RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?/Archive9

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The Political Correctness Article[edit]

According to Cracked, the tweet calling out the one Philae scientist for having a "sexist shirt", "got over a thousand retweets, which is ... hold on, let me run the numbers ... just shy of being notable. Sorry: The Internet is a big place. A thousand retweets would be really great for me, one of my articles, or a joke I wrote, but as far as being a bona fide "big deal," it hardly counts." So apparently it's not a big deal when thousands of feminists get behind something? If there were even 50 MRAs who jumped on some crazy bandwagon like that, I'm sure Cracked and all its ilk would jump all over that. besides, he dishonestly acts like the was only one tweet about this issue. Which is not the case (and yes, all these articles are actively criticizing the guy, not simply reporting on the event or refuting it). And yet the author seems to think people shouldn't voice their opinions if they take issue with this, since "it's not a big deal". I'm getting tired of Cracked.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:48, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Like most things recently it seemed to be a case of them having a semi-decent point, most people who spend their time bitching about PC tend to just be jerks who wanna keep being jerks, but on the other hand there have been quite a few recent examples of people being overzealous and silly with it. Sargent just kinda falls for the same tribalist traps, desperately trying to defend and excuse the silly behavior (like the uproar over the shirt) while going bonkers over any perceived offense from the other side. You have to get back to basics, which politely suggesting that people don't unintentionally do things to alienate or offend people. I highly doubt any woman serious about a STEM career has switched majors because of a freaking tacky shirt, and criticizing games filled with murder and mayhem for a poor betrayal of women also isn't really helping. Sargent especially comes off as some kind of annoying born-again social justice activist, bringing us all the good news about social justice and how you're bad for not having the same exact opinions as him. It's especially grating considering the Cracked staff looks like an SAE frat party, and they always ensure the token woman on their podcasts say as little as possible. Hentropy (talk) 03:54, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
"So I'm actually wrong per your tawdry evidence, but I shall assert once more that I am actually right. Also, here's some unrelated ad hominem." Cool story - David Gerard (talk) 07:54, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
If you're going to rush to Cracked's defense for no other reason than they're on your "side" and you see any criticism of Cracked as a criticism of all progressivism, then at least do so in a manner where I don't have to guess what the hell you're talking about. If you really want a decent article, Christina H made a very similar article last year that was actually well-written, considerate, and didn't have to resort to clickbait designed specifically to generate clicks and get shared. Hentropy (talk) 16:45, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
That was clearly a criticism of your argument as written, not a defense of cracked. Please don't write motivations onto people like that. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:08, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
But apparently putting (completely irrelevant) words in people's mouth to misrepresent their argument channer-style with no further clarification is completely acceptable in a discussion forum. I'm not interested in a passive-aggressive snarkfest, if someone vaguely makes substanceless jabs against me whenever I criticize Cracked for any reason, then I'm going to infer that they are defending Cracked. Hentropy (talk) 17:36, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
"Cool story"? Wow, that's some really intelligently thought-out and biting satire. How about making a real argument instead of putting words in people's mouths?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 18:57, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
What bothered me most about that episode was the philistinism and esthetic blindness on tap there. The shirt was obviously a campy homage to pulp and comic book art. Perceiving it and calling it 'sexist' is tiresome, prudish bullshit. That's a learned reaction that needs to be unlearned. As far as I'm concerned the shirt was an awesome present from a friend and he did well to want to show it off. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 12:25, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I generally agree with Smerdis' sentiment that it was a pretty cool shirt (aesthetically at least), but seriously, whining about retweets on Twitter is like whining about likes on Facebook: utterly stupid. Don't do it. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 16:55, 19 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
Assuming the "whining" refers to me, I thought it was contradictory that he would say that a thousand retweets was "no big deal" in this case, but if some MRAs or right-wingers posted something crazy with 1,000 likes, people would jump all over it. Personally I don't think a large number of likes/retweets matters (since you can find an echo chamber for anything), but that doesn't mean you're overreacting if you criticize the post.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 19:05, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Also, as noted above, the part that happened on Twitter touched off a round of denunciations in widely read parts of the feminist blogosphere, and got coverage in The Guardian, Slate, and Salon. Reducing the phenomenon to retweets seems special pleading. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Never ceases to amaze me that people can get this huffy and worked up over colorful fabric, but hey... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:15, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, it was a pretty shitty thing to wear. Completely inappropriate and highly pervy. Just because something doesn't cause someone to completely change her life (do you remember which bean made you fart?), doesn't mean that thing is alienating and degrading. Yes, a shirt won't stone you to death, but sexism isn't just the ultra-overt actions, it can also be death by a thousand paper cuts. Shadow Nirvana (talk) 21:26, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

African Countries score[edit]

Shall we share our scores here? I got 50/54 on my first try. Blitz (Complaints Box) 08:42, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Phew. And without cheating? 142.124.55.236 (talk) 09:20, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
And without cheating. I also got the Canaries as a bonus. Blitz (Complaints Box) 10:52, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I made it to 35/54 and 2 bonus answers. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 09:48, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
54/54. But then again, I live there. Although it's a bugger because it only accepts Congo Republic and not just Congo (as apposed to the DRC) PsyGremlinПоговорите! 12:06, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
There's two Congos, of course it can't accept that as a proper answer. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:34, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
Yes, but there's the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the other is more generally known as just Congo, not Congo Republic. PsyGremlinПоговорите! 12:30, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
The other one is called Congo pretty often too (in international contexts at least). Typing "Republic of the Congo" also works, btw. "RotC" probably too. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:34, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
"Congo-Brazzaville" also works. Just tried it. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:42, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
So did "Zaire", which is what I still tend to remember it as. I got 48 of 54. Forgot Djibouti, and some of the islands countries like Cabo Verde. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:06, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Can you tell me what that tiny country bordered by Ethiopia and Somalia is called then? (Just curious.) 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:39, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
Djibouti. BicyclewheelModerator 13:37, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thanks! 142.124.55.236 (talk) 14:49, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
32/54 and 4 bonus answers. Oh well. I blame the number of "republic of" countries.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 13:20, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
40 with one bonus answer. I really need to brush up on Sporcle. AyzmoCheers 17:55, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I got 30 with one bonus. For about half though, I needed to look up the exact spelling of the country. --Revolverman (talk) 00:31, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I used to participate in a lot of geography bees when I was younger, Africa was always the "true test" so to speak since it had the most countries with complicated names. Even then, for some reason I was not for the life of me able to remember Senegal. I remembered The Gambia, and the small island countries, but not Senegal. Aced all their other quizzes though. Hentropy (talk) 05:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I only forgot teh Seychelles, but I used to live in Togo. Researcher (talk) 04:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
I had 48 thinking that was really hot stuff but turns out that I wasn't even in the top 50%. I then went on to the Countries of the World test getting 170 out of 196 thinking that was smashingly great...but it turns out a whole pack of Mr. know it alls take it and they would have laughed me out of the geek room. ShabiDOO 01:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Bakker article on heavenly real estate[edit]

This site looks like a satire site: http://bizstandardnews.com/2015/08/20/jim-bakker-urging-followers-to-buy-real-estate-in-heaven/ Julyo (talk) 13:04, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Yup. "The stories are outlandish, but reality is so strange nowadays they could be true." 142.124.55.236 (talk) 13:19, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)

Some of those feminist_tinder conversations seem like reasonable people discussing things[edit]

Some are obviously shitheads, and I don't want to bury that, but... I pulled it up on my phone and there was a fair amount of reasonable people discussing their differences. That doesn't need public shaming. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:32, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I take it back, I got a bit further in and found nothing but horror. There were just a couple cases of what seemed like sane discussion. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Tinder is what, exactly - some kind of matchmaking service for people with fancy phones that do "apps?" You put up a photo that might be you, and a data sheet about your turn-ons and turn-offs, and invite the judgment of random strangers with fancy phones? Doesn't sound to me like a really good forum for meaningful political discussion. I'm not sure what reasonable expectations would be in such an environment, but probably not that. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 21:17, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The profile's not a bad idea, but I sorta rolled my eyes at some of the "this hair style is cultural appropriation" nonsense native (and mostly isolated) to Tumblr. There's also some other immature stuff that she really didn't have to save/highlight on there. Hentropy (talk) 22:57, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Apparently "crazy" is an ableist slur and our society gets more outraged at women standing up to misogyny than misogyny itself (in a world where when an old Nobel Laureate makes a casual joke about women, he is fired and disowned by everyone, but a "diversity officer" who excludes men from meetings and uses #killallwhitemen, she keeps her job). Basically it's someone spouting crap but looking like a genius compared to the disproportionate hate and harassment she receives. Nothing really positive at all.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 23:08, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
My impression of identity politics in general is that, at its core, it's an oppression contest and unhelpful ranting about other people's perceived "privilege" instead of actually doing something to try to remedy a particular situation. If I'm ever audacious enough to mention the difficulties I occasionally face because I have shoulder-length hair and a fairly large beard, or mention the (not major but still present) sexism I run into because I work in a very female-dominated field, the absolute guaranteed response is "SHUT UP YOU PRIVILEGED ASSHOLE I HAVE IT SO MUCH HARDER BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN/IF I HAD LONG HAIR I'D HAVE IT SO MUCH HARDER THAN YOU BECAUSE I'M BLACK/HISPANIC/ [insert minority here] SO FUCK OFF AND LET ME KEEP RANTING ABOUT HOW PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE FUCKTARDS AND CAUSE ALL OUR PROBLEMS!!!!!!" Evidently being an autistic doesn't get much street cred with the people uneducated enough to go on or agree with the aforementioned tirades, because the amount of melanin in your skin definitely impacts your life more than a systemic brain disorder (evidently it makes no difference right up until it can be brandished as a weapon to try to shut down things someone doesn't like). And as to ableism, I will until my dying day resist classifying autism as anything besides a disability. It'a A Very Good Thing most people don't think the way I do, and it's A Very Gold Thing psychologists and speech paths work to try to minimize those qualities; our species probably wouldn't have survived if most people had the awful facial recognition I do, and it definitely wouldn't have if most people chose to remain single their entire lives. I could unleash diatribes about how Hollywood and music are "privilege blind" to people like me because love and sex are such prominent themes, but I instead choose to do something most people don't ever think of; I find something that suits me, like listening to Rush or watching films like Lord of the Rings and A Clockwork Orange and Midnight Cowboy. And it's not ableist to use decent grammar when you're speaking, what's really annoying is resorting to horrible circumlocutions. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:59, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Now I wonder what the reaction would be if somebody started posting a bunch of right-wing political cant and dog-whistling into a profile on a dating/hookup app. It would be interesting to see whether the resulting conversations are any more edifying or topical. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:44, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Ableism is a matter of contention on various sites, as "crazy" and "insane" are such common vernacular, especially when places like "We Hunted The Mammoth" use it frequently to describe mansophere idiots. In some ways I can see where they are coming from, but so much of our negative vernacular is tied to euphemisms. Calling someone an idiot could be considered disparaging to the mentally handicapped, as well. When you take away all these things, there are basically no insults left besides rather vulgar and hateful ones, like "fucker", "trashpile", "shitlord", which is why I assume tumblr loves using them so much. In the end it's always good to take the attitude of "is anyone actually being hurt here, am I actually helping anyone, or just self-gratifying and stroking my ego?" which probably pertains to more than just social justice topics. Hentropy (talk) 04:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Same for us Mexicans, atheists, and half-blinds. People are soooooo fucking ignorant of that when the subject of privilege comes up. Zexcoiler Kingbolt (talk) 01:58, 1 September 2015 (UTC)Zexcoiler Kingbolt
Point of order - the sexist 'joke' Tim Hunt made was one of those 'ha, ha, only serious affairs', as he himself has confirmed. So, it did actually reflect his opinion. Secondly, he did not lose his job. He was already retired. He had an honorary position (no pay, no responsibilities) withdrawn, which is not the same. I have met literally no-one in academia who stood by his statements. I even attended a career talk by the distinguished (male) head of a department whose attitude to Hunt's remarks was basically eye-rolling contempt. Please to be not repeating right-wing talking points. Queexchthonic murmurings 10:21, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Paedophile panic and homophobia[edit]

Why so many downvotes? The article seems to make sense to me, but apparently many people here seem to disagree. Anyone want to explain why? Carpetsmoker (talk) 20:43, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

It reads like reactionary tosh to me. There may be a valid point or two in it but all the talk about public hysteria and "a police force that's lost the plot", despite dozens of convictions since Operation Yewtree, is bordering on outright denialism. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:57, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Proctor has been accused of torturing and murdering boys at wild Westminster sex parties that were also frequented by Edward Heath and Leon Brittan. Sounds to me like the accusations are as seriously out of control as they were in the McMartin case. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 12:18, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Tim Hunt[edit]

What do so many people have against this article? His life getting ruined because he made a few sexist jokes is definitely what most reasonable people would agree an over reaction. Is it just because some people are so politicized that when they see something that superficially isn't on their side (i.e. "This guy who made sexist jokes shouldn't be destroyed") they simply react rather than thinking about it?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 19:44, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

I thought the article did a decent job of making its case, but it employs the same sense of righteous indignation that it claims to dislike. It's also on a decidedly right-wing opinion site that tends to have a vested interest in trying to paint social progressives as nazi-esque thought warriors. The tone and source doesn't mean it's wrong, though. I did think the response was rather disproportionate, especially since the entire speech was not given, but women in STEM is one of the flashpoints when it comes to feminism and things like this become knee-jerks. Between this and shirtgate I do think that the social media outrage machine should dial it back to 11 and examine their own motives and rationality. Hentropy (talk) 21:14, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
Especially when Ms. "#CancelColbert" herself is now complaining about the call-out culture and kneejerk reactions in the "social justice community".TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 01:51, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
I admit I don't quite get how the same people who take delight in laughing about peoples' genuine religious beliefs (Jewish zombie worshipers, Gawd-fearing rednecks, and similar) get so freaked out over things they perceive as going against their fervently held views. Exactly what gives these losers any more right to scream "No THIS is Truly OffensiveTM" than the people they deride as fundies? I'm an agnostic myself, to the point where I normally wear an upside-down cross in plain view, and I have no objection to having a laugh at someone who dares to make fun of agnosticism (I mean really, my love of Dr Pepper makes perfect sense because it's in perfect accordance with agnosticism; no one knows what it tastes like) or a "ZOMG sexist!" joke (whichever way it goes, men and women jokes can be equally hilarious). Blatant cognitive dissonance, and no justification whatsoever. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:11, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

William McKinley[edit]

Was he a historically significant president? Sure, I can dig it. Was he a "great" president? Ehhhhhhhhhhhh depends on how you define "great." Blitz (Complaints Box) 21:14, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

The best thing for a presidents historical ratings is that you die in office, it makes you instant great. Unless you're Harrison, then you're just a eternal joke.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 21:21, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
McKinley could be great if you see America's 20th century trend of being interventionist, expansionist, and unscrupulous in terms of protecting financial and trade interests overseas as being a good thing for the world. McKinley is generally not considered very good in retrospect for the very reasons listed in the article, the Spanish-American War was all about protecting corporate interests in Cuba and not about empowering the Cuban people, which would extend to the US's support and tolerance of Batista 50 years later. His help during the Boxer Rebellion was all about reinforcing the British colonial empire, one of the aspects that would lead to two World Wars later on. The USA was not some kind of irrelevant backwater before McKinley, it was the most relevant country in the new world, had a big population with a very large industrial and trade footprint, while also being a reserved liberal republic that did not seek to run colonial empires and world-conquering contests with Europe. McKinley did change that, and not for the better. Hentropy (talk) 23:21, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Being "Great" and being good are two different things though - almost every single thing Alexander did that earned him the title can hardly be considered "good", but they are still major accomplishments that changed the world in a major way.--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 23:31, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
It's a fair point, before talking about who is great you have to define "great". Usually when we talk about "Great" Presidents specifically we don't just include ones that were consequential, Polk did change American history, but most don't consider him "great". McKinley in my eyes is in the same class as Polk, which is important but complicated at best, and certainly not great. Hentropy (talk) 00:27, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes hymen?[edit]

Then maybe underage. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 23:30, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

A bit late to the party, but just in case anyone reading this isn't aware, hymens have nothing to do with virginity. Many women are not born with a substantial hymen, and it can change size and shape throughout one's life due to hormones, physical activity, etc. The "hymen myth" is widespread and incredibly harmful, and leads to crazy shit like surgeries to create "fake" hymens, or male partners thinking women are whores when they don't bleed during sex for the first time. --Ymir (talk) 19:08, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Ammo Lawsuit[edit]

I honestly don't know how to feel about that one. The parents of the deceased seemed to know that they would lose due to the law being rigged against them, and they also seemed to realize that the law set up a "loser pays" arrangement for these specific cases. Were they hoping that the $200,000 they can't hope to pay would set them up as martyrs of a sort? Blitz (Complaints Box) 21:11, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

If their view was that the ammo company's business practices should be illegal rather than that they actually are illegal, then a lawsuit seems like the wrong way of addressing that, & doomed to failure. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:06, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I completely agree that the sale of ammo should be regulated, perhaps even more so than gun purchases. The only logical reason I see for this lawsuit (which they most assuredly would lose and be made to pay for) is as a martyr gambit. Nice of Brady Campaign to go pro bono on it. Let's see if they pick up the bill too. Blitz (Complaints Box) 03:00, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
They knew that any legislative effort would be doomed to failure, so they pushed a court case that was also doomed to failure for the faint hope of media publicity. It's the same basic mindset that keeps people like Kim Davis going, rather than trying to change the law they set themselves up as martyrs but complain when they feel consequences. From a purely practical perspective, what they're suggesting is kinda dumb as well, the last thing we need is gun/ammo shops, online or not, to play amateur psychoanalyst, trying to evaluate the potential criminality of everyone who walks into the store or buys something on a website (I wonder how many non-whites might be considered too "criminal" or "unstable" to sell to...). 99.99999~% of people are not buying bulk ammo for shooting sprees or the apocalypse, they're target shooters who want to save money. Serious gun control advocates like the Brady campaign should be focusing on raising money to fund efforts to sway public opinion towards common sense, realistic gun laws, not throwing money away on tragedy-exploiting theatrics like this. Hentropy (talk) 06:06, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
I don't think they deliberately pursued a lawsuit they would lose. It looks like they naively thought the judge would decide in their favour. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:56, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
I could understand if the family didn't know, but their lawyers sure as hell should have known this was hopeless. Instead, it looks like the "good guy" Brady Campaign may have led them along and told them they had a real shot, if not for personal financial gain (like most lawyers who pull that crap), then for cheap tragedy exploitation points. It's crap like this which makes the gun control movement look like just a big box of emotional appeals. Hentropy (talk) 16:50, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

So, uhh, about dildos[edit]

I saw this a few months ago and had Mini Nyar make... this abomination. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 05:25, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

Something that makes this more amusing : until 2008, it was illegal to sell or promote sex toys ("obscene devices") in Texas. It was also illegal to own more than 5 sex toys. Compro01 (talk) 23:12, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
I knew it was illegal to sell them, but not about the limit. Was there a registry? AyzmoCheers 02:53, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Possession of more than 6 sex toys was considered evidence of intent to sell/promote them. Compro01 (talk) 00:10, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

CNN Poll[edit]

I can honestly say that I don't believe that 81% of CNN viewers believe Sanders "won" the debate. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a concerted effort to mess with the polls by some group (possibly 4chan). If it had been closer, sure, but a landslide? AyzmoCheers 21:45, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

and no believed Corbin would lead the labour party by a landslide, but here we are. Maybe times are a really changin. Lets hope so. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:38, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
I can't see why 4chan would care about Sanders. Clinton has always been the establishment and she expects to be elected because she is a woman. She always flip flops on her positions or avoids questions with vague answers.--Owlman (talk) 22:44, 14 October 2015 (UTC)
Having some random internet poll was always going to have that result. Sanders could have laid a literal egg on stage and #feelthebern would have still rushed the CNN page. The proof as to who won or lost the debates will be in the polls, ultimately. Personally I think Bernie held his ground but didn't much expand his support beyond what he already has. Hentropy (talk) 00:42, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Regardless, he won the debate hands-down compared to Hillary, who spent most of her time on the defensive againt Martin O'Malley on guns and Chafee on Wall Street reform. Sanders was always on-point and recovered from any mishaps, of which there were very few. The fact that virtually all online polls showed him in the lead, as well as real polls, goes to show that regular Democrats are tired of Hillary and are aching for Bernie Sanders or another candidate to lead them through to the nomination and the presidency. If Hillary becomes the nominee, there is a very real chance the Democrats will lose in 2016 and another Republican will do the same as Bush, Reagan, etc. which will be very bad for the country and the world. So let's not mince words here and imply Bernie didn't win the debate. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 01:51, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

"How NPR killed college rock" - Redefining yuppies or national variants?[edit]

I was puzzled when I read the entry How NPR killed college rock. One thing was its rather bizarre, or at least superficial, depiction of punk and rather thinly veiled hatred for/disgust with anything its author deems radical or left wing as well as a clear strain of a sort of fatalistic anti-elitism. However, I was struck far more by a description of yuppies that clashes with how I've always understood this phenomenon and how it's depicted elsewhere. The author, Ian F. Svenonius, offers this description:

The yuppie was an adult version of the privileged campus longhair who had outgrown the juvenile provocations and naive politics of his youth and now had a “pragmatic” approach to changing the world. This mostly consisted of buying things that were sensible, bourgeois, and decorous, such as Volvo station wagons and imported Italian olive oil. Their coed activist impulse was channeled in adulthood into improving their “quality of life,” using material things which reflected their values: quality, wholesomeness, worldliness, and decency. French cheese, Scandinavian design, Italian espresso, olde-time American folk traditions, and many of the same sundries that would have been admired by the folk and protest movements centered around sixties college campuses.

I'm puzzled because, rather than this version of the yuppie as an ageing, pragmatic, ex-hippie with a focus on "self-development" and Scandinavian design, I've always seen yuppies depicted as cut-throat anti-hippies with Gordon GekkoWikipedia's W.svg and Patrick BatemanWikipedia's W.svg as the popular culture stereotypes. Now I'm wondering whether there are different "versions" of yuppies depending on cultural and national context, whether I've been picturing the wrong stereotype of the yuppies all along, or whether Svenonius is redefining "yuppism" to suit his argument. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:52, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Methinks the author is very serious about this. Blitz (Complaints Box) 21:25, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
My take on the yuppies as a lifestyle/cultural movement is that they were the 1980s precursor to the "latte-drinking liberal" of more recent times -- ie, people who came out of, or were perhaps a few years late to, the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s and tried to reconcile a superficial reading of that era's values -- peace,love, personal and environmental well-being -- with a desire for the conspicuous consumption of luxury goods like fine/imported foods, Volvos, etc. etc. In other words, a way to consume like a social elite while still feeling like a grassroots-oriented "activist" type. G.B. Trudeau ran some strips in the 80s where he showed how he had his finger on that pulse. (...because that's pretty much where he came from). Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 21:34, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
The author seems to have trouble with the definitions of "college radio," "college rock," "radio," and "punk" as well - eg, claiming that college radio is dead in the first place (I can pick up five college stations over the air right now, and infinitybillion online). The spangly neon violet prose did nothing to distract from the fact that his argument is made of popsicle sticks held together with spit. ElOso (talk) 21:44, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

The fallacy of the Reason entry.[edit]

Not in the reason piece, but our own headline here. "Even blank sees X is bad" as an argument, because I'm not aware of a named fallacy that's like this, but I see it on the internet all the time.

To be clear, the format of the fallacy is this:

  1. X would be supported by Y's bias
  2. Y disagrees with X
  3. Therefor not X

What's it called?

N.B. please don't rewrite the headline, this is a question, not a concern ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:51, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Man, I feel like I should know this given how many examples of it I've seen (not here particularly; mostly in social media and other areas). I feel like this is a variation on the Association fallacy, but I'm not sure if there's a proper name for it. I remember reading how Ingrid Newkirk, PeTA's CEO, did something similar when she argued against meat consumption by saying, "Isn't that what the Nazis did? They treated those they thought subhuman by making them subjects for experimentation, but even the Nazis didn't eat the objects of their derision" or something like that. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 16:31, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a Lesser of Two Evils deal. "They may be a libertarians, but even they can see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch Donald Trump is criminally unfit for political office." 173.72.11.68 (talk) 16:43, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's a fallacy to say "Wow, the state of X is so extreme that even X supporters are concerned." It's merely giving weight to a known bias of the source. As a 'frinstance, my local paper is, unsurprisingly, very supportive of the local footie club. They also know that the club owner puts a lot of business through the paper. It's an indication of how bad things currently are at the club (Blackpool FC if you're interested) that even the local paper is critical of the owners and have stopped publishing puff pieces. If I were going to post on this (I'm not) I might well say "even the Blackpool Gazette is critical of the owners". Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:01, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
It may not be a fallacy, but radical and centrist elements of a party generating friction between each other and eventually splitting is a recurring phenomenon. Political Party Mitosis? 173.72.11.68 (talk) 17:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
In a party in crisis it is all but inevitable that the hard-liners will insist that it's because "we're not getting our message across - we need to be more resolute" and the centrists will insist that, to win, one mustn't frighten off the swing voters. This means that the candidate selection process tends to throw up the nutters more extreme candidates which pushes the party further into the wilderness. What is required is a John Smith (Labour Party leader)Wikipedia's W.svg to pull the party back together combined with a non entity like John Major for the incumbents. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:28, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Straw freshmen[edit]

While the author points out that actual data crunching on the topic is less than stellar (somewhat true for the few articles he examines) and agrees that some cases of pc-driven-shaming is extreme...he does seem rather blind to how many Universities in Anglo-saxon countries have implemented or made decisions based on outrageous interpretations of policy per "safe space", micro-aggression and shutting down certain content. Safe-spaces make sense, and bringing up problems with speakers, course content and ideas makes sense. Banning content doesn't make sense, no matter who has privilege or who is distressed. The author omits this. The conflation of aggressive, injurious or highly-disrespectful views, comments and perspectives (of which there are too many especially in smaller universities where they aren't treated seriously) with comments that put students at disease is at the heart of what the author believes is a "non-problem" and he doesn't seem to recognize this. You need only research a little yourself and find examples abound. In every case...the university makes no apologies and shows no signs of reversing lectures shut down due to student "outrage", micro-aggressions being codified, speeches cancelled or course content being restricted due to potential trauma triggering.

  • Columbia university (flyers)
  • Cambridge
  • University College London
  • Brown University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Cork
  • Oxford (various colleges...notably Balliol and Christchurch)
  • Queens University (N.Ire)
  • London South Bank University
  • King's College London
  • Dublin City University
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Georgetown University
  • Cornell University
  • Goldsmith University of London
  • University of Toronto
  • North Western University
  • University of Chicago
  • Smith College
  • Brandeis
  • Barnard College
  • Hampshire College
  • Williams College

...to name only well known institutes. The list goes on. I read, every week about several lectures cancelled because the topic (or treatment of the topic) would remotely challenge the sensibilities and emotions of their students. The author of the "bullshit article" then slanders several of the authors whose articles he analyses (twice through conjecture and several times with red herrings), complains that some articles only cite a few sources...while he himself only analyses a few articles written on the topic and zero academic quality articles (there are many to choose from). He then brings up privilege as though the fact that there is privilege on campus (there certainly is) might justify shutting people up, excluding people, banning views on current topics, cancelling courses/speeches or micro-aggression-proliferation. It's hard to tell exactly what he meant because he changes direction and argument at least three times in every paragraph. Imagine non-Anglo-Saxon professors very hesitant to take up posts at well known American Universities in the humanities faculties. I would think twice. 92.56.189.233 (talk) 17:31, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

You seem to be so sure of these colleges you named being examples of college PC culture run amok, and you seem to believe there are lots of academic quality articles. And that's all you say. Would you be willing to provide actual evidence? Links to these articles, maybe actual links to announcements about talks canceled and all that? Because what the person is pointing out is that these various public figures and major articles claiming that there's some sort of college PC problem never do. Just like now I'm pointing out that a list of names and saying "there ARE academic articles" doesn't count as evidence either. If I was intellectually dishonest, then I could just go back and say I've examined every single college you mentioned and found your claims to be untrue. How would you prove me wrong without evidence? Heck, all I'd have to do is provide a single source and I'd have more evidence on my side than the articles examined in Straw Freshmen. Like this: https://dlynx.rhodes.edu/jspui/bitstream/10267/22242/1/Karl_Rove_Poster_2010_001.pdf or even this, which actually involves a college having an Institute for Conservative Studies: http://www.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070223/NEWS01/702230345/1010 . And I seriously hope you have better examples than Brown University students stopping a police commissioner from speaking as a protest against said commissioner's Stop and Frisk policy, because it's shutting up political protesters that would have been the Free Speech issue there. I don't have all day to go back and do your part of the discussion for you. In short, evidence-based reasoning requires evidence, not anecdotal claims that the truth is out there. Cue the X-Files music! Psycho Gecko 19:23, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
As a former FSU student, it doesn't bring me much joy to point out that The Institute of Conservative Studies was a student group under the purview of the SGA. It was not an "institute" within the university. AyzmoCheers 13:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I dislike the use of the phrase "research this yourself" when you're asking me to accept your assertion that there is any fact to a claim. "Research" on the internet often is often qualified by googling and spotting something that sounds believable and calling it done. Tell me why I should think any of these colleges suffer from the alleged cancellations. The article calls this as bullshit, and you need to hold yourself to a higher standard than restating the bullshit. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:35, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

"The central conceit of President Obama’s statement, that students need to learn the viewpoints of those that oppose and offend them, is troublesome as well. Why should racial and ethnic minorities have to listen to or read the words of people whose fundamental disagreement with them is not politics or economics, but the very fact that they exist?" I get that having a name that's a pun on "strawman" is supposed to be ironic, but I think it fits better than intended. Besides, you can always present something as a "non-issue" by comparing it to the bigger picture while simultaneously blowing up the opposition to make it look like an overreaction.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 21:37, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

So how do you explain a college acceding to demands to cancel an Afropop concert because "the band has too many white people"? Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to go to colleges anymore because college students are massive wimps. As a white guy I had to hear plenty of anti-white sentiments when going through college because it's really cool and in vogue in academia to blame white people for everyone's problems, it's a fact of life that there's always someone willing to denigrate you for your background; you have to learn to wish them well or you'll be so fixated on every slight that you'll never get around to doing anything but rage against them. Yeah it sucks, such is life. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:18, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstand. I was saying that the way the author just sweeps the whole PC craze under the rug and calls it nonexistent, while making a big deal out of the people who oppose it, is dishonest. If I am correctly reading what you are trying to say, I think we're in agreement TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 01:01, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The point of the article, and the same response we could ask of you with your claims about colleges, is "[Citation Needed]". Psycho Gecko 07:22, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it was bad indenting on my part; I was trying to respond to a couple comments above and forgot to fix up the formatting. Sorry. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:19, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/hampshire-college-afrobeat-band-shokazoba-too-white_n_4174231.html Well he named a specific example, but there's a link. Just because some people don't always provide a full citation of a source documenting an event doesn't mean that that everyone saying those events exist is talking "bullshit".TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:52, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Internet vernacular[edit]

I might actually find it persuasive if it weren't for the fact that every single one of the people bitching about "appropriating" African American Vernacular English didn't completely and utterly fail at distinguishing between AAVE and General Southern. Setting aside the bizarrely extreme version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis they seem to believe in, no one group of people owns exclusive rights to a particular linguistic mannerism and there are natural overlaps between any dialect and various others with which it is in regular contact—like, say, the situation with AAVE and General Southern. People are always going to mock something about some other group of people, it's generally pretty obvious when it's actually malicious versus someone just writing a certain way. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:52, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

As the French have learned, you can't have a walled garden in any language, or at least not a major world language like English. The article's essential claim is that Black American English is not a part of the river that is English, and that it is possible and desirable to separate one part of the flow from the others. That in itself ought to be a mildly offensive sentiment. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:34, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
And the concept of cultural appropriation is (mostly) bullshit anyway. Every culture took some stuff from other cultures, no exception AT ALL.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 15:14, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

How to write an article mocking the idea of politically correct intolerance[edit]

Like, safe bathrooms. Or having their identities respected. Or not having to constantly face hateful or derogatory speech on a regular basis.

I suppose I'd begin by glossing over the notion that not all activist movements have equally worthy or plausible goals. You can't really get away from that, though. There are few political bullies worse than the anti-abortion cranks. They tend to be more ... effective than some others, mostly because they haven't forgotten that the point is ultimately to influence governments and what they do. So I despise them especially.

Still, this list of goals is telling. Safe bathrooms are a reasonable political goal. There are ways by which the Prime Minister, the President, the General Secretary of the Party, or the Queen; or bureaucrats, policemen, senators, lawyers, game wardens, tax collectors, navies, and other public servants can help bring them about. (Some of these people may be better suited for the task than others.) "Having your identity respected", by contrast, is not a reasonable political goal. None of the Swiss army knife of tools and weapons that any government has at its disposal can get that for you. All human societies have winners and losers, insiders and outsiders, Us and Them. Somebody always has to be "it". Equality of social prestige, at least at such an absolute and utopian level, is a vain and stupid goal; and worse, no government capable of delivering it is one you'd want to be subject to. And likewise, "not having to constantly face hateful or derogatory speech on a regular basis" is not a reasonable goal if you take free speech seriously. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 06:05, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

That's right, you can't legislate against being an asshole, people find always a way.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 17:34, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

I was thinking a little more about the article today. I know it focused on the transgender issue in particular, but I wonder now if anyone's looked at any potential connections to the perennial anti-intellectualism crowd who have traditionally claimed that colleges are bad. You know, the folks who say colleges are elitist and indoctrinate students to be liberals. Just like those types, a lot of this criticism seems to be focused generically at colleges without providing much in the way of evidence. And it focuses on just the one political side, seeing as "politically correct" isn't often a sentiment associated with the right-wing in the U.S. It's almost like FIRE.org is writing the script, though their idea of being hostile to free speech includes rules against bullying other students. It'd be interesting to see if there's a connection. Like if they're trying something like the Southern Strategy, only with institutions of higher learning. To quote the great thinker Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that." --Psycho Gecko 4:15, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

See Forum:Okay, I do believe it's time for a frank discussion about college students. Expect lazy generalisations, anecdotal examples, quote-mining & strawmen. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:16, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
[1], [2], [3]. I've learned that most (though certainly not all) people bandying about the term "straw men" are using it as code for "argument I don't like, so I'm throwing my toys out of the pram". Goalposts to be moved in 3, 2, 1... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:27, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Same goes for any kind of bad argument that's been given a name. Instead of actually explaining why someone's argument is wrong, people just abuse it and use it as a crutch, so basically it means less when people want to actually use it properly.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:27, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

dance track from televangelist's drivel[edit]

Not nearly as funny as Slayer goes to church. Carpetsmoker (talk) 19:42, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Still prefer the Brian Eno and David Byrne version. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 19:52, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Gay Sexists[edit]

Apparently now that lumping straight men into one group and generalizing how horrible they are is getting boring, the groundbreaking boundary-pushing journalism going on at Edge (wait, I mean Vice) have moved on to gay men. Because "we are all harmed by patriarchy, but in many contexts gay men are the ones best placed to be seduced into conspiring with it". This article is literally claiming that there is a gay conspiracy to oppress women. Not to mention the constant hypocrisy, complaining that "when Sin recently appeared in a Broadly documentary about drag artistry, some gay men on Facebook angrily accused her of 'appropriation' of gay culture and drag. 'What am I appropriating? It's pure misogyny and so stupid on many levels,' she says." So just because someone claimed she was appropriating someone, it was misogyny, but then when the article complains that "the casual conflation of a white gay male's experience with that of black women is appropriation, not solidarity." So I guess the article is being racist by its own standards. The tactics used in this article reek of far-right religious attacks. All of the evidence about how misogynistic gay people are is just personal anecdotes, and the author then states that "calling vaginas gross is pretty rich coming from people who have anal sex". Right. Now if a gay person ever tells me something is gross, I'm going to assume that because they're gay they have anal sex and I'll hold that against them. This article is interesting though, because only when you take the attitude that these identity-politics-obsessed people have towards white males and transfer the same logic to an actually marginalized group can you fully see how backwards and stupid it is.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 23:14, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

When you score points by cultivating grievances, the result is a game where everyone loses. I really don't understand what it would mean to be a female drag artist, or why anyone would bother to imitate or "appropriate" anything they also thought was stupid and sexist. What is really headache inducing about these pieces is that after you read them you have no clue what would make the angry people quoted in them happier. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:46, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
What most people aren't aware is that there aren't just drag queens. There are also drag kings (women who dress as men) and there's bio drag as well (woman dressing as a man dressing as a woman, or vice versa). I imagine that's what she's talking about. Honestly, as a gay guy, I found a lot to agree with in the article. There is a lot of misogyny in the gay male community that is really not acknowledged. How she made the points may not be the best, but what she pointed out is real, at least in my experience. I'm kinda amused by the way you both reacted to it. AyzmoCheers 20:54, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Not surprising at all. People can be assholes no matter, what gender they have and whom they shag.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 13:22, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
An article based entirely on her limited experience though written as though it's researched. Nonsense. I'm gay and I've never seen anything of the sort and have asked many of my female friends if they have had bad experiences from male gay people (bad experiences that only a woman would have) and they've said no. That's my own limited experience. There's nothing wrong with the minority of gay men wanting to create an all male circle as with lesbian woman with an all female circle...and it doesn't automatically mean they are sexist. There are sexist gay men...for sure there are...not to mention women haters as well. Going "gross...your periods are sick...don't talk about your woman-problems" is not cool and a douchey thing to say...especially if you've talked about anuses and dicks for half of the night. But it's not a particularly gay-male problem...that's an Anglo-Saxon men problem in general. In any case...knowing what the prevalence of gay-male-sexism is among gay men...requires research...not her personal experience or mine. Her article is an angry rant...which would be great if the article wasn't written as more than that. Just as she is right to find some of the things gay men said to her offensive...I find a couple lines in her article offensive and insulting. 37.134.28.95 (talk) 00:20, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Cracked[edit]

Fer Christ's sake, is that all you people read? (5 of the 8 most recent WIGOs from one blog?) Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:49, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Well it is a daily blog with multiple topics and contributors.--Owlman (talk) 19:56, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
WIGO:Cracked --OverworldTheme (talk) 21:05, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
^--Owlman (talk) 21:14, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't have an issue if Cracked still made an effort to be funny, but it's since been reduced to clickbait and bleeding hearts. Also, I commented on that college protest article. Blitz (Complaints Box) 21:42, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Well I have posted 4 of the 5 articles from Cracked and I usually don't go on Cracked anymore. I am not against the 'new' Cracked, but their jokes have become a side issue and the experience articles have been a hit and a miss for me. Also what was your comment because I can't find it; do you use a different username?--Owlman (talk) 22:15, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I used the name blitzthedragon on Cracked. Blitz (Complaints Box) 23:41, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
You have to learn to live and let live with certain sections of the internet. You want to see a real shitstorm, try posting them in the clogs for something they get wrong. One article of theirs boiled down to saying that sexism was really pretty much equal for men and women because pretty women sometimes get free drinks and men run the political, financial, and military world. But I wasn't going to step in that anthill twice. Besides, it's just about the only source you can still post that's actually addressing those sorts of social issues. Just the whiff of controversy is enough to scare some sources away so as to maintain popular appeal. It's kind of an interesting conservative backlash along the same vein as the one Reagan rode to prominence, I'm learning through research, but that's a story for a different header. -Psycho Gecko 22:54, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Doesn't help that most of the pieces are hack jobs. Wasn't there another article on how everyone criticizing "PC culture" is overreacting and full of bullshit (their favorite word) not that long ago that some one else posted in the WIGO? Apparently they weren't done acting above-it-all. "Why are you guys so mad about what college kids say? They're just experimenting with ideas! You're all alarmists!" Right, so next time a bunch of college kids says something racist or stupid in some way that doesn't fit into Cracked's political agendas, we can just brush that aside too, and attack anyone who dares mention it.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:06, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

Those last two[edit]

The one on ePeople or whatever sounds like some kind of crazed conspiracy ramblings. I don't even get the point it's trying to make, And The one about Christians seems to be doing an awful lot to paint the discriminatory homophobes as the real victims. — Unsigned, by: 69.140.56.166 / talk / contribs 03:48, 25 November 2015‎ (UTC)

I couldn't really tell if it was supposed to be sarcastic in places or not, since some parts of it made me think it was trying to point out that the people you're arguing with online are much the same as you. That, and it tried to say that no one ever changed their minds about religion because of something they read online, which has to be either sarcasm or someone who is clueless. I'm not the only atheist who got that way thanks to the internet. Plus, it had some weird criticism of "Evangelical Atheism". Haven't read the bigotry one yet, but there are people who drop in around here on occasion who are trying to post their own crazy stuff that goes against RW's mission, should we choose to accept it. -User:PsychoGecko, 4:38 25 November, 2015, (UTC)

"New" Atheism?[edit]

I honestly don't get that one. The whole thing is written like someone claims that atheism is "new". Isn't that a straw man? I have never heard any atheist claim that. The "new" thing is, afaik, just about the presentation and the idea that atheists should come out of the closet (we could discuss if that's really new, sure). But wasting so much time to declare that there were atheist a long time ago seems horribly... pointless, like spending thousands of words to proclaim that the sun is hot. Yeah. So what? --Irian (talk) 18:31, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

A lot of people have been critical of New Atheism lately, equating it with being some newfangled evangelical sort of atheism. Sites like Salon and/or Slate, along with some bloggers on Patheos. Probably some of the bigger name papers, too; I forget. A claim they make to support this is that atheists in the past were never so confrontational or never said such harsh things about religion. They see this as kind of the defining trait of New Atheism, but history easily shows that such "New" Atheism is very old. So, once again, it's people getting offended that more people have a voice nowadays and trying to justify it by saying that people never used to act that way. -Psycho Gecko 19:49, 25 November 2015 (UTC)
Aye, the village atheist stereotype has been around since Richard Dawkins still believed in Santa Claus, and likely longer. It was always assumed that if somebody was an atheist, they'd tell you about it. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:48, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

Dawkins and the Anthropomorphic Principle[edit]

Is this supposed to be a joke? ℕoir LeSable (talk) 19:10, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Probably. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 19:26, 3 December 42015 AQD (UTC)
Reasons not to take it at face value: anecdotal account posted to a personal blog with no citations, no supporting evidence, no external references. Oh, and it's on the internet. 173.72.6.153 (talk) 20:12, 4 December 2015 (UTC)

Namazie[edit]

A comment reads: "We officially live in a world where a feminist society sides with a gang of male aggressors over a lone female human rights campaigner." Although the "gang" was not all-male, it seems correct. Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 23:15, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

While I can at least understand the reflex to defend minorities, in some ways I think Islamists and fundamentalists should never be considered allies in any kind of progressive or social justice movement. They are incredibly anti-feminist and anti-liberal, only embracing social justice values when it helps them do crap like this. Hentropy (talk) 02:30, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Meh. Namazie is an Islamophobe at a time when Muslims in Western places, including universities, are increasingly marginalized and their civil liberties in jeopardy. Hosting her is like having an ex-Catholic invited to rant against her former co-coreligionists in Belfast, in a milieu of smug British protestants. Further, I ally quite a bit with some very smart Muslim-Americans. That won't end any time soon.---Mona- (talk) 02:59, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
That paragraph contained the implicit admission, that CAIR are Islamists. #fail --Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 04:56, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm starting to think of posting a link to this when I start hearing the "safe space" trope. Find your own fucking space, don't shit up events that you don't even have to attend. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:00, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
You'll never see me employing the "safe space" thing other than ironically -- why you invoked it I don't know. Students have a right to protest speakers. They shouldn't try to shout them down or otherwise prevent them from speaking, but making their strong objections known is their right.---Mona- (talk) 04:06, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn't clear; it was directed at the students in this story, not you. Never know how to make that clear with the indenting format... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:19, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Is Namazie islamaphobic? FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 04:16, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

She insists there is no such thing as Islamophobia, and that criticizing a religion -- which she claims is all she is doing -- is fair game. Namazie refuses to see that many cross the line from merely criticizing the religion of Islam and into using that as an excuse to beat Western Muslims -- minorities -- over the head. Her campaign against the excesses of Islam in countries like Iran, when constantly delivered to Western audiences, fuels Islamophobia in the U.S. and UK. The Muslims activists I interact with consider her Islamophobic.---Mona- (talk) 04:44, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Islamophobia suggests bigotry. I didn't hear any bigotry in her talk. Pointing out the extremism, brutality, extreme misogyny, etc. in Islamist governments in the middle east does not mean you hate all Muslims, just as disliking the Israeli government does not mean you hate Jews. I do believe there to be such a thing as Islamophobia, and I don't necessarily agree with everything Namazie says, but she should be able to do it without male protesters trying to intimidate a human rights worker simply pointing out facts. They are free to protest in other ways, but their behavior is indefensible in my eyes. Hentropy (talk) 05:05, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Rather obviously, Namazie is no mere "human rights worker." She's a Western atheist activist specializing in denouncing Islam. It is in that capacity that the protesters objected to her views.---Mona- (talk) 05:09, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
They are free to "object" to anything, but that's not what they did. They tried to shut down the entire speech, had no interest in discussion, only disruption and silencing. Atheists are a religious minority themselves and are killed around the world, by extremist Christians occasionally but mostly by extremist Muslims, for simply existing. There have been numerous ex-Muslims targeted in the west and around the world, just because it's the UK does not mean that the intimidation factor is meaningless. Hentropy (talk) 05:17, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
"Islamophobia" in this context is mostly a reaction to Islamism as it ends up getting practiced in the Western world. Most of us would like nothing better than to be able to not pay any attention to what Muslims find intolerably offensive. Demanding that attention with violence provokes a reaction, and given human weakness that reaction will be an overreaction and will lash out at minor or inappropriate targets. At any rate, Islam ought to be no more immune to denunciation than any other religion. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 06:04, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
If any other ideologues tried to disrupt and shut down a feminist speaker arguing against virtually anything, let alone horrible human rights violations, everyone would see them as misogynistic thugs (think of the reaction if this had happened to say, Anita Sarkeesian at one of her thingies). But if that ideology is Islam, suddenly people, including the university's own feminist organization, start defending these people? Of all the things feminists could be criticizing, you'd think fundamentalist Islam would be the top priority.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 22:56, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
Maybe it's because minorities being marginalised & demonised is something feminists are concerned about. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:23, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
So criticizing Islam's history of human rights violations is too hurtful and marginalizing to even attempt?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 01:21, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Here we see the paint-by-numbers thinking that the 'marginalization' slogan leads to. If our poor article on no platform makes any point at all, it's that some people and some viewpoints ought to be marginalized. A religion that thinks it needs blasphemy laws and immunity to criticism ought to be marginalized. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:55, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
One rather interesting fact concerning "marginalization": the public's opinion of Muslims in France and the US tends to go 'up' after large acts of Islamic terrorism. While I think that there is indeed a risk of the rights of muslims being infringed on (due to lawmakers trying to appease the more hysterical parts of their voter base and whatnot), I don't think there is much of a risk of marginalization. If anything, islamic terrorism underscores just how many muslims are 'not' terrorists in the minds of many. NewFrenchHotness (talk) 09:52, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

Small Update[edit]

Turns out the ISOC president who spoke out against Namazie because of her "hate speech" was a massive homophobe. Wow. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 22:17, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

That really surprise anyone? One of the problems that will undoubtedly cause a flashpoint within the progressive movement are those that try their damndest to defend patently anti-progressive ideas simply because they are marginalized. I imagine if you asked most of the men in that group what they thought about women or gays, it wouldn't be that flattering the ears of the self-fashioned super progressives at Goldsmiths. Hentropy (talk) 03:32, 10 December 2015 (UTC)

Animal Suffering[edit]

I understand why the article would initially set off alarm bells in people's heads, but I think it's reasonable enough to not deserve all the downvotes. The article acknowledges that any rushed solutions to even minor wild animal suffering would lead to disaster, which is why it needs to be more heavily researched. The arguments that people should stop romanticizing nature and are too focused on its subjective beauty to preserve it for any other reason. The article only lists a few random examples of how things could be done rather than laying out concrete plans. It simply advocates for a change in viewpoint, from viewing nature as something that's just pretty and being obsessed with preserving it to seeing its inhabitants from a humanist perspective. After all, I'm sure there have been plenty upper-class people who, from their perches, have found the class system and the peasant's struggles "beautiful" and insisted it is the way things are meant to be.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 23:20, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

I wasn't sure whether the piece was sincere or tongue in cheek, myself. I upvoted it mostly because it struck me as satire. Nature is indifferent to animal suffering, and both the animals in the jungle and the animals in the factory farm are judged according to the same standard: reproductive success, or the success of your closest relatives, all scored by the supremely indifferent algorithm of counting genes. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:22, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I actually support treating the animals we eat reasonably well, but only because 1. the gross overuse of antibiotics is wreaking all kinds of unnecessary havoc on treating human diseases and 2. they taste a lot better if they're treated well (the people in the Middle Ages had that figured out). But beyond that I don't care a bit what people want to do with any animal outside of things that will actively FUBAR an ecosystem and/or cause extinctions. They're not humans, so people are quite free to create their own standards for animal treatment. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:23, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
"They're not humans, so people are quite free to create their own standards for animal treatment" -> So it's fine if I torture a dog to death? Carpetsmoker (talk) 10:50, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I have no inclinations towards such things myself, but what you do with your animals is up to, well, you. Better a dog than a child. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:15, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Do you deny that animals lack a capacity for emotions and suffering? Animals obviously aren't human, but even a casual look at pigs, cows, dogs, cats, etc. should make it very obvious that these animals have some sense of emotions (they can be happy, scared, in pain, experience stress, etc). If we disagree on that, then I can understand your viewpoint.
However, if you accept that animals can experience emotions & suffering, I am at a loss to even understand how anyone could consider any and all suffering-inducing behaviour acceptable and merely a matter of personal choice. Of course, there is a meaningful debate to be had about what can be considered "acceptable", but simply accepting everything as a matter of personal choice seems to mean that the torturing of animals for no other reason than the person's pleasure is acceptable...
Also, "better a dog than a child" is not related at all to the question on how animals should be treated. Carpetsmoker (talk) 13:30, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Animals at a certain point (obviously excluding jellyfish and insects and such, which are also quite tasty if you can get over the mental block) certainly experience suffering. Perhaps it's the ASD, but I can't muster up much in the way of sympathy because humans don't treat each other much or any better in a lot of cases. Being a human I'm more inclined to look out for my own (hence my earlier statement about children, although I agree I didn't connect it well), so I place less importance on the pain of anything else. As I reread it I realize it's very cold, yes, emotionality (which is essential to rational thought) and ASD don't mix well so make of it what you will. And I certainly don't encourage people to torture animals, don't misunderstand, but there are plenty of reasons why that don't have to do with their suffering (waste of resources, aggressive animals that attack people, etc.; there's quite a list, so I might very well get to a similar answer via different means). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:52, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
I agree that human suffering is more important—if you ask me why, I can't really give an answer, though, probably just because I happen to be a human—and given the choice of relieving human or animal suffering, I'd choose human suffering every time without thinking. But it's not a choice. We can do both. Carpetsmoker (talk) 12:15, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
"Nature is indifferent to animal suffering" Rocks, rivers and air molecules may be indifferent to animal suffering, but animals aren't. Really, just try it out. Induce suffering in an animal and you'll see it magically react as if what you're doing is unpleasant! Fucking magnets nervous systems, how do they work? 142.124.55.236 (talk) 20:31, 15 December 42015 AQD (UTC)
I think one of the problems is that organisations like PETA, Greenpeace, and such have been so unreasonable and counter-productive, that many people now associate new and interesting thoughts on animal welfare (and even animal welfare in general) with those sort of people... Carpetsmoker (talk) 10:50, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Animal-rightsery attracts my utter contempt for the same reason that the anti-abortion cult does. There's something about the combination of maudlin pithering and fanatical judgmentalism that hardens my heart entirely. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 15:28, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
Not everyone who's interested or cares about animal welfare and/or rights is like that. Just like not everyone who is against abortion is religious (eg. Christopher Hitchens). It is unfortunate, in both cases, that those who shout the craziest and loudest get the most attention... Carpetsmoker (talk) 15:44, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
IMNSHO it's completely OK for humans to use animals, which is I have no problems at all with mass farming (made meat from a luxury article to a part of everyone's diet), animal experimentation, getting their meat, milk, hide and other stuff form their bodies but I disapprove of pointless suffering for the animals (bull fights, letting animals fight each-other for bets on the outcome, kopi luwak and such stuff). People should use animals, not abuse them.--Arisboch ☞✍☜☞✉☜ ∈)☼(∋ 11:04, 15 December 2015 (UTC)
That isn't really what the article discusses though -- it talks of aiding wild animals rather than animals already in human protection, captivity, or use. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 20:03, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

It's a well-meaning idea that needs to be tread extremely carefully. I know it's a 90's cartoon, but I'm reminded of the episode of The Wild Thornberrys where Eliza gives long sewing needles to a flock of Galápagos finches as a bug larva gathering aid, which ends up causing a domino effect on the local ecosystem (sped up for the sake of time, of course). We've already seen similar enviromentally-minded ideas have unintended consequences: birds getting fricasseed in solar farms, for instance. I can agree with the techniques the author lists that we currently use -- vaccines, culls, birth control -- but I am not sure the author grasps the kind of risks involved from their comparison to the research of medicine (not that overzealous people aren't doing things that risky with the environment already, but my point stands) ℕoir LeSable (talk) 20:03, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

Well they did say that people should tread extremely lightly. It's confusing that some people here are concerned with human suffering (from serious suffering to "this TV show is sexist") but completely reject a simple statement that people should be concerned with the physical suffering of animals (which is really all the article is saying, and what most of the commenters here are arguing against).TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 21:53, 17 December 2015 (UTC)