RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive69

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Portal and ID[edit]

Nice! Don't know if this has been posted before, but if you're a fan of the portal song, you might like the intelligent design remix. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 07:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Great lyrics, terrible voice. EddyP (talk) 08:58, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

As horrible as the voice may be, it is pretty damn funny :D --Danfly (talk) 10:22, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Um...[edit]

Now I don't buy into conspiracy theories... but why are the BBC talking about the collapse of Tower 7 (Salomon Bros), when you can see Tower 7 over her left shoulder? --PsyGremlinParlez! 14:03, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Which building is supposed to be building 7? I was trying to match what's shown on the BBC with Wikipedia's photos of the original building 7 and can't identify it. DickTurpis (talk) 14:43, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
The one just behind her left shoulder, with the black line at the top (afaict) They mention 47-stories and that's the same height WP give. --PsyGremlinRunāt! 14:52, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps there is a stupidity theory? ~ Lunemowse 03:32, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Menendez recall[edit]

It's been almost two months now since they went before the court, but still no decision. What's up? EddyP (talk) 14:26, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Physiotherapy[edit]

Hello all,

I have a quick question for the rationalwiki user-base. Several months ago I developed an injury that has kept me from my normal activities, and is giving no sign of abating. I have just begun seeing a physiotherapist about this problem, and one of her suggestions has triggered alarm bells. Google has not been helpful, and I am not confident in my ability to read and understand medical papers. Here is my question:

1. Is IMS (intramuscular stimulation) bullshit quackery?

IMS sounds alot like acupuncture which is bullshit quackery. However the proposed mechanism is at least plausible to anatomical ignorami. It seems suspicious to me.

Also, my current physiotherapist doesn't do much to inspire confidence. Her response to my skepticism was along the lines of "it never hurts to try," and "it has benefited some patients." I bit down hard on my tongue and didn't mention my wallet or the placebo effect.

Thanks, Antifly Merged with Infinity 21:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Wikis aren't the best places to ask serious medical questions. RationalWiki will tell you that any form of alternative medicine is bullshit which may an accurate statement but I'm not a doctor so I don't know. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 22:10, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, as far as I can tell it's bullshit. I've had the same thing performed on me. When asked, the physio told me that it worked on the same principles as acupuncture. By which I took to mean it doesn't do a damn thing. It certainly didn't do anything for me. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:13, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
From what I can tell, it's acupuncture by another name. However, acupuncture isn't complete BS - well the explanations about "energy" and "ley lines" or whatever is - as it does stimulate the body and release quite a few endorphins. But then again, you're jabbing needles into your body, you can get the same effect slamming your hand into a door or getting a tattoo. Like a lot of less well known alt meds, the studies aren't wide enough to draw any conclusions but it is pretty much on par with a similarly administered placebo - i.e., jamming needles into you sans woo. The effect is apparently strong enough to be worth looking at. [1] Scarlet A.pngtheist 22:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Last summer, I was having terrible back pains, and after months of not being able to really move, I had acupuncture done. I didn't think it would work, but I was desperate, and my insurance even covered it! But I just left with 2 very sore, useless arms.. It took almost an hour before I could really move them again.. And my pain did NOTHING! Eventually, they gave me a massive amount of pain killers and (really) anti-depressants, and it went away after about a week. But, if you can afford it, or whatever, and are desperate enough, I'd try it. I at least got a good story about being shoved full of needles. Quaru (talk) 00:48, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

A quick look around on Google found this practioner who claims to describe a "scientifically proven method", but sadly his web site doesn't offer any indication of what this proof might be. He links to the Institute for Study and Treatment of Pain, who have a list of "medical papers" in their "research" section. Most of them are lengthy explanations of why they think the method should work; I only spotted one paper where they'd done an actual clinical study [2], but unfortunately that study lacks any sort of control group and thus is worthless. So, (based on my admittedly brief and cursory reading) sounds pretty much like bullshit to me so far. alt (talk) 23:14, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


Thanks to everyone for your responses.

@Cheerleader: I wouldn't be asking a wiki if this was anything more than a quality of life issue (as opposed to a serious medical problem).

@Armondikov: That's more or less what I figured. What do you mean by "worth looking into?" Worth us looking into for the wiki; worth scientists looking into through properly designed studies; or, worth me considering having done? I would like to see more scientific studies. My physiotherapist (and the online literature) compares this procedure to deep-tissue massage, a study comparing them directly would be interesting.

I'm surprised to run into the "there is nothing to lose" argument here. If you believe that the scientific method is the gold-standard for anatomical knowledge, and you believe in science-based medicine, then you should be prepared to refuse an untested treatment that has neither a clear nor established mechanical basis (except of course if you are part of a test group, or are facing certain death in the immediate future). My feeling is that if I want to chastise vaccine-denialists, chiropractors and faith healers, I should be prepared to reject procedures with similarly shaky foundations. There is a lot to lose, from your money and time to your integrity. -- Antifly Merged with Infinity 16:21, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

If there's a treatment which has some evidence of helping (even if we don't understand why, and even if it's only weak evidence) and has had no indication of deleterious effects, then what is there to lose? So long as it's not a case of either untested method that has an outside chance of helping or conventional method that has lots of evidence to back it up. And if you don't like the idea of receiving medical treatment for which there's no well-understood mechanism, you should consider avoiding general anaesthetic in the (hopefully unlikely) event that you need a major operation. alt (talk) 19:02, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I said that "you should be prepared to refuse an untested treatment that has neither a clear nor established mechanical basis." General anaesthetic has been sufficiently tested for me to believe that it will have the desired effect, with high probability.-- Antifly Merged with Infinity 20:33, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah yes, must read more carefully (I think I managed to miss "untested"). I might argue that general anaesthetic is evidence-based medicine rather than science-based medicine (as I'd read the former as "we know that it works", whilst the latter as "we know why it works"). I don't know if medics regard the two terms as synonymous. Back to the original topic: as I said earlier, the studies on IMS I found were pretty badly done, and I'm rather sceptical, but to play devil's advocate: I didn't immediately find any good studies which showed it doesn't work either. But I also didn't do a very thorough literature search, and I'm in no way a medical researcher either. alt (talk) 21:59, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
It didn't even occur to me to distinguish between the two. When I said "science-based" I suppose I meant "science or evidence"-based. Yeah, the consensus seems to be that there is no good reason to assume IMS is effective. I will talk to my physiotherapist again and see if she can provide some rationale for sticking me with needles. I expect I will fire her and move on...-- Antifly Merged with Infinity 22:37, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I mean it's worth looking into as trying it out. You have to remember what "placebo" means in the context of this sort of treatment; it merely discounts the woo explanation, namely that jabbing needles into you in "special spots" does something special with your body's "energy" or whatever (IMS is something about "trigger points", which are better defined in a realistic medical sense than accupuncture points, so it has some substance). The process itself can release endorphins, stimulate nerve endings and so on, and the research seems to indicate that the absolute effect - that is, comparing it to nothing - appears to be quite strong, indicating that it does have more than a mere psycological effect. It's one thing to say "works better than a placebo" but entirely different, practically a different metric, to say "works better than nothing" - it's a distinction that I think many fledgling skeptics of alternative medicine don't always fully appreciate. So if you want to get jammed with needles to see if it helps, try it. I'd say "it can't hurt" but I know that would be metaphorical only. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:30, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Other options for muscular-skeletal injury[edit]

I have repetitive strain injury from computer overuse. I used to take fish oil and I've been eating a great deal of Canola oil for maybe 5 years (flaxseed is another source of omega-3, but not what I use). I think there is science to show this reduces inflammation (arthritis). My inflammation lab test showed the lowest rating possible. So my problem is probably mainly tendonosis. Wikipedia has scientificish source claiming vitamin E is good but I don't know how much. I eat a great deal of it, in spite of conflicting scientificish warnings about overdose. What really seems to help is exercise. ~ Lumenos 17:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Coming Soon to TLC[edit]

The network formally known as The Learning Channel is rumored to be producing a special with America's Sweethearts, Kate Gosselin and Sarah Palin.

Sadly, the Alaska-based show will not be called "America's Funniest Grizzly Maulings". MDB (talk) 12:16, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

That sucks. I'd watch that. Maybe next time. Quaru (talk) 12:35, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Need advice[edit]

So I think I'm going to bite the bullet and read an Ayn Rand book sometime in the next year or so (it will take me a while, as I intend to make it a long term project as I read other better books simultaneously). I read Anthem in high school, but that was short and tame and didn't really spell out her ideology as much as the big ones. So which do I read Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead? Anyone read either and think one is slightly less bad or more readable than the other? I should probably make length a factor too, so the shorter one (Fountainhead, I think?) will probably start off as front runner. Atlas Shrugged is generally consider her magnus opus, is it not, so maybe I should read that? I'd appreciate any input. DickTurpis (talk) 15:20, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Atlas Shrugged. Sen (talk) 16:22, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Atlas Shrugged, but be warned, don't try reading the mass market paperback unless you want to ruin your eyesight. The print is way too small. She should have released it as a trilogy, a-la Tolkien. Secret Squirrel (talk) 01:32, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd say "both". FH is at least moderately "readable", but focuses more on encouraging people to be individualists in the face of conformative pressure (ie, it's not that stupid). It's also a reasonable length. It will help provide the mental energy to suffer through AS, which is appalling badly written, three times longer than justifiable, but really gets into the meat of Rand's anti-collectivist "philosophy". The last 3/4 of the book the only thing that kept me going was the desire to be able to critique the book while saying "yes, I did read the whole thing". ħumanUser talk:Human 17:12, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

All Glory to the Hypno-Toad![edit]

The Fred Phelps crew protested at Comic Con.

Geeks counter-protested.

Hijinks ensued. MDB (talk) 16:55, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Classic. Quaru (talk) 17:59, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Excellent! It would be great if the nerds could follow them around and counter protest. They are definitely better at at it. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 01:19, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Heh heh, nice one! What character were you dressed as MDB? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:17, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
A couple of years ago someone protested at Anthrocon but I didn't catch who they were. Was that the Phelps clan also? Next time they're gettin' some Nuts dropped on their heads by someone in a skwrl suit :"Secret Squirrel (talk) 17:20, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
My day is made! Brilliant! --PsyGremlinSiarad! 17:28, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
The "God hates Fagsred Phelps" sign is awesome. --GastonRabbit (talk) 22:46, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
The Trekkie holding the 'God hates Jedi' sign made my day. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 22:49, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Are there any Avril Lavigne fans around here[edit]

Just asking. --Idiot number 59 (talk) 17:46, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, at least of her first album, which I think is pretty well written and quite enjoyable to listen to. It kind of went downhill from there for me, however. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:51, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
She was cool as possum junior in that movie with the raccoon. Wait what do mean she's a singer? --PsyGremlinSermā! 22:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I saw the end of one of her music videos before I really saw/heard anything of her, and in it she takes about 4 tries to smash a car window with an electric guitar (or something, it's been ages since I saw it). This amused me but coloured my impressions of her so I could never take her seriously. X Stickman (talk) 01:11, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Avril? That poser? Fuck her! If she were to jump off a bridge, I would celebrate with champagne for all! AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 01:19, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Hence the phrase "normal for Cornwall"[edit]

[3] [4] What I want to know is how he worked out that was his fetish - David Gerard (talk) 01:26, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Marcus probably told him :P --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 01:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
(It's actually the rather more alliterative "Normal for Norfolk" but also true for the far west, I suppose.) 03:43, 24 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I always heard it as "normal for Airstrip One"... ħumanUser talk:Human 04:42, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
No wonder townies like me are always getting told "you just don't understand the country way of life". No. No I don't. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 14:20, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I could go in depth, but basically, read the "fetish fuel" entry on TV Tropes. They usually manifest by arousal, or at least your attention getting piqued by something that isn't intentionally or overtly meant to be sexual. So in this case, it could be anything that "awakened" it, I'm thinking those photos of mud and shit covered revelers at Glastonbury, and it just goes on and builds from there. I think the womens underwear thing isn't part of the muck based thing, per se, but is an entirely separate fetish entity that he just happened brought along as well. In general, fetishes aren't highly specific; you don't usually get "I like to have triangular shaped cigarette burns, but only on the patch of skin just above my left elbow, applied by a woman who weighs exactly 16 stone and is wearing horse ears while I stand in a bucked of moldy custard". You do get these supposedly "bizarre" fetish stories that "make you wonder" but really they're just the result of combining more general ones together and then multiplying it by what is practical and available - i.e., "I'm enjoying messing around in shite, next door's farm has a muckspreader... I smell a plan coming on..." and so on. People thinking about, fantasizing about, and eventually doing some very specific scenarios aren't usually the fetish itself, but just ways of practically executing it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:54, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Brainbender for you[edit]

Well, someone told me this little logic problem today, and I decided that I might as well share it with you.

If I break a stick of length l at two random points, what is the probability that the pieces can form a triangle?

It took me nearly the whole day to solve and I couldn't concentrate on work at all, so I figured I'd give it to you on Friday, because I'm just a nice guy that way Winking0001.gif. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:56, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

100%? How hard is that? Or did I miss the trick? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:28, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not a hundred percent. Imagine the first break comes at 75% the length of the stick, and the second one comes on the 25% segment. No matter how you arrange the pieces, you can't get two parts totaling to 25% the total length of the stick to be as long as a segment 75% the total length, and a triangle is not formed. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 03:33, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh fuck you're right, of course. If one piece is too long, can't make no triangula. Doh! ħumanUser talk:Human 04:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
You are such a stupid fucking idiot. Now will you shut the fuck up please? Wait, your not just saying that because you knew that was what I was thinking, are you? <chewing nails> ~ Lunemowse 16:38, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
First thought: isn't it that none of the pieces shall be equal to or greater than half the length of the whole stick? 03:47, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Spoiler?: Yes, hmm so there is a 1/2 chance that 1st break will be on the first half, times 1/2 chance the next break will be on the first half = 1/4 that it won't be triangle. Answer: odds are 3 times in 4 it will be a triangle? ~ Lunemowse 17:03, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
It appears one cannot actually break the same length stick, twice. ~ Lunemowse 18:56, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Three sticks can only form a triangle if the total length of the two smaller sticks is (equal or) greater than the length of the larger stick. Random sampling gives a value around 25%, and I think I've confirmed it with calculation.
  • There are two breaks: point A and point B. A is constrained to the left hand of the stick (to simplify math; the other half is a mirror image), and B can be anywhere. Points are mapped from 0 through 1.
  • There are three possibilities:
    1. Point B is left of Point A, which is unsuccessful.
    2. Point B is right of Point A, but produces a stick that's too short (i.e. A is no longer the shortest stick).
    3. Point B is right of Point A, and produces a triangle. This lands in the middle of the larger stick to the right.
  • Change of the first is situation equals A.
  • Chance of the second is 1-2*A - basically, a zone which causes stick A to no longer be the shortest stick.
  • Chance of the third, determined by algebra, is A.
After graphing the probablity of getting a triangle of sticks based on the value of A, you get a triangle ranging from 0% change to 50% chance. The result - there's a 25% change of success by breaking a stick randomly. --Sigma 7 (talk) 03:57, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
The American Mathematical Monthly ran a short piece about this problem and some generalizations a couple years ago. The references might be fun if you're interested in finding some more stuff like this to kill time at work. --MarkGall (talk) 04:05, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Kudos to Sigma 7. It took me a lot longer, but I used a much more complicated method that I've now forgotten. It involved constructing 3d figures and then finding volume to calculate probability. I probably over thought it. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 04:40, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I am reminded of the breaking spaghetti thing: grip a piece of spag at the ends and bend: lo! it breaketh, not in twain but into three pieces. Google spaghetti breaking. 04:47, 24 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

25% sounds low to me. First break "A", only 50% (or 49.999%) good, all other A's are too long. Second break, after A is less than 1/2 the length, surely can't be 50% bad as well. I will sleep on this. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:42, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Logicproblem.png
It may sound low, but it is correct :-) larronsicut fur in nocte 08:08, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Is this counting a break at 0.5 and 0.75 as a "triangle" when, really, it would be a three sided object with a 180 degree angle and two 0 degree angles, which in a conventional sense you'd call a "straight line" (you can get such "1 dimensional polygons" in computer graphics. They don't render in a conventional sense but still act as a polygon when working out smoothing groups and edge finding, and if you generate them accidentally they cause absolute freaking havoc). It would certainly make the maths easier to work out to include it in principle, otherwise you're talking about it being infinitesimally smaller than 25%. And it would, of course, have the essentialist properties of a triangle, if not the physical properties in the real world. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:49, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
That's where the mathematical concept of a cp:null set comes into play - it doesn't matter whether you take these into account or not, as the probability to get cuts at 0.5 and .75 is zero! In the pic, these degenerated triangles are represented by two line segments - and these line segments have no weight... larronsicut fur in nocte 14:07, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I see, I assumed that any specific probability was non-zero, which, you know, makes sense. As you'd also say that the probability of a cut at 0.65 and 0.983 was also zero, by that logic, which then when combined makes the probability of a cut happening anywhere as zero. F**king maths. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:58, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Think of it in the following way: to say the first cut lies at 0.5 actually means that the cut is in the interval [0.45;0.55] , the first cut lies at 0.500000 means that the cut is in the interval [0.49995;0.50005], to say the first cut lies exactly at 1/2 means that you haven't measured exactly enough - it's physically impossible to hit 1/2. So, we deal only with (very small) intervals the cuts are placed in...
larronsicut fur in nocte 15:13, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Last sentence first read as "F**king magnets" - David Gerard (talk) 15:09, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
As usual, LArron ftw with the graphic! I remember many years ago we were at a math meet, and one of the "unlimited" category problems was a geometric (or trig?) word problem that did not need to be diagrammed to solve. However, afterwards I diagrammed it out of curiosity, and the "triangle" we were working with had the sum of the short legs being less than the longest. No one cared. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:19, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Monte-carlo-triangle-1000.png
Monte-carlo-triangle-5000.png
Nice story! It may come as a surprise, but I'm a fan of the visualization of data. This little problem is lovely for doing so. The first thing most of us do is some random sampling. But if you put the data of your sampling into a pic, you see the solution - without even thinking about it :-)
larronsicut fur in nocte 17:08, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
It is impossible to hit points but maybe it means the "correct" theoretical answer should have a "<" or ">". If a machine is doing the cutting it might try to put two cuts in the same place. I put my answer up there next to bold "Spoiler" warning. I don't think anyone else actually answered the question using complete sentence, as I was trained to do in fifth grade. It seemed this may have confused Human, unless they really didn't get the right answer. I can't tell. My brain hurts only from reading the replies past my first comment. ~ Lunemowse 17:24, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Nope, no < or > or ≤ or ≥… Just these answers:
  • The probability that a stick broken at random at two places can be formed into a non-degenerate triangle is 1/4.
  • The probability that a stick broken at random at two places can be formed into a triangle (non-degenerate of degenerate) is 1/4.
Therefore:
  • The probability that a stick broken at random at two places can be formed into a degenerate triangle is 0.
larronsicut fur in nocte 18:13, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

How my favorite Rationalwikian going?[edit]

been a long time. How you guy going? has anything big happened during my long pause? Waronstupidity (talk) 04:05, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi Waron, nice to see you back. Nothing changes much - same old, same old. How're you? 04:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Nothing much,im currently on the way back, getting a new job and finding myself a girl.Waronstupidity (talk) 04:12, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Best luck with the job & hope the gril hunt is successful. 04:32, 24 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
(EC) How did you find that yourself was a girl? Hasn't anyone explained this stuff to you yet? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:37, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
True, yet I find that the second body has a number of advantages... bla bla bla... or use a Venus 2000 receiver mounted to... <is probably enough information>. ~ Lunemowse 17:40, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Hooray![edit]

Keeping up with the US of A - we've got our own prize winning cretinists Hat tip 04:14, 24 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

"...and of the contemporary science that points to Creation plus evolution of species." Talk about having your cake and eating it.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:57, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Scientific proof of the existence of God will soon be announced by the White House![edit]

According to a book I just came across at work. It came out in 1980. We're still waiting. Do we have an article on the author, Da Free John? He seems like a fun chap. Totnesmartin (talk) 13:20, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

For those who are left wondering, the headline is the actual title of the book by this fellow. --Sid (talk) 13:27, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Complete with exclamation mark. Cool. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:42, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Stub Adi Da created for your amusement. His organisation even CC-licensed a photo for Wikipedia - David Gerard (talk) 15:20, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Shit, that's a disturbingly thorough Wikipedia page on Adi Da. At 78 kB, it's longer than and has over twice as many footnootes as their article on Beethoven. Junggai (talk) 20:54, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it's reasonably obvious it's largely a fan piece - David Gerard (talk) 21:00, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Faster than Light update[edit]

It seems that Jason Lisle is a bit upset about criticisms of his faster-than-light proposal. (discussed here) "They are ever eager to ridicule anything that goes against their beliefs—even things they haven’t bothered to actually read." Interesting that his proposal is based on relativity according to the blog post. I wonder how that works. (h/t) sensuous curmudgeon [5])Sterile love 17:33, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Wait, so he wants to solve the Starlight Problem by having light... travel faster than light? I'm intrigued! Can't wait to take a look at the premise... --Sid (talk) 17:47, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I cannot figure out what is going on in Lisle's head. I mean, unlike the likes of Ken Ham or Duane Gish, he's certainly not an idiot, but what the fuck dude. Seriously. Scarlet A.pngtheist 01:54, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
But in all seriousness, if you're confident that you can prove how light is traveling faster than light, you don't submit it to the ARJ (let's face it, look at the quality of the ARJ and you'll see that RW's cover stories are better, and submitting it as an RW article would probably give you a bigger audience!), you send it to Science AND Nature and have them mud-wrestle over who gets to publish it first and then await a very important phone call from the Nobel Foundation. Really, if whatever Lisle is claiming is both valid and has sufficient supporting evidence, he's overturning all of science and redefining what we know about physics; it's basically a scientist's wet dream. If this paper has anything more substantial than "the Bible says the world was created 6000 years ago, therefore light must travel faster" I'll eat a freaking horse's cock. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:01, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

There's a thunderstorm outside my window[edit]

I'm home alone and it's dark and creepy and I thought that maybe someone can say something encouraging to me. --Idiot number 59 (talk) 17:34, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The universe is heartless and uncaring, the good news: it is not out to get you, the bad: it doesn't care if you are in the line of least electrical resistance when the lightening hits. tmtoulouse 17:49, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I was just going to recommend going outside and shaking a copper sword at the sky while shouting "ALL GODS ARE BASTARDS" - David Gerard (talk) 17:55, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Uh well, you know, nothing of this is really encouraging, but thank you for trying. --Idiot number 57 (talk) 18:14, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
The fact that the clouds produced a thunderstorm instead of a tornado should be encouraging (in comparison, anyway). --GastonRabbit (talk) 22:43, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Muslims miss Mecca[edit]

Linky, via: [6]. This actually kind of smacks of bullshit to me, or some sort of lost-in-translation business. Why wouldn't this have been established centuries ago? It would be simple, at the very least simple by the last century. If they issued an edict in March, what way were they praying before, and why was it only corrected in 2010? Is the direction of Mecca something that has to be redefined constantly? Why? Because Indonesia is an island chain? That couldn't possibly make that much of a difference...could it? And what's with the line about rebuilding mosques? How many mosques could they possibly build in two months? --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 18:03, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

RW summer holidays[edit]

Those who were were around 12 months ago will remember our visit to the seaside. There was some talk at the time of making it an annual event. What possible new destinations are there? Liberapedia, ASK, Wikiindex, Luminiki, Wikisynergy, blightynet?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:57, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The good news is that I am going home next week for 10 days so it may happen again! The bad news is that I am going home next week for 10 days so it may happen again! tmtoulouse 20:01, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah! Then this could be a sort of contingency plan at the same time!--BobSpring is sprung! 20:03, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Come on—can't you just videoconference with them or something? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:04, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Do any of those even have the bandwidth to support us? Might be fun to crash Lumeniki, though, if only to see Lumenos sputter indignantly. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:04, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Can we make up our own polari-like dialect and go and infest CP, having conversations they can't understand? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:08, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Looking at CP sysops' track record of reading comprehension, I'd say that plain English should be enough then. ;) --Sid (talk) 20:34, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
There's also RWW, Wiki4CAM, Metapedia and others.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:37, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Except RWW lives on the same box as RW, so wouldn't be of much use if all the magic smoke escapes or something. alt (talk) 20:41, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
WS would be fun, since it's chock-full of missiony weirdness. Lumeniki would be a long strange trip, but amusing I'm sure. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I vote BlightyNet as we could actually do something productive as a side-effect. Far more cultured too. Scarlet A.pngtheist 01:51, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
At least it has fish'n'chips. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Hiccups[edit]

Sorry for the RW being a bit temperamental today. Electric tea kettle heating units pull a lot more watts than I anticipated. tmtoulouse 01:48, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

1500 probably. Hope the tea was good! ħumanUser talk:Human 01:50, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Tea? Nah, nothing to do with tea...tmtoulouse 01:53, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I was going to suggest holding your breath until I read whut you writ. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:07, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Might I suggest the wrath of Gosh unless we find a better explanation? ~ Lunemowse 03:26, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
No. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:28, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
You been boiling up the potions again, Trent? 12:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

What Wrong with you guy[edit]

I know you guy are atheist and all that but why do you use the same cheap insult the theist use? from reading the saloon bar and such i can't stop but wonder if you are better then em.

as a theist myself but a very open minded one i don't see why believing in a god would make me an idiot........
I hope you guy are smart enough to respect theist.
we have something agains't Religious Fanatic not theist in General........
Or maybe this site has become an atheistic hate site while i was away......... /rant over Waronstupidity (talk) 02:42, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
RW has always had critics saying it's too anti-religion and pro-atheism. I think that's just the make-up of the community. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
i find many theist who are quite smart, our Enemy are the Fanatic and the Wingnut.Waronstupidity (talk) 02:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Welcome back! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:18, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hurrah! AceX-102 03:25, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
thanks :-) Waronstupidity (talk) 03:32, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
If RW has an "enemy" at all, it's people with poor critical thinking skills that lead them to believe something for which there is no or poor evidence. I'm sure almost everyone who believes in homoeopathy isn't a "fanatic" or a "wingnut", in that they're not demanding their favourite flavour of woo take over from conventional medicine or anything overtly crazy like that. However, that doesn't mean their passive support for placebo water isn't harmful. That support lets their woo seep in to mainstream culture where you and I end up paying for therapies which simply don't work. It's important people are told that this is complete bullshit and your tax money shouldn't be used to pay for it.
It's exactly the same with religion. You yourself may not be doing crazy shit, but if you're a member of any organised religion you can bet your bottom dollar there's some people out there doing crazy shit in your name. Ask yourself this: What evidence do you have for your religious beliefs? Would you accept the same standard of evidence when evaluating any other big decision in life? If not, then why do you suspend your usual standards for this one thing? And, hey, if you do have evidence that a god really does exist then do tell. We all enjoy a good laugh. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 06:22, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Excellently put, Jeeves. 07:02, 25 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I will pray for you all, although your chances to go to heaven are poor. --Idiot number 59 (talk) 08:34, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to echo Toast there. But I do have to warn that, for some people, critical thinking, or skepticism equals outright dismissal of the supernatural and religion regardless and sometimes involves very little thinking, critical or otherwise, at all. This, I think, is just as bad (if not worse because of the pretensions to rationalism) as blindly following religion. It's important to understand why there is no evidence for homeopathy and importantly how that evidence is gathered (as well as why we do that). It's all about "showing your working", otherwise you end up fundamentally no different from a creationist chanting the "there are no transitional fossil" mantra. "As rationalists we should" help people not just learn facts and figures and mantras and positions, but understand why those views exist. If you can do that effectively, then you don't need to even teach the facts and figures because people will come to those conclusions themselves. Sounds like some sort of circular brainwashing? Perhaps, at first sight, but there is one very crucial difference; "brainwashing", in the normal sense, is just getting someone to believe something that isn't true, essentially by rote. This is teaching a method by which views are discovered and analysed - and the beauty is that the rational or scientific method can also be used to justify why they are best. Again, perhaps a little circular but most philosophers of science agree that this is an acceptable violation of the normal "rules" because evidence and other forms of sense (not least technological achievement) back it up and it at least doesn't cause a contradiction, as many Other Ways Of Knowing tend to when you use them to analyse what is the superior method for information gathering and processing. Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
There are many atheists who are consumed with hate. Jeeves is one of them. His heart is so cold and uncompassionate that he refuses to see the good - along with the bad - that people do in the name of God. I have seen first hand and have received the unparalleled kindness of religious charity. I always have a wry smile when reading the bigoted rants of arseholes like Jeeves above here.
There is no difference between bigots. Jeeves and an Islamic fundamentalist occupy the one cesspit. They are equal scumbags at the end of the day. 86.40.204.92 (talk) 10:26, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh hi, Marcus. Nice of you to leave the comfort of your sooper seekrit forums to grace us with your trolling. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:08, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Ignoring the oh so witty comment above, I have to go back to this idea that atheists are consumed with hate and ignore good works as this issue deserves some attention. I'm not going to deny that some people do think like this, and are indeed as guilty of cherry picking their evidence as any alternative medicine website's "testimonials" section. Firstly, the various good works don't exactly compensate for the bad; it just doesn't work like that, you can't stand up at a murder trail and say in your defence that you've given several thousand pounds/dollars/yen/whatever to charity and helped little old ladies across the street. To do so quantifies things in a way that can't be done. On top of that, we have issues of motive to deal with. You have to question whether someone is doing "good" works out of just fear of punishment or love of reward - which is ostensibly what the concept of heave and hell is about - and then ask yourself if you really trust a person who is doing that and whether they'd revert to a killing spree should their external enforcement be taken away (I'm not saying that people actually would, as I think people's morality is internally informed whether they think so or not). This then leads to the point of whether its just to be motivated by something that could well be a lie - sort of a "moral placebo" of sorts. In medical ethics, placebos are considered unethical because of the amount of deceit involved and thus the ends do not, in medical ethics, justify the means. Can we expect the same of morals? Do we want to hold people to a different, more patronising standard that says "hey, it doesn't matter if you're only doing it because Allah is going to give you a big kiss at the end, at least you're doing good!". I'd probably fall on the side of no, and ask that people more thoroughly justify their decisions. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:39, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Back to the topic at hand, I am of the opinion, which I think Armondikov touched on above, that blindly following any sort of faith (or, for all intents and purposes, lack thereof) is stupid. I, personally, don't care if somebody is/ is not religious, but I get bothered with how they use their faith or lack thereof. If somebody uses their religion to promote utter bullshit as truth (YEC for example), then it is very silly for anyone to follow them. If, on the other hand, somebody uses an anti-theistic worldview to try to ban any private practice of religion, that is also just as bad, probably worse. Punky Your mental puke relief 18:15, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, faith as a system of belief is obviously crap. The question is what evidence exists. If there is none the we have no reason to believe. --BobSpring is sprung! 18:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Not entirely. You just have to make sure you only have to have faith in stuff that it doesn't matter if you're wrong. Like having faith that England will retain the ashes this year. For things that actually matter, that's where you start needed evidence. And I'm not convinced that it doesn't matter if you're religious as long as you don't believe the batshit crazy stuff like YEC. For example, if you're a Christian, cash you donate to your church can be used to fund lobbying against civil rights for gay people, and you're considered to be tacitly approving that position regardless of your own opinion. Or it could go to funding the lifestyle of self serving money grabbers like Ray Comfort. It's a package deal, and lots of religions come with some pretty abhorrent bits. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:33, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Yep, Every Catholic who even shows up on a Sunday validates the priests fucking children. If they weren't showing up, the priests wouldn't have the power to be fucking children. Catholics really don't like being called to account on this - David Gerard (talk) 18:38, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
(EC)I don't think there are many atheists who want to ban free practice of religion. The freedom not to believe and not to participate in the activities of a country's dominant religion is neccesarily coupled to general religious freedom, and all atheists who value these liberties should enthusiastically support such rights. On the other hand, it's very easy to use religion to promote bullshit, simply because the whole enterprise hinges upon suspension of disbelief and accepting assertions without evidence, and this fundamental weakness can be used to peddle all kinds of dangerous nonsense to the faithful (dangerous stuff as opposed to the general and mostly harmless nonsense all religions promote anyway). I don't have any problem at all with people who are religious but whose actions are constrained by norms that are more or less indistinguishable from those of humanists. I certainly don't call them idiots, and I haven't seen any instances on RW where such terms were used to describe anyone apart from those whose beliefs motivated them to engage in very unreasonable behaviour. Röstigraben (talk) 18:42, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I am an agnostic because I am unsure either way. Frankly the question doesn't bother me. It doesn't keep me up at night. But I also recognise that mankind has faith every day, for a variety of reasons, over a variety of things. The sum total of human coincidence and experience would imply that some sort of higher power may exist, some kind of four dimensional state of consciousness beyond our conception as mere human beings. Top physicists openly admit that physics is slowly becoming impossible for the average human brain to comprehend. Its sheer arrogance to think that we, as mere fallible mammals, have everything sorted out beyond the necessity of doubt. That is my position.
Besides, without doubt, literature would be pretty crap. I'd wager most atheists haven't read all that widely outside of dry scientific monologues. 86.40.212.97 (talk) 18:40, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
(multiple EC)There are also plenty of other things for which we would like to believe in but aren't tangible. There's law, hope, justice all that sort of thing. We have faith in those principles quite thoroughly, because no amount of testing is going to find them. Of course, we have very good reasons for why they're are desirable, pretty much on par with the same reasons one could find a religion desirable. But similarly, there is no actual, tangible evidence for them either. And of course, unlike Jeeves' caveat above, these do matter. In fact, they matter quite a damn bit. So do we have to abandon ideas about democracy, justice and freedom because they're not tangible with evidence? Obviously not. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:41, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hrm. I think you've got a bit confused here. What does it mean to say you have faith in justice, for example? Does it mean you have faith that people are treated justly? Because I see no need for faith in that. You can simply observe how people are treated, and raise hell when you see injustice. Faith in justice seems to me like a recipe for instant injustice to me. If you have faith that justice is always done, you're going to stop verifying that it is. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Well said. 86.40.102.41 (talk) 18:43, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
We do have definitions of concepts like democracy, freedom or the rule of law, and we can certainly measure whether these principles are being heeded or not in a given country ("justice" not so much, because people tend to hold drastically different opinions about it). Röstigraben (talk) 19:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Technically, law is testable despite being intangible - it is a set of rules established and enforced by institutions, corporations or governments. It may be used, abused, subverted or changed, but its presence can still be tested, simply by checking if there's a codified version written down somewhere (or of everyone is deferring to a despot, who makes laws up as they go along.) Things like hope are considered emotions - despite being intangible from time to time, they are very real and impact decisions that some people make. Justice, however, is an abstract concept of "moral rightness" in the eyes of the user, and is untestable. Practically, the things we can't test are tangible items beyond our current abilities, such as the existence of extra-terrestrial life on their planets, or purely intangible things such as God (but we can test if there's some faith or a religion for said God). --Sigma 7 (talk) 19:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Not really, you still get a situation where you have faith that this is the right way to act. You can do some post facto evidence gathering, but how is that different to doing the same for a religious belief and determining which one is "real" based on which belief system has the lease negative effect on society? Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I consider law to be separate from moral code - one is codified on a sheet of paper, while the other is arbitrary (and while it could be found on a piece of paper, isn't intended to be objective.) The law can be checked pre-facto in most cases, but trying to figure out the right way to act (wheteher it is within or contravenes law) is a matter of emotion, hope or faith. You could test if emotion, hope, or faith exists, but you can't test if they're correct. --Sigma 7 (talk) 19:36, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Determining "the right way to act" is up to each society, and laws are subject to changing behavioural norms and reasoning. Having faith in the existence of god is one thing, holding opinions about people's rights and the juridical constraints to which they should be subjected is another. The latter are accesible to reason and open debate based on normative convictions and the foreseeable consequences of enacting certain laws - we try to find a general consensus about which ideals our societies should strive for, and then use evidence-based reasoning to find the laws that are required to make them a reality. Asserting opinions like "humans should be free", "humans should be equal" or whatever else as general tenets is ethical reasoning that's not based on any evidence, but it doesn't require any to begin with - these tenets are clearly delineated as opinions, and not facts. Religions, on the other hand, make specific claims about the supernatural and and assert them as truths (maybe even with a capital T), so it's justified to check these claims against the available evidence. Röstigraben (talk) 19:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Just to borrow a phrase from the US Constitution, "We hold these truths to be self-evident". It's asserting that these "truths" (for practical synonymity with an above claim they could also be called "facts") are right way to act, and they are axiomatic - which you have to take on "faith", not the same kind of faith as religious faith but a very closely related term. These are, as much as I hate the word, "metaphysical". There's no evidence either way, much in the same way that there isn't really evidence either way for higher religious powers. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:39, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Minor nitpicking: that's from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. Anyway, just because the founding fathers used the word "truth" here doesn't make it one, and certainly not a fact. "All men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights" isn't an empirical observation, it's just that the modern conception of human rights simply defines humans as having them, and therefore, a government can only be legitimate when it doesn't constrain these rights and strives to defend them on behalf of each of its citizens. A fact is always a descriptive statement that can be checked against the evidence, such as "the earth orbits the sun". Normative statements are sometimes clad in the same languange, but if you say "all humans are free/equal", what you really mean is that all humans should be free or equal or whatever, not that they actually are - for example, at the time the DoI was written, all humans even just within the borders of the new country were certainly not equal or enjoyed liberty. Even more general, this is the distinction between "is"- and "ought"-statements, and the latter don't belong into metaphysics, but rather into ethics. Faith is the acceptance of something as a fact in the absence of supporting evidence, it doesn't encompass any normative convictions whatsoever. Röstigraben (talk) 21:32, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

off topic[edit]

Its hardly trolling to say that bigots are unable to look away from their own hatred. Who cares what the motivation for good deeds are. So long as the good deeds are done. The way you paint all theists as either stupid or fascist is so offensive and ridiculous. I advise you either read more, or travel more. Such empty, narrow minds consumed with burning hatred of anyone who thinks, feels, or acts differently. Despicable. 86.40.220.40 (talk) 15:58, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
How's your brother, Marcus? Your mental disorder not troubling him over much, I hope? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:05, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Jeeve, could you mature up for a sec, if you have nothing nice to say then shut up. Marcus said nothing that deserved that insult today.Waronstupidity (talk) 17:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
The only person who is mentally disturbed here is you, Jeeves. The only thing seperating you and Mao is a billion chinese soldiers. Exact same hateful mentality. You are scum. 86.40.111.69 (talk) 17:40, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
How's the history course going, Marcus? Did well in your finals this year, I hope. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Jeeve if you know hes a troll why responding to him?Waronstupidity (talk) 17:47, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Because poking him is fun. Just reminding him we all know he's a professional troll. With any luck he'll totally explode in a few more minutes. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:50, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
It's fun poking him until he pokes back, then you run off to mommy. 89.132.239.149 (talk) 17:59, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd rather be a professional troll than a hateful, spiteful, vindictive little bastard without a sense of humour or any capacity for self criticism. 86.40.210.63 (talk) 17:57, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Aw. Now look what's happened. He's dialled it back a bit now. I was looking forward to being Hitler next. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:04, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
What would be interesting would be for the theists to quit the ad hominem stuff and give some evidence which supports their position.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:07, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't mistake MC for a theist. He's whatever the trolling demands he be at any particular moment. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe in God. I just don't believe that people who do should be mocked and ridiculed with such impunity by hate filled wankers. 86.40.198.50 (talk) 18:10, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with what User #86......... said just above me. The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 18:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Cool. Let's see the evidence for the the theists' position.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:50, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
There is plenty of evidence. There's the word of the Bible. There's the feeling people get when they "feel" God. There are prayers being answered. There are miracles. There's the mere existence of the universe. This is all evidence, and as I said, it's pretty fruitful. What you mean is where it the evidence that reaches my standard. If you're just going to chant "show me the evidence for God" you may as well shout from the rooftops that there are no transitional forms as far as rational discourse is concerned. You have turn it around a little, and kind of view it from the side of a YEC for a second to understand this fully. Ask yourself, "what evidence will convince me?" (I bring YEC as an example because their answer would be "a lizard giving birth to a monkey" or something) then you have to ask "is this reasonable?", "is this evidence expected from the theory presented?" (in the case of this YEC example, it's clearly not). The fact that you don't find evidence convincing, or are more swayed by naturalistic explanations for things like miracles, and psychological explanations for people talking to God, doesn't mean that there is no evidence. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:25, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
OK. Good point. Where is the evidence which would be accepted as evidence in terms of the scientific method?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:16, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's the trick isn't it, because as soon as you limit it to science (I say "limit", but I don't mean to imply that Other Ways Of Knowing are better), you're asking that it exists in the real world, and therefore, by definition, is no longer supernatural. I'm of course not saying that it's beyond the realms of possibility that there is such a "naturalistic God" (indeed, that would be awesome), but I can say quite firmly that it's in a theist's best interest that God is anything but naturalistic. So the evidence base, by a combination of intention and definition, has to lie outside of science, which brings us back round to wondering whether such a request is reasonable. For example, if God spoke to you directly, via a burning bush, and you were damn sure it wasn't a hallucination or dream, would you be convinced? Such a thing is entirely consistent given the entire construct of what theists propose God to be - while on the other hand, physical, tangible evidence isn't. I'm not making a judgement call by saying you're wrong to ask for evidence that is scientific, but I am saying you need to be open to the possibility that such evidence might not be possible even if God exists (short of God, in his all powerful wisdom and whatnot deciding to bend the normal rules of engagement he has with human race, e.g., the anecdotes, the prayers, talking to him, and proving you with sound scientific evidence). Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:32, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
OK. I agree that I'm asking for evidence that exists in the real world. I personally don't see that as too problematic a requirement. I understand that people who have - shall we say "more flexible definitions of reality" - might think it is unfair.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:44, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Lets step back and think about the evidence you brought up above. These are things that are observable in the real world, to a point. The bible is in the real world and can be read and analyzed, peoples subjective experiences can be categorized and explored. When evidence is presented in support of a hypothesis, the first thing to do is to look at whether or not the alternative hypothesis can also explain the data. There are plenty of secular explanations of all this phenomenon, this is where usually the appeal to parsimony becomes important. Which hypothesis has to appeal to the most unlikely sources to predict the observed phenomenon, which makes the fewest assumptions, etc. Secular explanations for most religious phenomenon appear to be the far more parsimonious explanation, but even if they are on equal footing we haven't established an argument for either side since both sides easily handle the evidence (I don't agree with this statement but merely using it for illustration purposes). The next step is to look at where the hypothesis make different predictions. And that is when you start getting into "infallibility" or accuracy of historical records, and all that other apologist stuff. This is all probabilistic reasoning and Bayes comes into play. If you follow this all out the only way that "God" become more probable than "no God" is if your starting priors for the existence of God significantly greater than the probability that there is "no God." So at base, people who want to believe in God, who set up their priors to favor the existence of God will be more convinced by the "evidence." tmtoulouse 20:45, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, what Trent said. I was intentionally avoiding the "compare the explanations" thing in order to be a little facetious. That is indeed how we have to play the game - we look at what explanation is more possible and we use a few logical conventions, such as presuming "no God" in the first instance, to figure it out. I suppose you could still call that science. Different people have different standards of evidence they'll accept and their prior opinions are going to inform their standard. A True Believer is going to eat up whatever turd of an evidence you throw at them (see the dire quality of what constitutes a miracle these days) whereas a skeptic is more likely to pursue it further until they find their naturalistic explanation - an interesting possibility arises of whether you can pursue it further still and arrive at a supernatural conclusion again, for instance, you do find some biologists and physicists turning to religion when faced with some of the more complex aspects of reality. Scarlet A.pngtheist 20:56, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Two things[edit]

SWMBO makes ice cream. Nothing wonderful there, but she puts all sorts of stuff in. Ever had Haribo wine gum ice cream? How about Wagon Wheel ice cream? (works with penguin biccies too) And the weirdest but very nice: ever had stilton ice cream? All YUMMY!

I do the washing. I also make confetti. Both at the same time. It's easy, all you need to do is forget to check the pockets for tissues. Result a veritable snowstorm off the washing line to hilarity all round.

Don't I have an exciting life? Shakinghead.gif 14:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

With me you will have a life thousand times more exciting, and you know that, Susan. Stop pretending resistance and finally say yes to me. --Idiot number 58 (talk) 18:50, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

WND wins again (not)[edit]

Would you believe 1 million to attend Christian concert? Doubling the size of Woodstock, organizers say, 'can't be ignored'
—Posted: March 13, 2010 (WND)

Oh dear:

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Jubileefest 2010 has been canceled.
http://www.jubileefest.net/

Hat tip 14:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

All I can say Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:44, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Hm, interesting. Some buzz about this both by people on the Facebook group (click on "Jubileefest + Others" to get posts by others, too) and this guy has some tweets up (July 16/17) that fueled speculation:
  • Sam Yoder announces that the organization running Jubileefest has not met legal obligations and have cancelled the event.
  • The Jubileefest organizers have totally changed the concept and line up for the festival. Many aspects are "questionable" CANCELLED.
  • Lamar Yoder announced they are canceling Jubilleefest to protect the good reputation of Sam Yoder.
  • Despite cancellation announcements early this morning the Jubileefest gang are still trying to sell tickets online. No tweats, no Facebook
See also here - I didn't look deeply since I got a deadline coming up, but maybe later tonight unless others do some more digging in the meantime. --Sid (talk) 15:19, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Also this article where the whole "ONE MILLION!" deal is put into a bit of context: They apparently only planned on selling "thousands" of tickets (they had sold a grand total of 400 so far) and had requested permits for a crowd of 25k. The potential for one million people had only been talked about in the context of a "Saturday night candlelight service" since the site is close to Washington and New York. --Sid (talk) 16:13, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Wow. Epic Fail on so many levels. Where did the 1 million figure come from? "Well, we prayed for that many to turn up." Nice to see WND get burned, it's a shame Andy didn't hitch his wagon to this horse, it could have been another FBI. Let's see, publicized a crowd of 1 million, they sold 400 tickets....that's...let's see, .04% is it not? So close. Well, much closer than their estimate of the age of the universe anyway. DickTurpis (talk) 20:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Listening to some of the audio clips (from the WGMD site), it really seems like this is the combination of some general planning fail (attracting large crowds to a rural area while having limited experience in this field), dodgy formalities (permits not obtained in time, maybe not even having the money for the permits, plus the whole "permit for 25k while hoping for 1 million on the Saturday" deal), and finally the part where they advertised a gospel/music festival while asking for the land and then apparently trying to turn it into a pro-life rally. Epic Fail indeed. It may have started out with a nice and noble idea (hey, if they want to gather a bunch of Christians in one place to celebrate and pray and whatever, that's totally fine by me), but somewhere along the way, things went wrong. And instead of saying "Okay, hold on, that isn't really working out", they kept going in the hope that they'd miraculously pull it off. --Sid (talk) 00:40, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
No no no. It's obviously because the atheistic liberal anti-American socialist government (with a moslem at the top) hates christians. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 00:51, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

BlightyNet[edit]

OK, I've come back and it's devoid of life, and has been for 10 days. Is this the end, then? If so, I would like to fishbowl it, and disable all editing, so it doesn't end up flooded with spam, but I obviously won't do this without permission from Genghis and Martin at least, and preferably everyone else who was involved. Or it might just be temporary, which is what I would vastly prefer. Wisest cubic Phantom! 21:27, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

It's a wonderful resource and I'd hate to see it clogged with junk. Can you leave a contact thing on the main page in case activity is inclined to resume? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:37, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, combining the point above, why don't we do what all good Poms do and go to the seaside? Blighty? geddit. oh nevermind. --PsyGremlinPrata! 21:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Can it handle our traffic if we descend en masse should the wiki break while Trent is busy incorporating us in NM? ħumanUser talk:Human 18:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Dunno; it depends on Genghis' deal with the hosts. I doubt that it would do better than TP, though. On the subject of fishbowling, I can disable just anonymous editing and account creation, so that for the current users nothing will have changed if they want to make edits. However, I'm extremely reluctant to do so without at least Genghis' say so: he is after all the one who pays the bills. Wisest cubic Phantom!
What's TP? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:28, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Probably Teflpedia. I missed the holiday there, but I hear the bandwidth was sucked up pretty sharpish.Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 21:32, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Doh, I just never saw it called that before. Yeah, we ate up his month's BW in a couple-three days. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:01, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
There might be a way around that. If you look at TP's statistics you can see that the number of actual visits isn't the problem. I now get almost as many visitors as back in August last year (though few of my visitors actually edit anything) and no bandwidth problems at all - what blew me out of the water was all the extra media, pictures etc.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:55, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes, right, I remember now. We were slapping images all over the pages we were trafficking and editing heavily, requiring zillions of kB of loads. ħumanUser talk:Human 18:54, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Hi guys[edit]

I don't know how many of the old guard that remember me are here, but it's been a long time so I thought I'd drop by and say hello δλερνερ διαλέγομαι | συνεισφέρω 11:10, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

To be Frank (Ifield) "I remember you".  Lily Inspirate me. 11:32, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Hi DLerner, good to see you again. How's tricks? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:05, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, things are moving on. I'm not exactly where I wanted to be and I only recently have been open with my parents re: my atheism. But I still have my health and my boyish good looks so things aren't that bad, eh? δλερνερ διαλέγομαι | συνεισφέρω 12:08, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Hey D. - π 12:19, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Welcome back! --PsyGremlinSiarad! 12:22, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
An atheist now, eh? Welcome to the club. Now, am I remembering correctly and were you not a quite religious Jew before? DickTurpis (talk) 12:33, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I was still 100% religious when I was on here, though I didn't believe a word of it, I was afraid to come out as atheist. It took a long time, but I recently was able to be honest with myself and my family, dad isn't pleased. δλερνερ διαλέγομαι | συνεισφέρω 17:36, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Hey, Isaac Asimov was 100% atheist and 100% Jewish! Just be really good at it ;-p - David Gerard (talk) 18:20, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Dara Ó Briain describes himself as a "Catholic Atheist" too. Kind of weird, but it's what happens when it gets deeply ingrained like that, it becomes almost like a family name. Coming out as "atheist" you may as well say you're not going to be [insert surname here] anymore. Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:33, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

It's ALL a sign of the End Times![edit]

Apocalypse is shaping up into a most amusing list, please contribute - David Gerard (talk) 13:15, 26 July 2010 (UTC)y,

I do Not think it is Fair to Mock the Beliefs which Others Hold to be Dear. (And Hello again Everybody!)--Tolerance (talk) 20:52, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh dear fuck no... Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Welcome back Tolly. I think... ħumanUser talk:Human 02:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

[edit]

Yuengling of Pottsville, PA just created a bock beer, and teh goat seems to enjoy it...

From a local brewery (local to me, anyways) Aboriginal Noise Punkrock 05:12, 24 July 2010 (UTC):

Sorry for the edit, but otherwise, the sections below will lose all indents. --Sid (talk) 13:28, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Yuengling is a good compromise between price and quality. Sterile love 17:41, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah, but wouldn't a true connoisseur never compromise?  : ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:05, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
In the days of lacking funds, comporomise was important. Sterile love 01:13, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Is this RationalWiki's official beverage now? --GastonRabbit (talk) 01:53, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for moving that, Sid, I was dumb (and drunk as a goat). Yuengling is my favorite local beer, and I've never seen this label before, so it must be new on the market. Aboriginal Noise Punkrock 14:08, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I want Yuengling :( 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:38, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Favorite "god"from Fiction[edit]

I know what you are thinking, the bible. Haha. Seriously though, what is your favorite god from fiction? Alien, Atlantian, Cthululu mythos, what is your favorite? Mine is the Giant Space God, the Ideon. It just blasts stuff to shit and fuels wars. Eva 01 is the robotic Jesus Christ.--Thanatos (talk) 01:42, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd go with Horus from Tad Williams' Otherland; Billious, the oh-god of hangovers; and Discworld's Death (if he counts). --PsyGremlinPrata! 01:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
The Discworld ones, definitely. I just love the way Pratchett deals with them, like how the wizards know gods exist, but that doesn't mean they believe in them. Its quite subtle and complex humour. Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:17, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Can I say R. Daneel Olivaw? He fits all the "god" qualities...--The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll go with Bacchus, if that counts? DickTurpis (talk) 02:24, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Thor. The Marvel version.--BobSpring is sprung! 09:37, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Ditto Bob. I wanted to be Thor when I grew up. I even had a spade handle I wrapped with "something" to look like my future Hammer of the Gods. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:53, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
It's probably a tie between the Discworld gods and Mr Wednesday. Wisest cubic Phantom! 09:33, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
The Endless, from Neil Gaiman's brilliant comic book Sandman. Well, assuming the Endless count as gods. The comics imply that they outrank gods, or are, at the least, on an equal footing with them. MDB (talk) 11:13, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

What do you think about C.S Lewis'es poetry?[edit]

This is called the Evolutionary Hymn. NB - Mr. Lewis didn't write about the scientific theory, bat rather the "evolution of morality" or - more generally about the evolution of idea.

[quotation deleted]

--Idiot number 59 (talk) 19:48, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Ozymandias was better. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 19:51, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
+1. EddyP (talk) 20:02, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Copyvio, please delete. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:28, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Link to it, if you want, but quoting it here is naughty. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:41, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, deleting it doesn't do anything. It's still available in the history and always stays on the server unless an admin purges it. Yes, it does underscore the need to avoid copyright violations, but this was mostly convenient replication of the text for the sake of comment (fair use?) and importantly, no one was infringing on the rights of the author by someone claiming it as their own work - which is a proper fucking violation. Anyway, as a poem, written by someone, where exactly do you expect to link to? Clearly if it is copyrighted, then linking to anywhere on the net that hosts it would be linking to a copyright violation - which is also naughty in the eyes of people who shut down places like TV Shack... I mean, officially my response is "meh", but I'm just saying there's no need to busybody about this sort of thing. Scarlet A.pngtheist 07:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Although, in fairness, yes, pedantry over copyvio is probably a good thing. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:10, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Fucking hell, posting the words of a poem is a copyvio? Get a fucking grip. Are the feds going to come flying through my window if I read it aloud? (Copyvio!) I'm going to do another copyvio right now just for the sheer hell of it:
Maybe I should have ended my first comment with a "?" not a "." But still... I think we had the lyrics to some song in an article and we got rid of them. Just can't remember which one it was... ħumanUser talk:Human 20:21, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Kick-Ass (Redux)[edit]

Yes, I know it's already been spoken about, but us 3rd world types lag behind you running dog capitalist first world bastards. That said, I just want to put on record that the movie is teh awesome and Hit Girl is da super awesome! Thank you. --PsyGremlinSermā! 07:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Still haven't seen it yet, but I think it's mostly finished in theatres... I might have to see if a copy falls off the back of the internet. Scarlet A.pngtheist 07:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I have been making my plans to train my seven year ild niece to be Hit Girl. Well, except for the language. I'm fine with my niece being an unstoppable vengeance obsessed killing machine, but I won't stand for a potty mouth! MDB (talk) 11:10, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I liked most of the movie, though I didn't care much for the end. Really? A jetpack? It seemed to go against what most of the rest of the movie stood for. But to be honest, my biggest irk with the movie was the character Hit Girl. Her language just seemed painfully forced and immature to me. It just made me want to shout "I GET IT! IT'S A TEN YEAR OLD GIRL BUT SHE SAYS CUNT! THIS GOES AGAINST THE INNOCENT NATURE THAT LITTLE GIRLS NORMALLY PORTRAY!" ugh. --GTac (talk) 15:36, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Richard Feynman[edit]

A week or so ago somebody posted a link here to a Richard Feynman talk on YouTube. I have now discovered that these talks are available on the BBC Archive site in their entirety. In fact the BBC Archive has quite a few classics which are worth revisiting. However, I don't know if they are available overseas.  Lily Inspirate me. 09:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I have a complete first edition of The Feynman Lectures in Physics, that is my single biggest piece of nerd cred. - π 12:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I have a full set, but not in first edition :( I also have audio recordings of some of the lectures, which is pretty cool :) Worm(t | c) 12:36, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

If any of you want to know what to get me for Christmas...[edit]

Rob Blagojevich's life-size statue of Elvis may be put up for auction. MDB (talk) 11:58, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Almost had a brain aneurysm[edit]

This discussion was moved here from Conservapedia_Talk:What_is_going_on_at_CP?.

So, I'm looking through the [You might be a fundy atheist if...] and a lot of them are lame, like, "you insist that a-theism means 'without a belief in God' instead of 'belief there is no god'" and I'm like, dude, like anyone actually does that... although if they did, then they would be totally retarded, and I would make fun of them anyways. But then I get down into the "Origins" section, and I see (warning the Stupidity of the following sentence is immensely big): "You claim that evolution and the big bang are two entirely separate theories that explain different aspects of the universe, yet, in what school of learning can you find any real separation or distinction between the two?"

It's like... COSMOLOGY vs BIOLOGY... It's like MATH vs CHEMISTRY... what vapid idiot was the gatekeeper to this list? Seriously. I sat here next to my computer trying to keep my brain from oozing out my ears because of the stupidity and outright violation of not just fact, but definition.

I just had to share... and I still can't read the sentence without popping a gasket. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:51, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

So, you don't like the equation of evolution with the Big Bang, but you're content to call atheists "totally retarded" for making a similarly important distinction ? You just may not be as smart as you imagine. 82.69.171.91 (talk) 11:39, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't want to sound like the resident party-pooper, but what does this have to do with CP? Maybe the bar would be a better place? Or heck, whip up an article where you comment on or refute the points? I dunno, but I T:WIGO is pretty high-traffic enough just with CP discussions... --Sid (talk) 12:19, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
People of all intellectual abilities may be either religious or non-religious, so yes there probably are "retard" atheists justas there are some smart(ish) people who are apparently religious.  Lily Inspirate me. 13:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Wow. They really are fantastically upset aren't they? Must be doing something right. I rather liked:
"You just can't see any difference between Pat Robertson Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, etc, and Osama bin Laden." Must remember that.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Just one more: "You desperately confer with other skeptics to try and refute the evidence that Hitler's Holocaust was evolution-inspired, because, darn it, you just GOTTA prove that Hitler was a Christian."--BobSpring is sprung! 15:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
(EC x 3) That list is pretty funny, in a CP kind of way. The author kinda reminds me off  K e n  D o l l , especially seeing how he starts to make even less sense at the end of the lists. If you google his nick, you run into other  K e n  D o l l -like scenarios. --GTac (talk) 15:18, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, about the "you insist that a-theism means 'without a belief in God' instead of 'belief there is no god'". I see that done quite a lot, and frankly I do understand why some people do it. There is a lot of people out there that demand proof from atheists that there is no God because as an atheist the term dictates that they believe that there absolutely is no god, or that's atleast how they interprete it. Trying to explain them how its the same kind of disbelief as they got for Santaclause falls on dead ears, especially when the word Santaclause or unicorn is mentioned. So they try a diffrend route, to define the term in a way that would better descripe to an believer how atheists think. While I agree that this is mostly pointles and just confusing, I still hear this done quite a lot and while I disagree that should it be done, i still don't see it as particularry stupid thing to do, it's even incorporated to the wikipedias and some disctionaries description of atheism. Timppeli 15:55, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It's factually correct. Our own atheism article starts: Atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of any gods.. Theists don't like it becasue it leaves them with the burden of proof. They would prefer athiests to argue the other position. --BobSpring is sprung! 17:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Am I the only one who thought it was actually just a joke? 207.67.17.45 (talk) 17:17, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Can someone explain this one: "You think an old man who hands you a Bible in the parking lot at the grocery store is a "crazy old lunatic." Yet when an old man stands there and tells you about how he saw a fish with arms in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, you think nothing of it." Is this meaningful in the US or something? --BobSpring is sprung! 17:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't know about the fish (some reference to "macro" evolution?), but I've probably had 5 copies of the New Testament handed to me by crazy old lunatics in parking lots. 207.67.17.45 (talk) 17:47, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm guessing the fish thing is a reference to transitional fossils. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:49, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd say call Poe's Law and leave it at that... that said, there are some thought-provoking ones hiding in the stupid. No.10 for example; "You consistently deny the existence of God because you personally have never seen him but you reject out of hand personal testimony from theists who claim to have experienced God as a reality in their lives." is interesting because it relates to the above discussion about evidence and what peoples have as a standard for their evidence. No.36 touches on the apparent paradox of physics that says the world is ultimately predictable, yet we have free will (unless you go the whole route of the mind being a complex state system so is deterministic yet unpredictable, like Conway's Game of Life). That's just skimming, can't find many more, though. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It is an interesting list. Some do actually raise valid objections to some rabid atheists I have seen. For example, some atheists do go all out on the 'atheism is a non-belief in God, not a belief in no God' thing, which, apart from in one or two fairly specific circumstances, such as a theist demanding proof of the nonexistence of God, are the same thing, to most intents and purposes. On the other hand, as you go further down the list, it seems to descend into a parody of itself, such as, 'You think the fact that something isn't flying out of your butt means it doesn't exist', 'You insist on capitalizing "atheist"', and, 'Most of what you've learned about God comes from the Computer game 'Black and White'.' 92.18.72.100 (talk) 19:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Merge debate and forum?[edit]

It just occurred to me that theses are the same thing, just one is a bit more old school than the other. Should the old debates be moved to the forums or left as is? - π 13:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Change we need lol. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 13:27, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Lol indeed. - π 13:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
That was Presidente Obamas campaign slogan. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 13:39, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The reference was not lost on me. - π 13:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
In principle, yes. "Debate" was always the wrong word for those things anyway. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:09, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Armondikov. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:02, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Does Pi feed the trolls?[edit]

I mean come on everyone knows now that trolls LOVE pie because I was a troll and I eat pie. And why else would MC regard to Pi the user as PIE? Do the trolls dream of consuming Pi(e)? Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 14:05, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

If you eat pie, you're a troll because you love pie. Therefore, you aren't an ex-troll. Mind = blown yet? And yes, I'd love to snack on Pi's supple flesh, smashed together into a pie crust and gingerly covered with layers of skin, and baked at 350º for 45 minutes. AndyToad.gifNorsemanCyser Melomel 14:10, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I would eat him if it wasn't for the fear of becoming him. 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:11, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Real life ever keep you from editing?[edit]

Video

  • Girls can multitask! Ok Im not that good to edit doing a stunt but this is basically what Ive been doing the past week. Wikis are too damn addictive! And real life can co-exist with the internet! (And no I am not the girl from that commercial, but just saying I edit while doing other things) Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 15:06, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The aspect of real life that keeps me from editing is the odd fact that some websites refuse to work on one of my linux based work terminal (I'll need to badger the guys with admin access to update the damn thing). It's very inconsistent, though. I can't get RationalWiki, Wikipedia, The Guardian, DeviantART, BBC News or CNN... but I can get Conservapedia, The Daily Mail and Fox News. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You should avoid playing with Wikis on work or school computers if you dont want the IT nazis to have you ousted. Im editing from my phone right now. — Unsigned, by: Ex-Troll Cheerleader / talk / contribs 18:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Real life occasionally pulls me to some other hobby or forum, but I don't think I ever become too busy to read Recent Changes every day.--ADtalkModerator 23:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Should I be private (anonymous-pseudonymous) or public?[edit]

I’ve been thinking a lot about this question: for the past several years in fact.

I’m in a unique position, insofar that I have been (in my view) quite inconsequential in life, and relative to my contemporaries—I’m in my mid-40’s—have achieved little—indeed even many of those 20 years younger than I have achieved (at least statistically) more than I.

I’m a high school drop-out, with no significant work history. Not only am I unmarried, I’ve never had sex (at least with a person). I have no photo ID. I haven’t traveled internationally in +25 years, and even then it was only crossing the Canada-US border, never had a drivers licence, and never needed an age of majority card. Though I’m Canadian, I haven’t been to a doctor in +20 years, nor have had a check-up in +25 years.

I have a computer in my bachelor apartment (government housing at that), but I’ve never been on the internet with it—my internet access is wholly by other computers—most of them such as libraries (using no library card either) and employment centres. I haven’t even had a functioning phone in over 4 years, land line in almost 10 years, a landline in my name in almost 15 years.

With very rare exceptions, I’ve never used my name in emails and the like. Indeed, if I sent a regular mail letter, over half the time, I used a pseudonym (one I’ve been using for so many years, if he was a real person, he could not only legally drink in the US , but maybe have gotten a BA. :-). I only googled myself this year, and while my name is somewhat unique to (most) North Americans, I didn’t show up, but strangely 2 others with my first and last name did—both by the way having PhD’s and seemingly well-paying jobs (though I suppose others with our common name, but less eminent than those two, might also no online presence (at least with their real names) due to inconsequentiality).

Again, I feel that I’m in a unique position.

I could be wrong, but if someone did a background check on me, they’d likely find very little.

Given all of this, and a bit more to be mentioned, I have two choices. Either one would involve a cessation of much of this pondering and soul-searching.

Publicity or Privacy.

In the latter, I could create a pseudonymous identity, or more aptly, more identities, and following some protocols (use other internet access; maybe, just maybe, use proxy servers; tell few, if any, online my real identity, or those I know personally about my online identities). I can post all sorts of things to my heart’s desire, and if I get in trouble with such posts, they will, at worse, be removed, and maybe I create a new identity if any one that I’m using becomes unusable.

True, I’ve done this already, but the newer identities would be better organized, coordinated, stable, and longer-termed (at least they are intended as long term).

With some use of anonymous and pseudonymous postings, I have been able to post some outrageous things—though not typical of my postings—with neither police visits, or getting my ass kicked.

I could take the route of anonymity-pseudonymity—at least outside of my employment or whatever-passes-for-business concerns of mine—and even then, I might practice a fair degree of online privacy. While I’m far from an expert on these matters, I have, over the decade, given a few 100’s of hours of thought on how I’d do it. I occasionally flatter myself that I have ideas that even the Mafia or Al Qaeda, if they came across such, would find interesting.

At the very least, there is likely little online about me, that some super computer could cross-reference with any of my varying identities, to create a profile (or significant profile at least) of my real identity.

So in this, I would be a free man of international mystery—or so I flatter myself.

On the other hand, why spend so much time and so much work at maintaining anonymity-psuedonymity? Mark Twain said something like “The nice thing about telling the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said,” and Sloan sung “It’s a hard life living a lie”: though it’s not so that I’d be living a lie, but rather a life of (mostly) online anonymity or pseudonymity; and if all, or pretty well all, know it’s pseudonymous, then it’s not really a lie, as it would be for, say an ID based on a fake name—such as a first and last name randomly taken from the phone book. For example, if I called myself “AceButchChipSpike” most would figure it’s a fake name—so I’m not really deceiving anyone, or at least most. However, if I called myself, say, “Rob Miller”, it sounds like a real name, though I simply took Rob Ford’s first name and Dave Miller’s last, combined them, and wa-la, a fake name I can use to deceive.

However, I could forgo the whole (or much of) the anonymity-pseudonymity thing and go public, and if I did, I could get internet access for my apartment. I could start to use my real name and even photos. I could register on Facebook, Yahoo! Answers, Youtube, etc, and truthfully give my name. As much of what I would post, or search, would not be (all that) controversial, I doubt I’d get into much trouble. Much of that which would be controversial would at least be legal, or at least semi-legal. As for a few of the illegal activities (mostly hardcore porn downloads and file sharing—with Stephen Harper as our PM, and Ignatieff as his deferential “Opposition” such could indeed get quite illegal): many do it—possible safety in numbers, there is likely support from a community, I’m not too afraid of talking to police, and maybe, I’d just do those particular things anonymously—though likely saying that I do so in the pages of my public identity (like someone admitting to smoking pot, but not naming their dealer(s) and/or if they grow it); but if the issue is not of legality or insignificance, I’d post it—even if I’d otherwise be shy, embarrassed, or even a little afraid to do so—credibility would demand as much.

Unlike others, I don’t have to be worried (at least as much) about offending people: As I have no wife, children, employer, or co-workers, I’d have no wife, children, employer, or co-workers to worry about offending. Ditto my distant relatives—if they are so offended that they’d never write to me again—and that’s not entirely certain, then so what: in +10 years we’ve exchanged little more than greeting cards (they being perhaps as distant from me personally as they are physically). There’s also the possibility that 1% of my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins might take a great and quick liking to me.

My father’s been dead for over 10 years, my mother’s in a nursing home with possible senile dementia, and I’m estranged from my brother. The church I go to for a weekly meal and food bank purposes know well that I’m a liberal left-wing (somewhat) atheist—and yet we maintain a fair degree of amicability and even respect.

As I live in a big city, in a public housing complex, filled with sad stories, I have little concern about what my neighbours think.

So, in my view, I’m in a wonderful position to start this.

In exchange for being public:
(1) there would be far less energy and time diverted in maintaining anonymity-pseudonymity;
(2) along those lines, I could use just one identity, and fuse some of my older ones.
(3) as well as acquiring opponents, I’d get supporters
(4) less time and energy (and worry) about the relationship between my online and real world contacts
(7) I could use the internet from home. This means I’d have the convenience of 24/7 access in any state I’m in, or weather. It also work well with multi-tasking (such as baking a cake while using the internet, drying off after a shower, watching TV (or listening to it), listening to music out of speakers, doing laundry (the time interval when the machine’s in use, et), while waiting on hold, for a response from the agency that considers my call so important, doing something boring and monotonous while thinking of a good response to post, etc).
As an anonymous-pseudonymous account, I’d have to forgo these. My choices would be limited to:
(a) using a computer at home, but it wouldn’t be connected, and thus my online time (on another computer) would be limited, and spent on fast downloads for latter perusals, or fast uploading content that I hope would be still relevant;
(b) waste lots of time in uni-tasking;
(c) rent another apartment—a bit over $600 a month—in another name, for the sole purpose of anonymous-pseudonymous internet use and multitasking;
(d) or figure out a way of somewhat connecting to the internet from my current apartment where the traffic isn’t associated with my real name or address, or even close to my address (currently I’m thinking very strong wii signals, satellite connections, stringing my own cable from a place at least 300 yards from where I live).

(8) I’d be nice to be able to use email for real life contacts, instead of writing letters, sending packages, and hoping that they would respond the same (though I suppose with so many people getting so many emails, so much spam, and it being deletable, letters and packages would be more noticeable).

(9) By fusing my online identities and aspects of my real life identities, such as me as the person, me as the small businessman, me as the founder (or co-founder) of small organizations, me as the amateur artist and musician, contacts in one of these might be able to help in another.

For instance, 10 applicants are looking for a job. One is less qualified than most of the others, but he manages to get into a chat with the employer about their mutual love of soccer. Guess who gets hired. He has his own website with links to profile pages. Women online find a page of his while googling. They then check out his site and profiles on other sites. For a split second, some think of a sexual relationship with him. Most are disgusted at the thought—a few even retch. More still aren’t as visceral, but still figure it’s undesirable. But a few might like the idea. No lies, little time wasted.

(10) I could join varying sites that require to members to give names and the like. True, I could lie for such membership already, but I like to be a truthful as possible—either give them the info or not join (or come up with a justification for lying that was based on several 10’s of hours soul-searching, perusing the Terms of Service/Use, or if the entity really ‘’deserves’’ my truth).

(11) Travel and access the sites I currently access. So even if there was a way that I’d be making a trail insofar that a super-computer could cross-reference the places where my pages were access and perhaps modified, and then to my entry and exits of a country, it wouldn’t matter.

My questions here are

(1) Do I have a good assessment of the situation?

(2) What course would you advise—particularly given that there is on one hand, little on the internet about me—at least my real name; while on the other, no one close to me would be terribly offended by my posts if I started to generate content on the internet that would be associated with me, and some which would be controversial.

(3) Points, tips, and insights?

(4) Anybody who was in my situation, or something like it, who made a choice, and if so, what was it, and how did it turn out?

(5) Are things revocable? For instance, while people may be haunted by stuff they post, there may be, if you will, an evanescence (it ain’t just the name of a band ) of memory—or at least its relevance.

For instance, if there are, say, 10 billion security cameras, each with over, say, 6 000 hours of video a year, for a creation of, say, 60 trillion hours of video, how many full time employees would it require to monitor and analyze the contents for criminals, perverts, or those engaged in un-patriotic and/or counter-revolutionary (or those considered to be) activities?

The way I figure it, if computers could squish it 1 000 fold, it’d still be 60 billion hours. Pay them $10/hr, and it’d be $0.6 trillion. If each monitor worked 2 000 hours a year, you’d need 30 million of them. If as little as 1% of them were corrupt, it’d be 300 000 of them.

Mind you, analyses of text would likely be quicker—I suppose.

Would the DEA be interested that I smoked marijuana 26 years ago.

Once “outted” could I go back into the closet? (No, I’m not gay, but arguably as perverted as one—at least a contemporary of mine, such as Sarah Palin, might think so :-)

Thank you for any help and comments, and for reading this long post.

To increase my chances at good responses, I’ve posted the same question in a few other places. Anarchopedia's Community Portal and Wikipedia's Reference Desk. As per the protocols for cross-posting, the posting in the Wikipedia Reference desk will be the main posting, though I will, of course, read and consider all. If there are objections to my cross-posting, please let me know.
70.54.181.70 (talk) 20:16, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Need to establish a baseline here. Do you have an identity to begin with? Most importantly employment and some form of human camaraderie? 207.67.17.45 (talk) 20:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Same person, different IP. I have an identity, but not much of an online identity, save anonymous edits such as this one, or pseudonymous accounts. Off-line is also sparse, and aside from some mostly forgettable aquaintances, maybe 1 or 2 friends--a few more that I haven't seen in decades.205.189.194.208 (talk) 20:52, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit tired, so apologies if I miss the point of any of the questions. Here's my take on the questions.
(1) I think you're right that little would show-up in a background check, but then for most of us the same is true or at least there are very few reasons why people would take the time to run background checks. I'm not sure about the reasoning behind needing so much anonymity, and without sounding a condescending, it may be worth talking to someone professionally. It really depends on comfortable you are and the rationale behind this kind of life.
(2) Depends on what you're posting and how you think it would affect those around you. For a long time I wrote a blog under a pseudonym because I was very critical of religion and I know that these things do stick around for a very long time. I decided to switch to using my real name because it felt more honest and I believe it lends more credibility. However at the time I was married and I did worry that some online nutter would intrude in to my life outside of blogging.
(3) Different things for different people, but your lifestyle sounds very isolated. I think there's a lot of value in being around people, and some pretty good ideas can come out of that. Also, all of us have the ability to help people - even in seemingly trivial ways, and I feel that's an important part of being human.
(4) When I was younger my parents went through a very abusive and messy divorce, and for many years I became a loner. This still affects me today in that it's difficult to get close to people, but I'm glad I was dragged out of that lifestyle. Personally I'd suggest engaging the world, and that anonymity puts up barriers that make that difficult. It's unwise to open all aspects of our lives to everyone. For example, there are few friends I'd engage in frank discussions about theology and ethics, partially because most wouldn't be interested, but often because I think some topics should only be raised in polite conversation when they're relevant.
(5) It's best to assume that everything online will be around and that interested people will read it. I sometimes look-up colleagues before meeting them for the first time to get a rough idea of their interests. There's no reason to drop all of the personas; some are best maintained if you want to avoid having them undermine other aspects of your life. Realistically if I dressed up as a monk and had my arse paddled at the weekends I'd probably not be mentioning that on my Facebook wall. Change is always possible, although some habits are difficult to break, and you need to have a reason to want to change. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 21:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) 205.189.194.208 (talk) 22:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
No worries. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 22:44, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Atheist symbols[edit]

An discussion of symbols for atheism I found got me thinking—what would be a good symbol to represent atheists? (Hat tip to Isis the Scientist for bringing this up.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:29, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Waffles. --GastonRabbit (talk) 22:40, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
A brain? Seeing as that's what the "opposition" lacks. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 22:44, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
None. No branding. No identifiable symbols. We blend with the masses. We strike from the shadows. We pull the strings behind a hundred faces and write the poem of mankind to our tune. We... wait what was the subject again? Sen (talk) 23:09, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I think the images on that article prove two things; 1) it's been done, a lot, and 2) it doesn't work. I'm all for "rallying around the flag" in the face of oppression, rights and so on, all due to the whole "context of religious ubiquity" that I constantly go on about, but it just doesn't work. You can't effectively make a concrete symbol that reflects a lack of something, however well defined a d clear this "lack of" is. Scarlet A.pngtheist 01:48, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Theist do have a brain buddy........ your enemy are the Fanatic not the Decent one. Waronstupidity (talk) 02:44, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
One of the "problems" of athiesm is that fact that it's defined negativity. A lack of belief in gods. One solution was proposed by A C Grayling who decided to call himself a "naturalist". That is to say somebody who believes in naturalistic explanations rather than supernatural ones. Apart from being a positive statement it also has the effect of covering all sorts of other stuff like homoeopathy at the same time. Unfortunately "naturalist" rather brings up the idea of somebody watching birds or whatever. So what would be a good symbol for naturalism?--BobSpring is sprung! 09:46, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't know, some sort of stylised globe along the lines of the WIGO:World one? However, the term "naturalist" does just set itself up for confusion, not least just for any odd comparisons with "naturist". It could also imply that one likes things to be "natural" or "from nature" and all that bull, and thus would reject anything "artificial". Grayling may have happily defined "naturalism" as everything based on natural and never supernatural explanations (even then, this definition rests on the fact that many people believe in the supernatural - and the distinction wouldn't be needed if these views weren't existent or weren't widespread - so it still has some "negative belief" about it) but you still have to take into account people's prior conceptions when making up your own terminology. I like Thunderf00t's "PEARL", if only because the acronym is quite pretty, but it's also more specific about what the "belief" entails. It also inspires the idea that the symbol would be a pretty, white, shiny sphere. Simple, pure, still quite emotive etc. etc. But still, with these things, we may as well call it "Armondikovism" or "Bobism", because when you start to redefine this sort of thing in a positive sense, you find that everyone starts gravitating towards different sets of ideas (understandable, as it's not possible to have genuine encyclopaedic knowledge of everything) and won't be limited by the questions usually prescribed by conventional religion. Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:10, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, but as I said, it has the advantage of making a positive statement rather than a negative one. It is potentially confusing? Yes. Would everybody agree with it? No. But neither language nor people are perfect.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:23, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

I would be in favor of using a thunderstorm. Yes, an actual thunderstorm. From the foreboding dark clouds and distant rumbling to the smell of ozone, the flashes, the huge crackling roars, the heavy rain and hail, to the sun shining through the last of the rain and then the rainbow, nothing fills me with awe at the lack of gods in the universe like a thunderstorm. Either that or a really good comet... ħumanUser talk:Human 18:07, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

I have always Thought that the best Atheist Symbol would simply be a Blank Sheet.--Tolerance (talk) 21:05, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
When presented with a Blank Sheet (is that a kind of blanket?) I cover it with diagrams and symbols until something makes sense (click on image for color, right click "view image" for large). ħumanUser talk:Human 02:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
But a blank sheet isn't a symbol, really, it's actually a lack of a sy... ohh, ah. I see. Scratchchin.gifScarlet A.pngtheist 08:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I am Glad that my subtlety was not wasted on All.--Tolerance (talk) 08:25, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I really hope those drawings are from when you were a kid, Huw  : ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:16, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
It's dated, dude. You show me something better you have done? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:13, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I shall show you my fearsome Pickle Dragons. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:10, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Hillis plot tattoo[edit]

I spotted this in The Greatest Show on Earth and managed to track it down online. It's Claire d’Alberto's (I believe now Dr d'Alberto) Hillis plot tattoo. Pretty much the ultimate nerd accessory, almost on par with the Schrödinger equation that I want. Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:15, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm perfectly happy with my tat-pooh. (A tattoo of Winnie-the-Pooh, of course. Classic Pooh, not Disney, in the "think think think" pose, with his hunny pot.) MDB (talk) 19:58, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Wow, awesome tattoo. One I doubt they will ever regret. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Unless it turns out that evolution was a hoax all along, then she'll have a bit of egg on her face. Or her back, really. Scarlet A.pngtheist 07:58, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
SMBC FTW --Opcn (talk) 11:01, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

It was a fucking snake.[edit]

A talking snake. With legs. Science says so! Someone should tell PJR that the good doctors at the baraminology study group have proven satan was not involved in the garden of eden affair. In related news, the long term angel choreography experiment is up to 42 in the latest pinhead minuet. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:19, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

In fact I Agree with this. At no Time in the Old Testament does it actually say that the Snake was, in fact, Satan.--Tolerance (talk) 21:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Satan only appears in the book of Job and the term is literally "the accuser". Maybe we should say "the satan" if we are going only by the Hebrew bible. Then there is lucifer (morning star or day star): the same Latin word is used to describe Jesus. The connections between satan and a serpent are in Revelation. It is all written by the same Holy Spirit you see, so you interpret Moses according to what the New Testament says. ~ Lumenos (talk) (other talk pages: LI1, LI2, WP) 22:21, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

I sent ten dollars[edit]

in cash to Trent as a donation. Will I get any kind of reply back that he got it? Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 22:58, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

If it's done via PayPal, they will send a confirmation email. Scarlet A.pngtheist 23:26, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
So what's the buy-in on a Trusteee seat? 1k? 5k? 10k? A blowjob? Just curious. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 23:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
I sent a ten dollar bill to his address. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 23:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
My university address? tmtoulouse 23:31, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Wait, no, better question. How much cocaine do I have to buy Trent (for neurological research purposes, of course) in order to get this place renamed TheemperorWiki and done up in some sort of red-and-black color scheme, with some catchy march tunes and Hitler speeches looping in the background? I'm thinking five kilos high-grade should do, but is this too much? --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 23:45, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Yea I sent it to McMasters, dont tell me thats an old address. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 01:03, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
No, its fine, thanks for the donation. I can drop you a note when I get it. Keep in mind two things 1) Canadian mail is notoriously slow, and 2) I am going back to NM till the 10th. tmtoulouse 01:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
And you called yourself "troll", beh! :-) ~ Lumenos 02:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks ETC, that was generous and thoughtful. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
AND THIS IS ME! GAAARRRRR
♥ no problem I once sent a 100 bill to the WMF. Im so jealous of this girl Julie Weisensee I met a comp one time. Look her up on Facebook. Do you think I'm as beautiful as she? Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 02:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The other girl is kind of cute in a forced way, but can she troll? 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:04, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
What other girl? Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 14:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
"Julie Weisensee" 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Duh. I dont think so but you never know. Do you think Im as pretty as she? Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 14:11, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
That would imply an objective quantification of sorts. If the question is who am I, personally, more physically attracted to, it would be you. Add in the trolling and I've got a little crush. 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Got hagger? ♥ Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 14:28, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
tu quoque. 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Nevermind. I thought "Got hagger" meant something else. I have no idea what either of those mean. 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:35, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
That's what Grawp (a troll) used to say on WP since you said "add in the trolling and I have a little crush". Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 14:39, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Aww 207.67.17.45 (talk) 14:45, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Whats that? Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 14:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you are pretty, but why do you worry about comparisons? Do you think I am handsome? Do I care? Not really, I can live without that. Surely you are more than a "pretty face"? ħumanUser talk:Human 07:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Human, I am pretty. You'd be more handsome of you shaved however. AceX-102 07:56, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You're behind the times, pretty-boy, Human shaved months ago, releasing a respectable amount of aged handsome upon the northeast. DickTurpis (talk) 12:43, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Human, I guess caring is part of being a schoolgirl. And yes you look fine. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 12:54, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the donation. With Human, I prefer to imagine that he's an insanely hot chick. In fact that's how I see all of you and it makes me feel a bit like John Shaft. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 21:30, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I do not think Human has placed a pic of himself "on-wiki" though I have stared into his dead eyes before. AceX-102 21:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
That ten dollar bill I sent Trent had track this bill at wheresgeorge.com written on it and it said that someone got it from a hospital cafeteria and then someone got it from paying fines at the jail. I put that I got it from my mom. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 22:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Why does it matter if the picture of some random girl on facebook is more attractive than the picture of some other random girl on facebook that you put up here claiming it as your own? I won't believe any picture of a remotely attractive female unless they are sitting at a computer logged into RW. Rule 30 and all that jazz. --Opcn (talk) 21:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Are you saying that I cant be pretty because I edit here. Really if you think Im pretty you should see some of the other girls at my school. Its not just some random girl on Facebook and to prove my point I dare you to find my picture there. That picture is on Facebook but its set to private and only my friends can see it. And Id post a picture of me editing except I can only edit on my phone now because I can never get DSL again after what I did to the abuse nazis computer and cables out of the question until 2012 for about the same reason. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 01:55, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, TinEye comes up negative. But I always thought RW would be beyond the "ZOMG A GIRL ON TEH INTERNETZZZ!!!!111" type behavior. It really is quite boring. In fact, I should really remove the "hotness" comments from the Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin articles, I mean, what the fuck is this, the 1950s and should our female members get back in the fucking kitchen while they think about what naked pics to put up? Scarlet A.pngtheist 02:00, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
It is quite boring unless youre a troll. Since Im not a troll anymore it is very boring. Of course Im probably the geekest cheerleader youll ever meet, Im certainly not a typical OMGZ I LOVE EVERYTHING cheerleader but I joke sometimes like I am like that. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 02:06, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Advice from the drunks[edit]

So in a few weeks, I am buying a new computer. As such, I want to experiment a little with my old one.... I'm venturing outside of the windows world and looking for a new Operating System. Since this place is the haven for nerds, I figure we'd be good company (for the record, I count myself part of the nerd community, I have tattoos to prove it). Anyway, what's a good OS for me to pick up, keep in mind, I've been on Windows since the old 3.2 days. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 07:23, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

If you're buying a new computer, PCs are likely to come with Windows 7. This is pretty good, actually, and probably the best OS I've ever worked with. Though you don't have much choice, really. If you want the Mac OS then you'll need to actually buy a Mac, which is like a computer, but three times the price. If you just want another operating system just for the sake of having a new operating system, your remaining choice is Linux, of which Ubuntu is the most popular distribution for personal use. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:03, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Linux distros for an ex-Windows user: Ubuntu or Kubuntu (same as Ubuntu, but with a different window manager) or Mint. Do mind that in the latest version of Ubuntu (10.04 Lucid Lynx), the window buttons (min, max, close) are on the left side of the window by default, Mac-style. It is quite easy to put them back to the right, though.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:10, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Another vote for Ubuntu. It's a good way to get a feeling for Linux. I run a mail/web server at home using Ubuntu and it's pretty rock solid, and a good way to play around with MediaWiki, Perl and general nerdy goodness :) Worm(t | c) 09:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Use Plan 9! Everything is a file! Wisest cubic Phantom! 09:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Isn't everything a file in raw, unadulterated linux, i.e., without GUI? Because I remember in my "linux for idiots" introductory course we were told "you see these files, they're not really files, they're displayed as files, we don't really know why..." (I think he was talking about the . and .. things that act as markers for the folder) Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:59, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Just checked Wikipedia, I see, you really do mean everything. How the hell does that even work goddammit? Scarlet A.pngtheist 10:01, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It obviously works elegantly and sensibly if you're as smart as Rob Pike. Lesser beings may have some problems. This is what "research OS" means- David Gerard (talk) 10:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Ok, so I took the plunge and went ahead and installed Ubuntu.... So how does this affect software? I'm assuming stuff designed for Windows might have some trouble.... Is it possible to install the basics, like Photoshop, Powerdirector and a few games (or something similar) or what? Actually, is there just a big How to manual anywhere that might help? Thanks. SirChuckBBATHE THE WHALES!!!! 12:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
This may be a little late, but if you're taking the plunge, you might want to keep a copy of Windows around in case things get a bit hairy. Wisest cubic Phantom! 14:14, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Without getting too technical, no - stuff designed for Windows will not run on Ubuntu. But it may run in 'Wine' which simulates a Windows environment, but then what's the point of running Ubuntu just to emulate Windows? There will be equivalent programs for most Windows stuff, and may be a Linux version for some. See some useful info here Worm(t | c) 12:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
what's the point of running Ubuntu just to emulate Windows Feeling smugly superior. -- Nx / talk 06:40, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Depends on how much you need to do, but I've found GIMP to be a pretty good replacement for Photoshop. It's lacking some features and doesn't quite have the full range of filters available, but it's a pretty solid tool. No idea about video applications. I'm on a Mac and using Final Cut Pro for my occasional videos. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 21:34, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
There are a few half-baked video editors. Last I heard, Pitivi is being pushed into Ubuntu, but some people think it1s crap and openshot is better. -- Nx / talk 06:40, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
I use Ubuntu and I thought I'd mention that any Web browser worth using (i.e. not Internet Explorer) already has an official version on Linux — Firefox, Opera, and Chrome have Linux ports. I recommend Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail (if you don't use a Web browser for it), Audacious for media files, and OpenOffice.org for word processing and stuff if you stay with Ubuntu. --GastonRabbit (talk) 00:13, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Hey, that's not fair, IE is very useful. For downloading Firefox on new Windows installations. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:07, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Also, Opera is an unstable pile of trash that can delete your entire downloads directory on a bad day, and Firefox's stupid SQLite database backend makes it slow (even more so on Linux, because of the file system there). I recommend Chrome. -- Nx / talk 06:40, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Didn't know Opera had that issue (mostly listed it because it's cross-platform), and I haven't really had any major speed issues with Firefox except on slow computers and/or slow connections. Haven't really used Chrome much because I've been using Firefox for so long (I switched before version 1.0 was released) that I don't really want to switch to something else. But if SirChuckB wants to use Chrome, it's not hard to do on Linux since Chrome's Linux port came out of beta sometime within the past few months.
Human: IE is only good for doing that on Windows. Mac users would have to use Safari for that since the Mac version of IE was discontinued and Linux users usually have Firefox pre-installed anyway (and if it isn't, the package manager probably has it, so a Web browser doesn't need to be used to install it on Linux either way. OpenSolaris also comes with Firefox pre-installed (messed around with it on VirtualBox) and I'd imagine that it's as easy to install as anything else on BSD (PC-BSD, which I mentioned below, has an option to install it when installing the OS). --GastonRabbit (talk) 19:18, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, if you really want to experiment, you can try FreeBSD. ("BSD", by the way, translates as "better than Linux" : ) ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:09, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
PC-BSD would be better than regular FreeBSD (PC-BSD is based on it) for someone new to operating systems other than Windows. It's basically FreeBSD with a desktop environment (specifically, KDE) set as the default interface. --GastonRabbit (talk) 18:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Ubuntu and Suse have far more software packages available than BSD and more than other Linux distros. Ubuntu/Kubuntu is a good choice especially for beginners. Kubuntu uses KDE, which I like but back when I tried them, Kubuntu it wasn't as stable. You can actually install any KDE programs on Ubuntu, so I think it is mostly like your desktop, taskbar, and file manager. OpenBSD is one of the most secure OS, AFAIK. ~ Lumenos (talk) (other talk pages: LI1, LI2, WP) 22:50, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
SirChuckB I would suggest just looking around at the software you can install. Unlike Windows where you go to websites to find free software, you can get to them by running Synaptic. See https://help.ubuntu.com/7.04/add-applications/C/index.html What do you want to do with this computer besides run Windows software? ;-) Here is a list of equivalent Linux software but it might be easier to use that previous link. I have dual booted Windows XP and Ubuntu and from there I have boot the windows partition in a virtual machine [ backup link ]. ~ Lumenos (talk) (other talk pages: LI1, LI2) 23:21, 28 July 2010 (UTC) 23:25, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Writting science kind of sucks[edit]

So I just got my ultimatum today. I knew it was coming. Everyone who I have shown my work to agrees it is top quality and the amount of research I have completed is equal to or greater than I need for a thesis, however, none of it is published beyond conference abstracts and presentations. I can do the work, finish the project, get the results, analyze, extend, and move on to the next project. But to do real science you have to write up what you did and submit it to your "peers." That is the hang up. All of my experimental work hinges on a model I developed 4 years ago, I can't publish any of my recent work till the model is published. I have been working on that one paper for 2 and half years.

So my committee pretty much told me I have to get it done now. Plus another couple papers in the next 2-3 months. I can sit here with the paper open, and revisions to make and all I do is poke at it. Then check my e-mail. It is akin to writers block, I think, but I know what I need to write, I just can't do it. It is far more fun to move on to the next project, the next question, the next unknown. But that is not the nature of this game. I don't know why I can't get this paper done. And I don't know how I am going to do it, now. tmtoulouse 19:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Put up the pieces here and we'll throw mud at them in the best wiki Featured Article manner! - David Gerard (talk) 19:59, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Writing up the final paper is hard TMT. Why not jump into some part of it that you feel pretty good about writing up, and that you pretty much know how you'd come to and move on from, write that, and then that should inspire you to keep going with either the stuff leading up to that bit or the stuff that follows. All you really have to do is get the ball rolling, and although the beginning, as a teacher of mine once said, is usually the best place to start, it's also often the hardest. Start at the simplezt place and build up head of steam, the rest will look after itself. DogPMarmite Patrol 20:02, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I would put it up here for advice, but that makes it CC-BY-SA I think. But here is the problem the paper is completely written. There is come stuff to do like add figures, some references need work, etc. But I am in this trap of revision with my supervisor. One of the problems is that each time I submit for comments to my supervisor I can wait a month to get feedback, so that's part of it. But the other is that I wrote the damn thing but its not "right" apparently. I am struggling with finding a voice that is appropriate. If this was a straight data driven paper I think it would be easier. Method, results, conclusion. But this is a totally theoretical paper, and apparently my description is either too bogged down in details and equations that clarity and flow is lost, or I took it and rewrote it totally conceptually but now apparently its not detailed enough. So I have not only written it, but rewritten many times, and frankly I am now so confused the thing feels like a muddled mix and I can do nothing but poke at it. I know I just have to do it but this process is killing me. tmtoulouse 20:09, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, how many pages does it run to at the moment? --BobSpring is sprung! 20:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The paper without any figures is about 10 pages (double spaced) with about 2-3 pages of figures+equations. Then there is a 3-4 page appendix with the nitty gritty step-by-step details of the model and math. tmtoulouse 20:38, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah, right! Then the solution is: 1. Kidnap your supervisor. 2. Tie them to a chair. 3. Start "Stuck In The Middle With You" on the radio. 4. Dance around with a razor. 5. Explain that you would like comments on your latest draft in something closer to real time, and that you will remove a piece of ear for every vague and nonspecific suggestion. 6. Get a jury of twelve grad students. 7. Write up with method, results and conclusion and submit to viXra. - David Gerard (talk) 20:53, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You forgot 8. ... 9. PROFIT! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:33, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

This probably isn't very helpful, but I know how it feels. I've got a paper that I had basically all but finished writing over 2 years ago - I just need to write a decent introduction, but I did all of the actual science ages ago. My supervisor (well, now ex-supervisor given that I finished my PhD over a year ago) has tried a few times to get me to just write the damn thing, but.... it's still waiting. And then there are the thesis chapters which really really ought to be converted to papers. I've already done pretty much all of the work, but am I able to push myself to write up those bits of work for publication? I guess that my problem is partly that I just don't find writing papers as interesting as the more hands-on parts of research. I know it's very necessary, and from a pragmatic viewpoint if I want to continue as an academic it needs to be done, but for some reason I've yet to figure out I've still not written them all. alt (talk) 21:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I kind of have a similar problem with projects at work, in that I get some pretty serious work done, but then have a habit of not finishing (or failing to document my final results), but thankfully I have a manager who tends to notice when I'm going in to ADHD mode. No real advice I can offer other than trying to develop projects in such a way that the more tedious tasks are tackled early or alongside the fun stuff. Whether that's possible in your work I don't know, but it helps me a bit. As opposed to my earlier attempts at coding, what I hand in tomorrow is actually fully commented and documented, so the only part left is to tweak it so it actually works. That's the fun part. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 21:27, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Trent, the notice at the bottom of each page says "Unless explicitly noted otherwise, all content licensed as indicated by RationalWiki:Copyrights". By explicitly retaining copyright you should avoid the CC-BY-SA.  Lily Inspirate me. 22:12, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
For those of you (irrational numbers) who may recall our discussion on the Copyright talk page, the Lumeniki copyright has no such loophole. ~ Lumenos (talk) (other talk pages: LI1, LI2) 23:34, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Does this qualify as a song?[edit]

I recently came across the worst song that I have ever heard in my life. Ever. Now I must ask you guys this: does it even qualify as "music"? The definition of music is "an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color." Well, I certainly wouldn't call the song an art, and the lyrics are certainly not correlated with any time pattern. Since the actual instrumentals of the song are basically some random and uncreative beats, that leaves us to judge the singing of Kesha, or Ke$ha if you want to get technical. I seem to lack any view of rhythm, melody, or harmony in the song. Every time she runs out of lyrics from her puny mind to put in the song, she just inserts a "yea", increases the length of a word with her annoying moaning, fills that gap with nothing at all, or just slows down or speeds up the number of words per measure, creating an odd and uneven sound. As for color, I don't know what the hell that means. I'll just apply it to the color of the video, which is predominately hot pink, so it also fails in that department. The lyrics? They're horrendous. "I made out with a rockstar, yeah!"? Is it just me who has this view, or do you guys think the same? ~SuperHamster Talk 20:17, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh no, no, this is not even music. Even my rhymes are better than those lyrics. But it's much, much better than that shit you presented as a poem. --Idiot number 58 (talk) 20:33, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, please, you're just a bit grumpy to find out that you're poetic skills have been overwhelmed by an artistic mind as fine as mine. ~SuperHamster Talk 20:38, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You might think that just because I was a little harsh on your writing skills. But don't worry, I actually don't think that you are the worst poet in the world. It's just that until one worse comes along, you'll do. --Idiot number 58 (talk) 20:45, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
If you have not come across poetry that is lesser in quality and sound than mine, then you clearly have not done your fair share of poetry reading, a must for any person who desires to produce a poem of half-decent quality. ~SuperHamster Talk 20:47, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh fine, we must now stop fighting and just be good friends to each other. Let's play horse. I'll be the front end and you be yourself. --Idiot number 57 (talk) 20:53, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
A true ass is someone who is so weak as to having to resort to using another website as their source of witty comebacks and insults. ~SuperHamster Talk 20:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I took this one actually. You can't even accuse me correctly. It means that it's pointless to even talk about your poetry. --Idiot number 57 (talk) 20:59, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Trying to take the heat off yourself, huh? It's pointless to even talk about my poetry when I can't accuse someone correctly? That'd be a great comeback if the two were actually correlated. Not only do you have to copy pre-made insults for your arguments, but when you try to make your own, they don't even make sense. One can only imagine how in the world you could have ever written a poem using just your own mind, let alone having to even make an ounce of sense. ~SuperHamster Talk 21:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
So you think that I can't make a proper argument against you? Like, I? Ok, how about this... this brilliant, brilliant argument that I'm going to put forward now... ... erm, I'll come back tomorrow. --Idiot number 57 (talk) 21:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You've got time, I'm not going anywhere. After all, since I am your ass, it all depends on you to decide where we are going. ~SuperHamster Talk 21:23, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Vogon poetry.  Lily Inspirate me. 22:09, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
You lose 54 nerd points for linking to the film. MARCVS ANTONIVS 22:22, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I couldn't read your post over the arrogance of dictating what is and is not a song. All of your arguments are as to why it is a bad song. They may even have some reasonable merit. However, you're wrong. It's music, it has words, it is a song. Now, kindly grab your official curmudgeon ID, and get in line behind the rest of the people complaining that music today isn't music, it's just crap noise. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm actually an avid fan of this "today" music you speak of, and what these people call "crap noise" is what you'll often find me listening to. It's this particular song that bugs my officially curmudgeon mind. ~SuperHamster Talk 22:39, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
It's as if Avril Lavigne's Sk8er Boi was translated in to Japanese, in to Welsh, and then back in to English and remixed by in five minutes by someone desperate to improve their chances at an upcoming parole hearing. Damn kids. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 22:41, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Andy Rehfeldt's mix of Tik Tok - pretty much the only way I'll listen to Kesha. Scarlet A.pngtheist 00:12, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Brilliant. ~SuperHamster Talk 01:06, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this has been posted here before (at least I got it from somewhere, I assume it was RW), but a somewhat scientific attempt to create the worst song ever deserves at least a brief examination, though it is pretty damn long. DickTurpis (talk) 12:36, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Except it turned out like any post-modernist composition... indeed, you could argue the method used makes it a textbook post-modernist composition. Well, at least it didn't involve feeding a piano hay until "the piano feels satisfied that it has had its fill of hay". It's worth noting that I don't think the aim was actually to make the "worst" song ever, just the most undesirable one, as in the one that wouldn't work anywhere and would probably never sell a copy; a different metric to "worst" I think. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:13, 28 July 2010 (UTC)