and would be more fearful of diplomatic blowback. In fact, your source is nothing more than 'some Ukranian person told a Euro security org about a planned attack on the pipes, who then told the CIA, who then told [amongst others] the Germans'. There's some later coincidentals, but chanelling my inner Angleton I don't think you can put too much weight to them [for example, the tactics to bomb them might have simply been the easiest method, and thus known to several orgs]. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:50, 12 June 2023 (UTC)
"I basically rely in large part on the expert consensus in media" This is foolish. Especially regarding a war. Especially regarding a war involving concerted economic sanctions and propaganda. And beyond that, look what you actually relayed there and what conclusion you're drawing from it. It appears to have been destroyed using explosives. Well sure. Both Ukraine and Russia have access to explosives that could have been delivered in a variety of packages, including bombs. And yet you somehow conclude that this indicates Russian responsibility for blowing the dam.
"There also seems to be no slam-dunk evidence to point to for either position here [regarding whether or not Ukraine would have been willing to do it]." The Ukranian military has previously flooded Ukrainian territory to hinder Russian operations, and several months ago said specifically that flooding the area now in question was an option under consideration (after performing a small artillery strike on the dam itself). If that's not a "slam-dunk" indicating willingness, what do you think would be?
"If Ukraine did it, then they also drowned some of their own troops and equipment on islands which were hit before the Russian troops further downstream were." Those Russian troops were part of the Russian defensive line, and incapacitating them would hinder Russia's performance in the upcoming battle. Were those Ukranian troops staging for the counteroffensive, or were they an emplaced group which would not be involved one way or another? And what are the relative numbers?
"There were widespread Russian rumors and fears of Ukraine moving across the river in the time before the dam was blown" If the goal had been to take out an attacking Ukranian force, the time to blow the dam would have been when those forces were committed in the area to be flooded (and tied down by defenders just outside that area), not when Russian defensive forces were there.
"Particularly since Russian confidence has been reported as being low and Ukrainian as being high." Reported by whom? Why in the world would you trust such reporting? Consider how things have actually played out so far, and which side (given reasonably accurate information) would have been confident regarding the Ukranian counteroffensive.
"Is there any reason to think Russia couldn't manage it being cut again?" No, but it's an expensive hassle that you're proposing Russia inflicted on its own logistics as part of a self-destructive move that appears to have been unlikely to offer meaningful military benefits for a battle that Russian forces were not at risk of losing.
"Thus, not giving a fuck if some Russians drown and kit is lost is within the MO of him." The RationalWiki community doesn't need to be told that Putin is a shady gangster of a political leader who sometimes does bad things, but it apparently does need to be told occasionally that Putin isn't a cartoon villain who's only attacking Ukraine because he's upset that he doesn't have a moustache to twirl. And that Ukranians can do bad things too.
"You think now that Ukraine now has a lot less options to consider the counter-offensive 'strengthens' their hand?" Any military option converts potential options to actuality. This is ideally done in a way that advances one's goals. If you're faced with a large front with entrenched enemies, you might want to focus your attacking force in a single area to break through, but that opens your force to flanking attacks once the defenders can respond to what you actually do. If you can lock down 2/3 of the front for a while, that would let you focus your attacking force with less of a concern of flanking. Especially if the defenders are dealing with lingering problems like flooding.
"So I think it's reasonable to not take Gazprom's word on that." You mean like I just said there?
"in where Germany and Russia got very sour over how to pay and when" Russia still wanted to sell gas, and Germany still wanted to buy it. They were just fighting about the details. Either party could have shut off the pipeline at any time the agreement at hand was unacceptable. Blowing the pipeline means that they would then not be able to come to a future deal if desired, harming both parties' positions while offering no benefit.
"American companies were in no position to ship huge amounts of LNG to Europe" How did you reach this conclusion?
"the American state is so corrupt that it shall perform sabotage attacks on a third party they're not technically at war with simply so some fuel companies can make more stacks of money." That's been American policy since the Boston Tea Party. Seriously. If you're seriously unaware of this sort of thing, you might look up how Hawaii became a state, or some of th things the US has been doing in the Middle East.
"There's some later coincidentals" Like the reported plan details matching the reported investigative findings, including explosive residue found in a rented yacht? Note that I was calling attention to the narrative there. These are still things that lots of parties would be interested in lying about, though at least this story aligns with the actual interests of the countries involved. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 21:52, 17 June 2023 (UTC)

Quick dissection of your Gish Gallop...

P1. Questioning the consensus is good, discounting it automatically is dumb. Ultimately, as we cannot always 'do our own research' on every damn topic, we have to have a modicum of trust - for particular media outlets, and/or persons. As well as applying a level of the Sagan standard and checking it's not all off a single source. But in this particular case, if the majority of experts are in agreement. Unless you genuinely are a military/explosives/dam expert. Which I am going to assume 'no'.

P2. Generic whataboutism.

P3. Rehashing points already refuted re: Russia not giving a fuck about casulties while the Ukrainians generally appear to do so.

P4. Perhaps the Russians were worried that would be too obvious, they were worried the Ukrainians would secure the dam before they could blow it and/or falsely believed the offensive had already started? Classic example of the 'liar's defence' as deployed by Trump and Johnson - 'well, as you cannot literally see inside my head, you cannot say for 100% that I am actually lying'. In trials the prosecution does not need to prove the exact thought processes when they committed the act, only that they did commit it.

P5. Effectively all impartial sources - they are, for example watching Russian military Telegram channels and so on to work this out, interviewing POWs and so on. Reshashing P1.

P6. Russia doesn't really give a fuck about water supplies. And Crimea survived without it between '14 - '22. Lastly, not that hard to simply extend water pipes lower to take water directly from river.

P7. Never said Putin was a cartoon villian. And you seem to not understand the meaning of 'MO'. Rehashing P3.

P8. Basic bullshit which doesn't answer the point I made.

P9. Not even sure where the hell you're going here.

P10. Repeating points already made. Russian responses are not 'uniform' due to their factured nature of leadership as well as Putin doing some deception plans before committing the pipeline destruction to allow folks like you to cite them as evidence they didn't do it. Variant of P3.

P11. Repeating question already answered. But just for you; https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2022/10/18/europes-lack-of-lng-import-capacity-becomes-everyones-problem/ One of many reports. Again, repeat of P3.

P12. You have no evidence that the American 'secret state' is that corrupt and self-serving right now. What's more, it comes from an Administration which is very worried about escalation re: Russia. Does not pass the Sagan standard - though I do not say that situation is impossible.

P13. Repeating question already answered. P3, again.

You complained this topic didn't have enough analysis, well there it is. My main conclusion; in 874 words you have nothing new to say whatsoever. Thus, you can be ignored. While I have no clear evidence to prove it, you are displaying all the hallmarks of sealioning and galloping in an attempt to derail and projecting innacurate false balance regarding this topic. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:22, 18 June 2023 (UTC)

That also covered almost everything I'd like to have responded too (and with the repetition and the double standard regarding trustworthiness of external sources, thanks for saving me the tedium), but one last detail I'll add.
To quote what I wrote some way up about the dam explosion, "the area in which the hole was made [near the center] was reachable by people from the Russian side but not from the Ukrainian side." That's why it's so central whether explosives were planted vs. missiles used, in response to that little question. Russians had destroyed the walkway to the Ukrainian side earlier, so if explosives were planted on the Russian side where the center of the hole in the dam is, that's strong evidence Russians planted them (unless you think Ukrainians not only did it, but did it in a very greatly more difficult way without being caught by the Russian soldiers, just to make it seem like it was Russia that did it). And I think the seismological data is slam-dunk evidence that explosives were planted/used, which seems to make the question of whether experts are right that planted explosives were really needed to cause such damage moot. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 15:51, 20 June 2023 (UTC)
"your Gish Gallop" A Gish Gallop is a form of debate behavior in which (1) rhetorical support for some argument is (2) composed of a large number of parallel points that (3) are individually easy to refute but which (given the parameters of the debate) are collectively difficult to respond to. My response above was multiple independent arguments replying to things that other people in the discussion had said (rather a lot had been said that bore comment, you see). I didn't respond to everything said, and anyone interested in replying can respond to individual topics independently of others. You may note that this is considerably longer and more involved than your statement that it's a reply to, but that's the way these things go. After all, it takes more effort to explain why a quick point is wrong than to make it in the first place. I have a lot to do yet this weekend, but don't worry, some of those are silly enough that replying will be fun. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 18:26, 25 June 2023 (UTC)
"P1. Questioning the consensus is good, discounting it automatically is dumb." Consensus is politics, not science. It is not an epistemically-valid means of determining truth (apart from self-referential truths like a group's opinions on something). Generally, the default should be to NOT trust random statements, whether from an individual or a group. Trust entails (or should) some prior justification that the issuer of the statement is trustworthy, and "being in agreement with the majority position" is not an actual justification.
"Ultimately, as we cannot always 'do our own research' on every damn topic, we have to have a modicum of trust" No, we literally do not. Proper epistemology is hard, but if you decide not to bother, you shouldn't pretend to be properly informed on a given topic. This is an actual Dilbert joke. It shouldn't be news to you that there isn't enough time in a human life to become properly informed about everything, but it's possible to at least make an effort in certain areas of interest.
"As well as applying a level of the Sagan standard and checking it's not all off a single source." The evidence required to support a given proposition depends on the proposition. Existential claims, for example, only require a single source. The question of whether black swans exist can be settled by a single captive black swan.
"P2. Generic whataboutism." Whataboutism is a deflection of some point to a different point that is not relevant to the discussion, generally of the form, "Statement X," "But what about Y?" The question here is whether or not the Ukrainian government would be willing to destroy the dam in the incident that this topic is nominally about. To answer that question, it is entirely appropriate to consider related issues such as past incidents of the current Ukrainian government's forces destroying other Ukrainian infrastructure, particularly tactical uses of flooding to oppose Russian activities, and that the Ukrainian military had previously attacked and damaged the dam, issuing a statement at the time that further damage to the dam to cause flooding was regarded as an option for future consideration.
"P3. Rehashing points already refuted" Claiming that a point has been refuted is not the same thing as refuting it. The expected costs and benefits of a military operation are an important part of planning, and risking one's own forces come with the territory. The point here is that the apparent expected costs and benefits of blowing the dam under the circumstances that it was blown don't seem to favor the Russian military wanting to do it.
"Russia not giving a fuck about casualties while the Ukrainians generally appear to do so." Russian leadership isn't known for being all that concerned about the wellbeing of their soldiers, but the current Ukrainian administration seems quite determined to fight to the last Ukrainian.
"P4. Perhaps the Russians were worried that would be too obvious" That WHAT would be too obvious? A dam being destroyed and flooding a region is pretty obvious. And given the handling of Nordstream, it would be obvious that Western media would blame Russia regardless of who actually blew the dam. What would the benefit to actual Russian interests be of blowing the dam while it was mostly Russian forces in the flood zone vs waiting for an actual Ukrainian attacking force to be there?
"they were worried the Ukrainians would secure the dam before they could blow it" Ukrainian forces don't have teleportation technology. Russian forces would know of an attack with more advance warning than it takes to push a button.
"and/or falsely believed the offensive had already started?" A counterattack on an entrenched position is not a subtle thing. Why would they believe that?
"In trials the prosecution does not need to prove the exact thought processes when they committed the act, only that they did commit it." And as such evidence is lacking, the interest in this line of discussion is investigating whether the Russian forces would have wanted to do what they have been accused of doing. In a criminal investigation, potential suspects are typically checked for means, motive, and opportunity. Russian forces obviously had the means and opportunity to blow the dam, but why would they want to? This lack of apparent motive is a problem for the narrative that Russian forces blew the dam. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 18:52, 5 July 2023 (UTC)
So, on epistemology (this reply focuses on that angle in your text). There you have the most trollish part of your message. You are aware, I think, that in discussing any of these matters of what happens in the world, we're using references to material which contains references, in turn to material with references to... etc., etc., etc. And it's always like that; past some point of knowledge, no one but an expert who specializes in the specific area under consideration, and who knows it all inside and out, avoids relying on references to and trusting outside sources, in place of personally researching absolutely everything. And – here's the ironic part and the reason your message was trollish – you're certainly not an exception. You rely on an awful lot of stuff in your preferred media sources (and/or in non-media sources repeating media sources), while telling others that they can't do the same, because (presumably) you are above that level (while blatantly that is not the case) and shame on those who are not. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:06, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
On means, motive, and opportunity for blowing up the dam – further above you have my and KarmaPolice's arguments for why Russia had all three. You also have my argument for why Ukraine lacked opportunity and Russia almost certainly did the deed, in the form of noting the seismic reading points to planted explosives rather than missiles, and that only Russia had access to plant those explosives (you didn't address this argument). I think that's a heavier argument than speculating about motives. But on motives, you assert that Russia had none, yet outside of Russian state media, even Russian pro-war sources like those consulted by ISW agree that the Russian military was panicking about Ukraine possibly launching attacks in a way that could have motivated it. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 13:04, 6 July 2023 (UTC)
"P5. Effectively all impartial sources" And how do you know that these sources are impartial, or that "effectively all" such sources share that assessment? For example, I would guess that a school newspaper would have nothing to say on the matter.
"they are, for example watching Russian military Telegram channels and so on to work this out, interviewing POWs and so on" So YOU'RE not checking Russian military telegram channels or interviewing POWS. Instead you're relying on reports that someone has, and that such and such information has been derived from them. Which is, at best, hearsay rather than some methodology that would actually give a reliable indication of Russian/Ukrainian confidence. Keeping in mind what has actually happened, why would you suppose that the confidence of each side prior to the counterattack was the opposite of what it should have been?
"P6." It's still an expensive hassle that you're proposing Russia inflicted on its own logistics as part of a self-destructive move that appears to have been unlikely to offer meaningful military benefits for a battle that Russian forces were not at risk of losing. Which brings us to...
"P7. Never said Putin was a cartoon villian." A modus operandi is someone's typical methods of going about some endeavor. Putin has been at the top of Russian politics for coming up on 24 years. He may be evil, but that requires some level of pragmatism. The war in Ukraine has actual goals to accomplish, and while Putin may not care much about Russian casualties in the accomplishing of them, actually accomplishing the goals would be something he cares about. So in response to the destruction of the dam apparently hurting Russian interests to little or no meaningful benefit, do you have any explanation that doesn't reduce to either "Yeah, but Putin ordered it because he's stupid" or "Yeah, but Putin ordered it because he's evil" in the manner of a cartoon villain whose actions are only done to serve the narrative purpose of being an antagonist for the heroes to fight?
"P8. Basic bullshit which doesn't answer the point I made." You said above: "You think now that Ukraine now has a lot less options to consider the counter-offensive 'strengthens' their hand?" as if narrowing down one's options necessarily weakens one's position. Not only is this false, you seem to not understand the relationship between potential and actuality. Potential is maximized before any commitments are made, but actually accomplishing something requires sacrificing potential to achieve it. Suppose you have $5 in your pocket. You could use it to purchase coffee to drink or gas to power your car. If you spend the money, your options are reduced, but you've converted the potential of the money into something more directly useful (and in so doing, no longer have the option of doing other things with it). Similarly, the gas in the tank gives you travel options, but only by expending the gas can you achieve a subset of those options. Any military action (at all) trades potential for actuality. Ukraine sacrificed a lot of options to undertake the counteroffensive at all. Russia sacrificed a lot of options to set up the defenses. Do you have anything to say about the possible rationale I gave there? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 18:13, 11 July 2023 (UTC)
"P9. Not even sure where the hell you're going here." Above, you proposed that Russia damaged the Nordstream pipes to get Gazprom out of contract-breaking fines. I pointed out that Gazprom's contract had a clause which covers supply disruptions due to things outside Gazprom's control (like the sanctions), which would have been referenced in any dispute over supply disruptions. Do you think that a court would want to establish the precedent that companies are responsible for failure to meet supply contract obligations when subject to international sanctions? That would open up a lot of Western companies to Russian claims. But despite that, I pointed out in my response that Gazprom's actions appear to be a tit-for-tat response to those sanctions, despite what was actually said to be the cause of supply disruptions. That is, I was not taking Gazprom at its word, so your following statement of "So I think it's reasonable to not take Gazprom's word on that." is redundant.
"P10. Repeating points already made." But not refuted. You yourself used similar reasoning above where you said "The chances that Ukraine 'did this' is very low, for the simple reason that if they desired to stop Russian gas exports to Europe, they could just turn off the pipelines which run through their own territory." Well, Russia could have just turned off the pipes, and unlike with Ukraine doing that, that wouldn't have been meddling in a trade dispute between other parties that would have gotten everyone involved (including most of the countries providing military and financial aid) angry. Note that the Nordstream 2 pipe was already turned off at the time. Blowing up the pipes prevents Russia and Germany from renegotiating later, while Ukraine was not a party to that. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 20:36, 16 July 2023 (UTC)
"P11. ... One of many reports." You said above that "American companies were in no position to ship huge amounts of LNG to Europe" when in fact they did ship huge amounts of LNG to Europe. The article you linked is about logistical difficulties in transitioning from one supply route to another, and it still says that "fully 70% of U.S. LNG cargoes are now destined to the European market." That is, that huge amounts of LNG were being shipped to Europe right then, which really doesn't answer the question of how you reached the conclusion that they couldn't have been. Note that this question had not been answered previously. The article from four months later that I linked says "U.S. companies provided 50 percent of Europe’s liquefied natural gas supplies in 2022, along with 12 percent of its oil. Russian oil and gas shipments to the continent have shriveled by half, beset by boycotts, sanctions and an EU price cap. Global oil and gas trade routes have been redrawn". So yes, that's been a massive gain for US fossil fuel companies and US hegemony in Europe.
"P12. You have no evidence that the American 'secret state' is that corrupt and self-serving right now." "US goes on military adventures for fossil fuel interests" is power politics 101. Or not even that. I was under the impression that it's general knowledge by now. But anyway, to my mention of a US motivation in the Nordstream situation, you replied that "Hey, things are bad, but they're not that bad." They have in fact been "that bad" over the entire history of the US. The Boston Tea Party is almost an exact parallel to your "perform sabotage attacks on a third party they're not technically at war with simply so some fuel companies can make more stacks of money" comment, just replacing fuel companies with tea smugglers. And it's become part of the US founding myth! But if you want a more recent example, here's Joe Biden relating an incident in which he used a billion dollars in loan guarantees to Ukraine to strongarm the firing of Viktor Shokin (then Ukraine's Prosecutor General, who was investigating a natural gas company for corruption, including large amounts of money sent to Hunter Biden), to be replaced by someone more compliant with the interests of the US administration.
"What's more, it comes from an Administration which is very worried about escalation re: Russia." An administration that wants to prevent escalation would not turn Russia's war with a non-allied country into a proxy war with NATO. And Biden has actually commented on his stance. He's wanted to "up the ante" for at least seven years now, with the stated reasoning that increasing the costs to Russia would deter undesired actions. Well, we can see how that's turned out so far, but Biden seems interested in staying the course.
"P13. Repeating question already answered. P3, again." I was pointing out how the media narrative regarding the party responsible for blowing the Nordstream pipeline has changed in the months since it occurred. And you think that this has been "refuted" because...? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 21:27, 21 July 2023 (UTC)
"Thus, you can be ignored. While I have no clear evidence to prove it, you are displaying all the hallmarks of sealioning" Sealioning is a term used to dismiss questions that one does not to answer, typically with an unstated justification along the lines that knowing the answers to those questions is a prerequisite to being able to meaningfully participate in the current discussion. The current discussion is titled "Russia blows up dam", and refers to a recent event in an ongoing war that no one has taken credit for. Asking "How do you know who did it?" is a reasonable response. You seem to be reaching for excuses to avoid engaging questions like, "why would Russia do this thing which apparently hurts its interests in Ukraine?" To the degree of simultaneously claiming that I'm "displaying all the hallmarks" of an excuse while admitting that you "have no clear evidence to prove it".
"in an attempt to derail and projecting innacurate false balance regarding this topic." What, that neither Russia nor Ukraine are composed of cartoon villains or heroes, and that both are capable of doing bad things for practical reasons? And it's important to remember that there is a rather important imbalance here, that being the burden of proof. I'm not the one who announced that Russia blew up a dam. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 13:04, 26 July 2023 (UTC)
"And it's always like that; past some point of knowledge, no one but an expert who specializes in the specific area under consideration, and who knows it all inside and out, avoids relying on references to and trusting outside sources, in place of personally researching absolutely everything." You don't have to research everything, just what you want to be informed about. For example, I can go outside and see that the sky is blue. And for general knowledge, you keep in mind that what you know is reports of various things rather than certainty of those things.
"You rely on an awful lot of stuff in your preferred media sources..., while telling others that they can't do the same" Identify one situation where I did not hold to the epistemological standards I outlined. Hint: Actually read what I specifically said.
"further above you have my and KarmaPolice's arguments for why Russia had all three." I agree with means and opportunity, but the motives presented reduce to cartoon villainy. Do you have any actual motives to present?
"noting the seismic reading points to planted explosives rather than missiles" That's not what the link said. As I pointed out previously, it speaks of the ability of seismographs to identify chemical explosions (as distinct from other things like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes). Chemical explosives are a class of substance which quickly convert a large amount of stored chemical energy into a large volume of hot gas that explodes to some desired effect. Both demolition charges and missiles contain explosives, and cause explosions, and seismographs are not capable of identifying whose insignia is on the delivery system containing the explosives in question. But at any rate, it's long been known that the optimal location for placing explosives in order to efficiently destroy a dam is generally well below water on the upstream face. Both Russia and Ukraine have divers capable of planting demolition charges there, as well as various other delivery systems capable of the task of destroying a dam. Would you care to articulate your reasoning for why you think that the use of "explosives" indicates Russian responsibility?
"the Russian military was panicking about Ukraine possibly launching attacks" Why would they have been panicking given what has actually happened? Again this comes down to cartoon villainy as a motive. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 18:33, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

You said that going by ISW's reports is merely going by hearsay, since I haven't checked the sources they check (and list) firsthand. Here you have a Russian milblogger source they used, and which I've checked with the help of Google translate (pasting the text), confirming one report of Russian fears that Ukraine (which was then generally putting pressure on Russian forces in the area) would cross the river with troops, shortly before the dam was blown up. Another such Russian milblogger speculated Ukraine might seize the dam and then use it for a bridgehead. In both cases, ISW's summary is accurate (but perhaps you expect me to personally verify every source they use, despite ISW having a good track record).

You assert, but don't back up with anything, that Russian forces would have no reason to fear or even lack confidence back then. You dismiss all ideas and evidence pointing in the direction that, in this case, Russian forces may have done something rashly and ultimately self-defeating, arguing that all such claims must be wrong because Russia is not a cartoon villain. You have apparently decided a priori that Russia can't be more "evil" and "stupid" than you wish it to be, since that would amount to an (in your view) unrealistic cartoon villain image. You keep repeating that "cartoon villain" rhetorical trick, long after it was pointed out that it was only your strawman, and that no one else is arguing that anyone is a cartoon villain. There is, however, a long history of Russia messing up in this war, beginning with very bad planning and failing to capture Ukraine in a few days as the Russian government was initially sure it would.

If you engage with some intellectual honesty, instead of longwinded rhetorical trickery dragged out into many text snippets posted 5 days apart, maybe some further conversation would be worthwhile. Otherwise, you'll just be beating a dead horse. --ApooftGnegiol (talk)20:40, 31 July 2023 (UTC)

"You said that going by ISW's reports is merely going by hearsay, since I haven't checked the sources they check (and list) firsthand." Two separate issues. Hearsay is Person A using a statement by Person B (made previously in some other place - Person B is not available for comment) to support a point of fact in some matter that does not depend on Person B's personal thoughts/knowledge. The question at hand here is the confidence of Russian and Ukrainian military forces regarding the then-upcoming Ukrainian counteroffensive. Something which would actually answer that question is a statistically-representative opinion survey of each group. What has been offered instead is some alleged reports that some people have said that Russian confidence was low and Ukrainian confidence was high. Supposing that the reports are accurate, that just indicates what the people interviewed believe to be the case, and is not necessarily representative of the actual general opinions of either group. Presumably those people didn't conduct a statistically-representative survey first.
Second, the question in this part was "Why in the world would you trust such reporting?" to which the reply was "they are, for example watching Russian military Telegram channels and so on to work this out, interviewing POWs and so on." Maybe they actually did, but since KarmaPolice indicated that he was relying on their reports rather than checking personally, it's a reprise of the Dilbert joke which still leaves the question of why one would trust the reports in the first place.
"Here you have a Russian milblogger source they used" Did you copy the right link? It doesn't say what you say it does.
"Another such Russian milblogger speculated Ukraine might seize the dam and then use it for a bridgehead." ...Right. And what does this armchair tactical analysis have to do with the morale of either military force? Note that this describes how Ukrainian forces would want to secure a river crossing (which is trivially obvious), not the plausibility of them taking any particular river crossing from Russian forces. Note that the Kakhovka Dam's roadway was destroyed on June 2.
"In both cases, ISW's summary is accurate (but perhaps you expect me to personally verify every source they use, despite ISW having a good track record)." ISW's summary hasn't been linked or described in detail here. Do you have any actual claims to make? In any case, the question for any proposition (at all) is why should one believe it. Whatever point is being made, a commensurate rationale ought to be available. "I have faith that the reference is true" generally doesn't cut it. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 19:02, 4 August 2023 (UTC)
"You assert, but don't back up with anything, that Russian forces would have no reason to fear or even lack confidence back then." You've just inverted the burden of proof. It was claimed above that Russian forces were so worried about the upcoming Ukrainian counterattack that they prematurely blew the dam (as an explanation for why the circumstances of the dam destruction seem to hinder Russian interests). This relies on the notion that the Russian forces (or at least those people in charge of deciding to blow the dam) thought that the Russian forces were in a precarious position relative to the upcoming Ukrainian attack. Which is to say, given how things have played out since then, that the Russian forces had an inaccurate understanding of their own forces and capabilities and how they would fare against the Ukrainian forces. Which is an instance of the "Yeah, but Putin ordered it because he's stupid" mentioned above, given that relevant evidence has not been offered to support this position. In contrast, if both sides had an accurate understanding of their positions in early June and how the counterattack would likely play out, the Russians would have expected the counterattack to get bogged down, and the Ukrainians would have wanted any advantage they could get from disrupting the Russian defenses. I'm not saying that this is necessarily the case, merely that it is a plausible situation which undermines the still-unsupported argument that Russian confidence was low and Ukrainian confidence was high. If you want to advance that confidence argument, how do you know that both sides had inaccurate information?
"You keep repeating that "cartoon villain" rhetorical trick, long after it was pointed out that it was only your strawman, and that no one else is arguing that anyone is a cartoon villain." There is plenty of stupidity and evil in the world, but claiming that someone does something because they're stupid/evil is invoking a rationale like ye olde Saturday-morning children's cartoons where the villains do stupid and evil things not because they make mistakes in trying to achieve some goal or because their goal is incompatible with the wellbeing of others, but because the heroes need someone to fight for twenty minutes. Why would a Captain Planet villain build a refrigerator factory, then destroy the completed refrigerators to release the CFC-based refrigerant into the air? Because the cartoon's narrative demands it, not because the villain has actual goals they're trying to achieve. Generally, people do stupid or evil things with the goal of accomplishing something of interest, and that's what's missing in the given rationales for why Russians would blow the dam. "I note Putin has shown little to nil regards to Russian losses in men/materiel" was given above in support of the notion that Putin would want to to inflict an expensive hassle on Russia's own logistics as part of a self-destructive move that appears to have been unlikely to offer meaningful military benefits for a battle that Russian forces were not at risk of losing. As if Putin wants to do stupid/evil things to be stupid/evil rather than to accomplish some goal or other. This relates to my first post in this converation, about discussions relying on narrative rather than analysis. Narratives have protagonists and antagonists, heroes and villains, but wars generally have people who want to accomplish various objectives. So with that in mind, why would Putin (or whatever Russian who would have made the call) want to blow the dam under the circumstances that it was blown?
"failing to capture Ukraine in a few days as the Russian government was initially sure it would" How did you reach this conclusion? That's not among the objectives Putin gave in the speech at the start of the war. Were you aware that Putin gave such a speech, or of its contents? Or are you relying on Western media reports of what Putin wanted?
"instead of longwinded rhetorical trickery dragged out into many text snippets posted 5 days apart" My replies are long because explaining why a quick point is wrong generally takes more detail than making the quick point in the first place. Especially when people misuse terms, lose track of what was actually said, or make basic logic mistakes. And I've lately been posting five days apart because my busy weekend turned into a busy month, and while I would ordinarily just stop posting here for the duration, this is actually an important discussion. Not the dam itself, which doesn't matter much outside the region, but how the difference between narratives and anaysis is important. A public that buys propaganda lets a government get away with misbehavior. Remember when US government officials lied to justify invading Iraq, which cost trillions of dollars and resulted in destabilizing a country for decades and likely hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths? Contrast media portrayals of what they did and what happened to them as a resut with media portrayals of Putin and Russian actions now. Why do you suppose Western media narratives have portrayed a war between heroes and villains in Ukraine as Western countries have sought to escalate the conflict? And would you care to give an example of "rhetorical trickery" and explain what's wrong with it? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 23:46, 6 August 2023 (UTC)
The ISW report briefly mentioning those milbloggers is here; though mentioned it wasn't linked anywhere above, my bad. (Look for [12] and [13] in the article text.)
No, there's no statistically reliable surveys being conducted in the midst of the war as to how the armies feel. There are, however, many reports of events and of sentiments being expressed, going back to the beginning of the war. In other words, there's a lot of weak pieces of evidence being considered together, and the context in which they're used and speculated about and some better-than-nothing guesses made is the history of the war up to that point. Context includes Russian panic during the previous Ukrainian breakthroughs in Kharkiv and Kherson.
Note that I already wrote, earlier, that settling this question of who did it based on motivations alone is too speculative. The sum of evidence on motivation isn't strong enough. In my view, but not your own view. You think you have enough on that to conclude that Russia didn't do it, while I think it points towards Russia being more likely but isn't firm enough in itself to draw a conclusion from. Rather, the other things, means and opportunity, add the crucial weight towards Russia being the conclusion. I'm arguing against your certainty that Russia can be excluded based on motivation. And as for Russia messing up with intelligence work (not the same as lacking the quality of intelligence), there's precedents of that in the war, and makes no sense to exclude the possibility.
Re. Russia expecting victory in days, this goes back to news about Russian state media (translated) prematurely celebrating how "A new world is being born before our eyes. [...] Russia is restoring its unity – the tragedy of 1991, this terrible catastrophe in our history, its unnatural dislocation, has been overcome. [...] Now this problem is gone – Ukraine has returned to Russia.". Written in advance, published 2022 Feb 26, and then quickly removed.
On your "stupid, evil, cartoon villain" point. Where's the claims that Russia does something just because of stupid and evil? Maybe you like that as a subjective summary of mentions of dysfunctional things, but then you'll have to own up to it being your take on a take, rather than the latter.
While this discussion tires me, above's the most important parts. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:47, 9 August 2023 (UTC)
"(Look for [12] and [13] in the article text.)" OK, but do you have an actual point here? A reference is typically given in support of a point, and a given reference can be used properly or improperly depending on what point it has been given in support of. The claims in that article range from obvious to farcical, and critiquing the entire article is beyond the scope of my interests here. If you do have a point that you want to use that article to support, please state it clearly in your own words.
"No, there's no statistically reliable surveys being conducted in the midst of the war as to how the armies feel." Then that information is not available, and you shouldn't pretend that it is. Look at what you wrote there, and imagine you were listening to someone use reasoning like that about any other topic.
"Note that I already wrote, earlier, that settling this question of who did it based on motivations alone is too speculative." And I note that rather than take issue with what CorruptUser said ("Russia blows up dam" as the section title and the following statements), you take issue with my pointing out that the available evidence does not support that conclusion.
"The sum of evidence on motivation isn't strong enough." Strong enough for what? Any given piece of evidence can be used to support some inferences but not others, and it's important to keep in mind what you're actually investigating.
"You think you have enough on that to conclude that Russia didn't do it" "I'm arguing against your certainty that Russia can be excluded based on motivation." Give a quote in which I say something to that effect. It's important to actually read what people say.
"Rather, the other things, means and opportunity, add the crucial weight towards Russia being the conclusion." How did you reach this conclusion given that both the Russian and Ukrainian militaries had both means and opportunity?
"there's precedents of that in the war, and makes no sense to exclude the possibility." Is there precedent for Russian forces mistakenly thinking that they're under overwhelming attack and self-destructing their own installation? And I'm not excluding the possibility. I'm criticizing that as an explanation as it lacks evidence of either happening or being a reasonable scenario in this situation. It could have happened given the current evidence, but like Russel's Teapot, there's no particular reason to expect the proposition to be true (along with indirect evidence that suggests it's unlikely).
"Written in advance, published 2022 Feb 26, and then quickly removed." So, you think that an opinion piece written by one Petr Akopov (described as a propagandist) for a subsidiary of one of Russia's state-controlled media groups, apparently published in error and promptly withdrawn, is a better indication of the Russian government's grand strategy goals than the speech given by the President of Russia about those goals (which is still online at kremlin.ru)? Why in the world would you think that?
"Where's the claims that Russia does something just because of stupid and evil?" See the exchanges at the beginning of this section:
"Destroying the dam is in many ways a petty way of burning everything before the Ukrainians retake it" "Russia is effectively giving up any chance of taking any territory north of the Dnipro" "strategically it's exceptionally dumb" "it's what you do when you are expecting to lose." "I think it's more out of sheer spite, not desperation." "an enemy which does not seem to give a flying fuck about anything approaching 'future value of territory', 'world opinion', 'post-conflict relations' or even 'military efficiency'."
Then, to paraphrase:
"Why would the Russian military flood their own forces rather than Ukranians?" "They wanted a small hole to flood some islands occupied by Ukrainian forces not involved in the upcoming counterattack, and mistakenly made the hole larger than intended. Not for any particular reason there is evidence of, but because the Russian military is generically stupid, and can be expected to be responsible for things that harm Russian interests in the absence of any actual evidence of responsiblity."
"Why would the Russian military flood their own forces rather than Ukranians?" "Because Putin is generically evil, and wants to cause destruction in Ukraine as a goal in itself regardless of harm to Russian interests."
"Why would Russia inflict an expensive hassle on its own logistics as part of a self-destructive move that appears to have been unlikely to offer meaningful military benefits for a battle that Russian forces were not at risk of losing." "Because Russia is generically stupid/evil, and can be expected to do things that harm its interests in the absence of actual evidence of motive or responsibility."
"Why would the Russians at the dam blow it prematurely?" "Because they expected attacking Ukrainians to be able to imperceptibly show up and take over the dam before they'd be able to activate the demolition charges, not because of any evidence indicating that, but because Russians can be expected to be mistaken about anything at any given time, especially when it harms Russian interests." 192․168․1․42 (talk) 07:19, 14 August 2023 (UTC)