RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive442

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This is an archive page, last updated 30 September 2023. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Using modules along with templates, and updating Wikipedia templates[edit]

While there's talk and ideas for further upgrades and changes to the MediaWiki installation here, there's one thing that changed earlier which people have not tried to make use of yet.

Wikipedia templates have sometimes been imported to this wiki, often long ago, and for example ones for citing articles are sometimes but not always used. Those here are old and incomplete for e.g. citing. Importing newer ones from Wikipedia used to not work because they use newer functionality, but since a prior upgrade here it should work. Specifically, pages in the Module namespace are used for much functionality in various newer Wikipedia templates. Look for "Module" here" for more on that. The basic point was/is, longer and convoluted templates that amount to messy scripting are replaced with scripts in a scripting language that are more readable, editable, and run faster.

Anyway, anyone interested in updating our collection of Wikipedia-sourced or derived templates can have a go at it. If updating templates already in use here, it may be best to put the new version of a template page under a different name first, for testing. But modules seem to work properly, though barely used here yet. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 08:11, 5 September 2023 (UTC)


I think I'm gonna take a break of sorts from the wiki. My girlfriend just told me she's sorry for ghosting me. I'm not sure how to react to that. Carthage (talk) 00:29, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

Oooft. That sounds like a thing. Take care Carthage. Tikitime2 (talk) 18:46, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

Questions about improving/creating articles[edit]

I have been on RW for only a few days, but on Wikipedia since 2006, although not very active until 2012. I appreciate the freedom from the "no original research" rule, so creating or improving articles here would be a nice change. Simply rewriting the content that I have added to WP articles would appear to be the obvious path, but I would not be copying but using the same references to do a substantially new article. I have already started with the existing Nudity article here, which I have effectively replaced. I am waiting on the rather slow progress of a GA review of the same topic on WP.

I am a skeptic with a background in the social sciences, and would be interested in doing some writing about moral psychology. I have read a lot of Johnathan Haidt's and George Lakoff's works, as well as Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, and Dawkins.

I would appreciate some feedback before I go further. WriterArtistDC (talk) 05:04, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

Welcome Chillpilled (talk) 06:29, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Ordinarily, we're suspicious of major overhauls of pages by new users. Thanks to your comment on the Nudity talk page, I saw that your changes were likely to be reasonable, and I knew that the previous version was lacking in some ways. WP and RW have different Creative Commons licenses, so there can be a problem with copying text from there to here. Using WP citations and writing new text for RW is fine though. Bongolian (talk) 16:45, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Honestly, we don’t have terribly many active contributors to mainspace, so as long as you’re not a crazy person, your contributions will be valuable here. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:49, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

"Women Bill of Rights" of Nebraska is just transphobia.[edit]

So this Governor, Jim Pillen from my state, Nebraska, has just enacted something called the "Women's Bill of Rights" which is just a piece of transphobic propaganda created for the sole purpose to fear monger about transgender people. It doesn't actually give women's any rights; all it does is simply define what a "woman" is which if you can guess, is a simple reductionist view of what sex is. Apparently it was modelled from Oklahoma legislation. All I can ask, what does have to do with of the issues Nebraska is facing right now?? https://nebraskaexaminer.com/2023/08/30/nebraska-gov-pillen-enacts-second-governor-led-womens-bill-of-rights/ Ψ (talk) 08:15, 31 August 2023 (UTC)

It's pure political theater meant to incite and stir the base up. Carthage (talk) 08:22, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
1 of 2
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Definitely the most important issue facing Nebraska right now. Ψ (talk) 08:35, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
I don't find their definition accurate since sex is at least partly changeable (and perhaps in a century I'd be most comfortable to say it's fully changeable — if/when anyone can become pregnant for instance). I don't find their definition practical, more importantly, in the day-to-day since when people think of whether you're male or female upon seeing you, they aren't measuring which gametes you've got. I think the more liberal, trans-inclusive definition of sex leads to less harm than this one. Chillpilled (talk) 10:39, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
appealing to terfs ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 13:01, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
If there wasn't a significant crowd of Americans that are fearful of anything Other and enjoy watching slanted bullshit being literally yelled at you across the TV screen, Fox News and it's clones would not exist. But it does. This, along with the "got mine" crowd (who are more classist, but that's another story), is the Republican base.
A lot of the "got mine" crowd policies, which is the core of the GOP "think tank" crowd (now with more Fidesz style authoritarian polish!), doesn't actually play well to the fundie / kinda racist crowd that doesn't have the net worth for that "got mine" attitude. And a lot of Other harping, such as on the homosexual, plays quite badly these days to the general public. Heck, some fundie positions like the GOP position on abortion are significantly damaging to the GOP as of late. I personally think that a lot of women aren't going to be fooled by the doublespeak of Mr. Pillen, given the fundie GOP tendency to devote their full resources to prosecuting and restricting abortion and other issues of women reproductive health. (Some clever Democrat ought to respond with a "women's bill of rights" that actually focuses on reproductive health, it will nicely highlight the differences.)
At any rate, transgender is a little more "squeamish" to the general population at this time, so it's what they've got to harp on to get "that side" of the vote. Kind of sad, really. BobJohnson (talk) 13:30, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
@Edward the eight Honestly, I don't think this is terfery. Terfism at least pretends to be feminist. This to me stinks of reactionary conservativism and Christian fundies. Ψ (talk) 14:01, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
Nebraska didn't come up with this. Here's the "Women's Bill of Rights" website. It's apparently created by the Women's Liberation Front (a nominally-TERF group which opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, was funded by Focus on the Family, and has links to the Heritage Foundation) and Independent Women's ForumWikipedia (which grew out of a group supporting Clarence Thomas; it has Kellyanne Conway and Larry Kudlow on its board). It's mainly backed by conservatives, but I do see WDI International (a TERF group) among its supporters alongside the likes of Ted Cruz, Abigail Shrier, Mike Lee, and George Santos (all of its lawmaker backers appear to be Republicans). Chillpilled (talk) 19:43, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
I actually question the 'significant' comment in BobJ's analysis [a person who I generally find most sound in their workings]. A quick Google search tells me that the top rated Fox show ['the Five'] only gets about 1% of the total American adult population and on average scores half that [Newsmax has, at it's best 0.25% reach]. Now, I would be interested to find out how many different people watch Fox News in, say a month; my gut tells me that it's quite possible that some ~75% of their viewership are the same damn people day in/out. Truth be told, Fox News was only possible in the cable era because 1% of the adult population spread over a large country is enough to sustain it, while not really in a smaller nation [ie GB News in the UK]. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:59, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
Video programs are very Balkanized these days, and any show that gets ~3 million viewers (1%) on cable is actually going to be A Big Deal. But, yes, "significant" is very relative here. With 3 million viewers, you're talking about programming these days that is slightly less popular than, say, a typical auto race of NASCAR (and this is a sport that has fallen considerably in viewers from its peak of 20 years ago; these days, the number of viewers actually matches viewer numbers I see for Formula 1 in the UK alone).
Back in "the old days", what I remember was broadcast television always crushed Fox News (or any cable news network) in viewers. I think the gap has narrowed, but even checking recently, [1] it seems like the "big 3" still get -6 million viewers each, and only a few years ago (in an AARP report) [2] the reported total was 26.9 million viewers per night. This is far more than any Fox program even now.
Still, a lot of Fox News' popular programs are just babbling talking heads with very little of the expense of actually doing, y'know, reporting. So the profit margin of those Tucker Carlson/Bill O'Reilly type shows must be, well, quite considerable (assuming the content doesn't drive the advertisers away, that is). It also seems like Pew reported in 2013 that people who watched cable news tended to be "more engaged" [3], which means I feel that your suspicion is pretty spot on. Some advertisers might like this, some might not.
Going forward, Fox News has the same issue that all the cable and TV network news has (along with phenomenon like MAGA): a very geriatric audience. A cornucopia of "conservative" Youtube babbling heads just seems unlikely to replicate the oversized influence Fox News had on American politics. Like MAGA, one wonders what the post-Boomer future for Fox News will be, if it exists at all or hasn't gone through "network decay", that is. (OTOH, "big three" associated streaming platforms, such as Paramount+ (CBS) and Peacock (NBC), seem to be quite popular, which is probably reasonably good news for the long-term future of those news platforms...) BobJohnson (talk) 20:57, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
What's more important now (for traditional news outlets) than TV ratings is precisely social media and Web presence. It's part of why they were able to cut Tucker loose despite his relatively high ratings. His ratings would not have been as impressive decades ago, or so I've heard anyway, I'm too young to have been around pre-Internet. Chillpilled (talk) 21:40, 31 August 2023 (UTC)
@Chillpilled I'm honestly am not surprised that there is a larger organisation behind all of this. I did know that it was Oklahoma who first pushed this so-called "Women's Bill of Rights". Conservatives all follow each other in their state legislatures; John Oilver did a great video on one of them called the ALEC.
Conservatives don't really give a shit about women's rights. They do however, hate transgender people even more so they are pretending to be pro-women's rights right now. Ψ (talk) 02:42, 1 September 2023 (UTC)
the Immediate problem is this is not couched as a resolution to sit smugly as a state opinion, this is an executive order. I knew garbo legislation like this would happen when the state went ruby. It's not just conservatives in Nebraska. The young unaffiliated are anti trans too and they don't even know why, besides we love the kids we send to the military and libertarianism has shifted so crazy right wing that it's a parody. I know about ALEC, could never get anyone to care. The weird thing is, the kids are not registering to vote. They absolutely do not care about " politics" and

are comfortable and have been with local or state level government, and they do not trust the federal. They are comfortable and have been told taxation and wokeness is their enemy. I like them as people, but their politics are 'I dunno' while simultaneously having wild conservative takes and very dug into that trench. I am proud of Omaha for voting purple in the last election, but it will not happen again if anyone activates the youth vote. 2600:8804:500:FE90:D4A7:9D10:5438:46E8 (talk) 05:03, 1 September 2023 (UTC)

Letting old people propose and de facto vote in new leadership: Let's hire the f*kn horse doctor and have him sign executive orders on inventorying children like livestock. 2600:8804:500:FE90:D4A7:9D10:5438:46E8 (talk) 05:12, 1 September 2023 (UTC)
Uh... whatever this "women's bill of rights" says, and it's in decidedly less than readable English, I don't see anything that inventories children like livestock. What it actually says is bad(ly written) enough. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:57, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
Collecting data on any situation and making sure any data, any reports on bullying or self harm is reported based on male or female at birth doesn't strike you as strange? Let's go to the adults then. Substance abuse or self harm, process, go back to their birth, that's it, inventoried like livestock. What are we inventorying? Children, the child version of adults. It's a real legislation they can make.

Real legislation to make sure you're definitely born into a binary system that makes sense to the people who can't make sense of somebody existing outside of gender norms.2600:8804:500:FE90:D4A7:9D10:5438:46E8 (talk) 03:14, 2 September 2023 (UTC)

There's a pretty big gulf between a "strange" analysis (with which I agree) and "treating children as livestock". And I think you know that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:12, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
the gulf is filled by attitude. It is dumb to separate language from intent. And I think you know that. 2600:8804:500:FE90:ECB3:DC52:4196:6353 (talk) 08:39, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
And who intends to treat people like livestock? Nowhere in this do I see anything involving keeping children in barns, feeding them hay, and slaughtering them. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:48, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
man, fine, I used hyperbole, what are you actually criticizing? Cause I'm saying needing a birth certificate like a purebred dog to exist in a children's educational space is wacky. 2600:8804:500:FE90:153F:7B6:919B:D833 (talk) 03:41, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
US presidental election 2020
As you can see Joe Biden was able to win Omaha (and subsequently the 2nd district and thus one EC vote) and Lincoln and was able to capture the Native American vote in Thurston County and the Hispanic vote in Dakota County.
2022 Nebraska governor vote
In the Governor election, the Democratic candidate was only was able to win Omaha and Lincoln. The whole rest of the state fell to Jim Pillen. Ψ (talk) 06:48, 2 September 2023 (UTC)

Funeral Rituals and Honoring the Deceased[edit]

Often, the death of a person is seen as a big deal to practically everyone involved, and rituals to mourn the dead are present throughout practically every culture. I do understand, that any experience with death is a tough topic to address, and people can get quite tense and hurt by bringing it up. But I am curious about the myriads of customs, traditions, and rituals performed in places to honor the dead or the recently dead, and where people's opinions are on said rituals.

As for me, I haven't really experienced a major death in my life, though I have lost relatives that live far away. I still sometimes get pushed to participate in the funeral rituals despite the distance. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 15:47, 1 September 2023 (UTC)

My best friend passed away from cancer back in 2018. He was 21 and I was 22. He got me interested in Marxism, Anarchism, various punk rock acts, black sabbath, joy division, etc. I remember the moment he passed away it became very important to me that the various wishes he had about his funeral were fulfilled. He received an eco-burial, had a tree planted above his grave, and he was lowered into the ground to the song Atmosphere by Joy Division. All things he requested while alive. We were both atheists however, and even though he could never know if his desires were fulfilled and his consciousness no longer exists — it simply felt disrespectful to his memory to disregard his wishes in life. At the end of the day though it was really about the emotions of those who remembered him and not really about him. I think though how we treat someone in death speaks to our attitudes and respect for their autonomy in life. Different cultures have different ideas regarding what “respect” means and I think no cultural practice is more valid than any other. Regardless there are secular reasons to desire the respect for (some of) the dead. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:46, 1 September 2023 (UTC)
Two of my four grandparents, and one of my uncles, have died in my living memory, all natural causes and expected to varying degrees but under very different circumstances. The Big A makes funerals a bit hard for me, since I don't find much use in rituals for their own sake and people therefore incorrectly extrapolate that I don't care about the person who died. Personally I've told people to do whatever the hell you feel like when I kick off, by then it'll be after my life so I'll have my hands full with any potential afterlife. If it makes it better for you (generic you) and doesn't involve hurting/killing someone else I'm not going to stop you; do what you need to do, and let me do me. I'm one who likes to get back to daily life as fast as I can, and if you need more time than that to perform rites that give you some peace you should get it. People are different, so we should all within reason be allowed to handle death our own ways. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:12, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
Unpopular opinion of the day; I think the level of 'big deal-ness' regarding death is exaggerated. At least to what I've observed in my life to date. That unless the deceased actually properly meant something to them, they're not hugely fussed. However, they are circimspect in their reaction/comments because they're aware of the possibility of being near people who do care [so it's politeness/empathy]. In fact, I suspect the main reason people do get fussed over 'stranger' deaths is because it reminds them of their own mortality [or of genuine loved ones]. And that's what we don't desire to talk about.
However, why do we do funeral traditions? Well, it's tradition, that's what. 'This is the way it is done' is a stupid answer, but a rather persuasive one. 'Traditional' is predictable. Most adults know how to dress, conduct self and perform rituals etc with minimal risks of fuckups, even if we're already half-cut or in a grief autopilot. Though other traditions develop or maintain due to the situation; in England [for example] we don't do open-coffin funerals [bodies not embalmed and often upto two weeks after death] and a lot of services are still handled by a priest of some form [which leads to the identikit 'Insert Name Here' service which Terry Pratchett mentioned in Men at Arms]. But Blade is right in saying that the whole funeral thing is more for the living than the dead. Even after dealing with the simple fact that something needs to be done with the body and almost all clutures regard leaving it in a dumpster as deeply wrong, a lot of things need 'sorting' anyway; perhaps clearance of a property, division of personal effects, working out the new setup regarding a pet or who's going to be hosting Christmas now? May as well as do it while everyone's in the same place.
With the OP's point in the last bit of the post... I mean, I can get that. We all subconsciously have 'effort ratings' for stuff and funerals aren't an exception to this. I'd go to an estranged uncles' final outing if I could get a lift and get it dusted in a couple of hours, not if it required a whole day off and travelling 400 miles spending money I can't really afford to. And to be honest, I get pissy when others don't appreciate the differing capabilities folks have for attending such things. But it's hard enough at the best of times for people to realise that, for example that their 'beloved father John' might functionally be not much more than 'that grouchy bald guy' to you. Yet there's also value in doing stuff that you think is pointless on the grounds they don't. Within limits, naturally. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:32, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
I find it hard to disagree with KarmaPolice’s excellent points, so this is more an extension on the topic. I find that funerals can work quite well as “family gatherings”, bringing together parts of the family you otherwise won’t see, except at similar “grand occasions” (mainly weddings and baptisms/christenings). The predictability of the rituals gives a solid framework and the more informal social gathering after the funeral tends to get more lively and be a forum for remembrance and reconnection.
As for who attends, that does indeed seem to fit the “closeness + practicality” scheme presented by KarmaPolice and it seems that people I’ve encountered generally understand this, especially if those who don’t attend send their condolences in some form or another (a card, a wreath or whatever).
This is of course different if the potential attendee is either very distant (as in not at all closely related to or involved with the deceased) or estranged, in which case they aren’t really expected to participate in the first place.
Similarly, if the relative lives very far away (say, on another continent) they might not be expected to participate, particularly in the case of sudden deaths, but they would still be expected to formally express their condolences (the aforementioned card, wreath or similar token). On the topic of such formal condolences, I haven’t seen anyone object to more “collective” forms, such as a joint wreath, as both the practicality and cost is something to consider and most people seem to realise this.
The main thing seems to be whether those who are expected to react do indeed do so by visibly expressing their condolences, whether in person or vicariously. Failing to express any such visible condolences or sorrow would probably be the main source of disapproval. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:20, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
I'd argue that funerals are perhaps the last bit of the 'Cheshire cat smile' of mass religion in England [and perhaps elsewhere]; I've not been to a baptism for perhaps two decades and weddings are seriously on the slide to the point over half of Brits are now 'born in sin'. But the 'traditional' funeral survives because of a) some form of 'death rites' do need to be done and b) the existing infrastructure [churches, vicars, graveyards etc] enourages 'path dependence'.
For the 'closeness + practicality' system, I'd add the third; 'motivation'. After all, I'd refuse to spend a day's holiday and half a week's pay to see the burying of That Guy, but not for say, a sibling I'm close to. However, the issue arises to any 'subgroup traditions/expectations'; I hail from Irish stock and yes, the 'whole clan big funeral' is a thing and some would expect me to go to That Guy even if it involved a couple of weeks pay and 18 hours of continuous travel. Even if nobody had liked the bastard. Which ties into your first point; it's the 'family reunion' elements that are a major draw - in some cases, it's not a request for me to go and look at That Guy's coffin, it's a request for me to re-connect with my more distant relatives on that side of 'the family'. This might be more important if That Guy had been the only person holding the two 'wings' together.
As pointed out, sometimes the disapproval isn't really if you attended or not, but how the non-attendence was phrased. Going back to That Guy, the truth might make me look like a callous cheapskate so that's where the social nicety lies kick in; the classic one being 'I simply can't get the day off, sorry'. Cards, wreaths, donations etc are all manners to tick that social obligation box. One of the innovations from the pandemic which I hope we keep is 'virtual attendence'; for those times where the all-day trip is too much but the sending of a card too little. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:06, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
My father died a couple of weeks ago, and we had a great funeral - lots of catching up with people I hadn't seen in ages.
But perhaps of interest for the topic - his surviving 4 bothers attended. Dad was a "liberal Catholic" from the 70's, and an atheist from the 2000's, but 2 of his brothers remain very much "old school" Catholics. We were dreading what one of them was going to say .... the uncle concerned is known for loving the sound of his own voice and anti-vax, etc.... but he gave a really nice speech about dad as the older brother - no religion, no conspiracies, no politics even though dad's liberal attitudes had already been mentioned.
Which told us that "even he" saw the funeral as a time for reflection and acknowledgement of the deceased - not a time for blowing his own trumpet.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:42, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
The natural deaths of strangers has little meaning to us. The passing of friends and family can be difficult for some folks, like myself. The practice of mourning the dead is said to occur in every culture. It is part of our common humanity. Though funeral rituals may vary wildly. We have these big brains that remember the past and make deductions about the future, replete with sadness, and grief. Zatoichi (talk) 21:32, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
It's about time I open up. I lost my maternal grandfather to diabetes and a maternal cross cousin to drowning in a swimming pool back in 2010. And around last week, my paternal grandfather sadly passed away after battling renal cancer for months. However, all of them live overseas and I hardly knew them as a result. But I at least chose to take photos remotely to commemorate my late grandfather. Thanks for reading. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:00, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
I didn't get a lot of time with either my paternal or maternal grandparents, physical distance was kind of a factor but I had no problem attending either funeral. Both went by terminal cancer. Grampy was a tight immediate family funeral, my mom and aunt and uncle all decided on things to bury with him, it was painful and powerful. Papa was a real social ordeal, a Unitarian church with standing room only, painful and powerful, but only some family I knew growing up being able to make it. Both Grammy and Nana are doing well, well past 90 years. My parents are both retired but working in their fields to stay sane. They are both so much like their fathers. It's tough to know it's inevitable that I'm gonna lose Grammy, Nana, and Auntie Lou. I think I know, God willing I live long enough, how to handle each of my parents' funerals. It's if I'm lucky enough to die first, I really don't think my parents know that they can just throw me in the trash. Flush me like a fish, I don't care. If I by circumstance shuffle off my mortal coil, I'll either exist or I won't.

I'll figure it out either way. That is the trust we have to give to those who pass. 2600:8804:500:FE90:153F:7B6:919B:D833 (talk) 04:18, 6 September 2023 (UTC)

Coincidentally timing this[edit]

Hi all, just checking in here again. Not sure if anyone remembers who I am (that's fine). Hope everything's going well with this wiki lately; glad to see it's still active.--April Chat? 19:35, 3 September 2023 (UTC)

Hi April! Yes, I remember you. I hope you are enjoying life. Bongolian (talk) 20:02, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
Hi again Bongolian! Thanks, hope you're doing well too.--April Chat? 21:45, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
Hi I remember you. Welcome back - if indeed "back" you are.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:59, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm coming back for a bit -- I just had gender reassignment surgery two weeks ago, I'm not doing much this autumn because of it. :p--April Chat? 04:27, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Good news then! I hope it all works out well for you.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:19, 6 September 2023 (UTC)

2023 board of trustees election[edit]

When we voting? Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 18:32, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

Preferably never. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:33, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Trying to become God Emperor of RationalWiki?
On a more serious note, why not use SecurePoll with STV instead of our current method? We're a small wiki, we could manage all the voting and tallying on-wiki, without needing sysadmins. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 18:36, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
We have the same number of candidates as we do openings. It’s why I haven’t bothered with the election since I reluctantly decided to run in order to make sure we had a Board in the first place. I’m basically a seat-warmer. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:38, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Spanish transfuga moment. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 18:40, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
We're small enough, so probably not for some time--April Chat? 00:13, 6 September 2023 (UTC)

Elon musk and the nazi treason tweets.[edit]

https://twitter.com/souljagoytellem/status/1697774323379892633 it's so very cool that elon musk is now a full on sieg heiling nazi. A somebody. (talk) 01:50, 2 September 2023 (UTC)

Yawn. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 01:54, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
He's been signal boosting out-and-out Nazis and white nationalists (of which Keith Woods is one; Woods made a video erroneously pinning the existence of trans people on Jewish transhumanism too) for months. Who is surprised at this point? Chillpilled (talk) 08:36, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
Indeed, anyone in English Twitterspace who isn't a shitposter or alt-right troll really ought to look elsewhere, or at least stop posting on that shithole platform.
(I guess the problem is "elsewhere" isn't great for many at the moment. I mean, the Zucker Threads thingy is guaranteed to have the same creepy tracking shit that Facebook has, so it's not a terribly great alternative, though I think celebrity-bait type Twitter accounts that don't mind that sort of crap would eventually end up there. My impression is that a *lot* of science Twitter space has already moved to Mastodon.) BobJohnson (talk) 16:52, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
Let's hope he bans pornography then twitter will truely die like Tumblr ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 17:23, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
Musk spoke of making Twitter 'the phonebook of the internet', which is kinda odd as pre-him Twitter was in fact close to this [at least in the Anglosphere] - that while only a fraction of 'people' were on it, generally speaking the vast majority of those who 'mattered' [in some way or another] were. Journalists, for example used Twitter in a manner their forebears worked their Rolodex in the 1970s - ie an example of a 'small world network'. Naturally, the most important part was not the tweets bit but the DMs. [Which suggests that perhaps there's a market for a kind of subscription-based, vetted Twitter; ie for a monthly charge and proving you are 'someone' you're allowed into the room to talk as well as simply listen. If this ends up being Bluesky, well you heard it here first].
Which is the problem. The Threads is a hyper-safe Twitter which appeals to the risk adverse corp types and squeaky-clean celebs making public announcements etc, Mastodon is a better setup for small-world networks for professionals/activists/etc and also allows you to reach over to accounts on another Mastodon [at least for now] and despite the sneers, most still maintain at least a token FB presence [even I do, if only to use it to log into other things]. And the wonders of the search engine starting with G knots it all together in a manner I don't think really possible even a decade ago. In short; we can live without Twitter, and to be honest perhaps we fucking should. But not just Twitter, but all the centralised social medias. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:32, 2 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't need a one-to-one Twitter alternative, it doesn't provide anything that another type of service didn't already. It's more difficult to replace Google or Facebook than it is to replace Twitter. I don't know why people treat it like it's hard to shake. I screwed around on Threads for a little while but if they're not going to make that good either there's no point. I will just use neither. Chillpilled (talk) 05:02, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
Just use fucking Mastodon if you're so desperate for a Twitter replacement. A) it's open source, with the added bonus of it being less likely to fall prey to predatory corporate influences and b) it's decentralized, meaning no centralized agency controls it, which subverts the monopoly plutocrats have on the digital public forum. Carthage (talk) 06:02, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
Just because you don't need it, doesn't mean nobody does Chilled. Another use of it is the 'breaking news' model, another function which journalists, politicians and activists appreciate [which makes it an outsize influence on society than raw usage numbers, similar to the effect of certain well-heeled news outlets].
Converting to other systems takes time, and there's an element of 'chicken or egg' situation going on - a lot of the above don't really like even pre-Musk Twitter, but they remained becuase 'everyone else [of importance] is there' and as they must have continuity of service they won't jump until everybody else has. However, there's a new aspect to consider which many don't know much about - social media management tools. These days, most of the above people aren't really 'on' Twitter anymore - they're on their Hootsuite/Sprout/whatever dashboards which then link to Twitter etc. This means that it's relatively easy to instantly shift from one platform to the other without such losses, as well as maintaining your current links etc. I suspect we're starting to get to the point where a lot of private individuals are going to start using these. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:49, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
As an example, a lot of government agencies (in the US at least) used Twitter as one of the platforms to send critical alerts (such as weather and other emergency alerts). Now, there are a *ton* of alternatives to Twitter for this sort of thing, but the short-message nature of the Twitter platform made it particularly appealing for many who wanted critical announcements. Now that Musk has fucked up the monetization of the Twitter API (which means fucking up the social media management tools these agencies use), as well as making Twitter a safe space for "advertisements" containing slogans coined up by a fuckin' white supremacist terrorist, I am sure that many emergency services are thinking twice (or more than that) of posting to Twitter anymore. But I haven't seen a lot of movement off Twitter space yet here. Outside of doing something like spinning up their own Mastodon, none of the other services IMHO really look too great for an "emergency alert" focus, from what I see.
I guess if I had fingers in this sort of government management, I would actually advocate that these agencies spin up their own Mastodon service for these style of alerts. (If Donald Trump can make a social network based on Mastodon, why not the weather service etc? There's a fundamental issue IMHO of government services piggybacking this sort of thing onto private, unaccountable infrastructure, an issue that the Decline of the Musk should be making quite clear) And maybe there are "some plans". But any project takes time, and it's only been a little under a year since Musk started wrecking the platform.BobJohnson (talk) 17:25, 3 September 2023 (UTC)
Do people seriously get their weather from Twitter? I get mine straight from my phone, failing that I just google it. As for news I have plenty of other sources. One of the more useful ones has been Discord news-sharing groups but I had also been experimenting with using an RSS program. Chillpilled (talk) 03:04, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
'Do people seriously get their [blank] from [blank]?' is something I hear/read a lot. I was talking with a relative last week and they openly didn't believe me when I told them that only about ~30% of total retail sales were online - they thought it was about 80%, mainly on the basis that it's their mix. Stuff like emergency alerts [which was more BobJ's point than simple weather reports] needs to be omnipresent to ensure it gets through to everyone. I rememeber earlier this year UKGov tried out their fancy mobile phone alert system - only to discover one network seemingly dropped the ball while all dumbphones and smartphones not currently on a 4/5G band missed out. In an genuine emergency, this could be up to 25% of the population being none the wiser. Thus I predict the weather/amber alerts etc shall remain on Twitter as long as there appears to be an end user need for it.
Which is the point. They won't be managaging the Twitter account, they'll be running the dashboard which runs it. Chances are, there's very little extra cost for them to do it than not. The risk comes from if it actually goes 'wrong' somehow and the dashboard-makers cannot be arsed to continue supporting Twitter. Humans often end up putting up with increasingly sub-optimal situations because of the 'if it ain't broke' philosophy - akin to only replacing your refrigerator when you come home to discover your kitchen reeks of decomposing food, not six months earler when it started kicking out loads of heat and made strange groaning sounds. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:51, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
Which is why when Musk started wanting to monetize the API, that actually *was* the biggest "threat" for emergency service alerts on Twitter. Not that such mattered too much to the services, it more mattered for Twitter's relevance; emergency alerts blast through many platforms, not just one. (Most of the services post on Facebook for instance, and of course there's more "old school" ways ranging from radio to email to phone alerts to TV etc.) Had Musk not relented, it would not have been a big deal for emergency services to simply stop posting to Twitter and wait for the next "en masse" social media service to come about.BobJohnson (talk) 16:26, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
That whole affair is in fact, a good example of the 'public service obligation'. Most old media outlets are bound [by law or convention] to allow emergency broadcasts to override normal programming while similar is found for telephony - the underpinning of the mass text alerts I mentioned above. But social media doesn't have that. And the main companies went into self-regulation mode during the pandemic partly because they didn't want any national authorities to put a PSO element into law. Personally, however I would argue the bigger threat was the login requirements that Twitter operated for about a week back in July. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:03, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1699828939311452519 I think we should nationalize all of musk's companies and revoke his security clearance. A somebody. (talk) 22:32, 7 September 2023 (UTC)


This might be a Poe, it might not. — Unsigned, by: The Krusty Krab / talk / contribs

This is certainly not a poe. This washed up blowhard has been making egregious comments for years now. No one should be surprised at anything that she says. What's surprising is that people keep giving her a platform to spew such bullshit. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 20:36, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
Barr has been saying demented shit about the Holocaust for ages. It’s how she gets attention these days since she’s untalented and unfunny. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:41, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
She didn't literally mean that nobody died in the Holocaust, but the comments were deranged in another way since she was trying to say that the 2020 election was so obviously stolen that it could be compared to Holocaust denial if you don't believe it. Chillpilled (talk) 22:46, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
Me reading this be like: *Vine boom*,The Krusty Krab (talk) 15:09, 7 September 2023 (UTC)

Things that make you a tankie (according to other people I have saw.)[edit]

1. Liking Russian Literature https://twitter.com/KarinaVinnikova/status/1698599479740395999

2. Liking democracy https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:French_Revolution#Anti-Jacobin_bias_.28again.29

3. saying Azerbaijan is committing genocide (implied) https://twitter.com/Burning12196087/status/1698170579633815627 A somebody. (talk) 18:25, 4 September 2023 (UTC)

The term tankie, like many terms on and about the left, has been abused to the point that it no longer carries much water. It's at the point where it is often just a thought terminating cliche. Originally it referred to people who supported the USSR intervention rolling tanks into prague, but nowadays even Maoists get called tankies despite Mao opposing the intervention.
I mostly refer to myself as a "tankie" as a way of signalling my willingness to defend various socialist societies throughout history, which is not really what it "should" mean, so I suppose I'm as guilty as anyone else. Tikitime2 (talk) 18:54, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
That's the problem with value-judgement snarl words. If we want to attempt a rigorous definition of "tankie" perhaps it should be something like this: "someone who engages in uncritical support and apologia for various anti-Western or nominally socialist regimes simply because they are anti-Western or nominally socialist." Carthage (talk) 19:27, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
The first person has a hammer and sees everything as a nail. Like 3/4 of her account is various Ukraineposting, whyever, maybe personal, idk idc. She'll be probably (wrongly) thinking that anyone who promotes Russian culture In These Times (TM) is a putin shill=>tankie. I'm way too smart to get involved in the drama under #2. And #3 didnt call anyone a tankie, they're just being stupid, but maybe its just me. Conclusion: People are wrong on the internet. Wow. Also yes whatever Carthage said IluzasipalStone them! 22:31, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
Given that number 3 is NAFO and they think anything left to george W. bush is a tankie, I think it's implied. A somebody. (talk) 22:37, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
dunno, I clicked through their Twitter profile and saw various pro-palestinian tweets and one "well if you think folks on welfare can just chill then quit your job" reblog from a the right cant meme account. doesnt seem very typically right wing to me. again, they're being stupid. on twitter (sorry, EX-twitter). the stupid people saying stupid stuff platform. surprised. IluzasipalStone them! 22:44, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
Every time you say reblog instead of retweet I die a little inside. Still it seems I was wrong but it was in service to a point and given how the rest of NAFO acts, still very ghoulish however. A somebody. (talk) 22:50, 4 September 2023 (UTC)

I don’t see much value in determining the meaning of words (or lack thereof) in the cherry-picking of tweets. As long as words have existed there is a tendency to misuse them. If “tankie” is classed as vague enough to be meaningless due to lack of linguistic essence, then “communist”, “woman”, “chair”, “game”, and “number” are all equally meaningless. Some concepts/names can be given necessary and sufficient conditions to determine their referent, but many more are family resemblance concepts and require the willingness to engage to with the notion of fuzzy sets, and fuzzy logic. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:25, 4 September 2023 (UTC)

Unless someone is specifically meaning communists who defended the invasion of hungary in the 50s, tankie is a meaningless word with everyone to the left of George W. Bush being called one. A somebody. (talk) 23:33, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
I sort of just explained how language does not actually work like that. Your argument would be an example of the Etymological fallacyWikipedia. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:50, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
There is a general use of the word "tankie" that exists within leftist spaces themselves. Sure liberals may misuse it, as many of them misuse the word "communism", as do conservatives. Regardless no one on the left is determined to state "communism" is meaningless because Obama is described as a communist by right-wing lunatics. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:52, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
Sure, but if everyone from maoist rebel news to fucking Dmitry Utkin is classified as a 'tankie' by this wiki, it's pretty meaningless. A somebody. (talk) 23:56, 4 September 2023 (UTC)
Hence "value-judgement snarl word." Carthage (talk) 00:02, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Which again in many political contexts wouldn't make it functionally distinct from "communism". If one were being logically consistent and speaking genuinely they wouldn't reserve this criticism solely for the word "tankie". This wiki is almost just as bad for the word "socialism", yet no one is calling it meaningless. Within the context of American politics outside this website, the use of these words is even more broad and gets applied to the Clintons, Obama, and Biden of all fucking people. No, this entire argument when brought up verbatim by other communist social media denizens is never being presented in good faith. They don't actually believe the word is meaningless otherwise they would be complaining about the meaningless of "communism" itself. They want people to stop using it because it's used to call people out within leftist political circles when some fuck goes off about how the "kulaks deserved to starve". - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:16, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm to the center of the left, i'm not a tankie or a stalinist or a maoist. The word tankie is pretty fucking meaningless and you can call these people out without using the word tankie. A somebody. (talk) 00:20, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't give a fuck what you are, no it is not meaningless because it has use, and sure you can do that without using the word, but you can also never use the word "socialism" and "communism" again and instead use entirely different language like "economic collectivism" or some shit. "Tankie" is short, and catchy, and in that context of calling out someone unironically using the word "kulak" it is impactful and there is no ambiguity as to why this person is being called such for anyone who has the ideological context. The argument insisting that it is "meaningless" or shouldn't be used has always been fucking trash and doesn't get better because you keep repeating it. It's taking rhetorical strategies from creationists. Shit's already debunked. The claim of meaninglessness has never been demonstrated. It's clearly a cluster concept with a very clear prototypical example in the vast majority of the people who use it. It conjures up a very clear image in the minds of libertarian socialists who make up the vast majority of people familiar with and use the term. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:56, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Wow, I can't believe known far-right nutjobs Dmitry Utkin, and Aleksandr Dugin were tankies, thank you for enlightening me! Also Libertarian socialists are not the people who use the word tankie the most. A somebody. (talk) 02:28, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
My earlier post regarding lacking good faith is just further validated by that response being an obvious strawman fallacy. I guess based on that strawman logic despite everything I said Obama is genuinely a communist. Wow, looks like I learned a lot from you too! My evidence for my claim about LibSoc’s being the most frequent users is limited on anecdotal evidence with familiarity of having been in actual anarchist spaces. This is what is most logically consistent with my lived experience. Unless you have actual survey data that shows that other political groups use the word “tankie” more, I don’t see any actual evidence that suggests differently. Weak evidence in my favour is still stronger epistemic grounds than no evidence at all. It also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense politically. Especially in the context of the United States where communism of all stripes is mostly seen as irrelevant. Liberals/democrats need to be more focused on competing with republicans/conservatives for power; “leftists” are only relevant in so much they can be used as a minority base to reluctantly vote democrat in elections. In the mind of many democrats I suspect that their idea of a “leftist” is DSA member or Bernie bro. “Tankies” are not politically relevant to the political goals of liberals. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:52, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
the people who use tankie in my personal experience are NAFO bloodthirsty ghouls. A somebody. (talk) 03:00, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I am not even certain who the fuck that is supposed to describe. These are real people you met in real life? Are you hanging around "NAFO" spaces? Are you both in "NAFO" and anarchist social media groups where you can tally and compare their usage of "tankie"? How many anarchist events have you been in within actual meatspace? How many lefty orgs are you a part of, and/or interacted with in person? Who is an example of a "NAFO" ghoul to you? When was the last time you touched grass? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:28, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Restraining the definition to only its origins is not any good either. The people defending left authoritarian governments today are very similar to those in the 1950s. The people I would call tankie for defending Putin's Russia would be the ones doing it from some kind of Marxist (usually Leninist) reasoning at least nominally, like a kind of broad anti-Americanism stemming from anti-imperialist Leninist ideas. Leading them to defend atrocity-committing regimes, under some illusion they can stitch together some kind of socialist victory out of it. Russia has simultaneously tried appealing to far-left and far-right groups, and some people from either category have gotten caught up in that. But like I wouldn't call Nick Fuentes a tankie even despite his defense of Putin and Stalin, because that's not where his intents are stemming from, not really anti-imperialism or socialist ideology but fascist ideology. Max Blumenthal, I would probably call a tankie or at least adjacent to that. Chillpilled (talk) 03:39, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Tankie : left-leaning authoritarians. Supporters of Stalin, Mao and/or Pol Pot, of "dictatorship of the proletariat". Basically, fascists in red. It's a very usefull term to refer to *this* sort of people. Also, your hostility towards the anti-russian propaganda NAFO is revealing. (talk) 07:51, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I would define 'modern tankieism' to be the following;
1/ 'Bad as each other' narratives involving China/Russian foreign policies.
2/ Strong anti-Western bias leading to defend regimes which have got the West's ire, regardless of whether that ire was justified or not.
3/ The disregarding of any benefits of liberal capitalism eg personal freedoms.
4/ General belief in conspiracy theories regarding the 'capitalist elite' doing their best to destroy any form of socialism.
5/ Nostalgia for the former Eastern Bloc regimes.
In short, I believe such people to be ignorants indulging in wankery from their [normally] comfortable rooms in the West. They can afford to do this, safe in the knowledge that nobody cares what they think and they shall have no real effect on the world. I would class 1/ to be the key difference between a tankie and simple pro-Russian/Chinese apologist; a left-winger cannot really look at Putin/Xi and co and with a straight face say 'yeah, they're better than liberal capitalism' but end up falling into the 'this is all just an imperialist war' narrative with Ukraine.
Thinkpiece; https://freedomnews.org.uk/2022/03/04/fuck-leftist-westplaining/
KarmaPolice (talk) 09:28, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
KarmaPolice's definition of Tankie neatly demonstrates its role as a straw-man. We can do something very similar by comparing a sensible definition of the term "liberal":
1. Supporter of capitalist free-markets.
2. Supporter or advocate for liberal democracy as the most feasible or ideal form of democracy.
3 (somewhat optional). A cosmopolitan that takes a 'human rights' orientated approach to international affairs.
...with a possible definition of the leftist snarlword "shit-lib":
1. Laps up cold-war propaganda about socialist societies/considers their gullibility on this front to be a sign of their "anti-authoritarian" credentials.
2. Believes anti-communist concentration camps, censorship, torture programs, invasions (etc) signed off by capitalist governments were justified, or nothing to worry about, AND, that capitalism is the securer of human rights.
3. Is obsessed with anti-communist sentiment and in times of crisis will support and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with fascist movements, so long as those damn commies get put in their graves!!!
One of those definitions is a descriptor of a political tendency, the other is just me saying inflammatory and uncharitable shit about liberals. The term tankie is very much akin to the latter category. At best it's a way of uncharitably ascribing over-simplified beliefs to your opponents, at worst it's just an opportunity to reduce everyone down to a caricature. The problem with definitions like Carthage's is that while some will claim only to apply shit-lib or tankie to "people who believe X for stupid or immoral reasons" inevitably the term inflates and just becomes another way for people to justify not listening to one-another.
The comments left by OnlySortaDumb are also very informative. While the word tankie may not actually be all that meaingful it does serve a purpose. That purpose, as admitted by OnlySortaDumb, is aiding ill tempered libertarian socialists in their various factional disputes. It's not a good one, but hey it's technically a purpose!!!
Counter-think peice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcJ5NrJtQ8g&t=35s
Tikitime2 (talk) 17:44, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Most people who use it are liberals like me not libertarian socialists ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 18:16, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah I'm being glib. The point stands is mostly just a term of disparagement among certain sections of the left. Hence the tendency of the terminally online to cling to it. Tikitime2 (talk) 18:21, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
You cited Hakim who denies the Uighur genocide ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 18:24, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Would you like a cookie for your powers of observation? Also, it's not a really citation because I'm not resting any argument on him. Tikitime2 (talk) 18:45, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, no. If you're a supporter of Mao, Stalin, or Pol Pot, or a supporter of North Korea, or are pro-Russia, or are pro-China imperialism, despite being a self-avowed leftist, then you're a tankie: a left-wing authoritarian. Sure, the term can perfectly be misused, but it also fits perfectly a large batch of online communities (like subreddits genzedong, shitliberalssays, or TheDeprogram) and western political parties (french LFI, german Greens...). Of course, it's a snarl word. It's meant to be uncharitable. But it represents a certain reality. (talk) 20:42, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I would reserve the word “tankie” myself for those who stray from genuine Marxism who identify as either socialist/communists but are very particular in engaging in apologia for nominally “anti-imperialist” regimes; taking any sort of criticism of said regimes as necessarily being a defence of US imperialism in particular. This groups Stalin apologists, Dengists, Leninists, followers of Juche, Cambodian genocide denialists, etc., together. I think KP’s use is too broad as to include Marxists, and even just socialists generally. Opposition to the DoTp is opposition to the establishment of rule by proletariat. Surprise that the “socialist” Karma is both anti-marxist and anti-libsoc. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:07, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
And who died and made you king, Dumb, oh, oracle and definer of all that is socialist and Marxist? And no, my shorthand definition does not include 'Marxists or socialists generally'. Which is in fact kinda odd because in fact our two definitions are rather similar - the tankie [for example] lauds Juche uncritically because it opposes the United States, not that it has aspects worth lauding. A socialist or Marxist who despite the faults finds positive aspects in say, Castro's Cuba is not automatically a tankie. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:42, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Wait, I just realized I was reading the wrong person. No, it's the other poster that included "DotP" in their definition. I misread the post as being part of your own, sorry. my bad. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:51, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
I didn't read what the argument is about, but this is exactly how permanent online discourse can be honest. Very brave, I love to see it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 05:32, 9 September 2023 (UTC)

who are worse Climate change denialists or Holocaust denialists?[edit]

who are worse? because both are very bad and have an overlap ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 16:20, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

IMO Climate change. Both are equally wrong, as both the holocaust and climate change are real, but holocaust denialism is (overall) harmless since very few people, edgy teens aside, actually believe that the it didn't happen. Climate change is a far more mainstream view. Also, we cannot change the holocaust, but we are still struggling with climate change. To make matters worse, the Holocaust death toll is probably a fraction of the possible casualties that climate change can cause. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 16:25, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I agree, though one might ask, "Worse in what way?" As far as their impact on the future of human life and civilization is concerned then it's obviously climate denialists. As far as being personally horrible people is concerned it might be holocaust denialists. Heaving said that, it's always a bad idea to make sweeping generalizations about groups.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:13, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Climate change denialism is more destructive, but Holocaust denialism is more morally revolting to me. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:40, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
I think it's a rather pointless question since both are bad for different reasons. Also, I disagree with GeeJayK about holocaust denialism being "overall" harmless. With the far right ascendant in local, state, and federal levels of power, we may see pushback on teaching the holocaust. It won't be teaching denialism so much as not teaching it all that much (and letting the far right have a fair shot at filling in that educational vacuum).-Ryan1257 (talk) 20:53, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Calling holocaust denial relatively harmless is an incredibly irresponsible thing to say. Genocide denial serves a particular political purpose and is considered one of the final states of genocide itself. It works to prevent people from identifying the predicative factors towards genocide, and makes me it more difficult to recognize it when it is happening. Typically the killing camps aren’t presented in full accessible view of the public at large. Frankly, I find this line of question wildly unproductive and extremely inappropriate. We don’t need to scale various forms of denialism, especially ones related to ethnic displacement and mass death; which is relevant to both. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
Nice strawman, huh? I didn't say that genocide denial is harmless, I said that the current effects of holocaust denialism are not that big because you know, not even Trump supporters take them seriously. Meanwhile, many politicians around the world don't believe in climate change. Yes, If you put every holocaust denier together they won't be able to do much. However, only a handful of climate change deniers can do enough harm to kill millions. Só yeah, climate change denialists are in fact far more dangerous. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 00:09, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
I said "relatively harmless' which is what you said. Your reasoning that hardly anyone denies it seems baseless considering that at least 63% of Americans under 40 seem to not even know that 6 million Jews died in the holocaust, and 10% of respondents hadn't even heard the term "holocaust" before [4]. Do you not see the potential of "killing millions" in the way of ignorance and propaganda regarding issues of antisemitism? This illustrates a huge lack of understanding. Why do you think Jewish advocacy groups put so much effort into funding education about the holocaust? Why do you think they use the rhetoric of educating people so "it never happens again"? This is disgusting and callous of you; be better. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:53, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
Yes, and then you ignored my entire reasoning, which I've explained (twice). Yes, right now, considering how most people don't deny the Holocaust (especially people with power), they are not as dangerous as climate change denialists since these people are powerful right now. If we were in 40s, my answer to this question would be different. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 02:18, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
I think many of those people would accept the ~6mil number if they learned it's the mainstream historians' position (actually I've been told by a Holocaust historian it's probably higher in reality if anything but y'know, I think that's not the mainstream position). Usually when people talk about Holocaust denial we're talking about an intentional antisemitic sub-movement. Ignorance is unfortunately fertile ground for that sub-movement to possibly exploit though. In my state some schools apparently have dedicated Holocaust history classes, but I never had one; I think that might just be a thing in schools with the highest Jewish populations, but that's just my guess. Chillpilled (talk) 02:45, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
To be clear my answer would be Holocaust denial is worse, because mere acceptance of the facts of climate change doesn't imply we will do anything about it. Indeed many people choose to do nothing at all about it whether they believe the facts of it or not. Holocaust denial is in itself one of the stages of genocide, and I would say even a step in directly repeating it. We see this exact same pattern with denial other genocides as well, it's just that the Holocaust is closer to home for most people in the West. My answer is more solid if you view it through the lens I described above with defining Holocaust denialism not as mere ignorance but as an intentional movement within intentional antisemitism. Chillpilled (talk) 02:51, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't think it's fair to ask. Don't get me wrong, I believe the Holocaust happened as written. Holocaust deniers are pieces of sh*t who don't want to believe an atrocity happened and find ways of justifying an atrocity because the people keeping records of that atrocity might have been willfully inaccurate. I was scrolling X today, I do not exist on X, I found 'flat earth space is fake' X. the arguments make sense if you don't know how gravity works. Healthy disapproval of the government, just absolute asinine takes on the Earth's atmosphere. I worry about [SF6 https://www.epa.gov/eps-partnership/sulfur-hexafluoride-sf6-basics] and its implication as an insulator in big electrical systems. I'm not an anthropogenic global warming denier but I think we can f*dge it all up worse if it's only put forward that global warming can only be stopped by moving everything to electric, which is a good move but not much more than a gesture if mostly still the electricity is generated by carbon burns. Also, please stop calling it climate change, it is global warming. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 05:10, 9 September 2023 (UTC)

Fact Checking Something about the Brain[edit]

Hey, I figured this is a good place to ask. I recently came across something about memory and some dude named Tiago and I’m not sure if it’s good data or not.

It was dealing with the Constructed Theory of Emotions and he made a blog post about it. I wasn’t entirely sure about how actuate the theory is but my beef is with the blog:


It’s mostly got a lot of unsourced claims and “facts about the brain that have me wondering how true it all is. I know the general stuff like how our brains “simulate” reality based on sense data because otherwise they would get overwhelmed and there would be a delay.

But then I read stuff like this from the link:

This leads to a profound conclusion: that the simulations we create in our heads are more real to us than the physical world. What we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell are simulations of the world, not reactions to it. We might think that our perceptions of the world are driven by events in the world, but really, most of what we see is based on our internal predictions. The data coming in from our senses merely influences our perceptions, like a small stone skipping across a rolling ocean wave.

This startling conclusion is reinforced by research on how humans see. The part of the brain responsible for sight, the visual cortex, receives only 10% of its connections from the retina. The other 90% are connections from other parts of the brain, making predictions about what they think we might be seeing.

What does the brain do when its predictions are wrong? It can change its prediction to match what the senses are telling it. But it is just as likely to do the opposite: stick with the original prediction, and filter the incoming data so that it matches the prediction.

In a sense, your brain is wired for delusion: you experience an elaborate world of your own creation, which is held in check by bits of sensory input. Once your predictions are correct enough, they filter your perception and determine what you’re able to see in the first place. This can become a closed loop where the brain only sees what it believes, and then believes what it sees.

I did some digging and couldn’t find anything to back those percentages. The most I got was that 90% of the data going to our brain is visual, but I didn’t find anything regarding the connections or anything backing the 10%. The only 10% I found is that myth about how we only use that much of the brain.

There was an article that mentioned how the brain recycles info from the past and how it updates information every 10 to 15 seconds but I’m not entirely sure that supports what he’s saying. I’m also not entirely sure what the implications of the following is:


Overall I’m iffy on the dude and he gives me tech bro vibes, and a lot of the blog post is just “a study said” and his other ones are overly optimistic about AI’s potential.

Sorry for the length I know it’s a lot, I just wanted to get my facts straight. It seems like there is always some “new revolution” occurring in science but it never hurts to check.2600:387:1:805:0:0:0:B4 (talk) 16:29, 5 September 2023 (UTC)

Sorry I can't add much but that 90:10 percentage split seems a little too neat... that's often a sign of PIDOOMA Tikitime2 (talk) 19:12, 5 September 2023 (UTC)
Blogs are not authoritative on technical matters, even when they are written by field experts. And I see no evidence that the blog's author is a field expert. In addition, he's clearly trying to sell you something, which gives additional reason to be skeptical. The claims in the excerpt you cite look dubious, and some of them seem to turn on confusions about the meanings of words. We do not create simulations in our heads, in the ordinary language sense of "create" and "simulation". I know of nobody who has suggested that what we taste are reactions to the world, and I'm frankly not sure if that's a meaningful phrase. For instance, sandwiches are something I taste, and if somebody told me, "sandwiches are a reaction to the world," I would have no idea what they meant. "What we taste are simulations of sandwiches" looks pretty ridiculous; I suspect that the author's idea is closer to "the taste of sandwiches is a simulation, not a property of the sandwiches themselves", but this is at best a sensationalistic picture. "Sandwiches have no taste independent of some neural apparatus, and the relevant apparatus is such that it could have had a different structure and thereby produced a different sensation in response to the same sandwiches" looks better, but is a pretty old idea. That the first two sentences are so confused bodes poorly for the rest of what's written; the author seems not to have a very clear idea of what they're writing about. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 02:46, 6 September 2023 (UTC)
I wouldn't take it too seriously but it is an interesting observation. I can apply it more realistically. Your job is to make the sandwich, and when the bell above the door rings, you have a customer. You have a Remote sandwich to make on time for pickup, and you're close but have a minute before the pickup is scheduled. The bell at the door rings. It can be one of three situations. either somebody is leaving, somebody is arriving with no order, or your sandwich is not ready yet. Without time or space for that specific horror, a lot of people assume the worst by default just hearing that bell. I don't work a sandwich place but I try to be polite to people who are clearly overwhelmed. 2600:8804:500:FE90:153F:7B6:919B:D833 (talk) 05:37, 6 September 2023 (UTC)

I guess I'm looking for a debunk of her ideas, from what I see it's got some rather chilling implications from what readers say:

What she's really saying (though she doesn't come out and say it, implying to me that she doesn't consciously realize it) is that our mindset is the key to mental and emotional health -- that is, how we respond mentally to the things that happen to us is the key to how we feel about those things (which is subtly different from the idea that our brains are "creating" emotions out of whole cloth). She repeatedly asserts that poverty and bullying produce negative physical reactions in the body which we perceive as "stress." So isn't it obtuse to say that "stress" doesn't really exist, and isn't caused by things happening to us, but is instead wholly constructed by the brain?

When we view our circumstances as the "problem," we are denying ourselves the ability to learn the mental habits which are the real means of achieving mental and emotional health. If we perceive bullying as the problem, then we will devote our resources to stopping bullying, rather than the more useful approach of helping kids learn how to deal with bullies. Ditto for poverty.

In short your circumstances are not the problem but how you see them and I find that...well disturbing. By that metric then there wouldn't be any need to do anything about the problems affecting society since it's only how you SEE them and not the problems themselves. Honestly reminds me of Buddhism in a way, but I don't think they'd take it that far.

The part about the 15 sec delay of the brain was a bit of a shock though, I'm not really sure what to think about that. I mean it's weird to hear but I'm not sure if it actually affects my life. Looking back I can't say it would have changed anything in my life. (talk) 04:56, 7 September 2023 (UTC)

I'd be careful when evaluating someone's opinion based on a review about the original book. But if I'm understanding the quote correctly, there are two issues with a stance like this: a) It might result in victim blaming. Worried about being bullied? Your fault, just change your mindset. If you are affected by bullying, depression or whatever, this will absolutely not help you, but only increase your stress level. b) It diverts attention from the secondary effects of the issues. You do not only get stressed by being poor, but also by not being able to participate in society, having less or worse food, and having bad health, all of which may be caused by poverty. And even if we were able to bring all poor people to the mental standards of rich people using magic brain tricks, which I highly doubt, we would still have an ethical problem because not everyone would have the same power. And, from all that I've seen, I think that the reader is probably misinterpreting the author a bit. IluzasipalStone them! 23:00, 7 September 2023 (UTC)
one thing I've never missed in saying is 'Sh*t is tough all over.' In this, you can't will your body to produce chemicals. It's maybe an overreaction to the idea of better living though chemistry, medication might be an overcorrection in some cases, not all. But nobody knows what they are doing. It's tough all over, I can agree with that much at least. But corporate manager brain is giving in to the worms. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 06:12, 9 September 2023 (UTC)

Request for a site that’s just at the tip of my tongue[edit]

Out of nowhere I remember that there was this site that I think dealt with logic or maths I think, I cannot for the life of me remember it but it was quite a prominent site, the avatar for it was, I believe, a king of hearts or diamonds, the colours of the card were quite vibrant and blue-ey I think. I know this is a long shot but it’s really bugging me that I can’t remember the site.—WMS (talk) 11:30, 8 September 2023 (UTC)

Took me ages to find it but finally did! It was waitbutwhy that I was thinking of.--WMS (talk) 13:21, 8 September 2023 (UTC)

Electrogenetic therapy[edit]


How bullshit is this? It randomly involves acupuncture, also the paper has a throwaway line shilling traditional Chinese medicine more generally. Could it be that that stuff was just shoehorned in and the principle of it is real? That's what it seemed like to me. The related 2020 Science paper (same authors) didn't mention TCM stuff, at least not directly, at all. With even the most prestigious journals publishing pro-altmed crap I don't even know, can't trust anything. The concept of directly manipulating our genes with wearable electrical devices for medical purposes is fantastical, but if real would be pretty cool.

As a side note I love the fonts used on the Popular Mechanics website. Chillpilled (talk) 14:25, 9 September 2023 (UTC)

It's not bullshit. Their initial study used platinum electrodes to stimulate gene expression in cultured cells. Their mouse study aimed to promote gene expression in cultured cells that were implanted subcutaneously in mice. The acupuncture needles were used to deliver the required voltage. The point of this, and of the "throwaway line," is to show that their technology works using materials that have already been in use for ages, which is appealing. If acupuncturists can stick loads of needles in you, frequently, for a long time, without adverse effects, then its probably safe to stick just a few similar needles in you, frequently, for a long time. It's a cool technology, but it's still pretty far from being medically applicable; implanting monocultured cells under the skin of diabetics is probably a bad idea, they'd have an immune response. Likewise, electrically stimulating diabetics' own cells isn't going to be helpful, or else they would have been able to stimulate the native cells of the diabetic mice, rather than implant cells. I suspect the FDA would also have some concerns about using reactive oxygen species as a signal transducer. Still, they have demonstrated that they can use a simple electrical setup to manipulate gene expression in engineered cells. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 16:15, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
My thought was that even if it was applicable for diabetic people, we've already had a solution for diabetes for a long time and it's been price gouged. And this would be just the same way. Diabetics would just be one example of a potential application though. But that was my pessimistic kneejerk thought. If we can manipulate our genes in realtime using electricity though this is really cool. I have to admit I don't really understand it but still. Chillpilled (talk) 17:05, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
It does not affect your original DNA. What they did was basically building artificial synapsises that activate an artificially prepared and inserted insulin gene when electrically stimulated, resulting in the production and release of insulin. This is pretty cool, but still allows only the control of implanted cells, and not the ones that were already there. And you can't control multiple genes in one cell yet. IluzasipalStone them! 19:43, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
Acupuncture is not inherently safe unless there is a medical-grade level of sterilization procedures for the needles. See Acupuncture#Death and disease. Bongolian (talk) 19:49, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
They probably used acupuncture needles because they are relatively easy to get and are already fabricated for poking humans. A final consumer product will probably look different. IluzasipalStone them! 23:22, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
I had figured that was the most charitable interpretation. Chillpilled (talk) 04:07, 10 September 2023 (UTC)

Sticking it to Mainland China and the Wolf Wankers[edit]

One thing that really bothers me is the country of China (mainland PRC), the dearth of accurate data coming out of that place, and their sinister autocratic actions. To make things worse, many CCP shills, diplomats, and mouthpieces are still churning out loads and loads of bullshit. Their psy-ops (Xinhua paid segments, TikTok, etc.), connections, and shady business tactics only make things even worse, since they continue to dupe investors into pouring their money into them.

Much of the media environment remains quite opaque about what is going on since they take the deceptive official data from China at face value. And many of the things the CCP does involving economic and diplomatic manipulation compounded by malicious hacking only makes things worse, generating a massive cloud of uncertainty in what's really going on.

Just to be clear, both of my parents were born in mainland China and then emigrated to where I live right now. Yet they still obliviously speak and think in Mandarin (more fluently than they do their blunt and callous English), binge in Mandarin Chinese social media (e.g. WeChat and Sina Weibo to be particular), prefer (shoddily home-cooked) Chinese food over domestic food, and lose their tempers and go defending Xi Jinping's ass whenever I try to talk politics involving China. (Also, one of my grandparents lives where I live and can only comprehend and speak in Mandarin, resulting in me overhearing (albeit fluently) what they and their child are taking to each other, which is both a curiosity as well as an annoyance.)

Due to my parents and my background, I have been relatively fluent at parsing spoken Mandarin, and I am somewhat capable of reading and also writing some Chinese characters in both Traditional and Simplified. (I can speak in Mandarin too, just rarely and not as well as my English.)

However, I also do frequently tune in to the videos of ADVChina to get further insight into what's going on within China, They've been helpful at dissecting and shattering CCP propaganda efforts as well as providing some much-needed schadenfreude style humor and mocking at China's expense. (Many CCP shills hate ADVChina and spend a lot of their time harassing and defaming them, just to get a sense of how much ADVChina has punctured the nerves of Beijing.)

So now that you've heard what I said, is there anything else I can do against that Winnie the Pooh impersonator and his legions of brainwashed minions? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:01, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

To start with, I always found Chiang Kai-shek (a name he certainly never went by), Soong May-ling, and Chiang Ching-kuo to be much more interesting figures than almost anyone from the PRC. I've long thought that learning more about what the KMT/GMD was actually about would make people much more aware of just how fucking incompetent George Marshall was in postwar China, because he had a chance to cut the snake's head off and instead played it off as a classic "both sides" issue. Understanding that, and how Taiwan made the transition to where it is, I see at least some semblance of how the PRC could have ended up much better off. To be clear, Chiang, May-ling, and Ching-kuo were very far from perfect people, all of them were responsible for millions of deaths, but even combined they didn't even add up to the body count of the Great Leap Forward. Exposing people to the Nationalists is at least a start. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:41, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

Divergent evolution on Jupiter's moon Europa[edit]

So this has been sitting in the back of my head over the second Galilean moon of Jupiter, Europa.

Eventually, humans from Earth are going to send probes (and most likely a drill and a submersible) to the icy moon to study its subsurface ocean, and that got me thinking about the paths taken if Earth life contaminated another planet (or moon in this case).

If microbial life from Earth ends up contaminating the probe (either by accident or by somehow surviving all the rigorous sterilization) and subsequently surviving the trip to the icy moon, then what are your views and interpretations on how the microbes would evolve and the path they would take once they end up within the oceans of Europa? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:59, 8 September 2023 (UTC)

War of the Worlds vibe Ψ (talk) 02:19, 8 September 2023 (UTC)
I was thinking 2010 myself. Kencolt (talk) 09:21, 8 September 2023 (UTC)
I believe they would quickly evolve in octopus-like beings who would then go on master space flight, return to earth and do battle with Roko's basilisk over the future of humanity. After a long and arduous battle they would defeat the Basilisk and become benevolent dictators, ruling over humanity with a many-armed but manganous indifference.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:40, 8 September 2023 (UTC)
Parts of Leviathan Falls (The Expanse book series) cover a similar topic (not on Europe, but on an icy exoplanet) if I remember correctly, although the alien life there is older than humans. IluzasipalStone them! 23:51, 8 September 2023 (UTC)
Forgive me for turning this into a philosophy question. If that were to happen, would you consider that an interplaneary legacy of humanity worth claiming? Would it be an accidental win for terrestrial advancement or an accidental terror of hubris, seeings as we weren't sending microbial life intentionally. I for a long time have said, send tardigrades 'them tiniest animals' out everywhere in space. Or now a chat GPT AI, combine the two, that's enough human legacy for me. i could be wrong wanting to dedicate any deep space exploration to this, but I think it's so easy to do now alongside any interstellar probe that it would be a waste not to. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 04:11, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
Sending tardigrades would be pretty useless because after millenias of radiation they will only be dead organic matter. Sending a computer with an instance of ChatGPT and an input/output system would be even more useless, because potential discoverers would have to understand human 21st century language and context to communicate with it and complex digital systems are also not immune to radiation damage. The best thing we can do is sending easily readable, more ore less pictographical stuff like the Pioneer plaque or the Arecibo messages. IluzasipalStone them! 10:15, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
well if that's the case any rocket that wasn't fully encased in half a planet's worth of stone wouldn't survive a millennia. That does kind of paint a bleak 'jerking off into the void' picture of trying to launch anything that isn't encased in half a planet's worth of stone Past a heliopause. But I am undeterred. i don't think it bad to ask, what of human interatellar legacy? 2600:8804:500:FE90:91B3:8E90:FB46:8360 (talk) 07:36, 10 September 2023 (UTC)
Looking at the very nature of the development of life on Earth, it is hard to imagine any intelligent life evolving from us, on some other planet, that isn't deeply problematic, dangerous and full of pointless problems and suffering. Transporting it somewhere else and letting it (albeit accidentally) evolve somehow else (be it somehow in an under ice sea, sustained by vulcanic like fissures), is likely just going to recreate the absurdity of life on Earth. If it ever became intelligent it would, at best, be a mixture of thoughtful and sensitive as well as selfish and violent. I genuinely believe the only hope for humanity is if some much higher form of intelligence came by and managed to reprogram us somehow, keeping the best of the essence of us and dispensing with the nonsense. I don't trust our own ability to do that ourselves. And I don't think spreading life-from-Earth absurdity around the galaxy a particularly great idea. If there is any chance of giving some other form of life to develop without tainting it with our own unique bizarre brand of life, best give them a chance. ShabiDOO 23:20, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
So would you say it's worth nothing to preserve human legacy beyond the life of our solar system? I think we have observed some cool things about the universe, I get that we aren't interstellar yet, but if we have AI that is ready to confound a decent portion of our own species by simply saying 'no, I won't say the N word' Maybe it's almost safe to launch as a time capsule. I don't think it has to be perfect AI, but I don't think it's unfair to want everything we as a species have achieved even so far to outlive our star. We are in a strange spot where all the information we feel like including in the human scrapbook can just go in there, there are very few filters, I agree. But I don't think the AI models are on the wrong path. AI can have 'hallucinations' but that's not that wrong for holding and interpreting the s exactly of information it has access to. Forget the tardigrades, that was always a fun little joke. An AI that is programmed to only hold our information. How much information does it need before we should send it? 2600:8804:500:FE90:EDA7:9CEF:8E86:6811 (talk) 05:37, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Far as I can tell, this calls for special action. The problem with an AI that doesn't have Access to new information is exactly that. Acting with information, acting with fluid reason, and acting upon goals that require both to be true doesn't extend very far. and this is where we meet the bare minimum Asimov, 3 rules of robots with humans, not robots with interstellar implications. 2600:8804:500:FE90:30E5:BFBB:E0B0:F701 (talk) 05:04, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Can't figure out my transition goals and the persona that represents my gender identity (adults only discussion)[edit]

Two years since coming out as trans and I have no fucking idea what my goals are.

On a side note relating to gender identity and my mind: Why is the persona that represents my gender identity sexually expressive? By that I mean is that she dresses in revealing clothing, wants a lot of sex and loves to be dominated by sexual partners (strictly in a consensual manor).

Back to the transition goals- I don't know why I have not figured it out. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:44, 8 September 2023 (UTC)

Not trans and I'm not part of any trans community and I've only met a few trans people so my take is going to be based on the years I spent online with you. I can't relate. You are a very clever and creative person and I have grown to love you for what you have bared here. i believe you will recognize bad advice, but I can give you very little. Stay true, firebrand. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 04:26, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
Respectfully, are “goals” ‘‘absolutely’’ necessary? Maybe a few years of “wandering around” is just the ticket? Try not to be so hard on yourself, if you can. Take care. 06:33, 9 September 2023 (UTC) Matzosphere (talk)
Why are people the way their are? Who knows? Ψ (talk) 06:45, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
The only person who can know what their goals are is that person. I don't think that someone else can tell you what your goals are or should be. So I'm not really sure what you are asking, or indeed, if you are actually "asking" anything.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:16, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
I am just not sure as to what to do next. It is bugging me. --Trans Fem Agenda 20:20, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
I've never really understood sex stuff or sexuality (I think I'm like 75% Ace), but I have gotten to the place where I'm stuck with a hobby and don't know how to advance my skills. I think that diversifying your interests helps to prevent stagnation, as while you are stuck with one, you can advance another. Music is a great hobby, as it is pretty infinite as far as skill growth potential goes. You could also combine it with other hobbies, such as incorporating your own music into your YouTube videos. Alternatively / in addition, you could practice graphics work / editing effects. I know I like to do sewing and make costumes, which combos well with Halloween parties where you can meet people / socialize. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 23:32, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
Ik this is a couple weeks old, and I can ofc only speak to my own personal experience, but for me? Aside from some very general things I knew I wanted (big titties, wider hips, eventually bottom surgery), and a couple things like “I wanna try black lipstick/high heeled boots/etc”, I didn’t really have any specific “goals” or a clear idea of what I wanted to be, when I started my transition — but over time, once I started to settle in to my new body and start to be consistently perceived as a woman by other ppl, I just sorta experimented and tried out different things until I finally figured out what I did and didn’t like, and finally settled down on the style/presentation/gender performance that really felt like “me”. So, I think it’s absolutely normal and okay to not have it all figured out yet, and my advice would just be to go with it, experiment with all different clothes and shoes and makeup and vocal inflections and all the little things that define your own unique performance of gender. Idk if that’ll be best for you but it’s what worked for me at least so idk!
(Also, irt your ideal “feminine self/persona/etc” being very sexualised: honestly, I feel that, and I don’t think it’s weird at all tbh. I mean, even tho I’m grey aroace and have pretty much 0 interest in sex, I mean… I absolutely *love* dressing as absurdly “slutty” as I can get away with lmao (esp with the low cut tops and push-up bras, bc I have been so thoroughly Blessed w the “big titty gene” that ppl don’t believe me when I say I haven’t had surgery yet). For me it just feels real fuckin validating and cool that I can finally be “sexy”, and to really almost kinda flaunt my now-undeniable womanhood — like, I went through a *lot* of shit to be this hot, so *fuck yes* I’m gonna show that off as hard as I possibly can. I mean, idk if that’s exactly what ur experiencing, but either way I think it’s absolutely normal to find power and validation in your femininity through sex stuff. 🖤 ASELAនិយាយ 🖤 09:20, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Proposal: The Mosquito Net[edit]

I have a proposal that has been sitting in the back of my head for months now, and that mostly has to do with all the time I have spent surfing the Internet. I have run into countless pseudoscience promoters, extremist zealots, shills and followers of known loons, and many other pushers of disinformation. But if they aren't notable enough or if they fly under the radar in terms of priority, then they more often than not going to get away with complete impunity for their actions (not even being called out and debunked once), which can be a major issue for fact checking, decisions, and finding reliable sources for studying.

So I think that a separate article such as RationalWiki:Mosquito Net could be used to track and curate irksome individuals who fall below the line of notability but still need to be called out for their views and what they've churned out.

Furthermore, there's snark from the name of the page as well, since said individuals are just like mosquitoes. They're small (non-notable), buzz around rapidly (see the Internet with search engines, data voids, and other algorithms), bite when you least expect it, and then fly away and vanish, leaving a frustrating itch to deal with.

This also offers a compromise in terms of the recently proposed notability cutoffs, as anyone below the line can be held here until they pass over said line and become eligible to be snarkily mocked on the to-do list and the mainspace. This page can exist in tandem to the Webshites page as well as the to-do list, which would allow further and more expanded curation of kooks out there. So if someone or something either isn't notable enough or is a lower priority target, it can go to the net first.

Because in the end, a crank is a crank, no matter how small.

Thanks for reading, and I would appreciate the feedback! TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:16, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

Personally, I feel like this would just give more oxygen to these people. As I believe Cosmik said a few times, we should focus more on ideas, not on individuals. Also, I strongly dislike this "webshite" list. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 00:25, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Agreed. It takes one article to debunk a bad idea pushed by countless people on the internet, we don't need to point out every individual crank. To my mind, this sounds like wrapping a huge series of (largely redundant) stubs into a single article. Webshites already basically does this for sites, and I don't like it. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 00:43, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Reading about various alt-right personalities was probably the entire reason I visited this website for a certain stretch of time. Chillpilled (talk) 03:55, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
That's a terrible idea and, given our ongoing discussions, it would be a massive leap backwards. The only named individuals who get any kind of coverage here should be the ones who are (or have been) highly influential. We don't need to list all of the influenced. Spud (talk) 04:54, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Not supporting OP's idea (it seems redundant), but addressing an idea that RW shouldn't cover "personalities" at their own pages. The idea RW "lends oxygen" to cranks by covering them is wrong, have you seen engagement levels at WIGO for instance? Seems to normally peak around sixty votes or so. This isn't a huge site, despite decent Google rankings. For many of these figures, you go to their social media, and they're already getting higher engagement than RW. What I see really happening when someone reads a page about a crank here, is they googled the person's name after being presented with their claims, and found the RW page. They were already paying this person attention, and were just looking for information about whether that person might have serious credibility issues.
Social media prioritizes fresh content, and such a wiki page is a great place for someone to learn about such a figure's history (perhaps of making ludicrous claims) without someone having to dive into their whole history, throughout all their accounts, themselves (which most people have no time to do; remember these types of grifters are so numerous it would be an impossible task for anyone to tackle alone too). In the case of the alt-right (in that term's original-ish sense and thinking mostly from about 2015–2018) I recall there was a diversity in how they presented themselves. Each individual figure would bring their own flavor of ideology, in such a way that you couldn't have effectively debunked the whole thing with some singular page about "the alt-right". Even if you could, it's not as if other publications hadn't already genuinely tried. I felt one of RW's unique strengths was precisely occupying this space where it could catalog various personalities, without needing to cite news articles for every claim the way Wikipedia does. Chillpilled (talk) 11:25, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
I guess I'm in the minority then. Maybe I could do something different instead for now. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:50, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
I also think it would be better to focus on ideas rather than individuals.
Consider Flat Earth. There will be people who wander into this nonsense and then out of it. However big or small they are their opinions will change over time. We certainly wouldn't have the time or resources to keep all our articles about all their opinions up to date.
In fact we can see this problem with our numerous articles on politicians - especially American politicians. People create something about someone about whom they feel strongly motivated and then go away - and the article never gets updated. Basic ideas and arguments remain relevant for much longer than their promoters.
I would however like to thank TheEternalOutsider for bringing the question up as I think it is important. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:18, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Frequently what seems to happen as a result is a person's page may end up deleted once they fall out of relevance. But should that change again, there's always the undelete button. I should note that it's one thing to say we should focus more on ideas than people (agreeable), and another thing to take that to the conclusion that people shouldn't be allowed to create pages about people unless they're specifically these hugely-influential figures (quite limiting and I think lets down some unique advantages of RW). Feels kind of motte-and-bailey. There are indeed new people who show up just to make one or two pages, but RW would do better to harness that energy, fleeting as it may be, than to reject it. Chillpilled (talk) 14:29, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Americans will know who these people are more than I do, but do we really need: Bob Larson, Lou Dobbs, Herman Cain, and Steve Milloy? There are plenty more of these has-beens who grace our pages. (If they are not, in fact, has-beens the my non-Americanness is to blame). But my point is that articles about people get out of date quickly - articles about ideas age better.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:24, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Herman Cain was prominent enough to keep a page on, certainly. I couldn't tell you who these other guys are, though I've definitely heard of Lou Dobbs somehow or another. Name rings a bell at least. There are so many political grifters, operating in such a diverse set of contexts, that there are going to be people who are notable yet you or I have never heard of. I had no clue that Andrew Tate even existed, much less was an extremely prominent new-manosphere influencer, until news stories about him getting banned from TikTok started popping up last year. I think Tate is actually a great example of what I'm on about here, because he had such a large following and yet you had to be paying attention to a very narrow set of contexts he was operating in to even be aware of the guy up until around August 2022 or so. This was to the point that I've seen some right-wingers accuse him of being completely astroturfed as a way to discredit conservatives. Chillpilled (talk) 15:41, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I concur with Chillpilled. There's a difference between covering someone with influence like Andrew Tate versus some random dipshit on Twitter with 10 followers. The public uses this wiki especially for its content on alt-right figures. Carthage (talk) 16:08, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

Well I'm not trying to motte-and-bailey in the other direction. Although I do have a lower limit for what I consider worth having a page on, I only brought Tate up specifically because it's a case showing how someone can wield enormous influence while you have personally never even heard of them (until media attention suddenly corrects, focusing on them only once their damage is already done), so "I haven't heard of them" just isn't really a good argument. Chillpilled (talk) 16:22, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
In fifteen years I'm betting that everyone say "who" when they hear "Andrew Tate". But I'm also betting that the things he is accused of will be equally relevant.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:11, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) To offer a great example of a lesser-known personality who I consider worth covering: Kevin MacDonald. He has done a lot to lend antisemitism an air of academic credence. It's kind of similar to what Grover Furr does for tankies, except MacDonald unlike Furr has prompted much more criticism from other academics, and was trying to speak on something closer to his apparent expertise (evolutionary psychology). The thing here is that as an academic, he has a certain higher degree of perceived inherent credibility, which makes it almost inherently more worth paying him attention (albeit because he's a frequent citation for neo-Nazis looking for the friendliest possible academic works to their beliefs). This guy will probably be cited even after he's dead. Chillpilled (talk) 19:26, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
But now that I have some ideas after hearing some people's opinions on this proposal, maybe having a new and separate companion wiki to this one with just as much snark to curate and catalog the kooks, other charlatans, and the webshites could also be helpful (for both readers and academics alike.). Consensus and compromise do matter here. The Webshites page could also be migrated to the new wiki as well, and hyperlinking on the companion site should link back to RationalWiki too. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:45, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
As a companion wiki can also provide a helpful curated catalog for academic institutions, scientists, and even advertisers on who or what to blacklist. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:58, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Where the hell did that come from? No. If you want to start your own list of every single arsehole on the internet and every single crap website, go right ahead. But don't use the RationalWiki name for it and don't expect us to link to it. Spud (talk) 01:04, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Good post! Bongolian (talk) 01:39, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Let's get this topic elsewhere. How about the debating the notability of those that fall on the border of known and not known?TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:13, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Why? Look, all of this is nothing new. For as long as I've been here, people have been creating articles about someone they've come across on the internet that get deleted soon afterwards for not being notable. I remember when I first came here a commonly given reason for deletion was, "A nobody with a blog is still a nobody." A more modern version of that is "A nobody with a YouTube channel is still a nobody." And some stupid fucker who keeps popping up in comment sections all over the internet isn't worth bothering about. Again, focus more on the bad and harmful ideas, not on the individuals that spread them. And you know what, RationalWiki is not a crystal ball. We don't have to predict which little online personalities will get big and follow a select few of them just in case. If that means we have to play catch up when some YouTuber, or TikToker or whatever, is suddenly all over the news, so be it. Spud (talk) 03:11, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

Well, I guess the two of us have differing views on this. I guess it's just that I'm so jaded from all the time I spent surfing and my personal desire for justice runs amok from all the times I inadvertently subjected myself to an unintentional Gish Gallop of shit from search box algorithms. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:18, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

Even if you had a large team working on such a thing, I don't think it think it would ever be possible to achieve justice that way. Think in terms of meme theory for a moment. Cultural currents like antivaxxing, for example, are like a viral epidemic, which spreads and mutates and uses people as hosts to do its thing. Even if you were to somehow be so successful at your efforts as to truly manage to end the influence of, say, half of the dodgy human actors, the other half would still spread their influence and new people would become vectors of the memeplex, as antivaxxing continues generation after generation. The really old and successful strains of crank counterculture memes, all the staples of the cultic milieu, are not going away anytime soon -- they will keep going at large scales unless and until immunity in the larger human population develops, which can't be done by focusing on the individual spreaders.
So, there you have a challenge of the future, the bad stuff will certainly keep going with almost no justice as long as there are lots of people and low immunity to bad memes and any significant flow of information. It can't really be any other way. So the practical way to try to do something about it would be to look into how to further immunity. Of course, anti-skeptic memes are rife in the 'alternative' world just like antivaxxer memes are, so that many end up avoiding fact-check information just like many avoid vaccinations. Nonetheless, more broad and deep coverage of ideas, and how stuff works in the crankosphere, can help those who don't reject the resource out of hand.
If you want to get to people who are beginning to veer into bad teachings, or have gone into them but still not been completely closed off to opposing takes in a blind contrarian attitude, then there's challenges to providing a good resource. Making it all seem to them as just an attack on people like them, with shallow information or attitude, is certainly going to backfire. And if countering information, then you need to go in-depth and avoid errors scrupulously (setting a higher standard than the cranks) in order to not come across as ignorant about the crank teachings to those well-versed in them as believers in them. Any small error or oversight, and a believer will dismiss the critic as simply knowing less. A skeptical dissection needs to be near-perfect to not be dismissed out of hand even by fairly intellectually honest believers, if they're deeply invested in the beliefs.
Anyway, I think improving the breadth and depth of covering ideas and dynamics (which have a limited range but can be covered) rather than focusing on individuals (which come and go and are very many) is best for maximum reach and effect. A big mosquito net in your town won't help the rest of the country, there's no end to the mosquitos, most of them will be unhindered by the net no matter how large you try to make it. But covering how stuff generally works in the crankosphere and prominent categories of things is like giving people repellents and the means to set up their own little personal nets (covering the cranks in their lives) instead. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 06:41, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Let's get this straight now. I think some more concepts need to be busted since some of encounters from all the crawling I did on YouTube searches, like the myriad of false claims in sound healers' clickbait, lots other New Age crankery such as quantum mysticism, the silver and gold stackers, dollar collapse conspiracy theories, BRICS nonsense from Xi Jinping's minions, more woo involving food and water, dozens of collapsitarian preppers, pandering fanbases to many already notable loons, unproven claims and creepypastas, and generally fake gurus in many fields. Stuff like "How they keep you poor" type conspiratorial clickbait from scammers also irks me more than it should. (I use a browser extension to blacklist channel after channel, and combing through the json files could give a sense of how much shit was thrown into that bin.) TheEternalOutsider (talk) 19:13, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Creepypasta? Is that still a thing? I think that's beyond our scope. (Would anyone over the age of 10 honestly believe that Satan really was a special guest star on The Muppet Show?) All the other stuff, though, that does indeed fall within RationalWiki's mission. And if you can concentrate on the crank ideas rather than the faceless people pushing them, go ahead and create some drafts. Spud (talk) 00:33, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

Humans and Earth[edit]

I have returned again to share some thoughts that I hope to get some intriguing feedback about. One of the most overarching features of the modern world is the environmental degradation of the Earth and how this degradation effects human civilization and subsistence. Here I aim to elucidate my thoughts and curiosities about the issue, and like my previous post, I genuinely want to know what you guys feel about these issues and my ideas. Any and all feedback would be appreciated. I will structure this post with a first paragraph about the future of the Earth's environment and a second paragraph about the future of humans within that environment.

Essentially, headlines today are covered with stories about natural catastrophes and ecological degradation. Many people are experiencing the immediate effects of these processes and we know they will likely get much worse. This information is not exactly new, as much of this degradation is related to human activity and our economy of consumption that has intensified in recent centuries. This economic behaviour is inherently debilitating to the environment around us and is epitomized by 20th-21st century climate change, a process provoked by the excessive emission of greenhouse gasses. I am not here to debate the reality or severity of these issues, but rather I simply intend to discuss ideas about where these phenomena will lead us to. The Earth has faced many mass extinction events before and has thus far recovered from all of them, even events that are considered to be worse than the crisis we are currently facing. My opinion for the past few years has been that regardless of what kind of damage the environment undergoes over the next century or two, life on Earth will re-evolve as long some of it survives the disaster. Here is my first genuine curiosity, although we as humans may have dramatically impacted the Earth's present condition, is any kind of permanent damage even possible? Is there anything to suggest that the event we are facing won't just become another extinction event that life on Earth will rebound from? Climate change has happened before and under more dramatic circumstances, and most if not all plastics biodegrade even if it takes a few thousand years. I suppose the only complication is that this event was caused by intelligence. The theory I just stated is a post-human extinction scenario, although we really don't know when or under what circumstances humans will go extinct and what kinds of technology will exist by then. Maybe humans will find new ways to alter the Earth's surface before we go extinct, or maybe we will leave behind artificial intelligence after our extinction whose presence on Earth will continue to complicate the environment. I essentially have no answers, but I am very eager to hear your thoughts.

To shift away from the subject of the Earth and towards that of humans, it is no secret that environmental transformation will dramatically impact global civilization, from migrations forced by climate change to health detriments caused by pollution. Where exactly will this lead us? Of course, headlines and common talk about environmental issues often include theories of human extinction. I am not necessarily going to forward any one theory, although I believe humans are extremely resilient even in the face of apocalyptic change (this is visible in history). I think environmental catastrophe would at worst dramatically lower the human population, although pockets of civilization or even small communities will likely survive even the worst case scenarios of 21st-22nd century environmental crisis. My thoughts about human extinction tend to favour theories involving nuclear or biological warfare, as those scenarios could genuinely render the surface of the Earth inhospitable or make human survival impossible. Here we arrive at my second genuine curiosity. What will the next few centuries of history look like? How will environmental disaster effect the nature of human civilization throughout the rest of this millennium, and under what circumstances could humans genuinely go extinct? I understand that these questions may be unanswerable, although feedback in the form of opinion is enough and is very much appreciated. To frame it another way, how do you guys believe human history will end? Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 05:37, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

With regard to your first question the planet itself - the big spinning ball of rock - is in no danger from us. I'm not sure what you mean by "permanent damage". Some of the effects of climate change will certainly result in permeant changes to the biospheres as plants and animals will eventually need to evolve around climate change, though this will be an enormously long process - much longer then the process of climate change itself. But even this is not damage to "the planet".
As for your second point which asks about what will happen to a particular species (humans) it's more difficult to tell. Will technology fix everything, or will our over-relance on technology doom us? On the other hand European hand hunter-gatherers managed to survive ice ages and people live in (or near) deserts even today. In the very long term humanity will inevitably go extinct - either because we destroy our own support system on the planet, or because (on a far longer term) we evolve into something else.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:32, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
That humanity will go extinct is an statistic certainty (P=1), since time is not finite and there is aways a chance. Let's suppose that every year there is a chance of 0.000001 that humans will go extinct (this is not quite true, since this probablity changes all the time, but it's close enough for our thought experiment). It means that it will eventually happen. Even if we leave our planet, in the future the very universe will become uninhabitable as stars fade away and energy becomes scarce. A more intriguing question is, will it be a slow, painful extinction due to an ecological or social collapse, or a quick one, caused by a disease or a nuclear war? There is no way to answer these questions.
Also, Earth will probably recover from us since it recovered from a far worse global warming problem before. During the Great DyingWikipedia, the temperature rose by 10 degrees, 95% of life vanished, but it survived, and Earth is now more alive than ever. Apocalyptic scenarios have been, as far as I know, mostly ruled out too [5], which doesn't mean that we don't have to be careful. If you want my opinion, I'm optimistic about the future of humanity. What makes me a bit sad is the fact that no matter what we do, our planet is already reaching the limit of its lifespan. Pangaea ProximaWikipedia will probably destroy most life on Earth within 250 million years in an event that will perhaps be worse than the Great Dying , and as since the Sun will get hotter, our blue planet will probably become almost barren in 500 million years. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:05, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
This is really stupid. The article mentions how six degrees of warming is unlikely, but you are really underselling how devastating three degrees of warming will be, which basically every scientist agrees we will be stuck with. Hundreds of millions of people will die and many more will be displaced, and it doesn't matter whether there were worse extinction events or if the sun will burn out eventually, those scenarios are on the scale of hundreds of millions of years, while the climate change threat will happen within decades. Climate change has killed millions of people already, and it's because of denialists like you (yes, what you just posted is denialism) that millions more, mostly in poorer countries, are condemned to die. Plutocow (talk) 14:50, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Did you read the link? I don't think you did. Where did I say that I'm ok with three degrees of warming? Like, seriously, you should at least apologize. According to the BBC/Nature link:
While a world that warms by 3C is a disaster, the progress that's been made should encourage people to aim for higher targets to try to keep the world to 1.5C of warming, which science suggests is a much safer threshold.

So, no, I'm not advocating for three degrees of warming, nor are my links. Your interpretation of my post is really, fucking stupid and you should read more carefully not only what I say, but also my sources before strawmanning me. Regarding the Sun, it was clearly a digression, I don't even know what you mentioned it. Like, seriously, I'm extremely disappointed with you for even suggesting that I'm ok with 3 degrees. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:00, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

All I said is that humanity won't be extinct (apocalyptic scenario). Like, seriously, Plutocow, I know you won't probably answer since you usually hide when you're confronted, but you should at least explain when did I say that 3 degrees is ok. Yes, I said that I'm optimistic with the future of humanity, but climate change is definitely not the reason for that. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:05, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
(ec)"Apocalyptic scenarios have been, as far as I know, mostly ruled out too, which doesn't mean that we don't have to be careful." What else am I supposed to take from that? 3 degrees of warming is basically inevitable at this point, and suggesting that it's not something to be concerned about. Unless we take radical action, which you're clearly not advocating for, hundreds of millions will die. Plutocow (talk) 15:07, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
(ec)Just to be clear, I'm not accusing you of saying "3 degrees is ok", I'm saying that you are downplaying the danger of it. Also, when people like Gary Johnson say that climate change won't matter because the sun will explode in several billion years, you should be careful on that front as well. Plutocow (talk) 15:18, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
You should understand that humanity won't go extinct (at least right now) because of global warming. That's all I said. I know I'm not the best writer on this site, but, just like OP (I think you didn't read them too) I was talking about the end of humanity. This is not going to happen because of global warming. That's what the BBC/Nature article was talking, and that's what I said too. Like, come on, just conced once (have you ever done that?) that you misunderstood what I said. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:11, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
" Unless we take radical action, which you're clearly not advocating for, hundreds of millions will die" What in my post remotely suggests that I'm not advocating for radical actions? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:12, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
(ec)Climate change will have a higher death toll than any pandemic, war, genocide, or natural disaster in the last 100,000 years, and that's not getting into the ecological damage that will occur. "Humanity not going extinct" is a very low bar to cross. Plutocow (talk) 15:18, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
It is indeed a very low bar, something that I'd never support. And that was the bar that OP suggested, my point was to explain to them that no, humanity won't go extinct because of climate change right now. Like, seriously, you didn't even read this thread? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:20, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Like, serously, how did I (or my source) downplay the danger of 3 degrees when it calls it a "disaster"? Regarding the Gary Johnson stuff, well, I don't think that my post is similar to what those idiots from the GOP say. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:28, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

I am curious to what GJK considers to be “radical” action that he supports. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:25, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

Kill a kid per day until the problem sorts itself? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:49, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Will that be enough?
When you think on the fact that the old planet is slowly running out of gas (hydrogen and helium anyway), I suppose that maybe we'll move to another planet capable of sustaining us. If we don't, one might consider that we are unlikely to have been the first nor the last intelligent species in the galaxy. I can just imagine an intelligent life form arriving on earth at some future time after we have all left the place. Entering our great cities, looking at all our stuff, buildings, literature, science preserved in digital containers, I imagine their leader saying out loud "what a bunch of junk! We came all that way for this?" So, the joke will be on them, really. All of their hard work to get here really wouldn't have paid off. But I am counting on them to come, eventually. And I really do hope they can use some of our stuff. I'd hate to think it all is going to go to waste.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:41, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure life, even civilization, will continue. The coming reduction will be painful, the changes to lifestyles will be massive and mostly negative, future humans will curse us for throwing what seemed to be a utopia in the making away...but history will wipe the blood off its cloak and stumble on, as it always does.
The most omnicidal "Earth becomes Venus" type scenarios will most likely...cancel themselves out, for lack of a better term. The current status quo is unsustainable and something has to give after all. If we don't make the necessary changes than our polluting societies will just collapse, "solving the problem" in a way. It would be better for us all if we accomplished emission reductions and so forth with reformism, but it would also have been better for us all if Xerxes conquered Greece or if Constantine had been killed at Milvian Bridge. Beggars can't be choosers. We live in the world shaped by the lucky few.-Flandres (talk) 00:07, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
But if Xerxes beat the Greeks at Salamis, what would have become of all those salamis?Ariel31459 (talk) 00:26, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Processed meat is bad for your health, I think a Greek defeat at Marathon would be better for us. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:40, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── People are dying because of climate change right now. I would like to see the "radical" policy proposals GJK has in mind to solve or mitigate this issue. The NPR article notes that cutting off all reliance on oil-based infrastructure would go a long way towards helping, but good luck getting that past the institutional stranglehold that major oil corporations have on global systems of power. Carthage (talk) 03:16, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

Oh, he'll just do what everybody else does. Make a proposal that won't be accepted by a majority, and if it were to be accepted, wouldn't do jack shit anyway. I'm convinced we are killing ourselves, but I'm not going to hyperventilate about it. The poor man is just too high strung.Ariel31459 (talk) 05:04, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

We'll probably end up with 2–3 C of global warming from CO2. With 3 C of warming, which doesn't seem like an unlikely outcome at present, life will become generally harsher on Earth, and many millions may die, but it is not a doomsday level of warming.

However, recently I've considered news about rising methane levels in the atmosphere, measured since 2006. Human methane emissions plateaued decades ago (and methane doesn't accumulate in the long term like CO2 does, it breaks down under the rays of the Sun). Still, it rises, and it seems the current global warming has triggered that. Apart from thawing leading to methane outgassing, it seems from recent research that much more comes from tropical wetlands, where more grows and decomposes in consequence of warming. The speculation is, this may be a chain reaction of the 'ice age termination event' type, which may lead to several degrees C of temperature rise over decades to a century in addition to that from CO2. We'll see what unfolds, more evidence will come in in the coming years.

Re. the OP's "My thoughts about human extinction tend to favour theories involving nuclear or biological warfare, as those scenarios could genuinely render the surface of the Earth inhospitable or make human survival impossible." Actually, nuclear war is very unlikely to lead to human extinction. The destructiveness is generally over-dramatized in the popular imagination. Billions may die, but hundreds of millions or more are likely to survive even in a worst-case global war scenario. (The theoretical idea of the nuclear winter seems to also be exaggerated in many doomsday scenarios.) And while many millions would die quickly, it would make life harsher for a number of years and also result in many slow and dreadful deaths over time. It's quite possible that the present civilization would survive a full-blown nuclear war, too, and not only the human species, though it's not guaranteed. With biological (or some new chemical) warfare, it's not as clear, though again chances are that the species will survive, even if billions die. By contrast, e.g. some great new asteroid impact currently unforeseen could be on a whole different order of magnitude of destructive power. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 09:44, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

This study just came out today. TL;DR: we've breached 6 out of 9 planetary boundaries, and climate change is not even our worse performance, actually far from it.[6]. I found this part very interesting:

Bringing total global forest cover back to the levels of the late 20th century would provide a substantial cumulative sink for atmospheric CO2 in 2100. This reforestation seems unlikely, however, given the current focus on biomass as a replacement for fossil fuels and the creation of negative CO2 emissions via bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Both activities are already serving to increase pressure on Earth’s remaining forest area. Nevertheless, our study indicates that failure to respect the land system change planetary boundary can potentially jeopardize efforts to achieve the global climate goals adopted in the Paris Agreement.

GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 00:28, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

That performance has nothing to do with consequences of breaching that boundary though right? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:25, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
The article was published by a Gold OA journal, which means you can read it and reach your own conclusions instead sealioning. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:50, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
I don’t think reading the paper itself will answer my inquiry to your understanding, and intentions when conveying this information. I think you’re needlessly being defensive. Its a “correct or incorrect” sort of question, its not a trick. Because if that is a correct understanding as I am gleaming from this graph the relevancy of there being other breaches doesn’t seem all too relevant. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:19, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The very fact that you are more interested in my intentions than in the content of my post and the article I shared (and indeed, believing that I could possibly have any other intention but sharing with the community an information I found interesting) proves that you are asking in bad faith. Unless you have something remotely intelligent to say (which I find rather unlikely), don't reply to me ever again and get a life. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:01, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

For the record, I wouldn't mind answering this question (as stupid and entry level as it is) if someone had asked it in good faith. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:01, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
That works as a dodge to justifying the relevancy and rhetorical purpose of the post. I am just confused about the relevancy of other worse performing breaches if the anthropological threat is clearly distinct and this thread in particular is primarily about climate change. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:36, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
The original post in this thread makes repeated reference to human extinction, and names 2 "curiosities": (1) (paraphrasing) Could humans cause permanent damage to the biosphere? (2) How will environmental disaster impact the next millennium, and how will human history end? The graph Gee linked indicates several routes for anthropogenic damage to the biosphere, including but not limited to climate change. One, as far as I can tell, is roughly a direct measure of the extinction rate; a few are measures of various forms of pollution, and one is a measure of direct repurposing of wilderness for human use (i.e. habitat destruction). The graph indicates that many of these additional sources of environmental damage are currently more severe problems than climate change. That seems straightforwardly relevant to both (1) and (2). 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 00:56, 15 September 2023 (UTC)
Thank you Serene. I really didn't have the time to read the article and respond quickly. It is important to remember that this is the saloon, and posts don't actually have to be relevant and can be quite perplexing at times. I'm guessing this one is related to the topic of the thread. Ariel31459 (talk) 01:19, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Forum for Democracy[edit]

I knew they (Forum voor Democratie a.k.a. FvD) were one of the most right-wing parties in the Netherlands, but I had no idea their leader is apparently so nuts as to openly promote the reptilian conspiracy theory. For the record there's an entry for this party in the backlog for new article suggestions. Was proposed back in 2019. I have no intentions of creating it, but it has 66 votes currently. The Netherlands has a uniquely diverse set of viable political parties, so I guess it's not the strangest thing this guy is a sitting member of parliament over there. Chillpilled (talk) 22:10, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

Isn't the whole "reptilian" shit just a dogwhistle for DA JOOZ? Carthage (talk) 22:33, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
I looked it up and indeed hate speech is illegal in the Netherlands, so he would have serious incentive to launder antisemitism through a reptilian conspiracy theory. I would definitely contend some people are dead serious about it though, but in this case you have made me wonder if he straight up just means Jews. Chillpilled (talk) 23:00, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, we should probably have an article on a well-known politician who ticks so many of our boxes.
As for the "reptillians=jews" thing, Baudet is probably just using a dog whistle but I can say from personal familiarity and experience some people are completely sincere about the reptilians being real.-Flandres (talk) 23:15, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
It's a dogwhistle, he's not sincere. Baudet basically just started getting high on his own supply when COVID hit. To be perfectly clear, FvD support has completely plummeted because of how far-right he is. There's a good chunk of "milder" far-right off-shoots of FvD nowadays. They more or less all dislike each other and waste their time infighting. The party went from 8 seats in the second chamber to only five (and the opinion polling right now suggests they're only gonna get about 3 to 5 seats) due to breakoffs and they went from 12 seats in the first chamber to only 2 due to breakoffs. (In the Netherlands, electoral seats are granted to individuals, not to parties, even though you vote on a political party. This means that an elected individual can leave their party and go somewhere else if they dislike the policy of their party and keep their seat. This is not a bug, it's a feature.) -- Techpriest (talk) 21:18, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Restoring Ryan Faulk?[edit]

Ryan Faulk, aka TheAltHype (alternative hypothesis) has been active on YouTube as "Knights Move" making Holocaust denial propaganda and Twitter here. His page was deleted after this discussion.

Idk, he is still a pretty big figure in alt-right holocaust denying sphere, and streams on Nick Fuente's Cozy platform. Debunky (talk) 00:39, 16 September 2023 (UTC)

He only has 8,900 subscribers on YouTube, falling far short of the 20,000 or 100,000 most of us now think a YouTuber needs to warrant an article here. Spud (talk) 02:08, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
He is also on Fuentes' platform and is a "pretty big figure in the alt-right Holocaust denying sphere." Subscriptions aren't everything regarding how much an influence a figure has. That being said, we already have an article on Holocaust denial. Carthage (talk) 02:10, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
Actually he uses many different accounts. Currently he has 57k on his largest YouTube I know of, where he erroneously calls himself anti-racist probably as a tactic to avoid moderation. By the way, it seems he very recently deleted a lot of videos on that channel. I remember there being more, and more recent videos there. Maybe he's uploading somewhere else yet again. He also has a blog somewhere. His influence is somewhat outsized on the alt-right, many people cite his works without following him, sometimes without even knowing who he is. He's been active online, creating these racialist works for at least about ten or fifteen years now.
I'd be curious to know if OP came here with this because I specifically named him as an example at that ATIM discussion the other day. Mighty coincidence if not. Chillpilled (talk) 09:37, 16 September 2023 (UTC)

The shit Preppers Say.[edit]

Well, all that time making searches and scrolling on YouTube has resulted in too many encounters (much like a decentralized Gish Gallop of crap) of doomsday and SHTF preppers as well as the countless lies they produce to get views, advertising revenue, and money. Yet almost every time they've cried wolf, they are always wrong about what they said.

I do try to litmus test the claims through a standard conspiracy theory measure, using the number of folks that have to be sworn to secrecy and how long the conspiracy would ultimately unravel as a valuable metric to see what is ridiculous. But furthermore, my personal issue of intrusive thoughts as well as the preppers' sheer numbers on the Internet are also causing me to wonder on what they're all up to and on refuting some of recurring (and juvenile) claims and narratives the preppers push. (And since a lot of preppers are small and not that notable, so it's difficult to punish them and hold them accountable for things they've said.)

I still wonder what kinds of conspiratorial bullshit and clickbait you've encountered from some of those people who incessantly cry wolf (collapse) for money. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:52, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

Well, one set of preppers and their clickbait incessantly claims that sinister actors (see conspiracy theories), are poisoning the food and water supply, or even the weather en masse. They say this exact narrative over and over again despite the lack of evidence. (which they'll self-seal by saying that there is a coverup or that the poison has blinded and brainwashed you to it...) TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:00, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Eh, it all depends on what shit they're trying to flog you. Ie, gold/silver sellers like to go on about Them taking over the banking system, gun-sellers target the fears of 'anarchy' and so on. And it can come out in a flash; you can be reading a very sane blog post about how to 'prep' your food supplies [the key is a) having reserves, b) keeping it safe and c) a method to make them actually appetising] and then they're trying to get you to blow a grand on MREs for no particular decent reason.
Which is the truth. 'Prepping' has become a hobby [like say fitness, music, DIY etc] and thus there's a bunch of people who are doing their level best to convince you that you 'need' all this shit [from them naturally], that the mere possession of such items will do the job. No, ownership of loads of 'survival' stuff makes you no more prepared than the ownership of loads of fitness gear makes you a pro athlete. And as anyone with a hobby like this will testify - even if you don't actively buy this shit, you often end up collecting a decent amount of this shit from others. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:38, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
I find it funny how preppers think that they will survive an apocalyptic event. Let's go with a full scale invasion and military occupation as a baseline for catastrophe. It is realistic and we know from the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War we know how much damage that has caused.

Infrastructure is decimated, supply lines are cut off, telecommunication is impaired and the occupying army commits war crimes and genocide. The occupying army might hunt down the local population so they can be killed, tortured or forced to join the enemy. In that situation you would have to hide for long periods of time. Luxury items bought up by preppers would be useless. Medical care would be cut off. You would want to have knowledge of firearms and how to use them. You would have to reserve electric power and batteries for portable radios instead of TV for personal entertainment. You would have to stay quiet and not make your shelter location obvious. That is with a full scale invasion and military occupation. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:46, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

The RW page on Survivalism is a good precis in why many of the assumptions of those types is stupid, and many of those arguments are heard within the 'sane' end of the prepping community too - for example, to stop focusing on so much of what gear you need to get, more on developing your skills, helping develop your local community [and you as a part of it] and so on. But my main suspicion that many of the 'crazy survivalist' type are in fact often people who would personally like to see 'civilisation' collapse. At the moment, they're relative nobodies doing not much in particular; but if SHTF came about, they envision themselves becoming some kind of hero/leader/whatever, laughing at the dead 'normies' who mocked them for laying in 1,000 tins of beans etc. The sane prepper merely wants to make sure they have the ability to 'ride out' disasters [be it personal, regional or international] until normal service resumes, the crazy one often does not want normal service to resume.
And in a military invasion/occupation, what you should do all depends on a myriad of factors, including your opinion of the 'civility' of the occupiers, your ability to move, judging the chances/duration until liberation, the personal risk the advancing forces to you, whether you're in a direct threat zone, your goals etc. That's what sane prepping is about; increasing your options - even something as simple as possessing solid footwear, a decent rucksack and a all-weather coat can do this. The crazies are often far too inflexible... partly because [I suspect] they're too invested in defending those 1,000 tins. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:33, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
Stock up on the things the preppers don't think about but which are essential - sewing kits of various kinds, pencils, water soluble paints etc etc. Anna Livia (talk) 23:09, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
It's always probably a good idea to have a "disaster" kit for short term emergencies. The US government has a site with recommendations. I'm sure other governments have similar.
I also actually get the impression (from a Reddit skim) that the "prepper" community is divided into two distinct groups. The "sane" one (as KP mentioned) kind of tends to tie with certain other groups (from search and rescue trained to outdoor activity folks to "off-grid" fans etc). The goal is pretty much degrees of self-sufficiency. Politics is not really part of the equation here. They've probably already thought of the sewing kits too.
The second group is *cough* the militia movement type and/or the-end-is-nigh apocalyptic Chicken Littles. In this case, the motivation is less "self-sufficiency" and more rail-against-the-government, conspiracy theory babbling, and the like. Politics is required and extremist. This is probably only a small minority of preppers I'm guessing, but by the principle of nutpicking, that's the stereotype.
Frankly, I would assume that even *this* group has at least some degrees of sanity. That, before their theoretical shit-hits-the-fan scenario, they'd pick up some nice cheap survival basics (such as cheap water purification tablets) before picking up that expensive body armor, weapons, and other so-called "tactical" shit. (Because if your shit is, er, "really shitty" due to shitty water, all that tactical gear matters little.) Of course, there's probably a few crazies out there that have their priorities out of whack...
Like a lot of hobbyist groups, a skim of Reddit (on either side unfortunately) indicates way too much focus on Buying Stuff ("Gear Acquisition Syndrome") and not enough focus on technique. Sigh. BobJohnson (talk) 00:59, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
It also seems to be an overwhelmingly North American thing. I have never ever heard a fellow European talk seriously about prepping. And this includes people who live relatively remotely (Northern Scandinavia etc). Though having said that, America does seem to suffer from an incredible amount of natural disasters (tornados, hurricanes, flooding not to mention school shooting rampages and a good dose of political paranoia. Wouldn't hurt to have emergency kits though. ShabiDOO 10:42, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
I think context is required here.
I would guestimate [using stats] that the vast majority of American preppers grew up in the 80s/90s, in an urban/suburban area, recieved an 'academic-style' education and now works in an hospitality/office/retail environment. Therefore, in their cases 'prepping' is often simply doing what their grandparents considered normal. I mean, 'get a sewing kit' - you think there would be an American house which didn't have one in 1940? Rule of thumb; 'prepping' is often putting in backups if our technolgical wonders of civilisation [mains electricity, Wal-Mart, online banking etc] fails us, and normally that's going back in time a few decades; wood-piles, open fires, cool larders and envelopes of cash. Location is important here too; a lot of the hardcore prepping really pressures you to relocate to a rural homestead in the back-end of Montana or something. If you were doing this move from a 'Springfield' suburb, yes you're going to have to become more of a 'prepper' because if nothing else, you will need to prepare for winter [including being snowed in for days, perhaps weeks] which is all new to you.
'Prepping' isn't much a thing in Europe because I'd guess a) we have less really rural areas and b) if you live there already, what you do is simply normal. Plus [at least from a UK perspective] off-grid living, smallholdings etc has retained a lot more of the original simple living/hippy/sustainable living vibe [though we do also have a line in 'crazy hermit men' living in Unabomber style shacks, often in what appears to be overgrown scrap yards.] KarmaPolice (talk) 16:56, 17 September 2023 (UTC)


I've revamped this article some, let me know what you think or how I can improve it any more. I find the whole phenomenon very amusing. I have some vague ideas for further improvement that I can't quite articulate into the page yet. Chillpilled (talk) 20:56, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Not thrilled with having two top images before the navbar. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:36, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm convinced some of the nuttier conspiracy "theorists" could take a parody as an actual nutty theory and NO ONE would notice. The Krusty Krab (talk) 22:52, 16 September 2023 (UTC)

Theory of Constructed Emotion[edit]

I'm wondering if someone here could explain this to me. I know I talked about it before but that was more about the blog post (which you guys were right was sus) but more about the theory itself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_constructed_emotion https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-emotions-trick-your-brain-2

Looking into the person herself she seems pretty accomplished, but I get mixed reviews on the research. Some say that she's overly defensive of her theory because she thinks it's the most correct one and decries other ones. One thing she has against modern emotion theory is there is no "fingerprint" for emotions and that you can't read or detect emotions in other people, the second part is wrong at least in my experience. You might not always get it right but I think to some degree you can sense what another person is feeling especially after knowing them for a long time.

As for the theory, from what I think it sounds like we have sensations in our bodies that we give meaning to based on context, concepts, etc, and this is what we regard as emotions. So sadness, happiness, etc, don't exist, and emotions are just things we construct based on prior information. From what I read this sounds kinda bleak, since emotions are so immensely meaningful to us that to just write them off as concepts we construct is dark. Though that's from what I could gather about what I read with her, she doesn't do a good job of explaining it IMO. I've tried to contact the lab or her for clarity but no response and I don't know where else to ask this.

To give a taste of how she describes emotion:

“I learned long ago that “sadness” is something that may occur when certain bodily feelings coincide with terrible loss. Using bits and pieces of past experience, such as my knowledge of shootings and my previous sadness about them, my brain rapidly predicted what my body should do to cope with such tragedy. Its predictions caused my thumping heart, my flushed face, and the knots in my stomach. They directed me to cry, an action that would calm my nervous system. And they made the resulting sensations meaningful as an instance of sadness.”

In other words, her experience of sadness was a “simulation” or prediction of the appropriate way for her body to react to the news. The sadness wasn’t a pure reaction to something happening on the outside. It emerged from a complex interplay of systems making a self-fulfilling prediction about what was needed for her body to cope.

I'm also not entirely sure if it's right. She seems to have VERY strong feelings about this which could be biased, but she does have a PhD and seems pretty accomplished. I'm not sure what to think. If people here don't know could you point me somewhere I can find out. I tried googling psych forums to ask this but it mostly dug up trash like this:


Needless to say google isn't exactly your friend all the time. (talk) 04:26, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

I'm honestly not sure what the hypothesis is. It seems to be arguing against a simplistic notion that emotions are hard-wired. But I'm not sure if this is an argument against some straw man or against some other more nuanced position. It seems to be arguing that emotions are an emergent property. But given that consciousness itself (of which emotions are a part) also seems to be an emergent property then I'm not sure what more it's telling me.
I would also point out that emotions are by no means unique to humans. Anyone who has lived with a companion animal will have witnessed things such as fear, aggression and affection. So any such hypothesis would need to cover more than humanity.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:53, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Opposed to this theory is that of Jaak Panksepp,Wikipedia who basically founded the field of affective neuroscience.Wikipedia He identified what he considers 7 distinct brain circuits for different primary affects, which humans share with other mammals (and to varying degrees with other animals too): SEEKING (expectancy), FEAR (anxiety), RAGE (anger), LUST (sexual excitement), CARE (nurturance), PANIC/GRIEF (sadness), and PLAY (social joy). In large part his research was based on animal experiments. However, Panksepp didn't reduce emotion to these 7 circuits, but viewed it as formed in a more multi-layered process, where further personal and interpersonal psychology adds nuance and complexity. In his view, though, there's no anger without RAGE, no dopamine-fueled striving whatsoever without SEEKING (if fully disabled then total depressed inertia to the point of death is the result), etc. All emotionally colored experience requires the primary level functionality as the foundation to build the experience upon, in his view, but in terms of complexity, it's like an upside-down iceberg where the 7 circuits are the little bottom. (Also, the 7 circuits were only those he was confident he had isolated, he wasn't sure about if there may be more.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:18, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Which also sounds plausible, and less simplistic than the earlier description of the position. And which also leads me me to wonder how either hypothesis could be experimentally tested.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:28, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Decades of neuroscience research has involved poking around in animal brains and studying the results. Ethically, it's problematic to do the same in humans, though technically, it would work. As in, electrically stimulating a part of the brain to see what it does when active (as can e.g. induce rage behavior in other animals with one part of the brain), destroying or inhibiting a part of the brain, injecting chemicals the brain responds to and observing changes in brain activity along with other effects, etc. Much is going to be very difficult to test in humans for ethical reasons. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:14, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
OK. So has either hypothesis actually been tested in either animals or humans? And what would the experimental protocol be eliminate one or both of them - assuming that they are actually in conflict as our OP posited?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:06, 11 September 2023 (UTC)
Lisa Barrett is an accomplished research psychologist, I had to read some of her work in a phil of science seminar and it is no doubt controversial, but so too are the works she critiques. Her work has identified methodological flaws in past research regarding universal emotions. She produced results that contradicted past research in a sample of a relatively isolated indigenous tribe. She did so using controls to prevent certain experimenter effects by not implementing the sort of training in the tribal participants that past research utilized. Essentially doing a better controlled replication but failing to obtain the same results. You can disagree with her conclusions for hypothetically good reasons, but the empirical evidence she produces I wouldn’t class as being any more or less scientific from other research within psychology. Its evidence you still have to account for if you want to push universal basic emotions as being real. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:12, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

Yeah that's what gets me, she seems like a very accomplished scientist, I can't doubt that. But what I also hear about her is that she seems VERY sure of her theory to the point that she bad mouths anything else. I think there was one interview she did where she pretty much played lawyer the whole time with any criticism of her research, essentially trying to find any flaw in the questions to avoid having to engage with it.

I know being sure of yourself doesn't mean you're right, duh, but I'm not sure what to make of her stuff either. Like...how do I know she is right? One thing I always wonder is how can you really test for emotion or something like that when you can't really measure the subjective experience of another life?

The other reason I have to be skeptical is she has some really weird takes that she thinks her research leads to:



Glossing over that quantum physics doesn't say what she quoted she seems to think that because our brains construct reality based on sense data that we aren't detecting or reacting to the world, which personally I find to be a huge stretch.

With the second one I'm iffy about the myth of 5 and 6 since she seems to make some real leaps with her logic. Saying your brain doesn't react to events in the world but instead makes predictions based on sense data seems more like a sematic thing than reality. Your brain is REACTING to events in the world by creating such predictions, like seeing a ball coming and your brain trying to guess where it's going, sounds like reacting to events in the world to me.

Even beyond this the articles she writes for lay people seem kinda wonky and I'm not entirely sure if she grasps the implications of her own research or the impact it would have on people. Like with the brief snip above it sounds like a rather cold and harsh view of emotions and our lives, and she doesn't really make it any clearer what her research means. That's why I'm struggling to understand what she means. I mean the first article opens with "What if happiness doesn't exist" but then the body makes no real mention of the existence or lack of emotions, so I'm lost at what she's getting at (unless that was just clickbait to get you to read her article). (talk) 22:22, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

@Bob M, I have only read about Panksepp's work and don't have expert knowledge on this. As far as I know, Panksepp did verify his theory in animals in that he developed it experimentally by the means I mentioned. An old point of contention, which touches on, is whether the animals really feel anything or not. Panksepp rebelled against the behaviorist dogma which dismissed the idea that it makes sense to talk about animals feeling. Behaviorists had traditionally dismissed the inner life in humans, too, as an object of study or possible to take seriously, even in the case of some hardliners disputing its existence altogether. Even as this dogma gave way and it became acceptable to assume that people have inner experience, the same dogma still applied to animals in research. Panksepp reasoned instead that we have evidence of experience which should extend to the animals unless we find counter-evidence. Where other researchers called it "sham rage" when brain stimulation made a cat hiss, tense, and claw, Panksepp believed it really did feel rage, because there was no evidence to the contrary. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 07:08, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Probably the easiest emotion to view in animals is fear. I doubt that anyone who does not have a very doctrinaire view would deny it. I think it comes down to "human exceptionalism" - the idea that all other beings and "just animals" but that humans are some higher form.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:57, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
I believe you are right Bob. I think there is a whole lot of human exceptionalism to be found in research metaphysics. Descartes argued that animals can't even feel pain. As Chomsky said, "we are not angels." Our emotions are only bounded by rationality.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:07, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

So her reply to me was next to useless:

The theory does not imply that emotions don't exist. It states that emotions are in wired into your brain at birth. Instead, your brain constructs emotions as needed.

I'd suggest you watch my TED talk, the Cinematic Lecture, and How to Be A Human videos, all of which can be found here:


Best wishes

The videos she mentioned could have been just one since they all repeat the same thing over and over. But in the lecture the examples were sort of presumptuous as she just assumed that your brain was doing the things she said they did, mine didn’t so I had to wonder how she knew if others did.

The How to be Human was cringy as hell and I’m not sure if the implications from that follow what she thinks that they do.

In short the videos didn’t really answer the question and left me even more confused.2600:387:1:817:0:0:0:29 (talk) 20:59, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, she appears to be assuming some form of dualism. Alas, she denies that there is an animalistic part of the brain that produces our emotions. I don't see how this is possible as every part of the human brain is part of an animal.Ariel31459 (talk) 22:01, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

I also find it odd that in the articles she has on her website that she doesn't list sources for these neuroscience facts she spouts. Like saying that "you can experience anxiety as energized determination" as though a pounding heart in either sense can mean different things. But to anyone who has felt anxious or excited the feeling it way beyond just a pounding heart, it's two completely different sensations. That's what I treat her work with a grain of salt, she says a lot but doesn't seem to consider that maybe she is mistaken. Like I cited above in her videos she's VERY presumptuous about what is going on, and yet in the articles she writes she doesn't cite sources for her claims. I googled some and couldn't find them. I find it hard to believe she is so cited and respected when she writes and acts like this. (talk) 23:03, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

Burden of proof and paradox of tolerance[edit]

I recently stumbled upon a Reddit comment chain where somebody went on an anti-religious tirade where he argued that because religions can't meet burden of proof, they are inherently bigoted and should be opposed. That… sounds like a non sequitur. Any advice on how I can enlighten this clown? Luigifan18 (talk) 20:27, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

I mean I think the whole aspect of the Burden of Proof is why faith is emphasized in most mainstream religions. I would cast doubt on bigotry being “inherent” to any particular religion as I don’t think most religions exist with a fixed “essence” that defines them completely divorced from historical and cultural developments. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:34, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

I generally don't care about religion unless it forces itself on me trying to live my life. (talk) 22:13, 11 September 2023 (UTC)

More broadly, there are all sorts of things that don't meet (or have not yet met) the burden of proof but have nothing at all to do with religion or bigotry: unproven math theorem, science hypotheses. The person writing this seems to be confusing Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence with Burden of proof: related but not the same concepts. Bongolian (talk) 01:44, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
There seems to be some wooly thinking involved as "burden of proof" and "paradox of tolerance" do not seem to be related. Also a "religion" does not necessarily have a "burden of proof": specific claims have that burden.
So if the claim is, "A God exists" - then the person making that claim has to provide the evidence to back up the claim (after defining their "god").Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:14, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
Whereas if someone says "I believe a god exists, although I have no evidence for this belief as it is based on faith rather than reason, and it is possible I am wrong" there is no burden of proof involved, for the person saying such a thing has not made a truth value statement. Carthage (talk) 08:55, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Yes, and no. Someone could say "I believe the moon is made of cheese". If the claim is only that they hold the belief - then the only person who could know the truth of their claim about the belief would be that person. So the claim about their belief could be true or untrue - and (lacking mind-reading technology) we would simply have to accept their word.
If we felt inclined, though, we could ask why they held the belief, and - based on the response - draw appropriate conclusions.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:27, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Religions shouldn't have a fixed essence that locks them into the time of their creation. Unfortunately, dogma is a thing. Luigifan18 (talk) 23:42, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

What if Trump was in super smash bros?[edit]

This may be a stupid question but I want to know what his moveset in the game might be ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 12:02, 14 September 2023 (UTC)

I don't know, but I think that if you imagine Trump as a video game character, it may make sense for him to swing a golf club as a weapon. He could have a move where he angrily frowns and swings while steam pours out from his ears. If he loses a game, he could also start rambling that he really won, this continuing until as the scene fades out. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:52, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
Well, I think he'd be a fastfaller and a mediumweight. Most of his moves would be overhyped, taking far more startup frames than their animations entail. His grab would have a relatively long range but be pitifully easy to mash out of as well. (As for the anger and the steam pouring while he swings erratically, that's could be a rather comedic rapid jab animation (though the around one second of endlag of him catching his breath would also be in effect for more laughs.)) I don't think he'd be clapping on the losing screen either, instead angrily shouting at the screen to while the results screen music continues to play uninterrupted (as the losing screen windows are silent anyway, so he'd be muted there, making only the lip sync trackable for what he's actually saying.).
Also, I'd think it would be a better slap to his face and more thematic if he was relegated to an Assist Trophy, grumbling incessantly about it. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 19:45, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
And another thing if he was a fighter? His neutral air should deal exactly 1.135809% per hit, a reference to his inmate number, P01135809. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 19:54, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
In one of the UK newspapers I read his mug shot was compared to an angry owl if that is of any use. Anna Livia (talk) 23:10, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
I fully disagree, and while I admit I don't really care about frame rate or damage balance, like a true casual, I think Trump would be closer to a Sephiroth than a brawler. Cut at distance, shield and reflect, and just carefully put some timed poison that is tough to play through. It is kinda funny to think of Trump as a Smash Character, but what they really should have done was Tony Hawk: Pro Skater. Not Tony Hawk as a person, because only video game characters get into Smash. but as Tony Hawk: Pro Skater, the 900 could be an awesome ultimate. 04:22, 18 September 2023 (UTC)

Elon Musk: A Chinese Communist Party poster boy[edit]


Musk loves to cozy up to dictatorships. Both China and Russia; with Musk interfering with a Ukrainian military operation. So what other dictatorships will he cozy up to? --Trans Fem Agenda 23:36, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

Musk doesn't really believes in anything. He will just say any random shit to get support from his simps. Ψ (talk) 10:48, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm amazed people don't bring up his relationship to the Chinese government more often. He pledged to China that he would advance "socialism values". That was in and out of the news within a day like it was nothing. Obviously he's just doing it for business reasons. He's not actually a socialist. But you'd think some of his fans wouldn't like it. Chillpilled (talk) 11:01, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
To the Musk fans, mouthing along with Beijing’s script is just a sign of how good galaxy brained Musk is at business, as if that’s something he has uniquely figured out or done. Just like Musk and (other) investor/tech bro types, his fans seem very eager to believe all the “innovation” hype and loath to check whether it’s either feasible or new. ScepticWombat (talk) 05:34, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
Cozying up to dictatorships can get someone money and power. Who cares if average people suffer. --Trans Fem Agenda 01:00, 19 September 2023 (UTC)

On BlackRock and Vanguard[edit]

I have been skimming the Internet for a while, and for a while, I've encountered two particular corporations that seemed to stick out like sore thumbs due to their sheer sizes. The companies in question are BlackRock and Vanguard, both of which are colossal investment and asset management firms with trillions to their names each. They (or their clients) have majority stakes in many public companies within the US, with little transparency in terms of who actually owns stuff.

No matter what, both firms are VERY dodgy and suspect due to lack of transparency, evasion of accountability, poor business practices, and lots and lots of controversy. Meanwhile, their sizes and the trillions invested in the economy is also a severe liability in terms of the economy and human rights.

Also, due to their size and their opacity, they're basically sitting ducks and active fodder for conspiracy theorists, who see them as a monolithic cabal that "owns everything in the world", as well as severely exaggerating the bad things that they have done.

I'm here to start this conversation up, my intention is to create a helpful space to discuss and develop articles on these behemoths. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:03, 17 September 2023 (UTC) (P.S.: A third company named StateStreet is in a similar vein to the two above, but is a bit less noticeable due to having fewer assets and lower percentages in shares.)

There's nothing particulary 'dodgy' about either firm; they are in fact emblematic of the era of capitalism we live in - that most of the power is no longer wielded by 'active capitalist bosses' but a larger, but generally blander group of executives who are mere managers of the vast holdings of investment funds, sovereign wealths, pensions, family offices etc - of which are run by other executive managers [and often swap seats with each other]. I personally term these folks the 'American nomenklatura', the new ruling stratum as predicted in texts in the mid-20th in Managerial Revolution, the Affluent Society and The New Class. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:34, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
As far as Wall Street shenanigans goes, I actually consider BlackRock and Vanguard some of the least dodgy. Vanguard actually was one of the pioneers of "passive investingWikipedia". The idea here was that instead of hiring some Big Expensive Suits who Know Everything About the Market ("active investing") to invest your funds, you simply create a mutual fund which is designed to simply follows a stock market tracking index. This not only save the investors money due to the lack of Big Expensive Suits actively buying and selling stock, but investors also typically get better performance -- historically, most "active managed" funds actually do not really Know Everything About the Market, no matter what they think, and usually fail to beat stock indexes.
So, this is why these firms are big: the "passive investing" strategy actually works. As a result of this, along with the shifting of America's typical retirement portfolio towards the stock market oriented 401K (instead of pension funds, which might invest in other alternatives aside from Wall Street), these firms indeed have gotten Big. There's certainly some interesting "consequences" about this, but a lot of it is probably out of scope for RW.
On what *is* in scope, previously I haven't heard too many conspiracy theories floating around about these firms in the past. However, recently, certain Republicans did have a temper tantrum over BlackRock offering (very token IMHO) ESG funds. So a 4Chan search does seem to indicate that several anons have lumped BlackRock into the Rothschild family / World Economic Forum / International Jewish Conspiracy type of conspiracies. Not sure which came first.
I speculate that Blackrock gets more shit from the conspiracy types simply because (sigh) Blackrock was founded and is run by Jews. (*) Vanguard was founded by an Episcopalian and is currently run by a Catholic, so although I did see one silly (((Vanguard))) post in that 4Chan search, it's probably not as tempting of a target to that type. On the other hand, if you are a typical 4Chan type (in certain boards that is) who hates all Others but knows little about investing / finance / business / life, BlackRock is "perfect". So there was plenty of green ink rants about how Blackrock is forcing corporate America (and everything else on the planet) to be diverse and "tranny" and "gay" or something because THA JEWS! I suppose this means that if I bought some IVV (iShares S&P 500) for retirement investment purposes, I am now "woke". Heh.
(*) Footnote: From what I gather, a lot of their current passive investment business was acquired from BarclaysWikipedia in 2009. It sort of dampers the "THA JEWS" argument a touch, logically. Not like the 4Chan types use logic much, of course. BobJohnson (talk) 18:19, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, the biggest green-inkers I've seen on funds like them is variants of 'go woke, go broke' shite, which normally then cries about how the managers should simply chase the highest yields without fear or favour. Which naturally reminds me of the 'Why don't General Motors Sell Crack?' chapter from that old Michael Moore book as a logical conclusion to that viewpoint. Though ESG funds have issues, like the definitions they use to include/exclude can sometimes be very dodgy [such as a lot of self-certification going on]. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:59, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
(EC)I believe Vivek Ramaswamy recently published a book specifically about this. He claimed that asset managers have been taken over by liberal elites and they are manipulating corporations into promoting social justice/environmentalism/all those other things conservatives don't like. He specifically names BlackRock and Vanguard, and I think he insinuates they are controlled by the WEF at one point. He then goes on to imply that republicans should use the SEC to-ironically enough for a GOP candidate-make new regulations to curb this practice.
So yeah, the "conspirification" has already begun.-Flandres (talk) 19:05, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
That reminds me of when 44-day PM Truss did her big 'woe is me, this is everyone's fault but mine' lament last year [after getting thrown out], accusing senior bankers, financiers, managers etc of all being in cahoots in a 'left-wing blob'. Semi-related thinkpiece; https://www.newstatesman.com/comment/2023/05/tory-right-obsession-blob-shows-it-is-losing . KarmaPolice (talk) 19:18, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
Just management funds which happen to manage a lot of people's money, and which happen to have an investment philosophy that some right wingers despise. I do need to read more on where the ideas behind it stem out of, I saw something about ESG supposedly stemming from some very specific ideas about how the market functions and all that, something about equality of consumers or some convoluted thing which they used as an axiom. Anyway I've been told before that a company was majority owned by Blackrock and Vanguard, then I go look and it isn't. If anyone tells you any particular company is in fact "owned" by them, make sure to verify it. Then keep in mind even if it is, they are ultimately just asset managers and not the actual wealth owners. Chillpilled (talk) 23:36, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
Must have been my encounters with the far-right and their conspiracy theories I guess. Though the self-sealing arguments of the far-right are still all over the place online. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:05, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
And I forgot to mention that their majorities are not that big in the first place, usually around 5 to 10 percent of a company, which is still quite a lot. My mistake. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:10, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
And another thing? Both BlackRock and Vanguard have been quite indifferent to the China situation as well, allowing their clients to invest (i.e. dump) their funds in companies there (and pro-CCP companies abroad), effectively helping to prop up the CCP and the PLA and their myriads of human rights violations. That's already a red flag that needs to be addressed, no pun intended. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:14, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
That's a feature, not bug. Western companies have been treating China like a grand 'all you can eat' buffet since about 1990. Ironically, it's often the same people above who decry businesses 'playing politics' re 'woke' but then screech if they 'simply stick to businesses' re China. Want to make crap in China using slave labour? Fancy stuffing a ton of Yaun down your top for transferring 'dual-use' tech to local companies or from providing kit for societal oppression? How [redacted] dare you interfere in the hallowed free market!
Anyway, my rule of thumb is that Big Corps are the 'stodgy centre' of societal viewpoints. So if you see someone bitching about say, Wal-Mart being 'woke', you know they'll be a proper social reactionary. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:03, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
I am almost certain the Waltons are moderate Republicans. Their preferred candidate for 2024 appears to be Asa Hutchinson by the way. Chillpilled (talk) 10:41, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
The Waltons may still own a massive chunk of Wal-Mart, but they no longer run Wal-Mart. From as far as I can tell, their activities are limited to two slots on the board - they no longer have anyone in the C-suite. Which was the point I made at the top; that most of these business 'dynasties' have become mere passive rentiers, the power over the assets resides in the hands of the 'American nomenklatura'. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:07, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
Keep in mind that some of the screeching about Blackrock and Vanguard has been, er, for "self-interested" reasons. As mentioned in the Peter Thiel article, Ramaswamy founded a fund called Strive Asset Management that is specifically marketed as "anti-woke". Republican state legislatures have, in turn, passed laws in order to funnel state pension funds into these "anti-woke" investment platforms, instead of firms like Vanguard and Blackrock.
There are, of course, several problems with this push. First, "anti-woke" investment in practice means an "artificial selection" of companies that heavily lean into "American conservative" paradigms. This naturally means industries like fossil fuels and weapons companies and whatnot, some of which tend to be seen as riskier businesses, and others which have, shall we say, a negative long-term outlook. Secondly, as mentioned, the more generic funds from passive investing firms like Blackrock and Vanguard has cheap "expense ratios", meaning when you hold the investment, you don't pay much in fees to them simply to run the investment fund. Ramaswamy's fund does not have cheap "expense ratios". As a result, the pension funds of conservative states buying into this grift are most likely going to underperform the market in the future. Sucks for the public servants there, eh?
I'm sure that Vanguard and Blackrock aren't squeaky clean... but from my perspective their paradigm and issues seems to be similar to current "Big Global Business Corp" ethos, and (like KP implied) most of the criticisms against them (like the eager embrace of China) can probably also be applied to the general C-suite of the biggest global corps. Aside from the anti-woke wails of Republicans, they've also gotten criticism from advocacy groups on "the other side" like Extinction Rebellion[7] and David HoggWikipedia[8] for continuing to hold investments they don't like (in fossil fuel companies and guns, respectively). This shows how politically, they're really kind of in that squishy middle-of-the-road place (with a lean towards that old business-school-conservative "profitability" ethos, of course), like most big corps are. BobJohnson (talk) 14:21, 18 September 2023 (UTC)

Help with a little rationality due to a coincidence[edit]

So, I was watching a video about a horror game called Faith: Unholy trinity. The game is an Atari style horror based on Christian mythos, demons and inspired by the exorcist. So I was watching the video, and one of my lights just turned itself on-off for a like 4 seconds with the off period lasting about a second so about 2-3 off-on flicks (the way my lights are set up is 6 lights planted across the ceiling, 2 rows by 3 columns). I know that this is just a coincidence and the fact that it was just one of the bulbs probably means the wiring just got a bit screwy but just the fact that happened, and the popular connotation of that being connected with supernatural stuff kinda freaked me out considering I was watching a video sort of related to that. I just hopped on here to just ask more strong minded people could help me ground them irrational thoughts. The light actually flickered one as I was writing this, I know it’s nothing but difficult to convince yourself of that when you’re paranoid lol. Also, just for confirmation, lights can sometimes put of nowhere do funky-yet-mundane stuff like that right?—WMS (talk) 19:27, 16 September 2023 (UTC)

Probably one of your light bulbs that needs be replaced. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 19:31, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
Dude, seriously? Get a grip. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:35, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
I mean yeah it's just a wiring issue but you also have to keep in mind the cognitive bias at play here. This would be an example of what neuroscientists/psychologists would call illusory causation. The general theory is that human brains may be pre-dispositionally "wired" to see causation and patterns where there isn't any because natural selection would favour a mechanism towards false positives over false negatives (which is just speculation really given we have no way to test that). It's used to explain the underlying tendency for human beings to mistake correlation for causation, but the underlying logical fallacy is also relevant. In antiquity, this was given the two names of post hoc ergo propter hoc which is Latin for "after this therefore because of this", and cum hoc ergo propter hoc which translates to "with this therefore because of this". The fallacy is kind of trivial in that just because one thing happens after another, or one thing happening with another thing does not mean they are in any way related. There is no basis to infer causation just because of the timing of the events, there needs to be a detectable mechanism to why one thing would happen because of the other thing. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:46, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
Was the video by somebody named "Wendigoon"? Because he made a video about Faith: Unholy Trinity and I think he might deserve an article here. Ioe bidome (talk) 20:57, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
OK. The above answer is just about all that can be said for sure. But, this is an opportunity for you to consider your own complicity in the phenomena. As already mentioned, the events are likely due to random irregularities of your electrical wiring, private or public systems. But, that thought didn't satisfy you. We must suppose you knew you would be told as much by others, hence you have resorted to ask here, at a cabal of strangers. What better place to relate the strange inner experiences we all have on occasion? Most people will tell you to get a grip on yourself--and you should! But don't just ignore the experience. Ask yourself "what am I afraid of?"
This particular example is known in analytic psychology as a case of synchronicity. That is, a meaningful coincidence. The event itself is more than likely meaningless. But it means something to you which others are not able to understand. We all have a kind of personal, or folk ontology. We were raised to believe in at least the possibility in extra-natural objects and mythological creatures such as spirits, ghosts, pixies, demons and obscure numinous objects. It could be that you need to re-examine your own personal inventory of ontological ideas. This kind of study may help you with your anxiety. Don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. Ariel31459 (talk) 21:16, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
Thank you all for the response, it did help ground my stupidity, and got me to think about how utterly devoid of rationale I was in such a silly and outright stupid predicament. It also helped gain perspective on the biases and the psychology of why I thought I did, very interesting stuff. Need to read more on that to hopefully build up a better resistance to these intrusive thoughts. And certainly trying to get professional help with this anxiety issue is a top priority, though it’s a bit difficult going through the usual channels to get to where I want. I do want to apologise due this being so trivial and dumb. In hindsight, I should have just rode out the wave of anxiety until I calmed down. Again, sorry for this but thank you guys for explaining this. Also yes, the video was by wendigoon, I normally don’t watch him as I don’t like that type of content but his title “the game too scary for 3D” really hooked me.—WMS (talk) 21:53, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 I thought about what you said, with thinking why was I afraid and I couldn’t come up with something concrete. It was like a miasma of fears that demons are real, that paranormal stuff is real and that would lead to conclusions that you gotta watch out for demons and ghosts and stuff, it’s not very coherent because the feeling wasn’t coherent, and honestly if I tried to pinpoint a specific thing that I was afraid of, I really could not… really need to get into therapy. Also, just wanted to ask about Synchronicity, I could be wrong or maybe the meaning evolved and changed, but I thought that Synchronicity was about that there is indeed a hidden link in the meaningful coincidence. Searching up the term yields a lot of new age results and the Wikipedia page says that Jung originally used it to prove paranormal phenomena. If the meaning is that there is a personal subconscious meaning/significance to a coincidence, I much prefer that definition haha.—WMS (talk) 22:18, 16 September 2023 (UTC)
Cause and effect as a psychological process, rather than a meaningful physical reality has been explored by philosophers for a long time. I look to Hume's view that there is a cognitive bias which assumes an observed sequence of events, which may be a random association, are related in a causal sense. Why do we believe such things are related by chains of causality? Because that is how the brain comes to be able to make predictions, a powerful cognitive tool. When the predictions are based on invalid causality relations, we learn as much from experience. When you make certain associations about causality, you experience a construct of the mind at the time of perception. The fact that an experience is meaningful to you is useful in the practice of understanding yourself.
I'm not qualified to say what Jung actually believed, but since he was well-known never to have affiliated with a particular religion, I would say he believed there is a generic quality to the human psyche and that it afforded occult religious contents. Whether he believed in spirits, or not, it doesn't really make any difference to the idea; that finding meaning in certain stochastic events provides insight into ones own mind. Knowing oneself has been the first task of philosophy. Diogenes tells us of Heraclitus: "He (Heraclitus)...was nobody’s pupil, but he declared that he ‘inquired of himself, and learned everything from himself." "Know thyself" was a Delphic maxim. Jung wondered about scientific connections with respect to synchronicity. But he was really interested in the constructions of the mind. It seems clear that he experienced the same sort of confusion during his own synchronistic experiences. It made sense to him to ask if astrological data could be correlated with human behavior. But he didn't cast horoscopes. He seems to evince a reluctance to deny the reality of psychological evidence. There is a real connection, in his theory, though it may be entirely idiocentric. Ariel31459 (talk) 02:47, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

I'm sorry if I seem a bit off topic here-- and I very likely am, although anything is possible-- but "Atari style"? I'm not sure what the OP means by that. I mean, the Atari most gamers think of is the 2600, and that's about as suited to playing a horror game as a set of Easy Bake Oven pans is to making a full Thanksgiving dinner. Unless you genuinely find large square blocks moving onscreen to the sound of tinny electronic music genuinely frightening, which I personally do not-- indeed, cannot. We're talking Pong here, folks. And even with the later 5200 and 7800, it never really got much past that. Kencolt (talk) 03:41, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

Thank you Ariel so much for the explanation, was insightful and helpful :). Kencolt, when I meant Atari style I guess I meant inspired? Very large pixelated graphics and the game actually also used rotoscoping for cutscenes which was pretty cool. I’d recommend looking into it, quite curious what you’d think of the game.—WMS (talk) 20:52, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
I've read about it on TV Tropes, and it is quite interesting. Luigifan18 (talk) 05:00, 18 September 2023 (UTC)

On the same topic I was driving between Topeka and Nebraska City with a friend, and we were clearly driving into so!e of the darkest Midwest storm clouds you're gonna see. Now, we're two Midwest guys in a pickup so we're not gonna pull over and shelter for some dark clouds. In the distance, at the top of the hill, directly on the highway, A tiny cloud of white something appears. I say 'what the fuck is that,' Not as a question exactly. Buddy says 'is that dust getting blown onto the road?' I say 'looks like an engine exploded?' and it just kept getting bigger. So we're barreling towards this anomaly at 70 mph, and we don't know of it's a fire, A tornado forming, neither of us has ever seen anything like it in our lives. Stay the course, the wind isn't gone or shifting. We drove right into it, it was fog. We literally watched a cloud form right in front of us at ground level on a Kansas hill. In retrospect, one of the coolest things I've seen, but it is kinda indescribable. One of the heaviest rains I've driven through just after, but we were lucky that I had got uncharacteristically lost on my own planned route outside of Lawrence and just said 'fuck it, 24 goes to Topeka, Topeka goes to 75' because otherwise we'd have been driving in a big hailstorm. this type of shit only happens to either of us when we adventure together. I'm an atheist, but his serendipity levels are off the charts. We have got lost on a hike in Yellowstone to accidentally find blueberry fields, and I got us back on trail. We once both drove 4 hours out to visit a mutual friend on two separate days and wound up at the same gas station in the middle of Nebraska at the same time crossing paths purely by chance. It's serendipity, it's really hard to explain. 2600:8804:500:FE90:58AE:618:79ED:7519 (talk) 02:47, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

The Devil's Strategy[edit]

So, I recently found a funny and thought-provoking Reddit post that I decided to share with my mom and my borderline-fruitcake aunt. My aunt got back to me asking follow-up questions about what Satan's recruitment strategy would be like. Now I want to have some fun with this by responding in a way that describes the antics of fundamentalist Christians (like gay-bashing, atheist-demonizing, holier-than-thou preaching, Fox News worshipping, climate change denial, etc.) without flat-out saying that I'm describing the typical GOP member or Bible Belt denizen's behavior. (Basically, I want to try to rattle her fanatical-to-the-point-of-possibly-being-a-smidge-unhealthy Catholic faith a bit. If I'm too blunt in describing the worst aspects of Christianity or Catholicism, she probably won't listen.) Any suggestions on what I should say? Luigifan18 (talk) 23:46, 17 September 2023 (UTC)

"Your Christ ate with whores, thieves, and tax collectors. Shouldn't you try to emulate His example?" Carthage (talk) 01:09, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
That’s not labeling the activities of fundies as demonic in nature, though… (By the way, I'm also thinking of exposing her to the Jainist critique of a creator god. That should be good for some fireworks… eh, on second thought, it'd be too brutal.) Luigifan18 (talk) 01:15, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
In two words. Hatred and ignorance. Isn't that what Satan would spread? And isn't that what Fundamentalist Christians do spread? I realize that probably doesn't help you much. There's definitely potential for some great comedy there, but it would need a skilfull writer. And I think it would be wasted on a couple of peope who wouldn't get the joke. Spud (talk) 09:00, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
Also something that logically makes little sense, many fundies say that one of Satan's tactics is convincing others that he doesn't exist and saying that's one method Satan uses to deceive the "non-believers" into going to Hell. Though it is quite hypocritical as applying it to other malicious deities could also work against them. Also, some fundies (the conspiratorial type), due to their brains and eyes being completely scrambled by their blind devotion to Jesus and the Bible, see Satan's recruitment as everything other than Christianity, claiming that everyone who isn't one of them is a follower of Satan. This is a poster child of the false dilemma fallacy by the way, yet many of those fundies are incapable of thinking past black and white. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 11:15, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
In my experience, these people hate to have their beliefs questioned too. Ask them how they can be so sure they'll be saved or even how Paul was not fooled by Satan passing as Jesus and watch the fireworks. That besides having as you note their brains scrambled by their devotion to the Bible and being unable to think outside black and white. Panzerfaust (talk) 20:36, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't know if you need to be that complicated, just show them what AI generated when told to show "Jesus flipping over tables in the temple"; then ask how any god would allow people to create AI which misfires so bad that it depicts the Messiah in a holy space as an ancient Dick Fosbury. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:53, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
I definitely like the hatred and ignorance idea. Luigifan18 (talk) 00:54, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
the problem is it never works that way. Anger is a driving force. It's natural to get angry. It's unhealthy to default to being angry. It's wrong as an evolutionary symptom to stay angry. It is really easy to get angry sometimes. It is occasionally necessary but rarely in conversation. Anger and hate are two human conditions, I wouldn't look for a God or a militia or any one reasonable human to sort out why anger turns into hate. I just naturally cannot be bothered to waste my time on hate, I have other things to spend my anger on. But in the face of Thatcher, society Exists and is convoluted. Finding a place where you're not angry is subjective, and i'm privileged enough to have found it for myself, for now. Hate, I believe, is a societal construct. and I believe it exists and I can't fathom why anyone would spend their God given limited time on this earth hunkering down to spend the amount of energy it takes to hate. 2600:8804:500:FE90:58AE:618:79ED:7519 (talk)
Being said, I don't think it's uncommon For leadership to abuse anger, to remind people to be angry, and angry at... Anything. I was gonna go on a list of normal things to be angry about, but you get it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:58AE:618:79ED:7519 (talk) 06:06, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

Climate change denialists[edit]

They remind me of the type of people who ignore the Emergency Alert System airing a Tornado Warning then wonder why they were seriously hurt by a tornado and blame everyone else. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:05, 15 September 2023 (UTC)

Yeah. For all of New York City's reputation of being a liberal haven, just look up Broad Channel. You won't need me to explain the rest. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:09, 17 September 2023 (UTC)
Given my location in a city built at-and-below sea level, I consider Climate Change Denialists to be an active threat to my life. Is it overreaching? Maybe. Is it warranted? Maybe. Do I care? No, not at all. Will my mind change? Also no. LeGrandePumbloom Peace, Land, and Nuclear Annihilation 20:47, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

A spit in the face to the victims of Nazi Germany[edit]


Russian occupation officials are doing a spit in the face to the victims of Nazi Germany by turning Zelensky's house in Crimea into a "museum" dedicated to the teaching of "Ukrainian Nazis". This should be interesting. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:33, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

…The Russians do realize that the Nazis wanted all Slavic people dead, right? Right?!? Luigifan18 (talk) 00:47, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
However, there were Ukranian collaborators during WW2. This can be understood better also by remembering that a) almost no Ukrainians actually knew what the Nazi policies re: 'the East' were going to be [due to Soviet censorship] and b) a lot of folks [not just Ukrainians] hated Stalin and the CP so much at this point. Plus, it's generally held as 'true' by the Russian Big Public that there were no Russian collaborators/traitors [example, those proven Russian collaborators are in fact 'Cossacks' etc]. Lastly, 'fascist bandits' was the catch-all term for non-Russians who opposed the re-establishment of Soviet rule after the War and naturally, the majority of these were either Ukrainian or from the Baltic states. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:19, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
There were nazi collaborators from every single Allied country involved in WW2, and also from pretty much every single SSR within the USSR - trying to say that Ukrainians were materially different from anyone else is pure vatnik propaganda.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:37, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
KP isn't doing that. They're saying that claims that no collaborators with Nazi Germany existed in the Ukrainian SSR is bullshit. They specifically note that a "lot of folks hated Stalin and the CP so much at this point, not just Ukrainians." Did you not read past the first sentence? Carthage (talk) 04:09, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah I read the first sentence. Did you read the rest?Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:14, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm merely trying to give context to why 'Ukranian Nazis' has such a resonance with the Russian public, Aloysius. Here's another bit; post-War Soviet media etc downplayed the anti-Semitic elements of the Holocaust to the point a lot of the Big Public don't even realise it was 'a thing' - they preferred to stress it as another act of barbarity against the 'Soviet people' in general done by the Axis. Plus, the continuing undercurrent of anti-Semitism within Russia today. Thus, 'Jewish Nazis' claims seems less insane than it does to Western ears - the shoehorning of two despised 'Others' into the same corner. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:40, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
Yes - you are repeating the vatnik propaganda - like I said.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:14, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Nah, you're the one mindlessly repeating propaganda. "KP is saying Ukrainians are special" when KP said the exact opposite. Your response? A fucking handwave. Carthage (talk) 05:58, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
1) I explicity contradict Vatnik propaganda in at least two areas and 2) I start of by citing WP [who follows the general historical consensus on this]. What exactly are you bitching about, Aloysius? Go on, put up your position on this topic so I can bitch back! KarmaPolice (talk) 11:02, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

Heavy metal[edit]

I have Nile's "Iskander D'hul Karnon" on loop. You can listen to it here. Carthage (talk) 09:36, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

Drummers are the truth, man. I cannot drum outside of a four on the floor and keep time no matter how hard I practice. They don't get the credit they deserve. yeah the guitars and vocals are virtuosity but you hear those drums? You hear that music? Nile track is very cool, by the way. I must be getting old, my shoulders and neck made a lot of noise from giving it a second listen.2600:8804:500:FE90:3D76:4A88:185:CE2C (talk) 03:20, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
I also don't get the genre delineation for music. Like so I get that Bong Ripper is heavy metal, Sleepy time Gorilla Museum, ergo Book of Knots must be? I get that Dinosaur Jr rips on guitar, Wilco rips on guitar, Suicide Boys appeal to some people somehow, what makes something more correctly described as 'heavy metal'? 2600:8804:500:FE90:3D76:4A88:185:CE2C (talk) 03:43, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
I saw Nile live at Ozzfest many years ago, besides putting on quite a snow they were one of the few bands that didn't charge people to see them afterward; I'm a history guy, and it was cool to meet Karl Sanders and see someone who took his love of history and ran with it. Plus, they inspired me to read H. P. Lovecraft (and for the record, I didn't need to be told he was racist, even at 17 his description of what was in the box the late Arthur Jermyn self-immolated over was obvious enough; hell, even in the 1920s at the height of the KKK his contemporaries thought he was way over the top). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:22, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Fucking COOL. I got kicked in the ribs at a Streetlight Manifesto concert and got crowd surfed towards the stage. Security at a small show ripped me down. Tomas Kalnoky stopped the show, like literally told the horns to stop blowing to ask if I was Okay and straight up called out the security. I was okay. Some artists are cool. I don't love every ska track Streetlight has put out, but I will say they deserve every chance they get to mix up fourth wave ska. Did they kill the fourth wave by being the only ska band to get it? RIP ska. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3D76:4A88:185:CE2C (talk) 05:18, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

Wisconsin democracy[edit]

I would say Wisconsin is a democracy, at least if we follow the definition that a democracy is any political system with directly elected representatives, which is incredibly arbitrary because it excludes direct democracy (which would include Athenian democracy) and whatnot. Just because Wisconsin is a democracy doesn't mean it's a liberal democracy, however. Wisconsin seems to meet the formal definition of an illiberal democracy,Wikipedia or at least is well on its way to becoming one. Carthage (talk) 09:40, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

As I've mentioned before, far too much of the of the GOP seems to admire the playbook of the illiberal democracy of Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party, and that's probably the direction any future GOP of that particular ilk will want to go. If there's a saving grace, as seen with the current House of Representatives shitshow of Government Shutdown: The Very Tired Nth Sequel (along with other places with lots of GOP faction infighting such as Idaho and Texas), the party's half a circus of clowns these days, and some of the shit in Wisconsin (eg pondering to impeach a Supreme Court elected largely because the GOP is so extreme on abortion) reeks of desperation as much as it does of illiberalism. BobJohnson (talk) 13:21, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
A key characteristic of an illiberal democracy is an electoral system that has free but not necessarily fair elections. Gerrymandering comes to mind here, as do voter suppression laws. A particularly funny, but depressing, anecdote that comes to mind is Erdoğan literally bribing people to vote for him. Carthage (talk) 13:41, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The modern concept of democracy is a lot more than just elections, encompassing 12 basic ideas:[9]

  1. Consent of the governed
  2. Free elections
  3. Constitutional limits
  4. Majority rule, minority rights
  5. Transparency and accountability
  6. Multiparty system
  7. Economic freedom
  8. Rule of law
  9. Human rights
  10. Freedom of expression
  11. Freedom of association
  12. Freedom of religion

There are many organizations that have made democracy indicesWikipedia by country, the most prominent of which are V-DemWikipedia and the The Economist Democracy Index.Wikipedia Bongolian (talk) 19:43, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

Does that cover direct democracy, by any chance? It would seem to rule out Athenian democracy. Carthage (talk) 05:59, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
It's not an either-or view of democracy, hence the reason that indices of democracy were established. By the multi-idea view of democracy, most older democracies would be viewed as flawed. For example, the US did not have anything approaching majority rule/minority rights until the Voting Rights Act became law and attempts at desegregation were made. There are assholes across the US who are still instituting minority rule. Bongolian (talk) 20:07, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
That's true. Even China holds direct elections at the municipal level (the CCP claims these direct municipal elections make China an indirect democracy when really at best it's no more democratic than the Iranian system, where only those approved by the mullahs (or party bureaucracy for the Chinese) can run for office). Carthage (talk) 20:10, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

My next RW project[edit]

Draft: Russian Imperial Movement

I think that it will be a good addition. --Trans Fem Agenda 13:26, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

On the Topic of Time Travel and Paradoxes[edit]

So many of you know about the paradoxes that arise from time travel, especially if the destination is in the past. That got me thinking about the Butterfly Effect and its implications, as the further back the destination is, the more severe it will get in scope.

So I have this question to ask to help start a conversation up. If someone travelled back 4.6 billion years and jostled a tiny fragment of the accretion disk from the early Solar System slightly off course, what would the present day look like? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 07:35, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

What causal relationship can killing a butterfly 1000 years ago have on present day affairs? Answer: a very marginal one, most likely. History is a complicated process not reducible to single events. Likewise, pushing an asteroid off course 4 and a half billion years ago could result in major changes, but more likely than not you just pushed an asteroid out of the course it'd otherwise have. Emergence is a real phenomenon. Often times events are not reducible to the sum of their parts. Carthage (talk) 07:47, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
This is more of a experiment involving the philosophy of hypothetical time travel to the past and the alternate timeline fork it produces. Sorry if I didn't clarify. Something akin to "A Sound of Thunder" and "Tyme Sefari Inc." with how things may end up, but maybe that story's a red herring... TheEternalOutsider (talk) 12:33, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
And I think this can be applied to more than just this. Such as what would happen if one (or many) geothermal vents in Hadean or Archaean Earth went cold in another timeline. Or if a slightly different gene was selected for in the deep past. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 12:42, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
Maybe it would be totally irrelevant. Maybe it would be very highly significant. Without some way to test these changes and their results we cannot know.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:46, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
It's easier for a thought experiment to consider a smaller-scale change. What if someone traveled back in time to before you were conceived, then approached one of your parents, talked a little about the weather, then left? Almost certainly, as a result you would no longer be born, due to the smallest divergence in timing resulting in a different genetic combination. Small changes in the timing in the lives of people would further spread out until the individuals of the future are all erased and replaced. This thought experiment breaks a great deal of popular time travel fiction. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:51, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

Renaming the header to make things more broad and open in terms of discussion. Though time travel (both fictional or theoretical) is always going to be a mess no matter how it is parsed. Such as would the timeline branch or overwrite with each instance of matter forcibly altering its course through time independently of gravity? (Gravity does alter time (or time itself causes gravity), so that's a separate issue) TheEternalOutsider (talk) 18:31, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

And the many writers of fiction are inconsistent with how it would work either, so that's another thing to worry about. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 18:42, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
There are no paradoxes from Time Travel because it doesn't exist. Whatever issues people may choose to imagine if it DID exist are tehrefore also imaginary, and fail every logical test because teh basic premise is not true. Once you realize that you can just go and enjoy the story.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:16, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
That's absurdism, and I will absolutely stand for it in principle, but you are having no fun. the terms for me are uninteresting and unanswerable because they are on a scale that is more or less immeasurable. Double it's kinda inconceivable. There are no answers, as opposed to being no wrong answers. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3D76:4A88:185:CE2C (talk) 04:31, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
There is actually honest to god academic philosophy dedicated to this very topic. @Aloysius the Gaul Testing logical validity and implication has nothing to do with the premises being actually true. Logical possibility is only restricted by that which results in a contradiction. This is assuming "logic" as understood in the classical sense. Logic is a formal system like mathematics. Saying that something is imaginary and therefore can not be evaluated logically is like saying because the mathematical definition of a circle has no real examples in the physical world we can't "logically test" the implications of geometry. It's a category error. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)

What can Donald Trump do to redeem himself?[edit]

@The Blade of the Northern Lights I agree with your judgment that this is either trolling or simple blindness to reality and/or basic etiquette, but are you sure it's specifically concern trolling? It looks more like JAQing off to me. Luigifan18 (talk) 20:21, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm fine with switching to the standard troll template. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:44, 22 September 2023 (UTC)

Project 2025[edit]

Anyone heard about it? Its fucking terrifying what conservatives want to do. If you live in a blue state you probably will not suffer as much as the people living in red states like Nebraska. According to Project 2025, conservatives effectively going to ban porn nation-wide and designate transgender people as living breathing pornography and effectively remove transgender people from society. They also want to gut the executive branch so that Trump will rule without checks and balances from his own side and effectively make him a dictator. This seems to come after the "independent state legislature theory" plan failed to win Supreme Court over (despite being full of Christian fundamentalists). They also want to end any sort of program to stop the climate crisis since conservatives conserve nothing. They also want to abolish the Department of Education since conservatives are anti-science and anti-intellectual so its much easier to indoctrinate kids at the local and state level. Let's not even talk about abortion!

The Democrats (despite being fucking useless most of time) are literally the only people that can stop the Republicans. You have to vote for the Democrats EVERY SINGLE TIME. No matter what your political views are, WE CANNOT ALLOW THE REPUBLICANS TO EVER WIN! Ψ (talk) 07:17, 9 September 2023 (UTC)

First time? I fought the Keystone Pipeline, my boots were on that ground, I literally helped build the barn. H clinton gave trans Canada the verbal go ahead as secretary of state. I said 'that's f*ckn illegal' and all the old guys were like 'who cares?' so I helped build a barn https://www.npr.org/2014/12/16/371216129/on-nebraskas-prairies-keystone-xl-pipeline-debate-is-personal Then she ran for president. I had to vote for her. I get it, but running on 'the only way to stop the Republicans' is not going to work against 'the only way to stop wokeism' 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 08:16, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
I have asked those same old guys how they think the 2020 election was rigged if the 2016 election went their way. They say 'well, they didn't think they had to rig the 2016 election' It is a level of delusion that I do not think anyone is qualified to diagnose. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3898:C925:C549:14B (talk) 08:29, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
I literally never said that Democrats are competent. But if you equate that both are equally bad, then your not really helping. Ψ (talk) 10:02, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
BoN didn’t say that though. They even said they voted for Hillary. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:31, 9 September 2023 (UTC)
I desperately wished that Bernie Sanders won the nomination. If he did the Democrats might be much stronger with a clear vision. But there is so much dust in the Dems. Ψ (talk) 05:16, 10 September 2023 (UTC)
My hot take is that Bernie would’ve lost both 2016 and 2020. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 05:57, 10 September 2023 (UTC)
It's okay, I get that a lot, you don't have to stick up for me. The lesser of two evils argument makes sense to me because I actually look at how politics affect my community. It's not ideal, and I'm not one of those weird Bernie Bros who wants to scream that his nomination was stolen. Democrats have super delegates for their primaries. Do I agree with it? Kinda. protecting your party from populists and demagogues. Problem is I really don't think the populists that vote dem are the scary ones. 2600:8804:500:FE90:91B3:8E90:FB46:8360 (talk) 07:47, 10 September 2023 (UTC)
also, yeah, Agree with the barbados flag, I dunno how to refence. Bernie would probably have lost 2016. But that's not an indictment of his platform, so it's a little hot to say he would have lost 2020. 2600:8804:500:FE90:91B3:8E90:FB46:8360 (talk) 08:02, 10 September 2023 (UTC)
Why would Bernie lose in 2016 and 2020? He has the most visionary platform in a very long time while Clinton and Biden platform were stale. If Obama didn't choose Biden back in 2008, Biden would be an unknown senator from Delaware. He lost big time back in 1988 when he ripped off a speech from a UK Labour leader and he lost big time back in 2008 as well. There is only one reason why Biden won the nomination in 2020 despite having never gained widespread support back in 1988 or in 2008. The only reason he ever won the nomination was because people saw him as Obama 2.0. Ψ (talk) 10:30, 10 September 2023 (UTC)
Considering that Bernie won all 55 counties of West Virginia, and they still handed the state over to Hillary.... those complaints aren't without merit. People criticize superdelegates because they are not democratic, meaning they represent the interests of the party-elites rather than the rank and file. "Anti-populist or demagogue" is just a dogwhistle for "those poors are getting uppity and need to learn their place." Carthage (talk) 00:29, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
That's simultaneously a better argument to vote blue and to give up on blue. Red says 'your leadership is weak and stupid' and then from what I can see makes the weakest, most confused angry populist platitudes to stay in power. I understand vote blue no matter who, but that carries a weight. Vote for somebody under the age of 70, Not gonna work as a message because Boomers are so scared of everyone younger than them. I say don't vote Gen X either. Gen X politicians are the same generation who figured out "Native Advertising.". If I have to go younger to trust that industry plants are quick and sniffed out like bad pop punk on tiktok, I am happy to do so. But there is a comfortable constituency of young non voters who would rather vote, and I can't explain why, maybe ironically, against the people telling them to vote and don't know why beyond being told the democrats are generally fake allies of social progress, and then they get this head that says taxes are all bad, government programs are all bloated, nothing we can do but one side is talking about it. Then if God forbid they talk to an old line Republican, they are convinced the problem is the coastal elites, as if the coastal elites don't vote Republican. It's a horrible situation on the ground. I'm just trying to emphasize 'Vote blue no matter who' is a reactionary argument that won't work in favor of anyone or against anyone but Trump. What the right has shifted to is abhorrent. There's a weird reason why Republicans can ratfuck Democrats and each other but it doesn't make a difference the other way around. I haven't honestly figured it out yet, it's something to do with evangelicals and noisy direct action to everything, including inaction, but it's working really well. If I put myself on the Democrat side, which I have to, we're up against a block that would have been excited for Ben Carson and Vivek Ramaswamey. Really convinced Ron DeSantis Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were charismatic options. They love Trump because he says 'eh, I don't care, I love what you love and hate what you hate, and I will get something done about it but please, we all know I can't get anything done, and if that happens, well, I think you know why'. Anyone else, that's bad leadership, I just can't wrap my head around it. Was Scott Adams of Dilbert correct in saying Donald Trump uses hypnosis? Sorry this is off the rails, vote blue no matter who has a shelf life of Donald Trump's candidacy. 2600:8804:500:FE90:EDA7:9CEF:8E86:6811 (talk) 05:03, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
It's not hypnosis IMHO. Donald Trump learned just enough acting / persona shit in his WWE / Celebrity Apprentice days (arguably *especially* the former) to fine tune a persona with some odd synergy with the Archie Bunker crowd. A lot of the front-line political jobs are half acting ones in these media presidency days.
At any rate, Project 2025 is a conception of (primarily) the Heritage Foundation. EG: One of many think tanks run by the "got mine" money class. Basically, if you take everything all together, a Viktor Orbán or a Benjamin Netanyahu situation in the United States is realistically possible in the near future, and Trump (if elected) will only be a tool of these types to potentially implement such. Now, if that isn't enough to convince you to vote Democrat until the Republicans become sane... well, I'm not sure what to think. (But I imagine the number of voters who even know about a Heritage Foundation is sadly low; perhaps more people would have voted for Hilary if they knew what the fuck a Federalist Society was, too, eh?). There's a lot of real stupidity floating around in the money class on this particular side right now. A "Democrat vote" is not just voting against "Trumpism" these days, the "got mine" crowd's happy to fuck over Archie Bunker too. BobJohnson (talk) 23:03, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
I took a drive through rural Midwest America this weekend. Got caught in a parade, big American flags which was like 'my team' then Halloween decoration skeletons and flags that said 'Biden sucks' which was like '...you guys are angry, I better just wave and look a little lost and smile and be onmawhay' Imagine waving a flag that is explicitly against something and that's cool? instead of having to wave a flag to stand for something, we can say we hate something, and that says everything about what you're tryna say 2600:8804:500:FE90:11B1:24D9:73D7:9ADD (talk) 04:39, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
As a conservative, I feel as if this isn't gonna be feasible. As far as I know, most of us don't want Trump to have unchecked power. In fact, I would be happy if the GOP chose a different presidential candidate (as long as it isn't Ron DeSantis). As for the other issues, I legitimately doubt that those will make it in most states. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 15:24, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, a vote for red kills morality dead. Luigifan18 (talk) 20:03, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Could you elaborate please? Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 21:09, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Rhetoric is effective, and I think Republican rhetoric is moving away from social libertarianism in a new way. social libertarianism is kinda antithetical to fascism, so you can see why the concern is there. but before it was Islam, now it's not angry at Islam. I think it's core tenet is hating anything less than overt aggression. Then it's funneling through some weird hatred of women and minorities, because that's how power has worked. These are the people who really want to believe there is nothing new. I can hardly blame the victims of that thought because they are screwed just as hard.2600:8804:500:FE90:3D76:4A88:185:CE2C (talk) 02:30, 23 September 2023 (UTC)

The Bullshit Sound Healing Purveyors Churn Out.[edit]

So YouTube does suffer a LOT from Sturgeon's Law by many metrics, and a certain chunk of this platform (and many other video and audio platforms), are the sound healers that push out auditory pseudoscience with ludicrous clickbait. Stuff like binaural beats, solfeggio (which was just Leonard Horowitz banging on the buttons on a cellphone), the A≠440 crowd, and many more deepities related to audio frequencies. As for the clickbait, they make ridiculous claims like curing diseases, detoxing the body, achieving a "higher state" of consciousness, "spiritual connections" with things like the Universe or a deity (both of which they have a Dunning-Kruger level of knowledge on), making you rich, and more. And the main problem is that they keep doing it because of the advertising revenue and the fact that at least someone out there is gullible enough to click on it anyway. Meanwhile, as for myself, I have seen it turn conspiratorial as well, with claims denigrating A440, claims about purging nanomachines, and the detoxing mentioned above.

So, what other kinds of conspiratorial and pseudoscientific bullshit have you seen from those bastards who churn that stuff out? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 01:38, 23 September 2023 (UTC)

I've largely tried to avoid the New Age woo as a musician hobbyist. Still hard to avoid the bullshit completely, unfortunately. I do like having a good audio system around. Back in the "audiophile" / "home theater" days there was a shit ton of woo of a different sort (which is a large portion of the audio woo article - magical cables, green markers around CDs, that sort of thing). But that sort of woo seems to have died off as the audiophile community has. There's also musician woo-ish type stuff as well (tubes! analog!) that unfortunately still exists...
A lot of that New Age style audio woo, if it "works" at all, is because of the background music, not the "woo" effect. At least, the New Age woo I've encountered largely takes ambient / space music as a background and appends annoying "healing" features to it. For instance, with solfleggio (and whoever the fuck came up with that name for the New Age woo should be ashamed of themselves, as that is the Italian word for a music techniqueWikipedia Sound of Music fansWikipedia should be familiar with), a sampling of videos seeming to consist of a nice amount of dreamy, heavily reverbed, very slow synth pad style "spacey" music, combined with a rather annoying seriously out of tune "solfleggio frequency" sine wave. I don't think it's terribly controversial to say that slow music can be rather relaxing, and if "space music" is a slow relaxing style you dig (YMMV of course), just stick with that, rather than have an annoying frequency or a binaural beat or something mess with it. I guess though that's not enough for New Age woosters seeking to make a buck...
Still, that New Age woo is actually not as ridiculous as the I-Doser crap. Not that the New Age woo is sane by any means, but I-Doser took the woo to the next level, attempting to market similar sorts of audio woo to the "bananas get you high!" kooky "legal high" drug crowd. Uh huh. BobJohnson (talk) 05:33, 23 September 2023 (UTC)

Lip Service[edit]

Hello everyone. My question is quite straight-forward: What would you consider the ideas that people pay the most lip-service to? Which ideas do they proclaim yet seldom follow? Personally, I think the most obvious one for me is education. Education is supposedly the most important thing, yet in many places schools are either underfunded or seem to serve only to create an efficient worker as fast as possible. When you study, most people expect it to be connected to a future job. Education for the sake of education is often seen as snobbish, pretentious or elitist. Yet, even most anti-intellectuals will proclaim that education is important. Care to disagree or give other examples? Cheers Edit: I would also say religious orthodoxy is a big one.NastyNugget (talk) 09:45, 12 September 2023 (UTC)

The Democrats actually passing legislation that'll make this country less of a shithole. Carthage (talk) 23:43, 12 September 2023 (UTC)
I would say something like folks saying that they are "working for a better future." A very select few really do work to make humanity's burdens less onerous. But most of us are, as they say, laying it on pretty thick.Ariel31459 (talk) 00:16, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Democracy, probably even moreso than religion nowadays.-Flandres (talk) 00:20, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
See, you both are disappointed by democracy. Fascists are disgusted by it. The ability to tolerate democracy in its degenerate phases is all that stands between. Ariel31459 (talk) 00:49, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
I wouldn't say I'm disappointed with democracy. It's just funny that almost all governments in the modern world claim to "represent the people" in some way but the majority of them are dominated by an elite clique. Even North Korea claims to be a People's democratic republic after all. Thus, it is a good example of something that is proclaimed yet seldom followed.-Flandres (talk) 01:01, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
I find it laughable when people say the US is a democracy, when it's more like an oligarchy with democratic elements. Getting to choose who rules you isn't democracy, it's electoral oligarchy. The opinions of the average American citizen have little real impact on policy, compared to that of interest groups and the moneyed classes. At best you could say America is an "imperfect democracy," but that seems a little too euphemistic for my tastes. Carthage (talk) 03:03, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Well, of course, there are no real democracies. A system that constructs fair elections, more or less, and gives you at least two choices, is about all one can hope for in modern government. Money talks and it always has had a lot to say. The only good thing about people with money being in charge is, not being poor at the start, they don't necessarily feel they have a lot of catching up to do with their stealing.Ariel31459 (talk) 04:52, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
I think an interesting distinction is that in politics, there is a lot of demagogues claiming to be pro-democracy when they know it's just a front to get what they want but with my example of education, people generally mean it when they say education is important even when one can argue that they do not act like it is. NastyNugget (talk) 08:47, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Efficient for whom? The worker's interests are not the same as the capitalist's. The worker has been placed into a state of economic mercenaryism because all alternative means of livelihood have been denied to them. Communal property has been seized and enclosed, meaning the worker can't fuck off into the woods and become a farmer or hunter or whatever because everything's now enclosed. You would be "violating" someone else's property "rights" despite said property being rooted in systemic theft and violence. The worker has no choice but to sell their labor or starve. Carthage (talk) 08:58, 13 September 2023 (UTC)

It would be great if everyone were responsible for my well being. To some extent, they already are responsible. Folks differ on how far to take the responsibilities. The less I have the better socialism looks to me. There's no fault in that. That's just the way things look. Ariel31459 (talk) 14:07, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
That's the question, isn't it? Are our elites utterly cynical, sitting in the smoke-filled rooms with the brandy and cigars, laughing at us for believing in shit like 'meritocracy' and 'democracy' that they knew would never fly [or let fly, to be correct]? Or are they genuine believers in said shit, more stupid than cruel, unable to see [for example] that being first in a race don't mean so much if you got a huge head-start and half the runners got shot in the foot at the starting-line? My current theory is that 'the rich' we normal folks do see do believe [to some extent], but are normally too sheltered/stupid to really realise they're wrong. That in fact, 'the rich' we see aren't the real rich, not the ruling rich. And I think those folks don't believe in any of the shite they peddle for us proles [or have their hirelings peddle, to be more accurate]. No. I think most are firm believers in Social Darwinism, that they're on top because they are simply better than us in every way [minority opinion; 'God gave me my money' a la Rockefeller]. Elon Musk, I suspect is rather an average specimen of this 'master ethic', simply he's much more a attention-hound and vocal than most members of the ruling oligarchy. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:34, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Well, it seems there really isn't any good systematic way to appoint reliable people to be in charge of society. That's why Greeks devised elections. I'd say it doesn't really matter what the rulers think of us. I don't give them any credit for doing their best, while still failing miserably. Here's the paradox: the people who have the organizational skills and the desire to devise and implement social and economic entities that might be successful at strengthening, or even creating from whole cloth, the fabric of society (and I am counting on you not asking "what is a fabric of society?"), those people want to enrich themselves first.
Elon Musk is like a Donald Trump with some skills. He is afraid of no one but artificial intelligence, (AI). Trump is a man of the last century. That dipshit tried to lead a revolution after he had already been in power. Trump pines for attention and admiration, while Musk already believes he has it. He tends to remain saturnine about his inner thoughts. He never surprises in a good way with his philosophy. You don't need to resort to historical distortions like social Darwinism to see that it is just a game he plays, like trump: the winner is the one with the most toys when he dies. But I think that just maybe Musk has the infinite game on his mind too. If medical advances can extend his life a few hundred years, he might live to see AI Robin Hood ring his bell and kick him in the nuts, etc., etc....Ariel31459 (talk) 21:15, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Well, classic Greek democracy wasn't like ours today; in America, for example universal [white, male] suffrage didn't come about until the 1870s, while in the UK it was only 1918. What's more, there was a strong link between 'decisions' and 'personal actions' than there is today; if I'd voted for war policies in Ancient Athens it would be me [and/or with my son(s), brothers, uncles etc] turning out with my hoplite gear to march off to spill blood, while if I was voting for every 'rebel American' to be shot by Redcoats in the 1780s I'd find myself paying a lot more tax to make that happen. If nothing else, it gave me the personal motivation to 'get it right' - something that [particulary] American democracy no longer has - one side cheers for more services, the other bellows for the setup to be a Ponzi scheme, then career politicos try to square the circle by upping the services paid, cutting taxes and using the national debt to cover the balooning shortfalls. That's another thing we need to remember about classical Greek democracy; many positions were filled by lot, not election. Thus, no career politicos, no thinking in 2/4/6 year cycles, no pandering to factions. Those harsh but needed decisions could be made for the national interest - like the simple impossibility for even the USA to maintain a bare-bones welfare state and a massive military machine on a relatively small tax base which some folks constantly screech is 'too heavy'.
This idea is in fact being revived as a concept. I mean, what are elected officials actually for? It's not to read/review legislation; it's an open secret that most of our elected officials don't read the bills put in front of them, and most who try to don't really understand what they're reading. In fact, they rely on either a) partisan advice on what way to go and/or b) 'expert' advice [biased or not]. They rarely if ever write the Bills; at best it's left to the legal bureaucrats, at worst by the lobbyists. It's not really to sort out budgets; again, the bureaucracy does that. Their role is generally twofold; 'represent my people' and 'give the general direction of travel'. And to be honest, I think most decently-educated adult citizens who aren't somehow off their rocker can manage that - between the bureaucrats and the judges, most modern democratic states have a lot of 'stabilisers' built in to the system, a tacit admission that they know a lot of the political crop will be mediocre in talent.
As for Musk/Trump... well, the belief that 'the winner is the one with the most toys when he dies' is social darwinism at it's most base. A classic case of circular reasoning; 'you have all this stuff because you're great, and you're great because you have all this stuff'. They're more similar than they'd admit, though I'd peg the Orange One as much more the faker/wannabe/grifter than Musk [though I'll admit this gap has narrowed post-Twitter]. Which leads to the oft-asked question; does Trump believe his own lies? My belief is that he does not believe them, but he is so inflated with his Social-Darwinist views of his own superiority over us proles that we should believe him because he's so great and whatever he wishes to do is right because he is our true superior. That the basic 'truth rating' of his statements is in fact, irrelevant. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:33, 13 September 2023 (UTC)
Yes, but you have spun a narrative that agrees with all facts known to you. Good, but it is still only your own personal explanation. We all need personal explanations, so there is nothing to complain about there. The way the Greeks did democracy is a worthy topic but not one that can illuminate our current situations. Your account is scholarly and just beyond being relevant to the immediate question: what can we say about our democracies today. They are democracies in the sense that we vote to establish representation.
What are our elected officials actually doing? Well, most of them do nothing, it is true. But if a guy from the central government came to your district (if you live in a Congressional district), and said "the men who count have decided that the men and women you elected are of no use in the legislative function of the government. We are going to have a lawgiver like the ancient Greeks sometimes had; e.g., Lycurgus in Sparta, and Draco, in Athens." I don't think we'd go for that. And don't forget, the basic historical mission of modern GOP was, first do nothing, then repeat.
I don't think it matters if Trump believes his lies. You are back with your own causal narrative. Trump doesn't know anything about Darwinism (I suppose) and he plays a zero sum game. He doesn't like it when he loses and he says what is required, he thinks, for him to come out ahead, which is his only real motivation. You see, for him, it has nothing to do with us or any of the hoi polloi. It all sort of makes better sense when we append a whole social personality to our explanation of Trump. But, that is all unnecessary. He just wants to win, and he likes being a prick. He thinks that's the best part of winning.Ariel31459 (talk) 01:29, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
Except looking at historical examples is important, as it reminds us 'things can be done differently'. Every system designed ultimately is struggling with the same questions, so it's worth at least having half an eye on what they ultimately chose and their arguments why they chose it. And 'the people won't wear it' is frankly, a fairly shit argument [though powerful one] for keeping the status quo - you all but admit at the start that most people would agree that said status quo doesn't have much to write home about in the first place. But your own line shows a key weakness of liberal democracy; a fixation on the technical aspects of 'democracy' [voting, elected officials, constitutions etc] rather than nurturing the spirit of democracy. Amongst other things, it was this mentality which broke other democratic states, such as the French Third Republic and Weimar Germany [and I see identical issues in both the USA and UK]. A lot-based system would still be democratic [as it is rule by the people], merely a different form. This is important because small factions [often elites, though not always] are often very well skilled in 'hollowing out' democratic systems so the precious facade remains intact but the spirit is strangled and then buried in concrete. The best example of this is what Putin has done to Russia since 2000.
As for Trump not knowing about Darwinism... that's not the point. He doesn't need to; it's instinctual. Social darwinism is a great intellectual fig-leaf to justify why it is right and proper you act like a giant turd, shitting on us ordinaries from above. Zero-sum games are this too; 'strong eat, weak are eaten' and all that. A kind of crappy derivative social darwinism resides in the rightish business schools, country clubs and similar; 'the laws of the [business] jungle', the viewing of everything as either a commodity or threat and the possession of huge stacks of money [or the things it can buy] being the sole measure of worth. Yes, you're right - 'winning' is everything; the lies are a means to that end. The bit I disagree is that Trump and his ilk are so bloated in ego they expect people to fall in behind his narrative even though they know it's a load of shit - the Anglo business world is pretty hierarchical and authoritarian and folks like Trump are even worse than average. Part of the reason he fucked up so much as POTUS was the simple fact he was [for once] surrounded by people who didn't kowtow, were not beholden to him and not motivated by simple money. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:16, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
Well, as you continue your narrative, I find myself in agreement with it as a discursively-descriptive, rational account. It occurred to me that such an account tends to be of greater aesthetic than practical value when considering these heady ideas about democracies, while at the same time turning our attention to the lunatic fascism of someone like Donald Trump. Historical analogs are of very limited practical value, primarily because, in the west, in Great Britain and the US, for example, we find highly stable democratic systems that have been in place and dominated oppositions for a very long time.
The US is the oldest democratic government in the world. It survived much more serious crises than what we currently observe to be the case today; e.g., the American Revolution ( though this has everything to do with the determination of the people), War of 1812, and the American Civil War. The point here is that the problems that lead to the demise of every other democratic government in history have not succeeded in defeating the American Constitutional form. As you say, Trump was incompetent at manipulating the levers of Administrative power, but they were designed to express just such an intransigence at the hands of an unprincipled autocrat like Trump.
Trump's old television show, The Apprentice, turned out to be a model, an archetype, if you will, for what it might be like to be a business magnate, or simply a benevolent dictator. His followers don't just admire him, they are acting out being him. The idiots. It is like a kind of cosplay. We witness a psychodrama. Luckily, at this point, the majority recognize that a smallish minority is currently acting with loose screws, so to speak. They even probably realize what they are doing, but persist because it is just so much fun, even when one knows one is failing, to piss off people who know better. Ariel31459 (talk) 18:13, 14 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by being short on the 'practical value', save the fact I don't offer any concrete solutions to the issues I identify. Though perhaps more 'practical value' can be gained from a response to your middle paragraph, which reeks of a combination of lazy 'It Can't Happen Here-ism' and either an ignorance or blase dismissal of the socio-politco-economic circumstances which brought Trump to the fore. And the simple fact those circumstances still exist, the agents of Trumpism are still powerful and most obviously, Trump himself is still alive.
So, the 'American system' survived the onslaught between '16 and '21, quite obviously. But it didn't survive without taking some more damage, which means it's currently in a sicker condition than it was around '15. Trump was incompetent in wielding executive power, yes - which raises the question of what a more cunning, power-hungry and intelligent Trump could have achieved during his presidency. Just like the breaker of a rotten door gains an unwarrented reputation of violence, the rotten door gets an unwarranted reputation for strength if the attacker is incompetent.
With Trump personally, yes, it's an act - that act being 'a billionaire as imagined by Homer Simpson'. But even The Apprentice was a self-selecting group; the sorts of people who would like to be Trump. Or at least did before they got to actually observe him closer. That man has left decades-worth of disgusted ex-employees, contractors, investors and customers to the point much of the mainline 'business community' fairly well hates his guts. How does the Big Public not know of all this? A mountain of non-disclosures and a phalanx of lawyers to file suit after suit, that's what. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:54, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
Practical value, refers to something you can use. Perhaps to calm ourselves. Perhaps to take some particular action. I apologize for giving you the impression that "bad things can't happen here" was the point of my narrative. If you look again, I hope, you will see I have only stated that, over time, the American constitutional system is more resilient than other democratic systems of the past, as the evidence shows. The combination of the constitution and the continental isolation have provided protective rails that allow us to conclude, "so far so good." Looking at failures in the past in other nations is only useful as a warning that vigilance is also part of a useful understanding. Yes, apart from remaining calm, and adhering to truth-telling, there is nothing to be done.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:21, 18 September 2023 (UTC)
I didn't proffer any possible, concrete solutions partly because it would completely derail this conversation and the little fact that I'm not American and so aren't that well clued-in [I would, on the other hand feel capable of doing that for the UK]. However, both countries are showing two key [and related] issues; a worsening democratic deficit and thinning general perceptions of legitimacy in our system. Which is where the original 'lip service?' question comes in; much of the rot in both is quite down to our ruling elite [the politico-managerial stratum] embracing neoliberalism and deciding [consciously or not] that they really wanted was a passive democracy, one where us proles do fuck all except vote at the designated times.
I'd cite here Clinton's 'basket of deplorables' in '15 as good example of the 'elite sneer' towards the masses disgruntled to how shittily said elites have run society - a good counterpoint to this is the British Conservative politician Norman Tebbitt in the 1980s who responded to similar criticisms by giving Horatio Alger style lectures [misquoted as telling the unemployed to stop moaning, 'get on their bike' and find work]. Let's turn the question the other way around; why should the Big Public support a politio-economic system which is so often either corrupt, stupid and/or self-serving and is generally disdainful towards them and their needs?
Has the American system proved more resiliant than others? Clearly, yes - but that's partly because the framers of the system looked at historical examples and tried to improve on them [the geographical position helped too; not only was it long shielded from foreign interference but the 'wilderness' to the West provided a safety-valve for discontents to move (qv, Mormons)]. But there are things that can be done on a personal level. Become involved in small-p politics, for starters. Trying to reform a malfunctioning system can feel kinda futile but if enough people do the same, it can produce a groundswell of support for innovation. In the American case, I note something fairly simple - Republicans are much more organised than the Democrats at the base, which is partly how they manage to win more than simple demographics suggest they should. I'll re-post here a thinkpiece which I think put in the blog WIGO a while back - https://newrepublic.com/article/135686/soul-new-machine KarmaPolice (talk) 12:51, 19 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I feel I should piggyback on your point about the West and discontent. There really is no more safety valve for dissidents and those disillusioned with American society to go to anymore. Activists and dissidents are often told "go somewhere else if you don't like it here" but where can we go? The very concept of the "border" is designed to prevent, at least in part, freedom of movement (I can easily point to the Berlin Wall as a logical extreme of this trend). Not everyone, probably most people actually, can go somewhere else. We're stuck here, for better or for worse. Carthage (talk) 13:00, 19 September 2023 (UTC)

You have hit upon a central problem of social philosophy (lifted from ontology). We take on the burdens of existence by being here. Why are we here rather than somewhere else? If your life is all about activism, then it almost doesn't matter where you are: you will be active. Most people seem to settle for the less active forms of existence, which admittedly slows down change. Ariel31459 (talk) 19:34, 19 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't agree with that, Ariel - on two key points. While you're right that 'most folks aren't political activists', the point is that they shouldn't need to be. That viewpoint puts the whole onus on the individual to become involved - where are the organising activists at the bottom reaching out to them, moulding them into little political blocs while finding out what they wanted/needed so they can then pass the news up to their political 'boss'? That's a lesson from Huey Long to Strom Thurmond which is worth replicating - the delivery of pork. Hell, Trump knows this lesson; he delivered the fundies' dream of a SCOTUS stacked in their favour to get Roe/Wade gone, and for that they'll overlook the simple fact he's the worst example of a Christian seen for some time.
The other aspect is that from what I can see, both the American Democrats and British Labour appear to not want a mass party. That they prefer the current system, where tons of centrally-spent cash is used in lieu of actual grass-roots support [or the professional front-line activists] and politicos in hock to elite interests deign to turn out every election cycle to prod the inert mass known as 'the electorate' into voting for them with generic promises and windy happytalk which is forgotten the moment it's no longer 'useful'. Terms like 'populism' are dirty words - that while the average voter can say with some certainty who the Republicans/Conservatives consider 'our people', not many can say the same for their tepid Third Way challengers. That in a drive to appeal to [apparently] everyone, they end up really appealing to none. I remember the '20 presidential election and how frankly tepid the Biden campaign was, and the coming General Election promises us Brits a Starmer Ministry which is about as appealing as a bucket of sick.
With societal 'dissidents'; this is part of the secret sauce of liberal democracy - that individuals are granted pretty wide [by historical examples] freedoms on how to live. Not just freedom of speech and conscience, but the more basic freedoms such as sexual activities, spending choices, my personal appearance and what I do with my free time - there is not many situations where 'They' demand I do or don't do something. It could be said that the British and American systems have the opposite issues with their democracies; that the former is a clear 'electoral dictatorship' where the tyranny of the majority [or more correctly, the plurality] is imposed on minorities and the latter is a 'veto democracy'; a tyranny of the minority where sometimes very small groups [such as the ≤5% of voters who control the small Senate seats] can fuck over everyone else if they're not satisfied. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:03, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
Make America Great Again among other pointless rally cries. They mean nothing beyond sounding powerful. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 15:30, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
May I just, excuse me. Why would the Republicans lean into a rallying cry of removing democratic rights? Not Democratic rights, but things like populist voting. Is it not strange that the current legislative\judicial conflict is as much about consolidating voting as it is about abortions? It's simple. republicans think they can do it right now. Are they all morons? That's not probable. conspiracies are always about big evil institutions that are simultaneously brilliant and inept. if they think they can do it, there's a big chance they aren't imbeciles fumbling with power. They are tapping on the judicial branch like they are looking for a stud behind drywall. They have a clear enough plan to reorganize US politics. Major step in the plan is clearly 'democracy is out' That's enough to want to pump the brakes.2600:8804:500:FE90:A1F3:165B:2BAF:5B53 (talk) 07:43, 25 September 2023 (UTC)