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RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?/Archive5

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the lefts case against gay marriage[edit]

Its been commented out just as I was making this comment. Surely one for the clogs? AMassiveGay (talk) 22:06, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't think so. It's a discussion that has a fair bit of play in certain circles that are critical of the idea of the stable couple/family unit as a social base. It's a challenging idea that's not unproblematic, but not worthy of outright dismissal. Just like New York City; Just like Jericho. 22:14, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
accept that it completely misrepresents the reasons why we want marriage equality. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:21, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
That may be one way of looking at it; another is to see it as a critique of the entire institution of marriage, regardless of the gender of the people getting hitched. Just like New York City; Just like Jericho. 22:24, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
that is an issue completely separate from gay marriage. Because some folk don't like the institution should not be a bar for people who do from access to it. As I have said before many times it is about the normalising of gay relationships as much as it is any economic or legal benefits. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:30, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't disagree with you. I also think that her argument--that there is a basic conservatism at play in that desire--is an interesting one. Just like New York City; Just like Jericho. 22:35, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Is it conservative to want everyone to have the same rights to do as they wish? Is it conservative to say that the government shouldn't be enforcing one particular way for people to live? Of course not. (Were conservatives the ones fighting slavery? Likewise no.) Liberals don't care whether some particular gay wants to get married or not. We care about making sure that those who want that right, have it. I think this writer is stuck on the idea of a "queer movement" and is forgetting that most people, gay and straight alike, just want to live their lives in peace, and want the government to grant them the right to do so.
I would also point out that, according to studies from the APA, families with two parents, regardless of gender or marital status, are demonstrably more stable than families with "single" parents (in the sense of only having one parent in the family, not "single" meaning "unmarried"). The author may not like this, but the facts are the facts regardless of whether or not they offend her. Wehpudicabok (talk) 00:37, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

The argument that she's making is that the social order, which is in no small part tied to the reproduction of capitalist relationships, is based in large part on the two-parent monogamous family unit. By expanding the definition of that unit to people of the same gender, she argues, the effect is to incorporate more people into the social order that supports capitalism. "Living their lives in peace" and not challenging the fundamental social order, and in fact reproducing the dominant social order is, by definition, she argues, a conservative move. "I would also point out that, according to studies from the APA, families with two parents, regardless of gender or marital status, are demonstrably more stable than families with "single" parents." EXACTLY -- that kind of "stability" (and that's a term that could use some defining) ensures that society keeps working the way it does; ie, a conservative plan. "Were conservatives the ones fighting slavery? Likewise no." Actually, the end of slavery was in no small part due to the expansion of capitalism (ie. the Eric Williams argument), so it's not as simple as you make it out to be. Just like New York City; Just like Jericho. 00:45, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

You seem to be arguing from a different perspective than I am on what constitutes "conservatism". If someone who supports a more economically stable version of our current capitalist society, which differs from reality only in working proactively to combat poverty rather than in revamping the entire social order from scratch, is a "conservative," then gay marriage is indeed a conservative idea. By that definition, I am a conservative! And conservatism is no bad thing.
This is not how today's self-identified conservative movement thinks or acts. It is not about preserving capitalism; it is about destroying the lower class. And it is not about extending freedoms from the few to the many; it is about curtailing freedoms from the many so that the few may have more. Look at the way they handled the contraception scandal. The author's idea of a "conservative" would have lauded Obama's middle-of-the-road approach, since it maintained the existing capitalist structure, right? And yet the actual American right acted like he was Hitler because he wanted women to have coverage. They in no way resemble the "conservatives" this author discusses.
I do agree with you on some points. About the APA study, for instance; I was citing offhand something I had read a while back, and don't recall exactly what it meant by "stability," and that does indeed need to be clarified before my point ought really to be considered valid. Wehpudicabok (talk) 02:55, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't know to what "Eric Williams argument" you refer, so I suppose I can't comment on that. But what I remember from history class was that the abolitionist movement was driven by Northern liberals, the forerunners of today's human-rights advocates. Many of them had religious motivations, and many secular, but I'm not aware of any capitalistic motivations for abolitionism. Wehpudicabok (talk) 02:59, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not arguing anything. I'm just relating what the woman who wrote the article is arguing. There are parts of her argument I buy, other parts I'm less sure of. Her idea of conservatism probably encompasses most of the positions of Obama and the Dems, never mind the GOP--but she's not really talking about the contemporary US political spectrum as she is more of a longue duree of capitalist relationships. As for Williams, he wrote a pretty seminal text about the end of slavery in the British empire that describes the economic factors that underpinned the kind of humanitarianism that you're talking about; I forget that US-Americans don't learn a lot about slavery in the broader Atlantic context and think of abolition as a Northern states vs. Southern states thing. There were other, sometimes bigger slave systems at play. But in all cases, even the US one, the humanitarians may have been leading actors, but their humanitarianism did not unfold in a social/economic vacuum. Capitalism needed free labour, so slavery was obsolete. Just like New York City; Just like Jericho. 03:35, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
That does make quite a lot of sense. And yeah, I guess I was thinking entirely about the American history of slavery; I admit I know very little about other nations' experiences with it. Wehpudicabok (talk) 06:55, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

The article bears at least a passing resemblance to the traditional anti-reformist revolutionary position: we want a revolution to forever obliterate all oppression, so we must not support reform lest we make it harder to stimulate the people to revolution. Hydrogen and Time (talk) 10:09, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

The author is a member of this - Against Equality.Wikipedia And I think it's more than a passing resemblance...--ZooGuard (talk) 10:19, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Having a peek at that page, makes me wonder, how "big" is the 'radqueer' movement? Polite Timesplitter come shout at me for being thick 13:08, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

For what it's worth, we should distinguish between the left - which this article certainly reads like - and the liberal. There's some overlap in certain areas but no way are they same thing. Equality without addressing the structural and insitutional issues has always been a liberal position. Opposing or challenging that is not the exclusive preserve of the right. Think how many different ways you can object to Tony Blair, for example. London Grump - don't talk to me about the fucking olympics (talk) 19:21, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Exposing PseudoAstronomy[edit]

While I may be interested in actually reading what occured during this interview, the page that is linked doesn't have a transcript or video, all it has is a list of the questions that were asked. I am not sure what your intention was here. EGKunz 05:53, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Exposing Pseudoastronomy is a podcast (i.e. audio only). The WIGO link points to a specific episode's page - on it, the download link for the MP3 file is just below the episode title...--ZooGuard (talk) 18:15, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, hold on let me just go ahead and go sit in the corner. I totally missed the download option somehow. I apologize for my very unobservant view of this post. Whoops. EGKunz

Obama Satan on Shitstory channel[edit]

Like some in the comments have stated, it's not that close to Obama, but at the same time, well...okay, there's the ears and the angles of the chin kind of work. If you squint. It's more the steps that the producers in general have taken that make me raise an eyebrow. Because the hood's up you don't see the grey hair much which adds to the Oldbama factor. But look at the actor's face. They gave him make-up to make his skin more like a black guy to face off with suspiciously white Jesus (who turned white as he grew up) born to white Mary and white Joseph. Ugh. Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 13:10, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

IIRC Satan has typically been portrayed as white or red-skinned.
I missed watching the old Hitler Channel as a kid. Osaka Sun (talk) 13:22, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the Obama thing is way overblown.... I was more offended at the blatant Eurocentrism of the show: All of the big time "good" characters are lily white, while the enemies are dark skinned. (talk) 23:08, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Usually I'm directed to Samson as a counterpoint as a good black guy. Black man with dreadlocks and known for being physically powerful and violent. Headdesk. Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 22:06, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Big dongles, developers getting fired for tweets[edit]

Given that the rate of unemployment in the United States for developers is much lower than the general populace (~1.5%), turnover is pretty high (people moving to new projects/better pay rates) and demand is high (still get 3-5 calls/emails a day from recruiters), I'll bet these two get snapped up quicker than I would were I to be let go (partly because of the exposure they've received from the news on it among tech circles). --Seth Peck (talk) 21:13, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Am I missing something? Is being a dick a sacking offence now? London Grump (talk) 22:44, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
The company has hinted there was more to it than one comment at a conference - David Gerard (talk) 00:27, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Dollars to donuts that this was merely the trigger pull for both of them, rather then the bullet. --Revolverman (talk) 01:53, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
At this point there aren't any happy endings. Richards has the situation where her professional experience is in relating to exactly this group of people, and so she ends up looking incompetent. This is what people hire someone like Richards to prevent. I mean, suppose a woman comes into Richards' office and says "The guys on my team keep making jokes about dongles and it embarasses me". Do you, as Richards' boss intend for her to say "Tell them to quit that or there'll be a disciplinary"? How about "Give me names and I'll talk to them personally, and make sure your line manager knows what's up - but let me know if it continues"? Or how about "I'm going to publish it on the Internet immediately and shame them, that will definitely fix it" ? I mean, that last might actually be a stupider option than "Just suck it up" which I'd have previously guessed was the worst option. Tialaramex (talk) 12:43, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Is it really a gender issue though? It's a vague, thin line between dickery and sexism, a line just right for the early 90s kind of thought police, and I don't quite see where their behaviour in this instance was oppressive to her as a woman rather than her individual sense of propriety. London Grump (talk) 14:06, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this was just a poorly handled situation by everyone involved. This is just another sacrifice on the alter of our society of unquenchable outrage coupled with extreme self promotion. (talk) 19:29, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I thought it was just "two guys make knob gag between themselves, woman posts it on internet, they get fired, internet hate machine starts up, she gets fired." Am I missing something here? Were the jokes actually aimed at her? Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 22:10, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
It's an environment argument. A workplace decorated with 1980s Playboy centrefold nudes makes some people uncomfortable, so it could be reasonable to forbid these (and similar artistic expressions) even though they aren't "targetting" anyone. Likewise then, it could be appropriate to forbid people from saying things at a conference that make others uncomfortable if overheard - and if that's the organisers decision (at Pycon it was) then it's OK if someone breaks those rules to call them out on that. Of course it isn't wise to do so by posting on Twitter to your huge fanbase. Tialaramex (talk) 16:07, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Atheism and Civil Rights[edit]

I... don't know if this is really necessary in the western world. Atheists in the US are distrusted, but I think of my position as being part of a marginalized political group -I've opined that most Christians don't follow a religion so much as they're in a political party that meets on Sunday.

An atheist could simply "fit in" by going to church. It would be dishonest, but easy. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 02:03, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Ugh... let me articulate this better... I feel marginalized for what I think, but I don't feel persecuted for being born. Am I being crazy? Pollyannish? --TheLateGatsby (talk) 02:10, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
It's possible. Hard to say. Perhaps if I had some idea what you were talking about I might be able to offer a diagnosis. DamoHi 02:29, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd say it's regional within the US as well. Spending much of my time in that festering hive of secularism (located in that librul dystopia, no less), I've never had much of a problem. Go down to the Bible Belt, though.... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:39, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I wonder how much of the 'persecution' (as it were) stems from the religious having insecurities about their own faith - much like many homophobes are closet gays; perhaps those that act strongly against atheists have closet atheistic tendencies? DamoHi 02:46, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
I mean that I don't have to fear for my life as an atheist. Perhaps two centuries ago, I would have to, and I know that there are countries where "Blasphemy" is still punishable by death. But when and where I am, I can think of bigger fish to fry than getting voted into office -like the state of Atheists in countries where they actually are persecuted. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 11:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I can sympathize with what he means. People will look at you funny and talk behind your back if you aren't a Jeebus lover. Worst of all are the subtle ways they go about making sure you aren't welcome. It's hard to describe really. Also, most homophobes aren't gay, just bigoted. As a homosexual, I just take the Stephen Fry approach to that problem. Captain Swing (bringer of nachos) 02:53, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

"Also, most homophobes aren't gay, just bigoted." Yeah, even if that meme weren't based on some dubious research using penile plethysmographs, it would still be mathematically impossible for it to be true. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:28, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
"It's hard to describe really." It is, isn't it? --TheLateGatsby (talk) 11:06, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Wow. Meanwhile, I live in a country with an openly atheist prime minister. VOXHUMANA 03:45, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
You lot had me worried that we would witness the return of Rudd. Thank science you all came to your senses. Captain Swing (bringer of nachos) 03:49, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
(EC)Who doesn't, Vox? Obviously, most homophobes are not gay (due to numbers alone) but I do think that there may well be a correlation between the most virulently homophobic ones and some homosexual or bisexual tendencies. I was under the impression there was some empirical evidence to back this idea up. DamoHi 03:52, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Henry E. Adams, Lester W. Wright, Jr., and Bethany A. Lohr (1996). "Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal?". Journal of Abnormal Psychology Vol. 105, No. 3, 440--445 VOXHUMANA 04:07, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Let's be fair, Nebby. The whole "homophobes are homosexuals" thing is propagated because it's freaking hilarious. And in case P-Foster or his latest sockpuppet is watching: no, it's not their homosexuality that's hilarious. It's the hypocrisy, insecurity, and irony that is funny.--"Shut up, Brx." 04:18, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
@Brx: And your point is...? @Vox: Yeah, but see my link posted above for why that's not very strong evidence. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:30, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
This is all my fault for flippantly introducing the idea that part of the reason why some theists feel a revulsion towards atheists is because they are afraid they may be atheists themselves. Perhaps we should get back to discussing that dubious idea, rather than getting overly picky about whether an analogous situation is correct. ? --DamoHi 04:41, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
There obviously is an issue in the US where everyone seems to know the religious affiliation of political candidates and where atheists are distrusted more than Muslims. Of course, in the more liberal sections of the country it may not be much of an issue on a local scale but there are great swathes of the US where the opposite hold true. Although we've had atheist political party leaders in the UK (Kinnock, Foot, Milliband, Clegg), I don't think we've had an openly atheist PM and given that the CofE is largely seen as the Tory Party at prayer. it certainly won't come from that part of the political spectrum. Milliband probably stands the best chance of being the first. But religion is still assumed to be the norm with prayers being held before parliament sits, school assemblies involve an act of worship, people are asked to swear on a holy book in court and Desert Island Discs assumes that you want to take the Bible or other religious book with you. However, despite this it's certainly a paradox that in a country with an established church headed by the monarch that you can get by without your atheism being an issue; whereas in a country explicitly founded as a secular state, one's religion is often of public importance. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmaraudingModerator 12:33, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Ignorance of history, perhaps? Americans don't seem aware there was a point in Western History when people killed each other over breaking eggs at the big end transubstantiation (Yes, I am aware there was a bit more at stake in the Thirty Years' War than transubstantiation!) Hence the word "Christian" as a sort of umbrella term making them one big happy family. There was a good video by Penn Jilette about that. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 13:58, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
The video in question, which is a bit of a long exercise in gradually drifting off to different tangents. The section on this pretty dishonest tactic runs from 2:20 to 11:25. Nowadays the only ones who have their sects noted now are Catholics and Mormons. We also have an appropriate quote opening the Moral Majority page. Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 16:41, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

Glenn Beck for Gay Marriage[edit]

So... what is his angle? There's no way he actually means this. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 20:34, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

It's a case of either "We've reached critical mass, stop focusing on trying to stop it, fall back and regroup" or "I don't like it, but "our type" has to just put up with it if we want to try to stay relevant." It's more about ideological survival on other fronts. At least he acknowledges time is running out, and it's running out quicker and quicker as time goes by. Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 21:23, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, modern Americans have forgotten that it's perfectly normal in a two party political system for one of the parties to go away altogether from time to time. One year you're choosing between a Vetroxian or a Blimposer, the Vetroxian gets less than 30% of votes cast, and the next time the Vetroxians don't even run a candidate in every race, but there are now Floodler Blimposers and Naxic Blimposers in the race. Your kids grow up thinking the word "Blimposer" is redundant, "all politicians are Blimposers mom, what matters is whether it's a Naxic or a Floodler, duh". Anyway, the senior Republicans would much rather be the senior members of a Republican party that now thinks gay marriage is fabulous than just more unemployed people who can't get work at the new Tea Party or the American Party or whatever a successor is called. In Britain our "Labour Party" used to have a nationalisation as a core goal‡, the "New Labour" branding did away with this, recognising that nationalisation was not a practical step while leaving aside the question of whether it was desirable (the Labour leadership in that period clearly believed it was not).
‡ Yes I'm aware that technically the old Clause IV didn't specifically use the word nationalisation, and it can be argued that creating co-operatives or worker owned companies better fulfils the goals expressed, but nationalisation is what it was understood to mean at the time. Tialaramex (talk) 16:41, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Sam Harris[edit]

Funny how he tries to defend himself by focusing on just one thing the Al Jazeera column said. What about "anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim?" The context is all there, Harris. You want to profile people based on their appearance. What looks like a Muslim to Sam Harris? Better yet, what looks "conceivably" like a Muslim to Sam Harris?

And of course, he ignores the real problem with his twisted ideology. He paints all Muslims together with the same brush. He goes beyond the New Atheist rendition of "hate the sin, not the sinner," which is to hate religion and not religious people. He actively targets every single Muslim as an evil entity at best needing to be controlled, at worst, killed.--"Shut up, Brx." 00:19, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

I have to admit, I'd never heard of the guy until I saw the Al-J piece (I find the New Atheists to be boring above all else, so I don't pay them much attention...), but dude seems like a real piece of work. He's not doing his movement much good right here. Did he doubt/Or did he try? 00:23, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
The author is off when it comes to continuity between scientific racism and Harris. These earlier ideas were underpinned by biological determinism, whereas Harris' are not. The rest is mostly on target. I see Harris is still doing the "you quoted me out of context!" schtick, even though the quotes don't sound any better in context. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:08, 4 April 2013 (UTC)
Just thank God (heh) he never considered going into politics. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:33, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

The major issue with Sam has always been that he never seems to hedge himself enough. Being for profiling in a vacuum is fine, but it is clear we don't exist in a vacuum. There is a wealth of sociological data that shows we already do profile, and we even over-profile. I think Sam needs to admit that Christians in America are supportive of violence in comparable amounts of Muslims, even though Muslims have every reason to be angry and Christians need to scrounge up . He seems to forget that we in many cases have started the bomb dropping, and that if we found out for real that a Muslim country had attempted to install a dictator in America we would be reacting with complete abandon and nuclear assault (<snark>WHO SAYS THEY HAVEN'T</snark>). Still, at least he isn't Bill Maher! --ShadowofLords (talk) 14:24, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Pony the Orangutan[edit]

I don't know whats more fucked, the sex slavery, or the fact it took 35 men armed basically for war to remove her from the brothal. --Revolverman (talk) 03:24, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

I was wondering the same thing with one small exception... the sex slavery itself is bad enough, but for some reason reading that the customers would pass up the women to specifically ask for the Orangutan really hit me in the gut. I think the author's subtitle about evidence of humans being essentially evil hits the nail directly on the head describing both the owner of the brothel and its customers. Pdoke2 (talk) 03:33, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
This isn't a Poe then? Scherben (talk) 15:52, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
I dunno. If you're going to have sex slaves at all, I'd prefer they be non-human to human. The article doesn't mention the voluntary status of humans working at this brothel (if there are any), which leaves open disturbing questions. X Stickman (talk) 13:01, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Remember that this is Vice, the equivalent of Pitchfork for lifestyle magazines (but somehow manage to eclipse them as douchebags). Osaka Sun (talk) 13:18, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
The article is from five years ago, so I'm not sure why it's on WIGO. A quick Google search makes it look like the story comes back up every now and then and do another round of the internet. Haven't seen any actual news sites post it, just blogs. A few of them point out the fact that it took 35 armed men to save the orangutan, but that they didn't bother to save any of the women. --OverworldTheme (talk) 13:26, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Should we comment it out? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:07, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
It's already there and voted on; might as well leave it, I say. It's not hurting anything. --OverworldTheme (talk) 01:03, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't realize it was that old... it was featured on Vice's main page (Still is actually...) and thought it was a new report and it made me sick. Thought it would be an important story to share here. Feel free to delete it if you want, I'm still learning the ropes here. Pdoke2 (talk) 16:41, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

I can't track a more primary source for it, it all goes back to the Vice article (one would expect the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation to be shouting about it somewhere, but it's crickets and tumbleweeds trying to get a story even remotely similar to this from them). But that in itself doesn't mean the story doesn't have some truth in it. I can imagine that some of the details are embellishments (how many people did the rescuing, that people actively passed up human sex slaves for the ape, etc.), but let's be clear here: somewhere on the planet, someone is probably fucking an orangutan or something else, in similar circumstances. Scarlet A.pngbomination 01:52, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Aha! BOSF boss herself says it's true, but not particularly common (more extensive blog here). Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:57, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Hateful tweets map[edit]

Here is why I don't like that. Wehpudicabok (talk) 22:42, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, that. Plus it's a crappy map to look at: when viewed at default resolution (which is probably all a lot of readers will do), there are huge patches of red, which break into little blue dots when you zoom in. Add that it's only calculated by use of what researchers defined as "hate words", & doesn't take into account reappropriation, like the fairly widespread use of "fag", "dyke", "homo" and "queer" within gay culture. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:53, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Didn't they use something like a mechanical Turk cranked by interns or lab rats to account for context? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:33, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
read the FAQ - population & context taken into account! Scream!! (talk) 23:54, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
Disappointed not to see "retard" tallied under disabled slurs. From my experience (not that this is universal), the general public has more sympathy for the physically disabled than the mentally disabled. - (talk) 00:39, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Argumentum ad Monsatium[edit]

I think it's just a very specific example of the shill gambit --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 16:32, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

That it be, that it be. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:49, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Steve Wozniak on Prism and torture[edit]

[[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 22:24, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The Tabarrok Curve[edit]

Surely this should go in clogs, as it doesn't really explain anything. It explains why we have patents, which is all very interesting, but it never seems to explain why "strong" patent laws (no definition of what "strong" means in this sense, more exclusive time or stricter enforcement?) suppress innovation, and it doesn't explain why we're at the point on this curve. The analogy to the Laffer Curve is quite apt, as it seems built on a number of badly held-together assumptions. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:38, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Voter registration[edit]

The WIGO describes it as automatic voting which is wrong, but I'm further intrigued as to how anybody imagines this would play out in a complicated system like the US. I've never lived anywhere with "automatic" registration, but it seems to me that you'd dilute residency requirements for local elections pretty seriously. If I don't need to register, at what point do I get the right to vote in critical local election X. When I travel there for the day to vote? When I book a hotel room for the night? Stay at a friends for a few days? Legally own a property there (even if I usually never visit)? How do I prove at the polling station that I'm eligible to vote in that election? Can somebody who has automatic registration (I'm assuming the article didn't just invent that idea, having claimed it's so "normal") explain what happens in this sort of situation? Tialaramex (talk) 08:50, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

  • Voter registration in Canada seems to fit their definition of "automatic". So I'll try answering.
0. Federal voter registration in Canada is mostly done via your annual income tax return. On the first page of the T1 form, you just check the box and the CRA passes the relevant information over to Elections Canada to update the rolls. Elections Canada also passes that information to the provincial elections offices (except Saskatchewan for some reason) to update their rolls. Municipalities in Ontario also get the information from them, but elsewhere is the municipality's own thing. Citizenship and Immigration as well as Canada Post and the above mentioned provincial election offices also give information to EC if you gave them permission to.
1. Local elections stuff is the business of the province and/or local government. In Saskatchewan, to be eligible to vote in a municipal election, you need to have lived in the province for 6 months and either lived in the municipality for 3 months or owned property in the municipality for 3 months. In the village I used to live in, the mayor didn't actually live in the village, he just owned property there.
2. You prove you're eligible to vote by presenting ID proving your name and address. Unlike most suggestions for voter ID regulations in the USA, ID requirements in Canadian elections are quite permissive. For example, for federal elections, this is what constitutes valid ID. Provincial and municipal elections have similar standards, like in Saskatchewan (pg. 109-111). Compro01 (talk) 20:40, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, that's pretty interesting. The idea of everybody filling out income tax paperwork is a bit alien to me as a Brit, but I understand the Americans all do that already so it's nothing new for them. The requirement to present ID unfortunately seems very easily exploitable though. Did Canada really have some sort of problem with people pretending to be other people at elections, or is this one of those knee jerk requirements? Tialaramex (talk) 09:56, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Actually, in the US you don't have to file income tax paperwork unless you work for an employer or make over a certain threshold of income. If you're self-employed and barely make anything, you don't have to file. --OverworldTheme (talk) 15:49, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
Huh, OK, so that's not going to work for the Americans either. Hey, Americans, are there any Federal government institutions that everybody deals with already? If not it seems like, for good or ill, this plan is unworkable. Tialaramex (talk) 08:20, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Other than getting a social security card at birth, not really. Most everything here is decentralized, for better or for worse, and most of the South would have a brain aneurysm if it were any other way. --OverworldTheme (talk) 14:24, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure off hand when/why the voter ID bit was implemented (It's been in place since before I could vote), but the voter ID as implemented isn't really exploitable to keep people from voting, because, as I said, it's very permissive on what constitutes ID. All you need is something with your name and address and something else with your name (my first link has an exhaustive list of what is acceptable) or if all else fails, you can have someone (parent, sibling, roommate/flatmate, neighbour, etc.) who does have said documentation vouch for you. Compro01 (talk) 16:24, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Technology, Not Law, Limits Mass Surveillance[edit] [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 02:59, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Atheists commit less crimes[edit]

I used to bring up this point a lot, but then I looked at it deeper: as far as I have been able to determine, the US Bureau of Prisons doesn't actually keep statistics regarding the religious orientations of inmates. I keep seeing the same numbers come up, but never a good citation of their source. I think the "0.2% of prisoners are atheists" statistic might just be a widespread myth. Totally right on the divorce rate and education, though. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 22:32, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

According to the article, the respondents self-reported their religion. --OverworldTheme (talk) 01:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
But that doesn't help any. Where is this study? This prisoner data keeps getting passed around with no apparent original source. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 17:55, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Here's a place to start. --Seth Peck (talk) 19:15, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate the link. I note that every single one of those numbers is very different from the numbers found in the WIGO item... which underscores my point that I think the WIGO item contains a myth. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 19:47, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

There are geographical, racial & class demographics to consider when talking about prisoners in the US (or anywhere else). Few atheist prisoners doesn't mean atheists are better people. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:25, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Humans too stupid to be worth ET's Phone Bill[edit]

"They're made of meat", ya know? Seriously, I am convinced there's intelligent life out there in the universe, but simply put, they're stuck in the same position we are -that is, they have limited resources, and are fumbling in the dark. Less misanthropic, but even more depressing. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 16:39, 18 July 2013 (UTC)


Up front disclosure: I am a huge fanboy, ever since reading Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. It spoke to some questions I've had since my late teens / early twenties, about some of the ways language and cognition go hand in hand. (I do not normally "think in words." Best I can do is call most of my conscious thoughts "images.")

I sometimes encounter idealists who believe that, to counter the juggernaut of authoritarian right wing spin, it should suffice to put out the facts, and let them speak for themselves. Not really; many of the relevant facts have been in plain sight for as long as it should take for them to sink in, and yet... how's that been working out for you?

Of all my university course work from a previous century, one outstanding bit was a simple technical writing course. Who's your audience? Few of them will read the whole thing, so tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them. One bit of verbal spin that I wish would catch on is Lakoff's suggestion that we say "privateering" instead of "privatization." Discuss amongst yourselves... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:43, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Aliens and contact[edit]

By its very nature, the topic can only be speculative, and, thereby, liable to be hopelessly wrong if any sort of interaction is realised, but: What if the aliens are religious fanatics bent on conquest and conversion? That never seems to be considered, does it? Scherben (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

There is all kinds of sci-fi + ufology re aliens as potential hostile conquerors. I'm not sure how big alien religions figure this speculation. but what difference does it make? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:17, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
In fiction the idea of aliens being religious comes up again and again. The first Culture novel is about a war started by three-legged religious aliens, albeit there are pragmatic reasons as well as religious ones. The last two Culture novels were tangentially about Hells (the practice of actually building a place of eternal torment where people can be kept indefinitely after they die, usually for religious reasons) and a religious book (one believed by millions of people and for which they are prepared to sacrifice many lives). But those are space opera - where the aliens are all basically humans in rubber masks. Actual space aliens would be alien. You know how occasionally we'll figure out that some archaeological find we'd labelled "ritual object?" was actually like, for making bricks or something? That's not even the tip of the iceberg of how incomprehensible any actual space aliens would be to us. The aliens in Fiasco probably don't have religion, the protagonist only even figures out what the aliens are when it's already far too late. The aliens in Incandescence show no sign of religious belief, most have no inquisitiveness whatsoever from which might spring questions to which "God did it" is a possible answer, because they live in what is quite possibly the most stupidly dangerous place in the universe and well, curiosity kills. Tialaramex (talk) 09:49, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
My preferred explanation for the non-discovery of intelligent life is that intelligent life is a self-limiting phenomenon. Given any reasonable definition of 'life' and 'intelligence', it follows that all intelligent life forms are Moties. Its appearance will always spark an extinction event that will end with the extinction of the intelligent life form. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 15:03, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory[edit]

So, the thing about GIFT is that it's specifically explaining a phenomenon we see in online video games that isn't about any positive feedback loop. That loop definitely exists, and it does happen in online games, but it happens everywhere. What was extraordinary about online gaming is that people you've never met and never interacted with at all will decide that their first ever communication with you, a fellow human being, should be e.g. "I hope you get AIDS and die". What's that all about? And GIFT is an attempt to explain. There are a few other weird phenomena in this category, e.g. it's very common in a two player online video game for a losing cheater to accuse the other player of cheating. What's the purpose of this? The cheater knows they're cheating. Their opponent knows they aren't and third party observers, if they're looking at all, probably have clear records that make it unambiguous. So what's the purpose of the falsehood? It turns out to potentially benefit the cheater's self-esteem. Having taken an unfair advantage and lost the cheater persuades himself that everybody cheats. So what he did was OK (everybody else does it too) and the loss was just bad luck not proof that he's so bad at the game he can't even win when cheating. Tialaramex (talk) 21:53, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

The attitude predates online gaming. I recall an anecdote from Paul Thurrott (a long-time Windows tech blogger/journalist) about his first post to a newsgroup, back in the day when OS/2 and Amiga had momentum in the computing industry. His very first post to USENET ever was almost immediately replied to with "Wrong again, monkey boy!" This was Paul's first experience with the Internet, more or less. Ochotona princepsnot a pokémon 19:30, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
It's older than that
I understand what he means. Most of what you hear on CB radio is either tedious (truck drivers warning one another about speed traps) or banal (schoolgirls exchanging notes on homework), but at its occasional—and illegal—worst it sinks a pipeline to the depths of the American unconscious. Your ears are assaulted by the sound of racism at its most rampant, and by masturbation fantasies that are the aural equivalent of rape. The sleep of reason, to quote Goya’s phrase, brings forth monsters, and the anonymity of CB encourages the monsters to emerge. Not often, of course; but when they do, CB radio becomes the dark underside of a TV talk show.
From this New Yorker artical Innocent Bystander (talk) 22:57, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Thurrott's quote is on [1] Youtube here at 1h14:00 or so into the video. But even ignoring for a moment that it's an anecdote (and I tried searching Usenet itself and came up empty, though such archives are never 100% complete), it's not really comparable in my opinion. "Wrong again monkey boy" wasn't an unsolicited message, it was a reply. Tialaramex (talk) 15:03, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

MrBTongue's video[edit]

Don't get me wrong, I've always loved the guy's content and in a way I love he's getting some extra exposure, it really that on-mission, and is that really the best quote when he goes on to say that something kinda-sorta-maybe-if-you-squint like it has existed and it's not immediately clear it's partly his deadpan self-depracating humour? Polite Timesplitter Cultural loneliness is a right pain 08:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

What he's arguing (albeit in the snarkiest way possible) isn't particularly new: gaming journalism has a tendency to be completely self-serving, trying to appeal to an "underground" audience resistant to change, making it easily exploited by political groups. Osaka Sun (talk) 12:17, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't ICR be in Clogs?[edit]

I mean really. Shouldn't it? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 20:34, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

I was thinking the same thing. It was a bit of a shock to click on a link in the blogs section and find myself on an ICR page. --OverworldTheme (talk) 00:21, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Moved using comments. Undos welcome. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 04:10, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Hermut Kohl[edit]

Obviously the not-so-secret policy of Hermut Kohl was racist, but where does eugenics come into it? Kohl doesn't seem to have suggested or promoted eugenics, his policy was just a narrowly tailored "foreigners go home", which now looks somewhat foolish. A Eugenicist, for example, would think it important to prevent Germans from breeding with Turks, whereas someone concerned about integration (as Kohl supposedly was) would be overjoyed to see intermarriage because you can't get much more integrated than that. Tialaramex (talk) 09:13, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

It's OsakaSun. 'Nuff said.
As for Kohl, I'm going to change it to "xenophobe".--ZooGuard (talk) 09:35, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Osaka Sun's a good kid, he just makes odd choices every now and then. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:39, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I admit, I might have been over-exaggerating a bit, but Kohl's idiocy still stands. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Every protest.[edit]

Bullshit. Didn't even have a blink for the 1981 Springbok tour. --DamoHi 22:09, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

I also wonder which northern Ontario town has been protesting consistently for the last 30 odd years. - GrantC (talk) 22:57, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
According to the mapmakers, when protests are reported but there's no information on specifically where they were, they put a dot in the geographic center of the country to at least show a record of the protest. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:17, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
That makes sense. I would be very surprised if there weren't at least one protest in Canada each year. - GrantC (talk) 00:27, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
It makes a nonsense of what the map is supposed to be showing. It would be better if non-geographically specific protests were represented some other way, like the whole nation/state flashing instead of some arbitrary centre point. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:51, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm also a bit concerned about the idea that these odd centre-of-the-country pings are from protests that aren't given a geographic location. If it's a representation of protests across the entire country, I agree that having the nation/state flash would be a better idea. If it's just undetermined where the protest was within said country, how do we know it was significant? Who documents a significant protest without mentioning where it happened? While it's reasonable to assume that Canada had at least one protest every year, that alone seems like somewhat useless information. As someone who has been living here for 20-odd years, I can say with reasonable certainty that there hasn't been at least one major nation-wide protest annually. - GrantC (talk) 00:59, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't think any map of world protests could fail to consider the 1981 tour a protest. There were riots in the streets, flour bombs being dropped from a low flying plane, matches called off, the works. If you don't include it, then I have to question the veracity of the rest of the map --DamoHi 02:07, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
What's a significant protest? Every protest in a country where such things are banned or restricted is worth showing, but what about countries where people can say what they like? What's significant then? SophieWilderModerator 11:08, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I believe that ambiguity is an issue, and I find that it makes some of the data (e.g. the one or two apparently constant protests in Canada and the U.S.) less meaningful. If I head out onto the street and picket some random pet cause, is that a protest? Is there some number of people that makes it valid? What if I can find 100 people to head out to my town and protest against corned beef? - GrantC (talk) 15:28, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Liberal media[edit]

We must have a liberal media, because I knew all of those. Perhaps a bit hazy on some of the details on some of them. --DamoHi 11:58, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I think it would have been better phrased as "if the mainstream media actually were uniformly liberal." It's true that these issues don't get much coverage from mainstream sources, but it's also true that there are actual liberals writing about these things. (Stephen Colbert for instance has really been hammering on Citizens United, with good reason.) Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:57, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

xkcd questions[edit]

I'm just glad the comic brought our attention back to the real controversy that's been simmering for years: why is Psychic weak to Bug? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:03, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I always thought it was because the minds of bugs are too alien to be affected by psychic powers or something. Or maybe bugs are just too dumb to be manipulated by telepathy. --Kungo GumiQui ça ? 05:51, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the thread that connects Psychic's weaknesses is common fears. Bugs, ghosts, and the dark? Sounds neat, at least. --transResident Transfanform! 04:56, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Still doesn't explain why Psychic does only half damage to Steel, though. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
A Steel mind reflex the Psychic power. --Revolverman (talk) 06:04, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
it's because Sapphire's got his back. SophieWilderModerator 19:15, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe Steel being good against Psychic reflects people who are technophobic? I myself always thought the Steel type represented technology and it was good against Psychic because it was impossible to predict how technology will change and develop in the future. At least that's how I saw it. Protoman (talk) 21:14, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Using vaccines to cull the wold's population?[edit]

Kicking myself for not thinking of this first. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 20:23, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

My my my[edit]

That was a lot of balls-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 04:54, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Question: PZMyers rape allegation on Schermer[edit]

Is there any reason this isn't worth an entry ?? feel free to delete this if its been decided to leave it alone Hamster (talk) 19:54, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

PZ is one for clogs these days I would think. Besides, putting an allegation like this up in a format like this with votes + and - would be too much like asking people to make a judgement over guilt without seeing any evidence. It would be inappropriate. --DamoHi 23:57, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Pharyngula is down. It's probably coincidence, I won't mention this in Pharyngula Wiki unless the site stays down for a day. Still it's just possible Shermer's legal threats have caused big problems. It's worth checking what happens. Proxima Centauri (talk) 13:33, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
No, it's definitely Big News, PC. You should go over there and add it to every article to which it's potentially relevant. You should also make sure that the exact nature of all the accuser's allegations are mentioned along with Dr. Shermer's name and speculate about why the site is down. You're having powerful insights, though it's also possible that the site is down because god kicked the server. Mention a few other inflammatory possibilities. You're doing great! Have fun! Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:03, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Ethical oil not working for you, Alberta?[edit]

I'm not sure what Ethical oil has to do with the topic at hand. Alberta recently experienced its worst natural disaster on record. Over 100,000 people were evacuated due to flooding in Calgary, tens of thousands more were affected and evacuated in other municipalities. Many lost their homes and were greatly impacted. Linking the unpleasant behaviour of the energy sector in the province to the enormous cost of this disaster and its effects on the provincial budget seems disingenuous, if not downright wrong. I'm not aware of a credible argument that links the floods to Ethical oil proponents.

This headline could almost be compared to the way wingnuts like to link natural disasters to social issues like gay marriage. I would strongly suggest rephrasing, or just removing the item. BigCat (meow) 23:07, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

You can rephase it if you wish. The scientific community warned about and were ignored on the increasing frequency of these events; it's not a stretch that the industry that is responsible for producing the majority of the country's GHG emissions (and near-singlehandedly propping up the Alberta economy) would be criticized. Yet the province's official line is that the oil sands contribution is still paying off. You don't need David Suzuki to tell you that something's not working. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:35, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
I've updated the item and added the CBC story. Hope it's ok. BigCat (meow) 00:09, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Hardly the case. Sure it's ironic that Alberta would be hit by floods, predicted by climate models, but on the other hand, these floods could have happened anywhere else. Furthermore, the oil is still making money - sales to the United States, for example continues to make a pretty penny for the province. Brenden (talk) 02:29, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's part of my poorly expressed point that this could have happened anywhere. Ezra Levant and his cronies have little to do with it. The rest, well I guess I'm trying to get along in a new place. BigCat (meow) 05:44, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
For now; me and Revolverman have been debating when the demand will start to disappear. Even Peter Lougheed (before his death) warned about the volatility of the Heritage Fund. If the situation stays the same (ie. no sales or carbon tax gets pushed through) I'd give it until 2030-2050. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:37, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Mmn. Well by then, Ms. Redford will be retired, with an ample pension, somewhere nice. The poor Albertan, on the other hand, gets to pick up the crumbs left by the defunct energy behemoth. Brenden (talk) 02:41, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed it, but most of the news is about the Sustainability Fund which has been depleted due to a number of factors. The Heritage Fund is still in good shape. Although certainty not as good as it could be. BigCat (meow) 05:44, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
You're right, I'll clarify. We sourced this in the Ethical oil article. In summary:
  • Alberta has a GDP of $300 billion, a Sustainability Fund that has lowered from $15 billion to less than $3 billion in less than a decade, and a Heritage Fund priced at $16 billion.
  • In contrast, Norway (which largely copied Alberta policy in the 70s and has been used in comparisons so often that it's become a cliché) has a GDP of $500 billion and a "Pension Fund" at around $150 billion (can't find a later source than 2006).
Simply put, the province needs to find (at least) a good $100 billion before the oil sands become undesirable, with the ruling party wanting to keep spending levels at the current level and the opposition an anti-tax frathouse. Osaka Sun (talk) 06:24, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Norges Bank Investment Management (The guys who manage the Government Pension Fund) has a lovely constantly-updated estimate of the fund's value on the front page of their site. The fund's contents are currently worth approximately 4.554 trillion Norwegian Krone, which is about 748 billion US Dollars at the current exchange rate.
The Alberta government does appear to be getting a clue lately. A sliding portion of all non-renewable resource revenue (NRRR) will be getting put away, first into the "Contingency Account", which is replacing the "Sustainability Fund" as their short-term savings, then into the Heritage fund once the contingency account is up to $5 billion. They're also going to start having the earnings from the heritage fund funnelled back into the fund rather than being added to the general revenue as is done now. Whether this sudden outbreak of sanity will last and whether it's soon enough is anyone's guess. Compro01 (talk) 17:20, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I wonder if anyone in Texas is aware who owns Tesla Motors[edit]

They're working to keep Tesla out of the market at the same time they're trying to attract SpaceX into the state. Is anyone in Texas aware that both of these companies are run by the same man and that messing with one might have unfortunate consequences for their relationship with the other? Compro01 (talk) 20:58, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

"Is anyone in Texas aware..." No, they aren't. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 07:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't call that doubling down[edit]

Regarding the lit professor who "only teaches manly men", the article linked from Twitter showed him apologizing and saying it was a joke about his favorite authors, not actual discrimination. Seems like we're making a mountain out of a molehill to me. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 07:51, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

No, he only has male authors on his course curriculum. Check his excuse now ("Oh, I'm just trying to teach the books I love!"), much different to when he wasn't trying to save face. (Here's a someone from the same department calling him out on it.) Osaka Sun (talk) 08:06, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Scalia interview.[edit]

On his media diet: "We just get The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times." Jesus Christ. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 04:15, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

And I'm not convinced he actually reads either one of them. --OverworldTheme (talk) 22:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
For someone who can look at the total lack of any evidence for the Devil in the world and conclude that therefore their preconceived notion that the devil exists is true, it cannot be hard to read the WSJ or the Washington Times and come away with whatever impression you would like, I'm surprised he stopped reading the Post on that basis, you'd think a man capable of this type of mental sleight of hand would easily up-end their editorial stance. Perhaps it highlighted an actual occurrence in the world that filled Scalia with doubt once too often...
The unyielding belief that your actions as judge are "just" the neutral interpretation of the law is quite extraordinary, to my mind it would be enough for me to disqualify a candidate seeking work in the appeals courts, let alone a supreme court of any sort. Perhaps a not very bright magistrate could see things this way, advised as they are by experts in the law. But a judge ought to be very aware that the enormous gap between the statute law and the cases before the court must be filled by judgement.
I am intrigued as to why Scalia is allowed to be Catholic. Unlike Protestants the Roman Catholics assert that their Pope has a direct line to God. Where a Protestant might pray to receive advice from their non-existent God, Scalia can look to the proclamations of a mere human, sat in a palace in Europe. This surely undermines US sovereignty. It wouldn't be OK to have a President who was under orders from Russia why it is OK to have a Supreme Court justice under orders from Rome? Tialaramex (talk) 08:38, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Kelly Weinersmith[edit]

It's not really relevant to the WIGO, but I thought I'd mention that Kelly is the wife of Zach Weinersmith, author of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. She's the one standing behind him in the voteys, wondering aloud why he never has a shirt on. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 08:13, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Energy prices[edit]

Is it possible that this was meant for the Clogosphere page? Alebuhn (talk) 04:59, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

That crossed my mind as well. After my spectacular blunder the other day, I know mistakes can be made Scherben (talk) 21:48, 29 October 2013 (UTC)


I thought I'd read somewhere that we'd agreed not to use such cryptic entries in WIGOs. "The buffoon is in stopped clock" doesn't even suggest what it links to. Shame, 'cause it's a good WIGO otherwise! Scream!! (talk) 09:19, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I think it would be more effective if we post such reminders on the talk page of the offending party - it's much more likely to be noticed there than here.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:25, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
'Complete, worthless tosser' in stopped clock may have given more of a clue? ;) Scherben (talk) 17:19, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I had no idea[edit]

...that "try not to burn your house down" was such controversial advice around here. Eyebrow.gif Peter mqzp 10:01, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Insurance, dear boy. Insurance. Scherben (talk) 18:15, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Worst sex advice ever?[edit]

Or just really mild suggestions for prudes and puritans? AMassiveGay (talk) 12:45, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Just because you're a pervy Hobbit fancier... --PsyGremlinTal! 13:07, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
hobbiphobe. Your worse than Hitler AMassiveGay (talk) 13:24, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Seeing as how the plural of LEGO has come up[edit]

Pedantry corner. LEGO refers to the company. By using the term to refer to the bricks you are weakening the trademark. OK, so the plural of vacuum cleaner is hoovers (in the UK, at least) but that is to Hoover's detriment. The correct term for lots of the things tht you tread on in the middle of the night is "LEGO bricks" or "LEGO pieces". Innocent Bystander (talk) 13:50, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

And, from the horses mouth Check out the bottom left hand corner. Innocent Bystander (talk) 13:53, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Shrug.gif Worse things happen at sea. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:43, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
bionicles «-Bfa-» 23:42, 12 November 2013 (UTC)


So, gender ambiguity, unschooling and "low carbon"... to quote Tim Minchin, A pigeonhole starts to form... :D Anyway, I wish them luck,* and the best of luck to Storm, whatever the results. (* Translation: I hope their child doesn't grow up with reasons to hate them.)--ZooGuard (talk) 19:43, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, why is that entry getting downvoted? (talk) 23:33, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Uninteresting to people? Dunno. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:12, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

"God Created Gravity" WIGO[edit]

" While our kids are being taught that god created gravity, children in Zaire are learning about Newton and Einstein." Do you know what else they might be learning? That there's no such a country as Zaire, and hasn't been for quite a long time now. Dummy. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 22:35, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Actually, what happened when Zaire stopped calling itself Zaire is that they abandoned their trademark, and now any other country is allowed to call itself Zaire. Germany is the Zaire for Dec. 2013; in January it swaps to Malaysia. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 15:32, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I miss Zayre. I used to get all my white cotton tube socks there, and little things for the kids to unwrap and break at Christmas time. (talk) 15:42, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
PSL - looks like they saw your quote[citation NOT needed] and ninja-edited the article - David Gerard (talk) 19:45, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

"Worse than Oceana"[edit]

How does Snowden "have his head his ass"? He didn't say the US is worse than Oceana, he said "The types of collection in the book — microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us — are nothing compared to what we have available today.", which I don't think is contentious. The only thing that comes close is "Edward J. Snowden, the former American security contractor, urged an end to mass surveillance, arguing that the electronic monitoring he has exposed surpasses anything imagined by George Orwell in “1984,” a dystopian vision of an all-knowing state", but that's just from the author of the article. (talk) 00:39, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Describe "nothing compared to what we have available today." Osaka Sun (talk) 00:47, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. Idiot misquote removed - David Gerard (talk) 14:28, 27 December 2013 (UTC)