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Google The Onion Google The Onion[edit]

Google Answers, its recently released chatbot, actually used The Onion as part of its training set. This should have been an Onion story! This was according to Usama Fayyad.Wikipedia[1] Bongolian (talk) 17:16, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

What, you don't like glue pizza or eating your daily rock for health? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:19, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Other recent answers include: Cats on the moon, blinker fluid for your car, dogs playing professional sports. And some dangerous advice.
Google seem to be injecting search results from some system into the chatbot for it to summarize, also known as "retrieval-augmented generation" and mentioned as a way to mitigate hallucinations in our LLM article. That would seem to go along with how their AI Overview displays sourcing for the info. Maybe it should be added that such techniques don't improve matters when Onion articles and Reddit shitposts are used as the sources. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 22:05, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Notably one part of Google is working against another part of Google. At about the same time that the bullshit machine known as Google Answers was released, there was a report by mostly Google engineers describing the dramatic increase in falsified images since 2023, apparently surpassing other types of disinformation (mostly textual).[2][3][4] Bongolian (talk) 03:13, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
The Atlantic is also working against itself, reporting on the CEO's "devil's bargain" with OpenAi.[5] Bongolian (talk) 03:36, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
The new Google thing is called "AI Overview", not "Answers" (though it offers "answers"). "Google AnswersWikipedia" was an earlier human-driven question-and-answer site they had in the 00s.
Those items you found on disinfo point again to it being a good idea to have more articles. A general "Generative AI" article, beyond the current focus on LLMs, is a to-do I haven't got to starting (I may get to it later this year if no one else starts it first). And the related Deepfake is looking a little dated too. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:04, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

Rather weird my edit was reverted[edit]

Qwertydiy (talk) I decided to clarify that another person was not E. Michael Jones as they had the same name. I don't get why mine was reverted. Could you please clarify?

We're not in the business of shilling randos on the internet. Your hatnote is also poorly written and formatted. Carthage (talk) 08:05, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
"Michael Jones" is not an uncommon name at all (I can name at least one other Michael Jones) so I don't think that note is necessary in any way Plutocow (talk) 08:27, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Name confusion is something all persons with 'commonish' names have to deal with at times. I would only support disambiguation notes if the other X was also notable (ie has their own RW/WP page). KarmaPolice (talk) 10:16, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Your Michael Jones is a Christian apologetic who seems to have some bad takes on science (notably quantum stuff) and a few out there (for "mainstream" theologians, at least) philosophies (some seem to think that he follows Molinism.Wikipedia) Not fundie (often against fundie stuff, it seems) and not super cranky at first glance, but also not notable and quite off the mission. So not really something RW would cover one way or the other. BobJohnson (talk) 13:43, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

Time Before Things Get Really Bad for Climate?[edit]

Maybe it's just the "climate anxiety" described in some articles that I'm having, but things are definitely not looking good for the environment in Canada. An important tributary in Alberta dried up just this past February, there's recent articles of Great Slave Lake in NWT having the lowest water levels ever recorded, and in my own city I've visibly observed water levels in the municipal river be exceptionally low compared to previous years in the last decade. Haven't even gone into detail yet on the exceptionally early wild fire season that has started in Canada. Despite all this, conservative provincial governments still want to expand oil drilling and water irrigation. I think I recall headlines saying the last full IPCC report from the UN reports 2060 as the time that profound effects from global warming will be most explicit and felt, though I'm sure there are newer articles giving closer dates. It's all a little bit dreary really. Impiricism (talk) 16:59, 15 May 2024 (UTC)

I am starting to think we as the so-called Canadian public may need to abandon the focus on federal elections as the means for towards a ecologically sustainable society. We can turn our focus to municipal and provincial bodies, and more towards local grassroots organizations. We can establish penalties for externalities that negatively impact the environment, outlaw fossil fuel companies in province from receiving government subsidies, implement participatory economic policies, push for guaranteed housing, organize more unions, establish a universal basic income, establish policies to ensure a right to repair, and implement penalties on practices of planned obsolescence, etc.
Most importantly we should be ensuring a greater level of indigenous sovereignty over relevant tribal territory to restrict the extraction and alteration of natural resources without their say so from their traditional systems of governance, and organize cases for the violation of indigenous rights to land with international legal bodies when such sovereignty/consent is violated by the Canadian State or relevant corporations.
We may also want to put an end to oversea mining operations Canada is engaged with.
Neither Liberals, or Conservatives will support this. I am not even sure the Greens will. It may require that we focus our efforts in establishing new political organizations, push for participatory budgeting, etc. It’s is not as if the public is against implementing dramatic changes to our society to combat climate change, even miners and oil workers could be willing if they were provided a green job guarantee that implemented their skill sets and provided equal or greater pay/benefits. Federal level Politicians only care about maintaining their power, and they will avoid risky policies if it effects their chances for re-election. This is a product of the centralization of power, and is not a manner of simple moral failing, but how the system itself structured. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:24, 15 May 2024 (UTC)
So, as a green supporter, I will say the global oil economy is overblown but also not vital. Oil companies will make a huge stink about jobs if their projects don't go through, but their projects are generally construction enough masse and then maintenance by a few. So, what they know is the same as the 'concrete project,' where it looks really good on paper to hire a bunch of people to tear down a building, pour concrete, and build something else. It is not harmful to a construction business for an area to need a new building, or in the worst case scenario, a simple parking lot. I'm gonna sound like a boomer here, but the absolute Economy of construction doesn't mean anything in 3 to 5 years. And if we're going to put people who have actually spent their lives honestly in construction in the position of a promise of training a one time job that they might get beat out over for a maintenance job that they might get beat out over isn't inspiring. And the people big industries hire for oversight and maintenance jobs are not inspiring. It fucking sucks to need a construction job, nobody is addressing that, and it blows my fucking mind. Economics don't work without the workforce, and economics are so fucking reliant on them, but at some point when it hits peak efficiency, the workforce disappears. This isn't an anti AI argument or a pro coal mining argument. We build the highways and the oil rigs and the parking lots and skyscrapers, we dig out broken pipelines only when they break production by breaking. We work for business. The line of thinking is entirely turnaround labor, as if nobody should ever get a raise. Unless you just create building projects whether they matter or not, that goal to sustain the idea of 'working for working's sake' in which labor is it's own reward, undervalued labor and redundant projects are honestly just a really stupid way to spend resources. In order to prevent unemployment, over preventing poverty. It's the way it's going to be done. The promise of green jobs for people already established in hard labor jobs does not mean anything but 'oh no, I gotta fight for my job again.' Construction workers are not gonna suddenly flood the green engineer market. That's not a plan. Torrent (talk) 05:17, 17 May 2024 (UTC)
Now, I'm not Canadian, but from what I know of the situation [and economics/politics] is not that the oil industry 'creates lots of jobs' [I personally think they don't, or at least not as many as the Big Public thinks] but the fact they usually are a disproportionately large contributor to Govt coffers without them having to 'do'/'spend' much [which is tasty because it allows them to spend without having to tax people so much]. This is the 'resource curse' which coupled with the sheer size/natural wealth of Canada has led to an overly heavy economic dependence on extractives [with their short-termism] coupled with a perennial 'there's more where that came from' belief.
However, the crux of the issue on questions like this is how much of Canada's total 'carbon footprint' has been outsourced. Successive UKGovs have parroted repeatedly over the years how 'how well we've done in reducing emissions' without ever mentioning that the benchmark was 1990 and the country has hugely de-industrialised and much most of our 'dirty' production to the Far East - and the methods of production might be even worse ecologically as well as adding up the costs of shipping [but isn't on our books]. In this respect, it is perhaps a reasonable [but counterintuitive] policy for advanced nations like Canada/UK to accept some 'bad' industries to be reshored [steel, concrete, timber, electronics] so they can be done as 'greenly' as possible. In this case, this also means that yes, we do still need oil and to a lesser extent, coal. But Canada exports her crude but buys back from the USA refined POL. Why? Another bit of ecological legerdemain, so the refining costs are left in the south?
The other frankly, infuriating aspect of this whole debate is that the 'total cost of ownership' carbon-wise is rarely, if never discussed. Go on, buy an electric car, it's good for the planet... but is it? What about the more tons of carbon locked into the car, the electricity used, the building of infrastructure to support them [power plants aren't free] and finally, their scrapping after how many years they last. No business would ever make an investment decision on anything without these stats... but we are expected to. It's like all we give a toss about is the 'current spend' of carbon, not how much gets locked-in view the production and scrapping stages. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:15, 17 May 2024 (UTC)
So that would be a vote with your dollar free market capitalism ideal. And it just doesn't work that way. The American Capital system really reads like it wants you to go into debt so it can claim future capital to pay its own. Promise a manufacturer 80,000 for a big dumb truck, they can say they sold an 80,000 truck and your capital is promised to be whatever cost plus interest. It's speculative. So much value is speculative, credit cards are designed to build credit. Can you spend less than what it costs to have a credit card? It's not even horseshit, cause you could put that grainy turd into a fire and get a spark. The debt economy relies on debt. Austerity doesn't solve it, tarriffs don't prevent it, it's just a stupid thing we all have to work ourselves out of. Buying Electronic Vehicles is not our job or responsibility, and there are a lot of downsides, including a lack of charging stations, distance between charging stations, and a steady decline in charge versus distance (not the batteries anyone was promised, bad batteries from the manifacturer) that make the promise of a full ev A dream.I still think, if you are able to afford a big dumb truck, the hybrid is the answer. Did you know UPS runs a bunch of their trucks on natural gas? They consider is either compressed natural or liquid natural. Both of which sound a little stupid but they come from the same source. Renewable Natural Gas. Fuck everyone. Torrent (talk) 02:19, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
I'm fairly cynical about the whole 'personal responsibility' thing re: climate change, for I know the line 'carbon footprint' was coined by the ad people at the behest of those friendly folks at British Petroleum. And historical examples of no-penalty voluntary reduction schemes show that at best, they work a little [mainly on the middle classes] but it's never near enough. There's been countless examples of where responsibility has been fobbed off on us final consumers, rather than the producers or the state [most obviously with plastic recycling; making us donate our own time/labour to clean/sort/transport shite we never wanted in the first place for 'recyling' which normally does not even happen].
With EVs, I think they're part of the solution with transport emissions - to whit, for folks who live in suburbs-density locales in urban enviroments where mass transit isn't a viable option, barely ever make a round-trip of 75 miles and most importantly, have ready access to low-carbon electricity. It would also be suitable for other niche uses, such as small 'local delivery' vans in which much of the time it's sitting at the company depot [and charging]. However, we do need to sort out some quite serious issues even before we get to this point; such as such as 'product lifespan' [we'll only get 'trickle-down' EVs for poorer folks if they know a 10-year old EV is 'still good'], 'enforced standardisation' [such as charging plugs], the state to actively build a standardised public charging network [such as having all the charging companies use the same fucking app] and perhaps most critically, breaking open the 'black box' and allowing independents [or even skilled home mechanics] to fix their own EVs.
The 'renewable natural gas' you mention is known as normally 'biogas', produced as a byproduct from the rotting of organic matter. Drained off old landfills or produced deliberately in large plants, it can be considered fairly 'green' as said methane would have been produced normally and to a major extent, said waste cannot be avoided in the production of food and similar. However, the crux of the issue is whether the feedstock really is 'waste' - there's moves to start deliberately producing crops for this [which in my opinion is totally missing the point]. Similar can be said of the old coal power plants converted to burning wood; okay [I suppose] if it's simply consuming waste but not if they're fucking importing virgin Canadian logs to be shipped over to the UK for some 'off-budget' carbon emissions in the UK. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:49, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
Find a fill-up for biogas, and we'll be square on this argument. I know a lot of places to get blue rhino propane, where does one find the infrastructure to fuel a personal natural gas vehicle? In the best case, over 75 miles away from home? And that's the point, you can't have the consumer lead the infrastructure, that is a capitalist blind spot. Torrent (talk) 06:52, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes, it is a chicken/egg situation which often happens in capitalism - consumers won't buy X due to a lack of infrastructure, while companies won't build the infrastructure due to lack of demand. Sometimes a forward thinking company or two will 'invest in the future' thinking long-term, but esp in the Anglo world, they don't [because our companies are run by financiers, not true 'I have a dream' entrepreneurs]. This is closely allied to the 'path dependency' issue; that future decisions are made based on past actions re infrastructure, training etc - for example, EVs really came about because almost every location in the advanced world has an electrical connection.
Your gripe in fact shows part of the problem - the desire/expectation to have a omni-solution to all transport issues, when the answer is a myriad of solutions. Biogas 'does not scale' as a solution - there is insufficient 'natural' supply to warrant use by the general public. Fleet vehicles [such as delivery vans and buses] are more suitable for this because normally they operate out of a single [or perhaps a couple] of depots which could easily have their own supply laid-on from the biogas plant. But even then, there's times where the biogas makers have decided to use it for electricity generation rather than go through the palaver of trying to ship the gas to a consumer. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:52, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
look, I don't think there is a single solution, and I understand the allegation that I would be dumb and think if a solution might help it is what I believe,but to not solve the whole thing would be a worthless effort. That would be kinda accurate on me, but I'm always ready. Torrent (talk) 06:42, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
as a drunk statement I do mean there isn't a single sole solution we can put every effort towards. And I'm not here looking for activism. For any solution it would generally have to pass through a cynical test, and I generally think this is a place to test it. I'm not in charge of anything, if comedians steal my jokes or politicians steal my rhetoric, I'm still hard up and writing here for no monetary reason. The day I leave is the day I get paid to. Torrent (talk) 03:01, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Eh, my swipe was more at the general desire of the 'perfect' cure-all solution. I mean, for example your points regarding biogas are right but then it's used to justifying not using it at all (often by bad-faith actors). KarmaPolice (talk) 12:43, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

The Natural Law Argument: Am I on the right track?[edit]

In Dr. Jeff Miller’s book, Science vs. Evolution, he claims that since laws of science exist, they must have been created by a “lawgiver,” the God of the Bible. The problem I have with this argument is that natural laws are simply linguistic articulations about exceptionless facts about objects in the universe and their relationships to the universe, not rules created by humans that can be broken. The fact that scientific laws cannot be arrived at without a universe tells me that these laws are really human statements about objects in the universe and their relationships to the universe. What Dr. Miller can’t explain is how definite objects and relationships can exist without possible definite descriptions. Is this good reasoning? If not, how can I improve it?ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 18:30, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Yes, I would say you are on the right track. Governmental laws resemble religious laws as delimitations of human behavior, while physical laws are simply accurate descriptions of physical objects and their interactions with their environment. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:55, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
That seems to be quite a jump in reasoning, doesn't it? Because there are scientific laws, they must obviously have been designed that way by the Christian god; why not Brahma, Zeus, or Cthulhu? Anyways. I do find your definition of scientific laws a little too artful... I'll use use this following definition from Wikipedia so that we're on the same page: "Scientific laws or laws of science are statements, based on repeated experiments or observations, that describe or predict a range of natural phenomena". Snazzy right? When I was younger I was taught, and still am of the opinion, that scientific laws don't really explain why they work like they do, they just do. Why does something with a very large mass pull things towards it i.e gravity? Nobody knows "why", we just are very, very certain that it does through rigorous and exhaustive testing (apples almost always fall to the ground when dropped!). So I think this answers your question... this Dr. Miller (is he actually a doctor?) person does appear perturbed by the fact that finer details such as why are absent from scientific laws, and so he jumps to the fallacious argument of goddidit. Impiricism (talk) 19:47, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
The "why they work like that" for natural laws is what research in quantum physics are working towards/trying to discover - eg string theory. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:55, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Ha, after re-reading my description of a scientific law, it does seem a little... contrived. The definition given by Wikipedia certainly is more succinct. As far as I know, Jeff Miller is a doctor. He has a Phd in Biomechanical Engineering from Auburn University. Engineers and woo.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 22:30, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Why is it always engineers? Carthage (talk) 00:19, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
The very use of the word "law" in science is a bit anachronistic. What we really have are repletely verified scientific theories. Nevertheless where "law" is used it simply describes what happens, it is a descriptive law. Human laws tell people what to do under threat or sanction. They are proscriptive and people can obey them or not depending on their inclination or appetite for risk.
I suspect that we are looking at equivocation.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:40, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
String theory? I'm actually in the middle of Brian Greene's book, The Elegant Universe! Personally, I think it sounds too good to be true. It really hasn't got much for it except elegance. Still waiting for them to discover gravitons.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 22:37, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
I think that is the fallacy of relevance here Bob. It should be said as well to Joshua that even laws in science are not per se exceptionless. It depends on the law itself, but the main difference between laws in the scientific sense and laws in the legal sense is that the former is merely descriptive while the latter is prescriptive. There is arguably a faulty analogy fallacy built into here in addition to the fallacy of equivocation. Many laws describe idealized conditions that do not genuinely occur in reality, as the law itself is merely to describe a functional relationship between variables. Laws are more like observed regularities, or abstracted relations between variables then they are exceptionless facts. There is a very influential but someonewhat controversial book in the philosophy of science that may be worth looking into. It is called "How the Laws of Physics Lie" by Nancy Cartwright. Though it should be said her target of exploration is specifically in the formalized relations expressed as "physical laws" and philosophers disagree if the laws in sceince are truly meant to describe the equations we ascribe as "laws" or if the "true" scientific laws are the one's expressed by forces in nature independent of human description. Which is to say, what is and is not a law is controversial. What prompted Cartwright's work specifically was the claim that biology was not a "true science" because it didn't possess "true exceptionless laws" like physics did. She wanted to prove that physics didn't possess such things either, but not possessing such things does not make physics any less of a science, so there is no reason to exclude biology from being a science either. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:37, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
So we agree?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:09, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes, scientific laws are generalisations at best. Even the good old second law of thermodynamics doesn’t seem to hold sometimes! [6] [7].ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 22:30, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

I am concerned about the the thing I say here[edit]

I'm not happy to say the easist thing, That It is really cool that you made it here.— Unsigned, by: Torrent / talk / contribs

Did you want an argument?UncleKrampus (talk) 16:26, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
I think we'd need a translation before that. Kencolt (talk) 19:49, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
Has someone been drinking again? Carthage (talk) 20:29, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
I feel like I accidentally started with the second book in the series. Semipenultimate (talk) 02:07, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
It's a coded message to the followers of Raëlism.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:51, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
All of it would be very funny if you weren't really bad at it. Torrent (talk) 05:35, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
That's me, and for the record, you were all very funny,the criticism was mine to myself. It's hard for me to take a joke, especially when I am open. But it is nice to know it's spot on. Torrent (talk) 08:24, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

is fear the "mother" of morality[edit]


I was linked the above by someone who quoted Nietzsche and I think he's got it wrong, on top of it being JP. Thinking morality is based on fear sounds like someone stuck in the Christian notion of it with "be good or else". But that's stupid and narrow minded, most people I meet aren't actively thinking of harming others and as we developed the world (IMO) has gotten more stable as we see that we are all humans and not separate tribes.

Like...the "Bad things" are harmful not just because they hurt others but they affect us too. Murder for one does harm to the mentality of the person who does it, just look at soldiers in war. It's not really a fear of doing the bad stuff it's just that "why would you do the bad stuff"? Most people with basic empathy wouldn't harm others I'd think. (talk) 22:55, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

I think there's more evidence supporting the altruistic gene as such a driver than fear. Fear is likely an influence, but that video has no actual evidence - it is all supposition and some pretty shoddy reasoning IMO. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 01:39, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
There is work by Jonathan Haidt, which I haven't read, which explores emotionally rooted dimensions of morality and how they vary in people. It seems like a sort of temperamental variation in how people compare in these. This suggests various areas of brain circuitry are involved.
Fear plays a part in that it's arguably tied to all motivation to avoid bad things, speaking fully generally. A lack of such brain function may lead to a life fully free from the pressure subjectively experienced as fear, but likely at the cost of dying quite early. Placing the center of attention on fear seems to miss the mark, as it's more a basic function than anything specific to morality. However, people who have no moral scruples, like psychopaths, but who still avoid certain things that are seen as immoral when it suits them, may come closer to having a fully fear-based "morality". ApooftGnegiol (talk) 01:55, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Kohlberg lines up the stages of moral development pretty well. The morality that fundamentalist Christian apologists tend to refer to is preconventional morality, or the moral theory many children have before the age of 10. Under normal human development, everybody is supposed to grow out of the whole "Be good to go to heaven" thing at some point.
Also, 10-15% of adults reach a stage of morality above conforming to society, which is postconventional morality, or developing one's own values aside from those laid out by society. This may explain why some people may use "that's the way it's always been done!" as a reason for why they don't want society to change, since 85-90% of adults do not reach the postconventional stage of moral development. Some people just think good and bad is following society's principles, without putting in more thought.LegoFan4000 (talk) 21:12, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

"...fear is the "mother" of morality..." is a poetic statement and not a scientific one. Metaphysics and poetry are not all that different in the use of metaphor. Therapists often use poetic language because their clients would not typically benefit from a scientific explanation.UncleKrampus (talk) 02:19, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
We evolved as cooperative social hunters, so the evolution of normative behaviors to maintain group cohesion would come about as part of the package suite of adaptations that came with a switch from the "competitive collaboration" model of other social primates to the truly cooperative model of hunting-gathering only exhibited by members of the genus Homo. Carthage (talk) 02:21, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Jordan Peterson has gone from philosophy to autor, in the strongest way, to protester to author in also the the strangest way, this would be his lobster era, to a really strange era filled with crying. Which, I get that. A lot of substance Abuse leads to involuntary crying. Kavanaugh crying was like, was that a man who likes beer or can't go a day without it? And since Peterson's incredible resuscitation from coma, he's not talking about addiction. What a dork. Torrent (talk) 06:15, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

The Election is on![edit]

Sunak has called a snap election in the UK; Thurs, 4th July 2024.

I've set up a draft page for the election https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Draft:2024_United_Kingdom_general_election Idea being; if everyone adds to it during the campaign [with refs please], I will then review and make it fit for mainspace afterwards. Thanks in advance. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:26, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

It feels a bit symbolic that Sunak was drenched by a downpour while announcing the election. Quite apart from the unplanned background music. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:52, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
That music was planned. Just not by CPHQ...
In other news, the talking heads on LBC are predicting a Labour majority of 50-60. I think this is going to come down to a) level of tactical voting, b) how much Reform run, c) how 'suppressed' the vote is by the summer stuff going on and d) how bad the 'Gaza sore' is to Labour. The fact the Unis will be out I think will nullify itself; it might diffuse a very anti-Tory vote from a few [perhaps] marginals and disenfranchise folks not registered to vote at 'home' [though this can be sorted by a big advance postal ballot push] but it also means a lot of students will be in places like the Shires which might prove a resource that can be tapped to help with canvessing etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:10, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, the summer recess will potentially play against the Tories since they can’t rely on the “on campus voting ban” to suppress the student vote. They’re probably still hoping that their voter ID law might give them a crucial edge in very close races, though.
And the short campaign is probably also to forestall any (further/formal?) collaboration between Labour and the LibDems to further magnify Tory losses by not attacking each other and ensuring that the party with the best chance of beating the Tories in a particular constituency will not be hampered by a split vote, and thus encourage tactical, anti Tory voting.
I also agree that Reform UK presents an important uncertainty: If they eat into the Tory vote, the results could be truly disastrous for the Tories (especially if combined with anti Tory tactical voting). But there are a couple of asterisks here: Are the people who’ve said in opinion polls that they’ll be voting Reform UK actually defecting Tory voters? And if they are indeed former (potential) Tory voters, will they actually end up voting Reform UK, even if that risks a Tory seat going Labour/LibDem? ScepticWombat (talk) 18:42, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
I've long bitched that Mandelson has in effect moved into Starmer's head, but in this case it's a good thing - for the Kennedy-Blair 'cease fire' in '97 was part of the reason for the Tory wipeout. It also helps that there's basically zero straight LD/Labour fights [I think the only one is Sheffield Hallum, Clegg's old seat]. Having done lots of reading on every GE since 1992 for RW, I think Davy must rule out a coalition with the Tories or Labour [but say they're open to ad-hoc arrangements] but also state another vote for PR isn't going to be the 'price' they demand for 'collaboration'. In return, I believe Starmer is going to need to make a 'people of the left, please lend me your votes' pitch and cherry-pick a totemic couple of policies which appeal to Greens/socialists/etc while being fairly honest that while yes, Labour is hardly appealing to them they're a damn sight better than the Tories. However, I seriously doubt he'd do the latter as he's basically been shouting at me to go fuck myself since becoming leader.
With Reform voters, from the looks of it they are almost solely the old Farage-era UKIP vote - the ones which 'lent' their votes to the Tories in '17 and '19 due to Brexit. I'm actually interested to see how strongly Tice and co are going to push this, and in response how rightwards Sunak will lean in to 'accommodate' them - I suspect that while yes, chanelling Braverman over immigration, othering and woke might save a clutch of Rustbelt seats, it very well might sicken enough in the Shires and 'Cameronian' suburbs to bolt to Lab/LDs. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:36, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

If there was a 'None of the above (candidates)' option on the ballot paper the results might be interesting (as with getting fewer votes than the Official Monster Raving Party). Anna Livia (talk) 20:28, 22 May 2024 (UTC)

Sunak not only got soaked but also got trolled during his announcement with anti-Brexiteer Steve Bray blasting the song "Things Can Only Get Better" from beyond the security barrier.[8] Some have speculated that the earlier than expected election date is because Tories have come to the conclusion that things will not get better before the election deadline in January. Bongolian (talk) 02:32, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
I think it’s absolutely the reason for the snap election that this is the “least bad” time for the Tories and it’s likely that things would get even worse for them, if they’d waited.
Right now, the Tories can at least pretend that they’ve “beaten inflation”, and, due to the season, some voters aren’t in the “heating or eating” dilemma that might fuel yet more eagerness to stick it to the Tories.
The water companies are only going to keep increasing their prices and pouring shit into the rivers and oceans, so there’s no improvement in sight on that front either, quite the opposite in fact. And since even their latest promises of tax cuts didn’t move the polls, the Tories’ political ammo pouch is basically empty as it is. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:41, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
One good personal good thing. Expat UK voters have finally got our right to vote back!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:09, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, nothing good 'seems to be sticking' for the Tories - they've been blaring out their Greatest Hits for a year now and the polls are stuck. My guess is what has happened is what I warned Grant Shapps about in 2017; that a political party needs to avoid becoming hated - shown in this case by the fact perhaps the majority of the people have quit listening to them. I think they did want another giveaway in Sept/Oct, but the sounds from the IMF etc about them being in effect unaffordable [well, even more than the last ones] and this spooked them.
The other reason is I suspect the Conservatives chose now is the 'Gaza factor'. My fag-packet tells me that 'Muslims' [I hate lumping people into demographics, but you have to for some extent in conversations like this] make up more than 10% of the electorate in at least 85 seats, traditionally vote Labour by about 70% and quite a lot are concentrated in Rustbelt seats. If say, a third of these ditch from Labour... that's worth at least 1,300 votes per seat in Labour/Tory fights.
This leads me to discussing hat-man. Galloway's 'Workers Party' on the surface appears to be a 'socialist' splinter from Labour [actually mainly a cut-out for the Stalinist splinter from the CPGB]... but if you actually read their manifesto etc [yay, lucky me] you'll spot that their main Venn overlap is in fact with Reform [anti-woke, anti-establishment, 'patriotic' and populist] which means they're more a threat to the working-class Tory flank too. This leads to two questions; a) how strongly with 'the Muslims' does the WP become associated with and b) does Tice tacitly come to an 'arrangement' where there's no seat where both WP and Reform stand?
Lastly, I've been seeing Communist posters about recently, apparently from the 'Revolutionary Communist Party'. Anybody else seen them? KarmaPolice (talk) 10:02, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
I saw one the other day. Which flavour of Communist is the RCP? Have such posters been seen in Tooting? (Obscure Brit joke) Anna Livia (talk) 18:06, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
Trots, it seems.
The “Gaza effect” doesn’t sound implausible to me, now you mention it. But damn, I’d forgotten about Galloway and his nonces. I really hope no one who’s actually on the left gets sucked into his cesspool by mistake (i.e. not bothering to actually check the party’s views and just going by sound bites and slogans).
Still, I’m pretty doubtful as to whether Galloway’s voters would’ve actually considered Labour as an alternative. Like Reform, it seems that the WP goes full on with the “anti establishment” rhetoric/conspiracy theories, as already mentioned. But while there is a wing of the Tories that very clearly overlaps with some of this Reform nonsense (e.g. Braverman and Badenoch), which at least mean they’re competing on Reform’s turf, I don’t really see a similar situation with Labour and the WP. This is why I don’t see WP as much of a threat to Labour. Oh, and I doubt that, even if they agree to a “non aggression pact”, WP and Reform will get any seats (possibly Galloway might, if he’s popular enough in his constituency, but that’s probably about it).
Not in the UK so I don’t really get to see election posters and thus cannot contribute to the question of Communist ones. Anyone voting Communist in the UK in July was probably not going to vote for a viable candidate, though. However, I have seen some new Communist parties in other countries in Europe, as well as a bit of noise from those Communist parties that survived the Cold War. But it seems they all remain Lilliputian fringe parties with barely more voters than members (if they’re even able to get on the ballot). ScepticWombat (talk) 12:30, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
The 'Gaza effect' is also a risk on the left-wing flank of Labour too; as seen in the locals where quite a few defected to the Greens [though this is simply a resumption of the general 'left bleed-out' from Labour since '10, which in the Ashdown/Kennedy era had been to the LDs]. Like you, I don't think WP is that much a threat on this manner to Labour [or more correctly, no more a threat than the UKIP/Reform threat was/is] because as a rule we socialists know all about that slimy carpetbagger and perhaps more importantly, the likes of Corbyn and Momentum have stiffed hat-man's approaches. I don't believe either Reform or WP getting any seats [hat-man only won due to Labour not contesting Rochdale], which is why Toad has declined to stand again. Tice has just now committed to running a Reform candidate in all non-NI seats; which now means Sunak has about two weeks to work out how to 'deal' with this [the 7th is the deadline to withdraw]. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:08, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
I must confess, though, that I do feel a bit uneasy about the kind of Labour landslide that the polls have long predicted. Not because I feel sorry for the Tories or subscribe to something like the frankly mental logic of some in the USA Democratic leadership that “We need a strong right wing opposition party” for democracy to be healthy.
What worries me is the kind of leadership that Starmer has espoused when he and his wing became dominant within the Labour Party. His notion seems to be that there is essentially no room for internal debate or opposition (at least if this is on the left). If Starmer gets to run the UK with a whopping majority and those kind of attitudes, I’m sure glad I’m not a UK citizen (especially one that doesn’t particularly like or agree with Sir Keir Starmer).
Of course, it could very well be that Starmer the PM leads differently from Starmer the Labour leader, or that he’s “only” targeting “the left”, but I just don’t see him as a man that can be easily trusted with power. Especially not the kind that an overwhelming parliamentary majority will give him in a UK political system that has few other checks and balances beyond Parliament itself. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:17, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
However, it's notoriously difficult to project polling into actual seats; I've seen recent projections that have Labour sitting anywhere from a Feb '74 [Labour minority] to 1997 [huge landslide] results. I've also seen that there's upto about 20% mismatch between polling/voting - not just lying to the questioner, but tactical voting, finding desired party not standing in seat, not voting at all etc. They then simply extrapolate using census data etc, which can throw the result if those ratios are wrong [qv, 2017. Under-30s turnout much higher than projected].
Starmer - I fear - is going to fall into the 'you have nowhere else to go' fallacy which has been played against left-wingers for a century [or even worse, 'there are no votes on the left' one]. Which is why I wholeheartedly welcome the rise of the Greens; I am hoping it will show quite graphically that no, Labour's left flank does need to be protected... because we do have somewhere else to go [ie the Greens turn out to be Labour's Reform] KarmaPolice (talk) 14:51, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
How true do you think the rumours that Sunak called the election because the 'loonies' in the party were coming close to triggering a vote of confidence in him? KarmaPolice (talk) 11:27, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
I got a friend in London who says Tories wana Un-drop the writ. (which, if true, is hilarious since even if its legally possible, it'll buy them what, 4-5 months?) Revolverman (talk) 20:29, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────slate gave him a royal roasting with this one: "In a symbolic move, Sunak scheduled the election for July 4, a date synonymous with British failure." [9] The G (talk) 21:47, 25 May 2024 (UTC)

Good grief, now the Tories are trotting out ”national service”. That’s when you know they are just keeping up appearances and have already resigned to being trounced in any but the most diehard gammon pensioner landlord constituencies. Quite apart from all of the “rats leaving the sinking ship”-resignations, of course. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:57, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
We truly are at the 'lob crap onto the wall and see what sticks' stage of the election, and it's not even been a week! Even on the objective level of being a policy, it's shit; '30k volunteers' for the military [for a year], everyone else has forced-volunteers for a weekend a month [so 24 days in total] 'helping' other orgs. It takes about 10 months to bring someone remotely 'fighting fit' [assuming they're already in a educational/emotional/physical condition to do Basic] which means unless you're gonna then discharge them into the reserves it's a relative waste of effort. And you know what the others will be used for? Free labour. I forsee these people being used to empty bedpans, clean road verges, fish crap out of ponds and make police officers cups of tea.How is that going to build 'community spirit'? Or 'provide training for later life' [wait, what was school meant for then?] I've worked in the voluntary sector before, and truth be told unskilled voluntary labour is shit, and is only really welcome when it's that or nothing.
I am not inherently against this concept [I more favour building up our reserves and establishing a 'Civil Reserve' to increase the country's resiliency] but as you point out, this one is to appeal to the Alf Garnets of this world. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:27, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
I’m not categorically against conscription either, btw, and live in one of the countries that never rescinded it.
The major argument for it in my neck of the woods has traditionally been that having “citizens in uniform” is a potential democratic check on some of the risks of having a wholly “professional” army which might start pursuing its own priorities (incl. ideas about the army’s role in society). I’ll admit that this is one argument in favour of conscription that I’ve always thought had some merit.
In addition, alternative service has been available for decades here, so no one is actually forced to serve in the military against their will, even if “their number comes up” (a friend of mine basically worked as a roadie at a rock concert venue for his stint).
Still, the UK has generally had little of such a tradition and this version sounds outright absurd, even on its own terms. And I agree that should the Tories somehow both win the election and implement this nonsense, it will probably be something like a postmodern version of corvéeWikipedia labour. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:56, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
"The major argument for it in my neck of the woods has traditionally been that having “citizens in uniform” is a potential democratic check on some of the risks of having a wholly “professional” army which might start pursuing its own priorities (incl. ideas about the army’s role in society). I’ll admit that this is one argument in favour of conscription that I’ve always thought had some merit." How does it have any merit? Coups are done by flag officers, not privates and corporals. If anything, conscription arguably makes it worse, with a huge number of bodies said Flag officer could employ in a coup. The argument makes about as much sense as people voter fraud happens IN FRONT of the ballet box. Revolverman (talk) 22:59, 28 May 2024 (UTC)
The argument is this. Most democratic all-voluntary militaries recruit from rather 'narrow' pools [the American is strongly Republican/Southern/rural] and often end up living in variants of 'garrison towns' where they associate too much with each other to the point they've started to become 'a caste'. That over time, our hereditary warriors get it into their heads that only they 'know what is best' for the country, that only they are competent/incorruptable and so on - something not helped if one party festishises the military. That over time, the military starts believing that they are the state, that their needs must always be served first and so on. If unchecked, this can end up becoming a full-blown 'stratocracy' where retired/current military officers effectively control the state, like they did in Imperial Germany before WW1.
If a military instead is majority conscript, it lessens this 'disconnect' because the career military will see what/how the civilians think [well, the 18-20 year olds] and said conscripts will be a much better cross-section of general society. It will also help demythologise the military because eventually [if you have universal service for both sexes] everyone would have been in the military at some point [might also help with recruitment too, as some 'non-traditional' folks might decide a military career is for them, thus widening their 'groupthink']. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:25, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
"If unchecked, this can end up becoming a full-blown 'stratocracy' where retired/current military officers effectively control the state, like they did in Imperial Germany before WW1." Given imperial Germany had full 2-3 year conscription, it seems it didn't matter, no? Again those that create those situations are the FLAG officers, who will ALWAYS be carrier in a modern army derived from European traditions. A completely unrelated pool to the Rank and File who are drafted. Thats ignoring the fact its a fucking warcrime but everyone ignores that. 2001:569:FDC9:AB00:611B:4152:10F2:233A (talk) 07:35, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
It was unchecked for generations. Germany was also only semi-democratic and was riddled with militarism. They did not need to coup the state because it was it. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:53, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Sure, it’s officers who usually tend to initiate coups, but it’s a lot easier for them to successfully carry one out, if they command forces whose future is entirely dependent on the army and where long serving professional soldiers are at risk of identifying more with the army and its interests than with that of the government or society at large. Of course, it’s not a guarantee against usurpation (not to mention the development of a militaristic society, let alone a military-industrial complex), but at the very least, it’s not likely to increase such risks.
And then there’s the other argument, which I grant is a bit ghoulish; namely that a broad and fairly enforced(!) conscription can be at least a concern for democratically elected politicians wanting to go to war, because it literally risks bringing dangers to life and limb into every household. When similar interventions are conducted by purely professional forces such dangers can be brushed aside as just an “occupational hazard” for people who “chose to join the military of their own accord”. Let alone that there seems to be a tendency for professional armies to disproportionately recruit their front line grunts from the lower strata of the societal hierarchy. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:06, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
And throughout history the elite have NEVER been drafted. I'm shocked that argument is still trotted out after just the history of the Draft in the US. Hell, they still majority draw on lower class people in the draft anyway ("They draft white trash here first round anyway"). All these theoreticals are great, but history has shown conscription has target the marginalized the most, and let to VERY military dominated societies. I can't believe people still act like somehow, this one will be different, and really whip the people into some bizzare super democracy (Is this were Helldivers 2 came from?) Revolverman (talk) 20:10, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

The 'ghoulish' arguement is what I would call merely making everyone have 'skin in the game' re war - that if it's your kids having to fight and your taxes being raised to pay for it - well, you're more likely to be a wee bit more responsible regarding hawkish policies.

And Revolverman, you are wrong - there have been times/places were 'the elite' did have their kids conscripted (and to the front too) - for example, the UK in both World Wars. Many of the issues you cite are issues that American conscription has had due regarding details of it's operation - which are political discussions. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:37, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

'throughout history the elite have NEVER been drafted' for most of history the elite didnt need to drafted. nobility was the warrior class. even kings were on the front line. you only got to be royalty but hitting people with pointy things and you stayed royal the same way. the peasants need drafting cause they are working the fields and violence wasnt their day job AMassiveGay (talk) 16:18, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
Is everyone here forgetting that conscription is a form of forced labor? Even volunteer enlistment is compulsory, but at least you had an honest choice when signing up. Draft is coerced all the way through. Carthage (talk) 18:12, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
No, I don't forget that. Whenever the state makes compulsory demands of it's citizens, it should state the case to why it has to be and work to make it as light as reasonably possible. In the Tory proposal it completely fails this because it completely wastes the conscripts time for no plain goal. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:21, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
well its a year of military service, which im sure will be markedly different for you if you went to a comprehensive or if you went to eton. they already have a combined cadet force. officers in the national service will have posh accents no doubt. or its one weekend a month doing stuff that you probably get made to do for community service like if you get done for drink driving or shoplifting. the young lad cleaning up graffiti will be there cos hes just turned 18. the older gent working next to him will be there because they've just lost their license. neither of them would have been to eton.
its not going to happen though so the details dont really matter AMassiveGay (talk) 21:44, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
I know it's not going to happen, but I am curious to what the hell the Tories were thinking when they proposed it... KarmaPolice (talk) 22:40, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

Gratitude doesn't work[edit]

“If you’ve been doing the “Gratitude” exercise you’ve found out that if you really focus your attention, you create your emotional state and you create it to be whatever you want it to be. I just give that “Gratitude” exercise as repetition, so that you can see, “Yeah, at any moment I can change my emotional state, shift the point of view I see things from and I create a whole different emotion.””

I know I posted from that site with that Gary guy before but this is more about the practice of gratitude. The post above is from a larger segment about how we can create emotions by just making commitments and that we feel as we do now and suffer because of automatic programs we pick up through life. Essentially saying if your commitment is strong enough you can be happy no matter what happens.

But I digress, I generally have a bone to pick with gratitude because the practice seems iffy to me. I know there is supposed to be a lot of science behind it but I have to wonder how reliable that data really is. I know for me gratitude never really helped change my emotional state, mostly because I don't really have anything to be grateful for and trying to force it doesn't lead to anything happening. I can't help but wonder if maybe this has something to do with toxic positivity or something like that, and whether the results from the science are really accurate because modern society does have a positivity bias.

But even then wouldn't the practice depend on you having stuff to be grateful for among other things outside of your control as well? To me that makes the original quote about a commitments wrong since our emotions depend on things out of our control. We can't just create our emotional state to be whatever we want it to be just by focusing enough, it doesn't work like that (nevermind where the motivation behind that wanting to comes from if emotions are the reasons we do anything). (talk) 20:42, 23 May 2024 (UTC)

People vary in how they relate emotionally to the world and life I guess. Myself, I'm anchored in something and emotions are tied to meaning both ways. I find it weird and useless to try to put on artificial emotional "postures", much like I don't spend much time forcing my muscles into making weird physical postures. But some people have the latter as a major part of life, and I guess the same may go for the former as well. Some like to live with their feelings not rooted in anything meaningful and just forcing their minds and hearts into weird postures. That's something various kinds of mystical folks are into, but not all. Likewise, some folks like to push their minds into believing whatever rubbish they want to believe moment by moment, losing touch with reality; that's pretty common in the New Age. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:15, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
This 'Gary' can go fuck himself. With a concrete bollard. Minus any lube.
This crap is nothing more than woo being peddled from the school of 'stop feeling that way' and the module titled 'that sounds like a you problem'. If someone is in a bad position, no the 'solution' is to simply force youself to be happy with it, that you should be 'grateful' because it could be worse. Next stop, rationalising it's 'not that bad', finally ending with you gaslighting yourself into thinking the situation is okay. Hmm... who shall benefit from this? Guilt-tripping parents, manipulative bosses, abusive partners, user 'friends' and spite/malice-filled politicians because you shall simply 'look on the bright side', suck up the shit and not expect better.
Negative emotions are part of us. They make us. They drive us. To deny their existence simply... why, exactly? Does stubborn denial of issues ever work for the Stepford Smiler? Imagine this 'advice' being handed to a survivor of PTSD, an escapee or neglect/abuse or someone who really has taken a kicking from the Game of Life? That's not 'bone to pick' territory, that's downright malign and trivialising 'advice' which is actively damaging.
KarmaPolice (talk) 22:50, 23 May 2024 (UTC)

I mean you can take a look at the website to get an idea of what he's like. https://pathwaytohappiness.com/blog/feeling-connected/ Personally I don't know what to make of him, when I try to ask him questions he seems kinda evasive with answering them. (talk) 23:44, 23 May 2024 (UTC)

gratitude towards a black hole doesn't work. I think the idea is, no matter whatcha got, entirely your effort is what you give, and it will not return by virtue of giving. So if you give honesty here with an expectation of return, it's truly a human act, but giving honestly is tough. You can only expect a human response to a really tough question. I don't expect anything. If you can give and let go, that is closer to a humane act. Would you like to go back and tear it all down? That would make sense, but I don't really think you're recruiting an army here. It's ok. It's alright. I'll ride if needed, as long as it's truth to power that doesn't spill into anger. I can't promise I'll behave on my ideals, but I would like you to call me out any time I mess up. Torrent (talk) 04:36, 24 May 2024 (UTC) Torrent (talk) 04:36, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

Clicking through the website you linked to I couldn't see anything instantly objectionable, though it certainly has the capacity to be "woo adjacent". I couldn't find any actual qualifications listed apart from self-identified experience for Garry. It looks like a lot of his stuff is free but then you have to start paying, but on the other hand I guess it's a business. I didn't get a really "pay-over-your-life-scientology feel" though. On a quick search I couldn't find anything negative about him on the net. His book on amazon has a lot of positive reviews. If you feel he is helping you then - well he's helping you. If you don't get that feeling - then drop him.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 05:23, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

His "events"[10] seem fairly objectionable to me. The Teotihuacán one is particularly nutty ("If you are ready to dissolve your fears, false beliefs, and identification with your mind, and experience unconditional love from which you can create a new life that you love, then join us at the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán Mexico.") I was there many years ago. It's a real tourist trap by night when they have a "sound and light show" rigged up on the pyramids. Similar hogwash is proposed for the Egyptian pyramids trip ("Raising your consciousness and levels of unconditional love through the power and energy of temples in Ancient Egypt. This 11 day guided spiritual journey will take you past the limiting beliefs of your mind to feel and embody your Self as Consciousness and Love. Dissolving your fears, false beliefs, and identification with your mind becomes a byproduct of your experience through these ceremonies that initiate and activates your Consciousness.") Bongolian (talk) 07:16, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
There is also the whiff of Carlos Castañeda fraud about this "gary guy" (Gary van Warmerdam): inspired by a purported Toltec shaman, don Miguel Ruiz.[11][12] The ToltecsWikipedia were a pre-Aztec civilization (c. 950–1168 CE), so you know this is total bullshit that they're churning out. Bongolian (talk) 07:29, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
I remember reading Journey to Ixtlan, when I was a kid. I think the modern view of it ignores the value of Castañeda's work. It always was fiction. Fantastic, Steven King type fiction. The Teachings of Don Juan, is written in a way that appeals to an academic mind, but how it deceived actual academics, I have no idea, except to suppose that the University administrators, more interested in commercial success than academic quality, wanted to promote their own institution and co-opt the success of the books. Even as a kid, I read the books as romances.
The ethical transgression of passing them off as anthropology may be eventually forgotten. But those who were willing to promote the work as serious anthropology are , in my view, primarily responsible. As a writer, I just send the manuscript out into the world. What I meant by it is entirely up to the reader. Frankenstein was bullshit too, but I have no doubt that there were gullible readers who assumed the plot was plausible. There still are, really. The fault belongs to people who take this stuff seriously.UncleKrampus (talk) 13:51, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
maybe its legit but just requires human sacrifice to make it work. i start every morning with a nice cup of tea while holding the still beating heart i cut out of young boy. the toltecs probably drank coffee i know, or maybe hot chocolate, but really any tasty beverage works for your ritual murder to set your mind at peace. unless you just dont want to be happy. so closed minded here. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:09, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
Coffee originated in East Africa and southern Arabia, so it did not arrive in the New World until post-Toltec times. Chocolate is much more likely as it originated in Mesoamerica (Xocolatl). Bongolian (talk) 18:43, 24 May 2024 (UTC)
When this guy came up before, I noted that Warmerdam wallowed in a fair bit of New Age hogwash, although less oogie-boogie and more aligned with self help. As I mentioned then, I thought it was "mostly harmless" hogwash except to sucker who actually pays this "guru"'s wallet, but it *is* a lot of hogwash nonetheless. I compared him with Deepak Chopra at the time. The problem with self-help stuff as a general rule (this also includes "motivational" speakers too) is that (as the RW article states) it does not derive from anything scientific, and embraces a sort of "pop spiritualism" "pep talk". In America (I wonder what self-help books look like outside it, if they exist?), this means wallowing in gentle gym-coach style rhetoric where the aim is to drive out "negative" and embrace "positive" through a series of generic "motivational" platitudes, calmly positive deepity text that as a generic summary I'll describe as "DesiderataWikipedia-isms". The New Age influences for this guy particularly shows up when he appropriates the religion of ancient culture as a noble savage sort of thing, as in the events, which are an absolute rip-off. $850 for a week at Zion National ParkWikipedia (entrance fees and "ceremony" only, not including transportation, lodging, and meals)? Go grab an annual park pass for $80 (if you are 62 and older that's the cost of the lifetime pass), and you can see well more natural wonders than Zion.
There is nothing wrong with gratitude and it is widely seen as a moral positive (which is why it shows up in practically every religion), I just don't know if this is something that can be driven through some sort of exercise alone. I mean, gratitude is an appreciative response to kindness. I couldn't find a link for the OP quote, so I have no idea what sort of exercise Warmerdam was thinking was needed for that? BobJohnson (talk) 23:38, 24 May 2024 (UTC)

Well pretty much everything I list is from the forum where you can find his lessons. You cannot access it unless you sign up. I only listed stuff from the free lessons, I'm not shelling money out to him. But suffice to say it includes stuff like "things don't make us feel, it's our beliefs that do that because how else can the same thing offend and make someone laugh", which seems off to me. The thought that beliefs create emotions and you just have to do a belief inventory to change things to what you want. But then that begs the question of what is fueling the motivation to change your beliefs. If it's about personal power then where is that motivation coming from and what is driving it? No answer from him. I can't post the lesson because it's too long and I got flagged last time. (talk) 01:28, 25 May 2024 (UTC)

Thing is, they are not trying to teach you to 'be more grateful for what you have' by fighting back against consumerism, peer pressure, Hollywood etc, it's 'positive thinking' on steroids to enforce feelings of gratitude onto yourself for no reason except it is a 'good' emotion. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:16, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
It indeed sounds like the toxic version of “positive thinking” along with its horrendous subtext that the problem is really about you and your feeling, not anything structural, in the world or caused by others.
That’s really some perverse Panglossian gaslighting to peddle, not to mention that it’s also detrimental to any legitimate calls for change. It’s basically taking the slogan ’Why change the world when you can change your mind?’ at face value. Where did I get that line? From the fictive marketing slogan for the mind altering CHIP in the dystopian cyberpunk squad shooter, Syndicate…Wikipedia ScepticWombat (talk) 17:08, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
this does not sound too dissimilar to some form of cognitive behaviour therapy in which cases you could probably find a better provider. AMassiveGay (talk) 00:39, 2 June 2024 (UTC)

Do we create emotions?[edit]

Warning icon orange.svg Warning: Emotions conversation ahead may rot your brain!

Man photographing himself in cornered mirror to generate illusion cropped.jpg

Sorry about going on about the Gary guy it's just that what I read from him got to me and I'm sorta hitting a wall figuring this out (autism stuff I guess) and I'm hoping a fresh view helps. The emotions bit just gets to me because it's suggesting things don't make us feel that it's our beliefs that do that but when I ask how I got nothing about it. Some lady on the forum mentioned how she had memories of her time on a farm and when she saw a rooster picture it made her feel good because of the memories not because of the rooster, but something seems off about that to me. Like what made those memories good, among other things.

To me it seems like since the feelings come from us that we create them and things don't make us feel. When I was talking to a dude on there from a zoom call I mentioned how I love the ocean and it always makes me feel at ease and all these feelings come up. He then said something about how the feelings are coming from me not the ocean, I don't remember much else. But like...obviously the feelings are from me since it's my brain but something is triggering them right? Just replace my case with the ocean with just about anything we value and their thoughts are it's the beliefs that create emotions, not said thing you like. I kept turning it over in my mind but with everything I like: video games, character classes in games, movies, etc, I couldn't avoid that some belief about that was affecting my feelings and I'm wondering if I'm not actually making a connection with said things but just imagining it or making it up. Does that make sense? IT's like the "we make our own meaning" but IMO taken to a kinda extreme. I'm lost on how to respond. Again I can't really post the lesson on here because it is LONG and I get flagged as spam trying to do so.

But I can give some quotes that I think captures the point, these are a collection so don't read them as one:

"This leads us to a whole different behavior which we get into later with relationships. Which is about we then have to control that person and make them do certain things so that they don’t do the things that make us upset. We end up trying to control another person, which we can’t do, based on the assumption they are controlling us or our emotions, which they aren’t doing. But if we believe the story that they tick us off, we believe they do and then we have to compensate with this story of “Oh, I have to make sure that they don’t do this” or “I have to make sure they do this, this way.” We end up trying to control people. Why? To minimize our reactions not to them, but to our agreements about them. The whole time not noticing that it’s our agreements, cause we hypnotized ourselves with our own story that they are causing it.

Let’s break down the structure of just the words and why words are so powerful in this. If we say, “He makes me feel”, “She makes me feel.” If we look at the actual words structure, this is saying, “They have a power to create in me a certain emotion.” We abbreviate it down and say, “He makes me feel”, “She makes me feel.” Just a couple of words. But if we look at the structure of what’s actually being said, it’s that they have a responsibility and power over what I feel emotionally. And they are able to control my emotions. If we said it that way, we’d kind of go, “Hah? That doesn’t make sense!” But if we say it in the short hand version and that comes out of our mouth so fast, we don’t know the lie that’s going on, we don’t know how we’re abdicating power over our emotional state and say, “Oh, they are in charge.” And this is huge."

“I was chatting with the client and I asked her, “What determines our emotional state?” And after doing the “Gratitude” exercise and having some mastery over shifting her point of view, which she learnt through hunting her attention, she could say, “Our attitude”. Then I asked her, “What do we say determines our emotional state?” She said, “Well, other people and outside circumstances”. And I had to laugh cause it was joyful to see she nailed it.”

“Sometimes people will see that and say, “Ok, if I just make all these agreements, then I’m going to make the agreement that I’m going to be happy about everything and commit to that.” That’s a wonderful direction to go and one we can eventually get to. However let’s be honest. We already have a lot of our personal power committed to these other agreements about what will make us happy and what will make us upset and angry or sad or fearful. And because we make the new agreement that we’re going to be happy about everything or certain things, even if someone is yelling at us, we have to be honest with ourselves that that new agreement we make may not be as strong and as powerful yet as the ones that we’ve been living by for years.”

The agreement part in that last one was REALLY iffy to me because it's saying that liking and disliking stuff is pretty much some agreement we made (unconsciously) to feel that way about X or Y.

Let’s say it’s cold and snowy. One person can say, “This is really bothering me out”. And another can say, “Oh, this is so beautiful, I love this, I enjoy this weather”. Now, one person saying, “This weather bumps me out, this weather depresses me.” The other says, “It makes me so happy”. Now, is it the weather that’s actually determining our emotional state? Does weather somehow go into each person’s emotional body and do something to facilitate a different emotional response? No. The weather is just the weather. It’s just doing what it’s doing. It’s not out there to determine anybody’s emotional state. With our agreements about weather we determine our own emotional state. We decide consciously or unconsciously about our agreements that this weather really depresses us or thrills us. What’s really happening is that we have an agreement to be down or up emotionally depending on a weather. We ignore that completely and say that the weather’s causing it.

What’s really happening is we have an agreement to be depressed or be down and we are committed to that agreement and when the weather is down we act in accordance with that agreement we have about the weather. It’s kind of “if-then” situation structure of agreement. “If the weather is lousy I’m going to feel this way.” Then let’s be clear. There’s the weather, this independent entity, there’re the agreements we have about it and we respond emotionally to the weather according to the agreements we’ve made. And how we respond emotionally to it just by agreement. Big problem here is that we don’t notice the agreement. What we do is instead of noticing the agreement we run off to our story, “The weather is causing me to feel this way.” We run those stories and in those stories we are telling ourselves to commit to the story that the weather is determining our emotional state. This is pure fiction. What’s actually determining our emotional state is our agreements about the weather. But we tell ourselves a lie we believe. What we’ve done is we’ve abdicated in our lives power to these agreements that determine our emotional state. We say, “He frustrates the heck out of me”, “If she does that one more time I’m going to get so pissed.” These are putting the power over our emotional state onto someone else, some other circumstances and then saying, “It’s them that’s causing us to feel this way.” As long as we do that, we are putting ourselves in a role of victim, where we’re powerless and by that token we are not in control over our emotions. They are responsible for our happiness, for us being upset.

This leads us to a whole different behavior which we get into later with relationships. Which is about we then have to control that person and make them do certain things so that they don’t do the things that make us upset. We end up trying to control another person, which we can’t do, based on the assumption they are controlling us or our emotions, which they aren’t doing. But if we believe the story that they tick us off, we believe they do and then we have to compensate with this story of “Oh, I have to make sure that they don’t do this” or “I have to make sure they do this, this way.” We end up trying to control people. Why? To minimize our reactions not to them, but to our agreements about them. The whole time not noticing that it’s our agreements, cause we hypnotized ourselves with our own story that they are causing it.

Let’s break down the structure of just the words and why words are so powerful in this. If we say, “He makes me feel”, “She makes me feel.” If we look at the actual words structure, this is saying, “They have a power to create in me a certain emotion.” We abbreviate it down and say, “He makes me feel”, “She makes me feel.” Just a couple of words. But if we look at the structure of what’s actually being said, it’s that they have a responsibility and power over what I feel emotionally. And they are able to control my emotions. If we said it that way, we’d kind of go, “Hah? That doesn’t make sense!” But if we say it in the short hand version and that comes out of our mouth so fast, we don’t know the lie that’s going on, we don’t know how we’re abdicating power over our emotional state and say, “Oh, they are in charge.” And this is huge.

Again I'm sorry about all this but I'm just hitting a wall with this material. I wish I could post the actual stuff but it's too long. I'm just hitting a wall. All I have is this sense that something isn't quite right about all of it but can't put it into words. Maybe folks not on the spectrum can help me, not to give the impression you are tools. More like I'm starting to learn my limits with my thinking. (talk) 04:30, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Darwin advanced the theory that the physical behaviors, sounds, and expressions that accompanied emotions were probably instinctive developments that appeared in humanity's animal ancestors. This stuff bothering you is probably free-will related.The human brain is not a perfectly programable device. Humans are not angels and are not, and cannot be according to Darwin, in complete control of their emotions. But some people can be more controlled than others. It is not surprising that an individual person, with practice, can demonstrate extreme control over their emotions. The fallacy is the conclusion that anyone can do it or, that the person making the claim can always control themselves. Just saying something should be so is not evidence of anything, even that the speaker himself believes it.UncleKrampus (talk) 15:30, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

I guess there is a point to that, I know something is off about what they say. Mostly that if you drill all the way down you will find something you don't or can't control and sometimes it might even appear to be the illusion of control.

They say stuff like "you are not the heart and mind" which sounds like you aren't your thoughts and feelings. Sorta like this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/stop-avoiding-stuff/202204/you-are-not-your-thoughts

Which at first sounds ok to me, but the more I think about it the less sense it makes. Saying that you are not your thoughts because thinking something means that you can do the opposite of what you think, but isn't that a thought too? Also the fact that you are reading their words and being affected by them means you are the mind since you are influenced by them. The guy on the forum asked me if "are you the thought of you on the beach" and I told him yes. He asked how so. I didn't give a well formed answer on the spot but what I think is that all that is based on what you know. If you know not what a beach or anything like that is then you can't think about it. The same would go for any sort of philosophy or lens you examine reality with, despite what they believe there is no such thing as an unmeditated or direct experience of reality free of concepts and the like, despite them insisting they have felt it. The thought of you on the beach is imagining you, one the beach, based on what you know such things are, and that knowledge is also how you based your view and navigate reality. So in a sense it is you, but sorta not. It's complicated.

But that article in psychology today begged a lot of questions, like what is doing the opposite of what you are thinking or ignoring thoughts but just another thought? It sounds more like shifting the value you place on things. The same would go for the guy saying you aren't the heart, or your feelings (something I also heard in Buddhism). Emotion is the reason we do anything in life at all, since without it logic can't work and there is no better or worse choice to make. Despite what such people think we are ruled by emotions even if they think they are in control of them.

I just have a lot of doubt and questions when I start thinking about it, which sorta leaves me wondering how to feel and navigate my own life. Though I'm learning people of any spirituality aren't the ones to ask on this, they have what I call fake open mindedness. (talk) 19:29, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Of course, it is the only important question, do we exist, does the self mean anything? And short answer is kinda, the self is tight, it exists despite any other conundrum or equation. the constant is always the self for every person. I don't need to ascribe to anything else, ergo sum despite. But it does do some good to think for yourself, and fulfill the awful promise of CoGito ergo sum. Torrent (talk) 09:06, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
Important yes, but of all important questions, "do we exist?" is probably the least important. The evidence is in: every time you behave as though a man much larger than yourself does not exist, you're liable to get the furniture knocked out 'your mouth. The truth is, someone has to be paid to think about that: University philosophers, think-tank trolls, Monte Python types, and so forth. If you are not being paid by the hour, why ask a question that leads nowhere?UncleKrampus (talk) 15:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
I do not and will not agree that somebody must be paid to discover the 'truth'. I think the 'truth' can be lodged by anybody. It is always our job, Now that the internet is really easy to use, to know what's bullshit is a job in and of itself. Which is what I really appreciate this wiki for. Torrent (talk) 06:50, 3 June 2024 (UTC)

Working out with your mind?[edit]


So… I started wondering about imagination and consciousness, mostly because a lot of woo stuff I read in the past often link the two. Most of the time it’s to do with how visualizing something uses the same areas of the brain that doing it does, though I wonder what that really means. apparently this link seems to suggest you can strengthen your muscles the same way without working out. Though the site itself seems iffy, I’m not totally convinced about. The study just says strength increased but doesn’t really say more than that. Nothing about muscle fibers, chemical changes, just percent increases in strength. Obviously athletes rehearsing things seems to be a thing but this just sounds…well not true.

It does seem to all be the brain, not some weird external thing like “mind” or whatever but I can’t help but jump to the wooey type of people I’ve been exposed to before and thinking that imagination says something about consciousness and the mind and body. Though to me this doesn’t sound like mind body more like brain and body. I think “mind” is just the brain. I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, likely thinking that you can somehow crack your body and just mentally will all sorts of things, not that I believe that but I’m trying to argue against it.

I mean obviously all this is built on a mountain of previous causes and effect that influence and shape us, so I don't think it's the "god" thing they would think it is. Though maybe, if true, the potential to do so says something about us and by possible extension reality itself? Or am I just flying off on wild fancies? (talk) 02:18, 3 June 2024 (UTC)

I don't think it's actually a misuse of the brain to endure pain. I don't think it is stupid to look at animals for physiological strength. Let's get close, if a dog were hit by a car and needed a leg amputated, it is very likely the dog is just going to continue on. If, say, A human just like me only feels bad all the time, for reasons tangible, feeling bad, as per How bad life hurts, what is a human deal? Why would would it make more sense to use human growth hormones to achieve a body type than what it would take to achieve a peaceful death? What is the difference between the two? Torrent (talk) 05:47, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
It's agency and consent. No three legged dog would ask to die, and you wouldn't ask a three legged dog to die either, because you're not a psychopath. A human knowing their health is about agreeing to decline by many known metrics. juice yourself up, but it's really never going to be cool Torrent (talk) 06:04, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
On louder terms, I mean it makes more sense to open your perspective. Where a dog might run on three legs, you might get 3 quarters of an idea, and it's natural to run forward with it. Torrent (talk) 06:14, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
Going into something with a positive mindset and or mentally visualizing things before doing them is good advice for anyone, and can generally make a small difference IMO. But other than perhaps decreasing stress in one's body or giving more confidence, the idea of doing other physical changes i.e "growing muscles with the power of your mind!" goes against basic common sense. Reading the linked abstracts from the website to the National Library of Medicine and it seems like the main suggestion from the studies is possibly improved motor control from envisioning actions beforehand? Checks out. I'm not a researcher though, so take it as you will. Looking at The Health Sciences Academy website, I'm not readily able to find anything contentious but I do get a bad feeling about the group... the fact that the website really, really wants you to subscribe to them or take one of their totally "University-level nutrition education" courses (but y'know much easier and for a fraction of the cost!) seems disreputable... I feel the NIH studies are being used as clickbait material or content padding by the website. Impiricism (talk) 18:22, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
I didn't see any issue with a brief scan of the Health Science Academy site (for instance, the front page presentation on GMOs seemed good). They claim to be "accredited" by a UK firm called CPD, who seem legit if their website is right. But I'm having a tough time finding out information about this CPD to confirm (anyone can make a website). This acronym normally stands for "continuously professional development" and that's the goal of a company like this (if it is legit), for professionals to get "extra training" for their careers. I'm also having trouble figuring out this Health Science Academy as well. My inference is that this sites targets the non-university degree nutritionistWikipedia market (as opposed to the university degree dietitian market). I see no evidence of university-level stuff despite their claims. I have not found anecdotes of anyone actually using these courses to obtain jobs. Unsure if diploma mill or not.
The OP article though is... pushing their credibility here. There's some studies on mental imagery enhancing training, including the linked NIH papers, but even the papers they linked show absolutely no evidence of validating their clickbait headline, "can you strengthen your muscles by thought alone?" BobJohnson (talk) 21:25, 3 June 2024 (UTC)

On the "Celebrate Pride or Else" mindset.[edit]

Warning icon orange.svg Warning: Nutpicking ahead!

Nuts on Spice Bazaar in Istanbul 01.jpg

The Compassionless Pandering of Corporate Pride[edit]

This part doesn't have to be collapsed, but it's a topic that irritates everyone for the same reason. No matter how you cut it, corporate Pride is compassionless and sterile pandering that is definitely not genuine towards inclusivity and mutual acceptance, and in the worst cases is straight up tokenism. It's just corporations doing what they've been doing for centuries, maximizing profits over everything else. Any examples of irksome corporate pandering over the course of June that you'd like to share here? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 09:38, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Can someone make Trumpism icon[edit]

I'm making a Trumpism navigation sidebar and I want to make an icon but I can't because I can't draw so can someone make the icon ←§ Reichtangle (talk) 07:46, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

Just use the U. S. politics icon? Monet Ye 15:52, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
An orange trumpet festooned with trumpery? Anna Livia (talk) 16:23, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
A MAGA hat because that is Trumpism's most known symbol ←§ Reichtangle (talk) 17:46, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
A MAGA asshat (variously "Make the Asshole Go Away" or "My Ass Got Arrested"). Bongolian (talk) 20:27, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Do we even need a sidebar for “Trumpism” though? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:23, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Good question. Are there any devoted to single person? I don't think so. It just feeds into the cult. Bongolian (talk) 20:27, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
I thought of a QAnon sidebar with phrases like "Down the White Rabbit Hole", and "Riders of The Storm" when referring to people who follow and promote it. However, I don't have experience with Photoshop and whatever is used, and I don't know if there's enough material for a sidebar. Patty Pat 01:23, 4 June 2024 (UTC)

Funspace Item Suggestion: Buzkashi[edit]

It's a bit strange that despite the need for goat on this site, there doesn't seem to be anything about buzkashi. It's a wild Central Asian "sport" played on horseback, with a decapitated dead goat used as the ball. And here's a starter link for reference: Fun:Buzkashi TheEternalOutsider (talk) 02:32, 4 June 2024 (UTC)

US Election Update: 5 Months To Go[edit]

Just checking in and continuing the monthly topic involving the upcoming US Elections. Last month, Trump was found guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records in a trial in New York. Furthermore, primaries and caucuses are approaching its tail end, with the result being almost certain that of a rematch of Joseph R. Biden vs Donald J. Trump. Any thoughts on the upcoming elections heading into the American summer? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 07:55, 4 June 2024 (UTC)


I just wanted to say that macroevolution (not just micro) is rock solid, humans came from Africa recently, Jews do not control the world, Jews don't hate non Jews/white people, Jews didnt invent communism, string theory is true, relativity is true and the consensus is usually correct. 9/11 was done by Al Qaeda, the Jews didn't do most of the things they're accused of, we landed on the moon, mass shootings are real and so is global warming. I felt the need to say this, because I denied it in the past. But after a lot of critical thinking and studying science I have changed my mind. 2603:9001:300:81A:786D:60BD:5DFF:35D0 (talk) 13:34, 25 May 2024 (UTC)

What do you mean String Theory is true? How do you know that?UncleKrampus (talk) 15:52, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes, the rest is obviously true. But string theory is a bit of an outlier. Not that I would claim to understand it.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:14, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
As far as I know string theory is so far unfalsifiable, hence neither true nor false. Bongolian (talk) 18:22, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
Well, in science, the 'consensus', even vague, when it exists, so much that it's existence is consensual and majoritarian, is 'truth' as we surely understand it, however in democracy, there is no rationalist solution which can be both 'consensual' and 'true' at the same time (there can, however, among respectable political factions, be conventional usages accepting and supporting democracy, liberty and equality (with various interpretations and applications of those systems) which tell us far-left and far-right are simply bad and inacceptable if anti-republican). New world (talk) 23:03, 25 May 2024 (UTC)
@Bongolian falsifiability doesn’t imply a proposition or theory is not truth-apt. It just means the claims of a theory can be subject to a critical test that has the potential to refute the theory. Failing falsification wouldn’t necessarily imply the theory’s claims are true. All falsification can provide is a logical inference via modus tollens to falsehood. Logical tautologies like the law of non-contradiction and the law of excluded middle are arguably not falsifiable, if they were they wouldn’t be laws of logic classed as necessary truths. Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:49, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
I don't think scientific consensus is that String Theory is correct, or even on the right track. I see more criticism of it than support. Pop-Sci seems to love it though, just like multiversus. It is so far removed from empirical testing that I wouldn't even call it science, it is mathematicians larping as physicists. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 07:56, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
A short celebration. I thought it might be possible for a rabbit and a cat to produce offspring. I really didn't believe it, but I needed a refutation. I found it here. There are no refutations of people stroking their own cocks here, but I like your story and would welcome you warmly. I was welcomed warmly myself, post-academically speaking is kinda the love language here. Forgive them. Torrent (talk) 06:48, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
Sincerely, Torrent, I have to look at your comments two times before I understand anything you wrote. Perhaps it is the language barrier, but it seems others are experiencing similar issues with your style. Just to clarify, are you in favour of the IP, or in favour of falsification? If your referring to the latter, it always shocks me how much of a cult of (hard) 'science' exists in North America, often simultaneously to the detriment of social ('soft') sciences, 'questionable' philosophy (ambiguity personified, some anti-lacanians would say), and to an extent rather-votable-but-impulsive politicians. All of this self-righteousness and arrogance simply because of some rural Americans' ignorance? New world (talk) 20:14, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
What you are not reading is how fucking lonely I am. In my life, I am met with people who believe, really, things I don't. Just, upside down views if you ask me. If it makes you confused, I'm sorry. But you are going to have to deal with it. Torrent (talk) 08:29, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
Either you studied philosophy or your just drunk a lot. I don’t care, do I? New world (talk) 13:09, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
Never asked you to. Torrent (talk) 04:24, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

Classical Christian Education: A mission worthy topic[edit]


It is popular among fundies and the GOP. It is generally Creationist in nature. Hillsdale College, a far right Christian College, advocates Classical Christian Education as a substitute for public education. School vouchers are used for these schools and it comes at the expense of public education. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:22, 25 May 2024 (UTC)

If you feel like it's a good missional topic for the wiki, you could either start up a draft for it or leave a suggestion for it on RationalWiki's "to do" list! Sincerely, Postuhenin the neurodivergent doodlebug! (say hi! ^^) 03:15, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
This doesn't look a whole lot different from homeschooling I've seen. The worry would be if the college funneled up in a meaningful sense, otherwise you're looking at an HVAC repairman trying his best to support 5 or 6 kids while the wife stays trad, because you can't pay for 5 or 6 kids on an HVAC repairman salary. Well, it comes from the government, and if you're really against public schooling, every child you have meets a home school stipend, their education standard meets not much. The money with the best intention to buy supplies and help those kids. and I truly believe childcare costs are prohibitive, you can't just get a 14 dollar job and leave a preschooler at home alone.
Public schools are so stupidly underfunded that they can't have baby wranglers from 4 am to 7 pm, but that's what they need, isn't it? People whose job it is to keep your kid from hurting themselves or others from the time you go to work until the time you can pick them up, and in the mean time, some real experts at teaching work with them on how to read and do math and shit. I think public schooling should be a national priority that extends and replaces home daycare, because at its core, that is what it is doing. It really doesn't take a lot to keep a kid safe and alive. If every kid can be expected to link up for a virtual classroom, it's really dumb to say every kid who might need a breakfast gets it run by a bus route that used to pick up kids. All these things are possible, public schooling just needs to also be funded for before and after care. If you can pay 15 year olds to babysit or work at a church daycare, you can pay them to work at a school. If school bus drivers exist, I mean, who and how do you wind up in that job? Picking up and driving a bunch of middle schoolers to school, and you're the only adult on the bus? How is that a job? Torrent (talk) 03:37, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
It doesn't look that different to homeschooling' because homeschooling is 'traditional American' which was a derivative of Classical Education as originally practiced in C19th England - and this 'new movement' is simply harking back to this.
RW does not have a page on Classical Education. I recommend a page on that is produced first - mainly because they share the same strength/weaknesses, format etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:46, 26 May 2024 (UTC)
I Fully disagree. I'd be blown away if the 'format' couched in your expectation, to start, would be enough, because I'm saying, schools as also daycares and would say it will never be Much more than a yesterday project on account of pretty much nothing but a disagreement, but also I'm now curious, were you homeschooled? Torrent (talk) 03:44, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
'Schools as daycare' is an argument which can be levelled against all formal schools. My point was that from what I can see, the curriculum of these schools are simply an updated classical education given a fundie-isation. So there would be a lot of redundancy between a RW page on each, so might be better to write the first, well first and put in 'its like (link) but cultified' KarmaPolice (talk) 10:37, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
and I understand I was not speaking from a collaborative rational wiki page creation priority. I apologize, but I do believe a school is actually easily effective as a place that just keeps kids alive before anything else Torrent (talk) 07:13, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
I did work daycare at a church, and my mom worked from para to teacher, I'm not speaking from ignorance. It is really hard to take care of 20 peoples' kids. 07:25, 1 June 2024 (UTC) sign your posts, I know, I know Torrent (talk) 04:26, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

Need more convincing.[edit]

Would you guys mind devil's advocating me? I'm not convinced that intelligent design shouldn't be given equal footing with abiogenesis, because neither intelligent design nor abiogenesis have been observed. As an agnostic, I find it helpful to argue with myself over [metaphysical :)] questions, because it helps me see both sides of the argument. I'm excited to hear your responses!ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 22:44, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

What mechanism would intelligent design use? Research into Abiogenesis includes seeing organic molecules all across the universe and mechanisms for producing most if not all of the pre-life requirements - proteins, peptides, sugars, etc., and or working models for how these might have combined. And research into abiogenesis is ongoing whereas research into intelligent design stops after reading Genesis. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:35, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
We have much more evidence for abiogenesis, and as Aloysius says, working models for how abiogenesis may have taken place, than we ever will have for intelligent design. On the other hand, we have created synthetic life in the laboratory, so a kind of ID is possible. Just, you know, made by naked apes and not divinities. Carthage (talk) 23:59, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
True. If we take the widest sense of the term "evidence," I suppose one could say there were evidence for intelligent design, but it would not be sound evidence. It would not be sound because the sequence of cosmic causation resulting in life would have been interrupted by miracles, not only once, but for as many instances as would be necessary to establish God's existence, by repeating the same arguments. We can't explain what was behind the first one-celled creature (sometimes called LUCA). There is clearly a "god of the gaps" argument in play. Intelligent Design is not a sound argument because of the infinite regress implied by accepting such arguments. If we accepted such an etiology, and subsequently a standard scientific explanation were discovered, then, it could be argued, on the same evidence, intelligent design must have been in effect prior to the first appearance of LUCA. There is no end to it, because ID is unfalsifiable as a general theory. UncleKrampus (talk) 01:12, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
What synthetic life was created? I have yet to hear of any that haven't simply rearranged pre-existing cells.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 16:37, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
The intelligent design argument is circular. It either already assumes a "god" exists and then uses this "god" to explain the world. Or it claims the world is designed and that this is evidence the "god" exists.
To put it another way it needs two unsupported assumptions. "A God exists" and "The world is designed". Each unsupported assumption is then used to support the other.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:06, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
I think we should also point out that it's always preferable to assume that something has a natural explanation, which so far holds up with all of our models, rather than to invoke a supernatural explanation just because we may not have the full picture yet. So far everything posited to have a supernatural explanation has been found to have a perfectly natural one, so why should we assume differently for the origin of life? Carthage (talk) 21:46, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
It's really simple to advocate intelligent design. All these animals exist as well as they can, until we, as not exactly animals, snuff em out, as is our pure and holy extraordinary birthright. animals are every living thing that isn't a human or a plant or a virus or fungi or bacteria. That's not what we're talking about. The reason humans have risen is magic. No other species has recognized or cared about magic, regardless of their sure I ability. Cockroaches? Designed to be stepped on. Elephants? I would like a table leg made out of that tooth, please. I was designed to own the world, the stories say so. If it wasn't designed this way, even if I can't fight a bear, why should a bear be scared of me? Why wouldn't a cricket have a pet tiger? It's absolutely absurd to think mankind, as weak as we are, rose to the top of the food chain via 'evolution' and didn't have magic. Now I know what you're going to say, how come other humans survived pretty well without my brand of magic. Simple. Bad magic. All the Gods are real and wrong and fake, except the one that made us all, more human than anything even remotely similar. If I'm a monkey, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RACIALIZE PEOPLE AS MORE OR LESS A MONKEY? My questions don't have an easy answer,therefore they are airtight questions. A. Hah. Checkmate. Torrent (talk) 05:46, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

Are you stupid?[edit]

It's never the end, I mean what terrible end is this? I like you guys because you'll do shit that isn't reliant on ratwik. Do it. You need a Scooby snack? You don't, and let's make June a month less about ourselves, you weirdos. Torrent (talk) 05:47, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

I will go first. I think, living alone, paper plates bowls and cups is greener than washing stoneware. Torrent (talk) 05:55, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
All right. This is the 32nd annual St. Stupid's Day Parade brought to you by the First Church of the Last Laugh, the world's fastest growing snack religion, 150 percent less dogma. The religion has one holy day a year and I'm Bishop Joey, secretary First Church. I'm here to bring you to the first station of stupid… the Federal Reserve Headquarters.

[13] Bongolian (talk) 08:12, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

Why does the Jonkler? Is he stipid? 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 07:59, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

Does the header qualify for a drink? Anna Livia (talk) 16:21, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

Yes, but it has to be a stupid drink.[14] Bongolian (talk) 20:21, 31 May 2024 (UTC)

Y'all are stupid mean. You think it is important to get a 'yes' but the reason I asked is simple. Nobody is worthless, no question is a joke. Y'all suck at this. Get better. Torrent (talk) 08:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

Torrent - as a question, is this the right wiki for you? Anna Livia (talk) 09:16, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
What a loaded question. I will say, not exactly to answer, but I really like this wiki. I would ask if you know a better one? I am a huge fan, both on mission and Purpose. I engage with this wiki because the people actually engage.

Whether I belong is up to you. Torrent (talk) 10:18, 1 June 2024 (UTC)

Eh, I'm fine with Torrent. As for whether or not I'm stupid, I would wager we are all more incompetent than we would like to admit. Carthage (talk) 11:16, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
Torrent, your title was a question, but your text was not. The text was unclear to the point of looking unserious ("You need a Scooby snack? You don't, and let's make June a month less about ourselves, you weirdos."). Bongolian (talk) 19:35, 1 June 2024 (UTC)
I am very embarrassed about that. I drank too much before the post, but Wwat I meant to talk about was holiday schedules. I am not always great at holding onto ideas. I do like somebody else to remind me what I was talking about. In terms of me being blackout, I don't know if I meant it to go diary or public, one is a thing I can't get away from. I appreciate y'all, and something was important to me here. Sorry if I put it on you. Everyone should know, I'm the one who is stupid if I ever ask. benders are not a good look.Torrent (talk) 04:55, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
I'm really wondering how much longer we we should put up with this stream-of-consciousness, passive-aggressive silliness being imposed on the rest of us.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:18, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
look, imposed upon who? Is it something unDeniable that gets us here? I really think bob M has a funny take, and I don't think a small cauldron is is anything but a Bob is tryna kill everyoneTorrent (talk) 09:30, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
as much sense as it makes to me, I stand by it. Torrent (talk) 04:42, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

Archive 1 for the Talk Page on TERFs is busted[edit]

TheOneAndOnlyCirrusMan (talk) 20:56, 4 June 2024 (UTC)

Fixed. Plutocow (talk) 21:08, 4 June 2024 (UTC)

Bad Financial Advice and Fake Gurus[edit]

Well, I just thought of this situation once again involving the Internet, and I am unsure as how to proceed concerning YouTube and many other platforms. It turns out, that because con artists like Robert Kiyosaki (and eventually scammers like Tai Lopez) got relative impunity for the deceitful words that came out of their mouths (The proper penalty grifters like Kiyosaki should have received back then and should receive now is life imprisonment without parole, but still.), there's been countless copycats that prowl the Internet and set up shop on YouTube and other platforms as influencers, with relative impunity themselves. One of the most common clickbait titles seen from nearly all of them is called "How They Keep You Poor". And major financial watchdogs are currently doing nothing to moderate the Internet concerning these scammers. Many of them claim to offer courses promising quick riches, but really contain tripe that lines the pockets of these influencers. And it's difficult to sniff out the fakes, since almost everyone clickbaits to get attention online. What should I do to put an end to these influencers and their financial scams? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 17:38, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

Get-rich-quick scams have been on the Internet since... well, since pretty much the beginning of the Internet. No, really.Wikipedia Anything that will promise to make you a millionaire, won't.
That being said, Kiyosaki's book is in a category that is not necessarily a scam per se. Though I've heard plenty of bad things about Rich Dad Poor Dad, the category this book (or websites / podcasts / etc.) is in (personal finance), if it is a more *legitimate* media, could be useful for someone who lacks knowledge on how to budget etc. I do not personally have recommendations on what books, websites, etc. are good unfortunately, but I would be suspicious of *anyone* that asks for $$$ for info (unless its something like a highly regarded book, but these days I'm not sure you need to start there), as well as anyone that promises the moon; both are "seems shady" signs. There is a lot of free information out there that is good, you just need to sort through the bullshit. To give one example (from a quick Google, so "research further"), it seems like the Wiki for r/personalfinance on Reddit is well regarded. And it is free. BobJohnson (talk) 20:16, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
I really wish those scammers and clickbaiters across the Internet get thrown behind bars in prison where they belong (preferably for life and without parole.). But how do we get to that point… TheEternalOutsider (talk) 20:19, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Well, to start, they'd have to be doing something that actually is, y'know, a scam in criminal terms. Writing a book full of bad advice isn't a criminal act. Neither is clickbait. :) There's no reason why either of those should be, neither are overt attempts to take your money in a deceptive way. Kiyosaki's advice may be shit, but I bet he really believes in it himself personally. There's definitely some "tightening up" that could be done with certain things though like multilevel marketing that are more deceptive at the core IMHO...
I have noticed that in recent years, the Federal Trade Commission has caught up a bit on things that truly would be scams if it was not done online, such as all of the cryptocurrency scams that has utilized some form of pump and dump manipulation or other shady finance techniques. So there's that. BobJohnson (talk) 20:56, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Don't take financial advice from the internet. Like seriously, don't.
If you want a more thoughtful answer though I assume and hope watchdog agencies do try to shutdown the most egregious misinformation and scam peddlers online, though I also imagine it is like playing whac-a-mole. And to argue both sides, the internet can be useful in learning general information about things such as finances... but the keyword is general information. Obviously, like other professional fields, the best thing to do before acting on such information may be to speak to a real life professional in said field (a financial advisor at your physical bank maybe?). The internet can be good, but should still be navigated with weariness IMO. For myself I've found that limiting the number of websites I visit and the time spent on them has greatly improved my day to day. Impiricism (talk) 21:17, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
I like https://www.investopedia.com/ - good resource for teaching yourself about finance etc (though is very America-centric). For only knowledge is the defence against bad gurus.
Speaking of, once you get past the obvious crap, shills and cranks, the best most gurus can say is 'well it worked for me'. Now, if a pro bodybuilder is guru-ing me on how to get ripped, yes they are worth listening to but I shouldn't take everything as gospel - instead I running everything past my own knowledge base / common sense, keeping the old Sagan Standard handy and being wary of bias.
If you've got to the stage where you find yourself able to intelligently 'talk back' at sites /videos /books, you know you've got somewhere. Which means in short, you've gotta put in the effort to educate yourself first. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:29, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Sadly, it seems even Investopedia has a few hiccups with fake gurus themselves. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 12:17, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Where? KarmaPolice (talk) 15:35, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
Here's a few links containing some offenders. [15], [16], [17] TheEternalOutsider (talk) 08:02, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
Okay... [looks at offending pages].
Kiyosaki's page is somewhat muted, but it does mention the poor aspects of his work - ie most of the Rich/Poor advice is now obsolete, his 'those who can't do, teach' mentality etc. But some of their advice still holds, such as the concept to 'accumulate assets, not possessions' and 'become financially literate'. I would rank it as 'fair' and leaving it open to the reader to work out whether it's worth reading Rich/Poor.
'Famous Financial Advisors' is a listicle of... famous financial advisors. Buffett is there, but so is Madoff. It gives short précis of both. While I can dispute who's on this list, I won't dispute the info put in this one.
Dave Ramsey's 7-steps aren't inherently bad. Like with Kiyosaki's page, the page is muted - it allows you to come to your own judgement. But again, some of his advice is terribly dated; no, you need credit cards [if only to prove you can handle debt for later home loans], I really don't agree with his 'don't buy a property unless you can afford to pay it outright in 15 years' [even if you can't pay it outright in 30, at very least you'd pay a decent chunk of it which you'd get back, which won't happen from eternal rentals] and 'Micawber's law' [always spend less than you earn] can lead to not only cheapskate 'false economies' [not just in cash, but time/effort too], ignoring 'investment opportunities' which could increase your earning potential and lastly, glosses over the fact you might need to 'grow out of hole', not an eternal belt-tightening which ends with you living the life of Mr Mustard.
Which is kinda an example of what I said before. Listen to them [unless known idiot/scammer], but don't take everything as gospel. Read around, learn the subject - your circumstances are always going to make at least one suggestion non-applicable or plain nuts. Develop the ability to argue back at them, like I have with Ramsey. Part of the issue here is that your two examples are neither 'fake gurus', more 'gurus of variable worth'. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:59, 5 June 2024 (UTC)
TBH I haven't heard *too* much *super*-bad things about Dave Ramsey, but on the other hand it's hardly been all positive. Seems like the "Reddit consensus" (as well as the RW article consensus) for what it's worth is that he's a good "stepping stone" for financial literacy and getting out of debt. Some of his advice has to be framed with this in mind; his anti-credit card stance is terrible unless you are one of the many Americans who have no impulse control and binge yourself into credit card debt. In which case, it might be good to "lay off" the credit cards for a while. In this respect, he's been compared to Alcoholics Anonymous by some (which includes of course some of the dogmatic absolutism in both).
His investment advice is generally considered terrible, and from a skim, I would concur - it's less *super-bad* then about 50 years out of date and old-school shady, advocating high-fee mutual funds and over-promising returns. (No one should touch these in the era of low-fee index funds and ETFs.) To quote a Boglehead forum member which seems right on first skim: "If your net worth is above 0, Ramsey has 0 to offer you."
The other Ramsey impression I've gotten from skims is that he's one of the many "evangelical Christians" who in reality is a gigantic asshole with a huge douche personality. And honestly, if you have actually read the Bible, his free mixing of finance and fundie Christianity should be... theologically troubling, I would think, if fundies actually thought about it more instead of ranting about TEH GAY all the time. But this is a separate topic from his financial advice. BobJohnson (talk) 14:39, 5 June 2024 (UTC)
I think it's also important to divide a guru's 'works' and their more ad hoc public comments etc; for example, Kiyosaki has leant heavily into gold and crypto as 'investments', while his own Rich/Poor would implicity tell you not to do as they are assets with zero passive income streams [at best, gold is a 'store of wealth']. But when it comes to any 'guru', it's always wise to remember their age and consider what aspects of their knowledge might have become obsolete - an elderly bodybuilder might be spot on when it comes to working out, but not in regards to nutrition [bodies are bodies, but we know a lot more about macros/micros since the 70s]. Relevance is also an important issue; the diet/nutrition plan for an office worker is simply not going to be applicable for a sportsperson, even if the plan is current and sound. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:13, 5 June 2024 (UTC)
I'd also point out that different 'gurus' have differing opinions. For example, Martin Lewis [a British finance 'guru'] has positive things to say about credit cards, including being able to take advantage of 'cash-down' discounts, being able to play the card against hire-purchase, the larger consumer protections a credit card gives etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:27, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

Mexican elections[edit]

What's your take on the recent mexican elections and the winner, Claudia Scheinbaum? Since most of you are american, what do you believe the foreign policy will look like? Personally, I think her politics won't be any different to AMLO, but I’m not engaged with Mexican politics, and her personality at least seems very different to that of AMLO. New world (talk) 12:52, 4 June 2024 (UTC)

I have only heard the same dumb takes that were levied against Ocasio Cortez. 'She is an actress that the party hired' woooooow and then the people voted for her!?! Like every politician that's ever been elected? I really dislike baby's first election when it suddenly occurs to 30+ years olds, but let's maintain some blindspot where my party doesn't groom and give incentives to a palatable populist upstart. No, she's a sneaky insert. The first and only, it is cool and she was elected because people like that shit. That is how democracy works. A person was put forward to represent a party, do you think they would just go, 'ah, iunno, grab Jenny from the block and just tell her to say shit?' That is not how politics works. Scheinbaum is fine. The fuck did anyone care about Obrador? Was he good? This absolute concern trolling about women in power, Jacinda Adern got it, Angela Merkel got it. What a bunch of witches, am I right? ALL POLITITICIANS ARE TWO FACED, it's a requirement of the job. It is not gender specefic, Lauren Boebert was actually breaking down barriers by jerking a guy off in a theater and having unruly entitled children. All politicians can be bad, can be bought and paid for, can actually be really stupid. It is important, therefore, to pay attention to our elected representatives. But I guess that's difficult, I don't know why. Torrent (talk) 05:01, 5 June 2024 (UTC)
Reading her Wikipedia page and she seems to generally have a good head on her shoulders. It will be interesting to see how she tackles the continued effect of climate change that Mexico is sure to experience, alongside the insanity of US politics. Impiricism (talk) 18:57, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

8000th Article Ideas[edit]

I am pretty sure you know our 8000th article is approaching so I thought 1 of these 4 topics could be written to celebrate it. 1. Till Death Do Us Part (sitcom/satire): Classic British Comedy series satirizing bigots. The far right in the UK uses its main character (Alf Gannet) as its poster boy. 2. SPAC Nation: a "church" (in heavy air quotes) that really was seen more as a cult in all sense and very near where I live. 3. The Kingdom Church: another "church" that really of a a cult that I am very nearby too. Its former pastor also engaged in dangerous pseudo science by selling literal olive oil solution to "cure" COVID-19 4. 200 Proofs the Earth is not a Spinning Ball: Every Flat Earther's favourite book. While there have been a few rebuttals including one by Professor Dave Explains my idea is to string this by performing something akin to a metanalysis. Essentially, grab them all up and make a giant article debunking all of them, providing context and alternative debunks. Easily worthy of silver if done properly. — Unsigned, by: Qwertydiy / talk / contribs

Election apocalypse? Anna Livia (talk) 23:40, 2 June 2024 (UTC)

In DnD, there's people who "pre-roll" their d20 dice until they get two 1's in a row. The belief is that getting three 1's in a row has a chance of 1 in 8000. However, anyone with a cursory understanding of probability knows that the odds of getting a third 1 given you already have the first two is still 1/20.
So... something to do with DnD or probability. CorruptUser 12:08, 6 June 2024 (UTC)

Reply button on talk page a la Wikipedia[edit]

How can you get nice little reply buttons on talk pages like Wikipedia? I find those super handy, and I think we should have them.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 16:49, 4 June 2024 (UTC)

Screenshot 4-6-2024.jpg

— Unsigned, by: ThatJoshuaPerson / talk / contribs

mw:Extension:DiscussionTools implements this but problem is the 3 superusers are inactive and server configuration they get problems with so. 2600:387:F:D10:0:0:0:3 (talk) 17:01, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
There are a lot of things this wiki needs updating on. Good luck on getting those anytime soon. Carthage (talk) 07:02, 7 June 2024 (UTC)

Arab Jews: An interesting topic with little information[edit]

I have been trying to read about Arabs who practice Judaism as I think that the concept of Colored Jews (I believe that is the term) is interesting. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Note: I hold no hate for Jews or Israel existing. That said I believe that both Jews and Palestinians can live side by side if leaders would get their heads out of their religious nationalistic asses. Religious nationalistic beliefs get innocent people killed. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:51, 21 May 2024 (UTC)

Arabized Jews.
Basically, outside of the Arabian peninsula, there aren't a lot of ethnic Arabs (beyond general intermarriage and all that), but rather, millions of people who "converted" ethnically to Arab. The Syrians, Egyptians, Libyans, etc, are actually made up of various ethnic groups, but they've basically adopted Arabic as their mother tongue and all that. That's actually the biggest reason for the Persian/Arab conflict; Persians have always viewed themselves as the guardians of civilizations, and it was the barbarians from the west (the Arabs, not "The West") who conquered them, whereas the Arabs despise the Persians for not giving up their culture, language, identity, etc. CorruptUser 20:14, 21 May 2024 (UTC)
Given that races are statistical constructs from a modern perspective, one might ask what you think an Arab Jew is? Most Jews in Israel are not "practicing Jews." It is, for them, an ethnic identity. That is a "because I say so" identity. Arabs are not a race. They are just folks that live in North Africa and west Asia and share cultural attitudes. UncleKrampus (talk) 21:38, 21 May 2024 (UTC)
Judaism is classed as an "ethno-religion" that one can convert to. If someone had an arab parent or both parents were arab, and the mother was a follower of Judaism, then their child would be considered Jewish. Also, races are not, really "statistical" constructs. The whole point in refuting racialism was that racial groupings are not statistically meaningful. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:35, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
Anything can be made statistically meaningful. Race is not a scientific construct. Statistics is something else. Science is expected to make sense. Statistics is just a group of theories of probabilistic modeling. Races, like the rainbows are real in a very limited sense.UncleKrampus (talk) 13:52, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
You can just say you never took a stats class before and save us the howler of “ Anything can be made statistically meaningful” —- no, not if the standards for acceptable margins of error, statistical significance, and effect sizes have anything to say about it. This is like saying any treatment can be made effective. Do you think when a meta-analysis reports that a treatment is not statistically or clinically significant from the placebo control they are reporting that there is a statistically meaningful difference between the treatment and the control group? No, honey. That’s being illiterate in statistics. Alarming for a community that is about promoting scientific literacy. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:49, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
Maybe I'm being too charitable here, but to be fair with Krampus, he said "statistically meaningful" (a term that is not common on the literature so maybe he was criticizing the abuse of statistics by some people), not "statistically significant" (a very common term that means p-value<α, where α is usually 0.05). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:08, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
Yes you are being charitable, but I am not proud and I do accept charity. I have a degree in mathematics and I know enough to know that the models are abstractions that we do not always accept when they generate cognitive dissonance, which, by the way many here seem to experience without being aware of it. Sorry sweetie.UncleKrampus (talk) 22:11, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't know you have a degree in mathematics (I assume Sorta didn't know either), and from now on, I'll assume you're a lot better on the subject than me (which is not very difficult, but whatever). Still, I think I understood your point, you were saying that statistics can be abused and/or ignored based on what people believe. That being said, I don't think the backfire effect is always true. Not saying that I'm 100% rational or everything but to quote Keynes (ok, the quote isn't his) "When the facts change, I change my mind". I've changed my mind on many subjects that I once hold very firm positions, and I expect to change many times in the future as I am confronted with evidence. This is an interesting conversation (IMO far more interesting than demographics of the I/P conflict), but the three of us derailing the thread now, so I'll stop now. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 22:35, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
Don't be, you were quite correct, I think. Even sorta was more or less accurate. Social science buffs depend upon the idea that statistics is a way to see the truth. Mathematicians see it as removed from a posteriori knowledge, and, a pure form of knowledge, but that is a little too incoherent for me. I would say that statisticians think it is the art of making numerical conjectures. We use statistics to make educated guesses. That's good.UncleKrampus (talk) 22:44, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
it's kind of a Harry Potter house thing. Anyone is allowed to convert to Judaism, but the tenets matter to orthodoxy. It's like, you can join a Catholic family, but you're not getting off with an unbaptised child. Non practicing is fine and included, but it's also not fine. It's not that different to me with judaism. It IS ethnically tied, but it is so cultural that I just can't buy it as an ethnicity at large. Would an Arab Muslim be held to a different standard? I worked with a Pakistani Muslim and he brought his family's leftovers to the break room the day Ramadan started. What a fucking cool thing to just do. Was he Muslim? Well, I made sure I was in the break room any time he had to run his socks under water before prayer, I've seen worse done at a sink. Torrent (talk) 03:17, 22 May 2024 (UTC) Torrent (talk) 02:55, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
There is so much kindness and humility in any religion that wants to exist, and it works so much better than distrust and exclusion. As an atheist, kindness and humility is not suspect. it's just how we all get by. Torrent (talk) 03:28, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
KarmaPolice (talk) 10:45, 22 May 2024 (UTC)
The timeline I’ve got for this thing which I have no stake in yet like any modern major jerk have opinions of (and please, mods please smash this if it is pure flame bait but I ask only that ye not banhammer me) is that:
Artificius (talk) 05:03, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
There do exist people who identify as both Arab and Jewish, but they are few and far between. Carthage (talk) 08:17, 23 May 2024 (UTC)
It's quite amazing how, rather than owning up to a fuck-up, G Man just decides to hide this entire thing behind a collapse. Carthage (talk) 12:34, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
i collapsed it to improve readability. to be fair, i did take this discussion a bit off topic, and it took up more than half of the thread because of the lengthy replies.
anyway, i gave up (just like cory apparently did) because i didn't want to keep dragging the conversation on forever. it's evident that we've reached an impasse. my mind has not changed, and i'm not going to change anyone's mind. consequently, rather than just going around in circles forever, we'll just have to agree to disagree for now. The G (talk) 18:39, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
You were debunked a multitude of times, and are now hiding the thread so less people are exposed to posts debunking the misinformation provided by someone who admits to have never read a single book from an academic publisher on this topic. Your mind hasn’t changed because you didn’t come to the conversation to have your mind changed. You have established yourself as a someone who contradict expert viewpoints. You have thrown the very idea of rational skepticism out the window, refusing to engage with the empirical evidence. If the “impasse” is acknowledging palestinians as a distinct ethnic group, or that there existed Jewish Palestinians. I don’t know what to tell you. Motivated reasoning is going to kick no matter what I say. Even with your changed goalposts, I scored. You are really ill equipped and ill informed on this issue. I even explained the nuance of acknowledging many of the oldest Jewish settlements as being arguably without fault to the settlers themselves due to their very real status as political refugees. This is still reconcilable with seeing the Palestinians as a colonized people. Political and Labour Zionists still contributed to this, and are not completely without fault. You can describe this conflict as a complex of interplay of European antisemitism, colonization, and political forces pushing mass relocation of their Jewish population onto the land of non-consenting Palestinians. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:43, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
Hell, you can even acknowledge the role of religious antisemitism, and the motivations of pan-Arabic nationalism in all of this too. It also be worth acknowledging the heavy American Evangelical influence to desiring that Israel is in control of Jerusalem. The way that Israel can work as a advantageous economic and militaristic ally for the US in the Middle East. Said Pan-Arabic nationalists who have a vested interest in supporting HAMAS, etc. This is a deeply convoluted issue. Not helped by denying the very real history of Zionism self-identifying a settler colonial project since its very early days. I am not interested in white washing this shit, various Palestinian factions have done horrendous shit too. I still think the more powerful, more stable actor with the exceedingly higher death-toll in all of this holds the greater responsibility solely because they are the only faction with the stability and power to do so. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:56, 27 May 2024 (UTC)
i will admit to leaving out one key fact: while i did say there was no state of palestine prior to the 20th century (which is true), i did leave out that israel is also a product of 20th century politics. i should have mentioned that earlier, and it was my mistake to leave that out.
besides that, i've already stated where i stand on the issue. i refuse to buy into the nonsensical "jewish settler colonialism" propaganda. i don't care what your favorite historian says. there are just as many who disagree (including the one i mentioned), and your senseless gatekeeping does nothing to change that. the fact is that jews are just as indigenous to the holy land as the palestinians are due to their historical connections to the land. saying otherwise is like saying, "might makes right," given the historical context. (it's like saying the western armenian diaspora has no right to return to eastern turkey just because they lost it in a genocide/ethnic cleansing campaign.) as long as people keep playing the blame game, and as long as people fail to acknowledge these basic facts, there will never be peace in the region (israel-palestine). The G (talk) 07:14, 29 May 2024 (UTC)
Your position is not informed by reality, especially when a) early Zionists themselves called Zionism a settler colonial project and b) they are still literally colonizing Palestine right as we speak. This is something you continue to ignore because it contradicts your propaganda. Carthage (talk) 17:48, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "the fact is that jews are just as indigenous to the holy land as the palestinians are due to their historical connections to the land. saying otherwise is like saying, "might makes right," given the historical context. (it's like saying the western armenian diaspora has no right to return to eastern turkey just because they lost it in a genocide/ethnic cleansing campaign.)"

This is funny, because Palestinians, who you acknowledge are indigenous to Palestine, are currently being ethnically cleansed from Palestine, and have been for decades now. Also, again, it's irrelevant if Jewish people have an ancestral connection to Palestine. Israel is the dominant power that is ethnically cleansing the indigenous Palestinians and stealing land they have inhabited for millennia. Why should a return to Palestine necessitate ethnic cleansing and land theft? That's colonization. It's disingenuous to paint it as anything but. Even early Zionists recognized this fact, which you continue to ignore. If you had any shred of intellectual honesty you would at least stop ignoring historical realities and admit that early Zionists viewed themselves as colonizers. Carthage (talk) 19:42, 29 May 2024 (UTC)

This point about ancestral homeland has already been addressed when I drew the analogy of Italian Fascists and claiming the territories occupied by ancient Rome. The Kingdom of Israel hadn’t occupied that territory since roughly around 930 BCE. You have close to 2000 years of history between the fall of that kingdom and the establishment of modern Israel. It doesn’t change the fact that Palestinians had been living in that region for centuries before the Zionist settlements were erected, and they have been displaced from the region ever since.
You are using blatantly nationalistic politics to reason about this, akin to the claims of other nationalistic movements looking to “restore” their civilization to their former glory. Ancestral homeland or not, that doesn’t justify ethnic displacement.
Acknowledging that historians contest Israel’s status as settler colonialism (complicated by nationalistic politics, and the specific scholarly tradition of “new historians” that started specifically in Israel), should not lead you to conclude the claim is “nonsensical propaganda”. That is not adopting historical consensus, that’s choosing a side. If anything you should withhold judgement to whether or not Israel is a settler colonial state if the state of humanities literature is really that mixed. You been backed up into a corner repeatedly though, given most claims you have made to Israel not being a settler colonial project implicates many a non-ambiguous examples (i.e. Canada, the US, Australia, South Africa, etc.) as not being examples of settler colonialism either. Do you actually think North Americans never claimed Europeans occupied the land before the indigenous people they found there? Do you think actually think Europeans never saw themselves as entitled to the land as a chosen people by God? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:22, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
@Carthage okay, i'll concede that israeli jews are practicing settler colonialism... sort of. i already explained a little earlier, and i'll elaborate some more.
@OnlySortaDumb "This point about ancestral homeland has already been addressed when I drew the analogy of Italian Fascists and claiming the territories occupied by ancient Rome." that's a very interesting way to put it, but ok.
"Ancestral homeland or not, that doesn’t justify ethnic displacement." it's funny how buying land and settling there (pre-1948) is tantamount to ethnic displacement. that's almost like saying immigration or forming ethnic enclaves is settler colonialism. is brooklyn a colonial settlement, too? do all the german, japanese, and levantine enclaves in central and south america (and there are many) amount to another form of settler colonialism? maybe there's some nuance behind this argument that i'm missing out on. maybe florida was onto something when they recently banned land from being purchased by foreign buyers. on the other hand, the jewish israelis were entirely within their right to defend themselves in 1948, considering all surrounding arab countries attacked israel — not just the palestinians. the jews were also escaping genocide and ethnic cleansingsWikipedia of their own (as mentioned earlier). these are basic facts that i bet you a majority of university protesters don't even know. now, maybe israel isn't right to treat the palestinians in the post-1967 occupied territories the way they do, and that's fair game. after all, there is a lot of nuance to this debate. in fact, i support a free palestine only if there will be a safe haven for jews in the region. however, as long as iran- and qatar-backed hamas are part of the conversation, there will never a "free" or "decolonized" palestine. (and why would there be? are palestinians really free under the thumb of hamas? it's just a different form of imperialism. it's six of one, half a dozen of another... or however the saying goes in english.)
"most claims you have made to Israel not being a settler colonial project implicates many a non-ambiguous examples (i.e. Canada, the US, Australia, South Africa, etc.) as not being examples of settler colonialism either." another false equivalence, followed by a few strawman questions. the difference is that there are a grand total of zero permanent pre-columbian cities or settlements founded by europeans, whereas many ancient sources (not least the bible) have attested to the ancient jewish cities of jerusalem, nazareth, hebron, bethlehem, jericho, and many others. also, there are jewish coins just as much as there are palestinian coins from times past. to paraphrase what you said earlier, might does not always make right. just because the ancient jews were driven away from there doesn't mean their descendants don't have the right to return. with everything i said in mind, you can support decolonization and indigenous rights, or you can deny that jews are indigenous to the region. The G (talk) 04:20, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
Need I repeat the UN definition of indigenous? The fact that Jews have an ancestral presence in Palestine does not make them indigenous by the UN definition. In fact, Israel regards immigration to Palestine even by converts as valid. Genetics is not a factor considered in aliyah laws. What Israel does do, is deny a right of return to ethnically cleansed Palestinians, displaced by both the Naqba and Naksa (and don't think it's escaped notice how you're peddling misinformation about the history of Zionist colonialism in the region).
Also, it's rich that you insist on being a fence-sitter when statements as basic as "maybe Israel isn't right to treat the Palestinians in the post-1967 occupied territories the way they do" (nice goalshift there) have to metaphorically be pried out of your teeth. You're a partisan for one side only, and are disingenuously trying to claim neutrality when you have none.
Also, nice false equivalency between ethnic immigration and settler colonialism. Zionist settlement of Palestine from the beginning has purposely been protected by imperial powers (this is described by Jabotinsky as the "Iron Wall" protecting Jewish settlements from angry natives), as Zionist settlement of Palestine from the beginning has been a self-admitted colonial project. In fact, Palestine was only one of several options originally considered for Jewish colonization. Madagascar and Patagonia were considered for Jewish settlement too. The Zionist colonization of Palestine was by no means inevitable, and the fact that Jews have ancestral history in that region is irrelevant to the fact that the Zionist project has been a colonial one from the get go. Carthage (talk) 09:34, 3 June 2024 (UTC)
This conversation is going around in circles. We already established Indigenous Palestinians lost land to Zionists settlements prior to the 20th century, let alone 1967. Also the previous argument I was making was an appeal to analogy, I wasn’t making an equivalence argument. If a fallacy was made then it would be a faulty analogy. To establish I made such a fallacy you would need to show that the number of relevant differences outnumber the relevant similarities. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:18, 4 June 2024 (UTC)
@G Man It's more that when any I-P discussions start to get heated, it's best to just walk away. For reasons it brings out the absolute worst in people. CorruptUser 20:15, 7 June 2024 (UTC)

Trump Guilty on all 34 counts![edit]

Trump is in a tight spot now son.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:55, 30 May 2024 (UTC)

If he had just used some sense... I'm not sorry for people like that.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 22:32, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
"12 New York jurors said they unanimously agreed that Trump falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels to influence the 2016 election." This apparently means he's the first former US president convicted of felonies. Chillpilled (talk) 21:56, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Lock him up. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:10, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
Rule 34!
Wait. CorruptUser 22:54, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
[EC] It may take a number of months, possibly over a year before Trump faces consequences, though. It seems to be generally believed that indecisive and "middle" voters are likely to abandon Trump now, though, so it may cost him the election even while he's free for perhaps another year while appeals etc. take place. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 22:56, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
I doubt he'll be "locked up" even if he exhausts the appeals; this is a "biz" crime (falsifying records) at its core. The only reason it is a class E felony (the lowest kind in New York) is because the law [20] allows such when the intent is to commit, aid, or conceal a crime. (Which the prosecution apparently proved that he did, in that the hush money was a part of a conspiracy to commit election fraud.)
It is darkly amusing that this is promoting a "rally around the criminal" effect among Republicans, conservative pundits, and wingnut media. (Ladies and gentlemen, the Party of Law and Order!) But who cares about them? We know who they will vote for, it would probably take something like Trump shooting a puppy to get them to change their mind (and maybe not even then). Personally I doubt it will have much effect on the election (maybe a little around the edges among the undecideds, don't cares, and fuck 'em both crowd) compared to lots of other things... but we'll see. BobJohnson (talk) 23:34, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
I think this means we should be absolutely terrified of whoever Trump chooses as VP; if he wins, and then gets removed from office... CorruptUser 23:02, 30 May 2024 (UTC)
He wouldn't be removed from office unless he resigned. Chillpilled (talk) 01:20, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
If he wins the general election, how could he serve as president while there is a possibility of him going to prison? There's no way he could perform his duties (such as meeting with foreign diplomats) from his cell, and he also can't pardon himself for a conviction that came from a state court. Tetrapteryx (talk) 03:56, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
An oldster that obese is basically a walking cardiac event. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:00, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
I agree with BobJ. This result won't move those solid supporters (either way) and I don't think it will move the needle much - even with moderate/floating voters. I will be amazed it this causes a 3% swing away from the Orange One - and if Biden doesn't pull his finger out he stands a very good chance of losing. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:45, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Thinking about it, the main thing I can see maybe moving the needle a *touch* is the very probable likelihood that Trump will *constantly* whine about this case, that He's So Much A Victim Of The Democrat Elite or something, and tries to make a martyr out of himself. This of course will be "red meat" for his Biggest Fans, but honestly (should this happen, as I think is likely) I am guessing that this will seem rather pathetic to anyone looking at this objectively. Anyone observant of the last 8 years of Trump behavior of course would already know that Trump whining about always being the victim is "par for the course", but it's pretty clear that there are a *lot* of "low information" voters out there.
And, in fact, the "low information voter" is one of the "features" of the recent polling that makes predicting the 2024 election tough to me. At least in the New York Times polls, a curious feature was noted recently: Biden actually still has a small lead among people who actually voted in 2020; much of the Trump swing has been concentrated among people who didn't vote in 2020.[21] This repeats in a few other ways (there's a "Trump bump" among those who only get their "news" from social media or barely pay attention to politics). Will the constant Trump whine actually connect with non-MAGA Trump supporters, or will it help make some of this low-information "Trump bump" say "fuck em both" and stay home? Who knows. This is a wilder "wild card" than a few other of the "election questions", such as "how much will 'the Israel deal' hurt Biden?" or "are pollsters underestimating the pro-choice vote again?" But... it's "something". BobJohnson (talk) 14:15, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Busted!Koafox (talk) 14:27, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I could see him passing off some responsibilities to his VP the way presidents already do when they're hospitalized. Cheney was acting president for a few hours when W. Bush had a colonoscopy at least a couple of times. There's reportedly already been some planning by the Secret Service on how to maybe work this out though, from at least a security angle. Chillpilled (talk) 15:34, 31 May 2024 (UTC)
there is at least a few members of Secret Security (fun name) that have been staying at Trump owned properties. All former presidents are entitled to a secret service (really fun name) duty for themselves and their family. Less than a VP, how cool would it be to be an ex presential guard? It is weird that Reagan took a bullet,right? Torrent (talk) 04:40, 5 June 2024 (UTC)

Polling has dropped - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jun/07/trump-biden-election-standing-after-conviction - suggesting that there's been a 2% wiggle towards Biden. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:23, 7 June 2024 (UTC)

Awareness and “content of awareness”[edit]

Warning icon orange.svg Warning: Solipsism conversation ahead may rot your brain!

Man photographing himself in cornered mirror to generate illusion cropped.jpg

So I know consciousness is a…thing among the spiritual types and I got into an argument with one because he said we are consciousness because consciousness doesn’t change on the content of it does.

I think that’s the same thing. What is awareness of not awareness of something else? I mean isn’t awareness also a sense as well? The sense that you are aware? He mentioned how he took psychedelics (which to be fair should have been a warning to me about where this was going) and how what changed was the content and not his awareness. Though to me that just means you aren’t aware of anything around you, much like dreaming. So your awareness would change. I also didn’t bring up that awareness can change because we can turn it off with a drug. It happened to me when my wisdom teeth were taken out, I got knocked out. All I remember was blinking and it was over. Like…no awareness isn’t darkness, dreaming, nada. It was pretty scary actually that I could be out like that and have no experience of anything.

But the convo quickly devolved to “you are awareness” and the real self is the observer becauee awareness doesn’t change, which begs the question of why does something being unchanging automatically make it the self.

I tried to bring up how the self is really focused in the prefrontal cortex and just got deflected in saying that “it’s not proven”, “some scientists disagree”, “I’ve researched this extensively”. Then again I’m talking to people who don’t think consciousness is the result of the brain so yeah.

I guess I wanted thoughts on this. To me consciousness is like electricity to a computer. It enables us to be who we are but without it everything is still there waiting to be used. I can’t access saved data on a hard drive with the power off but it doesn’t vanish when I turn the computer off. That would be a disaster.2600:387:1:805:0:0:0:A0 (talk) 18:49, 6 June 2024 (UTC)

People either believe there is, or might be, a spiritual entity associated with human consciousness, or they don't. Members of the two opposing groups can be polite to one another or argumentative. I recommend being polite. UncleKrampus (talk) 03:49, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
Delving into the Mind-Body Problem eh? There is no evidence supporting the mind (or "soul" as some may say perhaps) as distinct from one's physical body, and much evidence supporting the opposite; Phineas Gage as a famous example. Who you are and everything you are is just chemical energy in the piece of meat called your head, working in an incredibly complex process; when you die, that's it. Very discomforting right? The Cyberpunk genre of science fiction often explores some ideas of the mind... whether that's creating a "strong" AI or copying and restoring the information from a brain's chemical processes that makes up a person, like the storyline from the recent Cyberpunk2077 video game. It's science fiction sure, but for how long really? Doesn't matter anyways... easier and much more comforting to simply not think about it in my opinion. Impiricism (talk) 18:22, 7 June 2024 (UTC)

I'm actually not uncomfortable with us just being physical things. It's just that for a while I sorta bought into the spiritual crowd because I didn't have a better answer. They invent things like heart (not literal heart), mind, and other stuff that I just sorta took for a given, but when I thought about it all I didn't really see how it couldn't not be the brain. A guy on there said emotions reside in body not brain, but they reside in the brain. He said you can't feel without a body, but I forgot to mention phantom limb syndrome. Where people experience sensations in area that doesn't exist. Like...all the info I have found seems to back that we are the brain, especially since tinkering with it affects the rest of the body.

I just don't know how to really argue against people who use the oddity of consciousness against me. Like making a difference between awareness and content of awareness to me just sounds like splitting hairs because you don't want to accept it's a brain thing. (talk) 22:23, 7 June 2024 (UTC)

You know I never meant to argue against what hurt about it. It's a tough question but I will always say solipsism is a bad take. We are all too complicated to be made up. I did not invent you. That is the first limit that destroys solipsism. Let's agree to that. Torrent (talk) 04:49, 11 June 2024 (UTC)

What would you do?[edit]

I’ve been a teenage apostate from a fundie Christian denomination (the Church of Christ specifically - they are known for the rather peculiar teaching that their denomination isn’t a denomination, and all other Christian sects are heresies) for about 6 months now. I guess I would consider myself an agnostic atheist. Naturally, this has been very much to my parents’ dismay. We have talked quite a number of times about our differing viewpoints, but after my parents told me no amount of evidence could ever make them change their minds, I gave up. My parents are not your average Christians. They dress super weird. Like I can’t wear sweatpants or shorts because they are not “manly.” Ugh. They also don’t really have any other friends outside my family besides fellow believers. It is really heartbreaking to see religion making my parents so worried about me.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 23:21, 6 June 2024 (UTC)

There seem to be quite a few claimants to the title "Church of Christ".Wikipedia Bongolian (talk) 03:43, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
Why do you think something should be done? Imagine that you could change someone's mind about their religion. In that case you would be ethically responsible for some aspect of their behavioral program. It would be fine, I guess, if they were happy about it. I wouldn't count on that. UncleKrampus (talk) 03:55, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
I would recommend just educating yourself first. I deconverted my mom not through any conscious effort, but because I would love to share what I was interested in. What I was interested in also was contradictory to the message of her then-religion. Carthage (talk) 06:57, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
I sympathize with you Joshua - but I'm not really sure what question you are asking. You already said: "after my parents told me no amount of evidence could ever make them change their minds, I gave up". (Presumably you gave up on presenting evidence to them) - so now just live your own life as best as you can and try to avoid conflict with them.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:08, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
I might be reading too much into this, but I think you need to appreciate the [relative] 'reasonableness' your parents are granting you - they're not telling you have to believe, they've not trying guilt-tripping you into believing [or more correctly feigning belief], they are not simply ignoring you as 'you're just a kid and you don't know what you're talking about' or shut you instantly down when you try to discuss it etc. I would provisionally suggest this shows they do care for you, perhaps more than what you give them credit for.
Now, I don't know this strand of cultishness, but I know enough about them in general to appreciate your parents will also be under significant pressure. Let's start with the obvious bit; from their POV, you're going to hell. Despite their best efforts to stop that from happening [though I do half-suspect their current 'reasonableness' might simply be them believing 'it's just a phase' and you'll be back in the fold by 25]. That's gonna hurt, akin to watching your kid 'fucking up their whole life' in one stroke [but you're fucking up eternity].
Cultists not having any friends outside of the cult is the norm; cults work by cutting your non-cult contacts off so the cult is everything to you. And cults normally don't consider 'privacy' a thing; so for example, I bet your parents will/have been be pressured to 'share' the whole story with the pastor and I strongly suspect their 'advice' is going to attempt to strongarm you, and if that fails - disfellowship. And peer pressure is huge in such bell-jars. How quickly will this kick in? It all depends on how visible your apostasy is - if [for example] you stop attending church / study groups and you don't have a good reason for it the alarm will raise quick, but if you feign orthodoxy and continue attending etc obviously not. What will happen when your secret is out? I suspect a strong-arming, love-bombing combo and if they fail - disfellowshipping.
When it comes to this, your parents [and other cultist relatives] will come under huge pressure to shun you. There's a chance you might lose them all [you will lose all your cult friends]. If the cult believes you are 'savable', they will try to stage a kind of cult intervention [if they can find you, obs]. This is going to hurt, but forewarned is forearmed and all that.
And don't bother trying to 'convert' them. This mentality [I will argue] is a hangover from your 'cult programming', in which you consider every opportunity with non-believers a chance to preach and every new remotely-friendly person a possible convert. Plus, it rarely if ever works. I am going to assume here your parents were converts to this [so they consciously chose] so they're already 'thought this through' [to some extent] but you were born into it, and so you never got to choose. If you want to maintain some form of future relationship with them, simply 'agree to disagree' and [hopefully] each side quits trying to 'convert' the other. Whether you decide to continue feigning orthodoxy so the cult don't bitch at your parents etc is something you will have to consider yourself. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:21, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, my parents are converts. I don’t want to give the impression that I hate them or anything of the sort, I am just concerned about their worriment over my condition, and it seems the only way to cure it would be to get them to see the error in their beliefs. I also hate seeing my two younger siblings (I am the oldest) being brought up in this, and made to believe such lies about the nature of the world around them (it's only 6000 years old, everyone who isn't a part of our cult is wicked "lost," I am "lost," life is hopeless without Jesus, climate change isn't real, gays are evil etc.) and this whole Heaven/Hell shit. I don’t think I would really care about it otherwise. I expect all I can hope to do is wait it out as you advise, (that's pretty much what I thought) keep my mouth shut, and try to be as nice as possible. Perhaps I'll be able to make some headway with my siblings once I'm out of the house. But I do appreciate the free housing, food etc and I think I'll try to keep it while I can :).
It is a matter of constant amazement to me that I actually started think for myself last year and was able to so quickly to renounce all that I had been brainwashed into believing for the last fifteen years. The more and more I read the bible, the more and more I THINK, the more and more I research (mostly by underhanded, safe means), the more and more convinced I become upon the supreme foolishness of religion.
If you didn’t already guess I am homeschooled. I'll be a high school senior this fall. The education I am provided is decent, although I'd much rather have it without all the religion. My parents allowed me to dual-enroll at a junior college to take a physics and government course, really excited to take that.
Thanks, it really helps just to communicate my thoughts to sane people.ThatJoshuaPerson (talk) 20:54, 7 June 2024 (UTC)
A little surprisingly for someone who grew up in the UK, I was also raised in a cult. I was in my late teens when I thought "But this doesn't make any kind of sense!". But (unsurprisingly) I found that it was difficult to persuade people who have a lot of social, emotional and even financial capital invested their beliefs. My parents never changed their minds and it took my brother another 40 years or so.
If they are aware of your beliefs - and if you are still financially dependent on your parents - I think you are going to just have to find some way to coexist until you leave home. As far as your siblings are concerned I would suggest that the best thing would be to lead by example rather than persuasion. If they can see that you are still a good brother with moral values whilst not holding to whatever weird ideas your parents hold then that might be more effective than explicit argumentation.
Good luck in any event.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:55, 8 June 2024 (UTC)
Less surprisingly than you'd think, Bob... anyway, you're 100% right in pointing out until you have 'agency' to leave, the OP is basically stuck there and 'discretion is the better part of valour' (or at least for a quieter life). That requires money, which requires a half-decent job which a decent education will help you with. More importantly, ensuring you get recognised qualifications to match - not some fundie shite only accepted by other fundies. So my advice here would be to use your 'imprisonment' as productively as possible - study well and map out you post-cult life. Most critically; what career path / field offers you a way to be able to be financially independent?
As for how they will feel... There comes a point you have to accept it's not your responsibility to make them happy. Esp if it makes you unhappy. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:37, 8 June 2024 (UTC)