RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive443

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This is an archive page, last updated 16 October 2023. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Nat Turner and his Revolt[edit]

Well, here's a place to help debate and discuss the future page for Nat Turner, his infamous revolt, and his legacy nowadays. I'm just here to get this debate started, and I'll stay quiet after this set of initial sentences. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:26, 22 September 2023 (UTC)

We should always fight injustices. I think Nat Turner was a good dude and I hope he rests in peace. Ψ (talk) 12:10, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
It is somewhat difficult to discuss a page on RW that does not yet exist. Why not get started and keep an eye on the talk page for constructive comments. The Turner Rebellion represents an extremely Romantic historical narrative. Edgar Allan Poe might have written a story like that. The horror of it reminds me of him.Ariel31459 (talk) 03:29, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
The Nat Turner case is a huge case of both "where is the omelette?" and "did every egg need to be broken?" for me. They murdered more than could possibly be justified as a necessary evil, and ultimately, the murdering accomplished nothing positive for anyone. Furthermore, Nat Turner was a religious nutjob; even if his cause was on the "right" side of history, I would expect that we would always be skeptical of the kooks.
Remember; it's possible for BOTH sides to be the bad guys. CorruptUser 20:33, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
That's all true, but at the same time it's hard to fault the enslaved for breaking their chains and resisting, no matter how violently, a system of even greater violence. Sometimes violence is the only real solution to a problem, although the human tendency for excess can sometimes muck things up. For example it's a myth that the Jews never resisted the Holocaust. They often did, sometimes quite violently. I think violence can be justified dependent on social conditions, and even where, as with the Nat Turner revolt, the violence got more than a little excessive it's still really hard to fault the slaves, since they were, after all, enslaved and had taken it upon themselves to break their own chains. If someone kept you in chains, and treated you little better than livestock, would you not lash out in revenge if given the chance? Granted that's not a justification for the actions committed during the revolt. We often see the Founding Fathers cited quite positively on this very wiki, despite the despicable things they did. Symbols are powerful, and often history can whitewash the sins of these symbols if it's for a "good cause" or whatnot. I'm not saying it's right, but it is a very real thing that occurs. Perhaps this should be a lesson against hero worship. Carthage (talk) 20:40, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Suffolk U. historian, Kenneth Greenberg wrote, "Nat Turner is the most famous, least-known person in American history.”
The Confessions of Nat Turner, was written by Thomas Ruffin Gray, a Virginia attorney who interviewed Turner a few days before his trial. Gray, who was pro-slavery, was likely motivated to raise the alarm against slave revolts. Turner says little in the first part of his confession that implies the outcome he had in mind was conceived as a “slave rebellion.” Some readers of the Gray document interpret the rebellion as an act of religious mania.Ariel31459 (talk) 01:33, 25 September 2023 (UTC)


Hi everyone, I'm a new user looking to become a sysop. Should I do some editing or just stick to banter please? Thank you. William on Discs (talk) 21:08, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

You're welcome to stick to banter, but if you want to be a sysop, it's good to make some significant mainspace edits. Bongolian (talk) 22:11, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Yes, do some mainspace editing which shows that you understand the purpose and nature of the site, see the links I have put on your talk page. Also, historically, the people who were not made sysop were those who arrived and instantly asked for it!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:19, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
If you subscribe to RationalWiki Gold it comes with a guaranteed mop. Carthage (talk) 13:37, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
SysOP - not SysMOP! Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 19:47, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
No RationalWiki Gold mop for you! :) Carthage (talk) 12:26, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
@Plutocow @LeftyGreenMario @Bongolian Speaking of sysopdom, do you guys think I'm ready for my mop back? I'd like to do more to help out the wiki. (I'm actually working on a mascot for the site.) Luigifan18 (talk) 15:56, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
If you subscribe to RationalWiki Platinum you get a free dust-bin. Carthage (talk) 16:01, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
The normal procedure for restoration of rights would be to make an appeal on the Mod noticeboard. Summarize what you did wrong to cause sysoprevoke, and that you have not done and will not do those things again. A vote for restoration of rights can then take place. Bongolian (talk) 18:20, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Welcome. I am the one and only RationalZombie94 aka the Trans Zombie Queen. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:48, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
@Bongolian …Truth be told, I don't fully remember. Which ATIM archive would I find it in again? Luigifan18 (talk) 15:55, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
@Luigifan18, the relevant archive is here: RationalWiki talk:All things in moderation/Archive62. Bongolian (talk) 16:41, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

Pseudoscience in the Family: Horror Stories, Reunion Woes, and More[edit]

Here's a place to share some of the horror stories and past incidents involving family members and beliefs in pseudoscience, and also to share possible advice to help people convince a family member to ditch pseudoscientific beliefs. Thanks for posting! TheEternalOutsider (talk) 08:09, 25 September 2023 (UTC)

I thought for a moment this was for complaining about a series of kids' books/cartoons/video games called The Family Horror Stories. Spud (talk) 09:45, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Here is an opportunity for anyone so inclined :) Anna Livia (talk) 18:33, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
when I was like 3 or 4 I was terrified of ghosts. Possibly because of the movie Ghostbusters I could not watch the opening scene without a blanket over my head, but my mom especially then was really convinced ghosts were real. Told me about them, spooked me out. At the same time, she gave me a spray bottle full of water, just normal water, because I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself for fear of ghosts. I would go to the bathroom just spraying that warding water, very silly in retrospect, but on one hand it made me a very powerful little ghost warrior until I figured it out. She will still text me about really real dreams she's had, and I sometimes gotta be a little mean about it. I share the trait, I have very vivid and realistic dreams. They are not deterministic premonitions. 2600:8804:500:FE90:A1F3:165B:2BAF:5B53 (talk) 05:36, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

Just updating the header to clarify this thread as a spot to share stories about encountering and dealing with pseudoscience in family members and relatives. Thanks again. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 11:27, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

I don't have any horror stories per se, but I do have a funny anecdote. About a year ago, my borderline-fruitcake aunt confessed to me that she went into a hobby shop and hid all the Tarot cards in random nooks and crannies so that nobody could buy them and be "corrupted by Satan" or some such nonsense. In fact, she makes a habit of doing that. I just silently rolled my eyes at that one… Luigifan18 (talk) 15:58, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

the most popular conspiracy theory[edit]

i think it is 9/11 trutherism ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 16:53, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

Have you ever heard of assassination of JFK? A somebody. (talk) 18:51, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Good for you. Carthage (talk) 16:59, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
”Trump won 2020” is probably more popular these days. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:34, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Nah, it's probably "Epstein didn't kill himself" Plutocow (talk) 18:47, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Why do y'all think they are actually different?? They are all exactly the same - some shadowy cabal - lizards, deep state, Bill Gates, etc is REALLY running hte world....Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:31, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
There was a thread in some Reddit post regarding the recent Clarence Thomas "influencing" revelations wondering why that story didn't tickle the conspiracy theory crowd. Which is an interesting point. I mean, here you have a Supreme Court bigwig judge hobnobbing with a shadowy network of plutocrat CEOs at the fuckin' Bohemian Grove, which used to be an "in" conspiracy theory "back in the day". You'd think that would tickle the "wake up sheeple!" funnybone somehow. Nope, not these days. Instead, it's incoherent babble about shit like Bill Gates, lizards, and a helluv a lot BS on COVID-19 vaccines. Oh, and can't forget the various pedophilia moral panics, too. It's like everyone in that conspiracy theory crowd has a great theory about who is running the world, yet most of them tend to be way off the mark on what actually is "running the world", so to speak. Funny that. BobJohnson (talk) 21:21, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Globally probably something about covid I would guess. Much of the rest above is just US stuff.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:24, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
International Jewish Conspiracy ←§ Edward the eight (talk) 10:59, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
For some strange reason all I hear whenever someone speaks about the globalists, NWO, or whatnot is the sound of dogwhistles. I dunno why. Carthage (talk) 13:38, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
As for the Epstein one, would it be possible that he was murdered? Sure. There would be motive. Maybe a cop who wanted to off a child trafficker? Realistic. Elaborate conspiracy theory? No. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:48, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
What I hate about the Epstein case is that because he offed himself, it's now become baby's first induction into qanon since it became a mainstream meme and he's been mytholigized as being about to prove every conspiracy theory being real before his death short of confirming the existence of One Piece. After all, a man who was going to spend the rest of his life in prison, was setup to lose everything he once had, and knew only one way out was obviously was thinking, "You know what, I have many reasons to live right now".-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:29, 27 September 2023 (UTC)

Which is brighter[edit]

I like the poll question What is brighter, a supernova, seen from as far away as the Sun is from Earth or the detonation of a hydrogen bomb pressed against your eyeball. So apart from the obvious fact that you'd be completely incinerated (or blown apart) by both before you could process anything called "brightness", quite curious, assuming you had some magic indestructible brightness-o-meter set up on Earth, which would actually be brighter? ShabiDOO 09:45, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

I couldn't find any reliable source, but Google tells me that the supernova would be nine times brighter. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:36, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
Randall Munroe used this once in a What if?. IluzalsipalStone them! 14:04, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
"Brightness" is often a word used to describe brilliance as perceived by human beings. So we might rephrase this to ask (somewhat absurdly) "Under which circumstances might you be be deader ...".
Of course, I understand that this is sorta accepted in the question but it might be better phrased along the lines of "Which would event would generate more radiation at a particular point .." The introduction of "eyeballs" is perhaps distracting.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:03, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

I'll take a crack at it Edit: TL;DR: The hydrogen bomb is more than 1000x brighter. Math below. I will use Radiant Flux (total energy, no correction for visible vs non human visible light. Which is brighter: A supernova at the distance from the earth to the sun, or a hydrogen bomb pressed against your eyeball?

-- Super Nova --

Supernova (class 1a): 10^43 erg/sec 1 erg = 10^-7 Joules Ergo: supernova power is 10^36 Watts

Proportion of surface area of 1 square inch at 1 AU of distance. Retina is approximately 1094 mm^2 (1.7 square inches)

Area of sphere: 4*PI*radius^2 Radius = 1 AU = 149,597,871 kilometers Area = 2.81229143E+17 km^2 1 km = 1e6 mm. 1 km^2 = 1e12 mm^2 Area = 2.81229143E+29 mm^2

Proportion covered by eye = 3.89006626E−27

Final wattage = 3,890,066,260 watts, or 3.89 GW. This is equivalent to approximately 1 ton of TNT (4.184 GJ) detonating every second sustained for every eyeball sized point on earth. This will be sustained for weeks.

-- Hydrogen bomb --

About 15% of a nuclear explosion is radiation.

If we take a 100,000 kiloton yield nuclear bomb, this means 15000 kiloton effective yield of light. This equates to 62760 GJ.

Assume hydrogen bomb is a singularity at surface of pupil.

Diameter if a human eyeball (distance to retina) is approximately 24 mm.

Area of sphere between explosion and retina is 4*pi*(24mm)^2 = 7328.23 mm^2. The 1094 mm^2 retina is a ratio of 0.1493 of this sphere area. Final energy hitting retina is 62760 * 0.1493 or 9369.17 GJ.

I was unable to find good data regarding the photon release rate of a hydrogen bomb specifically, but I will assume it takes shorter than the 2000+ seconds it would take for the hydrogen bomb lose this race, so I conclude the hydrogen bomb wins handidly. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 23:44, 26 September 2023 (UTC)

The third Nagorno-Karabakh war has begun.[edit]

https://twitter.com/NKobserver and the genocide is to come shortly after the Azeri victory. A somebody. (talk) 21:03, 19 September 2023 (UTC)

A second Armenian genocide sounds like fun. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:34, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
Armenia just can't catch a fucking break. Not that their army covered themselves in glory during the 1990s, but this is insane. The Aliyevs seem to really be compensating for something. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:49, 20 September 2023 (UTC)


Artsakh has surrendered to Azerbaijan. The people of Armenia want their president ousted. This should be interesting. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:00, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

'interesting' do you mean horrific? A somebody. (talk) 00:04, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
It is safe to say that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan will escalate. --Trans Fem Agenda 12:06, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
'May you live in interesting times' interesting, I suppose. However, you're all missing the important point; this was is basically, a West/Russia proxy conflict now. Traditionally, Russia backed Armenia but also exterted a strong 'influence' over Azerbaijan [as part of their self-proclaimed 'near abroad' neocolonialism]. Now Russia is weakening and distracted, and Baku [like the Central Asian republics] is using this as an opportunity to 'settle this once and for all'. Now, Azerbaijan has tied up with both Georgia and Turkey - the former loathes Russia with a passion and the latter has dreams of expanding influence over other 'Turkic'/Sunni peoples. Thinkpiece; https://carnegieendowment.org/2022/04/25/ukraine-war-is-reshaping-armenia-azerbaijan-conflict-pub-86994 KarmaPolice (talk) 12:57, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Pretty sure it's an iran/everyone else proxy war, russia is/was a very unreliable ally of Armenia. Because i'm 80% sure russia has been using Azerbaijan to get around sanctions. A somebody. (talk) 17:41, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
From my understanding the Azerbaijani government and the separatist group are holding peace talks. It is possible for peace to be reached but I am a bit skeptical. --Trans Fem Agenda 15:03, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Azerbaijan might be helping Russia sanction-bust [in fact I am sure they are; remember reading an article that Euro/American stolen cars ending up being cannibalised for parts in Azerbaijan for re-sale to Russia] but that can easily be seen as a pragmatic 'let's do business'/'don't piss off our touchy big neighbour' reason, or even a 'we're too incompetent/corrupted/weak to stop it happening'. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:34, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
Russia was selling arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan in the previous conflict.[1] So in that sense they are neither side's ally, and only interested in profiting from death. Bongolian (talk) 19:57, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
True. But the general consensus has been that Russia has had a fair Armenian 'tilt' too. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:37, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

It is hard to say if peace talks will bring an agreement that everyone is happy with. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:58, 22 September 2023 (UTC)

Nah, it's easy to say - it won't. Both sides want to rule the territory outright and will not be content with a Solomonic decision. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:51, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
It's sucks. Ψ (talk) 08:47, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

Conservapedia, the far-right, and Russia[edit]

So I just hopped over to have a look at what our long-dead rival is upto... and what do I find? Literally *ALL* their war-related articles are a rehash of RT & friends! And this isn't just related to CP, it's pretty much the view of most of the MAGA crowd. So to summarize my question - how does an ex-KGB agent, heading a country nostalgic for communism and supported by the likes of NK, Iran and China, and who explicitly promotes the view that the West is the "evil empire", get this much sympathy from them? The weird thing is that besides MAGA, the far-left also seems to be in bed - and this despite the fact that our man is anti-LGBT, pro-Church and promotes Russian nationalism. MeowPurr 04:52, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

I don't think that people nostalgic for communism. They're nostalgic for the welfare in the USSR and the period before the "shock therapy".
And I don't think that these far-leftists are leftist. They're either contrarians or right wingers who use leftist rhetoric on imperialism against the West for conservative cause. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 08:43, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Agree with the first, disagree with second.
The 'tankie' [left-wing Russian support] is easy to understand; they're not 'pro-Russian' per se, they're simply so 'anti-Western' that any regime that resists 'the West' is worth defending regardless of who the hell they are and what they've done to get the ire. More reasonable [and common] is the neutral 'this is a NATO-Russian proxy war and both sides are shit', which as a socialist I can get [though argue against] - they often downplay the merits of 'liberal democracy' to the point 'our' system and Russia's look almost identical [with fair point; we've had massive 'backsliding' for decades]. On the 'mild left' position you've got more 'false balance'; being so suspicious of both sides, they think 'the truth' is somewhere in the middle. This is taken to the logical conclusion by Jeremy Corbyn; he wants us to stop arming Kyiv ['stop prolonging the suffering'] and then to organise a cease-fire - as Putin has zero desire for anything that isn't a clear, decisive victory, clearly he needs to be allowed that victory to 'stop the war'. [The fact that 'the suffering' would continue behind Russian barbed-wire fences and Putin is most unlikely to stop there seems to be lost on him].
The 'MAGA' position is also fairly easy to understand - ideological agreement. They both loathe 'liberal democracy', anything which remotely smacks of 'woke' or 'socialism' [look, the Russian Communism nostalgia is not for communism, it's for Russian imperial power. It's why the Ukranian communists got banned; they were pro-Russian parties] as well as both having bastardised Social Darwinist/Prosperty Gospel views of society ['equality is BS, the strong rule and the weak are crushed, (perhaps this is chosen by God).'] which leads to reactionary/racist/sexist social views. In short; Putin is what they wished Trump could be - and Putin's possession of vast wealth and power hailed as evidence that he's so smart/great. This last bit played right up to the invasion itself; that while military experts were adamant the collected forces were insufficient for a successful invasion, the general consensus was that Putin must 'know something we don't' which meant said forces were enough. The truth - that he was not as high a chessmaster as believed and was about to commit a serious error - was not really considered.
Yet there's one more aspect of this; MAGAs European brethren have not been half as asslicky. Again, it's a simple answer - patriotism. In America, it's quite possible for you to have ikons of Putin and Trump to worship; because with many thousand miles of distance, two oceans and the world's largest navy patrolling them you do not feel Russia is capable of being a threat to the good-ol' USA. A European 'MAGA' on the other hand, has to deal with Putin chewing up the corner of our continent, awakening [for many] historical memories of Russian occupation and invasions. Poland, for example actually have good 'ideological agreement' with Putinism but oppose him mainly on patriotic reasons. Thus, an ikon of Putin here smacks too much like treason. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:36, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Interesting. For my own part I confess I have sympathy for Russia (not Putin, but simply the way Russia sees the world and has concerns about itself), but the batshit-crazy stuff I see in terms of how some really weird pieces of shit might be having views that I would normally consider understandable is making me look inward and reflect a bit. Though yes, the way you broke it down does make sense. MeowPurr 11:13, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I have to ask what you mean by "far left"? Pretty much every anarchist I've come across is adamantly anti-Putin. Indeed one of the biggest players in the militant anti-Putinist resistance movement in Russia is an anarcho-communist militia. Libcom has an article on them and Popular Front did an interview with them. There are also antifascist hooligan groups-turned volunteer militias fighting on the side of Ukraine against Russia (Popular Front did an interview with these guys as well). Carthage (talk) 13:41, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I can't speak for others, but I assume it was about Western 'far left' folks, such as communists and radical old-school socialists. I remember reading an article a while back where they were bitching about the Soviet/Chinese fetishism in Western circles, such as pictures of Lenin/Mao etc. And yes, 'Russian support' is a 'minority of the minority' in my experience; a 'pox on both your houses' argument seems the mainstream. Good example of this if you'd *really* care to read further; https://socialistworker.co.uk/news/arm-yourselves-with-the-arguments-ukraine-war/ KarmaPolice (talk) 13:51, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

It's simply bizarre that any group which pretends to have some political integrity would support - or at lest not condemn - the Russian empire in its (hopefully) final land-grab. It's a mark of dissociation from reality.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:01, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

Not really. There's a long history of political groups deciding whether something was good/bad on how it related to things you care more about. For example many rightist groups views on apartheid South Africa, Pinochet's Chile etc in the 70s/80s were seriously swayed by how much you got off on the 'a bulwark against Communism!' line [this is parodied in the Discworld book Jingo in which Vetinari's stated view on people settling on the new island was merely dependent on the nationality (ours or theirs?], then when complimented 'admitted' he got the two lines mixed up and he'd been calling their own citizens greedy folks who wanted something for nothing].
I believe it's referred to in politics as 'being pragmatic'. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:38, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
In such a case case "pragmatism" - if indeed it is - leads to bizarre positions. I stand by my statement.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:59, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't think they care. It's ethically objectionable, yes, but politics is really about power distribution, especially geopolitics, where interests are the real meat of concern, and any talk about "values" are propaganda to justify pursuing interests even if, or especially if, the pursuit of those interests is ethically questionable. Carthage (talk) 15:16, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Now I'm really confused about which of my statements - if any - you are taking issue with.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:27, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's true. I personally think everyone has political 'values' that guide them, just that some/all of them are selfish, objectionable, short-sighted or just simply batshit [others can be noble or simply average]. Then they form political positions around these values, and hey, you end up with situations where they clash. This becomes more pronounced when the stated and real values contradict each other, which leads to the situation above - democracy was strictly secondary to capitalism, and so Chile and South Africa got propped up. This is why nationalism is so powerful a value; it can justify almost anything through the prism of 'national interest'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:30, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
(EC) Values are still ultimately informed by interests. We see Poland lending aid to Ukraine because a) Poland stands to gain a monetary benefit from selling weapons to Ukraine and b) Putin threatens Poland's borders, or at least he is a perceived threat. Those both play into Polish interests of wealth and safety, even if one can cite some values to justify Polish aid to Ukraine interests are still very much a relevant factor. Carthage (talk) 16:34, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Poland was donating arms to Ukraine. They have stopped now because of trade disputes over grain shipments. Self-preservation is a strong motivation for supporting a neighbor. Ideals are indeed motivated by interests, though, one may well believe, they exist independently.Ariel31459 (talk) 17:04, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Or more correctly, escalated a dispute over grain so the ruling party can court the vote of farmers [look at us, we're watching your back!] one month before a GE, of which they are not polling well and are hoping to get enough far-righters to get them over the victory line? Sometimes, the 'guiding interest' is quite obvious. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:46, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
We're talking about Conservapedia and others with similar cognitive dissonance. I generally chalk up a lot of this to surface-level stupidity. Generally, this crowd seems to worship Putin for a combination of these very surface level sorts of reasons:
A) Racism. This is a biggie among some. It is probably why the somewhat similar (though far more soft power oriented and IMHO far more successful at international geopolitics currently) China doesn't get the love from this crowd. Also, never mind that Russian culture is significantly different from the West... the skin color is the "same" I suppose...
B) Bigotry. Similar to point A, but for people who are homophobic. Why the Putin worship, though, and not the far more homophobic policies of certain Middle East Islam nations? Well...
C) Religion. Putin has turned up the Russian Orthodox "traditional values" knob in his propaganda significantly, and some in this lot seem to latch onto the "Putin is Christian!" angle. Now, once again, Eastern Orthodox is *very* different from most Protestant Christian churches, I am not sure how many of the MAGA brayers even are aware of this. But...
D) Yearning for a strongman leader, which generally relates to people who hate one of the Others above and want a strongman to "do something" to those they hate. (How Christian, eh?)
E) Internet (and other) propaganda. One postulate I have on "why Russia?" for this crowd is that Russia's Internet propaganda network is quite extensive, and has specifically targeted the United States and other Western populist movements (the more incoherent the better!). Sure, Russia's "troll farms" also targets the incoherent left (so it's not surprising there may be a few far-left Putinbots), but the MAGA crowd seems to be a much, much juicier "mark" here. To that point, Russia has also integrated with other groups that target this sort of crowd such as the NRA. It also helps Russia that they had snagged some really high profile US "useful idiots" like Tucker Carlson (let alone Donald Trump's embrace of strongmen) to promote their viewpoints. So it's possible that this helps "tilt" some a little more favorably towards the Russian side.
Now, the whole situation is indeed stupid if you think about it logically; Russia is a fascist country whose leadership hates the West, and the purpose of the propaganda is purely to sow discord. Generally, I do not see the GOP as a whole as very pro-Putin even now. But there's certainly a loud and obnoxious wing, generally aligned (though not 100%) with MAGA, that is pro-Putin... often in, well, the rather delusional way of what's left of Conservapedia is. BobJohnson (talk) 18:06, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I'd also add...
F) Contrarianism. Biden/'the left'/'libs'/'globalists' are for Ukraine, therefore Russia must be the right side [and should be our friends]. As pointed out above, you'd have to be really thick to buy this line but from what I've seen to date the only folks who have bought/peddle the Kremlin's line are the a) the fascists and b) the really stupid.
As for BobJ's conclusion... I agree. A 'Trump Redux' will make it more difficult for Kyiv, but not has half as the 'Cretin's Corner' above would love to think. A 'pro-Ukraine/anti-Russian' majority will be in both Houses of Congress regardless of outcome and if Trump tried throw Kyiv under the bus in one of his great 'deals' I suspect enough of the Republicans would turn against him to make it very tricky - for whatever your political hue, it's bleeding clear that doing such an action would a) give a win to China and b) might cause NATO to collapse as Europe smarts from having the rug pulled in such a humiliating manner. Tell me, how does America benefit from this outcome, sir? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:24, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm not disagreeing with BobJ, but it's worth noting that both Conservapedia and Koch Industries are outgrowths of the John Birch Society. Phyllis Schlafly, mother of Andrew, was a member. The senior Koch (Fred C.) was a founding member of JBS, and his son Charles later joined. JBS had no problem with authoritarianism, as they were authoritarian themselves. Fred Koch did significant business with both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany before the war, preferring the latter. Koch Industries was still in Russia producing glass, quite possibly military-grade glass, until July 2022 when they claim to have left.[2] This lot of louts were all vehemently anti-communist, but authoritarianism and Christian nationalism (such as Putinism) was/is music to their ears. Bongolian (talk) 22:22, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
I hate to be the one that reveals I know, but Rob Smith is the only Conservapedia editor who supports Putin in the war and he's the one who writes all the articles about it. Others have called him out on how strange this is. But he keeps repeating the line that Zolensky is a Nazi and everything in the mainstream media is a lie. Andy himself has been completely silent. Mind you, unless it's about gays getting stoned to death, he doesn't take much interest in anything that goes on outside the US. (I was going to move this discussion to What is going on at CP? But then I saw that most of it wasn't about Conservapedia.) Spud (talk) 23:36, 24 September 2023 (UTC)
Conservapedia's basically down in practice to three members who do anything at all. Now, RobS to me is pretty representative of that MAGA crowd that adores Putin IMHO in many ways. On the other hand, RobS's repugnant views (as well as Ken's strange insane essays) actually have been rather repulsive to the few other Conservapedia members that have hung around, from what I recall poking around. Basically, for the OP, one point to remember when looking at Conservapedia is that almost everyone has left except for a couple of whackdoodles. The site is nearly dead.
CP aside, I think such also reflects that the Birch style Christian fascism clones (which I agree with Bongolian is linked to today's Putin worship by certain parts of the right) is not *that* uniformly attractive to those who style themselves as "conservative" (let alone "liberals"). While Trump has somehow put together a package that has made his strongman-wannabe crap relatively attractive to the masses, some of the other current politicians with IMHO stronger, more direct Birch echoes (like Ron DeSantis/Moms for Liberty), while not fringe unfortunately, also are not hugely popular overall.
A Vanderbilt poll in April 2023 [3] I think kind of got the right pulse. Among MAGA-identifying Republicans, a slim majority (52%) actually astonishingly believe that Putin is a better president than Joe Biden. However... MAGA Republicans only represent 18% of the American public. Add all the numbers together, and only 19% of Americans (e.g. slightly over 1 of 10 non-MAGA) think Putin is a better president than Biden. It's still amazing in many ways that the former Party of Anti-Commie Reagan is now this way, but on the other hand, it's important not to overstate the bounds of this crowd. BobJohnson (talk) 01:17, 25 September 2023 (UTC)

I actually added a Conservapedia source to the Ukraine article when talking about Russian occupied regions. It was not in a positive light though for obvious reasons. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:45, 25 September 2023 (UTC)

RE: Bob's point. I would argue that the average MAGA-hat is so insular and frankly, ignorant of some key topics [such as economics] as well as so viciously biased against anything proposed by a person with [Dem] after their name that it's rather easy for them to think well of Putin and his regime. The few intelligent ones out there like to think in Putin's neo-fuedalistic setup they would be part of the 'noble' class with perks greater and more entrenched than what they enjoy now in the USA. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:45, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
Of course, there's no guarantee they would be. It's wishful thinking that the fascists once in power wouldn't do away with the now useless idiots that helped them get into power in the first place. The Strasserite purge comes to mind here. Carthage (talk) 18:12, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
And do you think these idiots have actually considered the possibility of that happening? No. They have not. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:47, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Missing logical fallacy on RW: Fallacy of conjunction[edit]

Listed in List of cognitive biases but lacking an article is the conjunction fallacy (proper article name would be "Fallacy of conjunction"). This is very relevant to both paranormal and conspiracy theory claims.

For any claims A and B, however likely each of the two are, it's never more likely that both are true than that one and/or the other is. Yet when fictional woo claims are made and spread, it's very common to tack on more and more little propositions: A and B and C and ... (in channeled messages and dubious prophesying this tacking on can happens message after message over years) – and those who buy it find the message more compelling with more claims tacked on, despite it being mathematically certain that it's shakier then. As in, assert to such would-be believers just one thing without evidence, and they'll go "meh", but assert thing after thing for years and they'll become diehard fundies of the new faith.

There's research into people who believe in paranormal ideas being particularly susceptible to the conjunction fallacy,[4] and the same for conspiracy theorists.[5] --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:36, 27 September 2023 (UTC)

Now written: Fallacy of conjunction. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:08, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
well, die hard fundies of the new faith is definitely some language to talk about my aunties. But I think it was called Magical Thinking, and cool to see a new way to talk about it. 2600:8804:500:FE90:C0D:ED7F:5B44:1ECC (talk) 04:55, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

RationalWiki: The Musical[edit]

Is it just me, or would "I'm Alive" by Disturbed work pretty well as an adversarial duet (like a rap battle, but it's not rap) between RationalWiki and the Republican Party or Conservapedia? RationalWiki could get lines like "Never again will I be dishonored / And never again will I be reminded / Of living within the world of the jaded / They kill inspiration / It's my obligation / To never again, allow this to happen", while Conservapedia could get lines like "Change again, cannot be considered / I rage again, dispelling my anger / Where do I begin? / The choices are endless". Then there are lines that both of them could sing at each other, like "There's no meaning / My soul is bleeding / I've had enough of your kind / One suggestion, use your discretion / Before you label me blind". And yes, they'd both share the chorus, with Conservapedia meaning "There will never be a reason why I will surrender to your advice / To change myself, I'd rather die" entirely literally, while RationalWiki means it as a reaffirmation that it will never forsake science and rationality or quit calling cranks, woo-peddlers, charlatans, and other dispensers of misinformation out on their bullshit. (Yes, this idea is spinning off from me trying to find definitive themes for the Progress and Regress Pokémon (I'm specifically envisioning Azureality and Crimsolusion singing at each other), which I'm still slowly ironing out… even though I am starting to run out of ideas for them.) Luigifan18 (talk) 01:03, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

I wasn't there and I feel left out. Gaul Dernitt, full self criticism I'm a grody neo-pilgrim and a counterculture victim. Shoehorn me in there if you can, but cool mindspace. 2600:8804:500:FE90:58AE:618:79ED:7519 (talk) 03:42, 20 September 2023 (UTC)
Disturbed fan though, so it's gotta be heavy. With sarcasm? with anger? do I sometimes like corny garbage? am I just using this as an excuse to put you on to something quite honestly different from Disturbed?2600:8804:500:FE90:58AE:618:79ED:7519 (talk)
I honestly couldn't tell you… Luigifan18 (talk) 20:01, 21 September 2023 (UTC)
ha, that's my bad. I was being a little facetious and completely honest at the same time,it's a strange language. But it's native. If you see something big and overtly misspelled, that's the new meta in advertising. It is really difficult to share media, the only wayto really do it is to convince people they've found it on their own.2600:8804:500:FE90:3D76:4A88:185:CE2C (talk) 04:10, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
Oh, hey, I almost forgot how well "The Curse" by Disturbed sums up the GOP's nation-sized persecution complex and complete disinterest in actual effective leadership or genuine morality! (And yes, I do think "The Curse" would make a pretty good theme for Crimsolusion. Azureality can keep using "Land of Confusion", though I'm still looking for something that better fits its rationalism theme ("Land of Confusion" is more about fighting fascism, hyper-capitalism, tyranny, and other forms of injustice), seeing as I do want Azureality to serve as a mascot for RationalWiki. Seriously, Azureality is a donkey-goat hybrid that embodies science, to the point of having its body being decorated in scientific imagery such as test tubes. You guys are gonna love it.) Luigifan18 (talk) 13:56, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
@LeftyGreenMario @Bongolian Any ideas on how a RationalWiki musical might go? Luigifan18 (talk) 01:05, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Not my bailiwick, generally, despite my edits on Blazing Saddles. Bongolian (talk) 01:41, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Huh. I do think a full RationalWiki Jukebox Musical could be an interesting thought exercise, though. Luigifan18 (talk) 21:12, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Can't believe I almost forgot this gem. It's still hilarious. Luigifan18 (talk) 04:44, 26 September 2023 (UTC)
I was there for said gem, and it is still hilarious, don't lose your sense of humor. feel free my guy. I'm sorry to engage you in mortal song battle, but we both empathize and expound through lyrics. Other peoples' songs, I'm literally saying iT's a valid way to communicate. 2600:8804:500:FE90:79B2:CBF8:D976:5298 (talk) 05:56, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
can't pull the punch I can't stop breathin, i want to stop breathin for the next gen but it's all so clever about substance I don't relate to. 2600:8804:500:FE90:79B2:CBF8:D976:5298 (talk) 06:16, 27 September 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK, match a RW page with a song. Here's a start:

Bongolian (talk) 07:38, 27 September 2023 (UTC)

Bongolian (talk) 15:15, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
Woah, holy...this is actually the insane but totally reasonable solution.2600:8804:500:FE90:7417:B23E:A867:FA59 (talk) 02:02, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
I decided to pull "Dark Money" in from my old EBA Gaiden concept from my teenage fruitcake phase. (Is anyone here familiar with Elite Beat Agents? Yes, I love that game enough that I seriously wanted to make a sequel for it.) The concept of the game was the Elite Beat Agents fighting the Seven Deadly SinsWikipedia with aid from the Seven Heavenly Virtues,Wikipedia and the moral of the story was intended to be that morality is necessary for humanity's prosperity and survival. "Dark Money" was the boss song for the Greed set. (Since it was from my fruitcake phase, it was also extremely pro-Christianity, preaching that religion was the best way to establish morality in society… (If the player failed to recruit the Seven Heavenly Virtues (yes, it was possible to reach the endgame without them), they'd get a bad ending near the end, with the Sins winning, killing the Elite Beat Agents, and proceeding to wreak havoc unopposed.) …I was a lot more naive back then. I still think that religion is a valid route to morality (as long as it's not hijacked by selfish bastards), I just no longer think it's inherently better than secular moral codes.) Luigifan18 (talk) 05:28, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
  • Palestine: My favorite song of all time, "The Last Stop" by Dave Matthews. It's all about denouncing violence in the name of religion, and I'm pretty sure it's mostly referring specifically to the Arabic nations' crusade to destroy Israel (and Israel's… rather extreme attempts to prevent Palestine and Islam in general from being a threat to its continued existence). Luigifan18 (talk) 05:37, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, again. The actions of Palestinians resisting the violent occupation of their lands is not in anyway equivalent to Israel violently (and illegally) occupying those lands and stealing their resources. Also the PLO is overwhelmingly secular and some of the most prominent Palestinian resistance figures have been Christian, not Muslim. Carthage (talk) 06:04, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Add them to the new RationalWiki: The Musical if you want. Bongolian (talk) 06:57, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

…That's a red link… Luigifan18 (talk) 18:17, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
It's in funspace... so I corrected the link. BobJohnson (talk) 20:09, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Israeli control of West Bank[edit]


According to this article, the Israeli occupation of West Bank should only be called Colonialism, not military occupation.

I won't say that Israel is not engaging in colonialism but it is still a military occupation. I get that the State of Palestine is a Proto State and not a full sovereign nation but settler colonialism is a form of military occupation in my opinion. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:59, 21 September 2023 (UTC)

Palestine could certainly use better leadership, it'd be a lot easier for Israel to negotiate something with people who aren't funding terrorists to shoot rockets into Israeli territory. Everybody can be wrong here, if to different degrees. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:46, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
Is resistance to oppression wrong? I doubt you would say the same thing about resistance to South African Apartheid, or the activities of the Patriots in the American Revolution. We're not talking about a conflict between two opposing powers, we're talking about the violent colonial subjugation of a land and its peoples and the subsequent three-quarters of a century long campaign of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Carthage (talk) 05:39, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
I will say that the Palestinian people need better leadership. Neither Palestinian government has had a democratic election in over a decade. As for Israel, they are getting close to a civil war and their government is making the occupation worse. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:56, 22 September 2023 (UTC)
I said everyone was wrong, it was a matter of degrees. Jewish people, after WWII, understandably thought they deserved better; they certainly didn't go about it in an optimal way. Being someone who's been to both Ground Zero and DC, there are better ways to make your point about imperialism than murdering random people who may or may not have anything to do with the actual cause. Abbas has a way of veering into rather extreme anti-Semitism. It doesn't excuse Netanyahu from being a corrupt slug monster... see how complicated this gets, everybody's wrong and it's a matter of degrees. Since I have some Irish heritage, I support a two-state solution and wish it wouldn't take an Omagh moment to make people realize that blowing each other to smithereens solves nothing. If I could or knew someone who could make the equivalent of Paper Sun or Peace On Earth for this situation, I'd do it or make whoever could do it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:26, 23 September 2023 (UTC)
Israel and Palestine is a shit show, where neither side feels an incentive to truly make peace. Each side feels the other side would be asking simply too much or are unwilling to make the concessions, the benefits of not conceding outweigh the consequences. Continued conflict means less prosperity and safety for one side, but tolerable enough to allow continued inhuman treatment of the others and continuing land-grabs and serfdom of the others despite a fairly recent history of centuries of oppression against themselves. The other side lives in endless misery but giving up what little they have left that was taken and making more concessions while they are unapologetically dehumanised, allows the status quo of doing little about corrupt and radical leadership who also have zero incentive to give up their own meagre power. This is not a recipe for any resolution. This situation is not unique in the world. It has happened very very recently in Europe and still has serious lingering consequences in places like Belfast and the Balkans. It is also happening in various hotspots in Africa and Asia. It gets an enormous amount of attention because of how tiny the land is in question, the religious and historical connections, the disproportionate shockwaves this has caused in neighbouring countries and the world and how much the people more or less got along for centuries beforehand. It is genuinely fascinating, though I think it takes attention away from equally horrific, if not more horrific similar conflicts around the world. ShabiDOO 09:03, 23 September 2023 (UTC)
There's also the issue of just what each side is. Palestinians will claim that the Israelis are actually Europeans, and the Israelis will claim the Palestinians are Arab; the argument then becomes that the other side is barely giving up anything relative to the millions of square kilometers they already have. Further complicating matters are the Sephardim, the actual majority of Jews in Israel, who were ethnically cleansed by the rest of the Arab and North African world and are actually far more violently opposed to any sort of peace deal than the Ashkenazim for that reason. Further further complicating matters is that it appears that many Palestinian families, or at least the ones in the North, are the descendants of the Samaritans (aka the 10 lost tribes), making this a case of both sides having a legit claim to being the original Israelites... though the Palestinians don't seem to be pushing that claim because it would basically be a form of national-apostasy within the Arab world. CorruptUser 22:24, 24 September 2023 (UTC)

To be fair, a lot of Israelis have European ancestry resulting from Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine in the early 1900's. They are not completely wrong there. There are also Israelis with Asian and African ancestry. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:43, 25 September 2023 (UTC)

And many Palestinians have European ancestry as a result of the Crusades, and a bit of African ancestry due to the Arab slave trade, plus the domination of the Ottoman Empire as well as the Arab Conquests mean that there's Turkish and non-local Arab DNA in the mix as well. Nobody is a pureblood. CorruptUser 22:50, 25 September 2023 (UTC)
Which is an annoying and stupid feature of extreme nationalism. Purebred humans don't exist. At the end of the day we are all a bunch of intelligent monkeys evolved out of Africa. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:58, 25 September 2023 (UTC)

The whole conflict can be summed up as this. Israel will not take the boot off the Palestinians until they can guarantee security. The Palestinians cannot guarantee security until they have a state which is economically viable. The Israelis cannot allow a viable state because they have the colonial/supremacists/hard-right faction within their own state which demands that 'Palestine' is continued to be colonised - as of 2023, there is so many that you cannot gerrymander any form of coherent border.

And yeah, I used the c-word. The policies in the West Bank are fundimentally the same as for example the British colonisation of Ireland. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:50, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

@KarmaPolice hit the nail on the head. As brutal as Israel's actions towards Palestine may be, it's ultimately self-defense IMO. There are lots of fundies and hardliners in the Arab/Muslim world who want Israel completely and utterly destroyed (and have tried to destroy Israel numerous times), and given that looming threat, I can't blame Israel for being paranoid and trigger-happy. Luigifan18 (talk) 05:44, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
Israel: a nuclear state with a fully modernized military and economy brutally ethnically cleansing and enforcing an apartheid regime on land internationally recognized to be under illegal occupation vs a bunch of starving assholes forced into some of the most horrific conditions on Earth (Gaza has been found to be "uninhabitable" as of 2020. Remember how Israel helped found Hamas in the first place? Funny, that.) with cheaply made shitty rockets. Bulldozing the homes, destroying the orchards, and stealing all the water of Palestinians is clearly "self defense." Carthage (talk) 05:58, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
Two things to consider; Israel has no strategic depth and Israel is outnumbered by her Muslim neigbours. Throw in the national trauma of the Shoah, we end up with a clear 'bunker mentality' - that everything they have is fragile and one little slip means all is lost. Many on the right believe 'taking the boot off' is that slip. And as I explained above, the Israeli electoral system allows a 'tyranny of the minority' - which is mainly the extremist right.
Thinkpiece; https://www.huffpost.com/entry/israels-bunker-mentality_b_598807
KarmaPolice (talk) 11:48, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Israel-Saudi Arabia Normalization Talks[edit]


So far there have been vague details. One major portion of the deal is the formation of the State of Palestine. It is hard to determine what the Palestinian people will get out of it. Whatever it is, I suspect that any State of Palestine formed will be as about as good as it gets and they might have no choice to accept whatever was offered. Thoughts? Maybe the deal will be good or maybe it will not. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:28, 27 September 2023 (UTC)

Something you'll not see any time soon, on the other hand: Israel-Iran diplomatic normalization. Chillpilled (talk) 23:31, 27 September 2023 (UTC)
Of course it won't be a good or even 'acceptable, barely' deal. Isreal's govt is propped up by the settler, Jewish supremacists and hard-right interests. If something comes of this it'll be the sort you outline ['the state is whereever we draw the lines now (unless we need more land), we'll continue to steal your water (unless we need more) you'll have full sovereignty (unless we don't like it), you'll police yourselves (with no weapons) and we'll reserve the right to send in whatever IDF forces as/when we see fit'.] Then it will be presented as a diktat on the Palestinians, and when they object to it they'll be painted as the bad guys, 'the only ones opposing peace' etc. Cue Iranian gloating and pointing to the Saudis for 'betraying fellow Muslims'. And in five years time nobody except policy wonks will remember this 'deal'. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:35, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
If there is something beneficial to Palestinian Arabs, it would be absolutely amazing. I doubt that Palestinian Arabs will get free democratic elections either. Both Fatah and Hamas don't seem willing to have free democratic elections. --Trans Fem Agenda 13:23, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
Provocative question of the day; why do you consider 'free democratic elections' as important for the Palestinians right now? KarmaPolice (talk) 13:25, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
If you want a functional country, free democratic elections are a step towards that. The last time there were elections in Palestinian territories was in 2007. Both Hamas and Fatah are deeply unpopular. There has been no unity between both de facto Palestinian governments. How can there be negations and a functional country without unity and a democracy where the will of the people is represented? Look how far the status quo has got the Levant region. A never ending cycle of violence and increasing authoritarianism. --Trans Fem Agenda 14:40, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
How much would elections do to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian peoples that Israel directly inflicts? Also how do we define "functional"? The US has direct elections, but it's a plutocracy with some democratic elements. Focus groups and lobbyists directly impact policies a lot more than the "will of the people," which only seem to matter once election season hits. Carthage (talk) 14:59, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
Rational's comment is almost the exact same thinking behind the Iraq and Afghan 'statebuilding' projects and we all know how poorly those went. You cannot simply come in to what is a very fragile state with very little experience of democracy and expect it to accept the graft. Even if it doesn't fall over the moment the 'supports' are kicked away it shall be very weak, struggling with a clusterfuck of daunting tasks which it shall almost certainly lack the resources to tackle.
You talk about democratic representation of the 'will of the people'. I'll retort that I doubt many Palestinians give a toss about that right now. Their needs are more 'low level' and immediate; like having a state which is strong enough to simply provide a bare-bones service [security, utilities, food, employment, housing etc] which means the Israeli economic boot must be taken off their necks so the Palestinian state actually can have the resources to actually provide them.
In fact, in cases like this democracy may be counter-productive. Difficult decisions will be required; most critically telling the people that their SoL must remain low for the forseeable as all of nation's meagre resources must go into building the frame of a functioning economy and state first. Democratic nations - with their electoral cycles - make it very difficult to do this, even more so in nations with low SoL in the first place. It is interesting to note that the only nations who really 'joined' the advanced world [SoL-wise] since WW2 [S Korea, Tiawan, Hong Kong and Singapore] that none of them were democratic in the 'capital accumulation' stage. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:14, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

I never said that Israel wasn't at fault as they are the biggest factor in the cycle of violence. Their economic stranglehold is killing the proto State of Palestine. I am just saying that the Palestinians need united leadership against military occupation. How do you get a united front without a backing from the people? In the current state of things there is no real chance to fight back against occupation. Israel exploits the lack of unity. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:37, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

Democracy does not always equal unity, and non-democracy does not always equal division. A democratically elected government which has little to nil legitimacy or even strength to act within it's own territory is a phantom one which everyone shall ignore. Now, it would be ideal to be able to get the whole population 'behind the government' and expressed in a fair democratic election but hell, that's simply not gonna happen. Hell, this doesn't even happen in 'advanced' nations like the UK or the USA. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:48, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
The Palestinians still need a functional government. I will give the fact that democracy doesn't always mean unity. That said, Fatah and Hamas need to get their act together and quick while Israel needs to get their head out of their asses. From what I see it is one country sliding into an authoritarian dictatorship (Israel) and two parties divided over ideology (Palestine). Israel has the ability to stem the cycle of violence by granting civil rights to Palestinians in occupied territories (as a start) and be willing to make reasonable concessions at the negation table. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:39, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
They won't do that because doing so undermines the very foundations of the Zionist state: that Palestine is Jewish land and that the Arabs are the real colonizers. To "give" Palestinians civil rights would be to undermine the Jewish nature of the Zionist state, it would be an existential threat to the ethnonationalist project that is the State of Israel. To actually end the colonization of Palestine would be to allow for a Right of Return after the ethnic cleansing of the Naqba, to end the colonization of Palestine would mean to end the appropriation of Palestinian water and land. To the Zionists this is anathema. It is simply unthinkable. Therefore it won't happen. They want the Palestinians to flee as refugees at best, or to just kill them off if they refuse to leave. This policy of apartheid and ethnic cleansing is all very deliberate. Carthage (talk) 00:57, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
As for the far right Israelis creating an undemocratic authoritarian ethnostate, they are just fueling the cycle of violence. I find it amazing how Israelis get angry at Palestinian militant groups for attacking yet they fail to understand that the militant attacks are a byproduct of the occupation. People who want peace and nothing to do with the war (or series of wars- take your pick) end up suffering. How many need to die before people realize that the occupation is only fueling violence? --Trans Fem Agenda 01:28, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm no great fan of Israel, but it would also help if Palestine had a functional enough government that it wasn't actively sponsoring terrorists firing rockets into Jerusalem. Plus, Abbas recently had quite the comments about Da Joos, in case anyone really had any question. You can sort of get why Israel doesn't necessarily consider them to be negotiating in good faith. Then again, if Israel would clear the illegal "Jewish settlements" it would go a long way too, so I get why Palestine is less then convinced at their overtures of peace. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:06, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
People here are assuming that Palestine and Israel are equal parties in this conflict. They're not. At all. The power dynamics overwhelmingly favor Israel in this situation. Israel has a fully functioning government, a modernized military, and economy. Israel actively denies Palestine these opportunities. In order for Palestine to have a functioning government they'd need to be able to maintain an effective defense force and be able to provide for its citizenry. As long as Israel holds the cards, controls the territory, controls the resources, that won't happen, and it likely never will because to do so would undermine the very foundations of the Zionist Project as I've already explained. Carthage (talk) 02:24, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
"Zionist Project"?! Do you even realize what you sound like you’re saying?!? I get that right-wing politicians ruin everything they touch and degrade morality and human dignity, but for the love of God, if you have criticisms of Israel, don't make it sound like a Mein Kampf sequel! Luigifan18 (talk) 07:52, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
Clarification. The 'legal' Israeli settlements are only legal according to Israeli domestic law. International law considers all of the West Bank settlements as illegal. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:38, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Do you even know what Zionism is?

Zionism is a nationalist movement that emerged in the 19th century to espouse support for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine, a region roughly corresponding to the Land of Israel in Jewish tradition.

Courtesy of Wikipedia,Wikipedia of course. Anyways, so yes, Israel is literally the Zionist Project. This is polsci 101. Carthage (talk) 15:51, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Dianne Feinstein has died[edit]

Ψ (talk) 08:59, 30 September 2023 (UTC)

Events in Kosovo[edit]

Oh fuck, it's happening again. When the US gets involved, it's gonna be bad. It escalated from a discovery of an illegal supply weapons in a monastery and 3 Serbs being killed by the Kosovan police. It is alleged that the victims were criminals involved in the supply. We even had a mourning day for them. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 18:25, 30 September 2023 (UTC)

Isn’t Kosovo garrisoned by the UN? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:30, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
I don't know. Do you mean 1244 Resolution? 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 18:41, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
There is a NATO peace keeping force in Kosovo and from what I know, that British sent soldiers there. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:38, 30 September 2023 (UTC)

Israel-Saudi Arabia Normalization Talks Round 2: Palestinians certainly don't get much[edit]


So far the Palestinians would only get some territory transferred to them, easing of blockades, lower settlement activity and financial assistance to the unpopular PA government. We already know that the Proto State of Palestine is an unequal opponent in the conflict. So they pretty much get no real choice in the matter. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:34, 30 September 2023 (UTC)

Misandrist graphics and posts, TERFs, Poe's Law, Social Media, and Worse[edit]

This initial statement looks like a lot, but trust me, I'm venting out over six years of frustration and unanswered questions on my end, and the intrusive thoughts the frustration leaves behind are also just as difficult to get through and move on from. I don't mean to disrupt.

(Now I had a particularly bad incident combing through images on Google back in January of 2018, with the images showing up pervasively on the search I had done. Web links and images like these flare up every now and again online, and finding this stuff bothers me due to the possible impunity the post and the culprit has received.)

Looking for photos on search engines and social media sometimes results in a quagmire and cesspit of misandrist photos, cliparts, and even posts denigrating and dehumanizing men (ones falsely calling men parasites or vermin, ones calling on violent female empowerment and gynocentrism, and even ones of veiled or paraphrased threats of slavery and death towards men, all of which are some of the common themes in these graphics.). Even making a search for "misandry" or anything to do with women more often than not links to these hate-filled and prejudiced graphics.

It's likely that these are created or shared by radical feminists, TERFs, general trolls, and worse, and many of these images are produced with absolute impunity for the posters and sharers, and that got me thinking about those nutjobs and their possible ulterior motives. I don't know if they're genuinely delusional women with too loud of a voice and a social media page (akin to or worshippers of Solanas, Dworkin, or Daly), or if they're just a bunch of trolls and parodists trying to get a rise out of people and cause chaos. Regardless, their goals seem to be making money, causing anger, eroding trust, and damaging democracy.

As I reiterate, the impunity these posters receive online and on social media only makes things worse, as they will keep posting stuff like that. They also weasel their way into genuine activism, misusing them as a shield to deflect blame away from their hateful and prejudiced actions and posts online.

I want to get to the bottom of this stagnant pond of muck, and find a way to call out the radfems or the trolls behind this prejudiced group and the myriad of posts they make. Or at the very least, get some answers on their behaviors and whether or not it is a genuine display of hate and prejudice or just ipse dixit trolling. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 09:58, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Oh, and another thing? The lack of context when looking at the posts from face value also causes me to question their actual intentions. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 10:17, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

But also, in a sense of gratitude, shout-outs to your rational and accurate article on Valerie Solanas, which is a lot more informative than much of what is found online about her. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 10:20, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Andrea Dworkin was a trans ally. Carthage (talk) 20:06, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure this section has much of anything to do with trans people despite OP specifying TERFs for some reason. Chillpilled (talk) 00:12, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
Sorry about the lack of context. I see TERFs not just as a bunch of transphobes, but as misandrists in general (since they also have prejudice against cis men as well). Just a little bit of confusion I have to clear up. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:48, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
Here's an important tidbit you conveniently neglect to mention: trans-exclusionary radical feminism. If they aren't trans-exclusionary... well, they ain't TERFS. Simple as. Carthage (talk) 17:33, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Well, the people I am talking about hate everyone except cis women. Mostly due to their radicalization and their endless lust for power. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 20:46, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Companies who keep doing business in China: Shooting themselves in the foot.[edit]

As for another topic I may want to cover, this is a relative follow-up to a previous one.

China is like a siren, anglerfish, or the Pied Piper, luring unsuspecting companies into its borders and then backstabbing them by using unfair trade deals and rigged competition, collecting their data to steal and reverse engineer for their own use, and making these companies capitulate to China's draconian demands just to keep doing business. Followed by the fact that human rights are abysmally bad in China, something that the country tricks companies into turning a blind eye to. Yet companies continue to fall for China's bait, and getting themselves screwed in the process. Anything else on the matter? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 10:25, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

China is like a siren, anglerfish, or the Pied Piper, luring unsuspecting companies into its borders
No, the vast majority of them went in with eyes wide open. They'd done business in putting their 'screwdriver plants' in other shitty regimes [often in export zones which operate like a 'corp republic'] and China was simply a very attractive one.
and then backstabbing them by using unfair trade deals and rigged competition,
This was considered by Western-orientated companies as irrelevant because China was not considered as a worthwhile market for their products.
collecting their data to steal and reverse engineer for their own use,
Screwdriver plants have precious little 'technology' to actually transfer to the Chinese [which is why nations like Philippines, Indonesia etc have not benefited from theirs]. Yes, there has been a lot of IP theft but this was to be expected - the Japanese cloned American 'prints in the 60s/70s [and then improve on them] which powered their export-led economic revival. Plus, much of the thefts will be from classic reverse engineering, which is impossible to stop. I would theorise that the foreign companies believed that a) they'd use political clout to keep the Chinese knock-offs out of advanced world markets and b) they'd always be 'better' than the Chinese [Chinese manufacturers are not renowned for either technical prowess or build quality].
and making these companies capitulate to China's draconian demands just to keep doing business.
Normal business practice. What is good for GM is good for GM shareholders, nobody fucking else.
Followed by the fact that human rights are abysmally bad in China, something that the country tricks companies into turning a blind eye to.
No trick, the company does not care. See above. They only 'care' when their home market consumers start to get pissy about something and it starts to hurt their bottom line.
Yet companies continue to fall for China's bait, and getting themselves screwed in the process.
The bait was swallowed willingly.
Anything else on the matter?
There is nothing particulary 'special' about China, only their sheer size and they're ruled by a regime which has a huge historical chip on their shoulders and the arrogance of the world's oldest exant civilisation. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:18, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
Foreign companies were the ones who propped up China (starting around the Deng era) and made it as threatening as it is today. Should they all pull out, it's all over for China anyway. Yet China's disinformation efforts continue to spread. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 11:28, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
You seem overly eager to criticize China for things that aren't actually their fault (there are plenty of other things you can credibly blame them for) and conspicuously reticent to criticize businesses for doing exactly what businesses have always done when left to their own devices.2600:1002:B186:F8D5:617C:A936:27F0:771 (talk) 12:42, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
The OP has a point, though I'm gonna take a punt in guessing they don't know why. For this, we have to go back to the 1990s.
The fall of the Soviet bloc appeared to be vindication for liberal [capitalist] democracy; proof that the more a country developed, the larger their urban middle classes would become and they would then demand the freedoms of liberal democracy. Therefore, 'investing in China' [or India, Vietnam, Indonesia etc] would develop the country quicker, which would lead to an ever-larger Westernised middle class which would ultimately lead to the downfall of the CCP and the bringing of... liberal democracy. This is similar to the convergence theory, that the more a country 'interacted' with the rest of the world [ie having to follow the American-supported rulesets etc] the more it would be forced to follow these norms, thus becoming more like the rest of the globe [ie liberal democracy].
The main issue with this theory is that it's total bollocks.
The CCP was not stupid. They watched how the collapse of 'Soviet Power' had led to humilitation and cultural/economic colonisation by the West. They also had deep 'national trauma' from the 'Century of Humilation', the 19th Century where China was treated like something between a whipping boy, a treasure chest and rape victim. And they swore to never to allow that to happen again. Thus, they ensured that they never surrendered any political power whatsover, which meant that any domestic interaction by Western capital was on Chinese terms alone. And on the main, they succeeded. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:39, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
Now given their "success", China (and most of the people there, including the CCP itself) is still a country that takes shortcuts and cuts corners to get a competitive edge, and that materializes in shanzhai products as well as tofu dreg infrastructure. They get away with it due to lack of oversight, opaque media, and a need to build face internationally at all costs. As my point was, when companies invest there, the money (and its corrupting influence) trickles into the nation, often the people there (some of which lived through Mao's Great Leap "Forward"(which was a leap back as it disrupted and wrecked the economy) and Cultural Revolution (which gutted culture and ethics from the country, leaving it as a husk of what it was)) would want to pocket as much of the money as possible for themselves, so they choose to cut corners or contact connections "关系" of family and friends rather than to find the best person for the job. Furthermore, the desire for face and fodder for propaganda efforts leads to them gloating about rapidly building infrastructure that's going to break sooner or later. So more often than not, corners are cut and the investments are wasted on tofu dregs, all to feed the ego of Winnie the Pooh and his many lackeys on the world stage and to perpetuate the feedback cycle. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:42, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
I feel like you're moving the goalposts. First you say that companies entering the Chinese market are being tricked and deceived into supporting human rights abuses and whatnot. When confronted with the fact that companies are entering China because it's a place with few regulations and cheap labor, and they don't care about human rights abuses until it hurts their bottom line, you shift to how "China is still a country that takes shortcuts and cuts corners to get a competitive edge" as if this was a phenomenon unique to China. It isn't, and I still have to question what relevance this has to do with corporate politics and China. Western companies are entering China willingly, all of this is the cost of doing business. They do not care about the human rights abuses or the state of Chinese society until it hurts their bottom line, and they can always pack up and move if business becomes too costly in China. Carthage (talk) 17:11, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
Pretty much that. China always made the 'rules of the game' clear and if businesses didn't work out the logical conclusions of some of these, well it's on them for being thick. Many of the complaints levelled could also be aimed at other 'mid level' economic powers, such as South Africa, Brazil, India etc. If you wish to blame anyone, it's the Western governments between say 1985 and 2018 who were too damn greedy and in hoc to corp interests to work out the logical conclusions of what they were doing. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:38, 1 October 2023 (UTC)


as of the time writing this, over 100,000 Armenians have been expelled from their ancestral homeland, and it is going to get worse, Hitler did not stop at the Sudetenland and Einsatzbaijan will not stop at Nagorno-Karabakh. And I only think about the hypocrisy of foreign policy in general after this. A somebody. (talk) 17:12, 30 September 2023 (UTC)

Chances are that Azerbaijan will get away with it. They have oil reserves thus making tens of billions from oil sales, many Turk countries refusing to admit that the Armenian genocide never happened and the fact that they could say that Armenia violated international law by supporting a separatist movement so they can justify inhumane treatment. For this mess, Azerbaijan has the upper hand. It is sad that there was no real peace agreement and that a small scale war took place or as the Azerbaijani government calls it an "Anti-Terrorist Operation". --Trans Fem Agenda 21:37, 30 September 2023 (UTC)
This has been called an ethnic cleansing, not a genocide.[26] Bongolian (talk) 04:04, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
I doubt that Azerbaijan is looking for a fair peace deal; despite their claims. I have no trust in authoritarian governments. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:18, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Hey does anyone else here play Geometry Dash?[edit]

I need people who also play the game to make an article for Geometry Dash because I am too lazy too (even though I have played the game for a year and a half, I am still too lazy because being lazy is the first rule of being a teenager) — Unsigned, by: / talk

How is Geometry dash on mission? Also please sign your posts. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 02:19, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
The now deleted stub mentioned that it had problems with transphobic harassment and stalking, but there were no sources provided and generally it was just a request to write the article because they were too lazy to do the work themselves. Carthage (talk) 03:45, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
It seems like that there will always be a segment of young folks (and older folks :p, but more the former ) who Just Want To Shock Everybody in order to boost their fragile ego or something. Such isn't always a bad thing (see general art), but for video games, it seems like this manifests itself into a toxic online personality which already is covered to some extent in, on the one hand, the edgelord article, and on the other hand, in the Gamergate article. Using offensive slurs while playing your game IMHO merely makes you look like a stupid pathetic failure screaming for attention ("look at me! I am edgy because I say the n-word!"), but some don't seem to know that.
Just poking around, I don't think the Geometry Dash community is anywhere *near* as bad as, say, any first person shooting game released in the last 20 years. BobJohnson (talk) 12:49, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
And something I have to mention involving the game? It often prides itself on using bright colors and flash effects, making it a dicey game for those with epilepsy. Meanwhile, their use of graphics that only vary by color makes the game unfriendly to the colorblind as well. And their community is also apathetic about this. (Though as of writing, Robert Topala(the creator of the game) is working on an update (first one in over six years; that update is an in-joke among the community now), but whether it would solve or worsen the effects and the ableist gatekeeping (due to its insular community) is up in the air.) TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:23, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Do Albanians want to destroy Serbs?[edit]

Are there Albanians on the site? This may be a concern troll, but do Albanians really conspire to destroy Serbs or is it just in the mind of Serbian right?

Serbian right views Albanians as undesirable people who hate and opress Serbs, and even some claim that Albanians want to create Greater Albania. Nationalists believe that losing Kosovo to Albanians would be humiliating and catastrophic, considering that Albania was loyal to Ottomans and also a fascist state.

An example is Albanian hooligans tearing a cross off a church, which is just vandalism and is not different from Serbian hooligans painting images of Ratko Mladić on buildings. Another example is a extremist terrorist KLA that did war crimes to Serbs.

But hey, it's Albanisns who are wrong and Serbs who are right. It's just us vs them mentality. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 12:47, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Not an Albanian personally (my ancestry is Irish, Spanish, French, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and some Native American mainly) but I side with Kosovo. It is Serbia engaging in the major provocations. Not saying that Kosovo has not done any provocations but Serbia is the worst offender from how I see it. But that is my view. --Trans Fem Agenda 15:35, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
To be fair, these events seem to be a play orchestrated by both parties. When it comes to the Serbs, their provocations are done by the Serbian ruling party and its agents. It's just political dickfighting. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 16:44, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Serbia and Kosovo need to work with the agreed framework in the recent peace talks. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:46, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Only Ogists want to destroy Serbia ←§ Reichtangle (talk) 18:48, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

financial crankery[edit]

so I stayed awake up to midnight to watch the new folding ideas video and that got me thinking, why don't we have an article on the 'ape' (their words not mine) culture? A somebody. (talk) 17:28, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Just say grape. Also, there is an article. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 18:45, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
which article? A mere mention on the reddit article does not count. A somebody. (talk) 20:17, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Rape culture 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 21:45, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
I wasn't talking about rape culture, I was talking about Wall street bets and superstonk. A somebody. (talk) 21:48, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
It's covered a little in Reddit#Mixed as you mentioned. If I were to create the article, I would search on, and headline the topic, as "meme stock" as this seems to be the heading that generates gets the most hits in news (for me), which is probably a good place to start. (It also means that it doesn't just focus on Reddit. Searching social media site for anything is a fool's errand.)
It's definitely crankery, so it fits... but it's far easier to say "I wish an article existed" than to create one. :) BobJohnson (talk) 03:24, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
I think it's better to create an article on MOASS (Mother of all Short squeezes) than meme stocks. A somebody. (talk) 20:53, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

HOA Nightmares[edit]

On a different and less contentious topic, how about an update page about stories and nightmares from dealing with bad homeowners' associations? (The house I live in right now is part of an HOA, but they're a light HOA that mostly focuses on garbage collection and lawn work. Though I am unsure about its future...) TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:15, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Does RW have a page on HOAs? I literally only learned about their existance after the American Dad episode with them on. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:42, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Doesn't seem like it at the moment. Searching for "HOA" or "Homeowner's Association" just takes me to the search results page. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:45, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I looked too and found similar. I mean, HOAs [from my understanding] could perhaps do with a RW page, if only proof about how democracies can fail if captured by voter apathy and minority interests. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:08, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
There are quite a few 'obnoxious HOA/narrator getting the better of HOA' stories on FB. Anna Livia (talk) 23:40, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
There's some dovetailing between HOAs and 'gated communities'. Quinn Slobodian discusses both in his book that came out this year, Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy. Bongolian (talk) 18:45, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

Reflecting on Today[edit]

Some days here can be quite a doozy. And today was a complete dumpster fire in terms of what was posted, what was said, and all the attacks being sent (I was on the receiving end of a personal attack and risked getting libeled by another volatile user on the entire site, before I tried to defuse it) and all the bickering. Some heat can go a long way in terms of what gets posted, but at the very least, I wonder how things would turn out, and if anyone has regrets for what they did. But no matter what, I did all I can to remain civil and not lose my temper. If anything from the past on this site and this page has been bothering you to this day, feel free to share. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:41, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

This is a bad idea. We don't need retreading of old drama. Carthage (talk) 00:44, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
But any ways to avoid further drama on what happened? (Though a hot take is a hot take, and my initial goal today was to continue the fight against alternative medicine. It just was expressed not in a proper manner.) TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:50, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
Considering the strong egos of people involved in feuds here, probably not? I still don't think this is a good idea. We should avoid drama where we can, and basically giving license to "air out" grievances real or perceived is just asking for HCM. Carthage (talk) 00:52, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

The sexual predator finally goes after McFailure[edit]

https://twitter.com/JakeSherman/status/1708983075697222026 hahahahhahaahhahahaha. A somebody. (talk) 23:25, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

Sticking it to Indigenous Pseudoscience[edit]

The horseshoe has converged yet again on this, involving the advocacy of pseudoscientific beliefs. Some groups and individuals who claim to be advocating for diversity and inclusion promote pseudoscientific beliefs under the euphemism and Trojan horse of "indigenous science" and claim that "science is too white". They use the fake debate and balance fallacy, downright pretend to be fact checkers and scientists (and fooling many in the process), and said groups often DARVO and play the race card and persecuted victim card when called out for their false beliefs (and often committing their self-sealing acts with impunity). Many of their indigenous tales and methods are best relegated to the archive bin in terms of promotion, use, and context. Now I would have to ask, are there any forms of pseudoscience from native/indigenous groups that you've experienced or has irked you enough to call out? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 17:15, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Let me just direct you to this video that details a precolonial Maori scientist who adapted traditional Polynesian agricultural methods to the harsh landscape of New Zealand using scientific methods of experimentation and empirical observation. Carthage (talk) 17:27, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
I'm only talking about a certain group of people (which includes all the lobbyists), and am not trying to downplay actual scientists who use the scientific method (Though many IS advocates attack the scientific method too...). Maybe I'm a bit blunt about my initial post? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 17:36, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
My personal favorite is the 4th top entry all-time in the Best of the Clogs (which I wrote!), about the "fallists" in South Africa. Sometimes you really do wonder. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:37, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Love the nutpicking going on here. Carthage (talk) 17:43, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Using a YouTube video as a source to suggest that indigenous science is somehow academically underrated in fact cherry picking. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:58, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) Funny, considering the source is Rebecca Watson, generally considered to be an informed and reliable source. The fact that you're critiquing the platform and not the content is a perfect example of the genetic fallacy. Carthage (talk) 18:05, 1 October 2023 (UTC)


In fact, the first women who made scientific contributions in Aotearoa were not Pākehā but Māori. I was delighted to learn of Whakaotirangi, who in the 1300s “was responsible for safeguarding the seed of the kūmara” as the Tainui Waka journeyed to Waikato. She was the wife of Hoturoa, the leader of the Tainui Waka migration from Hawaiki to Aotearoa, but also an important historical figure in her own right. In ‘Whakaotirangi: A Canoe Tradition’, Diane Gordon-Burns and Rāwiri Taonui explore how her importance has been diminished in post-European contact accounts of the Tainui migration. Tainui and Te Arawa traditions both speak of Whakaotirangi: she appears to be a noble and important ancestor in the history of both iwi. While she is most remembered for bringing kūmara to Waikato, she was also responsible for a number of other plants brought from Hawaiki. On arrival in Waikato, Whakaotirangi built gardens in which she experimented with growing and tending to a variety of plants, both for sustenance and medicinal purposes. She discovered how to make the kūmara, which had come from a much warmer climate, grow in the cooler land her people had settled. Her work was crucial for the establishment of the Tainui people: it provided them with a reliable food supply as they adjusted to life in a new land. She was also involved in commissioning, building and launching the Tainui canoe. Her profile on the Royal Society of New Zealand website, as part of their series 150 Women in 150 Words, credits her as “one of New Zealand’s first scientists”.

- [27]

Lol. Carthage (talk) 18:10, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

(EC) I don't have to. I didn't even see who was the author, it's still YouTube, Watson is not an academic, and unless you can use something like Kurzgesagt your source is irrelevant. We can also find Modern Science in the Bible, that doesn't mean that biblical knowledge is somehow relevant for today's affairs, nor that for each "scientific" hit in the Bible, we can't find dozens of mistakes. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:14, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Yeah that's special pleading. Anyway, if you're gonna attack the platform and not even bother to analyze the content you're still committing the genetic fallacy and are proud of doing so. This is anti-empirical. Also:

Mātauranga Māori spans Māori knowledge, culture, values and world view. Pūrākau and maramataka, forms of mātauranga Māori, comprise knowledge generated using methods and techniques developed independently from other knowledge systems. Hitherto mostly ignored or disregarded by the science community because it seemed to be myth and legend, fantastic and implausible, mātauranga Māori includes knowledge generated using techniques consistent with the scientific method, but explained according to a Māori world view. Acknowledging this extends the history of scientific endeavour back to when Māori arrived in Aotearoa and Te Wai Pounamu, many centuries ago.

D. Hikuroa (2017) Mātauranga Māori—the ūkaipō of knowledge in New Zealand, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 47:1, 5-10, DOI: 10.1080/03036758.2016.1252407
Equating Mātauranga Māori to "Modern science in the Bible" is a false equivalency. Carthage (talk) 18:19, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Dismissing the source instead of debunking its claim would make me dock you for fallacious reasoning if I was marking a undergrad paper, Gee. This is an example of flaunting the principle of charity that characterizes bad faith criticism. There is also a whole host of cultural biases, prejudices, and discrimination involved in only evaluating arguments from inaccessible institutions you deem relevant. It is essentially making it a standard that you’ll only listen to those you deem privileged enough to deliver information to you. You didn’t solve the demarcation problem by insisting that only academic publications matter. You have basically ruled out 99% of the history of science from being science by doing so, and have basically implied alternative medicine has a place to be considered in your worldview since journals for it appear in academic databases. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:33, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

(EC) Yeah, I'm not watching a video coming from a literal nobody supporting a fringe view. An anthropological research is also useless in this case, I'd like to see actual research from people in the field saying that we can also benefit from Maori science. It is not false equivalency, it's the same thing. We can find some kernels of truth in an ocean of outdated knowledge that is only interesting for historical purposes in every culture. That doesn't mean we should focus on the "old" knowledge. This is literally conservatism of the worst kind. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:49, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Which field? What are you talking about? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:56, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
All of this is a very convenient way to dismiss peer-reviewed research and gloss over your fallacious reasoning. Also, Mātauranga Māori has found practical applications in environmental stewardship in New Zealand. Carthage (talk) 19:01, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC)In this specific case, Agronomy. Even if in this case, the maori knowledge was somehow so advanced, that's still cherry picking, which was my main argument from my first post. Also, I didn't say that only academic publications matter. What I said is, YouTube, as a source, in general doesn't matter. If something is interesting enough, someone relevant in the academia is also probably studying it. Also, @Carthage since I've caught you several times using sources that you didn't read, let me ask you a question before I start reading it. Did you read your 95-pages link right now? Or did you just pick the first link on the internet that you think that agrees with your point? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:05, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Given that I posted two studies both having done research into Maori traditional knowledge, one of which demonstrates that Maori knowledge has practical application for environmental stewardship, and the other saying that Maori science has remarkable parallels to Western science in terms of methodology, the idea that no scholarship being done on it is absurd. Carthage (talk) 19:11, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC)Whether or not she read the entire source is not relevant to whether or not what Carthage says is true, or if the passage she quoted is true. Maybe she has read the source long before she ever thought to post it just now. It wouldn’t matter. You refusing to engage with the source all together because you assume that better evidence exists to contradict it (which is the only way to put weight in pointing out that one is cherry picking) is straight up just refusing to engage with any evidence. She has supplied citations in support of her claims, do you have sources of your own to refute it? Do you have an argument to state why her claims are false? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:12, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) Yeah, as I thought, you didn't read it. The article is focus on the studies of these peoples, not how they have contributed to science. It's an anthopological study, it helps us understanding the history of their knowledge, not its current application. It would still be cherry picking, but who cares. @OnlySortaDumb. Sources about what? That saying that Folk science not outdated because it has kernels of truth is cherry picking? I don't think I need a source for that. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:19, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Actually, I did read it. The article demonstrates that traditional Maori knowledge is often utilized when collaborating with iwi on environmental problems. This demonstrates practical applications to environmental stewardship, and this still ignores the other study I posted which demonstrates that Mātauranga Māori follows scientific methodology. All in all this is an excellent way to get out of acknowledging peer reviewed research and glossing over your own fallacious reasoning. Carthage (talk) 19:27, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
No, I don't think you really did read it~at all. It focus more at how scientists that want to study the Maori people should approach them if anything. Read the section on water, for instance. Anyway, that would still be cherry picking, something that you are refusing to engage with. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:33, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Notice how the way that scientists approached traditional communities determined the response of the community. Look at how the scientists' conduct lead them to weave wrong, and no one corrected the scientist because of the scientists' own conduct. Respecting traditional knowledge is important if you want to collaborate meaningfully with indigenous communities, and we're still ignoring how you're dismissing peer reviewed research suggesting that Maori knowledge follows scientific methodology and glossing over your own fallacious reasoning. Also, no, it's not cherrypicking. Here we have a generalized claim that indigenous science is total bunk and its advocates engage in fallacious tactics, and here we have a direct counterexample proving that no: some indigenous science is actually scientific, therefore disproving the generalized claim, meaning you have to refine your initial claim to make it less generalized. It's a direct refutation of the generalized claim. Carthage (talk) 19:39, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Possibly relevant. A passage in the introduction of his paper from a journal on the history of astronomy…

The numerous objects and events that make up the cosmos were well known to the Māori, and comprehensively understood well before the arrival of Pākehā.The movements of constellations, the heliacal rising of stars, the arrival of comets, the phases of the Moon and many other astronomical phenomena were not- ed and examined. This detailed astronomical knowledge resulted in the Māori having a pre- cise understanding of the seasons and helped the ancestors of the Māori to navigate across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean

[28] - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:39, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

How do people expect that indigenous and premodern peoples got so good at survival? Through empirical observation and experimentation. You don't just start agriculture from scratch: you have to innovate and experiment to get the end-result you want. Carthage (talk) 19:42, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

(EC) Funny how you completely changed the subject of your article. You said it focused on how Maori knowledge could actually contribute to modern science, which is not the article's point. Also, yes, it is still cherry picking because it is one culture, and I did say that We can find some kernels of truth in every culture, just read our article on folk science. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:43, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

"How do people expect that indigenous and premodern peoples got so good at survival? Through empirical observation and experimentation". You do know that this is literally Burkean conservatism, right? Yeah, it was good, but they sort of stopped on the Stone Age. It is useful for them, but if we want a more prosperous society, with higher quality of life, we need more. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:45, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) You only acknowledged that after I rolled out the Maori counterexample. Also don't think we haven't noticed how you still gloss over your fallacious reasoning. It's not cherrypicking because it's a direct refutation of the OP's point. Also, please clarify how "folk science" is a meaningful distinction when we have a peer reviewed article stating that Maori knowledge follows scientific methodology. Carthage (talk) 19:49, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb How is Maori astronomy useful for modern scholars? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:47, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

If one is going to call Issac Newtown’s theories as genuine science a part of the history of science despite being rendered fundamentally incorrect via the theory of relativity, yet dismiss the facts that the Maori discovered for themselves that still are true to this day as “folk science”. I’d call that a racist double standard. Not alleging anyone is doing that in particular but for the sake of consistency and demonstrating that one is not engaging in a racist double standard would you care to admit Newtonian mechanics as folk science Gee? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:47, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

But I'm not dismissing it, I saying that using it as a source for modern scientif progress is useless. You're strawmanning me. Again. Have you ever tried to read Principia? It's outdated as fuck, Newton used geometry to prove his points. Only a moron would say that the key of progress lies in authors that wrote stuff centuries ago. I'm not disrespecting folk science, all I'm saying that having a romantic view and claiming that it can help us today is stupid, just like people saying that the Bible, or Principia are relevant for modern science, and not foir the history of science. Again. You can find truth there, but it is, in general, a waste of time. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:51, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
You're not the OP. Also people do dismiss traditional knowledge as being completely unscientific while giving a pass to Newton and Kepler. As for relevancy, Maori agricultural experimentation directly led to crops that are still cultivated in New Zealand following the discoveries the Maori made using scientific methodology. Likewise, we can and have conducted reenactments of Polynesian voyages using traditional navigation techniques and succeeded. What we are critiquing is the dismissal of indigenous traditions as "superstition" while creating a racist double standard for early European scientific endeavours. We are criticizing the racist tendency to depict indigenous peoples as subjects of science rather than having engaged in any scientific process themselves. We can see how disrespect and dismissal of indigenous knowledge harms communication between scientists and indigenous communities. Carthage (talk) 19:54, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
@GeeJayK So, Darwin, JJ Thomson, Euclidian geometry, all folk science? The history of science just being a history of folk science until the 20th century? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:56, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
No, it's outdated science (except for maybe Euclidian geometry), just like folk science. It is important for the study of history of science, and that's it, a very important field, but it's not a major source for modern science. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:59, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
So how is folk science a meaningful distinction then? Carthage (talk) 20:01, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Why don't you read our article on folk science? Folk science is a conservative approach that is kind of empirical, but doesn't use the modern scientific method. This is like, research methodology 101. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:03, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
And how does that cover Maori science? I posted a peer reviewed article explicitly stating that precolonial Maori engaged in scientific endeavors, and you distinguish folk science by saying it is a "conservative approach that is kind of empirical but doesn't use the modern scientific method." Carthage (talk) 20:05, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Okay it is genuine science, just outdated, while the Maori didn’t do any genuine science just folk science that just so happened to produce objective factual results whose truth is irrelevant to their spiritual and cultural beliefs. Sure. Totally not racist. What is modern science? How do we demarcate what is and what is not part of science? Philosophers and historians of science reject there being a “modern scientific method”. Science is factually not dictated by a singular method. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:08, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (EC)Why are you sealioning? Did Kepler solely rely in what his ancestors believe? Or did he in fact refute them? The very fact that we know his name is relevant here. Folk science pass from generation to generation and we don't know who discovered what (and indeednew ideas are usually discarted by communities that adhere to folk science). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:10, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

@OnlySortaDumb Yes, folk science is different from outdated science because one is based on old wisdom and the other on novel ideas. Not knowing this sort of thing really reflects poorly on you. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:12, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Actually, we do know the names of some of these ancient Maori scientists. I posted an excerpt describing one of them earlier in the thread. The fact that the Maori had to abandon or revise their old tropical-adapted agricultural systems to the cold, harsh climate of New Zealand suggests innovation, which is contrary to what you claim. Carthage (talk) 20:14, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC)@GeeJayK YES HE DID! Every scientist does! You think people engage in science from ahistorical void? All science is built upon that which came before it!!! You have to account for the past accumulation of evidence and understand the postulated theories in order to effectively debunk it! You are basically creating a standard to which all science is effectively folk science! - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:18, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) You can use Google and you will find out that Whakaotirangi is a legendary figure. The best comparison is with Moses. His teachings are also old wisdom. Or Even Aristotle. For hundreds of years they were the authorities. Anyway, instead of "folk science pass from generation to generation and we don't know who discovered what" I'm now saying that we usually don't know . GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:20, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb This is, I believe, the fourth strawman you did in this topic. I didn't say that Kepler didn't use older sources, what I said is that he discovered new things, hence we cannot classify him as ancient wisdom. Since you're not arguing in good faith, I'll stop engaging with you.
Also how fucking rich is it to dismiss Rebecca Watson as a source for being a “literal nobody” but appeal to an article written on this website knowing that any dumb fuck can edit it at a standard much lower than wikipedias. Also what the Maori didn’t discover anything new when they were charting out the skies? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:23, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
What reason do we hold to think that the Maori oral traditions are wrong about who did what? This is part of the reasoning why Biblical scholars don't entirely discount the Gospels: the criterion of embarrassment. Also the Maori discovered new things, which you keep ignoring. What a convenient way to dismiss engaging with your own fallacious reasoning. Carthage (talk) 20:25, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) Did I say that they didn’t discover anything new? No, I said that their knowledge is not useful for modern academics studying astronomy. That's the fifth strawman, keep going!GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:26, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Talk about strawmans when you literally introduced the concept of folk science into the conversation when no one was explicitly arguing a defence of it, just to prop yourself up as simply arguing that folk science has no modern applications. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:27, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) So, let's change from strawman to whataboutism? That's also the third time on this thread, I guess. Anyway, this thread is literally about folk science. To quote our article:

Indigenous science is folk science with the additional advantages of indigenous woo, granting respected and traditional indigenous cultures respect for their indigeneity; and recognition as (perhaps) more grounded and subject to experimental justification.

GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:30, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Our article is not an authoritative source on indigenous science. That kind of suggests your standards are inconsistent if you're dissing Watson but using a source that can be edited by any dumb fuck with an internet connection with much lower standards of evidence than Wikipedia as an authoritative source on the subject of folk and indigenous science. Carthage (talk) 20:32, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here we have your tendency to insinuate accusations of bad faith in drawn out arguments. No, what you said is that folk science is not innovatory, and you implied that Maori science is folk science. We provided examples of Maori science being innovatory, and here you are moving the goalposts. You know what Maori science is useful for? Maori studies:

Victoria University astrophysicist, science lecturer and research fellow Dr Pauline Harris (Rongomaiwahine and Ngāti Kahungunu), who has a PhD in astroparticle physics, is a key figure in the revitalisation and teaching of Māori astronomy. She is also involved in the search for extra-solar planets. Connected to Harris’s Māori astronomy programme is Pounamu Tipiwai Chambers, an undergraduate student at Victoria University who has employed Māori astronomical and navigational knowledge in undertaking waka voyages across the Pacific.

- [29]

Funny, that. Carthage (talk) 20:31, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

I don’t think our page is relevant here because we are not appealing to “indigenous science” as a marketing term to give a pass to pseudoscience, or as an excuse to engage in noble savage stereotypes about the cultural superiority of indigenous people. Carthage and I are merely defending that certain indigenous peoples did engage in practices we can meaningfully call scientific practices. Lumping these concepts together is kind of just an excuse to call such practices “scientific” only when white europeans do it. — Unsigned, by: OnlySortaDumb / talk / contribs
Good post! Yes, and I have posted one peer reviewed paper demonstrating that the Maori engaged in scientific endeavors and another stating that Maori knowledge has relevant applications to interacting with Maori communities in a collaborative manner. GJK dismisses all of this and glosses over his own fallacious reasoning. Carthage (talk) 20:37, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC)So, they're using Maori science to find new planets? Or is it just about Maori people doing modern science with modern methods? I'd like to see a study on how they have used Maori folk wisdom on that. @OnlySortaDumb This is the sixth time, good job! When did I deny your that " certain indigenous peoples did engage on practices we can meaningful call scientific practices"? Didn't I say many times that you can find some truth in those communities? No, that's not what you were saying and you know it. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:41, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
You counting “strawman” means nothing in a context where you haven’t been providing a consistent point of view. You are constantly making ad hoc adjustments whenever anyone contradicts you and anyone reading this thread is going to notice that. You can try this superior reasoner posturing all you want. I never strayed away from the argument that the Maori engaged in legitimate science. Not once did I stray from that conclusion. You consistently objected to that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:47, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
So, it's just your poor reading skills again. Or maybe you just wanted to squabble. In both cases this discussion reflects terribly on you. You can read the thread again, my point was always that Maori knowledge has limited application today, just like Newton, not that there was no such thing as Maori knowledge. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:51, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Limited applicability doesn't mean none. Don't forget this whole pointless, in your own words, shitshow started because you said the content of a source I posted was unreliable because "Youtube" when I was directly refuting the generalized statement that the OP made. Not you. I then proceeded to post two academic sources, one saying that Maori science is legitimate science, the other saying Maori knowledge is commonly used during collaboration with Maori communities. You then shifted the goalposts again and again and again in an ad hoc fashion. This doesn't reflect well on you, and suggests you're only conflict trolling. Carthage (talk) 20:56, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
I am noticing how the bar is changing from “modern applications” to “discovering planets today”. Like this isn’t a coherent understanding of what science even is. What does that have fuck all to do with the Kepler vs. Maori comparison? Also do you not know that the history of physics was dominated by aristoleanism and scholastic philosophy up into the 1600’s? I don’t think the distinction between “ancient wisdom” and historical figure is a meaningful one. By this standard mathematics is based in “ancient wisdom”. We still use Pythagoras's theorem to this day, but more relevantly where do you think algebra came from? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:58, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Also “limited applicability” is a weird starting point to make objections with to what Carthage and I said given thats a fucking trivial point to make. You think we were claiming Maori people had limitless applicability? No. No one said that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:58, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC)(EC)@Carthage My first post said that "indigenous science is not academically underrated". You objected to that. So... GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:01, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb Did you read the blog post they posted? It mentions a Maori scholar studing extra-solar planets. I'm not the one that brought this. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:05, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
It also mentions the successful usage of Polynesian navigational techniques to recreate a traditional Polynesian voyage. Limited applicability does not mean none. Carthage (talk) 21:10, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) I think both of you disagree with me when I said that "indigenous science is not academically underrated". That's what I said in my first post and that's what I've been arguing since then. Anything else is a strawman. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:11, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Never been a claim I made, so why would anything I said make sense in the light of defending that? Also I don’t think your arguments make any sense in light of that. You spent a considerable time objecting to certain Maori practices as being genuine science for someone who is only concerned with something not being underrated. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:22, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you didn't disagree with me I don't even know whyt you are here, but again, I suggested two explanations, though maybe a mix of both is the answer. I don't remember saying that folk science isn't actual science. I didn't deny that Polynesian navigational techniques exist, for instance. What I said is that it has very little pratical usage. At most, I think it can help us to understand how these people lived, but I don't think we're going to incorporate their techniques on ours. 10th strawman? I think so? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:39, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

I mean you doubled down on a distinction between "outdated science" and "folk science" and did not initially object when I stated that you took the former to be genuine science, while the latter was not. You went hard in trying to find distinctions between outdated science and folk science and appealed to the authority of our page to state that "indigenous science" was an example of pseudoscience. None of that is consistent with someone who thinks that the Maori astronomical and agricultural practices (which are classifiable as indigenous science via the literal meaning of science practiced by indigenous peoples) are science and not pseudoscience. This is what I mean by your ad hoc adjustments making your position less sensical, now you put yourself in a performative contradiction that no amount of counting invisible strawmen is going to get you out of. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:43, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Also to say they have little practical usage is dumb considering what they managed to accomplish with said methods. If you mean strictly speaking toward contemporary astronomical science then ... sure? But no one was intending these practices for that purpose anyway and that's not really what people think of when they read the words "little practical usage". It is also not relevant to what anyone defending these practices as science was arguing for. If you really do not want to come off as patronizing to indigenous people maybe think through the language you are using. It doesn't matter if your intentions are not racist the effects and implicature of the rhetoric are all the same. Still lost on how "little practical usage" relates to appropriate value in academia. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:50, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
As I've pointed out before, it's of immense practicality to Maori studies and to the history of science in that we see the independent invention of scientific methodology in a cultural context completely removed from late medieval and early modern Western Eurasia (to include the immense contributions made by medieval Islamic thinkers in the development of Western science). Carthage (talk) 23:56, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
@OnlySortaDumb You do know you're lying to yourself, right? I never said folk science is always pseudoscience, nor the heading of our article claims that, it just says that there is an overlap (logics, someone?). Also, your second post is like, well, I don't even know how to classify it, but it's really migraine-inducing. It's easier if you admit that you either didn't read the dicussion or you just felt squabbling and showing (again) your poor understanding on research methodology 101.
@Carthage I've pointed out before many times in this discussion that Maori science is interesting to those that study their culture and to the history of science, but for other subjects it isn't, we can't improve the world with their technology. It is not what you were arguing, you disagreed when I said that they are not underrated by modern science. Just like Sorta, you're lying to yourself. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 01:14, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
I have to ask why you objected in the first place then, because neither of us were arguing to the contrary. I had posted that the Maori had conducted science, you dismissed my argument because of my source, I posted two scholarly sources, rinse and repeat and now here we are. Carthage (talk) 01:18, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
I've already asked you more than once why did you start running amok when I said "indigenous science is not academically underrated" in my first post. Didn't get any answer. Why did you do it? GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 01:21, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
Folks, let's not go overboard here. The question "is there such a thing as Maori science," is not fully settled. There is no point in taking such arguments too much to heart. Give it a rest.Ariel31459 (talk) 01:33, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
"I never said folk science is always pseudoscience" You are deliberately trying to be misleading now. I pointed out that you posted the claim that indigenous science is pseudoscience appealing to our own article on the subject. The only reason to introduce that is as evidence for a given claim, evidence that anything classed as indigenous science is pseudoscience as our article suggests. You respond to me saying I stated you said folk science is always pseudoscience. My claim was quoting myself verbatim " appealed to the authority of our page to state that 'indigenous science' was an example of pseudoscience." This is direct evidence that you are the one who is, in fact, straw-manning here. Also no one, absolutely no one said anything about indigenous knowledge being underrated in academia. You made up this argument, you admit you didn't watch the Rebecca Watson video for being a "nobody" supporting a fringe view. Carthage literally didn't make that claim. Your entire consistent conclusion is based on responding to an argument that you literally made up! There is no better example of a strawman fallacy. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:55, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @OnlySortaDumb Again, I never said that anything classed as indigenous science is pseudoscience. Our article doesn't say that either, it clearly says that that there is a lot of pseudoscience on folk science, which is true, but that folk science isn't necessarily pseudoscience. Also, you just need to see Carthage's tantrum to see that yes, someone objected to my statement on indigenous knowledge being underrated in academia. Well, as I said, you're lying to yourself at this point, I don't have anything else to say. I've already asked you to don't ever talk to me unless you have anything remotely intelligent to say. Once again you failed at that. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:30, 3 October 2023 (UTC)

That's rich considering you were the one who responded to me. Carthage (talk) 15:49, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
What does he honestly think the phrase "with the additional advantages of indigenous woo" means in this context? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:16, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Does perceptual delay mean you don’t know yourself?[edit]

Is consciousness an illusion? According to some emerging neuroscience theories, consciousness is indeed an illusion.

But that does not mean it does not exist, or that it is not real!

An illusion is something that is not what it appears to be. Merriam-Webster says an illusion is something that "misleads intellectually." A hologram is an illusion because the 3D object you see is not really "there" (but it was somewhere, e.g. in the original photography studio; and the holographic plate in front of you is real).

Consciousness appears to us to have properties that it does not really have. Consciousness appears to be a seamless, high-fidelity, complete, and accurate direct experience of the world. And yet countless psychology experiments and visual illusions demonstrate that consciousness does not actually have these properties. Consciousness is fragmented, internally inconsistent, lower resolution, and more distorted than we think.

Yohan John makes a great point in asking the question "to what is consciousness an illusion"? The answer to that question is "to itself", a circular answer that highlights one of the core paradoxes of consciousness. Awareness, or self-awareness, presents the feeling that we are simultaneously and synchronously both the subject and object of our perception; and yet both roles cannot be logically simultaneous due simply to the time-lag required to process information and form a point of view. Who we perceive ourselves to be is who we were a few hundred milliseconds ago. But hopefully we haven't changed much.

Mostly the question I have is two parts. One is that if there is a “lag” (about 120 milliseconds I think) does that mean that we aren’t really living in reality since we are always behind. In a sense I’m thinking NO but I wanna know if that’s accurate.

Second part is with the end of this where he says who we think we are is what we were a few hundred milliseconds ago, part of me thinks this is also wonky but I can’t really explain it. I’m open to thoughts on this. It sounds like starting from facts but drawing bad conclusions. (talk) 22:10, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

If there is a "lag", does that mean that we aren't really living in reality? No. The inference from "the brain takes time to process information" to "we don't live in reality" is bizarre, obscure, and erroneous.
With the end of this, where he says who we think we are is what we were a few hundred milliseconds ago, part of me thinks this is also wonky. This is also wonky. The author is supposing that the the reference frame in which information is processed instantaneously is somehow privileged. In reality, information cannot be processed instantaneously, so this reference frame is not attainable. Why should we treat a frame of reference that cannot be attained even in principle as more real than the reference frame we in fact inhabit? The statement is also rather ambiguous. Sure, if you prick me with a pin, there will be a few milliseconds between the moment the pin pricks my skin and the time the pain signal is processed and I notice. But to say that I was feeling pain a few milliseconds before I noticed is false; the perception just is the pain. So, "if I prick you with a pin, it will take some time before you feel pain" is true but, at this point, rather banal, whereas "if I prick you with a pin, it will take some time before you notice you feel pain" is just false. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 23:25, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
The problem with the argument that consciousness is an illusion is, and many others have pointed this out, we are not directly aware of our own consciousness. All knowledge of consciousness is indirect. The Cogito is essentially the claim that objects exist because I can think about them. We have knowledge of its constructions. We have memories and direct sensory experience of not consciousness, but the constructs of consciousness. To make a weak analogy, it's like saying, with regard to the house I live in: "I don't know who the builder was, but I imagine from inspecting the house I will know everything about them worth knowing."Ariel31459 (talk) 01:53, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
"The Cogito is essentially the claim that objects exist because I can think about them." That's not it at all. The Cogito is the end of an exercise in casting doubt on supposed knowledge, to the point of imagining that a demon is deceiving his sense perceptions of the world. What Descartes concluded was that he could not find reason to doubt that he himself existed, since the act of thinking about these things requires a thinker to exist. It's "I think, therefore I am." This exercise makes no claims about the physical nature of the thinker or any other objects, as those have been dismissed as things one might be mistaken about.
"we are not directly aware of our own consciousness. All knowledge of consciousness is indirect." What do you mean by "direct" here? Thoughts and sensory perceptions are the ONLY things humans experience without being mediated through thoughts or sensory perceptions. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 02:10, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
It also requires that the things he thinks about must exist, as he is but one among all things that he knows to exist. It requires induction, of course, but that is necessary for any reasonable ontological continuation. By direct, I mean directly through the senses. The idea that we know our own thoughts is specious. Thoughts are mediated by other thoughts. Our minds are more like movies than photographs.Ariel31459 (talk) 02:32, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
"It also requires that the things he thinks about must exist" No it doesn't. He'd just concluded that such things may be fictitious.
"as he is but one among all things that he knows to exist." The only things he is certain of existing are his thoughts and himself (the thinker of those thoughts).
"It requires induction, of course, but that is necessary for any reasonable ontological continuation." The exercise was of unreasonable radical doubt, and the reasoning is deductive rather than inductive. The point was to examine the foundations of epistemology, not construct a reasonable schema for daily life. That comes later.
"By direct, I mean directly through the senses." You used the word to be defined in the definition, in a way that opposes the standard meaning. If something is known through the senses, it is not known directly. A person directly experiences sensory perceptions, and these may or may not correspond to some external object. The senses mediate indirect awareness of such things. So, what do you actually mean here?
"Thoughts are mediated by other thoughts." No, they actually aren't. And even if they were, those mediating thoughts would be directly experienced. Again, what do you actually mean? Feel free to define your terms. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 12:17, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
To be exact, thoughts are mediated by consciousness interactive with autonomous mental activities. Consciousness is one of the many operating systems of the brain. Conscious contents are mediated by autonomic activity. This is the part we don't understand, at present. I used an adverb derived from direct in a different sense. Don't be confused by the fallacy of ambiguity. Direct experience refers to what Hume means by "impressions." Call it a construction of the mind on the occasion of sense.Ariel31459 (talk) 16:30, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
I would say that if it is through the senses then it is directly, not indirectly, unless you have some other way of knowing that is more true then this. Though even that method would still be considered indirect by your definition. Like...people use "indirect" as if they have a direct way of knowing which is, at times, a little funny. This is in response to (talk) 21:29, 3 October 2023 (UTC)

I checked out the guy he mentioned and the dude doesn't call it an illusion, if anything he argues against it and I quote:

This whole illusion metaphor is metaphysical clickbait. It can easily be replaced by "neural construction.

Which I agree with. Even the part about sensory delay as was mentioned already sounded off, but I couldn't really place how. (talk) 06:29, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

TigerDroppings: Louisiana State University's corrupted right-wing blog.[edit]

I've encountered this site again and again on DuckDuckGo searches, and it has been bugging me for some time. This site pretends to be a sports page, but is in reality full of right-leaning bias and political rants, with lots and lots of purr words and brainless worship towards Trump, snarl words towards Democrats, and even a few posts trying to whitewash QAnon and/or deny the January 6th attacks. (And just now, a brief image search brought up far-right garbage from Antonio Branco) It's a vile place, and the university at Louisiana allows this site to proliferate regardless. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:59, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

Usually faculty are allowed to have their own personal pages, so is it a personal blog or something else? Carthage (talk) 03:00, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
TigerDroppings is not part of the LSU university, it was created by a Brian Fiegel as a fan site. It's primarily a sports news aggregator site as far as I can tell. That being said... it also has a forum. Including a political forum.
Just on a quick skim, I can say, with absolute certainty (knowing people there), that the above political forum quite encapsulates rather well one of the sides of "a Louisiana sports fan incoherently ranting about politics at the bar after a drink or 10". (Edit: As a Reddit put it, "an exaggerated parody of Louisiana’s white, gen-x/boomer middle class population" where you can watch "the guests on Jerry Springer debate international monetary policy"... Hah! And plenty of commentary on how the political forum is cranked up to 11 on MAGA, QAnon, and racism). On the one hand, not everyone from Louisiana is like that. On the other hand, Louisiana's the type of place which will have people putting billboards up on I-10 worshiping Trump, juxtaposed with a strange rant about how this country is falling into Satanic's clutches due to immigrants. (Or something like that... was speeding by, didn't check too closely, didn't care. At least it wasn't the anti-abortion billboards in Florida that made the God-awful choice of using Comic Sans.) BobJohnson (talk) 03:42, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
As a sane Louisiana native, I can tell you that Bob is far more correct than you think. Pro-life, religious nuttery, pro-trump/anti-biden, pro-GOP slop is everywhere except the big cities, mainly New Orleans. I can't even begin to count the amount of 'Trump 2024' shit i've seen...LeGrandePumbloom Peace, Land, and Nuclear Annihilation 15:28, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Need help understanding this[edit]

So is this stuff about Kevin McCarthy bring removed from speaker of the house a good thing or bad thing, i can't figure out the tone on the subject on rationalwiki what's going on in the world, — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Even McCarthy can't figure out whether it is a good or a bad thing. Bongolian (talk) 18:49, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
The only tone intended I wrote that with was that it's something going on in the world. Anyway, I heard Gaetz may be stripped of his committee assignments and possibly even expelled from the house in reaction to this, so maybe he's a loner on this. Chillpilled (talk) 21:25, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
If I were in McCarthy's shoes, I'd want to get removed as Speaker. Better that than continuing to deal with the Clownshoes Caucus. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:35, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
Now that McCarthy is ousted, I wonder who's going to be Speaker of the House. Basically, who's next? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 15:48, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Probably someone even worse. Carthage (talk) 18:42, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Herbal Misses and Naturopathy: An Alternative Medicine that Just Won't Die.[edit]

Since the initial post I wanted to make was a total dumpster fire, it's time to get this straight. What are some of the worst forms of herbal misses or naturopathic medicine that you have encountered out there? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 09:19, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

At best, herbal medicine is just a crude version of a refined working medicine, and at worst, it's a poison that will kill or maim you. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 09:20, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
And as for me, I've encountered more than a fair share of bunk regarding mangosteen, including one false claim of it "curing cancer". TheEternalOutsider (talk) 09:19, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I don't really think you should lump them together. Herbalism is kind of hit-or-miss medicine. The herbs may contain unpurified medical compounds (along with toxic impurities) and they might give some effect, too much effect, an undesired effect, no effect or interact badly with prescription medicines.
Naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, is total bullshit.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:50, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
For the herbs, If the folks involved mark the misses as misses and focus just on the hits, then they're treading similar paths to historical discovery of medicine, as just with further refining can morph into evidence-based medicine. But if they don't care and sell the misses as well, then they too become naturopaths. As for the naturopathy, now that's a ton of bunk plus tons of conspiratorial thinking. But the latter case of them selling misses is similar enough like the overlap of a Venn diagram. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 10:21, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
So I'll update the title and initial post to match. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 10:21, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
In point of fact I wish you wouldn't update topic headers. I've seen you do this before. People comment on what the topic is (at lest initially) - and if you then change the topic header then it changes the context of the comments. In this case it doesn't make much difference - but it's bad practice. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:40, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Alain Soral jailed (again)[edit]


Alain Soral is a swiss essayist who has a history of trouble. He has previously been arrested for holocaust denial in France (a crime under French law). He recently published a series of distasteful "criticisms" (name-calling and homophobia) against the queer activist Catherine Macherel. He was charged with multiple defamation and discrimination related charges and subsequently jailed. The article mentions his defense was banking on freedom of speech. I feel as if this brings in the questions relating to "Should distasteful viewpoints be punished". Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 16:08, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

I think people make a false equivalency between hate speech and free speech. A lot of so-called free speech advocates are only selective free speech advocates, and are all for shutting down trans-advocacy groups or what have you. It's only free speech if it agrees with the dominant socio-political group's norms, and anything that goes against that is sedition or somehow dangerous. Hate speech is classified by, say, shutting down the free speech of marginalized groups. In this way most self-proclaimed free speech warriors are actually hate speech warriors. Carthage (talk) 18:55, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I agree. There is a fine line between spreading unpopular opinions and attacking others for the sake of harassing/intimidating them into submission. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 19:38, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Biden Impeachment Inquiry[edit]

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/joe-biden-impeachment-inquiry-hearing (Fox News update page)

It would seem that the impeachment bullshit is starting up again. Could there be validity in the claims? Possibly, but I think that this will end up being a repeat of the Trump impeachment where simply nothing will happen. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 15:18, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

Impeachments are very partisan, so almost certainly nothing will happen as the Democrats control the Senate. Carthage (talk) 15:33, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
Speaking someone from outside US national politics it looks like these are two very different cases to me. Trump - if I understand it correctly - was accused of incitement of insurrection. I honestly have no idea what Biden is even accused of - as reading a Fox News article (linked by the IP above) is hardly likely to make me better informed about anything. But the idea that the impeachments of Trump and Biden is somehow equivalent is frankly surprising.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:46, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
The "allegation" is that when Joe Biden was VP, he benefited somehow from Hunter Biden's business deals in Ukraine and China. The details on how this is an impeachable offense are pretty much non-existent. From my perspective, it's basically a dog and pony show designed to please the MAGA and is basically a vapid "NO U!" playground response to the first Trump impeachment hearingsWikipedia (due to Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure them to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden).
I have no idea who non-MAGA will even care, and wonder if this might even repulse a few (similar to the Bill Clinton impeachment attempt, which cost the Republicans politically). As there really is no impeachable offense being put forward (not even a blowjob that was lied about), it isn't at the level of the first impeachment of Trump (let alone the second where he clearly egged on a self-coup attempt), or even the overblown Clinton case. The la-te-da also seems silly given an impending partial government shutdown due to the inability to pass a budget. (Which is also largely caused by MAGA Republicans being obstinate, the Senate already has passed a fairly bipartisan continuing resolution.) BobJohnson (talk) 18:03, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
If it does piss off the non-MAGA 'Republican' voters, I welcome this. I've been saying for years now crap like MAGA/ToryKip only works because they cottoned onto the fact the 'moderate' supporter have no balls and won't desert the party regardless of how stupid/nuts/evil/corrupt they become. Perhaps this might help a few more to grow a pair. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:38, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
Kevin McCarthy is a spineless oaf, as he demonstrated shortly after January 6th by showing up at Darth Cheeto's lair in Florida. This is just further proof. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:47, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
To be fair the Democrats aren't much better. They could have easily taken advantage of the dispute during McCarthy's nomination for House Speaker, offering their support for his nomination in exchange for concessions: "Do you really want to be associated with those fascistic psychopaths? You don't have the support. To them, you're a RINO. We could support you, but if you don't take our offer, we can, and will, rightly expose you as a chickenshit bending the knee to authoritarians."
They didn't, because they're controlled opposition, or little better. In terms of substantial policy the Dems don't really differ from the GOP. Both have neoliberal economic policies that favor American imperialism and plutocratic internal agendas, and they only really differ on social policy and welfare. Carthage (talk) 23:50, 28 September 2023 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure about American "imperialism". Intervention, yes, though that's certainly not been all bad (Yugoslavia/its constituent states, South Korea, and Japan are all better off for it), and the likely alternative would be either a vodka-swilling Mafia world order or a Winnie the Pooh led world order so it strikes me as the least worst of options. But otherwise yeah. And honestly, the Democrats had to know McCarthy was at least marginally better than a lot of their other options, so they definitely could've made him sign a Faustian bargain with them instead of the batshit crazy wing of his own party. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:54, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Imperialism is the active maintenance of hegemony over weaker nations and client states, intentions are irrelevant. I personally am not convinced that the US-led order is sufficiently better than a multipolar one. We refuse to do business with Afghanistan cause the Taliban are in control, and this impoverishes the nation. China doesn't give a shit about, and does business with the Taliban anyway, because for better or for worse they are the effective government of Afghanistan, and this lack of giving a fuck about who runs Afghanistan does allow for economic activity that would otherwise be denied to it if the world was still unipolar.

The lack of an opposing power to the US until recently has allowed the US to do whatever the fuck it wanted with impunity. Take a look at the number of military interventions before and after the Cold War, or just take a look at North Korea before and after the Cold War. South Korea has only become a genuine democracy through internal activism, we propped up an authoritarian regime there. Before the fall of the USSR North Korea was actually more prosperous than the South, at least IIRC.

I think if the US acted as the world's EMT and not the world's policeman the world would be better off and the PRC's agenda wouldn't be as attractive. There is a reason the US is so unpopular in places like the Near East or just the wider world in general, and it has very little to do with indoctrination or whatever excuse you can come up with to justify hatred of American empire. In the WIGOW a recent entry is the US calling Egypt out for using child soldiers, and then continuing to fund the dictatorial Egyptian regime anyways because it benefits our interests, our imperial hegemony.

Make no mistake: geopolitics is primarily concerned with interests. Values are either a smokescreen for those interests or informed by those interests, but either way they play a secondary role. If we truly gave a fuck about democracy and human rights or whatnot we wouldn't be backing the Saudis and enabling the colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. We wouldn't have propped up so many dictatorships solely because they were economically favorable to us and opposed the Soviet model. We are an empire. This is a fact. Carthage (talk) 02:05, 29 September 2023 (UTC)

Right, and an empire has a responsibility to take care of its subjects, if only to prevent them from revolting…
(But seriously, how do I convince my parents that the Republican Party is evil? They want to "look at both sides"…) Luigifan18 (talk) 03:56, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
I know here in Nebraska, all the MAGA dipshits are going crazy about the Biden impeachment. Throw a dog a bone!! Ψ (talk) 03:57, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
the problem is, and it's a big stinking problem, the idea of law is getting silly. I already shared how a secretary of state overstepped the bounds and had wackass support. I'm not an anarchist, but uncritical support of any politician or party is wackass. Save that for when your football team joins a heavier conference for a tv market and int can't keep up recruitment because it's not based on geography anymore.2600:8804:500:FE90:C0D:ED7F:5B44:1ECC (talk) 05:17, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
"The idea of law is getting silly"? Excuse me, what? Luigifan18 (talk) 05:56, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
'what' is your complaint with the statement? Oh, no, probably an endorsement. That's unusual here. 2600:8804:500:FE90:C0D:ED7F:5B44:1ECC (talk) 06:34, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
I literally don't understand what you just said. Luigifan18 (talk) 07:48, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
I didn't either. I asked the Google, and it brought up James Madison (Marbury v. MadisonWikipedia) in 1803. Hmm. BobJohnson (talk) 13:11, 29 September 2023 (UTC)
I find it funny how parties will throw around low-merit impeachments for the sake of getting the other back. This inquiry seems baseless to me as there just isn't anything damning to convince me that Biden should be out of office. On a secondary note, think that this is just gonna backfire with the upcoming elections. This isn't helped by the fact that the current Republican roster nominees isn't looking too good right now. It would seem that my party of choice is on a path to make a fool of itself for the 2nd election in a row. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 15:11, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
I'm no Democrat, but Trump's impeachments were both of far greater merit than the shit slung Biden's way. Impeachments are partisan affairs, yes, but that doesn't mean they are automatically of low-merit. If the system actually worked as intended we'd have far more impeachment proceedings. Reagan definitely deserved one for Iran-Contra. As it stands, we have only one real mechanism to hold the Presidency to account outside of the four-year election cycle and that one in practice doesn't work. We need a reformation of the American presidential system. Carthage (talk) 18:47, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I think the problem boils down to basic human politics and the inability to compromise on anything. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 21:59, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
President James 'Jimmy' Carter divested from his peanut farm. Wack. 2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 01:38, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

My major research project for my MA in philosophy.[edit]

My master's program is supposed to finalize into a publishable-quality research paper by its end to which I have to give an oral defense. It's fairly early into my program but it's only a year-long one. I have some ideas swimming around in my head as to what I want to make my research focus, but I guess I can shoot around some ideas here to see what attracts folks. I have three potential topics I'd like to consider...

  1. To write a paper in defence of physicalist theories of consciousness by attacking the concept of qualia in a way that hasn't already been done by the likes of Dennett, or the Churchlands.
  2. Defend scientific skepticism (proportioning the strength of your empirical beliefs to the strength of the evidence in support of it) as a normative theory based on an ethics of trust and responsibility. Also maybe exploring some of the ethical issues surrounding accessibility to evidence, and the responsibility of medical and scientific institutions to repair trust in marginalized communities they have harmed.
  3. Argue that we have a weak foundation to suggest that there exists any singular determinate cause for human sexual attraction and gender identity, and we may have to accept a pluralistic set of various causal mechanisms that can affect human sexuality in various ways. Developing some of the ideas I was hinting at in my "rationally understanding queerness" essay I posted here.

Which one of these ideas do y'all think I should try to pursue? What seems most interesting to you? Which do you think will have the highest chance of producing something of genuine philosophical value? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:37, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

I would personally be more interested in numbers 2 or 3. They seem more like philosophy that touches on real-world situations. With regard to #2, you might find this recent article in Science News of interest.[30] It brings up the tension that exists between supporting indigenous methods of repairing mental health vs. using the scientific method to find out what works. Bongolian (talk) 06:58, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
I appreciate your input. I definitely see how numbers 2 and 3 have a greater relevance to people's lived experiences than number 1 does, but part of me also thinks number 1 allows me to do something more narrow and technical. I wouldn't have to do as much research or draw as many different concepts and ideas together as the latter 2 ideas would require me to do. Just thinking of how I would outline number 2 alone makes me think it would be better suited for a thesis-based program. This MRP isn't really supposed to be more than 30 or so pages. I may bring myself to do that one if I can a good foundation for it in the academic literature. I worry that trying to approach scientific skepticism from the angle of feminist ethics may alienate...well...both the skeptics and the feminists. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:02, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
sounds like there's already a decision. I would be interested in qualia, I heard an interesting interview about how we can't break a gendered brain down, but via qualia And phsyiology it does seem a broad view of girlS looks to see them mature first and then emotionally mature faster than boys, but that could be what puts them in the box? Cat Bohanon, check it out yourself, I just listened to like 10 minutes of an interview driving home. 2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 01:54, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

Why are people so fucking stupid? I mean very stupid[edit]


So there are conspiracy theories about the October 4th EAS test and one of them is turning people into zombies. Keep in mind that these are the same people who vote in elections. I guess that is why stupid people get into office.

To those still in school, do yourself a favor and pay attention in science class. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:31, 3 October 2023 (UTC)

The EAS test uses two fundamental frequencies (853 Hz and 960 Hz) that are somewhat close to a 2nd in music (an annoying interval in music, as it is in a tone, which of course is the point here).
Since that "solfeggio frequencies" New Age audio woo is ill defined, you can actually Google some "healing frequency" Youtube videos in either of these frequencies.
So, why not substitute the woo? Dear fellow conspirators, nay, the EAS test won't turn you into zombies! Instead, it will heal your chakra, activate your pineal gland, and tickle your dilithium crystals! Or... something. BobJohnson (talk) 05:04, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I just got hit by the zombifying frequencies. My flesh is necrotizing and I am developing an unsatiable hunger for brains. Carthage (talk) 18:35, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Why do zombies always go for brains instead of the delicious organs like livers, hearts and kidneys? Sheepbies, all of them. As for the OP, I understand and even agree with the sentiment, but I learned almost nothing about radio waves in school before an EM course at university. I'm not sure how much school-level science can help with this one beyond providing a baseline that says these claims sound fishy. Namako (talk) 20:53, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
The really weird thing about this sort of nonsense is that the people who fall for it will be able to clearly see that no zombie plague has arrived after the event.
But this will almost certainly do virtually nothing to shake their belief in this sort of tomfoolery.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:31, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
Not only that, why arent't these zombies already intelligent and don't drastically evolve, like the Flood? Why does it have to be brainless zombies? 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 13:31, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
I propose an adjustment to the fable the boy who cried wolf. After the third time or whatever, most of the villagers ignored the boy, but a small, hardcore group would always run out, believing that this time the boy would herald a veritable army of wolves that would scour the earth of all life, particularly the kind they didn't like. It never happened, but they still believed. Even once the boy had grown tired of the prank, at least one of them would always claim the wolves were due next week, and they would run out to discover nothing. After many decades, the wolves were extinct, the sheep were replaced with cotton, and the village had evaporated to the local cities, but still the hardcore wolf-believers would gather to watch the repeating prophecy of the wolves go unfulfilled with startling regularity. Eventually social media was invented and now there are millions of them somehow. The End. Namako (talk) 13:43, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
Nah, it's more 'the boy who cried hyaena'. That despite the simple fact that the chances of a pack of hyaenas being in the location are effectively nil, there are a small group of very loud people who for unknown reasons really wanted to believe in the hyaenas. Whenever they are pressured over their repeated lack of evidence of hyaenas, said group then starts ranting about the 'Grand Hyaena Conspiracy' which apparently encompasses a massive amount of resources and many important persons for no apparent logical goal. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:39, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

Came back from poly-wedding[edit]

So a relative of mine got married recently, hooray for him. Everyone was nice enough. The living situation they are in is... alternative. Half a dozen people in a relationship, but the two who got married are effectively the core of the "polycule". I don't want to get too judgy; I have far too many relatives that are doing that on my behalf. Fun times all around. CorruptUser 17:16, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

It's situations like this, where you begin to have hierarchies in such a relationship, which are the reason I think Polycules don't work in the long-run and can turn into quasi-personality cults when abuse starts.-Ryan1257 (talk) 18:37, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Seems like the kind of thing I'd be happy for people, firmly from the outside looking in. Whatever works, I guess. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:54, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I'm not sure what there is to judgy about. If people are happy with it then - well that's all there is to say. Good for them.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:43, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
"Heirarchies" in a polycule are to be expected and not a problem provided they are aknowledged. If they are having a wedding I'd imagine those involved are quite aware of where priorities lie for those two in a zero-sum situation.
Glad you got to enjoy the wedding CorruptUser. Tikitime2 (talk) 20:29, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I don't think poly relationships often stay permanent, but do you know the key thing about statistics? Not useful on an individual level, only population. They might be able to make it work. If they had a "normal" marriage, it might fail. Such is life. CorruptUser 01:23, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
I'd actually argue that poly relationships are perhaps less likely to end up abusive, partly because the simple fact there's less space to hide it. There's inherently less truly 'private' space [even less so if more partners live-in too] and the other partners will chat/gossip [even more so if the group holds weekly 'get togethers' or similar]. Abusers often do their best to split off their victim from others and shroud everything in secrecy, which makes pulling this off in a poly relationship more difficult.
So most relationships don't stay permanent, so what? From what I've seen, most monogamous relationships aren't 'permanent' either. We also need to bear in mind [not asking for any details, Corrupt] that the mentioned marriage may in fact be done mainly for legal/fiscal reasons - America/UK etc is still set up as a 'monogamous world' and doing this might be the only way to get stuff like parental rights, spousual benefits, tax breaks etc. I know a gay couple who literally, only got hitched because their accountant pointed out how much they were losing from not doing it. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:47, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

A life update for those that are curious[edit]

Heyo; I know I'm not as active here as I was a few years ago, but what the hell. In case I haven't previously mentioned it before; I was in a pretty authoritarian college transition program that basically treated me like a child and practically affected my mental state. I was constantly being gaslit by the staff, and it didn't help that they were all "trained" in ABA. I pressured my folks enough to let me go since it didn't help me enter college, and I had taken my diploma back in May. To celebrate, I flew to Pittsburgh to attend Anthrocon, where I met a group that I regularly talk to. The Fall semester started in Late August, and I'm now living the life of a neurodivergent college kid mostly freely. My 21st happened a few weeks ago, and I celebrated with some Rum and Coke and a visit to my local dispensary. Chem de Menthe made Portal hilarious, and Cereal Milk felt like I was in a video game. I'll probably dissapear again after posting this, but if you wanna chat sometime, my socials are out there. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 15:37, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

Sounds like you finally got out from under. Well done!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:24, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

Trump for Speaker of the House[edit]

At least three congresscritters endorse. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Greg Steube, and Troy Nehls. Also, Matt Gaetz tried this last time around but nobody else backed the idea. This is technically allowed because the speaker doesn't need to be a congressperson. Although Rolling Stone says Trump rejects the idea, Sean Hannity says otherwise, and he's a personal friend of Trump. Another Trump buddy, Rudy Giuliani, seems to like the idea. Chillpilled (talk) 07:38, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Yikes, it would love to see Trump become Speaker of the House, just because I will know that Trump will do a poor job!Ψ (talk) 12:25, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
It would be interesting to see if it actually got to the point where the critters had to vote on it. It would show how graphically how few 'moderate Republicans' have no balls in resisting the Orange Ferengi. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:25, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
The reality is he wouldn't want the job.[31] Bongolian (talk) 20:04, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Orly? Chillpilled (talk) 22:33, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
Now averted. Chillpilled (talk) 20:22, 6 October 2023 (UTC)


How can I best improve mainspace? I tried to improve this site's coverage of events in the Middle East but got carried away and wrote my opinion into articles. I think it's best that I stay away because I'm too emotionally invested into supporting the Palestinian cause to be impartial. So which topics needs my help and how can I help please? Thanks. William on Discs (talk) 14:49, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Perhaps try to take a more statistical and fact based stance when editing articles. Utilize and explain evidence and stay on topic. That's what I could think of at least. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 15:01, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Sir, Yes Sir! :D William on Discs (talk) 15:04, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Opinions are, or should be at least, informed by facts. (Point is no-one thinks their opinions are ill-informed.) This wiki permits original research but make sure to have citations on hand, especially for a controversial claim (even when it shouldn't be controversial, but whatever). Carthage (talk) 18:51, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

I guess you have read What is a RationalWiki article?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:45, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Yes. Carthage (talk) 02:41, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
In point of fact my outdent was meant to indicate that my response was to the OP. But it's all good.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:27, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
Ah, ok. Thank you for the clarification. Carthage (talk) 19:53, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
End game scenario in collaborative democracy. If you like working on the site go back to making pages.2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 03:42, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
Practice what you preach, buddy. The last major mainspace edit I made was a day ago. What have you done? Carthage (talk) 03:42, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
I quit cause y'all were giving me an ulcer. What are you acting mad at me for? I'm not mad at you. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3DC2:772:4928:9B5E (talk) 05:08, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Sorry, you came off as hostile. And there are plenty of jackasses on this site. I'm sure some would count me among them. Carthage (talk) 05:10, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
collaborative democracy is being on each others' side and filling in where and when is needed. Apology accepted, and you're right, what have I done lately to help? I get why you're upset, but I don't exactly know why you'd be upset just by me posting.2600:8804:500:FE90:3DC2:772:4928:9B5E (talk) 05:23, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Honestly? Not very upset at all. I just don't have high expectations for the user base of this site. Some may find that offensive, but I don't really care. I like being proven wrong, though. I'm not gonna insult your competency, hurl slurs your way, or be generally disruptive to the site. But don't expect me to be bending ass-over backwards to people who are hostile to me. Carthage (talk) 05:27, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Criminey, as someone who wasn't ever hostile to you, I think I'll take this to your talk page. Hope you can meet me there. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3DC2:772:4928:9B5E (talk) 05:36, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Sure. Like I said, I thought you were being hostile to me. Carthage (talk) 05:46, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

Question about Vision and perhaps time'[edit]

Good points and a good read but we’re not as much in contact with reality as implied, especially in the sense of predicting. When we “see” the ball, our brain is simply reacting to messages that have come to it through our eyes through a range of mechanisms. To quote from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/visual-pathway:

“The visual pathway consists of the series of cells and synapses that carry visual information from the environment to the brain for processing. It includes the retina, optic nerve, optic chiasm, optic tract, lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), optic radiations, and striate cortex”.

In other words, the message is manipulated and transformed in several ways, so we see only our brain’s representation of the information.

Time enters into this representation due to the pattern and timing of the electrical signals that occur. These are automatically compensated for, so the interpretation would be adjusted according to the ways those individual mechanisms work.

Thus our perception of time is the result of the way our brain works. There are compensatory mechanisms for this, so there’s nothing to stop the brain from mixing in its own interpretation of specific time durations and automatically deducing (as it must do) what it perceives as reality.

It’s just a little more complicated than seeing a ball on the ground and perceiving it to be a ball (especially when it doesn’t immediately disappear, as a trick of the eye would).


Honestly a lot of the stuff I read lately makes me wish I had a degree in neuroscience or something like that because it's hard to make sense of it all. Most because the more I learn about human perception the less solid it makes everything seem. I'm still not gonna go so far as to imply solipsism or anything like it, that's stupid. But still...seeing how flawed our senses are is...I guess humbling and confusing at the same time.

A lot of research I read calls it creating a model of reality based on sense data and that it's a faithful representation. I mean it has to be, because otherwise we wouldn't really survive that well. I'm just not sure how to take the various bits that seem to blow a hole in the notion that we have a perfect and unfiltered view of reality. Like the above that says our perception of time is based on how the brain works.

And naturally the same issue I end up having with not knowing who is right and who is wrong in regards to the data. The most consistent bits seem to be "modeling reality based on sense data" and the tiny delay in info processing. I think those are safe bets. Everything else, no idea as this ain't my wheelhouse. Part of me does think that maybe this doesn't really matter or change anything as it's not like I can do anything about it, and if I have lived my whole life like this and unaware of it all then it might just be a "cool to know but ultimately not game changing". Though maybe I'm wrong about that. (talk) 20:24, 4 October 2023 (UTC)

Comments on articles at the Conversation are not authoritative sources of information. The above account is confused, seeming to want things both ways. They seem to think that you can't see a ball if the brain has a representation based on incoming sense data, but this is silly. Rather, you couldn't see the ball if you had no mental representation of it. That's just part of what 'representing' means in this context. Further, we don't see the brain's representation of the ball, we see the ball. This is more obvious if we consider other possible interactions with the ball; I might pick up the ball and throw it at my friend's head, but I can't throw a mental representation at my friend's head. The point about time is similarly defective.
In any case, the idea that we have no access to things-in-themselves is not new in philosophy, and has had far better defenders than some guy in a comment section. Kant is a canonical example, though his works aren't the easiest reads. The line doesn't imply solipsism. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 23:38, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
There is a 'practical implication' caveat to a lot of these horrendous truths. If you are interested in it, wow, bummer for you, welcome to the team, but if it is killing you faster than Modern life or you think it must be answered, relax. You're not the only person who can't explain everything. That's part of the human condition. It doesn't mean there's no point, it doesn't mean there's no answer. But if I were to remove the minutia of electrons traveling across neurons, because we can't even experience that anyway, I say we act. and then our actions become the past. The present is reliant on the past and the future is reliant on the present, so the future relies on the past. If we can't change the past, then by that logic we can't affect the future. However, I would say affecting the future seems to be the only thing we are actually capable of doing in this paradox. So maybe we have the idea of past, present, and future a little wrong. Not that it's unimportant, and definitely not that we don't experience it, measure it, use it effectively. I just mean, yeah, we're counting down neural impulses, cool, love it. Can that help me experience the world at the speed of every individual neural impulse? No? Does that mean I've been given information that is literally outside of my ability to perceive, but somewhat in my ability to prpcess? Fuck it, I'm still me, no matter what trillions of wack ass cool protons and electrons and energy and gravity conspired to make me. Can't not exist as writ at this point. 2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 03:08, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

I'm at least so so familiar with Kant to know that he did mention how we don't directly see something but what it appears to be (at least I think that's what he meant, it's hard to really understand him sometimes). I do sort of agree with that past, present, future logic in some part. While we can't change the past that doesn't, by extension, mean that the present and future can't change. You can't change what happened but you can learn and do different.

I also found this remark from Lesswrong (yes I know the site has a less than glowing review on this wiki and I can see why):

It’s tempting to try to eliminate this mistake class by insisting that the only legitimate kind of belief is an anticipation of sensory experience. But the world does, in fact, contain much that is not sensed directly. We don’t see the atoms underlying the brick, but the atoms are in fact there. There is a floor beneath your feet, but you don’t experience the floor directly; you see the light reflected from the floor, or rather, you see what your retina and visual cortex have processed of that light. To infer the floor from seeing the floor is to step back into the unseen causes of experience. It may seem like a very short and direct step, but it is still a step.


I was with them on the atoms bit because while we can't see them we can show that they are in fact there (though from what I read in quantum physics it gets wonkier). That said I don't see the merit in the floor comparison. How can you not experience the floor directly if you are STANDING ON IT?! Even without light you are standing on something. The article overall seems to champion rationality but in my short excursion into it I've learned there are points where rationality fails and a lot of life can't really be reasoned. Every system depends on axioms, something you just have to accept as true to get anywhere, I'm pretty sure Descartes showed that to some extent. But the other point is that some things aren't rooted in reason like Likes and Dislikes. A quote that I remember was "logic can help you get what you want but it can't tell you what that is". I dunno, something about that site overall has me questioning them. On their hub on here it says that they don't do politics. I used to be that naive, but then I quickly learned recently that not getting involved in something doesn't mean it stops affecting you just that you have no say in the outcome. (talk) 16:50, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

Sounds like you got it. All things may be physical, woof, we got a brain that can do that fast. So what do you think you should get involved in?2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 04:29, 6 October 2023 (UTC)

A lot of commentaries around this seem trivial to me. I guess there are still naive realists in the world, especially among those who do not know a lot about how perception works. Something I think Serene is alluding to with the general inconsistency in the comment itself is the equivocation at play in talking about "seeing the ball". The meaning of such a statement is actually a lot more ambiguous than how it is seemingly presented, and the comment itself also seems to be appealing to conflicting intuitions. Ask yourself what it means to "see something", is it merely the sensory stimulation upon the retina? Because if so then there is no doubt the ball is being seen. I hope I am not merely restating what Serene said here, but if you are thinking of seeing as contact with a visual percept caused by the ball's electromagnetic interactions with your retina then this case does not seem to be discounting the ball being seen either. Top-down processing or a temporal delay in the representation being formed does not seem to really debunk this. What is meant by being "in contact" with reality? If it means we are physically interacting with it via some kind of physical contact then that seems to me necessarily the case, unless we want to insist upon the mental states as having some non-physical dimension to which perception spontaneously develops. Our perceptions of reality are neurologically constructed but to be a neurological construction of reality then reality has to play some causal role in that construction. If the claim is simply that our perceptions are not wholly objective, well you don't even need brain science to make that claim because no shit everything in your experience is going to be confined to a particular perspective. Subjects experience the world subjectively is not really that radical of a claim. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:29, 6 October 2023 (UTC)

Nor would I, personally claim subjective reality to be anything less than. The important thing is reality is more MORE than personal reality. It can only be experienced as such, but this awesome tool of language helps us describe our own and it keeps coming up that Describing things between language-using-entities are nuanced, especially when it's all similar but alarminglyy different. The silly path of recognizing subjective reality existing is this weird Pure Solipsism, in which every part of your reality is created by your brain, therefore your brain must be creating Reality. It doesn't leave a lot of space for Reality outside the brain. But aside from humans, what possible community of organisms could survive without some language? Our brains are wired to need to be able to use language, and we're looking at things we were not evolutionarily built to look at. Not saying we shouldn't. Saying, luckily we are evolutionarily built to talk about things in the abstract. The ideas of cause and effect aren't special to human thinking or language. What's special is our ability and propensity to use language to describe abstractions. 'Who, what, when, where, how, and why' are really solid foundations, but even Pavlov's experiments prove we aren't the only animals out there asking 'Why?' Them dogs came to the conclusion that Pavlov was ringing A bell BECAUSE it was time to eat. It's not their fault he changed the 'why' and got all proud of himself that he tricked them. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3DC2:772:4928:9B5E (talk) 03:21, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
"What community of organisms could survive without language." Define "language." There are plenty of social and even colonial animals out there. Just look at your nearest fucking ant hive. Do you mean communication? Cause I would be pretty fucking impressed if ants had anything even remotely resembling a human language with its infinitely complex systems of grammar and effective vocabulary of thousands of words. Carthage (talk) 03:27, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
I kinda expected this. No, I don't think language has to be as complicated as human language. Communication, sure, if that's what you need the abstraction boiled down to, it is not incorrect.' But do you understand the pheromonal signals a bee hive gives out between threat and calm? Communication with syntax, I know I don't just listen in on that. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3DC2:772:4928:9B5E (talk) 03:35, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
(EC) Not even syntax a language makes. Is it a complex communicative system? Yes, undoubtedly. Bees are much more intelligent than we usually give them credit for. But that's not language. You could argue this is a human-centric conception of language, of course, but you need to demonstrate that to a skeptical audience. Otherwise you're just equating "language" to "communication." Why have two words for the same phenomenon, then? Also birds have been demonstrated to possess a capacity for syntactic communication, but I'm unaware of any such studies for bee communication. I'm sure you can point me to a study doing so, yes? Carthage (talk) 03:50, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Wow, I will take my beating. It is interesting that we keep learning more animals communicate with something closer to language than just basic communication, glad you're not unaware. I will find a way to communicate to the next pair of birds I meet that Carthage really put me in a linguistic corner. 2600:8804:500:FE90:3DC2:772:4928:9B5E (talk) 04:13, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

Taking a crack at writing again. My idea is about self discovery during war and a zombie plague[edit]

My main character, named Aleksa, is an intersex person with a male identity and is an international student in the disputed territory of Abkhazia. It is a story of regret, self discovery and love.

The city of Sukhumi smelled of burnt wood, rubber, metal and wood. Smoke clouds partially blocked the winter sun. The sound of bombs and gunfire permeated the air. Buildings burned as Russian and Georgian military forces clashed. Corpses littered the streets. Screams could be heard from time to time. This was the beginning of the Second Russo-Georgian War.

Aleksa sat quietly inside a brewery; keeping as silent as humanly possible. Soot covered his skin like a fine powder, as if he was exposed to a terrible snow storm. Blood stained his shirt. The gun he held in his trembling hands was still warm from when he shot at a Russian soldier.

Before power went out there was news relating to the annexation of the Republic of Abkhazia by Russia (or as they called it; “unification with the motherland” or some other nonsense) and the attempt by Georgia to reintegrate it back into their country. Aleksa didn’t exactly like the idea of the region into Georgia but it would be a lot better than Russia. This was due to Aleksa having a soft spot for the region.

Back to the immediate issue, Aleksa was trying to think of ways to get out of the city. In his current state he was doomed. He just wanted to go back home. Aleksa was studying for a PhD in Biophysics at Abkhaz State University when the conflict began. Flights to Ukraine were suspended when Russia annexed South Ossetia. That was ten months ago.

Since then Aleksa was in a fight for survival. He did things that he came to regret but necessary. Horrible, awful things. Aleksa spilled a lot of blood in his fight for survival. Men, women and teens were killed by his hands. While he had no choice it did not make Aleksa feel any better.

Sudden loud bangs snapped Aleksa out of his thoughts of guilt. Now in survival mode he raised his gun. There were shouts in the Russian language. Aleksa understood what those shouts meant. Those shouts were threats of torture for “assisting in the genocide of Russians”. Aleksa would have to kill again. Checking his gun, Aleksa saw that the clip was nearly emptied. He quickly reloaded.

The door came down as a battering ram hit it. Soldiers flooded in. Aleksa quietly said a prayer before opening up on his foes. He managed to stay covered from much of the automatic gun fire. Knowing that he would certainly die, Aleksa stuffed a rag into a vodka bottle, lit it and threw it directly at the soldiers; setting them on fire.

Aleksa suffered a gunshot to the abdomen, obliterating his pancreas. Waves of agony struck him. He felt blood gush out of him like a river. The soldiers were dead but Aleksa would be joining them. If the fire didn’t kill him the blood loss would.

This is what I got so far. --Trans Fem Agenda 15:39, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Seems like a solid concept. I would personally read something like this and think that you should keep it up. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 15:01, 2 October 2023 (UTC)

it's a little quick, but complete, redundant at times, specific in weird ways. Maybe just very fast. Notably there are no zombies. LLM assist? 2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 02:08, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
I will bring in zombies. I am setting the atmosphere. --Trans Fem Agenda 13:56, 7 October 2023 (UTC)


The issue is simple. Every year, yours truly attends a 'drinks tasting party' with a few of my relatives I don't dislike. The rules are simple; we each have to bring three liver-ruining samples to all to try, but it cannot anything sampled before. As we are now coming up for the 7th year, I'm really running out of ideas. So the answer is simple; anyone have any suggestions on what to bring this year? KarmaPolice (talk) 22:28, 1 October 2023 (UTC)

Moscow Mules? It's simple: vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. Carthage (talk) 22:38, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
I’ve always enjoyed some Bailey’s Irish Cream. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:50, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
Godiva Chocolate Liqueur is surprisingly good given that Godiva chocolates are not that great. It'll probably ruin your pancreas as well as your liver. As with most flavored liqueurs, you don't want to know what's in it (because they're not required to tell you anyway). Hakutsuru "Junmai Ginjo" is a nice refined sake for drinking at room temperature. Bongolian (talk) 23:10, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
A Vesper would be excellent, 3 oz 94 (at minimum) proof gin, 1 oz 100 proof Polish or Russian grain vodka, 1/2 oz Lillet, shaken and garnished with a lemon peel. If you want something smaller, I can give you a concoction I invented myself; 1 1/2 oz gin, 1 oz jalapeno or habanero vodka, and a splash of sweet vermouth (to taste, the sweeter you want it the more vermouth) shaken. Both are ideally served in champagne coupes, if you have them. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:15, 1 October 2023 (UTC)
You might consider wp:Pruno. And you can even make it yourself. Unless your family is nicely stocked with felons, it's likely a new tipple. Kencolt (talk) 15:04, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
Have you tried Frangelico (Hazelnut liqueur) on icecream - like a "spider" or "float"?? Very tasty, and not actually immediately liver-destroying :) Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 19:51, 2 October 2023 (UTC)
We've never done cocktails before, though I suspect some might deem it 'cheating' [as the main advantage is to mask poor spirit quality] and every year has at lease one bringing some mysterious foreign/rotgutty spirit found in some dodgy off-licence. We've already had Bailey's, Godiva and sake, but frangelico is new and appears affordable. Thanks. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:37, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
If you’re feeling flash and like tart and herbal drinks, then The Last Word is one of my favourites (gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice). Problem is that Chartreuse is getting very expensive, if you can find it at all.
Another nice tart drink is the pisco sour (pisco, lime juice, sugar/simple syrup and egg white/substitute foaming agent).
If you have access to some kind of “espresso’ish” coffee (incl. a mokka pot or similar), then an Espresso Martini is really nice (vodka, Kahlua and espresso, or as close to it as you can get). Vodka and Kahlua by themselves gives you a Black Russian, then add milk to get a White Russian.
If you go with Carthage’s suggestion of a Moscow Mule, then you have an easy switch over to Dark ’N’ Stormy by exchanging the vodka with dark rum and adding a dash or two of Angostura.
Another approach could be to visit Difford’s Guide and, using its cocktail finder, plug in whatever cocktail ingredients you have/want and see what you can make from them. I use this when trying out new cocktails and to get inspiration for using remnants of various ingredients. I made a profile there as well to better be able to use its features and suggestions vis-à-vis my rather extensive drinks cabinet, but you don’t have to do so in order to use it. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:57, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
The Chicago tribute to Jeppson's Malort is a nuclear option. I assume a sidecar and a grasshopper have been done. A less nuclear option might be a Black Velvet, Guinness and Champagne. Problem is Guinness doesn't really work off tap. A Lunchbox is interesting, and if it's a once a year event I doubt you'd mind buying the ingredients
 Equal parts brandy, Amaretto, and a really bready beer, then flavor with Gran Marnier and orange juice
Orange juice should be about half the cocktail. It's like a somehow simultaneously fancier and trashier Long Island Ice Tea. 2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 02:30, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
Find some home-made spirytus and drink it neat, like my extended family. /me shudders Namako (talk) 00:19, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If it's straight spirits you're looking for, with the Japanese theme there's shochu. And if you've never had absinthe it's an experience, although it most certainly does not cause hallucinations; if you like raki or ouzo, you'll do fine with absinthe. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:41, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

Satanic inversion[edit]

In transvestigation, this is a recurring theme and I've also seen it elsewhere. The claim that Satanists are trying to "invert" everything, particularly everything "good". Does this come from the fact that Satanists would use upside-down crosses and whatnot as symbols? Or is this a real theme in Satanism? Does it come from the Bible? Chillpilled (talk) 01:10, 3 October 2023 (UTC)

The inverted cross is the cross of St. Peter - a Christian symbol almost as old as the other guy's cross. Wiki says it got into occultism in the 19th century but that the modern satanic symbolism came from (US?) TV in the '60s. '¬_¬ Namako (talk) 10:44, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
It might be real in "Hollywood Satanism". In real Satanism? No. Luigifan18 (talk) 20:56, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Side-note, RW's transvestigation article was evidently cited in a Mary Sue article last month: https://www.themarysue.com/those-transphobic-transvestigator-conspiracy-theorists-one-of-them-just-threatened-a-congresswoman/ Chillpilled (talk) 03:48, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

Did ancient civilizations invent contemporary things[edit]

I recently came accross this video on Facebook. It had comparisons of contemporary inventions and ancient art. Did ancient civilizations invent things such as modern calculators and Wi-Fi? Also, Facebook never stops showing contrarian and conspiracy videos. 🇷🇸 Serbiter (Wort wort wort) 20:23, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

Did ancient civilizations invent things such as modern calculators and Wi-Fi? No. Some of the images from that video are addressed in articles on this site. The QR-head statue appears to be a decoration in somebody's house; you can see the reflection of their tv in the background. The rest of the video is doubtlessly equally bogus. Facebook is not a reliable source of information. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 20:55, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Of the few that I could verify as coming from some actual location (so I know it was not 'shopped), most of the comparisons seem to focus on patterns that matched without delving too far into why they match and what they represent. Ancient humans and modern humans like patterns. That a circuit ended up having a pattern that vaguely represents something ancient doesn't make something ancient a circuit board.
It's worth noting that some ancient civilizations had "predecessors", of a sort, for some modern tools. For calculators, that tool was an abacusWikipedia (and other "counting boards"). Abacuses have been estimated to be around for 4000ish years.BobJohnson (talk) 21:13, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
The ancient Romans developed a steam engine of sorts, but it never properly took off. The ancient Chinese developed the seismograph and were regularly fielding crossbows on the battlefield a thousand years before European armies did the same. The Ancient Egyptians also invented the toothbrush and toothpaste. Carthage (talk) 01:52, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
I’ll add the antikythera mechanism to the list of cool ancient inventions. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 02:48, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
Yes, the Antikythera mechanism,Wikipedia the first known analog computer, is truly amazing. There are no known prototypes or successor devices, though some of the technology involved in making it was known to have existed on Rhodes in Ancient Greece, which was famed for its automaton industry. Bongolian (talk) 03:22, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
The Abbasids actually sent an automaton to the Carolingian court. The Carolingians thought it was sorcery. Carthage (talk) 06:06, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
We really don't need to look far back into history to see technology and lack of its comprehension, being viewed as magic/sorcery/divine. The cargo-cults are a perfect example.Cardinal Chang (talk) 14:32, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
True, but the point of this thread is about the inventions of ancient civilizations. Carthage (talk) 15:14, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
The ancients were Homo Sapiens like us, and were equally intelligent, so it would come as no great surprise if they were capable of complex feats of engineering. But, that said, they were not building wi-fi systems.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:42, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
Emperor Theophilos (reigned from 821/829-842) was said to have many elaborate contraptions at his court.-Flandres (talk) 18:23, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
However, we're standing on the shoulders of many giants tech-wise, something ancient civilisations didn't have the luxury of. Therefore, simple logic tells us that if 'the ancients' developed anything remotely current, it would be something which didn't require much actual 'tech' [like the toothbrush]. We also need to remember that there are whole swathes of our lives which are still rather 'old fashioned'; for example any current European kitchen still has much cookware which dates in it's basic form between the mediaeval era to the Victorian [I mean a knife is a knife and we've basically worked out what blades cut what best quite some time ago now]. Plus, we also need to remember that there have been occasions where ancient tech was in fact only 'lost' in some geographical regions, most famously where Europe re-learned much of the Greco-Roman inheritance, something the Islamic and Byzantines had not ever lost. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:13, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

I keep hearing about a possible Azerbaijani invasion of Armenia[edit]

For the territorial dispute over Artsakh, Azerbaijan got what it wanted in terms of that. I cannot say for sure if Azerbaijan will invade Armenia personally. I cannot think of an excuse for them to invade. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:09, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

I know there has been a lot of talk about taking Syunik to make the Zangezur corridor a reality. Of course, Aliyev will always need at least the specter or possibility of war because that is how he's always justified his power.-Flandres (talk)
I don't see any benefit from invasion. At least Russia managed to make a somewhat sane sounding excuse for its genocidal invasion. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:12, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
Well there would obviously be benefits for Turkey and Azerbaijan economically. Azerbajian would also be directly connected to Nakhchivan.-Flandres (talk) 00:20, 9 October 2023 (UTC)

Climate Change in Real Time / Unusual Weather Events[edit]

This is a simple question I have over the visible and noticeable experience with anthropogenic climate change. Has the weather and seasons changed a bit compared to when you were a child? And so, how has the climate changed where you lived? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:57, 3 October 2023 (UTC)

Considering how human memory works I think it`s pretty unlikely that people will form accurate memories of the weather from when they were a child. Most likely the things that would be remembered would be things that would have been unusual for the time. Also depending on where people live the aggregate effects on the climate may not be reflected in their local weather. Individual people don't locally experience the global climate. The records prove however that things are only getting warmer over time. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:42, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
But has anyone experienced differences in their local climate or whey they lived? I think I remember that my local climate wasn't as cold during the winters when I was a child. Lately, there've been far more polar vortices bringing severe lows during the winter months. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:36, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
Updating the title to add more. I also somehow remember the warmer temperatures during the abnormally long spring of 2012 however. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 04:41, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
I have. It was 90 degrees today, from what I understand a 6 day record high in a row. The Minneapolis Marathon canceled because it was unseasonably hot. I don't run marathons but I used to run for my school. There's a reason cross country is done in early fall months. I would say competitive runners could probably handle it. But it's a casual event, and if you think running in 85 degrees air temp doesn't change the game, summer conditioning is not the team sport for you.2600:8804:500:FE90:15C9:7E98:D333:462F (talk) 04:50, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
As has been stated previously, childhood memories are really not a good indication of previous climate as we tend to remember the unusual weather events and not the normal ones; but we might remember normal ones too. Many years later you then have the problem: Do I remember that because it was unusual or because it was normal?
Nevertheless I do have one such memory. When I was a child, a little brook ran by our house. We used to go to listen to the frogs and find frogspawn, we caught little fish, our ducks used to enjoy swimming in it and so did our dogs. I do remember that one exceptionally hot dry summer it almost dried up and this was a shock to everybody.
I left that area in Wales many decades ago but when I returned perhaps 50 years later I was disappointed to find the little river completely dry. The locals told me that some water might run down it after heavy rain but that generally it was dead.
I must say that it left me with a great sense of loss, and even writing this our leaves me feeling kinda sad.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:18, 3 October 2023 (UTC)
However, 'childhood memories' can be useful anecdotal evidence if used correctly. Comparing now with the 90s/00s I've noted that British winters have gotten wetter and warmer, while summer wildfires are becoming semi-predictable events [I remember being shocked by the '19 fires when they started destroying whole streets of houses] - noted that my childhood memories don't have wildfires in them [or news reports of them]. The disconcerting nature of experiencing say, October weather in July or May weather in February tells me that by subconscious 'weather grooves' in my head formed from 30+ years of experience that something is quite wrong. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:40, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
Here in New England it's gotten very stark very fast. I'd kill for the return of a good snowy winter, that's in no way guaranteed now. Kids today who see pictures of the Saturday Evening Post probably wonder why the hell Norman Rockwell painted it so white. My parents have talked about going out to meet neighborhood kids skating on the local ponds, we're lucky to get that a couple times a year now. It's fucking scary. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:57, 4 October 2023 (UTC)
I've certainly noticed it a lot from western NY, the climate feels significantly hotter than it was a decade ago. Weather above 90F was only achieved for maybe 2-4 days at a time, but this year every day in July high temp was above 90. Winter is also very different, when i was a kid especially we had snow usually around the end of october, by thanksgiving there was 'permanent' snow on the ground, but now we're unlikely to have snow on the ground before the end of december. in fact the past 3 years we lost snow cover for weeks at a time, in between december and february, usually the thing that make dealing with the short daylight hours worth it is the fact that snow and ice are beautiful, when all the trees are bare and its just muddy and grey its godawful. Its insane in western "lake effect snow" new york, there's almost nothing now. PhoxyDude (talk) 02:32, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
To the northeast US, the further south these cold air vortices spit, the less they hit the heat sinks of the great lakes. Two winters ago it shot right across aquifer America (The great American desert until people dug wells there is no temperature control, no mountains, no lakes) into Texas. I would predict, for the real midwest, Missouri river valley, a second icy December and floods in March. The Northeast, probably some more freezing rain, maybe a couple snow dumps post Appalachia. Chicago is gonna be warm, I mean WARM and windy. 2600:8804:500:FE90:DD38:4D05:6295:69C (talk) 04:10, 6 October 2023 (UTC)

In my area of central-western Canada, I've noticed summer average and extreme temperatures are definitely higher. We still seem to get similar winter cold temperatures as always I think, and precipitation has always been pretty variable, so numbers are really much better than any personal experience there. But I remember that 28°C (82°F) was a hot day when I was a kid, and I don't ever remember seeing more than 1 or 2 >30°C (86°F) days ever. Then maybe 10 or more years ago, it was a couple times a year. Now 28°C is nice, and 35°C (95°F) is hot, and there are weeks worth of >30°C every year.2605:59C8:162A:1100:9D84:B0E6:C56A:AE4F (talk) 15:38, 9 October 2023 (UTC)


"Civilization" is a loaded term fraught with value judgements. One speaks of "possessing civilization" or "lacking it," and one speaks of "civilized behavior" or "uncivilized behavior." What exactly do these words mean? I think Christopher Ehret's The Civilizations of Africa: A History to 1800 put it succinctly: "To speak thus is to rely on mystification in place of substantive description and analysis."

Ehret makes a point about "civilized behavior" vs "uncivilized behavior". If "uncivilized behavior" is defined as "acting without regard for law or ethics" then European civilization with its destructive genocides and pogroms and centuries long campaign of land and resource theft has been among the most uncivilized peoples in history. However, I doubt most people would say that Westerners are "uncivilized."

All societies throughout history have had socially complex systems of laws and customs that expected its people to obey and abide by, including stateless societies. If we define "civilized behavior" as "obeying laws and ethical norms" then no society outside of periods of social collapse have been "uncivilized" on a broader scale.

I recently, on the Polyamory talk page, made a similar comment about the "tribal level:"

I also question the utility of "tribal level" as overgeneralizing and also a colonialist construct. Even socially complex and stratified kingdoms in Africa often get called "tribal" to the point that the word loses all meaning beyond simply "any culture perceived as primitive by outside observers." The Arab "tribes" are more like kinship groupings, and are very different from the hunter-gatherer bands of the Inuit or the kingdoms of the Sahel.

Note that no people have ever considered themselves to be "primitive." That's always been an etic judgement, not an emic one. Also, I'm not denying the existence of civilization. I just think we should be more critical of applying the label of "civilization" uncritically. It's sloppy scholarship and reinforces cultural biases. Carthage (talk) 19:42, 5 October 2023 (UTC)

"Civility" is relative to the eyes of the society that interprets it. Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 21:18, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
That's an irrelevant truism. If "civility" is relativist then I'd wager that it loses all sense of utility. "Civility" can refer to different things even within given societies. Notice how the usage of "civilization" in Western civilization and Islamic civilization refer to different groupings of societies with shared norms and cultural features owing to shared ancestry and cultural exchange. That can extend to between supposed civilizational borders as well, which are a lot more fluid than people commonly believe. Both Islamic and Western civilizations share a common heritage in both Near Eastern and Hellenic civilization, which results in more shared concepts, norms, and flaws than one may otherwise believe. Notice I defined civility to mean "adherence to a system of laws and ethical norms." Carthage (talk) 21:25, 5 October 2023 (UTC)
"If "civility" is relativist then I'd wager that it loses all sense of utility." All words only have the meaning which is given to them by a particular language at a particular time in the context of a particular culture. That does not mean that words are not util.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:16, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
True. I intended it to be more as snark than anything else. That's my mea culpa. Anyway, my point still stands that "civility is relative to the eyes of the society that interprets it" is an irrelevant truism. Carthage (talk) 17:10, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
It is both true and relevant to the point you dismissed. The average Roman would have considered themselves to be civilized. They would also have endorsed slavery. There is no Platonic ideal in language to which you can appeal. Words, meanings and concepts are all relative to their societies.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:15, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
Everyone but the slaves, of course. What rigorous definition for "civilization" would you propose then? If we define "civilization" as "any urbanized society" then we should just talk about urbanization. If we define civilization as "a society with complex social systems" then that would include pretty much every society that has ever lived. Every society has a complex system of laws and social mores, roots with thousands upon thousands of years of history, areas of expertise and areas of inefficiency et cetera. The average person in New York City doesn't know how to fletch an arrow or which plant is poisonous, which is edible, and which is medicinal. The average Sentinelese hunter-gatherer probably does. If what we mean by "civilization" is "a society with a single individual or small group of individuals capable of moving and utilizing massive amounts of labor to various ends including glorification of themselves" we should talk about that. Civilization as an academic term of art, which is what I was referring to in the OP, becomes loaded and mistifying. It has been most prominently used as a value judgement, consciously or unconsciously, which is what I am criticizing. Carthage (talk) 18:40, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
There are useful concepts for which we cannot give necessary and sufficient conditions. It may be that civilization is a cluster concept, picking out a set of properties no one of which is either necessary to be a civilization or sufficient to be a civilization. In that case, it would almost certainly have vague boundaries, but that's not enough to be mystifying. This is to say, the concept might be mystifying, but eliminating a series of proposed definitions as inadequate isn't necessarily a good way to demonstrate it. If civilization does pick out some set of properties, and if that set of properties has some real significance (be it practical, ethical, whatever), then the concept would seem to do demystifying work by allowing us to point to that set. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 19:53, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
Thank you for giving me the term "cluster concept". I think it's really useful.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:20, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I recognize that, but there is a history of using the word "civilization" as a dogwhistle. Why is Shaka Zulu, the king of a highly militarized state with an efficient bureaucratic apparatus, considered to be a "tribal chieftain" and not the military genius and statesmen he actually was? Why are the Igbo people, a nation with an estimated 20 million, considered to be "tribal" but not the Swiss, who only, if we only consider the population of Switzerland, with roughly half that? If you tell me "that's because Switzerland has a long history of complex society" then I'll tell you: so do the Igbo, they even had their own empire. Such an assessment is inherently racist and Eurocentric. Carthage (talk) 20:36, 6 October 2023 (UTC)
One rather obvious difference is that, unlike Switzerland, neither the Zulu or Igbo had any written language during those times; Igbo was only written down in the 1850s, and Zulu in the 1880s, long after the height of their respective cultures. Sometimes it's not just about racism and Eurocentrism. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:34, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Not every civilization possessed writing. This seems to be an arbitrary exclusion. Furthermore the Igbo possess a system of proto-writing called Nsibidi.Wikipedia Carthage (talk) 00:31, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
Even with regards to Serene's mention of cluster concepts I think it would still be stated as relevant that "line-drawing" often comes with a particular ideological or social intention. This is something Cressida Heyes argues in her book Line-Drawings where she argues for the category of "women" to be thought of as a Wittgensteinian cluster concept/family resemblance type. When we are dealing with such categories I feel we can still make distinctions regarding inclusion and exclusion in regards to such categories, but that underlying analysis is going to involve a continuum or matter of degrees rather than a clear discrete distinction in kinds. Once we try to draw lines within cluster concepts to try to wedge distinctions with discrete kinds where there aren't any then we need to be suspicious. Heyes herself notes when feminists do this it is often explicitly for political reasons (i.e. defining women in such a way to deliberately be trans-exclusionary). I think that same suspicion is warranted when people try to "draw lines" to what is and is not a civilization. What exactly would be a non-political or ideological motivation behind excluding human populations without writing systems? That basically produces a consequence that many indigenous societies or cultures with oral traditions are not "genuine" civilizations. The obvious concern of being motivated by "savagism" is going to be a red flag that is raised. What purpose is that criteria serving? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:21, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This argument from cases strikes me as a better demonstration that the concept (or at least the term) is politicized (in at least some cases). Personally, I know very little about Shaka Zulu, the Igbo, or the Swiss, so I’m not in a very good position to evaluate the argument, but it’s something defenders of the concept would need to reply to. It seems likely to me that ‘civilization’ has political applications; I’m less certain whether there is no (or could be no) apolitical use.

Certainly, if ‘civilization’ is a cluster concept, it would be surprising if there were no borderline cases of civilization, given the sheer number of possible cases in the present day and throughout history. Somebody trying to defend drawing sharp lines might argue that, in fact, every (notable) case really is either a clear-cut example of a civilization or a clear-cut example of a non-civilization, but that seems unlikely. I’d be curious whether it’s possible to develop a cluster concept model for ‘civilization’ which seems to capture the ordinary usage well (maybe something narrower than that, to avoid certain obviously objectionable use cases) and has commitments only to largely acceptable value judgments. I’m not going to try it, though.

I wonder if the terms ‘civilization’ and ‘civilized’ don’t also carry somewhat distinct connotations, such that their presumptive political applications are different (if overlapping). They do have different extensions; given the right context, I can refer to the guy down the street as ‘uncivilized’, or I can refer to an entire group of people as ‘(un)civilized’, but ‘civilization’ can’t be applied to individual people. There’s also an interesting slang phenomenon in the vicinity, wherein ‘savage’ carries positive valence, which might indicate something about the terms’ ordinary connotations (taking ‘savage’ to contrast against ‘civilized’). 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 03:25, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

We have no (surviving) written records from the Sao civilizationWikipedia but that hasn't stopped archaeologists from dubbing that culture a civilization. G.T. Stride explains how "complex" (if you permit me to use such a loaded and vague term) their culture was:

[T]he So people possessed considerable political and artistic genius. Although they never combined effectively to form an empire, they developed city-states which were the centres of intense local patriotism ... Each city was surrounded by strong defensive walls and dominated the life of the surrounding countryside which it both protected and governed. Government was by an elaborate hierarchy, headed by a divine ruler ... Except on ceremonial occasions, the rulers made few public appearances and even then remained concealed from the common gaze by a screen. Women occupied a respected position in society and the Queen Mother and senior sister of the ruler exercised considerable political influence on the government of the states. The So people were mainly settled farmers but among them were craftsmen of considerable industrial and artistic merit. They were able to work in both clay and metals to manufacture household utensils, tools, and works of art for religious purposes. Impressive objects found by archaeologists include burial urns and ... figures of animals and human beings both in clay and bronze. All this had been achieved ... before about A. D. 700 ... The vigour of the government and civilization is best demonstrated by their long resistance to the empires of Kanem and Bornu [sic] and the fact that many cultural characteristics of the Kanuri [were later] adopted from the So.

Let's check what traits the Sao civilization possessed and how that matches up to the arbitrary definition that is offered for "civilization":
1) The Sao possessed cities, and so were therefore an urbanized culture.
2) The Sao possessed social stratification, including a division of labor between separate classes (there was clear occupational specialization).
3) Sao leaders were able to exercise vast amounts of social control, including directing the labor of their citizens to their own ends.
4) The Sao were incredible artists (although this one seems superfluous there have been people that have dubbed art made by cultures from Africa "tribal art," which I think is where the term "tribal" begins to lose all meaning for reasons I have already covered.)
With all this in mind, how are the Sao not a civilization? To clarify, if we adhere to the cluster-concept model of civilization, just because the Sao lacked writing, at least as far as we know.... That's not an automatic disqualier for the Sao being a civilization. Carthage (talk) 08:50, 10 October 2023 (UTC)


💀. For those of you who don't want to read this, Alabama almost banned a children's book because... the author's last name is Gay. I am not kidding. The Krusty Krab (talk) 18:33, 9 October 2023 (UTC)

Have they encountered the 'Gay Gordons' and John Gay (The Beggar's Opera)? Anna Livia (talk) 20:31, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
Obviously the Flintstones (theme song lyrics: "we'll have a gay old time!") and the popular Christmas tune "Deck The Halls" ("don we now our gay apparel") are too risque for Alabama children now as well. BobJohnson (talk) 23:58, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
If you actually read the bloody news story, you'll see that the book didn't almost get banned throughout the state of Alabama. It almost got removed from the children's section of a public library and placed in the adult's section. The publishers were, however, right to point out that, although their book shouldn't have been subject to it, a public library seeking to remove any books that touch on LGBT themes from its children's section is disturbing. Spud (talk) 02:38, 10 October 2023 (UTC)
Automatic categorization of books as "adult" for containing the word "gay" suggests they may even move books that use the old-school definition of that word. Chillpilled (talk) 02:46, 10 October 2023 (UTC)
Yes, the actual story is that the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library flagged the children's book "Read Me a Story, Stella" from author Marie-Louise Gay for potential removal due to "sexually explicit" content solely because (as admitted by the library's executive director) the author's last name contained the word "gay". And that's it. It sounds more of an averted Kafkaesque-ish thing then some fundie nightmare, but it's still symbolic of the moral panic of these times over TEH GAY! and THINK OF THE CHILDREN! At any rate, I look forward to finding out more about how Alabama's automagical classification feels concerning the (/s) obvious sexually explicit content (/s) concerning Enola Gay.Wikipedia (It's got gay in the name, y'know!) BobJohnson (talk) 05:11, 10 October 2023 (UTC)

Hamas invades Israel.[edit]

So Hamas has invaded from Gaza. But they logically have no chance against the Israeli army.

So, do they want to scupper the talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Are they expecting backup from Hezbollah in Lebanon and from the Assad regime in Syria?

Or do they have some other objective - because they must be hoping for something special to make up for whatever the horrendous Israeli response in Gaza will be.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:06, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

Militarily speaking, Hamas never stood a chance. Playing resistance fighter has gotten Hamas nowhere and fast. I suspect that the only thing Hamas can do realistically is diplomacy. The same song and dance has got innocent people killed. I blame Hamas and Israel. Their ideological stances are dangerous. --Trans Fem Agenda 13:30, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
The real winner here is Netanyahu, who now has a nice little war to distract from his myriad unpopular domestic problems. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:26, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I think this has been Netanyahu's plan, with escalating tit-for-tats, starting with the July Israeli invasion of Jenin in the West Bank. It's in the standard playbook for autocrats to keep power: start a war. Bongolian (talk) 18:36, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
And depressingly, can now justify his fever dream of eradicating Hamas and Palestine, and claim Israel (and by proxy himself), is a victim. Decades of oppression, starvation and occupation, antagonising everyone, and yet he's the victim. What makes it more worrying are the number of trade deals Israel was involved with over the summer (See Foreign Desk https://monocle.com/radio/shows/the-foreign-desk/explainer-385/) had at the time many realising that basically, "No one gives a fuck about Palestine, anymore." Cardinal Chang (talk) 18:40, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Most Sunni nations in the region have been cautiously cozying up to Israel since they all have a common enemy in Iran. They want a regional nuclear power on their team since Iran is getting closer to the Bomb. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:46, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
But yeah, long term, this could result in Israel re-occupying Gaza and bulldozing it if this gets bloody enough. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:48, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Considering the amount of planning Hamas' attack would require, you do have to wonder what or where Israeli Intelligence was doing, or not doing, and why? Cardinal Chang (talk) 20:46, 7 October 2023 (UTC)
Same thing US military intelligence was doing before the Tet Offensive: being useless. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:04, 7 October 2023 (UTC)

The Israeli government wants to continue the occupation knowing that won't get any real international backlash unlike apartheid in South Africa and a war creates political clout among the far right. Hamas playing resistance fighter knowing that they have no chance of being victorious and getting people killed creates political clout among the militant fringes of Palestinians. Political gains are more important than human lives I guess? --Trans Fem Agenda 23:09, 7 October 2023 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A former head of Mossad said that this was a major fuckup by Mossad, saying that a major investigation would be required after the fighting ends.[32] On the other hand, The Washington Post reported today that there were significant signs of a major escalation brewing last month:[33]

Hamas put its forces on high alert and held field exercises with other armed groups, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The drills included practice rocket launches, ambushes and the “storming” of settlements, local media in Gaza reported, in an apparent preview of the attacks launched on Saturday.
Hamas also allowed Palestinians to begin protesting again along the separation fence between Israel and Gaza, where young demonstrators have faced off against Israeli soldiers. On Sept. 13, five Palestinians were killed when they attempted to detonate an explosive at the barrier wall.

So either it was a major fuckup, or the government knew but wanted it to happen. Bongolian (talk) 01:17, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

I believe it was an intelligence failure. Check this out, from Israeli media last month:
“Lately, there have been growing indications that a war against Israel may break out in September or October 2023,” Yigal Carmon wrote in an article published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) nearly two weeks ago. The important analysis suggested that “the trigger may be spiraling violent clashes resulting in many casualties, or the use of new weapons leading to many fatalities on the Israeli side, in the face of which Israel will be unable to suffice with its regular counterterrorism measures.”

Hezbollah and Hamas may be preparing a confrontation, he said. ...

The concern is serious for escalation over the next few weeks, and it could come from several different provocations together at the same time, or a calculated effort by Iran, to stoke tensions.
The US was also warned about 9/11, or some aspect of it, or something like it, on multiple occasions ahead of time. I would argue that maybe leaders just suffer from "information overload", so many intelligence reports all the time that they struggle to respond effectively. Not sure if that's it though. Chillpilled (talk) 01:29, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
The way a lot of you talk about Mossad, you seem to assume they're infallible and things only happen because they want it to.-Ryan1257 (talk) 09:24, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
It's kind of their job to pay attention to this shit? It's not like Hamas made any secret of their activities. Carthage (talk) 09:34, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
We should probably wait till we know a bit more. But as a general rule cock-up is always more likely than conspiracy.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 10:27, 8 October 2023 (UTC)
Let us look at this situation. Gaza is functionally a massive ghetto of 2.3m people where the IDF control all means in/out and is only slightly larger than the island of Malta. When you factor in these to the other points re: Hamas being the #1 direct enemy of Israel, the idea that there might have been elements which wanted the attack[s] to happen increases in probability a bit [perhaps they underestimated the size and felt their on-side forces could cope?]. The third option - that they knew something but not enough to warrant a full pre-emptive strike on Gaza - I think can be discounted by the fact security hadn't been beefed up [but again, there is a possibility that they didn't want to reinforce out of fears it would cause Hamas to postpone their attacks].
I've just heard that it's suggested Hamas managed to 'keep the noise down' regarding their planned attacks by realising the Israeli dominance of the electronic/infomation space and thus, resorting to old-school methods to plan, communicate etc. This would have a much higher chance of success if the Israelis had little 'humanit' [physical spies] and Hamas did a bit of disinformation/deception to minimise the number of flags which the intel orgs would notice. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:51, 9 October 2023 (UTC)

As to motivation for Hamas, given the easily foreseeable reaction from the Israeli military, doesn't it seem like they just are running out of options internally? If they keep petitioning and negotiating with the Israelis, they lose credibility at home, since Israel just keeps steamrolling them regardless. If they attack, they have a base of supporters that can keep them operating, and the potential for outside support, slim though it has been. This is a crisis of Bibi's making, and it saddens me that it will probably work in his favour.2605:59C8:162A:1100:9D84:B0E6:C56A:AE4F (talk) 16:01, 9 October 2023 (UTC)

I think that Israel's failure in intelligence goes far beyond the failure in US intelligence in foreseeing 9/11. Netanyahu should be held responsible for this by the Israeli people.[34] Bongolian (talk) 18:17, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
Yes, it is of Bibi's making - for example, he deliberately re-positioned IDF forces to 'defend' both 'illegal' and 'legal' settlements on the West Bank [note; 'legal' only means by Israeli law, not international!] to please the altie nutjob parties in his coalition and what's more, Israel is a small nation where the IDF is an integral part of the fabric - these cockups will harder to sweep under the rug from the general population. Wars are not only notoriously fickle in how they spin around stuff [it's all those damn 'unknown uknown' shit Rumsfeld mentioned back in '03] but I also cite Golda Meir - how the total lack of preparations for the '73 Yom Kippur War effectively ended her political career, even though she wasn't felled immediately and Israel won that war.
As I said in the below topic, Hamas chose this manner to start 'the war' [technically it's not, as Hamas is not a state and thus, you can't declare war on it] which tells me they have been prepping for it for some time [how the fuck can you hide that many rockets in only 250 square miles?] and I suspect Bibi is reacting exactly how they intended to goad him into doing - which doesn't bode well for anybody. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:20, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
This also makes me raise the question; does the USA have a large enough back to support both Ukraine and Israel on war footings? KarmaPolice (talk) 18:23, 9 October 2023 (UTC)
Technically any active military conflict is a "war". Wars between states are not the end-all-be-all of "war," and if it was we'd have to discount a whole host of wars throughout history. Carthage (talk) 06:35, 10 October 2023 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I don't think the question of support for Israel is all that unclear. Every US administration has been unequivocal about support for Israel. Even if someone criticises them legitimately, they always immediately reiterate their unwavering support. The US intelligence apparatus is too linked to Mossad, and Military suppliers love their business. The only way Israel loses US support is if the extremist right-wingers decide that's the next great crazy move somehow, and then they have to get that past the "reasonable republicans" <choke>. Democrats will never turn hard enough left to do that. The question of support for Ukraine is muddier, since there wasn't much of a prior military relationship, like Israel, and there isn't yet the institutional pushback against anti-Ukrainian racism, like anti-semitism, which Netanyahu and so many others love to use to shield themselves from any criticism. I mean there's a whole specific defined term for it. (talk) 06:30, 10 October 2023 (UTC)

Does the US support Israel? Yes, obviously. Does that mean Washington will supply anything and everything it requests? No. There are limits to the relationship, something I am sure Biden has privately reminded Netanyahu over the weekend and there has been signs in the last ~15 years that at least elements in Washington have gotten rather tired of Tel Aviv's increasingly hardline/bellicose manner.
My Ukraine/Israel question was more of the level of matériel supplies. Ukraine has rather denuded the West's arms bazaars, the colossal Cold War era stockpiles are no more and our production capabilities will take some time to expand. In a major conflict, Israel will depend on replenishing everything from AA missiles and tank parts to artillery shells and small arms - there is a possibility that Bibi might turn up with his mooching sack only to be told that Zelensky beat him to it.
Which leads me to my questions; a) did Russia/Iran deliberately prod Hamas into action as to divert the American attention/support from Ukraine? and b) if this is true, does that mean Hizbullah [a firmer Russian/Iranian ally] will join in? I might be wrong [I really hope I am] but my gut is saying we might be a step closer to a true world war. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:08, 10 October 2023 (UTC)

Yeah, today with all the foreseeable challenges to any national interests worldwide, global warfare seems like a very real possibility, and it just got more real. (talk) 13:42, 10 October 2023 (UTC) (Same BoN as above btw)