RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive81

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Proposal: Quote of the Day.[edit]

I'd like to propose the idea of a 'Quote of the Day,' perhaps to go on the mainpage. This may end up being watered down to a quote of the week, but whatever. I think it'd certainly be interesting - and I think everyone generally likes that kind of thing, but having a rational point of view quote of the day would be a nice new resource. Might make people who only check in here once a week bother to load the page every day, who knows?

I see three issues to be discussed:

  • Do people WANT a Quote of the Day?
  • How would the Quote of the Day be selected?
  • Who would do the maintaining of the Quote of the Day?

I shall, of course, leave the first point to discussion here. For the second point, I would have a small, "Proposed Quotes of the Day" link beneath the QOTD. On this page, anybody could add proposed quotes in a WIGO format, with the clicky arrows. Then, high-scoring quotes would be picked out and lined up for future quotes of the day. For example, (and this is addressing point three, as I'll volunteer to do a lot of the work) we could, at the beginning of the week, pick out the seven highest scoring QOTD proposals and line them up. I don't know how easy it would be to make the QOTD appear on the mainpage, or elsewhere... and I don't know if a bot could be used to update the quote of the week (perhaps at midnight it would change the file from QOTD/190 to QOTD/191 - updating the number by 1 every 24 hours.)

What do people think? DalekEXTERMINATE 00:42, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Quotes could easily enough be loaded using parser functions like the Holydaze template. - π 00:45, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
1. I love quotes, 2. what pi said, 3. you. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 01:06, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
  • "If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised," Dorothy Parker
  • "You can lead a horticulture, but you cannot make her think," Dorothy Parke'
  • "I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it," Terry Pratchett
  • "That seems to point up a significant difference between Europeans and Americans. A European says: "I can't understand this, what's wrong with me?" An American says: "I can't understand this, what's wrong with him?" Terry Pratchett
  • "The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head," Terry Pratchett
  • "Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn't believing. It's where belief stops, because it isn't needed any more," Terry Pratchett
  • "What our ancestors would really be thinking, if they were alive today, is: "Why is it so dark in here?" Terry Pratchett
  • "No. Men should die for lies. But the truth is too precious to die for," Terry Pratchett
So on, and so forth.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 02:01, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Pi & mutant robot manipulator, how about sandboxing it in beta so we can get a feel for it? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:29, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, if you guys want to sandbox it, then tommorow I'll set up something like RationalWiki:QOTD Proposals or RationalWiki:Proposed Quotes of the Day, put some up, make it all WIGOey, and encourage people to vote... then if we go ahead with it, we'll have plenty ready. DalekEXTERMINATE 02:35, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Greenman3610 rates Hollywood on Climate Change[edit]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AkraoSqzeE&feature=sub A simple video, but very effective, and quiet funny.Ryantherebel (talk) 02:13, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Board elections[edit]

Just so this doesn't slip through the cracks and someone misses it that wants to offer feedback before its too late the guide for the election of the board of trustees is up at RationalWiki:Guide for board of trustees election. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:10, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

So much for 'Joe Sixpack'[edit]

Can't remember if this has been covered, but it seems the Teabaggers were created by Big Business to protect their interests. --Ψ GremlinSnakk! 09:48, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

We have an article about Koch Industries and Tea Party movement#Organization mentions them. So, it has been covered. --ZooGuard (talk) 09:53, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
It is also in WIGO:World.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:04, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Just go rent "Meet John Doe." It's eerily like a documentary. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I've said this before, but watch Network. Then watch Glenn Beck. Tell me the former was not prophetic. (Actually, I've heard it said Glenn Beck very intentionally models himself after Howard Beale. Which should say something to his fans: your idol is inspired by a fictional lunatic.) MDB (talk) 13:47, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
So if Beck promises to shoot himself on live television... Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:26, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Mr. Monbiot seems to think that the Tea Party shares his definition of "elite" as "Big Nasty Capitalists," when in fact the teabaggers' definition is "Big Nasty Government Bureaucrats."
As for the question of the sources of money for political movments, every movement of any size has its rich donors. George Soros is a well-known example on the liberal/left-wing side. Even the Reds had some sponsorship back in the day. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:51, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Demolition student protest[edit]

Student protest in London seems to be going the way that most protests do. I've not fell in with the annoying, preachy, pain-in-the-arse, "I'm-so-insightful-when-it-comes-to-politics", left-wing, socialist student protest movement since starting uni, so I'm not there, but their cause is just. Hiking tuition fees by 2 and 3x their amount is fucking typical Tory shite. SJ Debaser 14:47, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Meh, fact of the matter is, someone somewhere has to pay for our educations. Who should it be, if not us? According to this David Willets, the extra cost comes in the form of a loan, which isn't too bad; paying up front would be the real disaster. EddyP (talk) 15:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not going the way of most protests, it's going the way of most French protests. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:35, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Word on the street is that it's entirely anarchist groups causing the trouble. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The government should pay, as I believe education should be free. It works for Scotland, why not England and Wales? I knew before long it'd turn into an anarchist demonstration, making use of the ever-successful campaigning technique of "fucking shit up." SJ Debaser 16:29, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
And when the government has no money, who should pay then? EddyP (talk) 16:42, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
If the government has no money, then those who want to attend university will have no choice but to pay for it. As it happens, I don't think government spending cuts that force students to pay up to 3x the current amount in as little as two years time are at all necessary or fair. Student fees in one form or another weren't even introduced until 12 years ago, and the country's been through a tonne of economic droughts before that without having to jack up university fees, appreciated though, that there were cuts in other areas. SJ Debaser 16:51, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
At the same time though, there will have been less unis, less courses, less students. EddyP (talk) 17:00, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The government doesn't have "no money" - if it did, how could it afford to charge students using a method where they don't pay until later? That's what I don't understand - the current government stresses the need to cut in the short term in order, it says, to fuel an economic recovery, yet the rise in fees won't generate any extra money for years - until the predicted recovery has taken place, in fact. Also, many current students will never earn enough to have to pay off the full amount, especially when the fees go up to £9000pa, so who pays in that instance?--

Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 17:02, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I have much sympathy for students having to pay more fees, but no sympathy for such protests. They never work. There is something undemocratic about a small group of people trying to change law and policy via stopping traffic and damaging property (often unrelated to their cause) and other such violence.--AMassiveGay (talk) 17:08, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The fact it, the recovery won't do shit. It won't solve the deficit - not without cuts anyway. We'll still be running at a loss after the recovery. Deficits since the 1980s. EddyP (talk) 17:21, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Josh, please explain why I should pay for your university education. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
(EC'd with wacky comment-erasing confusion) Why should you pay for the NHS? Why should you pay MPs expenses? Why should you pay for other people's welfare? I can't argue this point without going into socialist dogma, which I'm really not into, but I think it's fucking unfair that you have to be rich to attend university, basically meaning if you're dealt a shitty card in life you're stuck with it, unless you fancy getting into £20k+ debt to attend university. "Higher education funding is being cut by 40%", bit much don't you think? In the current climate, yes it's not pragmatic to try and make university totally free, but hiking it up that much is bang out of order. SJ Debaser 17:28, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid that the all education should be free ethos is selfish elitism. There are still many people who cannot go to university; yes SJ, those people who end up as hairdressers, roadsweepers, care assistants and toilet cleaners. The state should provide education to a certain level but after that you shouldn't expect it to be handed to you on a platter. The benefits of higher education are two-fold, they enrich, they enrich the individual and they enrich society so it is only fair that costs should be shared. OK, better qualified people may pay more tax but why should the less intellectually able subsidise the educated elite in full? I know the cry is that the government should "tax the rich" more but this would not solve all the financial problems. Ultimately it's how you tax the large number in the middle income classes rather than the minority of high earners and there are many in middle tax brackets who did not have the benefit of a university education. Also I believe that the £9K figure is likely to be for only the top tier, most will be capped at £6K.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I pay for the NHS and welfare because they are safety-nets which anyone might fall into.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
(EC with Lily)Come on Josh, you can do better than this! "Why should you pay for MPs' expenses?" - That's an non sequitur of the highest order. I should pay for the NHS because healthcare is essential, a basic human right if you will, and of course I might need to use it. You won't have to be rich to afford to go to university, you'll just have to be prepared to pay it throughout the course of your career. The "40%" cut has to be seen in the context of massive bloating of the higher education system which saw masses of people attending nonsense courses, for no purpose other than to keep them off the unemployment figures. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:46, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
You've caught me out, I'm not a debater of any kind, which is why I've got nothing new to add to this thread. University tuition should be free, even though it's not the most pragmatic approach, so a certain amount of student fees may be necessary. Having said that, students in Scotland receive grants to pay for their higher education, so I really don't see why England and Wales can't do this as well. Mickey Mouse courses such as degrees in Lady Gaga should rightfully be cut, but the 40% cut isn't just gonna be shite courses like that. Education should be an available option for those that want it, not those that were born into wealth. SJ Debaser 17:57, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
"Why should the less intellectually able subsidise the educated elite in full?" I wonder why even have a "intellectual elite" if it costs so much. Let the workers unite, bro. -- (talk) 19:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────BoN may be forgetting that most of the benefits of modern life, from indoor plumbing to cellular phone/data networks, were invented by, and are maintained by, an intellectual elite of sorts. True Yahoos do not even have stone flake tools, and don't know any better than to smear each other with their own shit. Yahoodom is free; nice things come at a cost. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:24, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

£20K+ debt? That's a joke. It's the top-flight uni's charging the £9 000 a year tuition fees and these days, at least for science degrees, those unis tend to offer 4-year Masters degrees rather than 3 year BSc. On top of that, the loans are just for tuition fees. There's student loans on top of that, and that's £5 000 a year. So do a MChem, like I'm hoping to do, and you're looking at £56 000 of debt at the end of the course (about US$90 000). That's not realistic. Even the Daily Fail is pointing out that an average student would be in their fifties before the debt was paid off, and they'd be expected to pay for their kids courses before that point as well.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I see someone rudely blanked BON's response as spam, which it was not. Sorry, sir. In my working life, I have both snaked toilets and done work requiring more schooling. If it were not for the university trained doctors who studied cholera, we would not see the need for that plumbing. If not for university-trained semiconductor physicists, nobody would be watching this wiki. There is a middle ground between "workers unite!" and "keep the masses in their place." Not much more to say have I, about this. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As a peacenik liberal I cannot help but think that any government that can still afford to be making wars/still be in Iraq and be paying more in defence than Russia, is clearly not broke enough. :/ Sen (talk) 03:10, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

While I am all for the "free education for as far as you can qualify" part of socialism (really!), you whiners might get a kick out of US tertiary education costs. They have become brutal. The cafeterias, however, are much nicer than the crap I was "fed" in the late 70s. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:47, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

On the face of it it does seem like uni education is a luxury that people should have to pay for by themselves. But if people have to pay for themselves, fewer people will go to uni. Yes, it is true that many of those people would otherwise have gone on 'nonsense' courses and ended up with degrees which don't offer anything to society. No big loss. But others will have been potential engineers or scientists, economists or doctors. Some will have been lucky and got grants from industries. Others will take the risk and get loans, and be fortunate enough to be successful and pay it off. But most will either fail to get the grants or not see loans as worth the risk (the debt can keep graduates financially crippled for many many years, no matter how clever they are). So it comes to this: poorer people who would have otherwise got illustrious careers and made fine contributions to society are not going to do so. "Tough shit - you got dealt a poor family" you might say, and that would be fair enough if we lived in an isolated country. But this is now a globalised world and we have other countries to compete with, and those countries are doing what it takes to get their populations educated. They're using taxes to subsidise the poor-yet-clever because they know the poor-yet-clever wouldn't get educated otherwise. Our economy, which has long since passed being primarily manufacturing and is now information and technology, depends on the industries that want these graduates. If those industries can't find the talent in this country they will find it abroad, and our economy will greatly suffer as a result - which affects everyone. So for the people who don't want to subsidise higher education in this country, it's now "Tough shit - you got dealt a globalised world". ONE / TALK 11:44, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

So where have we seen news coverage like this before? Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:52, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

This may speak to the basis of the "spending for what return?" mentality. Or not; I've only just started reading the copy that Frau C. happened to pick up at brick-and-mortar library. So far it gives me a big old feelgood about my notion of the damaging effect of trying to assign a single scalar monetary value to every material or immaterial "thing." Does that make it tree-hugger pron? You gonna need any help finishing all that muesli granola? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:34, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

There also needs to be a point made about comparing costs of Uni education in the UK compared to the US. For a start, yes, university costs in the US are, but not for much longer, higher than the UK, but there are much more opportunities to get different kind of scholarships and grant support in the US from private institutions and the NCAA than there is in the UK, but, more importantly, the tax burden in the UK is much, much higher than it is in the US. We pay much higher taxes in the UK and expect to see it that money paid back to us in Government services, and one of those services is free education. It's one of the reasons why the general population of the UK has never been happy with cuts, as we saw in the eighties you get the cuts but it's only the richest that get the tax reduction, everybody else actually ends up with a tax increase. And it's the same this time. There's savage cuts across the board (and don't get fooled by the promises not to cut NHS funding, the CPI-based increase they're going to get means cuts in real terms) but tax is going to increase, including that tax on the poor, VAT.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 15:45, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

The practice of charging high levels of tuition (or, indeed, using any standard of qualification other than pure competence) tends to have a negative effect on the intellectual vitality of the academy, since it is a very thin sliver of the population that is able to do a lot of academic work.
At my alma mater, the University of Minnesota, in my mother's time you paid $71 a quarter for tuition. These days you pay about $6,000 a semester (more than twice what I paid when I was there) and that is the residents' rate. Furthermore, the slumgullion dished out by the dining service there has, at my last trial of it, most definitely not improved.
I always wished that the people who were making the most noise about "the commoditization of education" would quit nattering about "transformative dialectics" and "systemic diversity" and the like, and do something useful by agitating to lower the tuition again. This was, of course, before I realized exactly what they were about. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:57, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm as much a leftie as anyone, and I'm strongly against the fee rises. But I think the protestors are idiots. Anybody who abuses such an important right as the right to protest to find cheap, excusible violence is a cretin. They're trying to recapture the subversive and counter-culture movements of the 60s and 70s, and in doing so they make the "Don't cut higher education spending" bunch look like a fringe-group of daft, angry lefties. Plus, I do think that accepting the role of authority and the state is an important part of maturity; I think that attacking the police for no reason is a really serious action: they are people too.— Unsigned, by: Dalek / talk / contribs 16:12, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
What winds me up is when pinkos and such attack the police and then, right on cue, get their shyster lawyers to start whining about "police brutality" when the police fight back. It also gets on my nerves that a large number of the people who complain about increased tuition are "daft angry lefties." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:32, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
That's a part of why no one likes you. Fuck the police. Nutty's got my back. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:33, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, but good sir. Have you taken into account the possibility of the police/evil government using personnel with civilian clothes / paid lackeys, mixed among the protestors with the purpose of inciting violence, towards the objective of villifying the protestors and make them look bad? Eh? Eh? /conspiracy theorist Sen (talk) 18:04, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I would only admit that possibility if there were some evidence of a false flag operation. The police would not go to the trouble of drumming up the crowd themselves, anyway; it is far more convenient to let the anarchists do it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:01, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

I have been attempting to respond to Lily's assertion that free education for all is "selfish elitism" for quite some time now, but I find that I cannot, not because of a lack of counterarguments but because the statement is so absurd that any attempt to refute it collapses under its own weight. There is probably something very enlightening buried in that, but I can't guess what it could be. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 16:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually she makes good points but it's just that opening sentence that is a sack of crap. ONE / TALK 16:59, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Allow me to have a crack at it. As I said above, any standard other than pure competence for allowing access to education can have drastic effects on a country's academic community, which as most people realize, also has highly negative effects for everyone in the country, who do not get the benefits of competent doctors, scientists, literary scholars, etc.
I think Lily might be objecting to the idea that people should feel "entitled" to a college education, which might lead to universities cheapening their standards so more people can get degrees no matter what their qualifications. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can tell she objects not to the idea that people with no qualifications should be entitled to a university education, but to the opposite: the idea that people with the qualifications (perhaps 'talent' would be a better word) for university are entitled to receive further education. I completely disagree with this point, as there is definitely no surplus of talented and educated people around. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 17:51, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
What prompted my speculation was her "silver platter" phrasing. There is a big difference between giving people free education in furtherance of the State interest of having a more vital academic community, and giving people free education because they are deemed to be "entitled" to it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:58, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, I agree with that: one is not entitled to free university education for the sheer hell of it, but because one has demonstrated that one can do something useful with it. I (probably mis-) interpreted it as textbook antiïntellectualism at first, and it still has some ludicrous points, such as the one about the less intellectually able subsidising the educated elite. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 18:10, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

My assertation would simply be that it is positive for a nation to have a well-educated population and that that advantage extends to those who don't receive that education, too. DalekEXTERMINATE 16:51, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes. That's why I don't complain about paying $6k in property taxes each despite not having kids in the school system. I want the other people's kids to get Darwinated educated, and well, since they will build the world I will live in in the future. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:01, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Beck at his worse[edit]

Kinda hard to fight that, eh Glenn?--Thanatos (talk) 01:11, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Is he still attempting to turn himself into a parody of himself? Scarlet A.pngpostate 22:02, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Our sort of bank?[edit]

Borrow a goat. 08:42, 11 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Add to Goat#Goat uses?
Speaking of banks and horned animals, in my hometown there was an amusing incident involving a ram and the mirror-like windows of a bank office...--ZooGuard (talk) 08:57, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Possibly an unpopular opinion...[edit]

...but a truthful one at least. I am watching Hannity interview Bush and as much as I dislike Hannity Bush isn't that bad. He's comes across humble, if not slightly slow, but not a bad person. When he speaks highly of Clinton and makes comments like "Obama has a hard enough job without me criticising him" and refuses to publicly stump for any one candidate he comes across as human. Not the demon he was made out to be. I never liked Bush as a president butI think his administration was far guiltier of the crimes than he was. He's just an odd-ball that seems as surprised as anyone else to find out he was a 2 term president. Aceword up 10:04, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Of course he comes across as a likeable chap, they always do. People wouldn't follow or vote if they didn't. The same can probably be said for many a dictator. They need at least some charisma to lead, at least initially.--AMassiveGay (talk) 11:37, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
And he still defends torture--AMassiveGay (talk) 11:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I am willing to give Dubya the benefit of a doubt, and assume he viewed torture as an awful thing, but necessary. It's the conservatives who trivialize it, or even seem off on it, that make my blood boil. MDB (talk) 11:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Bush was just a dumb figurehead, the dirty work was done by others, principally Cheney, who probably manipulated him to their own agendas. He was hardly a gung-ho president, he got away with as little work as he could.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:50, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Once he stopped being President, his more odd characteristics stopped being as important. He stopped being a problem and we all become free to view him as human - as he always was, just now in a different context. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, well, about that... I agree that we have less to laugh at now that he is no longer the chief public face of the cabal of deciders, but the problems accrued on his watch remain. I claim that makes him a continuing part of the problem.

It would be nice if we had something like a term-limit law which required legislators and executives to go into "active retirement" for a term equal to their prior service, with the task of cleaning up the messes they made. I have no doubt that suitable incentives can be found, such as daily "restrained showers" unless sufficient diligence had been displayed, and by sufficient, I mean outstanding. Think of the opportunities for further bureaucaracy, the jobs to be created. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:00, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Look at Tony Blair's income since he 'retired' in 2007. "$250,000.. his price for a 90-minute speech". He's a cunt! 16:08, 10 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
But a well paid cunt. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:11, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
A socialist? wot a jest! 16:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Clinton has made millions. Being ex-President is the best job he ever had. Also, "what the market will bear". Remember Reagan got $2M for some gig in Japan, IIRC. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:14, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
A fiddler of my acquaintance played for a thousand-dollar-a-plate dinner where Slick Willy was the keynote speaker. In the ensuing photo-op (which the band got for free; usually it is a sizable bump on his stipend) Mr. Clinton planted himself solidly between the fiddler and girl singer, leaving the bass player, guitarist, sound guy, and a politician or two off on the sides. They both snuggled right up to him. Later the fiddler told me, "he has really nice eyes." Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Bush defends torture. He's just another fuckhead defending the indefensible in the cause of 'national security.' I hope he ends up answering for his crimes in court. --Ψ GremlinHable! 09:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Please, no...[edit]

Could the UK have its own Tea party? Totnesmartin (talk) 18:00, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

A UK Tea Party would be much tamer. Attempting to kill the NHS? Political suicide. David Cameron was born in Kenya? You'd get laughed off the stage. EddyP (talk) 18:03, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, the UK can have a "Tea Party" in the same way some other countries have a "Beer Party"...--ZooGuard (talk) 18:10, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
We have tea parties most days, thank you very much. DalekEXTERMINATE 18:55, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The Tea-Party in the US is a move to the right. I don't see the same grass-roots swing in the UK. If anything there is more pressure to move to the left. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 21:42, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we have enough right-wing shrills to organise it. It'd basically be The Sun and the Daily Mail teaming up. Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. I think that in Britain we replace America's stupid-people-are-ignorant-about-politics with stupid-people-are-apathetic-about-politics. People don't make a huge thing about religion, social issues or which party they're a member of. Which leaves only the "smaller government, less taxes" element of the tea party. And tbh, the Tories are going as far as, or further than, a large majority of the population would want them to go... so it's not really an issue. I think the Tea Party in America grew up from two things:
  • The GOP's commentators, supporters and wingnuts have created this culture of fear and ignorance. The extremist Christians and right-wingers have fed the public with all of this, "OBAMA IS SOCIALIST," birther, "OBAMACARE WILL KILL OLD PEOPLE," "STIMULUS GUNNA BANKRUPT OUR KIDS" nonsense. And the right-wing politicians of the GOP simply haven't done anything to combat the lies and ignorance of their electorate. They thought it was good for them. Unfortunatley, by never quite balancing the budget or cutting back the state, while fuelling this now-large extreme group.... they've created a group who isn't so politically aligned with them as they want. And so the Tea Party comes about to actually cater for what the GOP's voters have become.
Meanwhile, the Tories' electorate has probably been catching up with the consensus abit, and trying to cater for the huge right-wing doesn't work for them. Hell, they won't even criticise European budget increases. They're also actually DOING the budget-balancing, spending-cuts, decreasing-the-state stuff, so the UK Tea Party wouldn't have much to fight about.
  • The mindset of the typical Tory and Republican is very different. The Tories are much more pragmatic and are silent about social issues such as abortion, homosexuality, etc. They just don't DO that stuff. So there isn't really much to get people WORKED UP ABOUT like there is in America. "These guys are atheists communists!!" doesn't do anything. Ed Milliband is an atheist, and he admits he is Marxist-influenced (his father was a Marxist professor). But their ratings have been going up. "Soft on abortion?" Nobody cares. We're happy with abortion, it's only a tiny fringe who want to change that. "They're ruining our country!!" America gets upset about this and starts throwing around accusations of not being patriotic. We're pretty apathetic and think, "Can't do worse than Thatcher."
Also, in May, the United Kingdom will likely be switching to the Alternative Vote (depending on a referendum). If it does, being extreme will hurt a candidate. If you have two parties who're similar (say Lib Dems + Labour, for the example) and one NUTTY ultra-libertarian arch-tory, then people voting Labour or LibDem WILL put the other as their second choice. I also think that Alternative Vote will make the "Cameron Conservatives" (who're a bit softer than the Thatcher Conservatives) become the mould - because any future lurch to the right would likely make them do much worse under AV. DalekEXTERMINATE 16:23, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Pains me to say it, but I think the AV referendum will fail. The Tories oppose it, much of Labour are against it and will join the "no" campaign, and the Lib Dems have alienated one of their key support bases by breaking a pre-election promise on tuition fees. Bondurant (talk) 09:58, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
It seems a lot less certain than it did six months ago, but I still see it succeeding. I even flirted with the idea of abstaining: I think the way that they're changing the constituencies amounts to nothing but gerrymandering, and the fact that they're putting it in the same bill which will enable the referendum... I thought about sticking two fingers up to their reforms. But, I do support AV, and will vote for it. I think that seeing Cameron against it will turn a few voters in favour of it; but my real thinking is the celebrity influence. I think that any celebrity supporting FPTP will be a stuffy Tory, while we'll get the likes of Stephen Fry coming out and strongly supporting it. Who knows? DalekEXTERMINATE 16:43, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

This is important: Server move[edit]

So it is time to start discussing the upcoming server switch. Nx and I have been working hard behind the scenes to make the transition as smooth as possible and to get the most bang out of our buck. Because of this there are a lot of exciting things that are going to be hitting all at once and I wanted to lay them out for you.

Let start with some of the benefits we are getting out of this:

  • Actual up-to-date software: Our current operating system, mediawiki, extensions and support software are now years behind (not to mention all being 32 bit). Most of it is no longer even supported anymore with bug and security fixes. With the new server we are going to be updating every piece of software used to run the wiki.
  • No more downtime for backups: Every morning at 3am server time the site goes down for an hour or so for our backups. This will no longer be needed as there is a superior backup system available from our new host.
  • Significantly increased bandwidth: Upload bandwidth was the major bottleneck during spike traffic as my internet options were limited. Our current bandwidth both up and down will go up by several orders of magnitude.
  • Commercial grade support: Risks such as the site being down a whole month because I am out of town will be eliminated. The support and infrastructure (RAID drives, power backup, fault systems, 24/7 tech support) will all be industry standard.

So in short the site will be faster, more secure and with less downtime.

But beyond the back end there are some other important changes that people should be aware of. The biggest is that we will now be shifting to the vector skin as default. The vector skin is currently being used on wikipedia and is part of their effort to increase usability and improve the aesthetic appeal of the software. We are working to include options to keep monobook if you really want to, but keep in mind that most of mediawiki's work is being put into developing vector and support for monobook won't always be there.

With all the positives there are some “cons” with the switch. The biggest is that it increases the relative cost to the RationalWiki Foundation for keeping the site up. The absolute cost shouldn't go up that much, but I have been supplementing that with $100 paying for the internet connection.

I am reviewing my finances at the moment to see what arrangements I can make to give some more money to the Foundation but we will need our users to keep stepping up during fund raising drives. I am also exploring potential external funding options but we are a ways off from that and it will likely be something the full board needs to start exploring come January.

So with all that out of the way when will the switch be made and how will it effect your RW time? I would like to aim for making the switch this weekend as traffic levels are lower and there are less potential distractions.

What will happen is that the DNS records for RW will be updated to point to the new server, and then the current server will be locked down. RW will be readable through must of the process but not be editable. We will then sync the database and file system over to the new server. Most of the technical aspects have been worked out so the hope is that once the sync takes place and everything is pointing in the right place the site will be ready to go.

At that point it should be accessible via the basic IP address and usable by everyone. Eventually the DNS records will update and you can begin accessing it from the standard URL.

From the point that the database is locked down to the site being useable via IP address can be estimated to be around 6-8 hours. Information will be posted on site with specific times, and information when it is ready. But for now discussion, concerns, and rants are welcome. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

I doff my hat to both you and Nx. Aceword up 20:19, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I don my britches to all of you. It was getting chilly. Thanks for the hard work! Nutty Rouxnever mind 20:23, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Excellent - the transfer to vector is a nice addition. ~SuperHamster Talk 20:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Trent, I think that you have done an excellent job in running RW behind the curtain, although I am unhappy that as a student you have to subsidise to some extent. I would like to see more detail in our accounts - how much money is obtained from regular subscriptions, and how much is added by fund-raising appeals - so that people can be encouraged to give more on a regular basis, especially if we have increased regular outgoings now that we are going to use commercial hosting. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 21:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
P.S. I have just rewritten my will and have included a small sum to be endowed to the RWF. Am I being too selfish in hoping that you don't get it too soon? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 21:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
There are subpages over at RWF that go over some of the financial stuff, and I will be creating a full financial report at the end of the year to present to the board of trustees and it will be available on RW. It will go over donations received/money spent this quarter, budgets for next quarter, fund raising goals, etc. And Genghis your financial support both in the past and in the future has always been greatly appreciated, but we much rather have you here! Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:08, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the difference between the vector skin and monobook? The Goonie Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 00:38, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Head over to wp:wikipedia its what they are using. Tmtoulouse (talk) 00:52, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
This is very exciting indeed. I am very glad it is getting done on the schedule we hoped for! I will use the downtime to make starnbars for Nrent and Tx. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

There are no words to describe this.[edit]

I just had a conversation with someone about religion. I cannot find any words to describe it, so here is their "philosophy": Transcendental meditation + Gospel+Rejected of all sacraments+ Jesus trained by Hindu gurus while he was in India(?)+ Christian Buddha+ No Hell+Plants have souls, as do animals+ plants can talk+ Ancient Egypt influenced by India(?) + Earth is a living creature that is intelligent and talks+ Faith Healing+ Sikhism is a sect of Christianity+ Native American woo+ Greeks were taught by Indians+ Indians(India type) discovered America+vegetarianism+geology rejection+ Astronomy rejection+ YEC = My head hurts. What do we call this? Really, this isn't just one person. It's a group. Help me, my brain is hurting. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 17:44, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like someone went to an ashram and starved himself until his brain started sputtering and running on fumes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:52, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Sounds more like someone set out to make a fake religion and failed at the former. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 17:54, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea, but here's my favourite Indy spiritualism: The theory goes that reincarnation is reals. The trick was that you could be reincarnated to either past or future, and into anything. This not only meant you had a good chance of having sex with yourself etc, but that you were, in fact, every single life that has ever existed. In other words you are Hitler, but you are also and every one of its victims. You are every rapist, but you are also and every raped victim. You eat animals, but you are also and every eaten animal. As a result you karma is actually 0 and pretty balanced since every good act you do, you have done it to yourself, and every bad act you have done to yourself. The universe being nothing more than an egg/training ground for a godlike being to be in a higher level. Sen (talk) 18:17, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I had that exact idea when I was about 8. I use it as a joke about how weird my thought processes are, though it falls flat in the light of that. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 18:35, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Have you been visiting Totnes? It's full of people like that. Totnesmartin (talk) 18:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

No, this person lives in Baton Rouge. She also believes in reincarnation as well. They get together once a year. To date, they have been kicked ouy of Vermont and California, and now meat in North Carolina, where all "disruptive electronics" are banned, and there is one phone members are allowed to use 1/2d days. They are homeopathy and Herbal supplement people, and they believe that sleeping within 6 feet of a microprocessor causes cancer and Alzheimer's. Two names that crop up often are Hope, and some Dr. Julian Whittaker(I think that is spelled correctly). Microwaves cause cancer, and they only drink distilled water. And surgery is evil wrong and never necessary. I'll try to get more info for an article. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 18:52, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
In what sense were they "kicked out" of Vermont and California? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't know, that's just what they told me. "We can't go to Vermont or California anymore" so they bought a camp in North Carolina. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 19:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Sounds awesome. I want to live in that reality. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:58, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
If they really got 'kicked out of' California, then that took some work... And as for a name, sounds like they are part of the No Woo Left Behind movement. --Ravenhull (talk) 07:55, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The Dr Whitaker referred to above can be found here. It's the same old same old. Jack Hughes (talk) 10:54, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually Dr Julian Whitaker is prominent medical woo. He's big time in the States and, apparently, all ills can be cured by vitamin supplements available from his web site. Doctors who recommend surgery are doing it to boost the pockets of big pharma, etc. I'd write an article on him but I haven't the time right now. Jack Hughes (talk) 12:53, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
That's bizarre. I know someone who goes to that. (Not Dr. Whitaker, the North Carolina thing..) One of my friends parents go there every year. This year, her grandmother contacted them through a box, and wrote on cards.. That were concealed in the box with the "psychic's" hands. For note, I'm in Michigan, and they have an actual "Church" they go to.. Quaruarcade - You can't explain that! 13:47, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Next right wing meme?[edit]

Of course, Obama has no intention of losing in 2012. As they have clearly demonstrated over the past month or so, he and his cronies will do anything – make that anything – to maintain control of the reins of power. That includes staging a phony crisis, if necessary, as a justification for declaring a state of emergency as the 2012 presidential election draws near, implementing authoritarian control of the government and, where necessary, employing violence – a trademark of the far left that all too many people fail to take seriously.
World Nut Despicable

(HT: [1])19:21, 8 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Oh, that's normal. They talk up how they're going to win big, but get all the excuses in place early to explain a loss. --Kels (talk) 19:40, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Wasn't pretty much the same thing predicted with Dubya? Though no one took that shit seriously. ...right? Vulpius (talk) 21:47, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Go back a year and see what they were saying about the mid-terms. - π 21:53, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
1. The column is called "A Voice of Sanity." I think the irony is unintentional. 2. These guys can never decide if Obama is a bumbling moron or a black antichrist. 3. It sounds really weird when I cry and laugh at the same time. Corry (talk) 21:56, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
There's nothing particularly new about this - it's just the same old shit served up in a slightly different recipe. The voices making these kind of predictions are the same voices who have accused Obama of being a communist, a fascist, an elitist, a homosexual, a Muslim, the centre of some giant conspiracy, & just maybe the AntiChrist. Yet of course it's Obama & his cronies who will do anything to maintain political influence, not the people making these wild accusations. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:45, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
This article from the New Yorker is very illuminating. Corry (talk) 23:12, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
There's a "far left" in the USA? Where? Can I join? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:06, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
That reminds me of the Popular Front of Judea.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
It's got policies slightly to the right of the UK conservative party. 02:54, 9 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Exactly. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Reading the transcript of Beck in that New Yorker article makes me definitely think of Lewis Prothero from V from Vendetta. "Do you want to know what I think? Well, you're listening to my show so I'm going to assume you do." Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:53, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone really take WorldNutDaily seriously? Besides the hopelessly psychotic and deranged (no helping them). It's like feeding your brain dog shit through the eyes. Anyone who quotes them, or they consider a "trusted source", should have the instant stigma that whatever the opinion states is insanely wrong. ~ Subsound ~ 06:05, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

New Scientist: there is evidence for psychics[edit]

Straight from the horse's mouth. Thoughts? Tetronian you're clueless 15:03, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh I saw this coming. ONE / TALK 15:24, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Seriously though, my explanation is thus: even if you do a study with a large enough sample to effectively rule out coincidence, if you do enough of those studies, eventually one of them is gonna show a statistically significant result. So I'm still sticking with coincidence - the only explanation that seems plausible. Hell, I'd even take "It's all a big conspiracy involving the scientists and journal editors" over "Magic brains what can see future things". The woo community, of course, is going to use this as forever-evidence (i'm coining that) for their bollocks. ONE / TALK 15:25, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
A 3 percent difference with 1000 samples? Isn't that about the same margin of error that pollsters expect? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 15:43, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Well something can be significantly different from chance, but still have a low effect size. Based on the data presented and the statistical tests run there is an extremely low chance of the numbers being due to randomness alone. Or another way to look at it is that if their is no effect only about 1 in a 1000 times would you see that level of difference from 50 percent if we were to run the same experiment over and over.
This all comes down to simply replication if the phenomenon can be reliably replicated in multiple independent labs then it is a good time to by a researcher in psychology. We shall see. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:48, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
However that said, this is all dependent on the statistical analysis they used. I am seeing a lot of non-parametric tests, one-sided alphas and multiple comparisons with no alpha correction. This could be the case of confirmation bias being rolled into the statistics. But I am surprised it didn't come up in review so I very well maybe wrong...still looking. Tmtoulouse (talk) 15:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I think it's certainly reasonable to defy the data on one occasion; as Trent says, it's not until we see this result corroborated that we have to re-assess our theories. Probabilistic models, such as our level of belief, can certainly take hits, just not multiple hits in succession.
Also: these damn frequentists and their p-values. If they just converted the result into a likelihood ratio everything would be much easier. Tetronian you're clueless 15:59, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The problem is when you do the effect disappears, very interesting reading about the stats here. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:01, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Another good hit from the paper I just linked (I am live blogging like Ed!) apparently Bem has authored papers on his basic approach to research and admits outright to formulating his hypotheses post-hoc. This explains so much, like why the hypothesis that only erotic pictures show precognition. That struck me as really, really weird. Turns out that the hypotheses are likely post-hoc based on the data, and the ev psych hand waving to explain the a priori reasons you might hypothesize that effect is just that...hand waving. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:08, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm only 3 pages in to the paper but it is absolutely fascinating. I found the notion of parapsychology as "the control group for science" hysterical. Plus, I think the authors are spot-on about his post-hoc methods. Tetronian you're clueless 16:20, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
And the way they formalize "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" as "if your prior is low, you need a high likelihood ratio and many trials" is very clever. Tetronian you're clueless 16:22, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
The issue that I can see immediately is what hasn't been published. From the article, the researcher says "I purposely waited until I thought there was a critical mass that wasn't a statistical fluke." This is the exact OPPOSITE of what you need to do when you're publishing statistical data, otherwise you run the risk of 'finding your hypothesis in your data' as they sometimes say. It sounds like they've done the equivalent of running an open-ended clinical trial and only stopped when they saw that people were getting better. No no no no no no no! The methodology is fine, even ingenuous, but the analysis may be quite flawed. Anyway, replication will be the key. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:25, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, I see they may have ran into an issue with the meaning of statistical significance in the comments. There's no such thing, only the odds that a result is or is not a fluke. A result may only have a 0.1% chance of being a fluke, (and even then, that's not the "threshold" people use) but this STILL means that 1 in 1000 studies that claim this level of "precision" will be wrong. And considering publication bias and a few other things, the chances of a "seemingly impossible" result that has been well publicised being amongst that 1 in 1000 that are statistically wrong is probably much higher. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:28, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I just finished running an experiment right now where we decided a head of time to run 60 subjects. I have a bunch of scripts setup to automatically analyze my data at anytime. So after a subject is run I can push a button and get instant p-values for my statistic of interest, mostly just for fun. After subject 28 we hit significant, I jokingly made the comment to a volunteer that we should just stop now. We laughed and kept running subjects till we reached our established before hand number. Take home lesson from this is that no matter how strong your methodology you can still find what you want to find. Independent replication is now a requirement as major flaws are evident in the existing study. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:30, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

So what is the RationalWiki artilce going to be called? Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:30, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

For now I've added Bem's methodology as an example on the Texas sharpshooter fallacy article. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:36, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I dropped the basics into Feeling the Future: Experimental Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Cognition and Affect. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:37, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Hey, if he can now explain it and physically machine time-reversed information channels from outside the lightcone, be my guest. But I'd wait before re-writting the encyclopedia on homo sapiens as "Powerful psionic species. Knows if the next picture will have porn in it 53% of the time" Sen (talk) 21:34, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Reading further down the comments is clarification that this isn't what he meant by that. But I am intrigued by the comment suggesting it be ran repeatedly with the "best" performers being selected each round. If predictive powers were possible, even subconsciously, and linked to some form of "talent" then the rate should go up through selection. Scarlet A.pngpostate 01:07, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Anyway, perhaps a read of the actual paper is in order rather than basing it on New Scientist. That does piss-poor write ups. Scarlet A.pngpostate 01:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

wiki help[edit]

Can someone show me how you would turn this into something that would work on a wiki? <div style="position:relative; border: solid 1px silver; height: 200px; background-image: url(http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/File:Domestic_goat_May_2006_header.jpg); background-position: right center; background-repeat: no-repeat; margin-bottom: 0.5em"> <div class="stretch_image" style="position:absolute; left:0; top:0; z-index:-1; width:100%; height:100%; -moz-user-select:none; -webkit-user-select:none; user-select:none;"> [[File:Domestic_goat_May_2006_header.jpg|href="http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki:Site_support" <div style="padding: .75em 50px .75em .75em; overflow:visible; color: #333333; font-family: helvetica, arial, monospace; font-weight:normal; text-align:left; font-size: 2.25em; line-height:1.125em; cursor: pointer; width: 60%; background-color:transparent;"> <span> Please read:<br>A personal appeal from <br> RationalWiki's founder</span> </div> ]] </div> </div> — Unsigned, by: Occasionaluse / talk / contribs 20:28, 12 November 2010 (UTC) Thanks. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:16, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

User:Nx/page_background -- Nx / talk 20:20, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Ubuntu help[edit]

I'm running a Ubuntu system box and a windows system through a KVM switch but Ubuntu only recognizes the monitor as a generic 800x600. Does anybody know how I can force the resolution to 1280x1024? Thanks. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 21:01, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

First make sure your graphics drivers are up to date, we here at LSU have been having some problems with ubuntu and nvidia graphics cards. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:03, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
If I connect the monitor directly everything is OK, but running through a KVM switch seems to confuse it. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 21:13, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
This may seem like a stupid question, but did you check the forums? TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:15, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm trying to get some work done quickly and thought I'd ask my friends at RW first. Nowadays I only use my Linux box for one specialist application so hanging around geeky forums is not something I'm used to. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 21:36, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
RW:Saloon_Bar isn't a geeky forum? But after that, I don't know, I don't dual boot. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:40, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Er, I don't dual boot. I use two PC with a single monitor and a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch. But thanks for your time. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 22:02, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
My only guess is that Ubuntu can't recognize the monitor through the switch and you might need to tell it explicitly. I think Xorg.conf can do that? Does the KVM echo the specs of whats plugged into it? Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:08, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
It's probably not sending the EDID through. If you have nvidia-settings, use that, otherwise you'll have to edit xorg.conf manually. -- Nx / talk 22:16, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
That was the info I needed, thanks guys. I'll try that. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 22:25, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Bloody adverts[edit]

One (the only?) blessing of having diminished hearing ability is the ease with which TV ads can be totally ignored. My hearing has now returned to the extent that I can hear t' telly if its pumped thru' my headphones. This is a good thing when it's the beeb but those bleedin' ads are just too much. Think I'll go back to reading subtitles. 01:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

But how else will you find out about ten different solicitor's firms?! Then what will you do if you've had an accident in the last three years that wasn't your fault? DalekEXTERMINATE 01:45, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
It was a <shout>BACTERIA!!!!</shout> one that got me. FAFUXAKE there's more bacteria in us than human cells and these stupid bastards are killin' em off all over the place! 01:53, 10 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
What annoys me is how often the ads seem to be 6dB louder than the preceding programme.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:14, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, ME ME! Can I answer this one? Ads are not 6dB louder as that is not allowed, the max dB levels are set by the broadcaster and no programme material louder than that can be broadcast. However, the soundtrack to many ads is highly compressed (technically speaking it will have been through an auto-makeup-gain compressor) so sounds that were 50% of the peaks are now 90% of the peaks. That's why they annoyingly blow your head off when they come on. Not louder, but more loud. Or something. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 10:39, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
My 6dB comment was hyperbole.  Lily Inspirate me. 14:13, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
But likely quite accurate in many cases. It's not so bad with low-grade made-for-TV fare like sitcoms or panel shows, which will be similarly compressed (Rosanne is always yelling at -0.1 dB), but things like films, especially if their dynamic range is respected, can yield quite jarring results. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:34, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Worst one is Comedy Central in the UK. I don't know how it is elsewhere, but their bumpers (or whatever they're called; the things that go between the show itself and the adverts) are *loooooooooooud*. It sounds like someone stuck a microphone into a traffic jam (it's literally traffic noise) and it is definitely louder than the show you just had to turn the TV up to hear. X Stickman (talk) 00:47, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, those are called bumpers. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:30, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Young Darwin[edit]

Oh, he had such adventures! --Kels (talk) 22:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

It's my dream to marry Kate Beaton and KC Green at the same time, then win the lottery so none of us have to work. Then I'll lie on bed all day and watch them draw cartoons. It will be marvellous. X Stickman (talk) 00:30, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Don't tell Kate Beaton that! She's probably still a bit sensitive about fans wanting to do personal things with her. --Kels (talk) 00:31, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I just want to force two people into a polygamous marriage and force them to create comics while I lie on a bed watching them. There is absolutely nothing creepy about that at all. Maybe I can get Ryan North into the marriage so he can feed me grapes as I lie there decadently. X Stickman (talk) 00:53, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Presumably you hadn't heard about this kerfuffle, then. Apparently she caught a lot of flack for saying it, which ain't cool. --Kels (talk) 03:04, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I had, but somehow didn't realise it was her. That said, my first choice for comic-spouse is and will always be KC Green. Maybe Beaton and North can come around to our house on alternating Saturdays to draw comics, if either of them have any serious objection to a polygamous art-based relationship. KC Green isn't allowed to object. X Stickman (talk) 18:59, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Just gone[edit]

14:13 12/11/10. Just saying Jack Hughes (talk) 14:29, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Haha, interesting observation. Sadly, it doesn't work where I live. Tetronian you're clueless 15:04, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Try next month. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 15:39, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Last month was more fun, IMHO. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:24, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
What a sad man you are, Human. You should get out more. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 16:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I am already looking forward to: 11:11:11 11/11/11. Sen (talk) 21:43, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Lives. You hove have none. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:52, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually for nerds, living "around" the turn of a century is so much, um, "dating" fun! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:47, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
My mom will turn 57 on 11/11/11.. Also of note, I'll turn 32 on 12/12/12.. Weee!! Quaruarcade - You can't explain that! 15:56, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

What is it about Conservatives?[edit]

Lil Phyl is younger than 28, right? So this can't be Andy... –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:26, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

This one popped up on random. Fairly RW relevant. Scarlet A.pngpostate 01:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
That site is a goldmine of lulz - definitely worth adding to your RSS list. It does make you despair at the idiocy of some people though. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 14:24, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Soros/Palin in Bed Together[edit]

I think I hear Beck's tearducts acting up.--Thanatos (talk) 20:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

*head explodes* TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:04, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
myself and soros enjoy lucrative mutual hedge fund arrangement, i fund his offices in Lagos in return he sends me monies and i offer to help him with future money interest payments. If you are interested in dealing with high quality business asociate with high experience of associations with high experienced business men like george soros then please forward your bank details and personal pin number for verification. Thisisyourchance (talk) 22:06, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't trust the bank, I keep all my money in Krugerrands in a lead coffin buried in Lake Catherine State Park. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 22:24, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
please deliver the geopolitical co ordinates of exact location of box of gold as i will secure a courier service for its prompt delivery for you to you domicile. I of course will require a commission modest in scame but ambitious in scale. Please inform upon your decision based on wide judgement. Thisisyourchance (talk) 22:26, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, what percentage commission? Also, I put a claymore on it, so if I do agree, be sure to warn the couriers. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 22:28, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Here's my details good sir. Please feel free to make any reasonable personal expenses you require. Sen (talk) 22:31, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
If anybody wants to make a quick buck I have recently been contacted by an African official who is anxious to move a large amount of untraceable money (six figures at least) out of Africa. I was unable to help him, but he seemed to be most anxious to contact someone in the west who would be able to cover a few minor costs associated with the transaction. I would be happy to pass on his details for a small finder's fee - say 10% of the proposed ultimate cash transferral up front.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:30, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I would like to take you up on that interesting offer. Before we commence payment of finders fee I will require significant downpayment totalling 60% of your annual income for fast paced transferability purposes I will commandeer command of your bank account details and relevant credit card notifications. Thisisyourchance (talk) 16:57, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Well, as I am unemployed, you may have 60% of nothing. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 17:01, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Rachel Maddow's Interview with Jon Stewart[edit]

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/rachel-maddow-interview-jon-stewart Wow, this was pretty damn amazing.Ryantherebel (talk) 17:10, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

That was very interesting. For the most part I agree with Stewart, but I think he's wrong about his show "being on the sidelines rather than in the game." He is now a part of the news cycle too, and he's going to have to accept that. Tetronian you're clueless 18:33, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so. While clearly intelligent and well-informed, he hosts a comedy show. Not a news show. Anyone who thinks they get their news from the Daily Show is as bad as me thinking I get mine from liberal talk radio. It's not the news, it's commentary. You gotta get your news from real sources. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:15, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Apologies for only responding to Tetronian's sub-point. Great interview, and thanks so much for the link! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:15, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
...and yet Stewart is the #1 most trusted news source in the US. Comedy show or not, people are influenced by his opinions about social issues and especially the validity of particular cable news sources. I agree that it's important to get your news from real sources, but a lot of people simply don't. Sadly, people do get their news from Stewart just as they get their news from Rush or whatever talking heads you have up there in NH. Tetronian you're clueless 04:34, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Rationalbeta (move to talk:main?)[edit]

Rationalbeta is now online. Head over there to test it out. -- Nx / talk 03:03, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Zomg WTB favicon, epic fail. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Whoops, I thought I fixed that. -- Nx / talk 03:17, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Ouch, that main page is fugly. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:16, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I haven't implemented this yet, but when you switch to monobook you'll get the old main page. -- Nx / talk 03:17, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Meh, I like the new main page...but I'm also the guy who loves it when Facebook revamps their layout and changes their chat modules every other day, while everyone else hates it. I like change. ~SuperHamster Talk 03:37, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I think its an improvement though there are several points I would raise, I would like to see the mission statement still up there or a prominent link. Images that show up on cover story have a white background that clashes with the grey shading at least for me. But in general I think its better balanced and easier to see and use information on it. However, I think tweaking the main page layout should wait till post-move and everything else working. Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:08, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but the current one really looks out of place in vector. I didn't really change that much in terms of content, aside from removing the mission box. It's just a different "skin" to better integrate with vector. I would like people to have a good first impression of the new look, the current main page would just look half-assed. (This is not a criticism of the current main page style, it just doesn't fit in with vector - that's why this would only apply to vector, other skin users would get the current style.) -- Nx / talk 07:55, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
WHY ARE YOU WRECKING HUMANS WIKI IT IS HORRIBLE NOW I quite like it, actually -A Stranger— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 04:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, the mission statement being gone missing is a travesty. The general look and feel, meh, I was just expressing my opinion. But the MS is a major key element, if it was all the main page was, it would be enough. Having it gone sorta misses the point of "welcome to RW" by not saying what we are. Easy to fix, anyway. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:24, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I removed the mission statements because the left side was much longer than the right (since the removal of aotw), and I felt it was less important - if anyone wants to know what RationalWiki is, they can just click the link. I can put it back of course - or how about putting it in the participate in RW box? -- Nx / talk 07:55, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I think, as I said, that the one thing that must be on the main page is the mission statement. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I think we need to review the main page a little more thoroughly anyway, although that can wait until perhaps after the shift so we have time to settle it in to the supported skin and think about it. I'd say to mess with it on RationalBeta and send it live during the switch but there's probably not much time and I don't think we'd get many eyes or much approval that way. I briefly experimented with the idea of transcluding the top WIGO stories onto the main page but it was slightly iffy. I think it's worth seriously looking into as the reasoning behind it - that most major websites these days forgo a "main" page and send you straight to the updated and recent content - is pretty sound, especially considering RW's part role as a news aggregator (WIGO). Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:08, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Let's leave the main page alone in the transition, and address updating it after we debug the move? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
We might also need to look at the WIGO headers. The curves look strange with the sharp straight edges of the vector skin. - π 13:14, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? Everybody loves the curved wigo headers! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
It looks alright here with the white on off-white colour scheme, but the high contrast between the content frame and the background creating a very obvious straight line the curve now looks a little out of place. - π 12:49, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I think that if there were only one thing on the mail page then it should be the mission statements. Id say that everything else is secondary.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:09, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
And perhaps dropping all template borders to 1px might sharpen it up to match. Scarlet A.pngpostate 22:06, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
And switching those to a standard template style as Nx suggested. Would take a couple of hours work to set it up. Scarlet A.pngpostate 22:16, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
As I said, let's wait until after the move to remake/remodel the main page. I'm sure it could use updating by now, but let's see what it looks like in vector when everything is debugged first? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:57, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
I just some momentum behind it or it will never happen. Scarlet A.pngpostate 09:40, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. A major redesign can wait, but I'd like to do my simple restyle for vector when we switch. -- Nx / talk 09:58, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, since you feel so strongly about the mission statements, I've added them back, and added the {{WIGO NAV}} to balance it out. There are two versions, the only difference is where the "we welcome contributors etc." bit is located: [2] and [3]. -- Nx / talk 18:16, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

And it's done. If you don't like the new look, you can choose monobook and get the good old curvy main page -- Nx / talk 23:26, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
(Looking at the new IP version) Can the "More Featured Content" section be its own faded top box? Can we get the curvy edges without going back to monobook - I like them but I am trying to "move along" to the vector skin here and at WP to stay up with you young punks. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:38, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, what happened to our customized buttons ("fossil record" etc.)? Will they come back after the move? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:40, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
They should be easily recreated, all we have to do is edit the appropriate system messages. --Oniontalk/edits 23:44, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I rejiggered the heading of this section to reflect what i is about to type. Should we move this discussion to talk:main page, since that's what it turned into? It will be useful there, vs. rapidly archived here. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:05, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Update: Schedule for the move[edit]

The plan is to begin the move on Sunday (Nov. 14th) at around 13:30 UTC. At that time the database for RW will be locked and the process will begin. Plan for a potential 4-5 hour time period before anything is usable, updates on any problems will most likely be given on the tech blog.

The new server should be accessible at all times from the domain rationalbeta.com. Our new IP address is and should also point to the new site. Once the move is complete I will update the nameservers for the rationalwiki domain names but they may take up to a few days to globally propagate (though usually its sooner). We will alert you on the new server when the move is complete and normal use can resume. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:59, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

have not slept. Again[edit]

OK, yet another night of no sleep. Starting to really piss me off. I suspect it is the fags that are keeping me awake at night, so yet another reason give the damn things up (as if knowing poisoning myself with each drag wasn't enough). Any one have any tips for giving up this foul habit so I concentrate on my plans of living forever?--AMassiveGay (talk) 05:51, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Are you talking about cigarettes, or some other kind of fags keeping you awake at night? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:01, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I smoked a lot over the last year or so, but quit a couple months ago and have had literally 2 smokes since. I tried and failed over the course of the last year but last time was successful due to monetary constraints and fear that as I'm only 19 if I keep at it I will never quit. For me, the more days go by, the worse (guilt and physically) you feel when you finally do succumb and have a smoke. In the meantime, do something else to keep yourself occupied. Chew gum/chew guys off, whichever works for you. SJ Debaser 11:12, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
One of the tricks to getting to sleep is boosting your melatonin production. That's the chemical your body makes to make you sleep. It turns up in the strangest places - even popcorn is a good source of it. 5HTP is another, I think. Look here --Ψ GremlinPraat! 11:28, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I should try a supplement. I should try something, years of poor sleep is sending me (more) mental. As for the fags (I of course always mean cigarettes. Its other use raises my hackles in the same I imagine the n word does with black chaps) the longest I have lasted is two weeks. I was sleeping soo much better, my skin was looking really lush, and my various exercise routines seemed to be going from strength to strength. It was a case of 'well, one cigarette won't hurt' as I was doing fine up until then. The first two days seem to be the hardest for me. That and poor stress management--AMassiveGay (talk) 14:45, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, I gave up after 10 years of smoking so these are the tips I can offer:
  • You really, really have to want to give up.
  • Patches work, kind of. They take the edge off without needing to monitor how much you're using them, unlike gum, for instance. See your doctor for the patches, you could save yourself a fortune.
  • Chewing gum. Ordinary, every day, chewing gum. Chew it whenever you get a craving. And really go for it when you're chewing. Get a good dopamine response going, and a bit of soreness and pain, because the chewing gum should end up with the consistency of concrete before you spit it out. The whole idea is to keep your brain busy with sensation during and after you've got a craving. Expect to have jaw muscles like a hyena once you've finally kicked the habit.
  • Don't drink (alcohol, obviously) whilst you're giving up, and for about 4 weeks afterwards. Nothing triggers the old roll-a-ciggie or reach-for-the-pack response than the taste of ethanol, and the fact that your judgement and inhibitions are reduced because of the alcohol really makes having a cigarette look like an ok idea.
  • Sparkling mineral water. You're going to drink a lot of this. After eating, after drinking whatever it is you normally drink during the day, or after chewing gum, drink a half-pint of this. The whole idea is that you're washing the taste of whatever out of your mouth and replacing it with a dry sensation and taste, kind of like smoking does.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:06, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
The "don't-drink" route wasn't an option for me, so I just chewed gum whenever I got an alcohol-induced craving, and still do. Whenever I'm drinking beer and chewing gum people always say to me, "SuperJosh, you sexy human, how do you chew gum and drink beer at the same time?" and I say, "it comes with the super powers, baby." SJ Debaser 16:22, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I might add that in many areas there should government and private smoking cessation groups of various kinds, for whatever social support you might want, and also probably free medical support and advice. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:29, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeh, the NHS seems to have alot of that sort of things, though social support makes me wanna smoke more. Gum sounds like good idea. I seem remember that helping on previous attempts.--AMassiveGay (talk) 16:47, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
two things. the first , lack of sleep might advise a Doctor for some lorazepam. Its an anti-anxiety drug but can help sleep. the second , stop smoking. It can be extremely hard because you are fighting a habit, and a chemical addiction. Patches can help the chemical addiction, there are some drug that may work, but you need to replace the habit of having a cigarete. Avoid candy and try gum , or a lollipop, something that takes a very long time to dissolve. Social support can help or become a huge annoyance. Putting your smoking money into something else can help by giving you something pleasurable and maybe longer lasting. My Dad smokes a carton in two weeks, and that about $70 so $140 a month. Think what you can do with that rather than burning it. Hamster (talk) 16:58, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not working at the moment, so smoking is my way of paying tax.--AMassiveGay (talk) 17:03, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeh, there's nothing like a lot of smokers saying that they want a fag to make you want to go outside and light up.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:09, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
And there's nothing like a lot of fags saying they want a smoke to make one want to slip out/in the back door... sorry couldn't resist what was almost a joke... ħumanUser talk:Human 00:39, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
"…almost a joke…" I spy a certain amount of self-generosity in that statement. 60 miles outside of Clapham, yes; almost a joke, no. Wibble--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 00:46, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Haha, you said "clap". Wibble is the user name I used at that awful amateur art site yesterday to view a badly drawn picture. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:18, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Buy The EasyWay to stop smoking by Allen Carr, and read it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:26, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
This. It's what got me to stop. It's funny how being almost hypnotised into believing that you will be happy after quitting works so well. The only thing I would add is that there is no such thing as "just one cigarette". When you quit, just stop. Never smoke a single fag again. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:22, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Y'all suck[edit]

I have to get up at 8 am on a fucking sunday because of you guys. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:39, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I will be with you, mein feueghrer! And busy making barnstars unless it's lovely out like today. Yes, we suck. But it's your dream and your vision. Let it rip! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:42, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Be thankful you don't have to milk the mice as well. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 09:35, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
How would you go about doing that? TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 13:02, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, at least you'll be able to get some sleep, it'll be 3 AM here by the time we're finished (and Monday morning my talk page will be full of people complaining about borken stuff). -- Nx / talk 13:11, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
That's dedication to the cause. Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:32, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Stupid, even for CMI this is stupid[edit]

Wavy hands and God probably just did it anyway. Just plain stupid. Aceword up 19:49, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

"perhaps the genetic information for these rather macabre features (including toxic venom) was created originally, but only switched on as part of the Curse" - So God designed the first killswitch? *rimshot* --Sid (talk) 20:01, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
That would mean God created Adam, Eve et al knowing that they'd sin. He placed the tree in the garden knowing full well they'd eat the apple. What a fucking idiot. Aceword up 20:11, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I particularly like the bit about how snakes have "diversified into numerous species over the several thousand years since the Great Flood." Creationists deny that millions of years of evolution could even cause a little speciation, yet here they are saying that thousands of years of what is obviously not evolution can produce a whole suborder of animals. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:21, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
To stupid to comment on really. Interesting that they make a comment about "new athiests" at the bottom of the article. Is the unstated assumption that "old athiests" accepted the biblical chronology?BobSpring is sprung! 21:16, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm most amused by "This is informed speculation though, because the scriptural record is silent on these matters." - So, basically they're admitting it's made up. Scarlet A.pngpostate 23:57, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
That part is more admitting their formal principle: sola mens infirma, no science allowed, no sane exegesis allowed. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:03, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
To me this reads as a way of incorporating ID into Creationism - God redesigned animals after the fall. So we have "an irreducibly complex system of long, hollow fangs". So yes, ID is just Creationism in a dirty mac.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:50, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Fox News vs. MSNBC[edit]

Okay, I don't think I'd get a lot of disagreement here regarding the statement "Fox News is a mouthpiece for the GOP, the conservative/tea party wing in particular."

I also don't think I'd get a lot of disagreement with the statement "MSNBC has essentially become the liberal alternative to Fox News." (Though I do think MSNBC has shown a lot more willingness to criticize Obama than Fox ever showed with regard to George W. Bush.)

In part, though, to make myself feel better about myself when I watch a Keith Olbermann rant, I would argue that, "most liberals at least admit MSNBC is liberally biased; conservatives, though, insist Fox News is a balanced news source." (To be fair, I do know conservatives who will say, "I watch Fox News because it agrees with my viewpoints." The conservatives I'd discuss such a topic with, though, are the more thoughtful, intelligent types.)

Is that a fair perception, or is this just my own confirmation bias?

In part, this was prompted by some MSNBC spokes-critter arguing after Olbermann's recent indefinitetwo broadcast day suspension that he was a reporter, not a commentator? Were they watching the same show I am? MDB (talk) 17:48, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

I find it hard to agree with conservatives on MSNBC vs. Fox because, for many of my conservative friends, reality is nearly as conservative as Fox. If you start from a conservative viewpoint, you're going to think that MSNBC is insanely biased.
I haven't watched enough of either to form an opinion; I don't have a TV so I get my news online. Tetronian you're clueless 18:51, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the bear's perceptions. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:55, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

why is this wikipedia so drunk??![edit]

hey Im'talking to you!! -- (talk) 19:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 19:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 19:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 19:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 19:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)-- (talk) 19:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Good question. Occasionaluse (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC) Occasionaluse (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC) Occasionaluse (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC) Occasionaluse (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC) Occasionaluse (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC) Occasionaluse (talk) 19:34, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Is it must? I want not approve on it. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:45, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

ohyeah???!! you think you are SO smart dont you!!?? look i may not be as SMART as you but I'M still not as smart as Einstein!! so what!!!! -- (talk) 19:50, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Huh, so trolls take angel dust these days? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:35, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Ever seen Sarah Palin as Olympia?[edit]

Or to put the question another way is there feaking anything that isn't on DeviantART? Scarlet A.pngpostate 00:58, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

To avoid having to sign up at DeviantART, is that Olympia from The Tales of Hoffmann? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:00, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I signed up, 'twas a waste of time. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:06, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Maybe a screenshot for those of us who don't feel like registering at another site we're not likely to use? DickTurpis (talk) 05:26, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
It's a desecration of Manet's "Olympia".. so it's a bad drawing of Palin, nude, with her spine chilling wink. Quaruarcade - You can't explain that! 06:42, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Palin Olympia.png
You're "welcome" Quaruarcade - You can't explain that! 06:46, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I thought it might have been Olympia from The Tales of Hoffmann, the joke being that she has to spiel robotic duckspeak in order to sound coherent. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:57, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
And Hillary Clinton too. Odd. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:58, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't realise it would have been behind the mature filter. Damn. Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:33, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Palin's left hand looks like it's been transplanted from an orang utan and Hillary looks like she was giving a blow job and got her jaw locked.  Lily Inspirate me. 15:57, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

She's afloat, captain![edit]

And the IP has already propagated to comcast. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:51, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

http://www.whatsmydns.net/#A/rationalwiki.org -- Nx / talk 17:54, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. Why does that look like it's everywhere "we" edit from? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:11, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
HYAR! - David Gerard (talk) 19:39, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Wa? look http://www.whatsmydns.net/#A/wikipedia.org! And http://www.whatsmydns.net/#A/Facebook.com. It would appear as though 12 of our 'crats are hosting teh entire internets!!!--cm2 20:17, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Seems to be working everywhere except for Grapevine TX, no listing of the old IP. --Oniontalk/edits 02:28, 17 November 2010 (UTC)


I suppose this is only for people with hotcat turned on, but boy have they turned ugly! IE, I hit a random page to find "Categories (++): Evaluating arguments (−) (±) (↓) (↑) (×) | Latin phrases (−) (±) (↓) (↑) (×) | (+)" at the bottom. I understand hotcat is gonna add a few characters, but now it's almost unreadable (although probably more functional?). Guess I should just turn hotcat off if I don't like it? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:06, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

(++) allows you to make more than one change at a time, so you can do multiple cats in a single edit.
(-) Remove that cat.
(±) Change cat, essentially a remove a cat and a new one in its place.
(↓) Move down the list, something you could not do before without editing the page.
(↑) Move up the list.
(×) I haven't seen this one yet.
(+) Add new category.
Not pretty, but they are all very handy. - π 03:32, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Not pretty indeed. I turned hotcat off because it was wrecking my wiki. F'ing ugly. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:17, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Proof homeopathy works[edit]

Sorry if this has been mentioned, but has anyone with pubmed access pulled apart this yet to see if there's any protocol issues? Dana is waving it around already. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 18:44, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

From the abstract: "Data from the control and treatment groups were pooled to increase statistical power." Does anyone (cough cough, Trent) know what that means? Tetronian you're clueless 18:48, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
From the abstract I assume it means they pooled the condition levels in each group, they didn't analyze each potency separately but did a "any potency" to "any non-homeopathic" test. I will look at the article later today, have a talk I have to go to now. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:21, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
The paper is...interesting. The conclusion makes some enormous leaps in logic, such as:
"Furthermore, Arsenicum album 33x, corresponding to a nominal concentration of 10–29 g As2O3/l well beyond the Avogadro limit, also stimulated duckweed growth rate. Similar findings were reported by several other well-controlled studies[28,30,31,32,33,34]. The seemingly irregular groupings of active and inactive potency levels, as well as the non- or ultramolecular effects of very high dilutions, are not only in clear discordance with a classical molecular-based sigmoid dose-response relationship[20], but are also in clear discordance with hormetic effect models[35]. The phenomena observed are not suggestive of molecular-based interactions of material nature, but might occur in the context of force-like (immaterial) resonance effects.
In other words: "even when there is literally zero Arsenicum in the sample, the duckweed still grows more than the control. Therefore, it can't be explained by materialism!" Sounds a bit suspicious to me. (Gah, I feel like Andy.) Tetronian you're clueless 19:49, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

By the way, if anyone is interested, you can download the paper free here. Tetronian you're clueless 19:40, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Wait, wait, wait "For the statistical evaluation, data from the screening experiments[14] were pooled with those of the newly performed experiments." They did a "screening test" where they tested a dozen or so different "solutions" and picked the best ones (read showed the biggest change) this is a post-hoc test you can't then just pool that data with your experiment that is a huge confound in the analysis because your shoving a post-hoc test into new data, and then using a non-post-hoc statistical analysis technique. That will drastically overstate your significance factor. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:56, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Those p-value tables look like a bloody shot gun technique with 25 statistical tests run per parameter of interest and I see no correction for multiple-comparisons mentioned, also the parameters of interest did not stay significant across the observation period. If this is "gold standard" homeopathy research they are in trouble. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:12, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
New article, anyone? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:25, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
IIRC, "pooling" data has been a trick used by homeopaths for a loooooooooonnnggg time to artificially boost the appearance of a positive effect. This same problem is also found in the major meta studies; because of pooling many of the meta studies merely state "inconclusive" rather than "this is absolute horse shite". Pooling means you run a very high risk of a false positive and you cannot pin down a specific effect. At best when you pool data you can gather sufficient evidence to say "homeopathy works, kind of". This isn't particularly good for something that claims to be medicine. When you avoid pooling data and start analysing specifics (and accept the risk of under powered studies) you find zero effect for homeopathy - whereas if it did work you'd be able to say "remedy A cures problem X while remedy B cures problem Y". We cab say this sort of thing in medicine; paracetamol is no more going to cure cancer than cisplatin will cure your headache. Basically, it adds up to them proving that homeopathy is a fairly effective placebo and nothing more. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:42, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
In this case I think it is even worse, they did a pre-experiment where they tested 10 different kinds of remedies. Then selected the three that showed the greatest effect out of those 10 to run more tests on. This in and of itself isn't a problem, but then they took their pilot data (the data pre-selected based on effect size) and just pooled it directly with the new experimental data. That is pretty egregious method. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:50, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Why is this not spotted during peer review? I presume that it has been peer-reviewed before publishing?  Lily Inspirate me. 13:36, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Not safe for anything[edit]

This is why Photoshopping should only be allowed to be done by tasteful, sober people. C®ackeЯ 05:37, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I hate you forever. Totnesmartin (talk) 11:17, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I get that a lot. Doesn't the Cardinal there look a lot like John Steward?17:10, 16 November 2010 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
A facebook login page? Astounding. --I'm bored (talk) 21:09, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Can haz meerrer plz? (talk) 02:14, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
......because if you put photoshopping in the hands of a drunken creep, you'll get the horrors of a facebook login page Francis.gif It is indeed horrific. Oniontalk/edits 02:23, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Do Churches attract odd people to preach in there?[edit]

Well, I spotted this in WIGO:World, (along with Ted Haggard and other priests in the child sexual abuse scandal) so I would like to ask has anyone have a hypothesis regarding whether church attract odd people to preach in there or it actually changes people like that? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 06:08, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I think it's more of a trying to be hyper-normal thing than anything else. What's supposed to be more normal than a pastor? (talk) 06:29, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Though their daughters are always screwed up. At a boy scout thing on child sexual abuse, all the usual culprits where mentioned... except priests. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 12:12, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

It's entirely selective reporting. I don't think there are any more homosexuals in the priesthood than anywhere else, we just hear about it more often because it's "not expected". Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:28, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

It's difficult to comment because I don't think a lot of research has been done on the subject. Obviously cases like in the WIGO attract attention because it's not expected and indeed in many cases frowned upon because so many churches actively preach against homosexuality. So I don't see gays being "attracted" to ministry because of the difficulties it might pose. However, if people are religious and feel some conflict between their faith and their sexuality they might see ministry as a way of trying to effect a "cure" by getting closer or being more committed to God. It may be cliché but many religious people have had trouble reconciling their sexuality with their faith (gay or straight) and chastise themselves either mentally or corporally because of it.  Lily Inspirate me. 15:50, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
The closeted population has in the past been attracted to the Catholic priesthood because it is quite a handy excuse not to marry. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 01:01, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
LX is exactly correct. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:11, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Libertarians and the Confederacy[edit]

What's with all the libertarians (small-l) who are fans of the Confederate States of America?

I can understand them being interested in the secession points, but they seem to ignore the REASON why they seceded - it wasn't over states' rights, really, it was over tariffs on cotton - grown by Black slaves. (I know it was slightly more complicated than that, but the Cornerstone speech by the Confederate Vice-President says as much.) Is it just being completely ignorant of the history of the South? And, as for states' rights, I seem to remember the South was very adamant that the Fugitive Slave Laws be applied to the Northern states, which didn't want them...

Anyway, what's with all the Lost Cause of the South bullshit among libertarians? I'm genuinely confused.

Haha, oops, forgot to sign (talk) 06:29, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

ok let's try this again... I just woke up and my brain is foggy, I forgot I wasn't logged in ... the brains you have in the sysops here... Ozznova (talk) 06:31, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

A lot of small-l libertarians live in the South, where in most private and public schools you are told empathetically that slavery was not the reason the war started. I've been to too many balls, conferences, and meetings with slimy old codgers and vile old biddies who take joy in describing the patriotism of their ancestor who fought in the "War of Northern Aggression". I had an ancestor who fought for the confederacy, but I don't care, and at the mandatory genelogical meeting thing, I learned his actual rank: private in artillery. There are statues of Civil War Generals everywhere, we name schools after them. The fact that the central government was a weak as they come is just icing on the nasty cake. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 12:08, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I brought home a whole box of books from the dump today, apparently someone cleaned out their library of books on American History from the early days through about WWI, with heavy emphasis on 1820-1920 or so. I'll be back to report in three weeks when I've read them all... ħumanUser talk:Human 04:09, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Rerouting internal links[edit]

I wrote a script to make my bot reroute internal links around redirects, like this, en masse. Is this too authoritarian? Blue (is useful) 06:44, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Please read wp:WP:NOTBROKEN -- Nx / talk 11:16, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Nx/WP. + See my previous comments about this here. Links should go to the most appropriate page, regardless of whether it's a redirect. E.g. if you mention the book Atlas Shrugged in an article, link to it. Right now it's a redirect to Ayn Rand, but perhaps one day we might decide it should be a separate article, and then it will be ideal if relevant links from articles which mention the book rather than the author go to that article. Taking out all redirect links would be massively counter-productive without actually achieving anything. Broken redirects are an occasional problem which only comes up if people don't bother checking for them when they move a page (which they should). But if you want to make your bot do something useful, maybe you could work on a script to check for broken redirects & fix them, rather than "fixing" a bunch of links which aren't actually broken. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:34, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Er - okay then. I don't really see how that would apply so broadly, but consider the idea consigned to the dust heap of history. Blue (pester) 18:46, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


Forum:Deletion templates revamp -- Nx / talk 10:41, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Let's wreck this place[edit]

Trent, get your backup for transfer now, I'm itching to wreck this joint before we leave it... so many old memories of similar destruction... just say when, and we can haz 8-10 hours of mayhem? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:49, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

The better time for that is when we officially switch to the new server. This one will still be up and there is no risk. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:50, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and in case you haven't noticed, people are still editing. --Oniontalk/edits 02:57, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I need to put a picture of a dick on each tab at the top of the page. How do I do that? Also, when do I get to delete Saloon Bar and WIGO:CP? — Unsigned, by: Nutty Roux / talk / contribs 03:34, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Onion, onion, onion... people are missing the opportunity! Trent, please email me when this IP version is done with, I have a few things I'd like to do (set fire to your apartment, mostly). Don't bother to add that to your copious to-do list! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:38, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Nutty, you should use {{topicon:[[file:francis.gif]]}}. Is there really going to be a time when we can do whatever we want? If so, with my robot army, I shall be unstoppable. Blue (is useful) 03:49, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Quit making "useful" edits and beg Trent to back the site up now, so we can wreck its entails for 12 hours. You have no idea how much fun this can be! ħumanUser talk:Human 04:04, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Wait, wait, wait, lemme get this straight: Trent transfers RW to a new server and then we just get to screw around for a few hours before he kicks on the new version? Sounds fun. Tetronian you're clueless 04:38, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
We are doing this by the book nx and I have a plan outlined for the transfer and a set time that we are both going to be online and working and have a cleared schedule. I want this to go smoothly cause I have got a lecture to prep for still! So no the site is staying live on this server for another 8 hours or so. Once it is clear that the new server is stable and ready to go and everything transferred I will switch the magic switch that will point rationalwiki domain to that server. That will leave plenty of time to wreck this place. Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
(EC)Sorta, yeah. But right now, every piece of crap we post here will go to the new wiki. I am asking him to do the backup for transfer NOW so this place will be redundant so we can have some fun. Let's face it, it's not high on his priority list, snd for good reason. Great idea, wrong time? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:50, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Trent, just let us know when! Excellent work both of you, and I hope it goes well! ħumanUser talk:Human 04:50, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

So when is the apocalypse going to happen? Tonight or tomorrow morning? I don't want to sleep through the fun. --Oniontalk/edits 04:57, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Transfer starts in about 8 and a half hours. From there it will likely be a few hours till it is safe to uh explore alternative RW collaborations. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:02, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
We're not wrecking anything while rationalwiki.org still points here. This isn't just your playground Human. The goal of our plan is to minimize the downtime for the site and at least keep it readable while we move. To wreck it now would make that pointless. -- Nx / talk 07:03, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but after... Blue (pester) 07:09, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
We'll need the old IP address, after we're sure the new one is well-propagated. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:52, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
So long as you don't accidentally sync the databases of the wrecked version and the new server... Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:31, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The move is already complete. Problem is, we're still propagating our new host to the DNS servers, rationalwiki.org still points to the old server on my connection. --Oniontalk/edits 20:43, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Right, we'll have to wait about three days to be sure it has soaked into every pore of the internet. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:07, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
The old site seems to have been deleted. --Oniontalk/edits 02:26, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh bugger. I guess we'll just have to wreck this one instead. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Its still there. Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:40, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Link? WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:24, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

here Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

The database, she be locked! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 21:56, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Aye, make human plan a party with a set date and time. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)


What's this "ninja" user status? Why was i made one? Totnesmartin (talk) 18:44, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Well, when I woke this morning I found I look awesome in black, can crawl upon my ceiling and speak 日本語もっと、もっと凄い! --Ψ GremlinSermā! 18:49, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
You skulk around in black and assassinate people? MDB (talk) 18:49, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
you can bot yourself when making repetitive changes, so some of the more productive Sysyops don't flood RC with stubcats. Go to RWW and look up the mass conscription for why you are now a ninja. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 18:50, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
I can do that anyway, I have a bot account. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:10, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Wait...what? Did you just call me productive? Totnesmartin (talk) 20:57, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
7490 edits, 2014 of them in mainspace. Therefore, using "mainspace" edits as productive, and all others as not, you are about twice as useful as Mei was. Counting all edits as productive, you are 3 Meis(Mei is the unit of usefullness to rational wiki) whether of not those edits were productive or not, however remains to be seen. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:08, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, my math was wrong. You have made ~5XMei mainspace edits. Youd drop to ~3Mei when all other spaces are accounted for. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 21:14, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
but half of those are just me correcting my typos. I am therefore only 2.5 mei. or 1.5 in all spaces. (drinks sprite) Totnesmartin (talk) 22:08, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Now you've got it. 1 Mei = the amount of edits made by Mei using her Mei II account. It varys from namespace to namespace. For example it is over a thousand for user talk, but in the 400s for mainspace itself. Mei space is invalid for thread and recipe spaces, as she didn't make edits there. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 22:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

I think using the "Mei" as the unit of usefulness on RW is full of win, and I will bring it up at the next Board meeting. I think it should be enshrined in our corporate documents. PS, does anyone else miss Mei? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

What about millihumans? Another essential measure of edits. I wanna be a ninja. :( DalekEXTERMINATE 05:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Could I actually get the ninja thing? I'd like to go on a bit of a spree in my userspace, as it's time I got to actually -correctly- use all the tables and boxes and stuff of wikicode. If it is reserved for the more trusted users, fine, I just don't want to be a massive RC clogger. DalekEXTERMINATE 17:02, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
A 'Mei is defined as 2706 edits(anyspace). A "MainMei" = 429 mainspace edits. A "TempMei" = 61 template edits, a "MeiFun" is 14 Funspace edits, a MeiForum is 54 Forum edits. see this for definitions for other spaces. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 02:47, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Use of pictures[edit]

Does the use of pictures on this post remind you of Ken? A tad crappy, I thought. The rhetorical title (Is Ubuntu running off a cliff?) is also a bit reminiscent. 19:25, 15 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Greg Laden's blog is quite uneven. There are things like the African chronicles (incl. the missionary stuff; a general "must read"), and then there 's stuff like this post.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:30, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Lacking in machismo. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:47, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Re his criticisms, the nerds I have asked on the matter generally agree that moving away from X is a good idea, not an insane one. Although I've jumped ship on Ubuntu for other reasons. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 20:55, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
What you runnin' now, PH? 21:04, 15 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Debian, since it's basically the same thing without the mysterious grudge Ubuntu developed. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 21:56, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
I'ze googlin' it. 22:01, 15 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I should point out that the grudge was, as best I can tell, against me personally. Educated educated Phantom Hoover! 16:26, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Laden's not going to find succour with Fedora. Wayland is actually developed by Red Hat. See those names saying "Wayland on Fedora, a good idea"? Those guys are all lead Xorg developers. They know precisely how X sucks in intimate detail. They know what they're doing and why they're doing it.
I am slightly worried by old video cards falling off the edge of the world ... but that's been a perennial problem in X for a while now, no matter what distro, as the Xorg devs valiantly try to drag a mouldering codebase into at least, say, early 2000. No wonder they're sick of that shit - David Gerard (talk) 11:15, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

I know, I know - I'm a fucking shill for CMI[edit]

But there is again so much fucking wrongness here. Three big highlights though:
1. Dark energy is not a hypothetical entity used to support big bang cosmology. It is only invoked to describe the growing expansion of the universe. Creationists would either have to deny this expansion or come up with a different name for the same thing which leads me to the next point...
2. This new "Carmeli’s Cosmology" creationists blather on about invokes dark energy also, it just calls it "Effective Matter Density" instead of dark energy. Carmeli predicts a big bang, inflation and dark energy but creationists like it because they can twist it to suit a 6 day creation.
3. Inflation theory does not have an unknown cause or starting point and it is in fact a very well understood property of quantum mechanics. Admittedly the "graceful exit" of inflation is a bit more tricky but at least cosmologists will admit that.
All in all, Harnett is either lying or grossly ignorant of what he is speaking about. I'd lean to the former. Aceword up 20:12, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Classic example of Upton Sinclair's Law. Tetronian you're clueless 20:26, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
isn't Hartnett the 'real' scientist with published peer reviewed work on crystals and timing systems ? he goes wonky with cosmology though Hamster (talk) 04:58, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Solve the US Deficit[edit]

Interesting NY Times toy here. It gives you a number of options to decide how you would eliminate the US deficit both in the short- and long-term. Well worth playing with. It also makes you wonder what's so hard about it. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 09:59, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Saying something like "cut farm subsidies" is easy, but those subsidies go to many states with very active farmer's lobbies. Plus, there's Iowa: always the start of presidential hopes, where candidates must bend the knee and kiss the ring of King Corn and Lady Soybean and pledge their fealty. And that's just one single provision.
The facts are pretty plain: people want more government services than they are willing to pay for. They alternately punish Democrats for making them pay and Republicans for cutting those services.--ADtalkModerator 11:08, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
There is no "get re-elected" box. But I guess that it wouldn't be necessary. BobSpring is sprung! 15:48, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Dammit, there is so little that needs to be done. Yet we all know most of them won't get implemented. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 16:01, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
I got us into a $100b surplus easily for 2015, but 2030 was harder. Still $345b in the hole. Where is my "tax all income for Social Security not just the first $100k" option??? ħumanUser talk:Human 04:42, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh gee, VAT fixes everything. Nice toy, thanks, SR! ħumanUser talk:Human 04:44, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I post a couple of these the other day on blog talk. The one that really intrigued me is the idea of just cutting nearly everything and you can do it with no new taxes. - π 11:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
The interesting thing to realise is that as long as you have AT LEAST 33% tax rises and AT LEAST 33% spending cuts, it's relatively very easy to do it without massive social consequences, compared to doing it all by tax increases or spending cuts. The Republicans simply aren't fiscal conservatives if they want tax cuts right now. To cut taxes when the deficit is so horrendous would be stupid. While I don't like them, I think the British Conservatives are taking the actual right-wing approach to fixing a deficit, not the "Blame libruls" approach. DalekEXTERMINATE 04:00, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Student Protests[edit]

A pretty good article IMO. EddyP (talk) 15:22, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

We sent 14 buses down to London. Where did they find the time? The one person I know who went got six hours sleep in three days. The march, by the way was called 'Demolition'. Funny that didn't get more play. Now they're planning a walkout tomorrow, I think. Well, they can walk out of lectures if they want to,but they could just not come in that morning. Broccoli (talk) 23:23, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
A few people from my class went, and apparently there was a high Oxbridge turnout. And someone from Anglia Ruskin got arrested for throwing a fire extinguisher from the roof of the Milibank Building. Gotta love the neighbours. EddyP (talk) 08:55, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Dumbest thing ever said on security[edit]

Three guesses who thinks people should carry guns on planes to make it safer.--Thanatos (talk) 20:06, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I never play videos by televangelists. (talk) 20:35, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
Only needed one guess. Tetronian you're clueless 00:58, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Seeing as how bullets can be detrimental to the integrity of the pressurized cabin regardless of who sets them in motion, I think that we're better off without everybody carrying a largely defensive weapon of gun. Corry (talk) 02:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Maybe if everybody on the plane has two guns, any holes that compromise the plane's structure can be quickly blocked by another bullet. Hell, if everyone just fires a constant stream of bullets through the holes, everything will be fine. That's just science. X Stickman (talk) 03:10, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Bullet holes do not make airplanes fall out of the sky. You may now continue with your regularly scheduled circle jerk. (talk) 03:18, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Bullet holes do not make airplanes fall out of the sky, the airplanes are fine. Loss of conciousness of the squishy bits inside because of the low pressure and freezing does. Also see 1, 2, 3. Yes, if you simply quickly descent into a lower altitude it is preventable, but for some reason there seems to be lots of cases where people didn't manage to do so. And that's without bureocrasy and panic to deal with as well. Sen (talk) 07:36, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

(EC) Explosive decompression is unlikely, but:
  • depressurizing the cabin has other consequences (the pilots would either need to put the plane into a steep descent, or hope that the terrorists would be neutralized before the passengers run out of oxygen)
  • the bullets can hit someone else: a shoot-out in a densely populated area == bad idea. Especially if that "someone else" is a pilot
  • the bullets can hit something else necessary for the normal operation of the plane, such as a fuel tank, an engine or a hydraulics line.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:43, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
That is why the Air Marshalls used to use Glaser, or frangible rounds, they are stopped by thing such as seats and the like. Now days they just use full metal jacket though. TyrannisAn iron, yet caring fist 12:06, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
In such an event, the innocent bystanding squishy bits have my sympathy. Thanks for your serious expansion of the issue. Even a fun target such as Mr. Beck deserves a careful aim. (talk) 14:26, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Fucking bollocks[edit]

Back at the hotel and the porter tells me that the residents' bar is closed, and the only person who can get me a drink is away for 2 hours on an errand, after the only decent pub in this shitty town closed at 11:30, (I then tried the other pub that I had been told to avoid only to find it was already closed), phoned round as many takeaway places as I could find only to discover that they're all fucking closed or don't deliver (I wasn't even wanting liver!). So here I am, a bit pissed but wanting another drink, hungry, with nothing to entertain me other than a cup of tea, an unsecured BTopenzone wifi connectionanyone got any good airsnooping shit I can run on Ubuntu and half a pack of Regal. I hate working up here in the fucking office..... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 00:44, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Should have planned ahead - that's what good drinkers do. Aceword up 00:49, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
And yet it could be worse, it could be an empty pack of Regal. Now I'm off to pick the last bits of meat of the carcass of pheasant I had earlier on…(If there's any other way I could give you a kicking tonight please, let me know). Mwahahaha--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 00:53, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
You're right Ace; but I deliberately don't plan ahead as if I did I'd be up all night boozing and not be able to get to work. When I'm actually doing my job it's not a problem, but when I'm surrounded by office whallers who've never done a day's graft in their fucking lives they smell the booze and I'm in trouble. (and when I'm on a job there's plenty of places to catch a cheeky kip, but in the office there's nowhere to hide.) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 00:58, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Not sure whether I should stick the headphones on and listen to banging tunes or just go to bed......? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:00, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I would listen to banging tunes as I go to bed - then you can wake up with that banging tune still going on in your head. It's kinda of fun to wake up that way. Anyway, I liked your reference to Weird Al. ~SuperHamster Talk 01:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
What kind of banging tunes? Aceword up 02:47, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Just back from the office (via the pub), I did in the end listen to banging tunes - late 90s/early 00s dance music to be precise - then went to bed. I have indeed woken up with headphones on before, but not this time! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 17:04, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

This paper, oh random deity, this paper[edit]

I have been gnawing on this same damn paper for literally years I am so sick of it. It is the detailed nitty gritty theoretical paper that presents the model that serves as a base for all my work. It just won't get out the door, between my supervisor taking months to during feedback cycles to my own lack of motivation. I have come to despise this paper. I have written it up as conference abstracts multiple times, it has manifested itself into posters and power point slides. I am so sick of it I don't want to do it anymore. But if it doesn't get out the door like now I might as well just go home and apply for that job at Taco Bell I have wanted since I was 5. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:54, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

If it helps with the motivation any, I promise to come over and read your name tag at your Taco Bell, and address you patronisingly by name while ordering. I'll also promise to send my food back several times. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:15, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and I'll bring TK. It can be our first date. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:17, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Pfff! If you don't get your paper out then you won't be able to get a job at Taco Bell. Those guys want commitment. Nope, it'll be Papa John's Fried Chicken Gristle Shack&#153; for you.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 17:27, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
That Taco Bell was always right there. It was built 3 blocks away from my mothers house when I was 4 years old. I remember telling my mom, while watching it being built, that when I was older I could get a job there cause I could just walk to it. Then I grew older and the jobs came but they were all programing and modeling and research jobs. Good pay and fun work for a 14 year old, but I would walk by that Taco Bell every day and think of it as simpler life, a place to escape too. I start plotting out efficiency techniques to maximize profit margins. The double decker taco was my favorite because there were so many ingredients. It was a great puzzle, the cheap ingredients made great filler and should be maximized but the expensive ingredients were key to customer satisfaction. I knew there had to be some optimality function to take into account the percentage of cheap vs. expensive ingredients, customer satisfactions, price tolerance, repeat business and ultimately profitability. This project is actually what introduced me to calculus and the practical applications of partial differential equations.
The last time my high school sent out a notice asking for a report of "where are you now" to put in their alumni fund raising propaganda I told them managing a taco bell. It made it in. Ah Taco Bell....wait I am suppose to be working on this paper. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:43, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Sounds a lot like this. Tetronian you're clueless 20:34, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Iteration 5 fucking hundred completed now to wait on my supervisor. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:39, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

And to think that at 14 I was analyzing which positions the four colored-logo sandwich wrap papers should be in to minimize employee traffic jams. I never realized it was actually an abstractable math problem, I just thought it made sense. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:24, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
@Trent: Is this your thesis, or just some preparatory work? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:36, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Both actually, most schools these days do whats called a "sandwich thesis" where you can take papers you have published in peer review journals and use them as the chapters for your thesis, and then sandwich them between introduction and conclusions. So at the moment I am trying to get all my thesis work divided into 3-4 papers since that serves to get my CV in shape while at the same time getting thesis chapters written. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I had no such luck when I did mine; not only did I have to re-write all my papers for inclusion, but I was in a tremendous hurry to finish it before my advisor lit out on sabbatical. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:04, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

It burns! It burns![edit]

If you can manage to sit through this entire video, I applaud you. Tetronian you're clueless 17:29, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Boring. --I'm bored (talk) 21:15, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Hitchens v Dembski[edit]

Debate webcast Thursday, November 18, 8:30 a.m. CT. Should be interesting. (hat tip PZ) 19:43, 17 November 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Wikipedia's donation appeals[edit]

Thought you might enjoy this little stats analysis, in the latest entry on this blog. ONE / TALK 14:30, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Interesting, but it seems your experiment is lacking controls. DickTurpis (talk) 17:21, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Whatever that webpage is, it certainly isn't "stats." It doesn't really tell you anything except that people click on huge banners. Tetronian you're clueless 17:59, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of wikipedia-style mongering, I wanted to do something similar, but Nx/Vector broke the wiki, so I can't figure it out. Anyway, I'd like a banner like this:
Domestic goat May 2006 header.jpg
With the "Please read: A personal message from RationalWiki's founder". Occasionaluse (talk) 18:39, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
But you're not actually RationalWiki's founder, are you. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:51, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I was going to write the heartfelt message from Trent's perspective...or the goat's. Either way. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:52, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Th unsure.gif & What would such a message from Trent's perspective or the goat's say? WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:59, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Probably just this. Where did you think I was going with this? Occasionaluse (talk) 19:29, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

"As I look back over the years we have shared, the milk I have given, and the horns we have butted, surely now would be a good time to ensure my future compatibility. Give generously to The RationalWiki Foundation Inc. - the Hawaii conference is underfunded." ħumanUser talk:Human 03:29, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

That's fucking perfect. Next time we have a donation drive, I'm going to beg Nx to help make this happen. Occasionaluse (talk) 05:01, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

By the way, has anybody else notice that the current appeal can't be made to go away? It has a little "X" in the upper right hand corner, but it is still part of the link for the whole thing, to the appeal. Is this bug only affecting me? It's really irritating... Oh, nevermind, I think it's just mapped poorly, there is a pixel or two that makes it go bye bye. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:36, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Please have a good answer[edit]

Computer just crashed with a 1000+ word new article ready to be submitted, in the editting window. ANY chance it is lurking on my computer somewhere? Using ubuntu and firefox. DalekEXTERMINATE 20:03, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Shot in the dark that might not work, but did you ever preview? Occasionaluse (talk) 20:06, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes!! I'll look for that. Thanks! DalekEXTERMINATE 20:07, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
Firefox saves the content of the edit box and should be able to restore it after a crash, use history -> recently closed tabs or whatever. -- Nx / talk 20:28, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I know it's too late, but never type a thousand words without hitting "save" a half dozen times somewhere. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:19, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Fortunatley got it back, but yeah.. learnt my lesson, that was stupid. If I'm doing really long ones, I'll do it in Open Office or just submit every 5-10 minutes. DalekEXTERMINATE 03:55, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
For some reason there is only one way to learn about backups and that's the hard way. Jack Hughes (talk) 09:45, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
As a computer type, I'm one of those people who's always telling people to backup and make sure they have the right anti-virus and stuff. I don't DO anything of that stuff, though. Sigh. DalekEXTERMINATE 09:49, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I hear you brother. I think the best way to write wiki articles is as sub-page off your userpage, save them regularly (this also lets you check the formatting), then move the page to the article when done. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 10:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
PS. Does this mean that Ken is the most conscientious wiki editor ever? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 10:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
That's it! He uses "save" as a "preview" button - after he types each character, he middle-clicks on "save", opening the altered file in a new tab, and continues in his edit window until the new tab looks like what he wants. This saves him the effort of clicking "save" after his final preview, and also eliminates the risk of losing any of his precious bodily fluids typing to computer glitches. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:43, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Requests for comments, notices, etc....[edit]

Just a quick thought I had and was wondering if you guys have ever thought about it: Have you ever thought of having a RationalWiki:Notices page, which could be linked on community under the forum... people could simply add a new section, the section header generally being an article. It'd be good for comments, discussion, etc. For example, let's say I want to split an article, merge two articles, remove a large part of an article...that kind of thing, I could just put a quick notice, linking to the talk page. Then people who don't have time to follow Recent Changes could simply jump to the notice page, and see what discussions are going on. If you're also stuck in a debate on how to proceed with an article, it could be listed there for comments.

If there's a consensus for this, I'm happy to go ahead and create the page, and make a couple of appropriate templates. A bot could then archieve it. Any thoughts? DalekEXTERMINATE 01:20, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Sounds more complicated than how things work already. Some people use their watchlist to track things they care about. Also, if a major change is being contemplated, one can always pop onto the other editors of a page's talk pages (WP has kinda automated that?) and invite them to the conversation. Then again, this idea might be the best thing since precut cheese! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Had a think about it, and I think the benefits would be as follows:
  • If somebody wants to make big changes to an article, then the standard etiquette would be to post on the talk page, and if nobody objects, go ahead. If somebody IS going to object, it's better if they object early - i.e. Before the big changes happen, so it can be discussed. Such a Notice Board would help.
  • If somebody REALLY feels that two or three editors have agreed on something on a talk page but it really misrepresents a consensus and it'd be good to get more opinions; then they'll look less bitchy and the process will be much smoother with a polite note on the Notice Board than if they go around asking for backup.
  • Ultimately, if people are made aware of discussions about articles/policy/disagreements, I think that improves the wiki. I also think (as discussed above) it allows disputes to be discussed BEFORE edits more easily. It can also help improve the wiki in another way - if somebody makes a new article or greatly improves another article, they can post this on the Notice Board, asking people to comment on how the page can be better. People commenting can then also rate the article, and if there's a consensus, we can put the appropriate brain on it.

I'm imagining it would keep them for seven days, then they're be archieved. This is a sample: User:Dalek/Notices DalekEXTERMINATE 03:46, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Your sample looks good, this is an idea I think is good enough to be tested. It would be a great feature if it can be maintained. --Oniontalk/edits 04:15, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I think using the intercom would be quite effective for such purposes - it's a site-wide noticeboard that already exists. Might just need a new "category" of post type? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:41, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
PS, let me show you how... ħumanUser talk:Human 05:41, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
You have to be a bureaucrat to send intercom messages, if I recall correctly... Blue (is useful) 05:44, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
No you don't. Just the "urgent" category. Cripes, do I have to log in one of my fifty active socks to test this? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:46, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
But I've been here all along! Blue (is useful) 05:48, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Wow, intercom is good. I'd accept either the intercom-use or my approach, but if such a system were actually used properly, perhaps a few times a day, it might be better to have it on a page rather than using the intercom... which might end up with dozens of backposts? I dunno. If it seems minor, people will use it. If it seems like a big deal (sending out the intercom message), people might not use it. DalekEXTERMINATE 05:52, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
"The action you have requested is limited to users in the group: Autoconfirmed users." That's the limit on the intercom. Dalek, "several times a day"? Let's wait until that's a problem before we worry about it. I think you are trying to solve a problem we don't have yet?ħumanUser talk:Human 05:55, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I make joke that I am one of your socks, that is all. Blue (is useful) 06:07, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Who's sock am I, again? DalekEXTERMINATE 06:16, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
This week you are mine. Next week I hand you off to human. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:19, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Please don't hand me to Human. He... makes me do things. DalekEXTERMINATE 06:22, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

There's already an article discussion section at the forum, which I guess could be used for thrashing out ideas about major overhauls of articles.

That said, I don't much like the idea of it, or this suggested notices page, for the reason that all discussions of changes to article content really should take place on the talk page of the relevant article - because that's the page anyone with an interest in the article (e.g. editors who wrote the previous content) will be watching. Putting discussions about rewrites elsewhere sets a bad precedent & could well have the opposite effect to what you're looking for: people with a strong interest in the article might be completely unaware that a rewrite has been planned until it goes ahead, because it's been agreed by a clique of editors at some other location from the article itself.

There are plenty of ways of highlighting discussion of an article (posting in the forum, saloon bar, chalkboard, intercom) but the discussion itself should stay with the article. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:02, 18 November 2010 (UTC)