RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive456

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Progress & Regress Pokémon — Help Wanted[edit]

Hey, I've been working more on my Progress & Regress Pokémon concepts, and I'd like to get some feedback on them. I'm also running out of ideas to expand with (I'd like to end the chains with a Fire/Rock Progress Pokémon and a Poison/Fighting Regress Pokémon, to be hard-countered by Crimsolusion and Azureality, respectively), so I need some more ideas on things RationalWiki endorses and opposes. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:47, 10 February 2024 (UTC)

…Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 18:48, 11 February 2024 (UTC)
I'll check it out. Carthage (talk) 06:02, 12 February 2024 (UTC)
I can hardly wait. (I also need some help fleshing out the ideas I do have. Like, for instance, was Leavanny really the best Pokémon to turn into the avatar of hippies? I still have some doubts about that.) Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 13 February 2024 (UTC)
I have nothing whatsoever against you Luigifan (I'm a big Ingress player) but if you expect RW to endorse your Pokémon enthusiasm I think you may have to wait a long time. :-( Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:04, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
…Can I get some feedback on my ideas, please? Luigifan18 (talk) 04:35, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
I got a Gameboy and Pokemon Red as a Christmas present back in 98. there were two other kids in my 5th grade year who knew anything about pokemon, and they liked the anime, so they were making Pokemon noises at each other for fun. You have to understand that this is incredible for me, not the first I've seen it but do you really get what being a fan of Pokemon would afford you in the late 90's? The game was awesome, the fandom was getting beat up. To see somebody so confidently be like 'don't y'all know Pokemon?' Like, no, I don't. I know about around 150 pokemon. But I am a little jealous of current anime fans. Their taste is bad, but everybody's taste in everything is bad, so whatever, at least they get to watch anime without being called the f word. Torrent (talk) 10:18, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
…Uh… should I take this to the saloon bar talk page? Luigifan18 (talk) 17:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Any ideas on what sorts of woo I can represent with a Grass/Ground-type? (Aside from herbalism, since Creikipath has that covered.) Luigifan18 (talk) 03:50, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
@Bob M By the way, what does Ingress have to do with this, aside from being developed by the same peopleWikipedia as Pokémon Go and using basically the same servers? Luigifan18 (talk) 16:21, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
You walk about and interact with locations in the real world. All the PoGo gyms and poketops were originally imported from waypoints created by Ingress players. I only mention it in the context of having nothing against these games in principle. But, as I said, I kind of doubt you will get the community very interested in this.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:56, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
Things are progressing pretty smoothly, but I do need a few more ideas. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:43, 24 February 2024 (UTC)
BTW, I'm in the process of commissioning artwork of Azureality from BaeFakemon on Instagram (who previously drew my Paradox Dragonite idea, Noble Wish). Luigifan18 (talk) 19:43, 25 February 2024 (UTC)
I now officially have a rough sketch of Azureality! Would anyone like to see it? Luigifan18 (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2024 (UTC)
Here's another rough sketch. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:59, 29 February 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── …I dunno how much longer I'm willing to keep this open without responses. I'm currently waiting for BaeFakemon to finish the drawing. (And can someone please help me think of a few more ideas?) Luigifan18 (talk) 17:51, 2 March 2024 (UTC)

I've now got the finished drawings of Azureality, for those who are interested! (But seriously, if this continues to get no responses, I'll probably archive it myself and recreate it in the talk page.) Luigifan18 (talk) 17:40, 3 March 2024 (UTC)
Maybe a military or war one? It could be like a tank or bomber plane. maybe steel/dark or steel/fire. steel/dark with an ability that powers up fire type moves could work. Koafox (talk) 16:36, 5 March 2024 (UTC)
I already have a war one. It's named Inceruction, and it's Steel/Fire. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:08, 6 March 2024 (UTC)
Hey @Carthage, did you ever check out the project? Luigifan18 (talk) 21:48, 8 March 2024 (UTC)
@Carthage? Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 00:39, 11 March 2024 (UTC)
…I do wonder what the holdup is on Instagram… Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 14 March 2024 (UTC)
I just PM'd BaeFakemon; Azureality is due to appear on Instagram this week. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:13, 18 March 2024 (UTC)
…Maybe I need to send another PM. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:37, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Never mind, the Instagram post just came up! Luigifan18 (talk) 02:25, 24 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── After reading (and editing) the pages on numerology and new gematria, I can't help thinking that maybe one of the remaining Regress Pokémon should be based on it. Should it be the Ground/Grass one or the Fairy/Ground one? (Also, apparently none of the Regress Pokémon represent conspiracy theories yet. What?) Luigifan18 (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

…Still not sure what woo I can represent with Ground and Grass… Luigifan18 (talk) 22:57, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Okay, conspiracy theories it is, at least unless I get a better idea. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:01, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I also decided to make the Fairy/Ground Regress Pokémon represent freemen on the land. (I've named it Legandeeract — a (admittedly somewhat butchered) portmanteau of "legal", "land", "free", and "contract", with "legend" semi-coincidentally mixed in.) I even made the symbolism a pun on the typing, since the legal system devised by the freemen on the land is, well, a fairy tale — a mere fabrication, not accepted as valid in reality. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:38, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Still waiting for BaeFakemon on YouTube… Luigifan18 (talk) 01:48, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I should probably PM Bae on Instagram again. I'd like to keep this topic alive until I have a chance to show off the drawing process video… Luigifan18 (talk) 03:54, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Apparently it's gonna take a while for the video to come out… Luigifan18 (talk) 09:19, 1 May 2024 (UTC)
Welp, I went a bit too far in talking about one of the Regress Pokémon in an unrelated thread on the Saloon Bar. At least I recognized the problem ahead of time and pre-emptively wrought some order out of the potential chaos (while firing a self-deprecating shot at myself for good measure). Luigifan18 (talk) 17:16, 9 May 2024 (UTC)

Common ground between rationalists and the alt-right?[edit]

…Anyone have any ideas what rational leftists and alt-rightists both dislike? All I've got is communism. (Conservatives don't like communism because it bashes their self-interest, and rationalists don't like it because it requires the absolute suppression of self-interest, which only works for eusocialWikipedia animals like ants, bees, and mole rats — not for humans, so attempting to implement it results in shitholes like the Soviet Union and North Korea.) Luigifan18 (talk) 22:43, 16 March 2024 (UTC)

I think you might be conflating rationalism and rationality. A rationalist is a person that adhere to the epistemological view of rationalism, not someone that is "rational" (indeed, everyone thinks they are rational). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:06, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
I did indeed mean "rationalism", but "rationalist[ic] lefties" would have been a bit of a mouthful. Luigifan18 (talk) 20:03, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
There are also definitely leftists whom I met who identify as a rationalist (of the less wrong variety) and as a communist on the internet. Many folks who self-identify with the term "leftist" rather than liberal, specifically do so because of their explicit support of socialism, or their sympathy for communist ideals. You have to remember that communism broadly speaking is like egalitarian "communal living" as an economic system. Small-scale "egalitarian" or "intentional" communities exist throughout the United States and elsewhere that live by the norms of "each according to their ability, and each according to their need" in small commune communities. The issue is with applying such norms nationally, or upon economies of scale. Not everyone who identifies as a communist is sympathetic to the model of state socialism practiced by the likes of Russia, or China. And folks sometimes can recognize the applicability of "commune-living" on a small scale, or among hunter-gatherer tribes (as what Marx would call "primitive communism") without embracing it as a political ideal on a national or international level. Even those who may identify themselves as social democratic, and may not fully embrace communism as a national political system, or even socialism for that matter, can still be argued to have some sympathies with these political philosophies regardless and hence the overlap between social democrats and democratic socialists in terms of supported policies. It is weird and kind of politically loaded to assume that to be a "rational leftist™" would entail some unnuanced rejection of communism as a general idea. It also seems to be at least partially crediting the alt-right as having some rationalistic commitments.
And as with what GJK said accurately, rationalism is an epistemological view, and you are confusing rationalism with rationality. They are not both conflatable, and it should be said that "rationality" itself is a term with no consensus definition among those within cognitive science and philosophy who study the concept. What is rationality supposed to be here? Responsiveness to reason? Logical coherence in one's set of beliefs? And instrumental relationship between what means reliably produce what ends? And inherently valued state of being? The maximization of personal utility? Why would any of these definitions per se rule out any particular political philosophy? Some seem more inclusive to certain political philosophies over others, and some seem compatible with any particular ideology dependent on the particular ends of the individual who is applying it. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:12, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Yes, social democracy, democratic socialism, socialism, and communism occupy a spectrum of equality (economic and otherwise), [enforced] altruism, focus upon the whole community, etc. There's a reason why Karl Marx called socialism an intermediary step before the full implementation of communism in the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, and that's because socialism is, in many ways, a "diet" version of communism. The idea behind why I think a rationalist could support socialism yet reject communism is that socialism (and its one-step-below variants, social democracy and democratic socialism) is workable in practice, but full communism, as you said, is not practical, at least not on a national scale (or anything above the scale of individual villages, really). Socialism, social democracy, and democratic socialism allow for some degree of reward for above-and-beyond effort, individualism, and other things that can channel humanity's innate selfishness in productive and communally-helpful ways, while still being… unamused with "look out for number one" antics; communism expects humans to behave like ants, with all effort being directed towards the well-being of the group as a whole, and then gets flabbergasted when humans turn out not to act like that. (BTW, I'm not crediting the alt-right with having any rational thoughts, let alone commitments; I'm asking what things they might dislike that might also be things that rational lefties would dislike. The two groups can and probably would dislike those things for very different reasons. For instance, conservatives tend to skip all the practical reasons to be skeptical-at-best of communism and zero in on it being a huge change to the status quo (which makes it scary) that seems to be out to hurt them in particular (which, to be fair, it kind of is…).)
As for rationalism versus rationality, well, I do tend to conflate those and treat them as equivalent. I think I go a little more in-depth when I talk about Azureality (i.e. what I'm hoping will be the site mascot), but "rationality" and "rationalism" as I see it entails responsiveness to reason and evidence, i.e. a skeptical, empirical, scientific point of view. Rationalism is not hostile to ideas that came about largely through the exercise of solid logic, and can have a grudging respect for beliefs that are logically consistent even if their truth value is shaky-at-best when put to the test (for instance, the ideas behind the concept of qi). However, while rationalism can respect ideas that are logically well-formulated and conceived with good intentions (especially if the people who came up with those ideas legitimately didn't know better and lacked the ability to properly gain the information that could have helped them know better), that respect tends to go out the window when people start getting hurt and/or ripped off or when those ideas are presented as some sort of [empirically]-verified truth when they're not, and it does not accept ideas that do not have supporting evidence and/or do not pan out within perceivable reality; for instance, rationalism does not hate religion and attack it on principle (unless the religion in question is something really abhorrent and/or stupid), but given the lack of evidence for religious claims, it is strictly secular and does not incorporate religion into its philosophy. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:27, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Actually, Marx never claimed socialism as a interperiod transitionary state, That was something introduced by Lenin. One thing GJK and I would agree upon is that socialism is best thought of as a economic system where the means of production is predominantly under collective and/or public ownership as opposed to being predominately privately owned. Communism is therefore a proper subset of socialism, but socialism is not a subset of communism.
As for the rationalism conception, that is way too broad. I know of philosophers who use that exact definition as a basis for moral naturalism. “Responsive” to reason is so vague, it’s hard to see who isn’t a rationalist besides those who have no language capacities and are completely indifferent to their sense experiences. You need to determine what is and what is not an appropriate response to reason and/or evidence. Regardless, by your definition, most philosophers throughout history could be conceived as rationalists, communists included. Also most philosophers of rationality (and many a cognitive neuroscientist) would discount one as being rational if they rejected inferences of classical logic.Wikipedia I don’t think you are really describing rationalism if implicit to it is a skepticism of logic, that seems to be a more radical empiricism than that of W.V.O. Quine - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:05, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
*sigh* Not skepticism of logic, that's just silly. I'm talking about skepticism driven by logic. Luigifan18 (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
Oopsies, I misread. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:05, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
Whoops, I was not aware that the idea of socialism as an intermediate step towards communism started with Lenin rather than Marx.
For my interpretation of "rationalism"… if it helps, you can think of intuition and pure logic as being useful as starting points — the process of forming ideas that make sense, given what is known about the world. Then the next step of empirical rationalism is to see if those ideas actually work in the real world, i.e. experimentation. This is what I mean by something like qi being logical but lacking truth value — the underlying concepts are logical and consistent, but they fail to actually explain reality.
As for zeroing in on communism, that is largely being used as an example of something that both rationalists and alt-rightists would dislike — the alt-right hates it because it directly challenges their ambitions to achieve complete… economic… domination, keep them there dirty minorities in their place, and/or rule like kings over all of mankind, and rationalists don't trust it because it's been tried several times and ended catastrophically damn-near every single time. Why communism seems to consistently fail is a subject for debate — I'm sure tankies would blame it on the U.S. and other capitalist nations relentlessly sabotaging and undermining communist nations like the USSR to force them to fail, but that sounds like a baseless conspiracy theory to me (if communism is really such a perfect and optimal way to run a country, one would think that a communist nation would be able to be a prosperous state and a great place to live, even with the rest of the world doing everything in their power to turn it to shit; it makes more sense to attribute communism failing to plain old weaknesses of human character that it doesn't account for, which results in stuff like government corruption and excessively-optimistic hair-brained schemes (like Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward)Wikipedia that hamstrings it before it can even get going). Anyways, I'm sure there are other things that both rational, sensible people and fascist fundie nutters would have a noted dislike towards. Communism was just the first and main thing I could think of; to me, it is the prime example of something that the reality-based community and the Religious Right Trump's coterie of Worst People Ever People With More Hate-Boners Than Sense would both dislike. (That, and I blame the Cold War for shifting the Overton window far enough to the right for fascism to not only become viable in America, but to get strong enough to flat-out utterly consume the Republican Party. (Well, I partially blame the Cold War. I'm sure McCarthyism and other facets of struggling against communism wasn't the only factor that made the American political climate scared shitless of anything left of center and hospitable to the far right; just one of the bigger ones.)) Luigifan18 (talk) 18:00, 26 March 2024 (UTC)
I think there are some conceptual problems from the outset here. Given the inclusive definition of communism here, including what Marx called “primitive communism” — not every historical attempt can be called a failure. Are the small intentional egalitarian communities that have populations of a few hundred people or less who have managed to sustain themselves for decades failures? What about the various hunter-gatherer tribes or horticultural tribal communities that survived for centuries sometimes even for millennia without any semblance of a class, state, or currency?
If you are versed in communist theory as you claim, than the issue of “communism” here is not per se in the possibility of a classless or stateless society. There something more so the matter with the means to which states have tried to direct society towards an advanced communism that has consistently failed in the last century.
That being said I think the sustainability of such an advanced communism is underdetermined, because as an end-point stage it has never successfully been reached. Every state project has turned into something that would resemble a capitalist market economy with more or less of a presence of state enterprise. To talk about a “communist country” is a contradiction in terms if used under its economic meaning. The only sense of “communism” that is applicable is as an ideological orientation of the ruling party. The problem with that being that none of these nominally communist states actually have a wholly consistent or shared ideology. Hence all the variations from Classic Marxists, Leninists, Trots, ML’s, Maoists, etc.
There is also an issue of simply accepting state’s definition of itself. Is China really a republic? North Korea a democracy?
Also “reality-based community” isn’t a genuine social group. Have a little more analytical of a mindset then relying on the positive association of terms. This is on par with calling one self a “goodist”. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:07, 26 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What is RationalWiki if not an expression of the reality-based community?

Also, @OnlySortaDumb, can you give me a source on Lenin being the source of the idea of socialism as a transitory state to communism? Our list of forms of government article's section on communism seems to attribute the view of communism following socialism to Marx. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:25, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Everyone thinks they are part of a “reality-based community”. It doesn’t genuinely pick out anyone specific. Hardly anyone thinks they are not believing on the basis of what is real. That is almost what it means to believe in something. The only purpose of such a term is to allege a special insider status for oneself to insult an outgroup. It’s unhelpful, prevents meaningful communication, and only speaks to illustrate how far your head is up your own ass.
As for the claim about socialism. It’s a basic fact about the very notion of a socialist mode of production.Wikipedia Wikipedia says “Marx himself did not use the term socialism to refer to this development. Instead, Marx called it a communist society that has not yet reached its higher-stage. The term socialism was popularized during the Russian Revolution by Vladimir Lenin.” Don’t think Wikipedia is reliable? Similar claim is made in Marx: a very short introduction by Peter Singer published in the Oxford University Press. Most secondary literature I have read has suggested that Marx didn’t make the distinction between socialism and communism, and instead spoke of higher and lower stages of communism. Even the DoTP is never described as “socialist” within the communist manifesto. That which I have read several times. When socialism is mentioned in the manifesto is often used disparagingly by Marx to describe german and french socialist projects that Marx saw as failures, or doomed to fail on the basis of being largely petit-bourgeois projects. Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:43, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
I'm inclined to disagree with both of you. I believe it was Engels who, in fact, coined the term "scientific socialism".[1] If you want my opinion, he was far more of a sophisticated thinker than most people give him credit for, but for some reason he'll live forever in the shadow of his friend. It is true, however, that Marx (especially the older Marx) hardly ever wrote about communism, he was studying capitalism. Heck, the tiny communist manifesto at least had a list of ways to achieve communism IIRC, Das Kapital basically only focus on capitalism. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:54, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
Nope, nope, nope, to the land of 10 thousand nopes, nope. These are not people we should be finding common ground with. They need to eat shit and die alone, they do not deserve to be legitimized. Fuck off with that liberal bullshit. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 17:47, 18 April 2024 (UTC)
Normally, I would agree. But the Progress and Regress Pokémon are still Pokémon. Pokémon is a very idealistic franchise that has historically been averse to depicting any of its titular monsters as pure evil; it's not afraid to depict humans as being evil (Giovanni, Ghetsis, Lysandre, and Volo being some excellent examples), but the Pokémon themselves are usually only as good or evil as their trainers shape them to be. Thus, I felt the need to force the Progress and Regress Pokémon to set their differences aside in my hypothetical post-game, and the most feasible way to do that was with a common enemy. (The Regress Pokémon will still be very much Reformed But Not Tamed at best (the situation is Enemy Mine, not the Regress Pokémon having a miraculous change of heart), and the alliance will be a case of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. I'm not letting the fascists off that easily.) The best candidate I could think of for the common enemy was communism — as I said, rationalists don't like communism because it doesn't work, and conservatives see communism as an existential threat. So while rationalists and conservatives don't have to like each other, they might agree that it's in both of their best interests to put tankies in their place. Luigifan18 (talk) 04:06, 19 April 2024 (UTC)
Historically liberals have sided with fascists to protect their economic interests, so your uncritical take here has some historical precedent. Usually this would take the form of overthrowing socialist regimes (democratic or otherwise) and replacing them with reactionary dictatorships, or enacting fascist policies and supporting fascist politicians that would break up labor movements, often violently. Our article on liberalism is quite enlightening as to the degree liberals have cooperated with fascists to protect their interests. You know the old saying that fascism is capitalism in crisis? Carthage (talk) 04:41, 22 April 2024 (UTC)
I've hung out with enough communists on Reddit to hear the "fascism is capitalism in crisis" thing. What's your point? (Bear in mind that I'm American, so I'm using the American definition of "liberalism", i.e. as synonymous with "progressive".) Luigifan18 (talk) 03:54, 23 April 2024 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That you're ignoring material realities. Why exactly would liberals side with fascists? What threat does, say, organized labor pose to the shared interests of liberals and fascists? Carthage (talk) 03:56, 23 April 2024 (UTC)
The common threat I have in mind is less organized labor and moreso the specter of the Soviet Union, a la Putin's Russia or North Korea. Again, it's not socialism that I see rationalists having a problem with; I think socialism/social democracy can be very rational. The problematic, moonbatty, insane ideology here is communism, i.e. socialism gone mad and having devolved into repression and authoritarianism (which, for all the commonalities Soviet communism has with fascism and its capability to be on par with fascism in terms of badness (a capability that was certainly realized under Stalin), is still opposed to fascism/capitalism and treats fascism as its enemy).
The point of me opening up this sub-thread was to ask if anybody had any better ideas for what a common enemy for the Progress and Regress Pokémon (i.e. rational progressivism and other-fearing fascism) could look like. I may already have designed Revladutchyu as the post-game final boss, but I'm still open to alternative ideas (given that the Cold War has been officially over for about three decades now and Trump is basically Putin's lapdog). Luigifan18 (talk) 04:23, 23 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm going to ask what exactly you believe communism to be? To communists, they would argue "real communism" has never been achieved, and can't be achieved without significant capital and technological advancement, outside of small communes, where arguably communism does work for the communities in question, like hunter-gatherer societies. I would argue that there was no real distinction between socialism and communism as organized movements way back when. Hell, even the USSR never officially claimed to be communist, merely that they were building the groundwork for socialism, the transitory stage (where the means of production are collectively or publicly owned) between the dictatorship of the proletariat and communism (a stateless, moneyless, classless society). What policies did socialists or communists promote that led to fascists and liberals cooperating? Nationalization of key industries is something that many communists and socialists have promoted, and the specific nationalization of key industries have seen regimes be toppled by hegemonic powers (as with Mossadegh in 1953). Carthage (talk) 04:31, 23 April 2024 (UTC)

Well, when I hear "communism", I do think of the countries that have tried and failed to implement it (with often disastrous results), like the Soviet Union, North Korea, and China. I do agree that "real communism" has never been achieved on the state/national scale, because there's always some sort of stumbling block that prevents it. As far as I can tell, that stumbling block is human nature itself — human psychology has not evolved to be compatible with absolute selflessness. People have innate drives to push themselves higher on the social ladder and claim a bigger slice of the metaphorical pie, since that generally leads to better odds of prolonged survival and successful reproduction for oneself and one's offspring. Sad to say, but natural selection usually favors selfishness. Again, if you want to see communism working, look at an anthill or honeybee hive. Those insects have mastered the concept of colonies of individuals working for the overall good of the whole collective.Wikipedia But they have evolved to be that way, with stuff like the worker individuals being sterile (and thus not having anything to actually gain by acting selfishly — their success is one and the same with their queen's success), and even in their case, it can be argued that their "communism" doesn't work that well on a scale larger than individual colonies (ant colonies have been observed to wage vicious wars with one another). So maybe it is the American propaganda talking (and my general approach of viewing things through a biological/evolutionary lens), but I see communism as being an idea that's good (if not great) on paper, but not so great in practice, largely because we as a species can't really bring ourselves to actually try it on a wide societal scale. With that said, I do believe that lesser forms of communism (like socialism and social democracy) that allow for some degree of selfishness and individual advancement, while still curtailing abusive behaviors and foul play and providing a safety net to prevent anyone from being completely screwed over, are not only workable, but are an optimal state for humanity and human society.
Anyways, the real question here is whether there's a better candidate than communism for a "common enemy" that could force RationalWiki-style rationalism and progressivism to at least call for a tense truce to be formed with conservatives and regressives (and have the conservatives actually agree to said truce). Heck, maybe there's an alternative means of reconciliation I haven't thought of. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:25, 23 April 2024 (UTC)
You say that "communism would require a eusocial nature," but that seems like a strawman. How does this hierarchical view of human nature equate to societies, like hunter-gatherers, who live decidedly communal lifestyles? Marx called this "primitive communism," as there really are societies where people live without money, states, and classes. That doesn't mean they are "eusocial" or selfless to a fault by any means, but that simply the dictates of their material conditions incentivizes cooperation over competition. It seems naive to assert that the conditions of very specific cultural circumstances that incentivize selfish behavior over solidarity should be universalized, as opposed to the more sensible idea that human nature is malleable to the specific material conditions humans find themselves in. In fact, in certain cultures a "radical selflessness" is exhibited, such as in certain Native American cultures where in certain ceremonies giving away almost all of your material possessions actually reinforced your social status. This is still competitive, as people compete to give away more of their possessions, so the idea that communal societies must be eusocial is a fallacious misconception. Carthage (talk) 15:39, 23 April 2024 (UTC)
"Radical selflessness"? I think I actually heard about that (though not in those exact terms) while studying the Makah IndiansWikipedia for a research project in a music college course I took. I found them so fascinating that I made a Pokémon out of their tumanuwos concept. Good times. While I mostly remember the tumanuwos (having made a Pokémon out of it and all) — in fact, I'm rather baffled by Wikipedia having virtually no information about the tumanuwos — I also still remember the paper I was using as my research basis ("Aspects of Spiritual and Political Power in Chiefs' Songs of the Makah Indians", Linda J. Goodman, World of Music) mentioning the concept of a "potlatch", which is essentially the sort of "competitive giving" festival you described. (BTW, the paper is behind a paywall, so the best way I can summarize the tumanuwos is that it's like the Christian concept of a guardian angelWikipedia or the New Age concept of a spirit guide (with a bit of "divine right of kings"/"mandate of heaven" mixed in), but with more individual agency (not really being tied to a specific mortal individual) and having a noted love of music, making music a core component of their associated rituals.) But enough getting sidetracked…
Make no mistake, I'm aware that humans are a social species at heart, and society is built on cooperation (which is part of why I call social democracy an optimal state of being). But for a social species, humans are also very prone to intraspecific competition. I specifically mentioned "the state/national scale" in my last posting out of awareness of and deference to "primitive communism" and the small communities that still successfully practice communism to this day. However, I'm pretty sure that advanced societies have tended to be hierarchical as far back as the Bronze Age (as seen in empires and civilizations like the Assyrians and the Mesopotamians); I'll admit that I have yet to do research to confirm or deny this and I'm working off what I remember from school and other history conversations I've observed, so I may not have my facts straight, but the point is that while the concepts of class or money may not have been around since the very beginning of civilization, they did get developed and established pretty early on. They were definitely well-established enough by Marx's and Engel's time for them to dedicate their lives to complaining about it and trying to solve the problems created by inequality.
Anyways, I actually agree with a lot of your criticisms of communism being a suitable common enemy for rationalism and fascism to take seriously enough to try to work together to fight (and then go back to trying to squish each other into nonexistence afterwards…). The problems with communism aren't so much flaws of the concept as much as they are flaws with the execution. The worst you can really say about communism (assuming that you are an epistemic rationalist who's willing to evaluate it fairly and rationally instead of having a knee-jerk negative reaction at the idea of not being superior to others) is that it's horrendously naïve and fails to account for cultural and psychological factors that could undermine it. I know that communism isn't the perfect candidate for something that rationalists and [irrational] conservatives would find common ground and a common cause in treating with contempt (albeit for very different reasons). It's just the best idea I could come up with. Therefore, I seriously need to ask if anyone has any better ideas. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:01, 23 April 2024 (UTC)
I think it worth mentioning that humans have lived in communal societies for the vast majority of our existence. Hierarchical civilization has only existed for about ten thousand years, whereas not only is Homo sapiens three hundred times older than that, but the hunter-gatherer mode of social organization dates all the way back to Homo erectus. I also find the argument that a "superior mode of production" to capitalism is impossible unconvincing. Human nature is malleable according to material circumstances. We all feel the base urges to eat and sleep, but we can choose what to eat and where to sleep. However, I would agree that the projects of the 20th century were failures, although the reasons for their failure are still subject to debate. Dumb mentions, for instance, the contention that one of the possible reasons for the collapse of 20th century communist projects was because of the insistent focus on matching standards of living to the West rather than focusing on increasing the quality of life. That link I posted about "radical selflessness" also mentions that "many contemporary Russians voice regret for the disappearance of old patterns of cooperation in the new capitalist era and are decidedly ambivalent about the virtues of competition," though it takes pains to point out that "no large socialist or Communist state ever managed to create a population of ideal Communist citizens." I would also like to point out that the "human nature" objection to communism or socialism is an appeal to nature fallacy. Carthage (talk) 17:16, 23 April 2024 (UTC)
You… kinda talked past me. There is a rather large difference of circumstances in the lives of prehistoric/hunter-gatherer humans and agricultural/civilized humans that could contribute to making a communism-type lifestyle viable for humanity at one point of its development, but not at another. I also mentioned in a previous posting that the exact reasons why the communist nations of the 20th century failed to succeed are complex, unclear, and very much still up for debate. Luigifan18 (talk) 19:54, 25 April 2024 (UTC)
Sure, that’s what people within the literature mean when they talk about the “feasibility” problem. Analytical Marxists like the likes of Cohen and others, have argued why socialists may have to make concessions on things like markets as “necessary evils” because it does seem that prices are the only effective means of communicating demand in sizeable economies.
But there is an argument to be made that such limitations may be technological limitations, rather than a hard limit on economic systems as a whole. Proponents for par-econ have argued that the system can be proven a priori to be Pareto efficient. There is also the speculation that a sufficient advanced AI system may be able to effectively run/plan an economy given the access it would have to unfathomable amounts of data, and processing power. “Rationalists” have communicated just as far-fetch speculations in mind uploading and Roko's basilisk. Why those things are welcome parts of the territory of rationalism but communism is off the table, seems to me a logical incoherence.
Like I think you are running with the assumption that all self-described communists think a sizable communist society can be implemented whenever, provided that the capitalists are overthrown. Hardly any actually think that. Trotskysts are pretty open about certain technological advancements needing to happening first, and the impossibility of “socialism in one country”.
There is the question I would like to propose, if feasibility wasn’t a problem, what would be ethically objectionable about a classless, moneyless, stateless society? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:11, 26 April 2024 (UTC)
Feasibility is the core problem with communism. It's a textbook example of something that sounds great on the drawing board, but proves to be nigh-impossible to put into practice. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:24, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
Restating something without actually acknowledging counterarguments is a textbook case of argumentum ad nauseam. Carthage (talk) 17:36, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
So ultimately, if feasibility wasn’t a problem. You @Luigifan18 would have zero objections to communism? Why is it so hard to say that directly? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:51, 6 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes, on paper, communism as written — the idea of a society without inequality and where everybody gets the support they need — sounds wonderful. I'm just deeply skeptical about whether or not it can be achieved or maintained. I'm a biologist at heart and I accept the reality of evolution and natural selection. As such, I believe that everyone has intrinsic drives to promote their own welfare, and while I believe that humans in particular can and should strive to temper those impulses so as to avoid inflicting undue pain and/or hardship on others, I don't think that the impulses to promote one's own welfare can or should be entirely denied. The problem with communism is precisely the fact that it disregards the own-welfare impulses that are, well, survival instincts.
To say that in a bit more detail, humanity is a social species, so excessive selfishness tends to be extremely problematic for everybody (paradoxically including the selfish), to the point where extreme selfishness has historically been considered a solid benchmark for defining "evil" (though I believe that true evil includes components of inflicting pain for its own sake (i.e. cruelty/sadism), relishing in misery and destruction regardless of their necessity (again, i.e. cruelty/sadism), and/or arbitrarily regarding certain conspecifics as vermin and treating them that way (often as a "safe" outlet for sadism), that mere amorality lacks; we generally don't take anyone who calls a non-human animal "evil" seriously, regardless of how messed-up some of what they do may look to a human perspective, because (at least as far as we can tell) they don't usually have as much reason or capability to hold their treatment of others in any significant regard as humans do). However, as much as I'll rail on and on about how altruism, heroism,Wikipedia compassion,Wikipedia and empathyWikipedia are great (at least for humans and other social animals), I'm also somewhat skeptical of excessive altruism being feasible or even desirable (albeit in more of a "too dumb to live" sense than a "menace to everybody" sense). I think that both capitalism and communism skew too far towards one end of the altruism-selfishness scale for their own good, and the ideal state is somewhere in between, leaning a bit towards altruism (e.g. social democracy or socialism).
Anyways, my core question — whether there is a better candidate for a common enemy for rational progressivism and conservative regressivism than communism, and what that common enemy could be — still has not been answered. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:58, 7 May 2024 (UTC)

Everyone having an intrinsic drive to promote their welfare is a pretty trivial proposition. I don't think even communists reject that. It's also an idea about human nature that pre-dates theories of evolution (so believing in natural selection isn't necessary or sufficient to have such a belief, that's a non-sequitur). I am not sure what you are trying to infer from that, and if it logically follows. Murray Bookchin, J.J. Rousseau, and others have all made arguments in some form or another about the possibility of social equality compatible with an individual drive to achieve one's own welfare. For Bookchin, the matter is simply to have one's needs and well-being dependent on the needs and well-being of others and the community as a whole. Organizing a social system where I can't get what I want and can't get my needs taken care of unless I support the social systems that allow others to get what they want and have their needs taken care of. Altruism need not apply.

Rousseau's theories imagining a hypothetical state of nature where everyone acted solely in their self-interest led him to conclude that social inequality would not follow from such an arrangement, because no one would willingly engage with other human beings in such a hypothetical state of nature to relinquish their own self-sufficiency. Important to emphasize that Rousseau was only speaking hypothetically, responding to a view of what the state of nature would have been like popular of thinkers of his time (Hobbes, etc).

The idea that social equality requires "extreme altruism" is a false premise. It also flies into the face of anthropology which seems to describe the majority of hunter-gatherer tribes as being extremely egalitarian. That seems to suggest that is something strongly in our nature, and there is a good evolutionary account to be made as to why that would be the case. I can link you to the relevant literature on that front.

You seem to be confusing communism and socialism, with a utopianism. Communism is not intended to be, nor could it ever be, the cure to all social ills. That is not a reason to object to it though, and favour other social systems that have the same or possibly worse problems. The only really strong case one can make against communism is not in human nature but in the emergent phenomena that happen with large-scale socioeconomic systems that can present problems for sustaining the appropriate distribution of resources. The so-called Socialist calculation debateWikipedia. As established, if that wasn't a problem -- it doesn't seem you have a case against communism. Is feasibility also an ethical objection? How feasible is it currently to establish a society absent of racism? is that reason to be pro-racist? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:58, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

@Luigifan18 "Anyways, my core question — whether there is a better candidate for a common enemy for rational progressivism and conservative regressivism than communism, and what that common enemy could be — still has not been answered" ...because it's completely arbitrary framing in service to your current extremely idiosyncratic hobby? You are trying to force real-world complex social and political phenomena into boxes for a made-up version of Pokemon (like a step back and self-reflect on that a bit). I see no audience for this, I see nothing of educational or artistic value coming out of this. If anything, if there was an audience for this, I think they would come out of it with very malformed ideas about politics. I don't think "regressivism" is a word by the way. Like you are stringing words together, but are you sure you even describing anything substantially real and recognized by others? You haven't established why "rational progressivism" (might as well call it "goodism" or "smartism" as one of the rare genuine examples of virtue signalling]) would necessarily be enemies of communism. Like do "rational progressives" hate Star Trek, hippie communes, and collectivist bookstores? You can make an argument that many conservatives do. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:10, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

What the heck is "everybodywiki"?[edit]

…Huh. What is this "en.everybodywiki" that vandal cited in his "fishhook theory" tirade, and is it trustworthy? Now I'm curious. (I'm not restoring the vandal's comment itself because the way it was phrased was clearly more of an attempt to pick a fight than to contribute to the conversation, but I did take a peek at that link he posted, and it looks decent enough aside from a typo (and being a stub… and not being updated since 2020). Do we mention that subject on our horseshoe theory article?) Luigifan18 (talk) 15:12, 22 March 2024 (UTC)

Just checked… yep, fishhook theory is there. Right in section 1.1 after the intro, even. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:34, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
Horseshoe theory is hot garbage, and the article we have on it is hot garbage. "Anecdata". Seriously? That's your standard for evidence? Carthage (talk) 16:41, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
Everybodywiki is a Wiki with no notability requirements whatsoever. Predictably, a lot of the recent changes therefore are self-promo spam.
My take on "horseshoe theory" is that it has some "merit" mainly because binary "left-right" political classifications in itself are often problematic. But only because of that. It's like music genres - everyone uses these terms as shorthand. And by-the-numbers genre artists certainly exist. But when you look deep into the detail of many artists classified a certain way, though, it's often not like the genre stereotype at all. BobJohnson (talk) 16:55, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
I am inclined to say it's got something to do with the 'Overton Window' than anything else. Folks [of all stripes] who fall outside of it end up having rather similar views towards the various horrid mainstream anything - for example, a Nazi will bitch at 'the MSM' because it doesn't report how whites are being screwed-over by 'da Jews' etc while Communists will equally bitch at them being nothing but flunkies for 'international capitalists' but fundies also hate it for not taking seriously their claims that Satan is physically present on Earth right now and organising their minions to conquer the world. Occasionally, you can get a situation where several, unrelated groups end up hating the same person for overlapping reasons - good example being George Soros. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:42, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
I think Horseshoe theory is valid in that authoritarians often come to similar conclusions and use similar methods once in power no matter what ideology there is behind it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:23, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
I love how we keep pretending a theory considered garbage in political science is worth taking seriously, and the fact there are so many interpretations of this garbage theory just within this very thread doesn't make a charitable case for its analytical utility. Carthage (talk) 00:33, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
So we have different opinions on why extremists seem to come to similar conclusions, we just recognize a common phenomena and don't quite have any better term for it besides "horseshoe theory". How would you explain far right/left similarities, or do you seriously believe they are nothing alike?-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:51, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Horseshoe theory is oversimplified rubbish that does away with the political spectrum entirely. I think a better question we should be asking is if these similarities are stylistic or substantive. As for the problems with authoritarianism, that's just how power works. It's not limited to the "far left" and "far right," no matter how vague and useless such terms are (horseshoe theory ignores the top down axis entirely), as Tikitime illustrates on the horseshoe theory talkpage. So do I believe that authoritarianism is a real thing? Yes. Do I believe that horseshoe theory does a good job of explaining it? No, and neither do political scientists. Carthage (talk) 02:58, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
I think Bob's take is pretty defensible. If there is any merit to the idea, it is only because the left/right political spectrum is itself not particularly unambiguous or distinctive. I think it is more than possible to make "similarity" arguments superficially that can come off as equally compelling to someone of a particular political background simply because it permits them to hate on the groups of people they were already inclined to hate on anyway. Like it wouldn't be hard to make the argument to lefties that liberalism is openly compatible with and benefits from far-right authoritarianism based on the active interests of neoliberal institutions to help establish far-right dictators in South America during the Cold War, highlighting the subsequent gross human rights violations. I can hear the centrist cries of non-applicability already, given that such violations or policies weren't established domestically, but I can already predict the leftist response in not finding that particularly compelling considering that there is an open history of human rights violations against certain disenfranchised groups within the US, and the sheer fact that countries like Canada and the US founded upon liberal ideals, were also established through acts classifiable as genocidal. Then we can devolve into the discussion of the various leftwing atrocities and attempt genocidal acts until the cows come home, with nobody realizing how not fucking innocent any particular point of the spectrum is in any of this. We need to build a new house that is not made with the master's tools. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:20, 23 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Anything which is 'overfitted' becomes 'rubbish', Carthage. Horseshoe is a fair (though simple) explanation of how various types of nutjobs can end up at similar conclusions. Consider it more a 'lie-to-children' answer for laypersons than a fully fledged pol/sci theory which you'd use in an academic debate. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:07, 23 March 2024 (UTC)

Is it though? You run the risk of false equivalency with such oversimplifcations (as can be seen in our own article), especially when an argument can be made that they don't fit. An argument can be made that centrism just as easily runs the risk of authoritarianism as any other ideology used to justify power, as has already been expressed both here in this thread and elsethread. I am not convinced that this "confused, semi-illiterate" reading of politics is worth the digital paper it's being printed on. Carthage (talk) 11:06, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
However, you run the risk of folks not getting your argument at all if you subject them to a multi-minute, polysyllabic monologue detailing why at times folks on the fringes of political debate appear to end up holding suprisingly similar views at times despite being ostensibly being ideologically opposed to each other. Similar complaints can be made towards, say Occam's Razor, Dunning-Kruger, the Grass/Rabbit/Fox ecoystem, 'Outside Context Problem' and so on - that they are simplifications which some can either over-apply or not understand at all.
This is basically the 'lies-to-children' debate; it is better to give 'children' [laypersons with no specialist interest/knowledge] a simplified, though technically incorrect view of the subject/issue so they can at least grasp the principle [and run the risk of overfitting etc], or do we try to drill them in the correct technics straight away, knowing full well that a large % will most likely mentally give up before they finish your lesson? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:06, 25 March 2024 (UTC)
Arguably the former suggestion is based in a kind of epistemic injustice and a slight sense of intellectual arrogance. People can be genuinely curious, and be provided with the epistemic capacities to understand a subject, or at the very least you can debunk common misconceptions. Something like an oversimplification, is not merely a simplification, as “over” is built in to the terminology it’s worth considering what could amount to such an overcorrection to be bordering on disinformation. As skeptics, we end up perpetuating the exact thing we are supposed to be committed to combating. “Lies to children” (putting aside the deep condescending nature built into the term) is often how pseudoscience gets born. It’s how a lot of quantum woo came to be. It is how climate change, framed as an inevitable apocalypse, motivates doomerism. This isn’t to say there isn’t a place for necessary simplification, but in stating that we have to keep in mind that simplifications can distortive, and over-simplifying can be overly distortive. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:07, 27 March 2024 (UTC)
Yes, simplifying can be distortive. That kinda happens when you throw nuance and accuracy out the window to make sure the dumb less-educated rubes get the overall message. Luigifan18 (talk) 14:03, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
If you throw "nuance and accuracy" out the window, then what is that message worth? People are not inherently stupid. This more implies a laziness on your part to adequately explain the topic (which, yes, impedes the "overall message") than the intellectual capacity of the person you are condescending to. Carthage (talk) 05:01, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I think we're referring to something that requires specialist knowledge to comprehend, and thus has to be dumbed down to be communicated to laypeople — for instance, the Talmud or an advanced scientific paper. (See our page on "release the data" and why acquiescing to such demands can be… impractical.) Luigifan18 (talk) 01:51, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
What specialist knowledge is required to understand the 14 characteristics of fascism? It doesn't take specialist knowledge to understand that fascism is a separate beast from, say, council communism. Likewise, what specialist knowledge is required to understand that liberal societies have engaged in authoritarianism to protect entrenched interests before, and this has gone as far as to include open cooperation with fascists? Carthage (talk) 02:39, 14 April 2024 (UTC)
I am kind of curious when we speak of "specialist knowledge" what exactly, if anything, makes any of the editors here particularly qualified? What is your educational background @Luigifan18? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:49, 24 April 2024 (UTC)
I'll do it. On termed of education about the subject, -- > None <-- that is the answer here, and it's not difficult. I would love if the question 'do you support fascism?' was so simple. I wouldn't myself speak of specialist knowledge in terms of pure education. Someti!es, specialist knowledge comes from working in the field. It would be a little nosy and rude, if not bad faith, to ask you, for your curiousity, how you came to ask such a question. If that is your question, who do you need an answer from? Torrent (talk) 09:43, 5 May 2024 (UTC)

Most people here don't give a flying fuck about Pokémon, so why is this still at the top of the page?[edit]

Why? Spud (talk) 14:17, 14 May 2024 (UTC)

Because I was bumping it to buy time for BaeFakemon to make video for the process of drawing Azureality and/or for someone to give me an alternative common enemy for the Progress & Regress Pokémon than communism (which people rightfully pointed out isn’t so incompatible with rationalism as to deserve that label). I was ready to finally let InfernoBot archive this thread (on account of not being able to file it onto my userpage during the next three months), and you just kept it alive for another five days. Seriously, why did you do that if you don't want it to be active anymore?! Luigifan18 (talk) 18:36, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
Spud is saying what we’re all thinking. Plus, manual archiving is possible. Might do it myself. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:00, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
It´s very off topic/mission IMO Gang O' Shadow Wizards 🧙‍♂️Bore me 14:59, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
In any event I think it's had its day in the sun. If nobody cares after three months things are not going to change now.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:32, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
Agreed. It's time for this to rest. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:42, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
+ 1 for Lugifan18's proposition. New world (talk) 20:41, 17 May 2024 (UTC)
In that case, you shouldn't have said anything!!! Luigifan18 (talk) 20:47, 17 May 2024 (UTC)
Oh, sorry. New world (talk) 21:59, 18 May 2024 (UTC)

Encyclopedia Dramatica[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Encyclopedia Dramatica

Encyclopedia Dramatica has been taken offline by Feds, it's unlikely to come back. (talk) 00:33, 12 May 2024 (UTC)

Who knows why it's offline this time. I saw in one of the "troll spaces" that some troll claimed an admin claimed that they did something that violated TOS or something, but "your mileage may vary" on whether that's true. Trolls in general make for poor web administrators. (It was only a few months ago when ED went offline briefly for failing to pay their DNS registration...) BobJohnson (talk) 02:04, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
Trolls make for bad admins? In other news, water makes things wet… Luigifan18 (talk) 02:05, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
I’m going to miss the William Tecumseh Sherman article, in part because of how it tied into your point. The community worships the aspect of the man that burned it all down, and the article is inspiring that way. They were self-aware there, and it was fun. Artificius (talk) 01:22, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
That page at least is still on Internet Archive.[2]
Ultimately, ED is sort of a "2000s Internet troll" artifact; even the Sherman article can't escape an "over 9000!" joke. :p That's not necessarily a bad thing, though; the problem with the current "troll space" on Kiwi Farms, 4chan, and Twitter is that they are often both not self-aware, and many times actually are horribly obsessed with Others (instead of it being more immature "for the lulz" type stuff). One era gave us RickrollingWikipedia and Mister Splashy Pants,Wikipedia the next era gave us Pepe memes and obsessions with Chad Thundercocks and red pills. Sigh. Now "get off my lawn", as they say. :) BobJohnson (talk) 02:11, 14 May 2024 (UTC)

Rumors of Some Law in Colorado[edit]

I don't really trust the citizens of Fremont to give me accurate reports when it comes to politics. But I heard some of them talking about a law that would prevent charges from being filed against a child 12 and under if they assault another 12 and under sexually. I checked all over and found no record or proposal of such a thing. The lady I heard it from said her kid was assaulted by a younger one which I'm VERY skeptical about. I'm just wondering if this is really true or if other peeps here might know. (talk) 02:01, 14 May 2024 (UTC)

Sounds like a [citation needed] case, I can't find anything about it either.
There was a vote in the Colorado legislature a few weeks ago [3] which concerned a measure that would allow victims of child sex abuse could sue their abusers even if the statute of limitations had ran out. (The vote was not whether to enact this law, but to send the law on the November ballot). It failed due to unanimous Republican opposition, as they were concerned about the constitutionality of it (as well as, um, protecting the institutions that allowed the abuse, it seems). Not sure if this is what led to that garbling. BobJohnson (talk) 02:22, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
I don't know about the state in question, but [at least here in the UK] a 'sex offender' conviction can/will/should a) follow you about like a bad smell and b) fuck up your life somewhat. There's also the issue is that the term 'sexual' can be sometimes [in my own opinion] have a too wide a definition [American ones seem to be much broader than here] and I could see a situation where something which slips into the 'sexual' category on technicalities. Couple this with the fact that if both parties are under 12 you could argue that curiousity/playing/copying something they shouldn't have seen is more likely to be the motivation than sexual activity. Lastly, if you have a child who is genuinely over-sexualised at that age, I'd argue they need help, not a crime-sheet. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:34, 14 May 2024 (UTC)

On men dating/marrying younger women, sexism, redemption, a bit of venting and being an asshole[edit]

This is going to be a very long, weird, boring thread, and I’m not sure if I’m a good person after the last few days, so read at your risk.It is also a blog thread, one kind of thread that I personally don't like a lot. Ref notes are usually important, so I'd like to ask you to read them as well.

So, a few days ago me and my sister were drinking, and we ended up arguing because I told her for the first time some things about how I met my wife.

I'll tell the story, and I expect some people to get angry at me as well.[1] I was 26, almost 27 and she was 19 (this age difference is important). Back then I was still dealing with porn compulsion[2] and I would probably have considered myself allosexual, aromantic, and possibly hypersexual, even if I didn’t know these words yet. I was also, to put mildly, an asshole.[3] And the one thing that made me interested in my future wife so much[4] wasn’t her personality, but her looks alone. Despite being slim-to average, her cup size is closer to the middle than to the beginning of the alphabet, and during my porn compulsion era I could only get hard by lesbian sex[5] and with titfucks[6] and as someone who, at that time, only wanted to get laid and hated the idea of long-term relationships, I saw her as exactly what I was looking for. Yes it was extremely sexist from my part to see her as an object,[7] but I while I regret my first approaches toward her, they worked and they were probably the best thing I ever did to my life. What I didn’t know back then is that, in the first moment, she also just found me attractive, and didn't think about having a serious relationship with me as well.[8] Fast-forward, we ended up liking each other and started dating, she got pregnant, we got married, and are still very happy together.

When me and my wife found out about our original intentions some years ago, we both took a good laugh, even if we acknowledged that we were both assholes to each other.[9] Which, to be fair, seemed obvious until this conversation with my sister. We were at different stages of our lives, and had different priorities, even if she was far more mature than expected for someone at her age and I (the asshole) wasn't very mature. But when I told this to my sister, she said that I was a horrible person, that used and manipulated (and apparently still do, not sure if she meant that) a younger, naive and less experienced girl[10] and that I should be ashamed of myself. Me and my sister ended up saying horrible things to each other and we haven’t spoke since that day.[11]

Is she right? Well,I am ashamed of this episode and many other horrible things that I did in my mid 20s that I'd rather not talk about here, and I can’t stop but thinking: from a moral point of view, can a wrong make a right? Again, I will never deny that I was an asshole back then, for this and for many other reasons, and that my first intentions with my future wife (having one specific type of sex with her, in case a titfuck, without considering the feelings of a young girl) were indeed awful, but we ended up finding a way. Are initial blunders a poisoned tree that can never be produce good fruits? Will our relationship be tainted forever because it started because an asshole was a manipulative asshole, even if the said asshole see what he did as something horrible today? And more important will I be an asshole forever because of something I did many years ago? She and my wife are friends, they are both psychologists[12] I don’t expect her to talk to my wife about this subject,[13]

There is one last thing that it’s probably worth mentioning. My sister is 27, far from old then. But I she’s also a very insecure person that cares a lot about what others think. Her best friend, who is 27 too, also dates younger women, around the age my wife was when I met her. I suspect that, as she’ll be 30 in three years, she’s scared that she might be around the end of her prime or something. Of course she isn’t old at all, but again, I do think that she’s an insecure person and I think that the reason she might not like how this situation is because she’s scared of younger women being more attractive than her. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I know her very well, and while I’m not sure, I think this is plausible. This is also important because, as I was very angry by her insinuations, I ended shoving this in her face during the discussion, another thing that makes me wonder if I’m still an asshole, even though I regret doing this.

Thanks for everyone that read this whole thing. If you think I’m still an asshole, feel free to flame me here. As I’m not sure myself, I won't mind being panned. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 02:53, 5 May 2024 (UTC)

  1. And I won't blame if you get angry at me, as I'll say many times ITT, when I was younger I was a piece of shit, and the reason why I'm telling this whole personal story here is the fact that I'm afraid that I might still be one.
  2. Can elaborate, but you can check the barchives and find more about it, I think the only moment that I said something so personal here was when I talked about those terrible days.
  3. Will not elaborate.
  4. Of course this quickly changed, and now I love everything about her.
  5. Something that, as a man, I can’t have.
  6. I had to use viagra back then since I always started my day wanking a couple of times and my sexual interests didn’t include penetrative sex.
  7. Again, I was an asshole.
  8. I was extremely ripped, had around 7% of body fat.
  9. I personally think that I was much worse than her, though she might disagree. Keep in mind that this is just a summary.
  10. Though the list of ex-boyfriends of my wife is longer than my list of ex-girlfriends, and I don’t think she is that easy to manipulate
  11. We know each other very well, I think we'll be fine in a week, so I don't think I'll need tips at how to make peace with her, this thread is not about this
  12. A field that for a very long while I had a hard time taking seriously, and only started respecting more because both of them taught some things, and convinced me that I, in fact, needed therapy.
  13. Even if she does, I doubt my wife won’t be on my side, and indeed, I’ll probably talk about it to my wife myself tomorrow, though I’ll only update this thread if necessary.
If you and your wife are happy with where you are and how you got there, what's the issue? People meet in all kinds of ways, it's how it works out that matters. If your sister feels insecure it's her issue to resolve, and I hope she does resolve it, but projecting it onto you is absurd. You have your life, she has hers. (Also, as someone who was once objectified by someone who was up front about having a huge crush on me on sight (!), I admit I don't get the hysteria about it because it isn't that bad; I can think of worse things than someone finding me attractive and thinking I can be the source of sexual satisfaction, in my case it wasn't a mutual attraction and for our own reasons we're both happier that we became friends.) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:33, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
I agree with the Blade. Also you are not the same person you were back then - so your current self should just forgive your current self and get on with life. Because one way you certainly won't get past it is by constantly torturing yourself about the actions of an earlier version of you. Secondly, you and your wife both talked about this and laughed about it. So it's clearly not causing you any current problem with your marriage.
finally I honestly can't see why anyone would flame you about the actions of your younger self which you clearly regret.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:08, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
@GeeJayK Clearly, as far as your relationship with your wife is concerned, you've got nothing to worry about. Obviously what you have to do now is patch up your relationship with your sister. Maybe your wife could speak to her. Maybe you and your wife could speak to her together. It does indeed sound like your sister is unfairly punishing you for thoughts and feelings you had many years ago from which no real harm resulted. However, and I don't know about you, but if I were in your situation, I'd be happy just for my relative to say, "I can never forgive you for that. But..." Spud (talk) 10:16, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
Wow. Talk about kicking self and overthinking this. So it was your partner's body which first caught your eye? Fuck, I think that's like how 65% of relationships start - even the smaltzy Hallmark films allow the male love interest to be a decent-looking (in a non threatening masculine way) person which the MC notices first. The 'inner workings' of sexual attraction are mainly a mystery to science (esp when it's not obviously related to youth/health/success) but from an evolutionary standpoint it worked here - your 'excessive' interest in funbags led you to a mate which also expressed an interest in you physically, leading to reproduction and (I assume) continued interest in the mother.
On the 'maturity' question - well, mere chronological age isn't everything; I've found teens with better judgement and opinions than people in their 30s (said judgement is often simply down to level of life experience). The fact there was a 'mismatch' in my opinion isn't an issue, it's whether she had enough maturity to be able to appreciate what was being 'offered'.
But I personally think the crux is your sister believes 'you manipulated a girl'. As in a child. This 'elongation of childhood' has been going on for decades now - your relationship would have been seen as perfectly fine in say, the American 50s. That there is a growing opinion that people under say 21 (or even 25) are 'too immature' to make such decisions. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:36, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
you think that makes you a bad person, try catching feelings for you ex girlfriend's younger sister. Torrent (talk) 11:04, 5 May 2024 (UTC) (the above comment was moved from another post where it didn’t belong)
I’ll be honest, I find some age gaps like that to be weird, but I’m only an outsider looking in. If you and your wife are happy and in a healthy relationship then that’s what matters. I’m not gonna be a judgy bitch, ya know? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:29, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
My dad was 10 years older than mum, so what tf..... sadly he died the day before their 65th wedding anniversary!Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:02, 5 May 2024 (UTC)
Right, so I will preface what I say with the fact that I'm just 23 (I think?) myself. I'm not a mature person. Still, I believe there are a few things I can add that may be useful things to consider.
In short, this needs elaboration. Seeing people as and treating them as an object isn't inherently immoral and doesn't immediately make you an asshole. It's the circumstances that matter. Considering someone an object is likely to cause significant emotional harm to a person, but this can be prevented by communicating your intent clearly. If you get to a mutual agreement then that's fine. Now, from what I read it seems like this didn't happen, OK, but from here on we move in steps. Being an asshole isn't a binary, it's gradual. Questions you will need to ask yourself are things like: "Did you try to deceive her?", "Did you pretend like you are interested in a long term relationship, for example to keep her around for longer?", which directly translates into a question like "Did you do things like the aforementioned that reduced her ability to make an informed decision?". What about the "manipulation" you are talking about? Just being older than your partner isn't inherently manipulative. Did you try to scare her, yell at her?
This is about aggravating circumstances. There are, however, extenuating circumstances as well. To put it bluntly, how "sick" and "desperate" were you, Ie. how much of this was truly in your control? And I emphasize truly because many times in our lives we find ourselves in situations where it's technically, physically possible to do a thing, but it's just not realistically tenable. You put it best yourself on your userpage where you say that you're a human and answer to the incentives you receive.
Additionally, how much control did she have in general? Could she have done things to get out of it if she wanted? How much resistance would you have afforded?
Lastly, I believe it's worth evaluating this from her perspective as well. How much of this happened because she let you do it to her? After all, she does have to defend herself to some degree, can't run out onto the street and then complain when someone runs you over more or less accidentally. Did she ever complain and ask you not to do things? Did you comply?
Now, hypocrisy isn't a strong argument, but it seems like it's still worthwhile to mention that the way you're saying this makes it sound like her perspective is actually quite similar to yours, albeit perhaps less "aggressive", if you catch my drift[note 1][note 2].
For what it's worth right now, you have done everything right by telling her and giving her the choice. You did wrong, you told her about it and then she can decide whether she wants to live with you or not. Apparently she still wants to be around you, and unless you are limiting her ability to make informed decisions right now, this is her active choice that she goes out of her way for, which means she believes in you as a person - which is really all that matters between you and her.
On the other hand, I can definitely see that other people may not look quite as favorably at this[note 3]. So, if you ever find yourself taking a shot at romance with someone else, your best bet would be telling them about this so they have the necessary information to make an informed decision. That's a bitter pill to swallow, talking from personal experience as someone with a long, very long history as a pathological liar[note 4] who lied to and eventually betrayed absolutely everyone, including people who would have been yearlong friends (~7 years in fact) if I hadn't lied to them all this time. I believe or at least hope to be better now, but you can see how making this palatable to a gril is quite painful, alright. What? Oh, right, this isn't about me, excuse me. I'm still processing myself.
So, are you an asshole? Well, it will depend on how you answer which of these questions I gave you to consider. You will find that the end result you will come up with is going to be a very complex, hah, tree of perspectives and things that were done, and it should reflect the non-onedimensionality of your personality quite well. Similarly, the actual answer to your question will not be one-dimensional either, but that's what happens when you look at complicated questions.
There's more I could say about this but I've already gone way past my allotted talking time, so I will leave it here and hope that I said something useful. Thanks for sharing your story, GJ :)
ULTRACOMFY (talk) 09:09, 6 May 2024 (UTC)
  1. "Not as much assholish" - Strategic aggression, not actual aggression.
  2. Actually, because of this in particular I am lead to believe that she let you do a lot of objectification to her because, why not? From her perspective she might not have cared very much either, so of course she would let you do it.
  3. This is an important quality to "assholiness", in that it's down to subjective perception and very hard to pin down in absolutes. And I say that as a consequentialist who tries to get quite absolute indeed and tries to apply these values.
  4. Not clinically diagnosed, so I don't really know. But I'm saying this because I believe it's the most accurate term to describe the things I did.
What an emotionally intelligent generation. Torrent (talk) 05:01, 7 May 2024 (UTC)
Gee: I don't know if you are an asshole, if you are I haven't noticed. Question: is being an asshole part of human nature, so that you are always going to be an asshole? Are you an essentialist about assholes? Or, is being an asshole, from time to time, part of the learning process? I still am an asshole, on occasion. It's very liberating. Everyone should try it (everyone does). If you were still on speaking terms with your sister, I would tell her to get therapy, because being right about her opinion about your relationship was in no way worth sacrificing the closest part of her family. Your wife was a legal adult. Let's not be silly here. I don't call women assholes, usually...UncleKrampus (talk) 20:14, 7 May 2024 (UTC)
You should try to solve this with your sister. Then, you were morally not OK, now you seem to be. There are people married to someone 15 years younger then them, most of them are fine (depending on the age group). You two aren't too much of a shocking age gap, are you? New world (talk) 20:29, 7 May 2024 (UTC)
Wow, thanks everyone for the excellent answers. I expected something far more acerbic than what I've got. I talked to my wife and she also think that the whole situation is ridiculous. She believes that what I probably regret the bulk of my actions during that time, not specifically my first approaches towards her. So, that's possibly why I (and maybe my sister too, I think, as I was an asshole to her a few times back then too) are just remembering those years as a whole. The problem is she is now a bit angry with my sister too, and I hope this sad episode won't jeopardize their friendship. Anyway, thanks everyone. I'm not going to respond all the comments here (unless someone wants to an answer about some specific point), but you all helped me with the problem so far. I just didn't get @Torrent's post. What do you mean with "try catching feelings for you ex girlfriend's younger sister"? Anyway, she's heterosexual, so she doesn't have ex-girlfriends as far as I know. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 11:32, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I think that was kind of 'you think that was bad', well I...' comment. Anyway, the interesting question is perhaps if you hadn't been the person you were then, would you still have made the initial approach to your now-partner? KarmaPolice (talk) 13:28, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes. The idea of the Butterfly Effect can be a source of solace for a bad past if the eventual results have been good. Today Gee could be a sad, lonely bachelor with a decent relationship with his sister. Zatoichi (talk) 17:45, 8 May 2024 (UTC)

@KarmaPolice That's a very hard question. I think some of the things I did back then were possible immoral, but the fact that I know the results makes me inclined to say yes. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 15:03, 11 May 2024 (UTC)

It doesn't sound like they hurt anyone, and they got you this far, so go with it. To go back to my friend, we only met because I was feeling bad and,!out of a personal need to not sit still, I went to a drum circle I hadn't attended in years. I didn't go for the right reasons, if you will, but I was there and had someone approach me with the original stated intent of hooking up with me. As with most adults I can sort out my own relationships, and we got to a common ground; am I supposed to be offended that someone "objectified me" by taking some sexual interest in me at first sight? We ended up friends, if it stemmed from a less than Puritanical interest so what? Same principle here, it may have started off one way but it's gotten you and your wife to be happy; ride it out, you both deserve it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:23, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
I'm a little confused to whether approaching a possible partner based on the fact they 'floated your boat' was immoral. I do suspect in this might be the hangover of Puritanism - not just not wishing to accept it was raw sexual attraction which attracted first but also bowdlerised 'how we met' stories [something which we traditionally don't call out; no, Bro it's not Sarah's sense of humour that caught your eye, it's the fact she's a curvy black woman who's shorter than you like all your main exes] told afterwards. I'm more sanguine about this; it might have been looks which first drew the attention but it's very unlikely it would have been enough to keep you there. The only exception I'd have to this if it took on 'coercive control' elements, like for example those sick 'feeder' types who try to hook up with fat women in the hope to make them even fatter. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:12, 14 May 2024 (UTC)

An argument for intelligent design I recently heard.[edit]

How could one answer the argument for intelligent design presented as follows:

"P1: Large amounts of specified information exist in a cell.

P2: Despite a thorough search, no natural process has been observed that produces large amounts of specified information.

P3: Intelligence has the ability to produce large amounts of specified information.

Conclusion: Intelligence design presents the best, reasonable explanation for the origin of the first cell."

I have been quite at a loss for how to answer this. — Unsigned, by: ThatJoshuaPerson / talk / contribs

I don't know, it sound a bit like a non sequitur, but I think our article on Hoyle's fallacy might answer you. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 22:59, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
The entire field of Information theory would likely disagree with premise 2. That suffers from the same problem of thinking that the second law of thermodynamics rules out increasing ordered complexity in an open system. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:12, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
@GeeJayK Being a non sequitur would mean it isn’t logically valid, which would mean the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises if they were true. I think you would be right if we hinged our interpretation on “observed” because that arguably introduces an implicit inductive premise — making the argument non-deductive and hence not valid. You can avoid that by interpreting the second premise as a more definitive existential claim (that no such process exists). There is way to reframe each of the sentences to make the whole argument logically valid, and the principle of charity would call upon us to do so. Regardless though, even if the argument was valid it wouldn’t be logically sound. The strongest interpreted premises would still include a number of false postulates. There is also a bit of vagueness in the term “specified information” (As opposed to unspecified information?). There is a lot more “non-coding” DNA then there is DNA that codes proteins. Does it matter to the premise if there is more “junk DNA” in living cells then DNA with useable information for work? The conclusion is also framed as if the argument is meant to be abductive, which seems unnecessary because a deduction could be had on the stronger interpretation via a derivation from negation. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:27, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I have also wondered about this "specified information" thing which turns up a lot in ID chat. How does "specified information" differ from common-or-garden "information"?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:52, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
"Complex and specified information" appears to be a term traceable to the Discovery Institute. In this NBC news article [4], the example given to illustrate the concept is a Shakespeare sonnet (complex and specific) compared to the letter "A" (specific, not complex) and a long string of random letters (complex, not specific). In their view, DNA is a complex and specific encoding of information. Therefore, it must have been designed. Essentially an argument from design. (Edit: hey, there's a Rationalwiki article on this ID term!)
The NBC News article helpfully brought up nylon-eating bacteriaWikipedia, which obviously only came into existence after nylon was invented in the late 1930s, as something in which the above goddidit arguments tend to fall apart. BobJohnson (talk) 13:27, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
OK, so there really is no difference between "Specified Information" and regular old-fashioned "information" - except when it's being used in some ID doubletalk.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:39, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
"P1: A biological cell is complex.
P2: I cannot readily fathom how such a thing came to be. Google searches bring up nothing. Scientists don't have conclusive answers (yet).
P3: Goddidit." - Impiricism (talk) 00:14, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
Premise two in the first syllogism above is falsified by the observed natural processes of mutation + natural selection. Bongolian (talk) 06:25, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
I agree. Even if all the premises were true it would still be an "argument from ignorance". In other words "we do not know what could do this therefore god/aliens/fairies did it."Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:41, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
Treat as 'argument from design', of which I normally deploy the 'infinite monkey theorem' in response. When presented with the creationist conclusion, I will then deploy my 'rogue clowns' response - that [insert stupid thing] did it instead and both theories has equal evidence. In this case, 'aliensdidit!' I have no beef with you believing in a deity/ies, but please don't try to tell me there is actual evidence they exist [but I accept there is zero evidence they don't either]. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:33, 9 May 2024 (UTC)

"P1: Large amounts of specified information exist in a cell." "Information" refers to an artifact of human understanding. Humans create information, through the process of understanding the environment. "P2: Despite a thorough search, no natural process has been observed that produces large amounts of specified information." Humans do all the time. "P3: Intelligence has the ability to produce large amounts of specified information." The argument catches on. "Conclusion: Intelligence design presents the best, reasonable explanation for the origin of the first cell." This argument states, in other words, that reality has a definite structure, and calls the details of that structure "information." Great. I think that means that we exist.

The argument says in other words P'1: reality has structure. P'2: no natural process has been observed to produce large amounts of structure. P'3: God, if they exist, would have the ability to produce structure. Conclusion: gods are the best explanation for structure in the universe. This is a real appeal to ignorance.UncleKrampus (talk) 16:03, 9 May 2024 (UTC)

Ah, thank you for the responses. My Christian parents shockingly let me do some more research on abiogenesis ([No Intelligence Allowed]), and I had also come to the conclusion that P2 is unjustified. By the way, I had come across that argument in a periodical my parents acquired at church, which was rather oxymoronically titled "Reason and Revelation."ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 21:47, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
It does sound like a fancy rehash of 2nd law of thermodynamics gotcha, that everything would decay into nothing if Newton had any idea what he was talking about. The problem is, Newton idealised a closed system. Earth is NOT a closed system, we get SO much energy from the sun. What's surprising is that whole entropy thing, it's not exactly wrong. In a closed, all math system, everything would divide until nothing. There is not any proof this isn't happening right now, but relax, it is on a scale that is so insanely large we couldn't disprove it. I just had an idea. Torrent (talk) 12:14, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

The Flood "Experience"[edit]

Hey, it's me again. This summer, my Christian parents are dragging me to Arizona to have more YEC shoved up my you-know-what. Quite unfortunately, I don't become a US citizen until I'm 18. Here's the trip link: https://store.apologeticspress.org/products/2024-the-flood-experience . Any tips for keeping one's sanity/ having fun with YEC's? I figured I'd simply ask "Dr. Jeff" questions every chance I got, and count the number he avoids/Goddidits. I'll post the highlights of the trip when I get back!

PS: I do think I will be able to enjoy the trip, I'll just ignore Dr. Jeff's shit and read the placards! ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 22:02, 10 May 2024 (UTC)

Enjoy some beautiful Arizona natural wonders! (And most national/state parks have placards that described what geological events really happened to make the place, so you can get informed anyways. :) )
This Apologetic Press sounds like a "barrel of fun" if looked at with proper askew (it's YEC goddidit arguments all the way, so they can safely be ignored). I have no idea how one goes from a biomechanical engineering Ph.D. at Auburn to what Dr. Jeff is doing now... but that's engineers and woo for you. I guess they are loosely affiliated with Churches of Christ;Wikipedia if the Wiki is correct, they deserve damnation in hell in my books for being a denomination that prohibits musical instruments in worship. :p Also, 20 years ago, unsurprisingly for a church these days, one of their elder leaders had a thing for young teen guys. (Given that the age of consent in Alabama is 16, he at least "knew enough" to keep things "barely legal"). BobJohnson (talk) 00:28, 11 May 2024 (UTC)
You might want to read our Global flood article first to get your skeptical hat on. But looking at your link - that visit is quite expensive! Base of $599 with the added insult of an additional "electronic processing fee of $15"!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:03, 11 May 2024 (UTC)
If you have any interest in actual geology, you could bring along or read a book beforehand about Arizona geology. Roadside Geology of Arizona can be 'borrowed' and read for free online at the Internet Archive,[5] but your local library might also have a copy. If you haven't been to the Southwest US before, Arizona scenery is quite beautiful but June-July can be brutally hot in much of the state. North of the state a bit less so. Did Jeff Miller pick those dates so that people could get a taste of H E double-hockeysticks? Bongolian (talk) 08:07, 11 May 2024 (UTC)
Treat the whole affair as a visit to a fictional theme park. Take in the 'displays' with a wry little internal smile, imagining stupid things like Noah having to muck out thousands of creatures every day or trying to persuade the lions to go with him without eating him etc. Think of the story being told, consider how you'd adapt it better for a film and so on. Shit like this only gets to you if you let it, and as you're not paying for the thing, at least you're not being fleesed personally. If you wish to be subversive, find/download a podcast or YT audio of why the flood story sucks, put it on your phone and listen to it while you're being led around the thing [in fact, you might even be able to find a take-down of the very thing you're looking at]. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:45, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
I had a similar experience, my mom woke me up at like 5 in the morning 2 days before my senior year spring break. I had a bunch of plans. She asked 'would you rather go to the Badlands in South Dakota or Branson in Missouri?'. After I finally woke up enough to figure out what she was asking, and gave a 'no no no NO NOO' argument where we both cried and both asked 'what are you trying to do to me!?!', I capitulated and said 'anything but Branson.' I was really sour for the entire trip, there was nothing I was allowed to do. But, the caves were cool. Mount Rushmore was and remains stupid, but I guess it was cool for my parents, in retrospect, awful idea in the first place, Bad destination to take an adult child through the badlands, maybe let me make a decision. I have gone on long road trips with friends as an adult to the southwest, later, and I think it's a really smart suggestion to get a rock identification guide. I went to Yosemite and took a plant guide to the southwest. A plant guide could also be fun, depending on whether you're visiting other parks or not. A really great place to visit if you are driving, is Arches in Utah, it's near Moab, which is littered with Mormons and geohippies, the least harmful pests, but it actually is really cool and if you pay attention, people always know how to respectfully leave the beaten path to get a cooler view of things. But it's hugely different when you can visit a place with that kind of autonomy. Treat it as practice, if you can do nothing else, because these places are actually cool. I kinda wasted my first Badlands trip trying to make a 'I didn't agree to this' point. And, like, I agree, the American Desert and the Badlands in the wrong season along the 'we're here and that's it, we seen it, everybody back to the car' flora is mostly like 'welp, look at that shrub grass' Torrent (talk) 07:15, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
Being said, I guess we all kinda missed this. You are going headfirst into this. I'm not only really good at cringing when I should have said something, but I think it would be cool and missional to hear about your experience when you get back.

Sounds absolutely wild, can't wait to hear about it. Torrent (talk) 11:36, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

The Ottoman Empire returns[edit]


I made a video where the Ottoman Empire returns and begins an imperialism military campaign. --Trans Fem Agenda 13:56, 15 May 2024 (UTC)


It is already being said that the gunman has connections to Putin (who would be blamed even if there was no connection). Anna Livia (talk) 14:26, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

Unless they've got an angle I've missed; that's stupid. Fico is pro-Russian [or at least, 'usefully non-pro Ukraine']. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:44, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
Doesn't stop such claims. Anna Livia (talk) 14:51, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

Technical progress, how much does it drive ethical progress?[edit]

How much or how often is technical progress the primary factor, allowing other cultural change, rather than no change, to take place?

As a smaller subtopic, I've been musing on this in relation to the ethics of war previously, but not discussed it yet. My idea being that the technical progress preceding and surrounding WWI and WWII is the primary reason that nowadays, there exists the idea of the war crime and an ethics striving to avoid such, including in international law. Without humanity being empowered to act worse than ever, there would be no motivation to strive to change the norms. Unlike with WWI and WWII where the horrors of those wars stimulated ethical progress after, with nuclear weapons some such progress seems to have happened without actual war taking place.

Recently, I read an online discussion elsewhere mentioning slavery and technical development being the main enabler of its abolition. The point was made that before the technical progress making the industrial revolution possible, it was not only a practical impossibility to abolish slavery around the world, but no such movement could reasonably have grown in force as it would have seemed too unreasonable and self-defeating for a society to stop depending, directly or indirectly, on some form of slavery. Slavery first appeared with the creation of the city, larger settlements and surpluses and centralized power, very early in human history -- as societies grew, the demand for labor simply to maintain functions began to exceed what people could do willingly and be compensated for, and slavery was the only engine capable of running civilization, without which the only other option would have been a simpler tribal or even nomadic life. This situation only changed when steam power changed the world, introducing the abolition of slavery as a moral choice which would not harm civilization. Until then, it was as laughably impossible to rid the world of slavery as it is to rid the world of capitalism at present.

I'm not sure whether this view of history is fully accurate, not having read as much on it myself. That is, it may not always be as clear-cut a matter of practical impossibility vs. possibility of ethical progress. Though in considering how another structure functions in the world at present, businesses which wastefully use enormous resources and harm the future world people will live in in many ways, while the world's population is given only the choice of participating in this or starving, it seems very similar again. I don't think this dysfunctional pattern could be given up on without opening up another Pandora's box or several of technological development, and further, maybe each such milestone is a threshold on the journey to ethics. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 12:13, 8 May 2024 (UTC)

Regarding slavery, poking around a bit, I don't see *too* much analysis on this topic at a scholarly level (of course maybe there's something out there that I didn't "poke"). But I don't think the link between slavery and *technology* per se is strong. Generally speaking, abolition movements began in significant numbers in Europe and elsewhere around the 18th century... which ties abolition to the Age of Enlightenment, pre-Industrial Revolution. Now, granted, this *was* post-steam engine, but the history seems to suggest that the philosophers of the 18th century had far more impact on the movement. Further complicating things though... the Age of Enlightenment *itself* is the moment in Western history when the influence of the church on "high thinking thought" declined, to be replaced with a more reason and science based approach. So perhaps there is an "overall arc" that society moving away from "mysticism shit" and authoritarianism (whether kings or king-churches), which certainly was necessary in order to actually make the Industrial Revolution happen, also happened to help make slavery seem immoral to many, too.
Now, I have seen some "random comments" on the Internet implying that, using the plantation era American South as a case study, an over-reliance on slavery can hinder society technical progress by causing over-reliance on "cheap labor" and under-investment in technology. An "interesting postulate", one that perhaps can apply towards topics of today (eg immigrant labor)... but nothing that I could find a solid study on.
The first "international" war crimes treaties were the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907Wikipedia... pre-dating WWI... and "warrior codes of conduct" have been around for much longer, if much more informal (eg chivalry.Wikipedia) So I don't see a technology as a primary factor in war crime codes. I do think it is tempting to speculate if increasingly horrific 20th century weapon technology helped accelerate the creation of formal, international codes, but it's nothing I could find scholarly treatment on, either. One factor that *has* been written about quite a bit is communication technology... specifically, media coverage of the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, much of what has been written from what I can tell "has opinions" ("doves" think media coverage helped expose a war disaster, "hawks" think that media coverage helped undermine the army). My personal conclusion is that enhanced communication technology has complicated (for the better, IMHO) the abilities of nations to produce propaganda, and that's even true in this age of so much floating bullshit on the Internet. BobJohnson (talk) 13:14, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I would argue that technological progress/development makes formerly 'impractical' views/policies actually viable. In Hobbes' day [C17th England], life was 'nasty, brutish and short' for the vast majority of the population. What's more, there was no real way that this state of affairs could have been changed, because the country in this period simply did not produce enough 'surplus' to grant a remotely decent SoL to any but a tiny segment of the population. Fast forward 250 years, we have the clutch of 'Model Villages' being set up by industrialists as 'proof of concept' that yes, you can run a profitable business while still providing [a few] public services, housing which wasn't a hovel and not working your labour to death [thus demolishing the argument that it was unaffordable].
Which is perhaps the key issue; an injustice only becomes such when conventional opinion comes to the conclusion that it is avoidable. Case in point; the Irish 'Great Famine' in the 1840s; the injustice was not that it happened – Europe got hit by periodic famines [killing many] in the centuries before this – but this time it was held that the British Govt could have done a lot more to assist, but actively chose not to.
The 'slavery retarded industrialisation' argument made by economic historians is a bit more complicated than that – it is more 'cheap labour retards industrialisation'. Case in point; the use of 'white goods' to replace human servants – here is a wonderful 1921 article from the Guardian newspaper which lays it all out. More importantly, the expenditure in capital goods [represented in this case as the 'electric vacuum cleaner' and 'fuelless cooker'] creates £60 more demand for them, which means more machine tools are required to make them, which means more orders for machine tool makers and so on – in the end, that original £60 has been spent in the economy repeatedly [known as 'the multiplier effect']
You don't get this if labour is cheap. If you want to increase production, you don't get more capital goods, you just throw more bodies at it. This is known as 'extensive growth'; that while raw output is rising, it is simply down to the increase of workers doing the task – two men digging a hole might do it in half the time, but they are still shifting the same metre-cubed of earth every couple of hours. And as the ultimate measure of general SoL is that of per-head productivity, an economy hooked on limitless cheap labour is not going to get any 'richer' – for example, automated slaughterhouses do exist but not in the USA because the penchant for hiring illegals to do the task cheaper. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:51, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I'd also argue that technological and scientific progress drives ethical progress a lot. I also touch on this in my "The Word Of The Lord Should Not Be Static" essay, but long story short, one could argue that slavery was, while certainly repugnant, a bit of a necessary evil in pre-industrial societies without much in the way of labor-saving technology (it's kinda hard to give paychecks to everyone if one's workforce is sufficiently large). One could also argue that the money one saves in not paying slaves is inevitably spent anyways in the precautions against slaves running off to live someplace where they won't be treated like shit or revolting and mounting one's head on a pike, but I digress… I'd also argue that the discovery of DNA and the development of reliable paternity testing went a long way in making purity culture obsolete and allowing feminism to break it apart; before DNA testing, a man's only means of having full confidence that he actually fathered a woman's children was to go to outlandish lengths to prevent her from sleeping with other men — lengths that often devolved into treating women like fucking cattle. There are probably other examples of improving technology rendering formerly-necessary evils no longer necessary, but I'll stop here. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:43, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I think the use of the term 'slave' is an emotive one and a technical one. Slavery [for example] had effectively died out in England by about 1200 but the prevalence of both serfdom and later on bonded labour were effective 'slave-like' conditions, the use of indentured servitude was a type of 'time-limited' slavery and there was precious little real difference between agricultural slaves and sharecroppers. The important bit is the level of cheap, exploitable labour available to the ruling class - not the exact legal status of it [thus modern variants can be seen in workfare victims, illegal workers and convicts]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:06, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I also think 'purity culture' got a bigger death-knell from the invention and later general availability/acceptability of contraceptive methods. It became possible to have pre/extra-martial activities which didn't end up with her holding a baby next year [this might in fact be part of the reason of the decline in birthrates in the advanced world; that it's become harder to have an 'accidental pregnancy', esp with teenagers.] or discovering one/both parties now had syphilis [which wasn't properly treatable until the 1940s]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:19, 8 May 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Regarding technology (the invention of the cotton gin in this case) and slavery:

The most significant effect of the cotton gin, however, was the growth of slavery. While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for enslaved labor to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for enslavers that it greatly increased their demand for both land and enslaved labor.
—US National Archives[6]

Bongolian (talk) 19:47, 8 May 2024 (UTC)

Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that the idea of technology and social progress have something to do with one another. But it in not always good. War technology is another example of a whole class of technological developments that must be, at best, morally ambiguous. Even very benign-seeming inventions like the horse bridle made world empires possible.UncleKrampus (talk) 20:16, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
Most technology that gets developed is done for selfish reasons IMO... with the cotton gin example given, it wasn't to make the lives of plantation slaves easier, it was to increase production and profit. Reading through the thread and the interplay between technology and societal shifts are interesting to consider; I do think tech has a significant role in the progress of ethics, but exactly how much of a role becomes murky when examining specific events. As an aside, I do recall reading that India has pushed back against Western asks for clean energy, as the argument is along the lines that developing nations have the right exploit fossil fuels to advance as Western nations have done. Impiricism (talk) 20:21, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
Because I'm odd and find economic history interesting, I actually a while back asked myself 'were slave cotton plantations profitable?' and I came to the conclusion that by the 1840s the answer was 'yes, but not very'. That as suitable land and slaves were a limited resource, the prices of both rose, pushing down the 15% margin cited in the 1800s to perhaps as little as 5-6% and to have a plantation large enough to live off you'd have needed about $800k to invest [in modern values]. By the end, slaves weren't even that 'cheap'; the slave would normally cost about 3 years salary for that occupation and needed to be provided for [sacking and salf beef aren't free] and constantly needed to be watched lest they 'stole themselves' or didn't work hard enough. Judging that most field slaves died in a decade, that's not a lot of 'margin' for your slaveocrat. From the raw data, I actually suspect [from my napkin] that ditching the formal slaves and using sharecroppers may have been more profitable [even more so if it had been compensated emancipation, because that would have given the slaveocrats a big dollop of capital to invest elsewhere, such as mining, factories and railways]. But slave plantations wasn't a business, it was a 'way of living' for the Southern aristocracy, and like the big agricultural landlords in the early 20th UK they weren't going to willingly let go of it until they quite literally could no longer pay the bills from it. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:06, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice So, to sum that up, insisting on maintaining the institution of slavery was harming the Southern economy in the long run? Welp, that's getting a mention in my tangent about Abraham Lincoln for Buchanincel's description in my Progress & Regress Pokémon project. {And I went on a bit of a tangent from here, which I have helpfully split off so that I don't derail this conversation.} Luigifan18 (talk) 16:39, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
If you believe my reasoning is incorrect, feel free to point out where you believe it's wrong. I was looking at the position purely from an economic POV - that maintaining slave systems is expensive [resource-wise] and moving to a debt-bondage/sharecropping system would lessen the 'running costs' of the system. There is also the little point that while profitable [and even 6% of a very large number is still a large number] could not really 'scale' any further because the South was running out of land suitable for more plantations and even more importantly, was finding it harder/more expensive to get hold of more slaves to work it. Stuck in a position where neither extensive nor intensive growth could really happen in the backbone of your economy and your society is utterly wedded to it's continuation doesn't bode well for the long-term economic future. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:49, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
Judging by an r/AskHistorians thread (which so far I find as a usually reliable source for "historical first looks", atypical for Reddit), the answer for "did slavery hurt the economy of the South in the long run" is: "yes".[7] Slavery is depicted in this thread as similar to modern mechanized farming: it's very low margin, but if it's low margin at a *big* scale, it is quite profitable. Most slave owners were *not* large plantation owners, but a few were. These few did well. (Very well -- cotton was a big US export prior to the war.) Less so for the others.
With land cheap during those times, slaves *were* one of your primary wealth assets. A couple comments point out that there was a "status symbol" in the number of slaves you owned. This coordinates with something I still anecdotally see in the Southern US, the very *institutional* and *social status* nature of "the old white guard". It's something a little more entrenched then garden-variety racism. The slavery may be long gone, and the Civil War frankly did decimate the big plantations. However... the "old guard" social networks and political connections the elite plantation owners had persisted long after the Civil War.[8] Many plantation families thus were able to recover their wealth quite nicely, within a couple of generations. In my experience, you still see some "hints and traces" of this even in the current South, at minimum at the cultural level. Although less so in areas where industry recruitment has successfully overtaken the culture of the city. (Compare Jackson MS to Asheville NC).
As depicted above, the plantation economy was very unequal. [9] You either had the scale to own much of the land and capital (slaves)... or you were a poor farmer or someone else just eeking out a living. Inequality, generally speaking, is not good for economic growth (or social cohesion).
As mentioned in one of the comments, since the "elite" of plantation society were indeed making serious bank (due to economics of scale, not because farming was insanely profitable per se), they had little reason to invest in infrastructure, education, or industrialization. This changed after the Civil War to some extent, but the North had a "running start" on these matters. The comment mentions a book by historian Gavin WrightWikipedia called "Old South New South" that explores the post-Civil War economy. While the book is not easily available online, there's a review essay on JSTOR by economic historian Lee J. AlstonWikipedia [10] that actually seems to give a good analysis of why the Southern economy was for a long time depressed on its own. BobJohnson (talk) 18:15, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
There's also the little issue in which there was no inheritance taxes in the USA in the period in question, which means generations of slaveocrats may pass into the grave without ever knowing exactly how 'profitable' their plantations ever were because nobody came and [re]-valued their land. My napkin-figures were based upon the assumption of a person setting up a cotton-based slave plantation in the 1840s, and how much 'capital' would be required to grant our owner the income of an US Army captain [I accept however that it's quite possible the RoR might have been a bit higher due to various 'in-kind' payments ie the home farm, the slave domestic etc which again, never got an actual value].
Two interesting aspects of the Southern economy that I noted when doing my digging was that a) quite a lot of slaves were available for rent and b) more than you'd think had skilled trades. In my opinion, this was perhaps worse than the plantations for the long-term Southern economy because it strongly associated labour with slavery. This meant that if you were a poor white in the South, the chances of you in effect 'labouring' your way into the 'plantation class' [or even a simple solid middle class] was rendered much more difficult [or even impossible] - even if you'd get a job, it was most likely to be poorly-paid and would you then stand alongside a slave and work with them? For many of these, perhaps the only real option to 'get on' was to go into the 'slave-related' trades; such as an overseer, slave-catcher, guard etc [none of which add to the 'capital stock' of a nation]. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:25, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
Are you by chance reading Devon Erikson's books? I see him in the twit-o-sphere, and he's obsessed with how technology brings societal progress. Similar to my own views, I suppose. But I haven't read his books. CorruptUser 19:45, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
I haven't read that, nor any other books more directly connected to this topic.
Anyway, in response to much of the above discussion, it seems my ideas which opened this discussion are too simple to fit reality, but so is a full negation, and various "reversals" of the ideas too. Mainly, reading responses I've thought more about the development of technology, what drives it along with what it drives. On forms of slavery, I thought of the idea in a more general way, including serfdom; specifics of things which may loosely be called slavery have varied throughout history and the world, and I agree with KarmaPolice about the point being an extreme of exploiting people as cheap labor, not the precise form of it. That's also what may compete the hardest with technology.
Technology is developed and deployed to solve problems, and here a key question is, what is the problem? The circumstances of society matter greatly for what's seen as problems motivating solutions, hence for what may be given more focus and what may take off if developed. But on the other hand, "disruptive" inventions, those which result in significant societal or cultural changes when adopted by society, have consequences largely not planned when invented and adopted. With changes as large as the industrial revolution and its aftermath, the fabric of the earlier order is ripped apart one major chunk at a time, the fall of each major piece making it easier for some others to be knocked over, as various dynamics and circumstances in society are altered. Furthermore, people tend to be much worse at predicting cultural changes than technological changes. Good sci-fi futurists may foresee much that changes a century ahead in tools used, and maybe even foresee how parts of culture disappear, but they fail to see what grows in place of the old, often a cause of unwarranted pessimism in science fiction (people are too emotionally rooted in the current social order to see far beyond it).
On second thought I can see how reliance on slavery would brake progress. In fact, an alternative history scenario could be a much earlier industrial revolution, if technological development had proceeded differently after rudimentary steam engines were built in Ancient Greece. This didn't happen; for very long afterwards the steam engine was just a curiosity, a way to experiment with steam, without any practical function. No one, or no one influential, saw any point in using it to drive equipment to perform work. It's not quite clear how much would have needed to change for that to change. But among other things slave labor was ubiquitous, and whoever wanted more done sought to put more slaves to work.
Philosophy and its role, and how it develops in turn, is another topic. It was brought up by BobJohnson how that was part of bringing about both the industrial revolution and Enlightenment ideals in turn behind abolition of slavery. What next, beyond the things tied to the politics of today? It seems very difficult to predict the future of major turns in philosophy, and how it may be intertwined with technological eras further ahead. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:01, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
There was one rather influential author who was around for the early days of the industrial revolution, and asked the question "as the farms and the factories become more efficient, what happens when everything becomes so efficient that people no longer need to toil every hour of the day to survive?" His solution was that there'd be a form of collective ownership, and then some would work while others were free to pursue anything they desired. That man was Karl Marx, and he was wrong about several key aspects.
While the farms did become more efficient to the point where literally less than 2% of the population is involved in farming and the factories are indeed becoming more and more autonomous, people demanded more complex foods, leading to the expansion of food processing, restaurants, etc, and more importantly, people are demanding far more variety in goods than in 1850. In 1850, your idea of having "made it" was having shoes on your feet, yet it's laughable that anyone in the western world is shoeless. Virtually everyone in the Western world (except the homeless) have a larger wardrobe than the middle classes of the year 1900, even if that means hand-me-downs and thrift shops (also the standard for most of history). Furniture in 1850 was much more limited than today; it's almost inconceivable that not everyone in the household have a chair of some form, yet even a few hundred years ago only the head of the household would have a chair (if they were lucky) while everyone else either had a log or just stood, if they even had a table. Entertainment options were much more limited in the days of traveling theatre and musician troupes; if a musical band was in town, you showed up no matter how awful or droll they were because they were the only game in town. Then there's phones, computers, televisions, etc etc.
That isn't to say that a large portion of the labor force is made up of "make-work" jobs that only exist because of unnecessarily convoluted laws that only exist to keep great masses of people employed (looking at you, accountants and attorneys), but the more efficient we become the more we demand.
For a time.
But what happens when we collectively do decide that we don't need millions of accountants, attorneys, and other bureaucrat-type jobs? What happens when we simplify the legal system and tax code? Will we have massive public-works projects, where we pay people to dig holes only to fill them back up? Or will we pay people to do nothing a la basic income?
I suggest a different answer, because there's always work to be done. What I think should happen is that instead of creating make-work jobs or paying people to do nothing, we instead create actual jobs in public education, nursing, etc. All those attorneys? More public defenders and prosecutors; no one who is innocent should ever need to take a plea deal to avoid the excessive cost of the legal system. All those accountants? Every public school should have quality math teachers. And so on. Does this mean "big government" and taxes on farms/factories/business? Quite possibly. But we should never pay people to do nothing. CorruptUser 16:58, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
It doesn't really matter if someone has shoes on their feet if they're still a wage slave. The means of production are still privately owned, and so the class relations Marc described remain more or less the same. Carthage (talk) 19:25, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
Also just because tech hasn't made communism feasible yet doesn't mean that will always be the case. You could easily argue that Marx's general prediction could still come true with future tech advancement. It is also being ignored that communism would require a social revolution in addition to a technological one, neither of which are impossible. The transition from feudalism to capitalism required a a revolutionary transformation of society, so there is precedent. Carthage (talk) 19:40, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
Meh, it's hard to treat Marxism/Communism as a seriously viable alternative to the current framework when it's almost entirely made up of the losers who can't "make it" in the current system that support it. Including Marx himself. Especially him. CorruptUser 20:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
It's difficult to think of any large scale implementation of pure Marxism/communism -- those that have tried have usually ended up with governments that have ended up wildly different from pure Marxist dogma. At the same time... unchecked capitalism tends to lead to inefficiencies of its own (largely because like hell anyone with "the big bucks" is going to strive for a truly "free market"), and it is IMHO poor form to be dismissive of the "losers" from the system (particularly since the "losers" might turn towards a self-defeating populism).
It was said of FDR (by FDR himself) that his New Deal -- which included implementing various degrees of safety nets -- saved capitalism from a major turn towards communism, a stance I agree with to a reasonable degree. While contemporary society has different problems, I do think that we are at a similar point -- Western societies currently are full of movements that display strong discontent with the neoliberal status quo, often justifiably (even though much of the discontent is displayed in a more ruscism manner). I'm not one who thinks that complete abandonment of the current system is necessary, but it is clear that these populist movements need some sort of response. Else wise the risk is the populists take over, and a dogmatic system ends up in place that is worse for everyone involved (except cronies, perhaps). BobJohnson (talk) 23:37, 12 May 2024 (UTC)

The issue with 'popular' futurism/sci-fi is that they want to be... well, popular. A dry-but-perhaps accurate [or at least possible] prediction of the societal shifts of X technology or something is not interesting [well, to the Big Public] - I want big things. Wars. Dramatic instant shifts in societies [which often don't make sense] and so on. And a lot of the time, the futurism/sci-fi is merely a device to tell a story - the two most common methods of doing this is to ask either 'what if [amazing thing] got invented?' and/or 'what if [current trend] becomes massive?' and run with that. The tech, as a rule is the device to allow the telling the story, not the story itself - be it dystopias, adventure/horror/thriller stories or similar - for example, is the original Star Trek not much more than Gulliver's Travels In Space! ?

As for not 'predicting societal shifts'... again, this is often not an issue of 'lack of vision' from the creators but more a situation of wishing to avoid pissing people off. Let's look at Star Trek again. It's clear from the later installments that the Federation is functionally a level of 'pure communism' [at least in core areas] which technological development and lack of materialism between them has liberated humans from drudgery [the 'workers' you see are either folks 'doing it for the love of it' or folks who are in young colonies in which the 'hard work' was part of the appeal]. Now, part of the reason you didn't see this in the Kirk-era was because it was set on an adventure ship sailing into the unknown, but it would have also been the simple fact I seriously doubt NBC would have commissioned a clear 'pro-communist' show during the Cold War.

You can see this also in issues of sex, gender, relationships and so on - I could [for example] envision a future where humans were mainly 'post-gender', 'serial monogamy' had become the norm, sex had been effectively divorced from the biological reproduction element and the threat of STDs was gone. But now imagine the eyebrows of the commissioning agent as they read your spec script and realised it was a world where [in their heads] 'everyone is trans and bisexual', 'nobody was really monogamous' and 'everyone is a slut'. It won't get far. The other element is wanting to avoid becoming an 'unintentional period peice'; as you note it's easier to predict the technology of say, the 2050s than the sexual habits or even slang [which was why the makers of Back To The Future II deliberately 'went a bit stupid' when they showed 2015 - better to be 'wacky and wrong' rather than 'ernest and wrong'.]

Anyway, it's not just slavery which proved a cramp to development I also think it's the reason why the Chinese and Indians didn't hit the Industrial Revolution [they surely had the raw materials, the economic infrastructure, the mathematics and metallurgy to do it]. But they didn't; because in both areas human labour was very cheap, with the added issue that their 'ruling class' [Chinese Mandarins and the invading British respectively] crushed any possible development because it promised to be 'disruptive'. Some historians put the Black Death as the 'start' of the drive to ultimate industrialisation in Europe, because it shunted the continent into a world where labour was a lot more scarce - thus any forward-thinking lord would personally benefit if he introduced some 'new tech' like better field rotation systems, iron ploughs and better roads.

Corrupt's description of Marx's theory is in fact wrong. It's not a question of 'what happens when everything becomes so efficient that people no longer need to toil every hour of the day to survive', it's actually the 'hole in bucket problem' in which capitalism will collapse in on itself because it's become so efficient it no longer needs human labour to produce, which means nobody has a job and thus, cannot buy the goods said capitalists produce. This is what he meant by 'sowing the seeds of their own destruction' because capitalists would have introduced all the machines to make more profit but ends up destroying their own customer-base in the process [because one company's employee is another's customer and vice-versa].

In Marx's day this dilemma was purely theoretical. Corrupt is correct in noting that in effect, 'capitalism had a lot more road to run on' - unexploited markets, products, a load of economically destructive wars etc - and so it didn't need answering. But now in 2024 this dilemma is becoming actual. AIs and robotics between them threaten to eliminate almost all labour positions [at least theoretically] in a generation - no, they're coming for the maths teachers, public defenders and nurses too. It's easy to mock this being the ideology of 'the losers', Corrupt but first of all, that's a really shit argument and secondly, doesn't bloody well answer their main charge - which is that capitalism is destructive and keeps on needing the state to save it from itself.

Which arcs back to the OP's point. That it appears that both on scientifically and engineering angles humanity is reaching a point where 'work' is becoming generally obsolete as something vital for our species. What's more, it's going to be patently obvious that all those unemployed people are not 'losers' and there won't ever be enough 'work' for everyone. The answers we come up with will be at least partly ethical in nature; like is it morally right to keep people working low-skill jobs 'for the sake of it' even though it could be automated? KarmaPolice (talk) 13:29, 14 May 2024 (UTC)

There was one novella I read when I was a kid (I read at an adult level... but didn't understand it all). Basically, it was a world where nanotech was to the point where people routinely switched body types, sexes, and even species with as much effort as we would for a really nice pedicure. The story was about a couple whose soon-to-be marriage was threatened by the return of the husband's ex-girlfriend. But really, it should be "husband", "wife" and "ex-gf" since they could all have been born the opposite. The ex-gf was now "computerized" to an extent, a process that basically lets you upload while still having a body of sorts that you can shape at will even faster. Eventually the story ends with the marriage going through, but the ex-gf and wife ended up as the "real" couple while the husband is now the third wheel.
Going back even further, there was a 70's movie about a society where everyone lived in orgy-land, with the ability to simply swipe through a number of attractive women before one of them would teleport into your room and have sex with you. The only caveat was that when you turned 30, you were executed. You might've seen that one.
So I think Sci-Fi authors have been thinking about the effects of tech on human sexuality for a while. CorruptUser 20:00, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
I didn't say they weren't. If you note my example I said 'spec script'; as in TV/film. Novels have long been more innovative on the simple reason their investment costs/break-even point is low [I see costs saying about $15k], their 'realistic size of market' huge and lastly, the 'burn rate' is little to nil. If we go back to the 'Golden Age of Pulp Paperbacks' [50s-90s] the market was even more open to innovation due to the likes of publishers such as DelRay/Ballantine specialising in producing quick turn-around, spinner-rack friendly and an ever-shifting lineup [often quickly-written, lightly edited short stores extended into novellas]. A business model which allowed a fair amount of 'duds', so meaning editors were more willing to accept 'unconventional' submissions [though they still had to run the gamut of forms of censorship, which is why sci-fi writers have not been so willing to explore 'sexual stuff' because of increased chances of it not getting published/stocked].
TV shows, films and now computer games cost a bomb to do, so businesses have become very risk-adverse. You cannot afford duds when you'd be hard-pressed to make a decent-quality TV series/film/game out of a $1m and there's a lot of variables in your burn rate, esp as you have a lot fewer eggs in your basket. A developer is always going to be ridden on to 'make this work PG/12 friendly', 'easy to sell to foreign markets', 'avoid the Moral Guardians ire' and so on, esp as a few offended/overzealous 'gatekeepers' [for example, the buyer for cinema chains and TV stations] and the most easy way to tick this box is 'avoid sex'.
Speaking of which... Logan's Run was aiming for a PG rating in the 70s and still needed to have some cuts done to pass it. It's been awhile since I've seen it, but if I remember right those scenes are much more suggestive than overt and isn't a major plot of the film which meant it was easier to satisfy the censors. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:17, 16 May 2024 (UTC)

In which Luigifan18 can't help self-aggrandizing[edit]

{Continued from outdent 1, indent 5 in main thread} I named Buchanincel after James Buchanan because of his ties to white supremacy and other forms of people who throw tantrums when they don't get what they want when they want it "the respect, deference, and obedience due to the ruling class socially superior". Though Buchanincel, as can also be taken from the name, is also aimed at lampooning the manosphere, to the point where I felt compelled to bring up the Ambition of Truth chicken coop case upon stumbling upon it through a wiki walk from RationalWiki:Pissed at us. (…But that's enough rambling, I've diverged way too much from the original topic; I have another thread here for talking about the Progress & Regress Pokémon. In fact, I'm just gonna split this sub-remark off so the original conversation can continue on its proper course…) Luigifan18 (talk) 16:39, 9 May 2024 (UTC)

7979 pages[edit]

Any guesses as to what the 8000th page (transitory or more permanent) will be about? Will there be a flurry of activity when the number reaches 7990+ (of which many will be too obscure to persist)? Anna Livia (talk) 13:18, 16 May 2024 (UTC)

If Pierre Poilievre, leader of Canada's Conservative Party and official opposition, becomes prime minister in the next 2025 election, I'll generate a page on him. For being a career politician, he had a rocky start with calling First Nations people lazy. Didn't seem to learn anything from the experience though, considering that he still decided to speak at an event of a group that attempts to justify residential schools. This is besides his usual antics to court the right-wing vote by doing things such as hanging out with extremist groups which joke about raping his wife, or putting MGTOW tags on videos. Impiricism (talk) 18:19, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
I'm not hugely worried about Pierre pisser. He's using the GOP playbook that isn't even working in the US, let alone Canada. He's also already cracking under the pressure, and the election hasn't even started yet Revolverman (talk) 22:05, 16 May 2024 (UTC)

Who the eff is "Drake" and "Kendrick"[edit]

Been hearing that some rappers are angry at each other. I guess their names are Drake and Kendrick, but I'd never heard of either of them before this spat of theirs. Are there actual emotions running behind people's intrigue with it, or is it just a fun little musical spectacle? MirrorIrorriM (talk) 21:11, 8 May 2024 (UTC)

Top dogs in the rap game shitting on each other. Kendrick bringing allegations of drake being a pedo and minor toucher. Meanwhile all drake did was dissing on kendrick’s small feet. I think drake fell off in talent after god’s plan, but this beef now making his popularity sink as well. Meet the grahams cold. 💀2600:387:15:1511:0:0:0:4 (talk) 21:15, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I guess there's enough "meat" in this feud for there to be a whole Wiki article on it.Wikipedia I haven't paid a lot of attention to it. I do think it's basically celebrity drama. BobJohnson (talk) 21:32, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I feel old after reading that. Impiricism (talk) 21:44, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
Ig im pretty young compared to everyone else in this wiki, still in HS. 2600:387:15:1511:0:0:0:4 (talk) 21:57, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
Drake and Kendrick Lamar have been "big" in mainstream pop rap/R&B since the 2010s, they're not *that* new. :) Music however has been so balkanized since the Napster days. Sure, in the US, R&B/hip-hop and country tend to be the "top charters", but there are so many other sub-genres out there, and so many artists. "Name recognition" is no longer a big thing, there are few current musicians in the "megastar" space these days. (As big as Drake and Kendrick Lamar are in their respective genre, I don't consider them a "megastar" on the level of, say, a Michael Jackson... or even a Taylor Swift).
Also, to help you feel "younger", the current Billboard Top 200 albums [11] contains entries from the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, and even Journey's Greatest Hits. BobJohnson (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
I miss the days of 2Pac and Biggie, where if rappers had "beef" they actually had fights instead of this fake-fight commercial BS meant to garner attention and album sales. CorruptUser 19:14, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
Blud forgot reggaeton in hispanic areas like mine, but I see either way. Despite being young I am damn lost in the pop sphere as I now mostly listen to 90s screamo. And as last comment said mfs too scared to rlly make music beef spicy these days leaving it up to the fans like kendrick fans vandalizing drakes home on google maps. 2600:387:15:201A:0:0:0:5 (talk) 19:45, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
Music has always been fragmented, at least since the days when there were multiple radio stations that focused on their own genres. MTV sort of made it less fragmented for a bit; you got the music that they played, so you got exposed to everything that Viacom wanted you to see. Then the internet came and made MTV irrelevant, and everyone ended up back in their own bubbles again. CorruptUser 05:49, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
The problem with radio and even MTV (past the first few years when they'd play anyone who produced a video) "back in my day" were that: A) radio stations and MTV were often limited to a narrow range of regurgitating the "top hits", and B) subgenres that weren't popular enough for a radio station either had to resort to "other means" to get heard (eg tape trading), at least until it got popular enough for the bigwigs at radio/MTV to notice (this happened with both "alternative music" and rap music). Genres were also divided neatly with little to no mixing of eras. This "limited promotion" made it more possible for "big names" to exist, but overall it was honestly shit for music, because (as you say) music really is naturally balkanized, it's half a social phenomenon.
My understanding is that "back before my day" there was both more DJ influence in radio as well as more "regional" / "local" variety. Where there wasn't, things like pirate radio helped "bridge the gap". Local bands were still a thing when I grew up, but not in most of radio (the community radio station and one oddball UHF channel excepted). The town I'm from (the Tampa FL area) actually was notable at the time for its death metal scene; no way that got played in "standard radio" (now or then). One local band (SavatageWikipedia) actually got well-known in the "progressive metal" scene. I think they were occasionally played on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball" (one of MTV's late night genre music programs) but certainly not the standard radio (at least until Savatage accidentally figured out they could actually make some good money writing Christmas metal music, thus birthing the far better known Trans-Siberian Orchestra).
This is why some in the industry, like your Steve Albini (RIP) types ([12]), actually were quite happy with what Napster birthed. It nixed the record industry as the major gatekeeper of taste. To some extent the YouTube/Spotify algorithm has replaced it, sure. But unlike record labels, the Internet provides much less of a barrier for publication. The music mega-star is sort of (not completely) dead as a result, but in the Internet era, it seems like more musicians can "find their niche" and have long careers without having to worry about not having the "big hit", like they used to.
The biggest change I've seen with the Internet is that it seems like not only do people "genre hop" a lot more, it seems like people "era hop" as well far more than they used to. BobJohnson (talk) 13:20, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
I will try and keep this short and digestible. I was born in the late 1980's and was told I had to have a favorite British invasion band. I don't care what anyone says, it was not the Beatles. I used to watch Drake as an actor on a teen drama called Degrassi. It was a melodrama, and Mr Drake's character was a basketball star who wound up in a wheelchair. Then I had some friends, and this is now late oughts, who were trying to boogey down down to Drake. just out of high school. In my opinion, that's like being a grown man trying to say 'Will Smith' might be the greatest. It is, on a technicality, still the Willenium. I didn't like Drake. Then Kendrick dropped Money trees and I was like 'I get it, but not for me, and I can't understand all the white homeboys loving it'. Except I can.
People love hearing a word that they recognize with an interesting pronunciation. Ya Bish was fine? I hated 'ya Bish' I heard it like a hundred times a day. Sia also had Chandelier, where she, an Australian woman, took on a lyric 'one two three' and gave it a 'wuon two tree'accent as if she was from barbados. which does make sense because she was trying to get Rhianna to sing that song. But then Rihanna sings 'ner ner ner ner ner' in an entirely different song instead of 'work work work work work' and it's implied you don't need to use words to make music. Which is nothing against the idea of working. It's just not actual language out of or within context. My least favorite genre of music is not country, is not edm, is not pop. It is vocal jazz.
I don't listen to Drake or Kendrick today, but I have heard their early stuff, and I can say, man, who listens to Will Smith? Kendrick, I don't know, I haven't been keeping up, I liked the second album better than that first with money trees cutie backup lil Wayne bullshit, a lot of my friends boogied down to it and left when it got good. King Kunta was great funk, but I guess he wasn't rapping enough. But didn't Drake drop a single for his kid like it was real? I'm not on the scene, for years, but I do believe Drake has always been an analogue of Will Smith. An actor so powerful he can convince a generation he is also making music. I don't really care about the beef, but I have seen Drake pretend to be crippled in a Canadian teen melodrama, and so had friends blast his tracks in the early 2010s. I don't care who I'm talking to or who I might be defending, in this beef I have exactly one opinion.
Drake sucks, and I can't believe that's ever been controversial. Torrent (talk) 10:53, 13 May 2024 (UTC)
There is a comment from 7 months ago on this performance by Kendrick on Network TV that implies this beef is at least two months older than anyone getting into it now realizes. I also remember a viral clip of a white woman getting on stage, and Kendrick saying something like, you know the lyrics, but you gotta censor yourself. White lady did not, and it was like 'oh no, you gotta go. Kendrick Lamar censors his swears but also says in this medley while accepting how great a record deal is, now he's got a platform, and says 'send it back' like some sort of socialist, and addresses the pressure to put up top 50's. 'This feeling is unmatched, like drilling ain't good rap, like penitent ball cap, we don't share the same synonym for that' i'm not into drill or trap, and you know what's insane?

I hear so much pop country that is using drill and trap percussion that I don't believe Beyonce when she says she wants to take country back to its roots, but I also don't give a fuck what she wants to do with it, because what a silly notion that a country song would have a trap snare, and any idea challenging the awful truth that people are just buying racist pop music is fine by me. I really like some Robert Johnson, and I get why it was like 'how is this possible?' at the time. I really have met people who were blindsided by Lil Nas X going 'by the way, I'm gay and Old Town Road was you being inclusive, surprise!' Country has a lot of history that I respect. Country/blues was a genre the first time I was sentient and capable enough to use Napster, like, it's intertwined. But country as rock or pop, versus country as folk or country as blues are wildly different, so genres are kinda not it. I'll listen to anything if it's good. I am impressed by Beyonce's vocals, but 'looka there looks there' with such squeezed, not just compressed, instrumentals behind it, it's still in my opinion just pop. Slay Bey, but I'm just not that into a great vocalist going 'ah yah Yah YAAAHhh' in a backing track. like, it's churchy, and it's cool for what it is, and it definitely is way better than most modern pop masquerading as country, but it's really not taking the genre back to its roots, it's just reminding everyone what currently is done can be done better by a superstar. Torrent (talk) 06:02, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

Beyonce to country is what machine gun kelly is to punk. Im curious on whether country at the moment is mirroring punk in the late 90s as stuff like blink 182, fall out boy, etc brings poppy melodies and lyrics about romance or hating one’s hometown turned punk from already a joke to even more of a joke nowadays with shit like pierce the veil. Long gone the days of earth crisis. (talk) 18:07, 18 May 2024 (UTC)
Im better off identifying as a deathrocker than that term I will not say that has been ruined by alternative looking camgirls that fries the younger generations' dopamine receptors linking that term to edgy camgirls rather than the dark offshoot of post-punk. — Unsigned, by: Phantasmagoria / talk / contribs
So I think post punk and pop punk are a little confusing. Pop punk is generally bad, but there are some examples that aren't awful. The early Blink 182 stuff is not awful, first Alkaline Trio album is my favorite pop punk album, and I don't like pretty much anything else from them. like I always say, if it's good I'm into it. I do believe in gateway music. I think Viagra Boys and Idles are good punk. One of my favorite heavy punk bands is 'The Tanks.' Years ago I bought a vinyl for a friend and it is maybe one of the most savvy gifts I've given. I've been told you can find any album on youtube. Been unable to find Epic Loads. But like Idles, maybe not as much as Viagra Boys or Amyl and the Sniffers or even Cherry Glazerr, it sounds more like punk than any other genre even if it is thematically heavier than what most people consider punk.
What country has already done and is falling deeper into, I wouldn't exactly consider a deviation. I also don't think Machine Gun Kelly leaving white rap for pop punk is a deviation. It's branching, at a really basic sense that rebranding is somehow reforming, which is a classic pop tactic. Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and now I guess JoJo Siwa have all rebranded.

It's their right to do so, and it's maybe better than Red Hot Chili Peppers calming down over decades and writing bad stolen covers of Tom Petty and spacey buttrock, I don't know. But I've deviated so far from the point. Drake has always been trash. He didn't drop off, he didn't have a cool hit, Hot Line Bling had the aesthetic of a hit track, but was it actually good? It was paced well with a small melody, the friendly range anyone could hit, but it was just such a nothing track other than that. It always reminds me of Hall and Oates. Torrent (talk) 04:49, 20 May 2024 (UTC)

Goat..... stuff[edit]

Goats are apparently even more impressive than I thought! https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pic-goats-gravity/ Koafox (talk) 17:17, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

If you think that's impressive, you should look up mountain goats. Carthage (talk) 23:12, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
Or tree climbing goats (argan oil). Anna Livia (talk) 23:31, 19 May 2024 (UTC)

On Social Verschlimmbesserung[edit]

Here's something that I was somehow thinking of for days now involving social justice and the things that people do. Sometimes, poorly executed initiatives in social justice only make things for everyone worse instead of better due to poor wording, lack of critical thinking, or overzealous demands that damage civil liberties for everyone else. It miffs me because it happens quite often, and Poe's Law that causes good faith and bad faith cases involving social justice to intermingle into a fog of uncertainty. Are they actually trying to make lives better, or are they just trolls or agents of chaos?

Links to a rough definition for the word: [13], [14]

Any examples of this happening in the political and corporate worlds, and anything that can be done with this? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:56, 9 May 2024 (UTC)

That's a nice oxymoron, Verschlimmbesserung = Verschlimm (worse) + besserung (improvement). One can also see that sentiment expressed in Cory Doctorow'sWikipedia idea of enshittificationWikipedia with regard to the internet. Bongolian (talk) 14:58, 9 May 2024 (UTC)
I’m not sure that enshittification is a good example, since the German phrase appears to be mainly about (unintended?) bad consequences of trying to make improvements, whereas enshittification is mainly due to chasing (short term) profits at the expense of everything else, not actually trying to improve anything beyond the quarterly earnings.
If I had to point to examples, it might be adding lead to gasoline to prevent engine knocking and thus improve efficiency and reliability. Or the use of CFC gasses for refrigeration and in spray bottles. Both seemed like good ideas at the time but had some nasty consequences (both being discussed in depth in “Merchants of Doubt” btw).
An inversion might be something like the Bolsheviks seeing the disasters of the tsarist regime and the gradual societal collapse during WWI in Russia as positive, because these events would further their own revolutionary cause. While Lenin might not literally have said “the worse, the better”, he seemed to have adhered to the sentiment. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:06, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
German here. ScepticWombat is right that Verschlimmbesserung ist any change to a thing that seeks out to improve things but inadvertedly made it worse. Anyone breaking the rule "never change a working system" would commit a Verschlimmbesserung. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 16:01, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
Yet there are some people who DO attempt to change a working system in the name of social justice. That was my initial concern. (But then again, a system may work for some, but not for others. Yet the Verschlimmbesserung that could occur would mean that in an attempt to make the system work for the latter group, it no longer makes it work for the former group. Nuance.)TheEternalOutsider (talk) 08:54, 11 May 2024 (UTC)
The Bolshevik example isn't really the same thing, because their hope/belief was that the 'old' needed to be broken before the 'new' [ie them] arose, and things were a lot easier if said 'old' breaks themselves up first. That was the whole basis of their policy of 'revolutionary defeatism'; they wanted Russia to lose WW1 because said ruling class be completely discredited and weak [and thus, allow the Bolsheviks to make a play for power].
Now, you wanted an example, and I shall provide; the UK benefits system for disabled people. The Govt had this theory - 'too many disabled people are on the books' and came up with a wheeze 'closer management/testing of claimants' so they could catch more fakers. So you had people having their cases reviewed on a yearly basis rather than rarely/never like before. Problem was, this resulted in lots of genuinely sick people with permanent/worsening conditions having to on a yearly basis explain to some poorly trained, outsourced box-ticker that no, the 'dementia', 'heart failure' or 'missing limbs' won't get better in the next few months and no, just because I can sometimes make a cup of tea it doesn't mean I can do shelf-stacking for 40 hours a week.
I estimate some 75% of all disability claimants have medical documentation so firm that no physical meeting was needed, perhaps half of these with conditions which won't ever get better [meaning even a case review was unneeded], and the majority of 'fakers' were more knowlegeable/skilled than the person trying to catch them out. Most of the people who get caught out are genuine folks who simply didn't get how the dance went, which is shown by the fact something like 75% of appeals were successful.
If the system was designed to 'save money', it clearly is a 'verschlimmbesserung' because all the extra admin would have cost more than the 'fakers' it caught [unsurprisingly, UKGov refuses to tell us how much all this cost]. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:12, 14 May 2024 (UTC)
Also, I think the academic and scientific sphere is undergoing a severe Verschlimmbesserung in terms of DEI, where initiatives at universities meant for researcher inclusivity into the sphere of science morphed into positionality-based gatekeeping and identity-first preaching that threatens the scientific research process as well as the concept of merit. It actually hobbles critical thinking long-term, and some researchers have been forced to self-censor just because someone could be "offended". [15], [16] Any thoughts on this example? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 07:09, 18 May 2024 (UTC)
This would be a similar concern to The Equal Opportunity Employment initiative, wherein employment standards would be basically reduced by quotas involving race or gender. So, it's been said a lot that diversity initiatives for colleges actually benefit southeast Asian applicants disproportionately. I don't think that makes the incentive wrong, and I really don't believe it does anything inherently harmful to the qualit?y of the workforce in any field. It could be detrimental for somebody in charge to be upset and feel unconnected to the people they are in charge of.Torrent (talk) 05:09, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice I think you misunderstood my Bolshevik example: I meant it might represent an inversion(!) of trying to make things better, but inadvertently making them worse. Hence, the Bolsheviks might be said to have made things worse in order that they might become better.
As for the Tory policy on the disabled, I’d say you present the more charitable interpretation. ;-)
Another would be that the policy was indeed designed to kick people off disability benefits regardless of merit and that the rhetoric about “fakers” were just a convenient cover. Not to mention the very clear lineage back to the Reagan/Thatcher rhetoric of “welfare queens/benefit scroungers” and that the private ”evaluators” were incentivised to come up with reasons to reject claims.
Also, as for saving money, I’m not sure if that was ever the reason. Instead, it could be argued that the stigmatisation and institutionalisation of suspicion (the default assumption that anyone on benefits are cheats) would probably be more important for ideological reasons.
As for the expenses themselves, when those are poured into private companies that’s a two-fold ideological and practical benefit: 1) It’s a direct subsidy of private companies that can then show their gratitude in return. 2) It moves funding from the public to private sector while suggesting that civil servants can’t properly evaluate benefits claimants (read: because they’re either softhearted or just want to was your tax money). ScepticWombat (talk) 08:26, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
Well, I was going on the official narrative - these policies were brought in at the start of Austerity and yes, 'saving money' was the main lauded aim. Yes, my own personal belief of what it really was for aligns with yours. I would also add 3) 'making people more dependent on private charity, which requires more cap-doffing and being 'grateful' to one's betters for the aid'. Which feeds in the general belief that the first thing Starmer and Co need to with these types of fucker is to get their leech-teeth off the British state, seal the wounds and then actually spend the money on productive shit. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:19, 21 May 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yup, the cap-doffing, servile/grovelling displays of gratitude (with the opposing shows of magnanimity from the “betters”) and the potential for reintroducing the good old distinction between the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor are definitely all pluses in the Tory book. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:49, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

Watched this live[edit]

https://youtu.be/IEFGKMWYD-E?feature=shared the drone footage is cool, watched live from the the truckyou, 2024 is a dang garbage year if you don't like extreme weather eventsTorrent (talk) 06:03, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

Happy Birthday, RationalWiki[edit]

On this day, 17 years ago (May 22, 2007), RationalWiki (2.0) was born and has lived ever since. Thanks to everyone who has helped to make this place into what it is today. Let's put the last year of being below legal age to good use before we join the big boys (and girls) club. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 12:42, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

For new york university students.[edit]

For the reflection paper, may I suggest sarcasm. like something along the lines of "I now realise that protesting against genocide is bad and that genocide is ok if done by a U.S. ally" or something like that. Koafox (talk) 15:21, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

It appears that (of all things) NYU is requesting that students watch episodes of The Simpsons as part of their assignment.[17] My modest proposal would be to sarcastically reflect on the many Simpsons episodes that skewered the poor morals of mob mentality and/or shitty educational administration.
For instance, (sarcasm mode on) consider the episode Whacking DayWikipedia (an episode about a Springfield "traditional day" where the town mob gathered to kill snakes). One can modestly state that in "reality", Bart Simpson was actually wrong to "cancel" Whacking Day because it was a traditional holiday and therefore should not have been messed with. It follows that similarly staunch support of Israel no matter what is a United States tradition; therefore, in the style of the Simpsons opening credits, it is obvious that any transgression of this tradition should be punished by writing "I ❤️ the Jewish Defense League" 1000 times on a chalkboard. Besides, who needs snakes anyways?Wikipedia Let's celebrate killing them all, because the mob said so! (Ignore that bit about Whacking Day originally being about beating up Irish immigrants, btw, that's fake news.) (/sarcasm) BobJohnson (talk) 16:41, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

American cops and American cops who shoot dogs[edit]


Cops are trained to shoot dogs in a life or death scenario. Cops are also trained that every scenario is life or death. Somehow, this correlates with a statistic that implies just shooting dogs. So the difference in the title is nothing, until American cops stop unloading on dogs. I was attacked by a dachshund let out for a pee, while I was just walking home. It must have looked to that the tiny little dog that I was headinvg straight for them, and it bravely charged me and just kinda bonked off my leg and started barking. You know what I did? I laughed, little sweetheart, I'm not here to hurt anybody and did not break my stride. I did wave hi to the guy. Sometimes I walk to a gas station, and there is a dog that starts barking at me. I never go meet it, but I do whistle a little two-note tune every time I walk past, because I want this dog to know, I'm just walking past. It actually worked tonight. The dog that wants to bark is very useful, a bark is a good alert. This dog is a shepherd collie mix, if I can guess from across a street, while walking. You absolutely cannot do this 'ain't I just walking?' training if you are not a just walking. Any approach to the dog, as long as my heart is wide, negates the training that, ah will whistle two tones, stay on my side if the street and you have identified me. The dog barked at me, I gave the whistle, and dog just stopped barking. Y'all are never gonna believe this, but I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true. Torrent (talk) 08:53, 6 May 2024 (UTC)

The point is, with a dog, it's not supposed to know me, but it a does remember me because we meet each other on very dog ass terms. It doesn't leave the back yard, I don't approach the back yard. The bark is loud, the whistle is two notes, and there's no more barking for the neighborhood. A big bark against me as soon as it sees me from across the street, not bad or dumb or unusual. It's a dog, it's gonna do dog shit. Torrent (talk) 09:18, 6 May 2024 (UTC)
This is literal. Torrent (talk) 11:51, 6 May 2024 (UTC)
There's also the psychological issue that a vicious dog is terrifying, in a way that bullets are not. When a cop shows up and has to arrest someone, well, even if the owner doesn't resist that dog is not going to be happy. CorruptUser 06:05, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
There are plenty of cases where cops shot dogs while mistakenly raiding the wrong address, or the right address but the perp they're after hasn't lived there for years. Carthage (talk)`
They've also shot people at the wrong address. The solution to dog-shooting is quite simple, actually; if the cop can't prove beyond a preponderance of evidence that the dog was dangerous, then the officer must pay for the dog. Your family pet is worth a lot more to you than the $500 cost of a dog, but that the $500 is probably worth a lot more to the officer than the power-trip of killing someone's pet. CorruptUser 04:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)
The state pays for extrajudicial misjudgment all the time. That's not a new solution. That's a garbo libertarian argument. [ A sherriff literally faked his own assassination attempt https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/a-phony-murder-plot-against-joe-arpaio-winds-up-costing-taxpayers-11-million-6629798] (notice I put the horse in front of the cart there, I know how to edit to format and I'm choosing not to) costing the state a million in a settlement, which does not take into account the man-hours it takes to make the scheme work in the first place. $500 for a dog, are you insane? Do you think that is a prohibitive cost, or do you just want dogs shot? Or are you getting eaten up by the Rand worm that says 'well, we've never actually tried free market capitalism?' For profit prisons are a thing. For profits police forces are a thing any time their bottom line requires a full prison. 1 million dollars is a stupid Austin Powers joke to them. Torrent (talk) 08:08, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
when did you turn heel, man? We can disagree, but the bad guys are still the bad guys. Torrent (talk) 08:34, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
What we have here is a bad case of cops believing their own propaganda (that there's a war on police and the average patrol beat is like patrolling in a warzone). In fact, the "warrior cop" training industry is fucking lucrative. This Slate article even links to knife fighting courses which cops will never need. I wonder if there are statistics on how many dogs are killed by SWAT, which empirical evidence shows does not enhance policing in any measurable way. Tell me, what exactly do cops need full on tanks and 50 caliber sniper rifles for if those don't improve policing? Carthage (talk) 22:01, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
It shouldn't cost the taxpayers $500 per dog; it should cost the officer $500 per dog. Most shootings, of dogs or even of people, aren't clearcut "good" or "bad", but judgement calls where the officer could've really gone either way. Somehow, we need to 1) make the officer hesitate in those judgement calls, and 2) not make the cost so prohibitive that a good officer can't do his/her job when it really is required to fire the gun at the dog. CorruptUser 03:55, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
I answered this. It would never cost the officer, it would cost the police force, the people who pay the officer. You can't shave off a salary, that's impossible. And paying a police force per incident is like hiring mercenaries. I'm really not happy to inform you that you've arrived at the worst solution. Torrent (talk) 07:01, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

Initiative/Primer: On Brain Draining the Autocracies[edit]

Here's something that the US hasn't been thinking of too much, but is there any way the US and allies can help in brain draining authoritarian regimes and snap experts back to reason and sense? Because if experts serve a dictator, it could seriously darken the future of humanity as a whole. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 19:52, 16 May 2024 (UTC)

I would guess that it would be nearly impossible to outdo Putin's self-inflicted Russian brain drain: estimated hundreds of thousands to over a million young people[18] and at least 2500 scientists have fled.[19] During the Cold War, the West would not and then entice a few defectors, but never anything on this scale. The closed thing in Russian history approaching this was the exodus following the October Revolution and Russian Civil War. Bongolian (talk) 20:17, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
So the question now is, what can we do to entice these scientists to renounce their allegiance and naturalize? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 20:23, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
A Bloomberg op-ed on the subject [20] mentions that there are a few programs like France's "Programme PAUSE" in the Collège de France [21] designed for scientists and artists in exile, but they are often small. The Bloomberg article advocates that more should be done along these lines. The Putin brain drain might be one of the bigger ones in the Western industrial era so maybe some countries are caught off guard for all I know.
The United States is currently in a poor state to take advantage of this due to the significant pro-Russian influence and oh noes immigration! Chicken Littles in the Republican party. Apparently in April 28 2022, Biden wrote to Congress requesting a fast-track process for Russian scientists and engineers for 4 years, to be included in a Ukraine supplemental funding bill.[22] According to a Washington Post op-ed, [23] this ended up not making it in the bill due to Republican opposition. What a world of difference from the Operation PaperclipWikipedia days! BobJohnson (talk) 20:55, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
Next up, what does it take to brain drain via permanent emigration and naturalized citizenship from an autocratic country that isn't actively implementing a war, such as Russia's partner in crime, China? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 22:37, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
I think it's because Russia is no longer really seen as a 'first rank' nation scientific/engineering-wise, and a lot of the right-wingers give no value to the humanities, arts, literature etc so they don't really give a damn [they'd welcome an rogue oligarch with their loot-bags, mind]. Wait, scrub that. They don't give a damn, just like Putin doesn't give a damn losing them. I've been saying this since the invasion; that Putin is merely them 'through a darkened mirror', a land where they are merely more overt in their corruption, arrogance and hubris and the polite facade is even more threadbare. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:43, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
Do you think Xi will fall into the same trap of unabashed nationalism? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 22:44, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
China already is an unabashed nationalistic autocracy. However, Xi Jinping seems to actually value science and technology as a "soft power". So, it's not quite the same as long as Xi doesn't start invading countries like Putin did. (Right now, I don't see the signs with Xi that you saw with Putin for the decade before the invasion, but you never know).
Nonetheless, I did find a New York Times article suggesting that there was a bit of a brain drain from China in 2022.[24] For those who are concerned about China autocracy, or for those wanting to escape the horrible (and rather sexist to boot) work-life balance of China, many other countries do have some appeal. BobJohnson (talk) 23:32, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
Xi is a politically/nationalistically-biased technocrat at the helm of a still-growing empire via a 'party system', while Putin is a cynical, manipulative ex-spook in charge of a dying one via his own personal power. As a general rule, Putin has never given a toss about any form of 'development' of Russia; she is a more hollowed-out, rusted hulk than she was in 2000. Say what you will against Xi, but he has made a beeline for a myriad of infrastructure/development projects to 'build up China' for the socio-politico goals Xi and his allies in the CCP envision for China in the next say, 25 years. It is quite possible that like Stalin quipped back in the 1940s, Xi and Co are hoping Chinese 'brawn' [sheer numbers] can beat Western 'finesse' [a technological advantage], as well as a more laser-focus on key projects. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:49, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
But there's also the disastrous One-Child policy and the demographic time bomb ahead for China, including the hordes of spoiled "little Emperors". How will that affect China long term? And will India overshoot them if they relied on sheer numbers? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 23:55, 16 May 2024 (UTC)
'One Child' proved to be rather too successful a policy, and was widened to a two-child policy, and then to even a three-child one. It failed to pull the birthrates out of the plughole, but I suspect the issues are similar to the ones plaging the UK - housing is too fucking expensive/small for kids, we work too long hours, there's shit childcare provision and stuff like education is so expensive an ambitious family might want to have 'fewer eggs'. Chinese per-head productivity generally is fairly shit, which suggests there's a lot of low-hanging fruit to harvest to allow the Chinese economy to support a lot more seniors. There are also other ways to 'stem the decline'; for example there's something like 60 million in the 'Chinese dispora' of which Beijing could/does tempt to move back to China proper [Russia did similar in the 00s].
India has already surpassed them in raw numbers, but that's not everything - Xi and Co shall diligently note that the Japanese who humilated China in the 1930s were numerically less than them, the Russians who did in the 1800s were too and the damned British drug-dealers in the 1850s were like outnumbered something like 25:1 and they won. I personally suspect Beijing is more concerned with 'losing their technological edge' vs Delhi [perhaps with the assistance by the dastardly West] than anything as simple as simple demographics. In fact, some of younger, cynical technocrats might argue that having a bit smaller 'Chinese boat' might help it survive the travails of climate change, while a heavier 'Indian boat' may sink due to shortages etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:36, 17 May 2024 (UTC)
Almost every non-African country has a below replacement fertility rate,Wikipedia it's not a problem unique to China. Christopher (talk) 00:19, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
Many of the developed countries of East Asia (Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan) stand out as being uniquely low even among the low birthrates almost everywhere. It's obviously not the whole story (as a lot of other countries without their unique issues come pretty close) -- the high cost of raising kids today is a huge factor, as is some *good* things (better health, better equality, less teen / "shotgun" births, etc). But I don't think it's coincidental that these countries are known for their shitty work/life balance and shitty treatment of motherhood/pregnancy from a career perspective, as well as some patriarchal society paradigms that are more stringent than other places. It seems to add an "edge" that tips the birthrate even lower than the already low norm. [25] China's One Child policy also contributed by normalizing the idea of a very small family within the culture. [26]
I don't think it is wise to blindly aim for "more babies plz". For a start, as noted by Karma, raw numbers aren't everything (if it was, Pakistan's economy would be well above the economy of the UK and France -- obviously not the case), and for another, many government incentive type programs that tried to reward "more babies plz" simply have not worked. That being said, personally, I think that these low birth rates are one of two major symptoms (the other being climate change) that show off a very significant structural flaw in the current global capitalism paradigm. A few countries have also polled to see what people's idea family size is, and it often is higher than the actual fertility rate (for instance, in America, the polling average was 2.7 compared to the actual fertility rate of 1.6.)[27] My postulate would be that if the cost of children, both in terms of money (including adjunct things like housing and education) and time, could be brought down, in many countries you might actually see greater fertility than you do now, above replacement rate perhaps. Not *big* numbers, of course (you really don't need *big* numbers anyways), but better than now. It's "easier said than done" because even in countries with much better policies than the US or East Asia, it's still expensive to do things like buy a bigger house, feed, and educate a kid, which is stuff harder to make policy for (without *much* more of a structural change to the underlying system). But family friendly government policies probably explains at least some of the difference between France's 1.8 birth rate and South Korea's 0.9. BobJohnson (talk) 01:31, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

This issue was noted as far back as the early 70s by the American journalist/author Hedrick Smith on the USSR; that by this point the Soviet population had basically stopped growing, which meant any further economic developments had to be achieved through intensive [ie improving productivity etc] rather than extensive [ie more factories] growth.

Anyway, he highlighted then the main 'issues' he felt was stopping urban Soviets having more kids [like BobJ's point, their 'ideal family size' was 2/3 too] and his answers are... well, kinda generic - 'lack of home space', 'lack of childcare provision', 'lack of child-friendly environments', 'inflexibility of employers regarding childcare duties', 'career penalties for maternity leave', 'general Soviet life unfriendly for childcare' and finally, 'overwhelming official/societal pressure for women to be workers to the detriment to childrearing'.

All of these apply to the UK too.

In the UK, the crux of the issue is that we are run by lazy financiers who don't want to take account of human needs [like having kids] and know the cost of everything but the value of nothing - a woman in their view is nothing more than a producer and consumer and a child is 'a drain on the state'. In the USSR, it was a similar issue; their 'women's liberation' was mainly a wheeze to get women into the workforce but improving the SoL of said women [like making being a working mother easier] didn't ever feature in any Five-Year Plan.

Throwing a little bit of money here or there isn't really going to cut through major, ingrained structural problems. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:24, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

White Christian Nationalist Movement: Threat Level[edit]

This is a follow-up concerning the current state of US democracy and the looming threat of white Christian nationalism. How severe of a threat are they to the US and the rest of the world, and should we be concerned to take action? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:56, 19 May 2024 (UTC)

They have their plans clearly laid out for all to see https://www.project2025.org/ 2001:67C:2628:647:9:0:0:2BB (talk) 07:10, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
I think the "world" bit is easier because what is happening in the United States is in many ways mirroring what is happening globally. It seems like that there has been an allergic reaction (deservedly, TBH) within the developed economies to the post-Reagan/Thatcher "neoliberalism consensus". The more racist side of these folks have retreated into a populist, reactionary "far-right" whose chief concern seems to be whining about the Other, rejecting globalism, and musing about the good old days. Since this is an inward / backward isolationist looking movement, not a revolutionary one looking to conquer and expand (as far as I can tell), I see an American Christian nationalist takeover (should that happen) as less of a threat to other nations and more something that will continue to erode the United States' global influence in the world. Something that, I might add, has pretty much already happened in the last 30 years (the US still wields big influence, but is no longer *the* influence like it was from, say, post-WWII to the 1990s or so.) One interesting thing about the United States is that, from my perspective, the "far-right" side (Trumpism) is heavily elder-tilted, something I don't see in other similar reactionary European far-right movements as much. As the youth in the US are rejecting the Religious Right within institutional Christianity as well at the moment, this makes me hopeful that once the US gets away from electing octogenarians for president, the threat of Christian nationalism will recede.
Domestic wise, it's a pretty tough call. I think the governorship of Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott could be a good template for a future "what if GOP is elected?". One can summarize their governorship as one that goes out of their way to make laws to shit on minorities and the opposition as much as possible, along with many performative symbolic shit for the Fox News sect (much of which is later struck down in the courts). As is common for states with GOP governors these days, both governors have had their "too far" moments when the party splintered, due to "Heil Hitler" / 4chan shitpost-fascist chums gaining influence within the party in some way, or scandals ala the Moms for Liberty three-way.
Texas and Florida are both growing states, but they also both have some fundamental structural / economic issues that loom on the horizon. These states (especially Florida) probably need to worry a lot more about climate change than, say, Maine or Oregon. Certain infrastructure, like Texas's electrical grid, is... not great. Florida's having a home insurance crisis due to the insurance industry actually understanding that climate change is not a hoax and adjusting prices heavily upward accordingly. Both DeSantis and Abbott have been happy to ignore the "big issues" in favor of the Fox News circus, occasionally (eg the Texas GOP vs. wind power) even getting in the way. And there are two industries that are definitely being damaged in these states due to the reactionary GOP posturing: the medical industry (especially maternal care, due to abortion) and education. A successful Project 2025 style civil service purge, where competent experts are replaced with GOP stooges, would make this sort of circus even worse. BobJohnson (talk) 17:49, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
How severe and how large is their voting bloc then? And they themselves overreport their numbers, so there's that too. But are they a major threat given the 2024 elections? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:28, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
The Republican party is still more of a "big tent" party; not all people who vote for the GOP are Christian nationalists. But, NPR did report on a PRRI/Brookings survey [28] that 21% of the Republican party was Christian nationalist, with 33% sympathizing with their views.
The problem is that there are plenty of other strains of the Republican party that also embrace authoritarianism these days. For instance, a significant chunk of the purportedly "libertarian" side of the GOP (usually seen in the business community and among those with big money, your "born on third base and think they hit a triple" type) has drifted in recent years more towards an authoritarian capitalismWikipedia stance. Money unfortunately is king in American politics, so although libertarians-cum-authoritarians are a small percentage, and have proved not to be popular when put up for a vote (see: Vivek Ramaswamy), they still seem to have outsized influence behind the scenes.
So, "are Christian nationalists a major threat?" Sure, and the biggest threat here is that they provide the backbone of the vote to get a bunch of corrupt assholes elected and in power. Trump was elected once before, and the 2024 election is a coin flip. The GOP looks heavily like Viktor Orbán and Fidesz these days in many ways -- Orbán pretty much used the same strategy (good old days reactionary religious posturing ) to successfully institute an "illiberal Christian democracy", the last word of course being a bit of doublespeak. The irony here is that, unlike Orbán from what I know (and actually in contrast to the religiously observant Joe Biden), anyone who has followed politics knows that Trump really doesn't give a fuck about Christianity at all. But he's just as corrupt as Orbán and Fidesz, that's for sure, and is willing to pander to the shallow needs of the Christian nationalist crowd for votes. BobJohnson (talk) 13:59, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
Two words: Machine Politics.
White Christian Nationalism has built itself a political machine within the Republican Party [since the late 70s] which has become so factionally powerful that it controls a butt-load of low/mid level positions which grants them an effective veto on any wannabe Republican politico anywhere. To these people, 'Christian' is just another identity, and are happy to fall behind anyone [including Trump] as long as they mouth the right words and grant them as much power as possible to build Dominionism within the country. They generally don't give a fuck about any form of economics [mainly because a lot of them are old/retired/rich enough], which is great news for the faux-libertarian 'corporatocracy' such as in extractives, dirty energy, real estate, agriculture, opaque financial operators and any org who's business model is dependent on fucking over their employees, customers and/or the country at large - who shall fund them heavily. They then manage to slither into power by using huge amount of negative campaigning to convince wavering 'moderate Republicans' that all Democrats are evil and must be stopped at all costs.
They are a serious threat as long as said 'moderate Republicans' allow the above to fuck them over on a daily basis. Similar can be said to the 'small-c tory' types in the UK who constantly bitch about everything being crap but then slithers off to vote for the cretins, loons and corrupt fuckwits because 'Labour will be even worse'. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:36, 21 May 2024 (UTC)
Which sucks. Torrent (talk) 02:45, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes. But I also have a solution - entryism. If a load of sane people joined their local Republican Party and got their friends to do similar, they would then be able to outvote the cutist machine in the selection of local officials etc, and thus sanity [well, what passes as sanity in the Republicans] can return. If you live in a deep-Republican area, I would also advocate/support Independent candidates [ideally, sane/respected local figures who focus on bread/butter issues] and getting the local Democrats to stand aside to give them a decent run against the loons. Lastly, I would advocate leftist/centrists should also construct their own political machines which have actual funding and run all year round, not simply when election day comes a'calling. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:59, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
That is beautiful, but get into a coffee circle. Torrent (talk) 02:40, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

Which Mike is better?[edit]

Mikemikev or Mike Adams ←§ Reichtangle (talk) 10:11, 25 May 2024 (UTC)

Which is better, getting stabbed in the left eye or getting stabbed in the right eye? Spud (talk) 10:31, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
Lol. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:31, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
They differ in their overall focus and achievements. While Mike Adams does impressive work furthering commercial spam, Mikemikev is known for non-commerical spam. While the former strives to make a lot of money, the latter mostly strives to make the bald man cry. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:21, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
Mike Lindell, obviously! Plutocow (talk) 03:19, 26 May 2024 (UTC)

Vivek Ramaswamy and BuzzFeed[edit]

So I may be a few days late on this, but it's about time I bring this up. Wingnut businessman and former GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy had spent around 3.3 million dollars to purchase 7.7% of BuzzFeed. [29]. BuzzFeed already has a very poor track record when it comes to citing sources, as well as relying on clickbait sponsorship articles just to make money. So how much damage do you think will be done to the site now that Ramaswamy directly owns a part of BuzzFeed? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 12:36, 25 May 2024 (UTC)

The impact is probably minimal. The only worthwhile part of that site that I am aware of was BuzzfeedNews, which did do some good investigative journalism. That shut down last year.
The current site is very pop culture / celebrity news fluff. So the only way I can see an impact (a negative one, I might add) if Ramaswamy uses his influence to try to inject wingnut political bullshit into the fluff ala National Enquirer. Although in other locales combined politics and celebrity gossip have been combined in the tabloids (I'm thinking the British tabloid market here in particular), in the US I see political news and celebrity gossip / fluff listicles as quite separate markets. BobJohnson (talk) 16:34, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
Agree with BobJ. BF's business model is not really conducive to political crap - and BF is not even really 'vital' (the format is very easy to copy). His shareholding is also not (yet) large enough to really make is wishes felt on the company. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:14, 26 May 2024 (UTC)

Is there a pre-existing term for this?[edit]

I have met individuals in the past who have been non-white and have used their status as non-white to dismiss or provide defences for other forms of oppression. I.e. adultism, ableism, queerphobia, etc. I am not speaking to the more justifiable criticism of critiquing the way these struggles draw analaogies to racism, that may be displaced. No, I think there is a genuine case to be made there. I am talking more so about people who state something like that because casually using the word "retard" isn't racist, it's morally permissible. If I object to it, saying that it's ableist, the criticism of ableism is framed as "white bullshit" and the individual continues using the word.

I have also witnessed people leveraging their status as non-white to defend iffy stances like the Irish slave myth or defend class exploitation, child abuse, etc. I feel like language to describe this behaviour should already be a thing, but I find it hard to find any literature on it. Asking around if anyone knows of an appropriate term to call this behaviour? An example may be something like a black person thinking that objecting to the word "faggot" is white bullshit, etc. Obviously, that is homophobic, but I am interested specifically in the use of one's oppressed status to justify oppressive behaviour. Like often these arguments have a weird implication that says disabled people or gay people don't exist in non-white communities....which is absurd. It probably works to marginalize such people in such communities even further, as it sort of implicated their non-existence, rendering them invisible.

Is this simply appealing to one's own authority? Anti-intersectionality? Oppression Olympics? I have only met a handful of people like this in my life, but dealing with some Palestinian acquaintances right now who throw around such language as "retard", and make weird casually homoerotic rape jokes in online games like it is an endangered species, then go on tell me "shut the fuck up, you're white" if I say something like "I don't like language like that, I think you should maybe stop using it" is getting hella exhausting. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:38, 2 May 2024 (UTC)

It is just up to you. You never have to engage with hate online, but if you do and get dismissed, it's their loss. And if it's online, you aren't really being oppressed, you're having your opinion challenged, probably disingenuously because a lot of people believe that trash talk works. I would say the word is a snarl word, but again, online, it's what you do with it. Growing up, my older brother knew if he called me a retard or a faggot, I was throwing hands and employed them in order to kick my ass. I tried a million insults on him, but the problem was he already knew them because I learned them from him. Not speaking on it is not the solution. The homoerotic rape joke stuff, I saw it coming from a real weird guy I worked with named Anus, not his real name but in real life somebody called him Anus and he thought it was hilarious, he was in high school and also thought the joke 'Hitler did nothing wrong' was top shelf, I did my best to discourage one of the jokes that wasn't OK, but I do remember him saying he was gonna fuck my dad before that meme blew up. I looked him straight in the eye, as his elder, and said 'you don't talk about my family'. He didn't talk like that to anyone afterwards, but he still made strange edgy jokes. Honestly, Anus was a naturally funny kid. A gem. His edge, for moving from online only to a group of real people only sharpened.
The must be retort more powerful than the insult, I would suggest rather than picking an insulting term, a response might blow their minds. Respondingg with 'hey, don't cut yourself on all that edge' Or a your mom response 'Weird, because your mom and I are friends, and we talk about you.'. I mean, if you can't vamp on that one, Then you don't know enough about these guys to worry if they are syour friends. I know a lot of guys who think, from movies, just giving each other shit and laughing about it is male friendship. I have run a majorally male warehouse , and I have had to interrupt, and say, literally 'Are you guys doing that thing where you're pretending to give each other a hard time but actually your feelings are getting hurt?' Adult men. And before I was in charge, I witnesIsed fistfights and wrestling matches. You ask that question, and the pride of no masculine feelings destroys all tension. But you have to understand your snarl words enough to know that the people who use them are ignorant of them and they don't have the understanding to use them in a truly harmful way against you.Torrent (talk) 05:52, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
The truth is, a lot of folks only give a damn about societal issues when it hits their 'own bubble'. In my experience, this is more often seen in people who are politically right-wing - that the moment a problem [such as homelessness] runs outside of their own personal experience they are incapable of empathising. Lack of empathy means lack of understanding, which leads to a complete lack of action on the issue. I've actually coined this issue 'the Cheney factor'; that the moment his daughter outed herself to him was the day LGBT rights became personal to him and he moved to dampen down the most homophobic elements swirling around Bush Jr. I've seen instances of where in the space of five mins a person has given a nuanced and intelligent decription of a marginalised group's problems to repeating the worst stereotypes of another.
The only time I've remotely managed to get through to anyone with this issue was arguing 'mutual tolerance/respect'. That if you want people to not call you [redacted], [redacted] or make jokes about [redacted] in return you must not call them [redacted] or make refrences about [redacted]. I don't give a damn in this case if you think the others 'mean nothing', it's simply about avoiding fucking blood on the carpet - there shall be some people elsewhere who think nothing of you but they are also biting their tongues. There's not much futher you can really go on this unless they've genuinely wish to learn, which in my experience is rare as hell. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:12, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
There is no pre-existing term for a marginalized group acting bigoted; this is because they are just bigoted. A black person, to give one example, certainly can be homophobic (hip-hop has been justifiably criticized for some pretty nasty examples of such). RW has an article on black supremacy for a reason. A group that is marginalized in one place may be the majority in another, so this has led to some very nasty anti-LGBTQ laws in Africa, eg Uganda.[30] Blacks are just an example here; you can pretty much rinse and repeat for *every* group out there, marginalized or not. TERFs and transphobic homosexuals, Jewish supremacists, racism in Asian countries, Islam xenophobes, the list goes on and on. Empathy is not the norm for humanity, unfortunately, IMHO. I agree with KarmaPolice that traditionally it is more the so called "right wing" (at least in Western-space, probably Asia-space too from what I can tell) that engages in anti-empathetic behavior, due to a greater emphasis on "traditional" society values or roles. But as noted above, it is not *exclusively* within that domain.
A lot of people's "bubble" involves them absorbing stereotypes without actually meeting the people in said stereotypes and failing to understand how much bullshit is involved with them. Even if there are elements of truth in the stereotypes, such is often grossly exaggerated. And yes, "the Cheney factor" reminds me of a compilation of anecdotes widely circulated on the Internet in the early days entitled "the only moral abortion is my abortion". One of the great ironies of religion is that so many of them actually do contain text encouraging empathy, but so many followers of the religion ignore said text and use the cloak of religion as justification for bigoted self-centered behavior. While Cheney had his "bubble" pierced a little, this doesn't happen for everyone who is personally affected on something they are bigoted about, unfortunately. BobJohnson (talk) 13:46, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
i dont know why anyone would be surprised at this. membership of an oppressed group does not prevent someone holding prejudices against another oppressed group. this should not come as a surprise. it should not come as a surprise certain prejudices are super common in some groups and super virulent too. with reference to homophobia specifically as an example, its no secret homophobia is present in most muslim communities, in the islamic world and in the west. in london, there are obviously going to be lgbt muslim people with the muslim communities there. but they are functionally invisible in those communities as a result of the homophobic sentiment in those communities. you either stay in the closet or you leave that community. either way, no gays in the muslim neighbourhood. that means all criticism of the homophobia in those communities comes from outside. often these communities already feel under attack from the outside, islamophobic sentiment common in the press, from, politicians of all stripes. they are attcked for being muslim, their defining identity, by a non muslim majority. people who just want equality attack them for their homophobia but say its not their muslim beliefs, and attacked by white racist groups who are probably just as homophobic say homophobia is fundamental to the being muslim. to muslims probably sounds like they both hate muslims. to them probably looks like white people hate muslims probably looks like white folk trying to diminish their faith, water it down by imposing something alien and in antithesis to their culture and religion and values. something abhorrent to them. a corruption not from within but from outside. they pull up the drawbridge and resist this poison from the white infidels.
should one be surprised that palestinians may be homophobic? sadly probably not. should a palestinian friend be taken task for homophobic comments? no doubt. will they appreciate the criticism? well that comes down to the individuals involved. palestinians have a cause in need of support and no doubt grateful to all it may come from. but whatever your intentions, you still look and sound like their oppressors and beating them with the same stick. the last person they heard that 'white bullshit' from probably used it to justify shelling his home.
criticism from white folk directed at a group once or currently oppressed by white folk doesnt make the criticism invalid, but it does make it very easy to ignore. ::::AMassiveGay (talk) 14:02, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
Stereotypes are also frequently fairly outdated too; for example, I've heard right-wingers going on about the unemployed sitting around watching their 'widescreen TV' [when was the last time you saw a non-widescreen TV?] all day while living the lifestyle of Onslow from Keeping Up Apperances [ended 1995]. This is unsurprising when it's recalled that in the UK a lot of these are being peddled by Boomer journos to be read by other Boomers, some of which literally haven't updated their worldview for decades [qv, Littlejohn - telling us how it is in the UK from his Florida condo since the late 90s]. But the truth is, shite like this isn't designed to be evidence, they're simply thought-terminating clichés to stop critical thinking.
The other aspect which is notable is the 'exception makes the rule' situation some folks end up in - for example a person feeling that the unemployed are 'dole scoungers' because their own mother spent their entire live 'playing the system' so they could avoid having a job for twenty years and was/is always trying to get 'more gives' out of anyone [no, they really did]. This is more difficult to counter because we have elevated 'personal experience' to some kind of indisputable position [ie feels over facts] - which can be deadly if we have some totally unrepresentative minority idiot [qv, Braverman, Patel, Sunak etc] telling 'their story' which a non-minority person would feel uncomfortable in refuting the conclusions of even if they have literal stats to show it [like Gay points out].
[Hey hey, Gay!] KarmaPolice (talk) 14:35, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
This is one of those things that has been bothering me as of late. It really takes you down a rabbit hole of dilemmas over tolerance, respectability politics, tone policing, freedom of speech, "freedom vs equality", loaded language and all that other fun stuff. Granted, I've been in a shitty state in the last few months, but it has shown me how people can get really conflicted over this sort of thing and can seek out conclusions that just "feel better." For instance, there's this one little part in the back of my mind that starts acting up any time someone with a pro-Palestinian position says something questionable. I'm trying to push that down for myself, but I can see other people being influenced by it all, letting emotional arguments pulling them to an opposite side. Again, respectability politics and all, but that does influence a lot of people. Doesn't really seem like you can do more than ask people to play nice, but that's not going to work (and someone's going to start yelling "You can't tell people what they can and can't say!").
I don't know. The whole thing just a pile of despair and my brain's been a goddamn mess with too much shit floating around. Paul S (talk) 17:24, 2 May 2024 (UTC)

I should clarify the thing of novelty for me is not of minorities being bigoted, that isn’t novel. The novelty is in appealing to one’s status as a minority as a rationalization or grounds of dismissal to the accusation of bigotry. There is no “surprise” in finding minorities being bigoted, and I do think Karma is right to assert that in a lot of cases it is about people being concerned about their “own bubble”. I know that is definitely true in the case of my acquaintances. But I am more interested in the fallacy of the rhetoric (beyond the obvious ad hom). I.e. given you’re white you cannot criticize me for x kind of bigotry, because whatever it is it is not as a big of deal as the racism that effects me. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:05, 2 May 2024 (UTC)

I think actually the most pressing example that y’all might of experienced online is in the comments section on a post about hitting kids. You’ll often see PoC who were hit as children themselves along side the usual crowd of “I was hit and I turned out fine”, stating that opposition to hitting children, or those who haven’t been hit as children are “predominantly white” — and that is appealed to as reason why doing so is okay. I had a Vietnamese co-worker express as much to me once, talking about how normal it was among his family for kids to get hit and that it was some “white bullshit” to oppose “physical discipline”. You can call this attitude “adultism” but there is something characteristic about the rhetoric afforded to non-whites, that white people who engage in similar practices can’t appeal to. That phenomena is something I desire a term for. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:19, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
I'd argue more the simple fact that if it's within your 'own bubble' you're basically forced to learn more about it [well, unless you simply disown them]. For example, Cheney had to re-consider any stereotypes he held re: lesbians when he realised he had 'produced' one. What's more, they have a ready-made 'guide/teacher' who will [usually] be more willing to field the stupid/insane/insulting questions with relative good humour - including but not limited to 'can't you stop feeling that way?'
For the latter bit... if anyone ever pulled the 'you're white so you cannot comment on any minority' I would simply turn around and say 'does this apply to the likes of Suvella Braverman [or some horrid example of humanity] too?' for this is just minority ultracrepidarianism. However, in the case in particular I would point out that no, the LGBT community does find that offensive and if you say otherwise, I will then curtly inform them that they are now policing my own feelings.
In fact, if I was in an onery enough mood, I might say that to them even if it wasn't true, just to fuck with their heads. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:27, 2 May 2024 (UTC)
The perennial problem concerning justice with respect to minorities is that, given a chance, minority groups can be as intolerant as any larger group. African Americans are culturally conservative. LBGT people are the alphabet people to many including one another. Minority groups, on average consider their group to be paramount and all others worthy of criticism. Asians are white-adjacent, and if they or middle-east people call out "white people," if you listen closely, they are often calling out western enlightenment values, and it has nothing to do with "whiteness". Every minority has its hierarchies. In general, it's hard to understand the hardships of minority groups to which one is an outsider. I know of no theory that adequately accounts for these problems. — Unsigned, by: UncleKrampus / talk / contribs
Being a part of a group that's faced a lot of trouble may give you extra potential interfaces for empathy with other groups that have faced a lot of trouble, but it's hardly a sure thing. At the least I might tell them that there are certainly people who are from their own communities who are part of both groups (thus where intersectionality came from), although I don't know how effective saying that really is. It seems more effective if they hear it from an actual breathing person from that experience, especially a friend or family member. (Assuming they are in fact the sort to retort "well you're white" or some such when this comes up.)
If we want a kind of "case study" minority community for these subjects, we might look at black Americans. There are a lot of black people in this country with anywhere ranging from very socially conservative to very progressive views, all in sizable numbers. You can look at discussions about how black people suffering mental illness are treated, or how black women are treated, and how these problems have been addressed as well as partly but not quite fully ever solved. I believe decades ago there was some kind of internal dialectic in the Black Panther Party regarding sexism, and even pro versus anti gay sentiments and that Angela Davis had something to do with that shift towards more inclusion long before gay inclusion was more mainstream. The history with things like that would be somewhere to look to understand how inclusion can come about organically within minority communities that previously may have held more prejudiced views. Chillpilled (talk) 00:22, 3 May 2024 (UTC)
I cannot believe how many people have engaged this with an 'actually, minorities DON'T get a pass for being upset about any of this shit.' All racism is bad, yes. Systemic racism is real, yes. Parking racist/cultural ideas I that don't apply to an individual is racist, yeah? Existing in a multicultural system means you're going to carry the weight of your culture. Be a good white and laugh it off, I'm not joking, it's OK. They aren't after you. I know a white kid who honestly thinks he has the n word pass because he was friends with all the black kids at his high school and has been to jail. That's stupid. I have never witnessed him use the n word in front of a black person he doesn't know. I think he is happy he's got it, but fundamentally understands there's no such thing as the pass. Torrent (talk) 08:31, 3 May 2024 (UTC)
which brings me to my next point, there is no such thing as the pass. Racism is racism snarl words that have been coopted and colored are not that powerful. If I am called a 'cracker' and have space to defend myself, I generally tend towards 'I like to see myself as more of a honkey than a cracker'. Which is a very recognizably white American thing to say. I've lived with black and native and Mexican people around me, just, casually, all of us living. I had the lucky spot of being a little kid for a lot of it, in a trailer home across the street from a black family, going to school with a Shawnee kid, who had his family come to do a powwow in the gym, with a strange exchange program for a native girl from Alaska who almost always refused to speak, but had a big smile, and with nobody cartoonishly saying 'people aren't people.' Culture is culture. White culture is ambiguous, you have to carry that weight. Torrent (talk) 08:31, 3 May 2024 (UTC)
my idea for a modern white culture is one of informed anti-racialism. This will be hard to explain. defending your whiteness is not accepting your whiteness, which if you've read anything worth reading about race, white people are generally doing this wrong. It doesn't reach as far as white critics of white are doing it right, all race criticism is still bad criticism, this isn't that. What, at least I mean is 'what a silly insecure world, that cultures would continue to be bloodthirsty for something so inauthentic as a line on a map.'Torrent (talk) 09:28, 3 May 2024 (UTC)
The only thing worth reading about race that I ever read is Negros with guns, by Robert F. Williams. This argued that having a gun and an opinion about civil rights is on the whole superior to just having an opinion about civil rights. Seemed to make sense at the time. UncleKrampus (talk) 02:49, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
I am also very familiar with Malcolm X, you have to be prepared to meet violence with violence. And I agree with that, until the tide shifts. Then, violence is insular and a show of who is really making a point and who is really violent. Is that the only thing, because there's a bunch a shit abot ZNH being edited or ghost written into obscurity. Fuckin, williams, so I don't know him, but that's nothing hard or special. On his side forever. Torrent (talk) 06:01, 8 May 2024 (UTC)
Except that the LGBT community has been predominantly nonviolent, and has gotten farther in the last 50-60 years than the Black community has in 170. CorruptUser 06:31, 10 May 2024 (UTC)
I REALLY didn't want to have to respond to this. Before I do, is there something else to say there? A clarification? Please? Torrent (talk) 07:51, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
Apparently CorruptUser forgot about the Stonewall riots.Wikipedia
How the fuck did we get into this tangent though from the original topic? BobJohnson (talk) 13:10, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
Would Corrupt like to explain what "Except that the LGBT community has been predominantly nonviolent, and has gotten farther in the last 50-60 years than the Black community has in 170" even means? Carthage (talk) 17:18, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
While Stonewall riots were a thing, it caused 0 deaths, and AFAIK everyone that was injured was either the LGBT rioters or the cops that attacked them, never any bystanders. Compare that to the MLK riots just a year prior, which had a death toll of 43 and injured 3000 more, or any of the riots since then. The LGBT community has been very good at making itself "harmless", and never the aggressor, and the message has generally been "we are just people who want to live our lives, please stop attacking us!" As a result, the average person is not afraid of Gay people. And while the progress from less-violent or non-violent means seems slower, the progress that is made generates less pushback. Violent methods get more things done in a shorter amount of time... but result in so much pushback that any gains made with violence can be easily undone with more violence.
In 1960, it was worse socially to be Gay than to be Black, while today the opposite is true. How can we tell? To (badly) paraphrase Dave Chappelle, "if a Gay man and a Black man have a dispute, the Gay man remembers he's White and calls the police"; that was not the case in 1960. So in 60 years, Gay (White) men went from being "less" than Black men, to being "more". Which means they've made far more progress than the Black community has in that timeframe. And extending it back the 170, while being Black meant you basically had a few more rights than cattle, being Gay was actually a capital offense. So even at that time, Gay was below Black. CorruptUser 08:25, 18 May 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This completely ignores intersectionality (you, and by extension Chappelle, don't think gay black people exist?), and I don't really think we should be citing Dave Chappelle on anything. Also, while there are a lot of problems with this wall of text: you neglect to mention that during those exact same 1968 riots African American gangs in the south side of Chicago actually put a stop to the violence in that part of the city. There are also queer groups arming themselves in response to bigotry. No bigot expects a trans person to have a gun. I have actually heard stories where queer people have warned off bigoted would-be attackers by being armed. Carthage (talk) 08:33, 18 May 2024 (UTC)

That's why "White" was in parantheses... While no one likes Oppression Olympics, a couple questions do need to be asked.
Who was more hated by society in the 1950's; a Straight Black Man, or a Gay White Man?
Who is more hated by society in the 2020's?
Because it seems to me, as bad as life was for Black Straight men in the 1950s, it was worse for Gay White men. And that today, while both have it better than in the 1950s, Gay White men have it better than Straight Black men. That means the LGBT crowd has made a LOT more progress. CorruptUser 15:43, 18 May 2024 (UTC)
The answer to "who is more hated by society in the 2020s" is transgender men and women, which kind of throws a bit of a "monkey wrench" into your "analysis". BobJohnson (talk) 20:34, 18 May 2024 (UTC)
The question doesn't make a lot of sense. Society doesn't love or hate, or pay taxes, people do. The question collapses into an abstract statistical subject. Do trans people get more hate from society than any other extreme minority? Maybe, but I don't know how to decide that either. Generally, I would say that the Jews are more hated than any other minority group in America. They have their sponsors though and take violations to court whenever they can. Their condition and place in America is stable and nobody worries about their future other than their own ngos.UncleKrampus (talk) 00:40, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
It's so laughable that all of this is still ignoring intersectionality. "The most hated group in America" is a meaningless phrase because oppression intersects. Nor does it matter what form oppression takes. Positive discrimination (like philosemitism) is still discrimination. Carthage (talk) 00:47, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
It makes sense to talk about, but how is intersectionality useful? There are elements of every group from Aborigines to Zoroastrians that hate the Jews. So? Trans folks, Mormons, Catholics, British nobility, gay men, incels etc., even Jews as a group, all intersect non-trivially with the aggregate of anti-Semites. UncleKrampus (talk) 01:17, 19 May 2024 (UTC)
"Hmm, CorruptUser answered what we initially asked of him, and he has a solid argument, so let's bring up 'intersectionality' in order to drag down the conversation rather than admit that he's got a point" CorruptUser 03:48, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
No scholar worth their salt would consider your argument to be "solid." Furthermore, I bring up intersectionality (which you completely ignore) because while a white gay person may be able to claim white privilege in an interaction with the law, a black gay person doesn't have that same privilege. You are acting like "black" and "gay" are two completely separate sets that don't overlap, and so must be analyzed separately. This is shoddy scholarship. You have no argument worth taking seriously. Carthage (talk) 05:27, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
If White Privilege is stronger than Straight Privilege, you've proven my point. CorruptUser 12:48, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
When Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced intersectionality to legal scholarship the whole point was that there mere "additive" conceptions of discrimination were insufficient. She used specific cases where black women were being discriminated against legally by employers specifically for being black women, but the presence of black male workers and the presence of white female workers was used by courts to dismiss such claims. The rationale was that the presence of black men in the workplace "proved" that racist discrimination was not occurring, and that the presence of women workers "proved" that sexism was not occurring. The existing civil rights law at the time had no room to treat black women as if they could be a unique case for discrimination. This is ultimately what intersectionality is about. In many cases, it does not make sense to think of those existing within intersecting systems of oppression as simply experiencing (x + y), but rather the systems of oppression interact with themselves to produce unique forms of discrimination and prejudice. To talk about gay black people as if oppression exists simply as (racism + homophobia), and that one can identify the larger sum contributing to the equation is mistaken. Gay black folks are subject to forms of discrimination entirely unique to them that are not experienced by other black people, or other gay people. The fact that such individuals are then systematically worse off as a demographic compared to straight black people, and white gay people suggests that the compounding effects are unique enough to make any discussion about which prejudices or discrimination axis is "stronger" entirely misinformed. It doesn't work like that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:29, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
Except that nothing says that Black Female is always socially lower than Black Male or White Female just because overall racism/sexism exist, it's entirely possible for Black Female to be above Black Male or White Female even if, on average, Women are below Men and Black below White. So then you'll have to look at every category. But even ignoring bi-racial people, if we include Hispanics and Asians (ignoring other ethnic groups and how you can be both Hispanic and African and all that), that's 8 categories that need to be evaluated separately. If we also include Gay, Bi, Straight, that's 24 categories, without getting into all sorts of variations of Bi or Asexual. Now add in Trans, and you have 48 categories, even if we kept it simple and ignored NB, Queer, etc. Add in neurodiversity, and you have 96. Add in disability, and it's 192. Add in religion, polyamory, age, and suddenly we have tens of thousands of categories. Is a Buddhist Hispanic cisgender neurodivergent disabled asexual woman in a worse place than a Atheist Asian transgender neurotypical ablebodied bisexual man? Or is the superlative superfluous at this point?
Intersectionality has its uses, but when it comes to the general status of Black or Gay communities in 2024, versus the status of Black or Gay communities in 1954 or 1854, these distinctions are being used as nothing more than rhetorical technique meant to distract from the simple, hard to deny reality; that while life has improved overall for Black people since the 1860s, life has improved far more overall for the LGBT community in less time, to the point where socially, on average, a Gay White Man has it better than a Straight Black Man. CorruptUser 05:14, 22 May 2024 (UTC)


Without any statistics (a Dave Chappelle quote does not count), this is all just "Internet hot air" to "prove" a rather spurious suggestion -- that A) LGBT people have advanced far more than African American people, and B) that violence is the reason why. These are honestly frankly sweeping statements on a complicated, long lasting historical topic that from my perspective is *extremely* too simplistic. To throw (yet another) monkey wrench: there is no equivalent of the Tulsa Race Massacre for homosexuals, nor there is the equivalent of Ku Klux Klan mobs for homosexuals (not that the KKK didn't hate homosexuals, mind you... they also hated Jews and Catholics too. But I can't find the equivalent of lynch mobs that the Black community experienced. The KKK hated African Americans above all else.). The truth is, if you were homosexual but in all other respects part of "the majority society", you had one options that black people did not: you could hide it, Rock HudsonWikipedia style. It's much harder to hide skin color.
A general statement I can easily make is that life has improved for both LGBTQ+ and African American communities; however, phobias still hugely exist, and that we have a way to go with both. I don't think it's easy to directly compare "which has improved more or less". I think even discussing the legacy of more "radical" activists in whether they help or harm is more complicated than you have made it. Feminism has had their weird and kooky extremists, same with environmentalists, yet the "core movement" has remained unaffected, and progress has been made with both (as has been made with race relations). I don't think radicals have the impact that you think they do. In my experience, the radicals are often used as "crutches" to justify deeper racism. In my lifetime, the one event that has provoked the most racist white backlashWikipedia has not been anything that some radical Black activist has said. Rather, it has been the election of Barack Obama as president. BobJohnson (talk) 12:37, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
@CorruptUser Kimberle Crenshaw doesn't actually say that "black females" are always "socially lower" than black men or white women. That's not the argument. Look back at what I wrote. The argument is that black women experience unique forms of prejudice and discrimination specific to being black women that are not reducible to simply (anti-black racism + sexism against women). Black women are specifically the targets of certain forms of prejudice that neither black men nor white women are subject to. Likewise, there are stereotypes about black men that black women aren't subject to. Black women are not framed as a sexual threat to white women the way black men are as an example. We have tropes and stereotypes specific to black women (i.e. the angry black woman trope). So when we talk about "gay" people, and specifically look at the intersections of black gay people -- the stereotypes, prejudices, and forms of discrimination that such a demographic faces likely are not generalizable to homophobia and/or racism as a whole. We cannot make sense of that racism by looking at the racism faced by non-gay black people, nor can we make the same inference from homophobia experienced by non-black gay people. The fact you frame it as categories that need to be analyzed separately proves you are not getting it. Intersections of oppression are not tools to be used, they are a current objective fact of our social lives. When refusing an intersectional analysis you are, in essence, refusing a factual analysis and distorting the realities of oppression. You're entire response to based in a very poorly constructed strawman that provides strong evidence you do not read what I wrote. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:57, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
> "life has improved far more overall for the LGBT community in less time, to the point where socially, on average, a Gay White Man has it better than a Straight Black Man."
... and there you go, proving once again you do not understand the issue. You are making inferences about the LGBT community as a whole based on the advances that gay white men have received. That's distortive. Gay white men do not make up the majority of the LGBT+ community, that would be bisexuals who have a much higher rate of poverty. The poverty rate for LGBT people on the whole according to an analysis published in 2023 was at 17% by 2021 [31]. According to census data, black Americans have a poverty rate of roughly 17% as of 2022 [32]. If this data is correct this disproves your claim, the poverty rates are comparable if not statistically insignificant in difference. Notice though, that breaking down this data, the highest of those in poverty among the LGBT populations are trans people and people of colour. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:12, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
if the point is that there are inalienable human rights of just being, existing not by choice but by horrible happenstance, and then somehow some people don't agree about the terms of you existing, just because you've been born? then I would hope you and I both default to human rights before we make anything other than just being dead or whatever harder than it needs to be. A lot of thought in the US has placed importance on racial terms instead of on just being, which is stupid, because I've talked to those guys that say that, and not only do they really buy into it, they all look just like me. So, I personally don't think saying LGBT rights advocates in America have made the generally peaceful headway to where they are now on their own. I don't think every 'hey hey I'm gay, I'm here to stay' action has actually caused real change in America. Sometimes, it's as simple as 'Look man, I know this date is important to you, and you, you can't wear khaki shorts.' and I honestly don't think anyone who was being honest would think otherwise, let alone actually care. It is the exact same as saying black America shoulda been a culture that begged their way to equal rights, 'They could have done it non violently' is like saying violence was never part of it, like nobody kicked the shit out of them for just being. Not for having ideas or lives. They got the shit kicked out of them because somebody was like 'here's a really easy reason to' I don't think you could ever say , without being a small, dumb dumb idiot that the LGBT community begged for their place without actually having merit while constantly getting the shit kicked out of them if not murdered. And getting some acceptance? I don't think you'd ever voice a documentary with Morgan Freeman and say 'before they could fight for their place, the white American community just kinda told them 'that's ok, but if you gotta drink water, please do it from that fountain over there because it kinda grosses us out to think about sharing water. Not with us, with you, specifically'. And then whitey crawled through a tube of poo, and everything was solved' It's really, really strange to whatabout these movements against each other when neither is finished or currently particularly violent. Torrent (talk) 09:38, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────late, but i have some thoughts. one term that comes to mind is oppression olympics. i'm very much allergic to people who do this kind of thing. i see latin americans doing this a lot when they say racist things about black people. "well, i'm hispanic/latino. there's no way i can be racist." never mind that latin america and the caribbean have much the same racist history that the usa does. they might be able to fool (most) gringos and (some) lat-ams, but they can't fool me.

in general, though, i find it very off-putting when people pretend to be victims. i especially find it amusing when those holding the levers of power still think they have a claim of victimhood. (example: white americans are the most privileged people to have ever existed, and they still play the victim when it cones to things like affirmative action and teaching minority history, among so many other things. but i digress.) that said, i don't find it any better when minorities do it, and then weaponize their own victimhood (real or imagined) to push their bigotry. The G (talk) 07:01, 26 May 2024 (UTC)

is there no reason to say something like racism is a white person problem? Obiously.everybody here is screaming 'I'm not racist, look who is racist' and that's not the point. The racism,if you hide behind culture, is always going to zero in. We have answered the preexisting question, how the fuck does this do any good arguing on nonsense termz? Torrent (talk) 05:42, 28 May 2024 (UTC)

I would never replace an s with a z, that is inauthentic.Torrent (talk) 05:54, 28 May 2024 (UTC)

RationalWiki dark mode[edit]

A mock-up of a possible dark version of the front page.

It's probably not gonna come in the near future, but it would be awesome if there was a "dark mode" that could be applied to RationalWiki at the click of a button, because I was getting off of watching a video on YouTube and had my eyes blasted with a sudden burst of BRIGHTNESS. And yes, I know the "custom CSS" option exists, but I'm no good with CSS tbh :(

Sincerely, Postuhenin the neurodivergent doodlebug! (say hi! ^^) 07:24, 26 May 2024 (UTC)

I could not agree more. My old, worn, and tired eyes would benefit from the option and I haven't a clue about how to properly do any CSS stuff. Kencolt (talk) 08:56, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
One already exists; go under "Preferences" -> "Gadgets" -> "User interface gadgets" -> "Dark mode" Plutocow (talk) 17:28, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
So it does. Thank you for telling me, It's much easier to read now. Kencolt (talk) 02:13, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
Needs some work, if you ask me. Navboxes, for example, are all transparent. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 21:56, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
Besides that, a number of smartphones have a dark mode or at the very least some browsers for them come with such mode. In AMOLED screens and the like it's actually black (pixels turned off) and helps to reduce battery usage too. Panzerfaust (talk) 22:04, 28 May 2024 (UTC)

Thought Experiment: The Gigachurch[edit]

This thought experiment is just based on suggestions I have heard from others over the continued consolidation of churches in the United States, as regular churches dwindle and megachurches continue to consolidate and get bigger. Eventually, do you think all American churches, regular and mega, will consolidate into one single gigachurch, how would a unified gigachurch function and look like in structure and operations compared to megachurches and regular churches, and what it will mean for the United States? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:35, 20 May 2024 (UTC)

What is wild to me, is somebody has always already written a song about it. There's no jobs in the city Torrent (talk) 06:17, 20 May 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It seems unlikely to me unless there is some overriding national authoritarian orthdoxy. From the book The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church (page 78):

Ironically, “mergers and foundings sharply raise the likelihood of schism.”* Efforts to reunite the church can go wrong and sow further and deeper divisions. Ironically again, schism can reduce the chance of schism, though only briefly: “one year after a founding or merger, rates of schism are five times higher than they are one year after a schism.” Pursuing unity or enforcing uniformity may be the quickest way to destroy whatever unity already exists. In some cases, consolidation and centralization can lessen the possibility of schism.” At times, it is the very effort to prevent schism that causes it.

Bongolian (talk) 07:04, 20 May 2024 (UTC)

If anything, churches are probably driven by money, and megachurches are definitely driven solely by cold hard cash. So how do you think the almighty dollar would influence the current trajectory of churches? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 08:49, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
Briefly, no. Just imagine the Catholic Pope saying to the Christian diaspora (45,000 Christian denominations across the world), " Aw, you protestants were right all along, let's forget the whole thing." UncleKrampus (talk) 20:52, 20 May 2024 (UTC)
In short, the 'Gigachurch' wouldn't work because the business model of a megachurch would not scale that far.
Megachurches are built on charismatic authority [Weberian term] of the pastor(s) within it, and much of their product is not the message, but the 'show' given - in this case, psychologal manipulation of the crowd to 'feel the Holy Spirit' all together at the same time in the same physical location. Yes, you have TV/radio/podcasts etc, but it simply does not work half as well because you don't get emotionally swept up in the crowd's emotions and your sense of self is aborbed into the group [this is why fundie pastors led the charge against Covid lockdowns; they know much of their business relies on the 'personal touch' and feared an elongated absence from the endorphin-hits would cause their flock to drift away]. But that's the issue; there's only so many services a pastor can do in one day, building/maintaining a 2,000+ seater-venues is expensive and not every area would have enough donating congregants to make it economically viable.
There's ways to jump this cramp, of course; for example the old 'touring preacher' model [qv: Billy Graham] in which his big-tent meetings helped build up a national [or even international] following which then supported his radio/TV shows etc [though he preached that he was a suppliment for their flesh/blood pastor, not a replacement]. Another model which is being tried in the current era is a multi-church one; where the 'daughter' churches show the pastor's syndicated show from the 'parent' church. Problem is, that cuts off the emotional flow between the preacher and audience; whipping up the crowd is harder and they don't have their finger on the local pulse [good public speakers learn how to 'read' the audience and tailor their message, mannerisms, tone etc to help fit]. Again, some churches try to get past this cramp by making it 'hybrid'; that the 'daughers' will have their own pastor who acts as a kind of warm-up act to the main pastor etc - but this them means the church needs to find not only another charismatic pastor but also one who is doctrinally effectively identical to the main one.
Which is where the model comes under strain. Charismatic pastors are... well put politely are often 'of strong personality and will' and it makes collaboration with possible 'rivals' difficult to impossible. As in, the 'junior pastors'. Demarcation issues arise - the junior will often try to make their area 'theirs', while the senior will continue seeing it all as 'thiers' to meddle in as they see fit. If they're in phyisically different locations, the senior will often end up trying to micromanage from afar, perhaps even start fearing that the junior is planning to 'steal' the congregation or even usurp the whole church from under them. This is assuming there is zero doctrinal or even 'style' disputes...
Most importantly, not everyone wants to go to the 'same style of church', nor do they all believe the same things or have the same needs. It's like asking why aren't all the restaurants in the country be owned by the same chain. Religion is a 'personal service' [perhaps the most personal], and thus one where the individual 'human touch' will always be important [which is also why being a rabbi/imam/pastor/etc might be the most 'AI-proof' occupation ever]. Which in fact one of the most common criticisms of the megachurch; that they are simply too impersonal to have this touch [I would guess a pastor can 'effectively' personally pastor at most 100, which means the megachurch attendant only has a parasocial relationship with their pastor] and as such rapidly devolve into becoming Jesus-themed infotainment and political adverts to tickle the fancies of their well-heeled, low-maintenence congregation. Even the Southern Baptists deride megachurches as 'triggering false spiritual highs', only created by showmanship and 'crowdfeels'. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:34, 21 May 2024 (UTC)
so basically, you are are saying this is an improbable concern, because a man will die and that could free a culture. if I have read that wrong, please. Torrent (talk) 02:48, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
In very short; it won't happen because the model does not scale that far, too many preachers are egotistical and there's always going to be a significant % of believers who genuinely want the 'personal touch'. Not sure how that involves people dying, though. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:49, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
let's just say Kim Jung il died, but it isn't a sudden or healthy reaction for a country based in holy dictatorship. Torrent (talk) 02:30, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
Though the average RR megachurch-goer doesn't actually worship their pastors [or at least shouldn't]... though yes, at times some will become so strong in the parasocial relationship with an individual super-pastor that when they 'err' it can cause a crash in belief [which is why some fundies criticise the whole megachurch concept; that it places simply too much strain on the pastor, which can result in stress/ substance abuse/ egotism/ narcissism as well as ending up with money-hungry machines which they have to serve in lieu of y'know, actually tending your flock].
Again, I think the thing which sinks megachurches is the little to zero actual pastoral work. They're 'fair weather churches'; only interested in you when you're low maintenence and generate cashflow. One blog I read about a fundie detractor from megachurches put it aptly; that when it's a small [under 200 members] church and a member is clearly in trouble you cannot help but notice [and the community should 'rally around' to help] and if a family stops attending it's noticed/queried [which might lead to the pastor attempting a 'wellness check']. That he's telling you about how you should live, not 'serving' you spiritual McDonalds.
The most obvious cramp for gigachurches is quite obviously that on doctrine. It's not really obvious to an outsider, but there are significant cleave-lines between different sects. For example, the issue of 'good works' and salvation - those churches coming from a Lutheran tradition say 'it is vital', those who are from the Calvinist say 'it is unnecessary' while the Catholic tradition [which includes Anglican] hovers around 'it shows good faith on faith'. If nothing else, it is difficult to reconcile a believer from one sect to another, even if they've long lapsed in the interim. If you put a Pentecostal in a Southern Baptist service [or vice-versa] I suspect they'd walk out before end.
A good example is this is the reports from the 'Mystery Worshipper' series [33]. You think all these folks would be happy attending the same church? KarmaPolice (talk) 00:02, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Part 2: On Vanquishing Bad Churches[edit]

Since the previous consensus is that a unified gigachurch isn't likely to form in the US, now what can be done as to prevent the damage from or even shut down the greedy megachurches, lying cretinists, and the endless circus of the Religious Right bozos? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 10:47, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
That really is up to the American Christian community; the biggest harm the bozos are causing is to themselves. It's well documented that: A) American churches are overall in decline in the last 30 years; B) politics and extremism are a big part of the reason for this, and C) the decline is more noticeable among the young and liberal, with the former making many church congregations "time limited". Essentially, the greed, scandals, politics, and extremism within the American church community (more the megachurches and Religious Right than anything else, though certainly other scandals like Catholic children abuse played a part too) have transformed America from a thoroughly religious country into one that is just as secular as Europe in many pockets. Way to go, Religious Right! BobJohnson (talk) 13:00, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, and they're very stuck in a 'no, it's the children who are wrong' mindset so they won't change - so they are their own worst enemy. However, I would argue you should 'support local journalism', because it's often them who break the stories of greed /scandals /politics /extremism etc to the wider public and well if nobody buys local papers etc... there will be no journalists to dig out the dirt. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:21, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
the target is the children, so what is being done is very Jerry Faldwell-esque. The fight is about your core beliefs, go to church to get them OR ELSE. Abrahamic religions are the 'make a man prove himself until he deserves a daughter's (contextual 12 to 14 year old) hand in marriage even if it requires straight father or brother incest.' it's a throughline. why does porn really succeed with two adult actors pretending to be step siblings? Because biblically, that's the only necessary way to perform if you don't want to suffer the fate of Onan. Torrent (talk) 03:18, 30 May 2024 (UTC)