RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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Do we really need to reproduce clickbaity headlines here?[edit]

The article bigs posted, "Who's more compassionate, democrats or republicans?" Is a hell of a clickbait headline, that refuses to actually answer the question it presents in the body, though it takes a stab at it at the end, alleging that trump supporters aren't.

In addition to my dislike of us using clickbait headlines, I have other problems with the article in question. She links to "my research", in the summary, but her CV actually only has one paper published in a political science journal, and then she's only the second author. And that paper barely touches on compassion at all. It's measured twice on really quite old data that reflects a modern electorate in no way.

Her dissertation does a little better, but it also becomes clear, skimming it, that her MO is the equate anti-abortion rhetoric about "innocent babies" to compassion, which really really represents most of the extent of her data's backing the presence of compassion existing in republicans. To me, that's always been the thinnest veneer that immediately transitions to the far more conservative political debate of "defending" from "attackers".

Oh man, I don't even know what I'm complaining about. It's fine. There's not that much wrong, other than her hanging way too broad a conclusion on her dissertation. It's a blog post. By the original author. It's fine and I'm being a pedant. But the clickbait headline sucks, bigs. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:09, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Isn't that why they aren't in the "world" section? I do feel for you, though. They should be in the "clogosphere" section. Tyrian (talk) 20:51, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
I just like to pretend we're cool and have smart, skeptical editorial standards here. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:59, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Honestly, yeah. I wish we had stricter quality control, but sadly, people get pissy if you ask them to prove their own point, or demand proof that's of a decent quality, or aren't fooled by logical fallacies. Tyrian (talk) 21:35, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

We need clickbaity headlines here now. Here's why[edit]

  1. 9 out of 10 clickbaity headlines are clicked annually by more people per year than 1000 kW.
  2. Clickbaity headlines are becoming surprisingly popular in China.
  3. The Silver Age of clickbait - what does it mean?
  4. What does this signature say about pictures of baby animals? 2.122.180.163 (talk) 23:22, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them.[edit]

Shouldn't really come as a surprise, and yet people still remain deeply invested in the Zuckerberg ecosphere. https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/29/facebook-project-atlas/


Delete your facebook account, you really don't need it. Cardinal Chang (talk) 15:14, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Atlantic blog post on school shooting shits on ADHD out of nowhere[edit]

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/active-shooter-drills-erika-christakis/580426/

I think for the most part, it has a point, but there's one paragraph that completely goes into the ADHD and medications trope, and it's the worst thing in this otherwise good read. Made me stop reading for a bit.

Similarly, we expect children to match adults’ capacity to hurry or to be still for long periods of time; when they fail, we are likely to punish or medicate them. Examples abound: an epidemic of preschool expulsions, the reduction in school recess, the extraordinary pathologizing of childhood’s natural rhythms. ADHD diagnoses, which have spiked in recent years, are much more common among children who narrowly make the age cutoff for their grade than among children born just a week or so later, who must start kindergarten the following year and thus end up being the oldest in their class; this raises the question of whether we are labeling as disordered children who are merely acting their age. The same question might be asked of newer diagnoses such as sluggish cognitive tempo and sensory processing disorder. These trends are all of a piece; we’re expecting schoolchildren to act like small adults.

No... NO! This trivialization of ADHD is pure bullshit and came completely from left field. ADHD isn't just "kids being kids" and it isn't a means of "extraordinary pathologizing children's natural rhythms", (nice word choice in "extraordinary"; ADHD is a real mental disorder that entails in children truly struggling in school (with poorer grades than expected, not paying attention, not understanding directions, poor emotional control) and in turn leads to actual real life problems such as causing or aggravating anxiety problems, impeded social life, aggravating depression or suicidal thoughts, and so on; ADHD is often compounded with other disorders. What gets more on my nerves is this point is made on top of the pity-appealing moralizing about how hard kids have it and how dare we try to to medicate and "correct" them. The reality is that medication for people with ADHD are often a life-saver, and they level the playing field, as they are at a huge disadvantage. We have more ADHD diagnoses not because we try to "pathologize" children behavior but we have more awareness of a disorder that has been documented well over a century ago. This whole thing is like arguing that the existence of migraines are just "pathologizing headaches", imagine how ridiculous and short-sighted that sounds.

The Atlantic, keep your ADHD denialist shit out of this as well as your uncalled for attack on psychiatry in an article about psychology. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:54, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

ADHD is absolutely real. I was diagnosed when I was a child, and even in adulthood I still have some issue with the symptoms. However, the exact thing they describe is also bad. The fact that being less physically and mentally mature than your classmates is deemed a mental illness is a serious red flag for misdiagnosis happening. Type I and type II errors are both bad. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 23:01, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
On a broad scale, I believe there's no case of overdiagnosis of ADHD. The problem is that public perception and media reporting that ADHD is overdiagnosed is common, and there's the issue of underdiagnosis in other places. The Atlantic is feeding to this one-sided perception when it talks about it, and if it doesn't use the denialist trope of "ADHD is just pathologizing normal behavior", it comes dangerously close to it. There are problems with how ADHD is diagnosed; it's a clinical diagnosis after all, and it has fuzzy edges. There are better ways to discuss about how to deal with the fuzzy edges; there are huge downsides to both those Type I and II errors, but how The Atlantic treats it is irresponsible, by presenting it the same way as the deniers and the media does it, by exaggerating this "epidemic" of misdiagnosis and overlooking some of the more complicated parts of clinical diagnoses. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:22, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
That's a fair thing to believe, but I'm not sure there's a valid way to scope the epidemiology. I wish there was. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 23:26, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
Mmm, I'm seeing enough links in the scholarly field to suggest that there is some concern that ADHD is being over-diagnosed for certain populace / characteristics at this point. This doesn't dismiss ADHD as a real phenomenon, nor necessarily dismiss the equal possibility that ADHD might be *under-diagnosed* for certain populace at the same time. In particular there seems to be a concern that ADHD is over-diagnosed in boys and also over-diagnosed among the age pattern described in the Atlantic, but equally there is concern about ADHD being under-diagnosed in girls. As far as medication is concerned, the general pattern I'm getting is that there is some justified concern over the lack of physician time in evaluating ADHD thoroughly, and also there is concern over an overemphasis on medication over behavioral theory (the best case treatments involve some combination). So I have no problems with the Atlantic paragraph in one regard, however it is not the complete perspective of concerns in the field and IMHO is too tangential to the topic of active-shooter drills to justify inclusion.Soundwave106 (talk) 13:50, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

Is someone getting this confused with Clogs?[edit]

Recently we've seen a bizarre article about "A Secular Case Against the Notion that Death is the End of all Experience" (which seems to be a mix of misunderstanding metaphors and tilting at a solipsistic strawman) and a rant about abortion leading to Nazi eugenics. It's offputting enough that I have ended my decade-long period of simply lurking on this site to comment on it.

Did someone post these here by mistake? — Unsigned, by: Mecharonin / talk / contribs

Maybe. It might have been snarkier if it was intended for the clogs. Sometimes people post bad blog WIGOs, no biggie. RoninMacbeth (talk) 07:15, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
I've been the one tending to the blog WIGO section recently, so they weren't put there by mistake @Mecharonin @RoninMacbeth. Palaeonictis Fossil beds 15:36, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

God's Not Dead take on Planned Parenthood[edit]

Are they still doing it under the team behind God is Not Dead 3? God is Not Dead 3 actually treats atheists much more fairly than in the first two. So does this make the punch at the WIGO text accurate? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:45, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

@LeftyGreenMario I got the WIGO text directly from the linked article's opening paragraph. I trust the source, so I left that text in. Cheers, Cosmikdebris (talk) 19:48, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
"Gods not dead, gods not dead" I continue to insist as I shrink and transform into a atheist professor. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Neoliberal pundits might be dumb[edit]

But if you see the way the wind is blowing, and don't realize that the institutional resistance to Bernie is profound and widespread, and see in that wind we're likely to end up with another candidate with the nearly unique ability to lose to trump, I don't get you. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:22, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Polls showing me hope that I'm wrong right now. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:47, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

McSweeney's Internet Tendency[edit]

@Fastzander Re: the Thanos satire. McSweeney's is a great site. What's not to love about articles with titles like "God Has Heard Your Thoughts and Prayers and He Thinks They Are Fucking Bullshit"? They make nice books, too, and are a very good literary source worth a look or two. Cosmikdebris (talk) 03:33, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

That Off Guardian article is complete rubbish[edit]

Like, it apparently cares about facts and figures, yet it doesn't quite to read the links it trots out. NASA's links show "an average" fire season, but you see that some areas are getting more fires on average while others aren't. But that science20 link says the opposite of what the article claims, that if you factor data prior to May, then the season is a record burning one. It gets some things right such as the misleading "lungs of the planet" claim but I think it seriously downplays the burning and also ignores the context of Bolsonaro's regime. Oh, and the word choice for the WIGO entry is crap too. It's one thing to try to get facts straight and then word it to your ability, but there's another thing if the entry misleads me into thinking Bolsonaro isn't actually trying to do anything to damage/destroy the rainforest. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:20, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

There are two problems with that simple average by NASA: it is average for the whole Amazon rainforest, not just Brazil's part of it, and secondly the 15 year period has two huge outliers: 2004 and 2005. If you get only Brazil's data, you can see even though 2019 is "slightly below average", it is still on track to be the third worst year in that period. 2004 and 2005 were so horrible that they push the average way up. 201.95.57.200 (talk) 20:44, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
That's very good to know. But even if you don't factor the burning, even if the burning isn't as bad as in 2005 and 2006, there's still Bolsonaro who actually threatens the rainforest. While it's bad we have a tendency to not care for things until there are legitimate threats (like voters who sat out during the election) and we should probably should devote more effort in protecting the environment rather than let fire in our pants motivate us, that distracts from Bolsonaro's nakedly aggressive plans on the rainforest and its people, unlike previous leaders' attitudes, which tries to capitalize on that apparent complacency.
Anyway, I think that has been the most downvoted entry I've ever seen at my stay in RationalWiki. Impressive. Should we comment out or show off that trainwreck? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:27, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Let's put it this way: OffGuardian is a known "fake news" / Russian troll amplifier site, and the Ann Coulter-esque style writing of this article frames things exactly how you would expect. (I love how this supposed Catte Black reporter represents itself using an image of Marla Singer, from the movie Roger Ebert correctly predicted would be worshiped for the wrong reasons, "Fight Club". 20th Century Fox should sue.). This is not the worst year of Amazon fires, sure -- because compared to the slash and burn era of the 1990s that led to the initial efforts to stop deforestation, of course the stats will look better. It's still way in the wrong direction, coupled by a Trump-esque leader who doesn't understand why clearing the forests slash and burn style for agriculture is a pretty stupid way to go. This is really a clogosphere article, not a blogosphere article. Soundwave106 (talk) 13:05, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Their self description is of people who have been kicked out of the Guardian comment sections. Even I haven't been kicked myself, though I despise vegans, sobriety campaigns, and all else that stinks of Moral Endeavor. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 22:56, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Little known[edit]

Cummings has been a known cunt for years AMassiveGay (talk) 20:07, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

About that paper on religiosity and empathy[edit]

Turns out it was a coding error, and that completely whacked out the results. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:02, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

I don't remember this paper, did it fall off the WIGO already? ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:54, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
I commented it out. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:37, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

My recent addition regarding economic freedom[edit]

This was the article I added which was reverted. I didn't see an edit reason, so why is it not considered suitable for WIGO Blogosphere? Colossal Squid (talk) 04:05, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Considering the author is a red link account, it's probably a libertarian edgelord who thinks socialism is teh evolz! Reversed that edit. Tuxer (talk) 19:29, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Decolonizing games[edit]

To all of those who downvoted, how many of you actually watched the video rather than compulsively clicking the downvote button because it hurt your cishet heteronormative WASP special snowflake sensibilities? Oxyaena Harass 21:33, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

While no doubt the majority of the downvotes come from alt-reich snowflakes, the presentation could be better. Something like "A [ link a video ] analysing how non-white cultures and civilizations as barbaric savages or magical monsters in video games". Tuxer (talk) 13:16, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Man these are some petty bastards. Oxyaena Harass 13:30, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Personally, I've always considered it poor form to make an argument by sharing a YouTube video without context. I'll downvote a link just for that. AcidTrial (talk) 13:59, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
In agreement here (although I wouldn't go so far as to downvote it). I don't mean to sound like Carl of Swindon here, but I've been told some variety of "Instead of responding to you, here's a Youtube video link I copy-pasted. Watch this," way too many times over the years. It's to the point where I've kind of stopped caring about orphaned links to talky internet videos (unless it's by a videographer I already know).
At least with written articles and posts, I can read the first and last paragraphs or skim the text for the main points of the piece to get a feel for the overarching arguments, and then decide if I'd like to do a more in-depth read. That's not as possible with audiovisual media like videos or podcasts, which require more attention and time commitment. As for this, I'll give it a watch later. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 15:33, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
I added a more detailed description btw. Oxyaena Harass 15:36, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
I saw, thanks for that. I'd mentioned I'd give it a watch later. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 15:46, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
The chuds keep coming. Oxyaena Harass 17:16, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
My down vote is because I downvote things that I think are bad - like longwinded boring videos with no context. I consider your whining as an adequate reward for a correct decision. Aloysius the Gaul 19:52, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
You realize I corrected that error, right? Are you always this big of a prick, or no? Oxyaena Harass 03:40, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
It's nothing specific to this link: YouTube videos seem to get far more negative votes than anything else here, almost regardless of content. Maybe this is an indication that people don't want to watch YouTube videos or see them listed here. Maybe RW needs another, more obscure WIGO for YouTubes so that most people can forget it exists. --Annanoon (talk) 17:59, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Good post! I'll admit, it sounded like more generic identitarian whingeing to me. Another person who probably identifies as some flavor of leftist, out there making enemies because of that weird drive to impose moralistic drama on other people's entertainments. But if the link were to text, I would at least have allowed them to state their case. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 20:06, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Yes, because it's not like "entertainment" wasn't political already. (cough Watchmen cough) Oxyaena Harass 21:33, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Furthermore, you didn't even watch the video, wherein he says that "this is not a criticism of people who like these specific types of games." Oxyaena Harass 16:21, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

Web link hygiene[edit]

Apparently the frequently encountered issue of paywalled links came up again in an article from Haaretz. I was able to read it by opening it in a private window, which removes all cookies set by the site after the site is closed and gets around the "You have two free articles remaining" issue in most cases. Some sites attempt to detect whether you are reading in a private window and try to object. In most cases, including New York Times links, this can be dealt with by turning Javascript off. In Firefox I use a simple addon called QuickJava to do this. I think it a good idea for links to carry reminders if they are to these sorts of damaged websites. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 05:46, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Should we have a template for this like we do with the country flags, telling users how to read the article?—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 05:55, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
That strikes me as a good idea, but the details might vary depending on the user's browser. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 17:38, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

On the RawStory "reporting" of brain damage and religious fundamentalism[edit]

Facepalm

Really!? We're now posting sensationalized crap from RawStory on a study from 2017 that found a (potentially spurious) correlation from a sample of 119 male brain-damaged patients from Vietnam War veterans (which I couldn't determine if it's a randomized sample)? As well as a completely tasteless picture of Michelle Bachmann, who, as far as I've checked, isn't a male brain-damaged Vietnam War veteran. This is far from a representative sample. Even in that sample, there's relatively limited applicability as noted in the study:

Cognitive flexibility and openness are by no means the sole predictors of religious fundamentalism. We found that PFC lesions along with cognitive flexibility and openness explain less than 20% of the variation in fundamentalism scores. Therefore, these factors are only a few out of a number of other factors that play a role in modulating adherence of religious beliefs. Other key factors contributing to the formation of fundamentalist beliefs can range from genetic predispositions related to cognition to a host of peer and other social influences.

In other words, while there's some damage to areas that govern flexibility and openness to other beliefs that can contribute to fundamentalist beliefs, it explains only a minority portion of the variance.
Finally, can we just not post stuff from RawStory? They're purveyors of sensationalized garbage. It's not the first time I had to despin its content and I always groan a lot inside whenever someone who should know better shares a story from it. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:09, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Point taken, I will nuke the entry now. Cosmikdebris (talk) 00:16, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. We do need to learn more about the sources especially from news that seems outrageous and plays into your biases. RawStory's intention is to provoke your emotions against the right-wing rather than use more reasonable criticism. We should smell rat from the shocking headlines as well, think about the intentions of the headline and article; it'll help a bit when dealing with news. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 05:07, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

The Marxist won the debate hands down[edit]

Krugman's a sellout, and mainstream economics is a cult anyways. Centrist calls for "moderation" and "sensibility" don't cut it anymore, people want change, and they've been consistently sold out time and time again on that front. Krugman seemed middling, and wasn't really able to respond to any of Professor Wolff's comments in a satisfactory manner. Oxyaena Harass 14:24, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Yes, Paul made poor articulation and his seeming shock at being considered centrist was annoying as well desapointing for someone so well educated. The most interesting portion was that both Wolff and Krugman agreed that Medicare For All would be an uphill battle, which tragically is very likely considering it was the Dem who killed Obamacare's public option. Tuxer (talk) 17:51, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Shameless[edit]

"So utterly shameless!" "Yes," Oxyaena, a god amongst men, responded. Oxyaena Harass 17:56, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Biden and me-tooery[edit]

Do the people promoting these allegations have any sense of proportion? Any capacity for strategic thinking? Any thought for the consequences of what they're doing? What do they imagine they can achieve by dredging up thirty year old allegations of vague sexual misconduct by Joe Biden? Other than handing more ammo to the Trump campaign? No, he wasn't my first choice either, but that ship has sailed. Replacing him as the Democratic candidate is simply impossible at this point. And if elderly Black church ladies saw something in him, I figure they know what they're facing better than I do.

Me-tooery was a terrible idea from the get-go. It always did trample on the presumption of innocence. Attempting to shield accusers and their stories from skeptical scrutiny is one of those things that fails every time. I remember the 1980s too well to 'believe the victims.' I know where that bullshit leads.

Then again, the goddamn prissiness of 'feminism' has always been a problem. For an alleged left-wing cause, it's always had a disconcerting number of right-wing fellow travellers. And this frankly looks like another. If this is what 'feminism' is today, then fuck feminism. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 16:56, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

There is already a debate about this on the Joe Biden article talk page if you want to make yourself heard there.-Flandres (talk) 17:13, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
Troll Oxyaena Harass 18:11, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
I was following you until you turned it into a short-sighted rant against Me Too and feminism (with air quotes) and now you lost me. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:39, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
This site seems to have an unhealthy reverence for almost anything labeled FeminismTM. How bad does it have to be for Betsy DeVos, Madame Fractal Wrongness herself, to have been the one to restore some semblance of fairness to Title IX; Joe Biden is fine with due process for himself, just not men on college campuses. Just because something claims the mantle of feminism doesn't mean it can't have serious excesses that end up causing horrible problems. And what would by this site's definition be unquestioned FeministsTM have pointed this out; Nancy Gertner, Jeannie Suk Gersen, and Janet Halley have all written at length about serious problems with this in great detail, can provide links as necessary. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:06, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
Every cause, even the worthy ones, have their idiots. I think concern for the environment, for instance, is generally a good thing, despite the often laughable shenanigans of PETA. Feminism is the same way, but I'm not sure how Reade really relates to those that are extremist feminist to the point of idiocy (other than perhaps the automatic believer crowd). As far as "strategy", I honestly doubt at this point the Reade story, no matter how truthful or not it is, will move the voting intentions at all. Partisianship, mostly negative partisianship, is too strong. Politically, it's just fodder for Fox News to babble about in between telling their audience to go outside and catch COVID-19. Soundwave106 (talk) 22:13, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
Often times, people complain about how far-off the mark "modern feminism" mesh in right with anti-feminists so it's really hard to distinguish between people lamenting about actual loons like TERFs or those stereotypical tumblr types that don't like the term "history" ("HIS story"?) and people that just don't like intersectional feminism for whatever reason. It's not unique to feminism, it's like lamenting about how anti-racists are on the deep end because there are people that complain about "picnic" as a phrase. So I don't follow any criticism that makes such a broad sweep over a very broad movement. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 01:38, 8 May 2020 (UTC)
Well that's part of the problem right there. I use scare quotes because 'feminism' is so protean that at times it seems impossible to pin down. It's a body of tropes and metaphors that can be used to castigate whatever any particular woman wants to castigate. It's way too invested in cultural criticism, in ways that come close to attempts to police other people's inner lives. The other day I was reading a piece pouring all sorts of 'feminist' grief over the film Pretty Woman, which struck me as killing a butterfly with a cruise missile. There is this weird drive to insert politicized drama where it isn't welcome. Then there's the whole project of intruding law and bureaucracy into people's sex lives, which are probably going to be messy and usually without the advice of counsel (TY Jeannie Suk); I remember when it used to be about 'liberation', and this seems the opposite. I am all for the right to choice and equal pay. That ain't enough for contemporary 'feminism'. And I don't know what is. And as for PETA, I do thank the anti-abortion nuts for making me immune to animal rights. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 03:32, 8 May 2020 (UTC)
Feminism *should be* the advocacy of equality of the sexes. Feminism tends to fly off the rails when people advocate things other than core equality of the sexes subjects under the "feminism" guise. Nothing to me illustrates this better than the ongoing war between "sex positive feminists" and "anti pornography feminists" - although there are some definitely some issues on this subject that touch into equality of the sexes, the core of this issue really is sexual morality, which is why the essence of this "battle" ends up looking more like the old church lady traditionalism vs. free spirit hippies trope then anything else. Cultural tropes to me are semi-tangential as well. On the one hand, yeah there are some sexist tropes. On the other hand, *most* tropes, not just the sexist ones, are pretty fucking stupid stereotypes at their core. I would rather promote fiction that rises beyond stupid tropes than wallow in bad fiction that overuses them. (I have not seen "Pretty Woman" so I don't know which category it is in.)
(I'll also be fair here, "Men's Rights Advocates" are equally poor if not more so in choosing their battles, with too many of those on this side using the MRA banner to advocate misogynist apologism. And yeah, MRA's are also overfocused on cultural tropes these days, as all the RottenTomatoes movie review bombing has shown.) Soundwave106 (talk) 13:56, 8 May 2020 (UTC)
feminism probably isn't helped by not having a clear and unambiguous goal that all can agree on, with clear indicators for success. all could agree on wanting the vote. women can now vote, job done. equal pay, glass ceilings probs has a lot of concensus, but progress is more incremental. sex positivity vs anti porn? not gonna touch that one. no stoopid wimmin messing up my porn, thanks.
MRAs have it even worse, never having a clear generation defining goal to begin with. the freedom to say 'get back in the kitchen, sugar tits', and their hilly billy sexist attitudes are always correct and they never have consider or amend any of their views or behaviour ever, maybe. their problems are best fixed with counselling to cope with women being more than pets they can fuck and that the world has moved on. they appear to me very similar to incels to me, only these ones appear to have managed to breed. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:29, 8 May 2020 (UTC)
FWIW, Pretty Woman is a romantic comedy - i.e. the women's genre. Films like these become hit by finding an audience of women, and this was definitely a hit. (Got dragged to it by a date in the early 1990s.) It had Julia Roberts - made her a star - and Richard Gere. Roberts plays a 'hooker with a heart of gold' who gets picked up by a rich guy. As a depiction of the realities of prostitution (or is it all 'sex-work' now?) it ain't much. She has no pimp, no air of desperation. The film is entirely fantasy, made and tailored for women, and fulfils the mostly female fantasy of being swept off your feet by a rich guy who caters to your every whim. To the extent there is anything political about it, it showed an admirable class consciousness: the most memorable scene is when she goes shopping at some ritzy shops with his credit card, and gets looked on by snooty clerks who tell her point blank she doesn't belong there.

In other words, some women of the chattering classes, miseducated enough to learn the cant, are taking a dump on other women's escapist fiction. I don't have a dog in that fight. There is always that unpleasant class dynamic about 'feminism', though. And if you wonder why so many women don't identify with the label, I suspect this is a small part of the reason why. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 17:08, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

how badly is britain really doing with covid? i remain in non the wiser[edit]

highest number of deaths in Europe, Britain clearly not doing. but how much worse is Britain really? deaths per million and spain and italy are have a higher rate, Belgium of all places has the highest rate of all by long way. the 100 days later article in the wigo, is damning, but doesnt really say how much worse we are or better other countries have been. telling us that germany done so much better, doesn't really tell us anything. they have done so much better everyone in Europe.

the linked article does not in fact, tell us anything. it gives no concrete reasons for britains relative failure just that we cannot pin them on differences in demographics, population densities, and the like. the reasons that are given are amount to a slower of response, poor planning, arrogance. not saying thats not correct, but it gives no more depth than that. it doesn't tell us how much slower we than others. doesn't tell us where what we were doing or were not doing compared to others. it stresses 'arrogance' and we should have learned from others. probably should have learned from others like china, spain, and italy, but again learn what? we locked down on the march 23. france in march 17. germany march 22. thats only 6 days longer france to get going, only 1 day longer than germany. all before the death rate exploded.

its more than just when the lockdowns started. germany was already working on getting a test in late jan so they had a start on everyone there, and we know testing has been key to controlling the pandemic. Britain has been struggling to even get tests, an adequate testing regime pretty difficult without them. france has struggled. it seems its only germany that hasn't struggled. britains had problems with ppe and ventilators but so has everywhere. just how much worse is Britain doing? why is so much worse? who is it worse than?

theres nothing in the article. no dates, or figures, no real comparisons, nothing that would be enlightening. its very keen to let us know that Britain is not doing well. thanks for that. tell me something I dont know. condemnation is great and all, im not asking for Britain to get big slap on the back. I would like to find more than just the condemnation, seeing as the varying death rates are an unreliable measure, and I am finding it very difficult to find just where it Britain has gone so wrong, what it is we are doing, haven't done or is doing that has made all the difference.

I very much suspect that one decision early on, put us back a few days compared to the rest of Europe. just few days. exasperating all the organisational differences and their resilience to disruptions in supply chains. im finding difficult to more comprehensive comparisons between countries to get a better picture, just death rates that are not a reliable measure, or comparing Britain to a variety of countries that are doing well but not really applicable or just germany.

its disappointingly frustrating to just find more articles like this one, that just say should be doing better, should be doing this. its pretty clear by now what should have been or should be doing. what I want to know is could we or can we and at what point it became harder to do?AMassiveGay (talk) 15:27, 17 May 2020 (UTC)

The War in Ukraine[edit]

Just read the article you guys posted here.

I just can´t believe that fucking non-sensical, imperialistic war between Ukraine and Russia is still on. Nor I can´t believe things are suddenly quiet over there just because the media doesn´t cover anything related to it. Plus I´m sure the coronavirus has changed something, as it usually does.

Gotta wonder how things are doing there...

I´M BACK TO THE BACK Blaze_Zero85.58.203.69 (talk) 16:47, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

The Eastern Ukrainians are of Russian ethnicity, the situation is extremely complicated, much moreso than "Ukraine good, Russia bad." Oxyaena Harass 17:51, 19 May 2020 (UTC)
I can imagine. ::Personally, I knew of a Ukranian (western or eastern idk, I think the latter) who has turned quite aggresively nationalistic after Russia invaded Ukraine back then in 2014.

Understandable? Absolutely. Desirable? No way.

It's like many other wars in history I believe: the Russian and Ukranian used the ethinic nationalism of either side for their own interests. Last time the Putin was the one who took advantage of the chaos but I believe Ukraine would have the same if their leadership was irredentistic enough and saw a chance.
Both sides go to war for revenge, they go for adventure or they go for a wage. Both countries want to dominate the other side, both support and have fascists inside their armies.
There was supposed to be a treaty in October last year between Ukraine, Russia and the small states which came from that time, all of these are supposed to join the Ukranian states with special priviledges after a voting.
But I can't believe Putin will be happy with just that. And honestly, I don't think Ukraine and it's supporters are either.
I wonder how he'd feel like if he read this. Probably, he wouldn't believe it. The war propaganda machine works wonders.

Blaze_Zero85.58.203.69 (talk) 10:22, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

The Buzzfeed article is why I just blandly post "Twitter" when people share viral Twitter videos[edit]

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/hoax-misleading-claims-george-floyd-protests

Particularly this one. Please understand. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 04:51, 8 June 2020 (UTC)

A Bit Rich of Thailand to Make Fun of the US[edit]

Considering they have a lese majeste law that makes it illegal to even insult the princes pet dog, describe a dress designed by the princess as "ugly" , failing to "criticize or take action on" personal Facebook messages, and of course, that case where a blind woman was arrested after her text-to-speech program read out something critical of the monarchy. — Unsigned, by: Mecharonin / talk / contribs

The difference is that, thankfully, the United States has a solid enough governance structure to (by and large) prevent an authoritarian wannabe and constant freedom of speech / freedom of press attacker like Donald Trump from doing *too* much harm. (Though corrupt US cops attacked plenty of journalists recently, so all is not hunky dory here, for sure.) Soundwave106 (talk) 00:57, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
(I'll add a note that the "Thai Enquirer" appears to be a small online only news media source; given the little information out there about this news source (it's not listed as notable English oriented Thai news that I see) and the repeated names who author many of their stories, I'd treat it as citizen journalism quality level until I see more information. Take that for what it's worth.) Soundwave106 (talk) 13:10, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
a late response i know, but highlighting thailands democratic and governance shortcomings because an article rips into the us by just describing the place in the fashion it would be described if it were just an other country, ie one not so full of it own importance, is just a little bit lacking a sense of humour, thailand may very well have a less than free press, and its politics is not the most stable or democratic, but it also doesnt tout itself as the land of free, or present itself as the gold standard of democracy, where all are equal under the law, where all are free to live how they like, to worship who they want, love who they want, where a billionaire is no better or worse than a poor street sweeper, and the only limits on your dreams is how hard you work to make them come true. nor does thailand beat you over the head its constitution to reinforce how super free and equal and full of rights america is while doing its darnedest to make sure every other country is as chock full of freedom and democracy and we should god bless america, even if the america that it sells to the world is all lies and hypocrisy which everyone went along with because the us is rich and its military powerful.
its a piece of satire, but i guess the schadenfreude of the piece is difficult to appreciate when its your own misfortune that inspires it, but probably well deserved.
the uk has been the target similar of ribbings from places we once thought we were better than though to be fair, i would hope we are better than amin. AMassiveGay (talk) 11:53, 5 July 2020 (UTC)

Great Video[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usb2FEfzfRM — Unsigned, by: 2001:8003:59db:4100:a066:e6f2:5d13:2368 / talk / contribs

Why should we watch this from The Rageholic? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:20, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
I don't care if he said it or someone else, the points he makes in this video are correct — Unsigned, by: 2001:8003:59db:4100:9941:a408:87e9:bf1c / talk / contribs

An Oldie but a Goldie[edit]

Enjoy :D — Unsigned, by: 2001:8003:59db:4100:a860:1230:c731:caea / talk / contribs

That free speech moralizing in Wigo Blogs..[edit]

...... Thanks, I hate it. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:17, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

JK Rowling on this list too? Give me a break. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:19, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
This sort of thing is unfortunately common nowadays...-Flandres (talk) 22:59, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Eh. The letter really was about internet mob mentality. Whether you agree or disagree, mobs often are counter-productive at best (generally, Internet mobs rally around the flag using emotional appeals with demagoguery and preaching to the choir -- who's that going to convert to the cause?) and a dumpster fire at worst (both when it gets violent ala Gamergate, or worse when the mob is completely wrong -- mob mentality can be relatively easy to manipulate, just ask a troll, or fuck ask Rod Serling in 1960Wikipedia). Mob mentalities have always been around, but social media has massively upped the speed of the mob, thanks to Silicon Valley's fine manipulative techniques (likes/retweets/etc., prioritization of what gets clicked, etc.)
Most of the people on that article were long-form editorial column writers, academics, and a smorgasbord of other highbrow types (most probably didn't have large amounts of IT experience either), so it's easy to see why they made the argument the way they did... but they IMHO did take the wrong angle. Personally I see the trend towards angry social media mobs as a "flaw-by-design" of the Silicon Valley big social media company. As seen here at Rationalwiki, the most page edits tend to happen during times of drama and intense anger. "Engagement" is what the Silicon Valley folks are looking for (so as to drive maximum profit). Why not have a system that encourages drama and intense anger? That's sure one way to get there. Soundwave106 (talk) 23:51, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Those are good points. Social media is all about presenting a highly curated version of yourself, seeking applause along every step. So it exaggerates moralism along with other social problems, and encourages extremism as another game in the Can You Top This games it generates. And because social media is corporate space and run for money, this moralism encourages people to join campaigns to run perceived enemies out of town on the several platforms. It doesn't help that corporate culture invented the term 'human resources', the latest version of elite propriety in the service of money and power. And the forums are subject to the whims of sponsors, who have no particular desire to be associated with 'controversy' or even a pro forma commitment to free speech. And this has alwways been one of the weapons of wounded propriety: you go after the sponsors, and the media may just bend. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 02:29, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
If nothing else, the absolutely ridiculous reactions to said letter only further prove its point. I'm impressed at how much people believe in free speech right until it hurts their delicate little feelz. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:55, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
This isn't an issue of free speech or "delicate little feelz". This letter a signature solicitor and has unsavory figures like JK Rowling and Bari Weiss that undermine this things' points. As if JK Rowling's viewpoints are up for debate. They are not. They concern basic human decency and not spreading dangerous lies about people. These kinds of pretentious "let's not get angry and let's encourage a free market of ideas" are always just a bunch of talk and always seem to crop up in reaction to assholes getting ratio'd on Twitter. Whatever message is has on mob mentality is lost once they got in a bunch of people with varying degrees of authority and validity to sign this useless toothless call for "toning it down". Spare me your "delicate little feelz", this has TERF shit smeared all over it; as if people shouldn't be angry over it and just suck it up to legitimately vile remarks on Twitter (for the record I do not endorse death threats for anyone nor do I endorse any sort of gendered insult nor do I encourage people to just "suck it up" because THAT is is also a problem yet people like JK Rowling has actual power over what they say). In fact this letter is precisely by people who can't take it and have considerable position to take it and has a bit of serif to its text. If you're going to say that people's reactions to TERFs and their bile on Twitter is "delicate little feelz" you are an asshole. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:29, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Oh also there's a handy "subscribe for full access" at the bottom of their article while the article unwittingly emphasizes that "The free exchange of information and ideas [is] the lifeblood of a liberal society". I'd seriously question their integrity. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:34, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
And an example of an empty platitude. This is their thesis: "The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away." It's utterly naive to think this way. Do they not understand that intellectual dishonesty exists? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:39, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
JK Rowling probably signed on with this letter for different reasons then Noam Chomsky, Salman Rushdie, Wynton Marsalias, David Brooks, Matthew Yglesias, and Margaret Atwood etc. did. She's also the biggest household name and she's off the freshest controversy that I'm aware of. So I suspect a lot of the "lightning rod" viral nature of this letter was due to her name being included. Most of the names I'm familiar with I would not describe as TERFs. Some of these have been on the receiving end of social media mobs (Atwood apparently clashed with feminists in 2016 for a reason I don't quite understand at the moment, Handmaid's Tale notwithstanding), but some I think are more highbrow writers concerned by Twitter mob opinion (for IMHO the wrong reason, but hey). Soundwave106 (talk) 03:57, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Whenever people talk like that, it reminds me of when politicians invoke the rotted corpse of bi-partisanship-it assumes good faith and usually means the speaker will not budge on this assumption. A free market of ideas where everything toxic is dealt with via refutation...that does not exist.-Flandres (talk) 03:42, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
OK, since I'm no Harry Potter fan I'll bite; what exactly is the controversy over JK Rowling? All I know is she's the author of a poor man's Lord of the Rings fantasy world, what did she ever say that dehumanizes anyone? (Genuine question, since I don't at all keep up with her; I knew about this because of the ludicrous whining about Steven Pinker, who I actually do read). And while I'm vaguely aware of Bari Weiss, I'm also unclear on exactly what that's all about, what little I have read of her seemed like any other Jewish northeasterner (while I'm not Jewish I am a northeasterner, and I know plenty of Jewish people both in and around my family); what am I missing? And more importantly, are you (generic you) willing to argue against free speech because the people arguing for it said something you don't like? That strikes me as enormously self-defeating. And as to people who want to question my humanity, let them. The more they speak, the more they sow the seeds to defeat their own arguments; I grew up in the 90s when theories of "refrigerator parents" still abounded as the cause of autism, yet somehow it didn't make me less of a human. Shocking, I know. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:54, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
As for JK Rowling, she said some rather regrettable things about Transgender people recently(well to my knowledge only recently anyway).-Flandres (talk) 03:56, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Personally, I find these sorts of things trite and naive. They always seem to be in defense of someone with a massive soapbox and more power than most of their critics. And said people in power always seem to get this sort of support after saying reprehensible things. As to what those things are, Rowling specifically is a transphobe, one of the worst cases I've yet seen. (Though not quite as bad as Brennon, yet.) Have a read for yourselves. I counted around 8 transphobic tropes. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:37, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I should also mention that I heard that Harper's farmed for signatures, and did so dishonestly. Though I have of yet been able to get more than hearsay on that charge. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:40, 9 July 2020 (UTC)\

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── J. K. Rowling is an interesting example. The fact that she expressed unease with transgender people, hardly all that rare, shows the reductive reasoning we're dealing with. This is called an outrage against human decency. Her entire significance is reduced to those offhand remarks. Demands for insincere repentance and insincere apologies are made, with the threat of ostracism and harassment if these apologies are not forthcoming within the time deemed appropriator by her accusers. This kind of horseshit is typical of the mentality we are dealing with, and why these free-speech bromides are something some overzealous and overheated people who suffer f0orm this mentality have a problem with it. I don't have to endorse he remarks to think she shouldn't be subjected to this kind of harassment for making them. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 15:06, 9 July 2020 (UTC)

I don't think "free speech" is a great descriptor of the problem, though, this really isn't the issue. People are free to speak about being pissed off about J.K. Rowling. People are free to get into mobs, too. I'm also free to have the opinion that joining in a Twitter mob to vent frustrations with Rowling is, in my opinion, the type of thing that often is counter-productive. A lot of people are apolitical about many things, and will rally around more what they care about compared to a political issue that they don't. Donald Trump's recent tweet attacks on NASCAR driver (and African-American) Bubba Wallace, for instance, from what I see is actually did a great job pulling the NASCAR community (traditionally pretty Southern conservative) a little bit to the left. A lot of racing fans care way more about auto racing than Trump's white nationalism shit, and so easily rallied around Bubba. That's my "general opinion"; I'm unfamiliar with the Harry Potter community or the extent of Rowling's transphobia so I don't know how the fan dynamics worked in this case. As a general rule, I do believe that the typical discourse Twitter enables is not very effective persuasive communication. Soundwave106 (talk) 15:41, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
I will agree that it isn't about free speech per se, in that posting various sorts of vituperation at Rowling is also covered by my very expansive definition of free speech. Free speech comes in when people start lobbying authorities, particularly the tech companies that own Twitter and other outlets, to remove Rowling and others for thoughtcrime. The willingness to imagine that other people might disagree seems to be vanishing, overwhelmed by a rising tide of performative moralistic zealotry seeking applause. And a willingness to entertain different ideas is the key to persuasive writing. But cogency is not rewarded by the social media businesses and their algorithms. They aren't complex enough. What they do reward is sheer numbers of shares and eyebslls, which rewards extreme stances and demonstrations of commitment to whatever cause you're seeking applause from. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 18:30, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
Calling the content of the likes of JK Rowling a "thoughtcrime" is appallingly charitable. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:12, 9 July 2020 (UTC)
It's hard to take these 'free speech' campaigns particularly seriously. I've yet to see one, in the west at least, that isn't either a poorly thought out reaction to private corporations regulating their digital space (which they are entitled perhaps even obligated to do) or just petulant whining about the fact that their opinions are being criticised.
Yes dog-piling is an issue, as is mob mentality, and tolerance is a virtue, but the solution is not to force social media companies to turn every platform they own into 4Chan where we can all be as horrific to one-another as we'd like. Add to that that the majority of attempts to found alternative platforms (Gab, ThinkSpot) have tended to be little more than thinly veiled attempts to curate conservative/alt-right safe spaces and well... you get my cynicism.
It's also telling that when certain public figures finds themselves being criticised (often for saying very dumb and/or insensitive things but also sometimes not) the fact that some people are rude and aggressive tends to get used as a deflection to avoid criticism. Sometimes it is unfair dog-piling, sometimes it is just an entitled journalist or author shocked to find out that when they say bigoted and dumb shit they get dunked on like everyone else. Get ready, it's... (talk) 06:12, 10 July 2020 (UTC)
I do get confused by alleged progressives invoking the sanctity of Property as an excuse for corporate censorship. And yes, the issue is not so much free speech as it is moral aggression, language policibng, and the labelling of anyone who transgresses your party line as a monster and a pariah who deserves to be run off of whatever media they used. To return to JK Rowling once again, the tweet that apparently started the whole shitshow was ‘”People who menstruate”. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"’. For a writer to cock a snoot at wordy, unpleasant, and pointless jargon is not even a bad thing. If this text contains an outrage against 'basic human decency', it's so small as to be invisible. Apparently a noisy claque has a substantial moral investment in 'people who menstruate' and she allowed herself to get sucked into controversy with people who will never be satisfied short of public penance and submission to all that Holy Church teaches. The real problem is that this kind of identity politics is one of the vessels into which the old Puritan or 'Nonconformist' fire has poured itself into. And that mindset is a blight wherever it takes root. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 03:36, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
I have to say, screwing around with terminology makes things irredeemably confusing. I'm a guy with The Big A, at a social event it's enough of a chore to remember to forsake my Irish heritage and actually say goodbye; keeping track of what the latest term for [insert condition/personality here] is beyond my capacity, and will only exacerbate my general lack of social graces. Whatever else Rowling has said (and I did read GC's link above, how she relays her own personal experience shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the science), if it really was that one tweet which set the latest round off I can't honestly say I'd die on that hill. I dislike Harry Potter because I find the writing simplistic and not especially engaging (I'll take Tolkien or Ursula Le Guin any day, and would someone do a good Earthsea movie!), not because of her views on matters utterly unrelated to her writing. If I was a fan, that'd seem like cutting off my nose to spite my face. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:13, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
@The Blade of the Northern Lights Roling's latest Tweet is the latest in a long line of similar behavior that goes back at least a few years now, if I recall correctly. Also, yes, Tolkien (I haven't read Le Guin's work yet, it's on my reading list though) is better than Rowling by far. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:08, 11 July 2020 (UTC)
I also can highly recommend Le Guin's works, especially the Earthsea trilogy, worldbuilding at least equal to Tolkien's. (A pity she wasn't more of a conlanger.) But she is usually encountered in the frequently anthologized The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 18:33, 11 July 2020 (UTC)

Inside the secret indoctrination of white people’s board games[edit]

Inside the secret indoctrination of white people’s board games — Unsigned, by: 2001:8003:59db:4100:d1fe:f05a:634a:45a9 / talk / contribs

Is this a joke? "Playing board games is a slippery slope to white supremacy". Please tell me this is supposed to be a joke but just isn't funny. — Unsigned, by: Mecharonin / talk / contribs
This story seems untrustworthy. This source is also seems to be more than a bit dubious. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:19, 1 August 2020 (UTC)
Ok, I just finished going through the front page. It's a 4chan version of The Onion. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:21, 1 August 2020 (UTC)