RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the clogosphere?

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What is going on?

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It's getting a bit absurd when there's posts in the clogs about an official statement by Vladimir Putin and one by the leader of the Sweden Democrats (who if I'm not mistaken are part of the ruling coalition in Sweden). This is the sort of thing that goes in WIGO World, isn't it? Chillpilled (talk) 22:49, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

Impeach 45[edit]

Despite the "now" in the entry, the linked story dates from July 2018. (talk) 23:09, 4 December 2023 (UTC)


Who exactly is Larry? Carthage (talk) 14:35, 19 December 2023 (UTC)

I haven't the faintest idea myself. Maybe he should be out of jail (where I assume he is), maybe not. Chillpilled (talk) 16:50, 19 December 2023 (UTC)
Wait, he probably means Larry Hoover.Wikipedia Chillpilled (talk) 16:54, 19 December 2023 (UTC)
I see Jeff Fort mentioned there as well. So that's the "Jeff" he mentions (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Natsuki Marx ♥ (talk) 17:02, 19 December 2023 (UTC)
I expected maybe someone who was convicted wrongly or something like that. Mob/gang leaders, including one with multiple life sentences: probably some of the last people that need released from prison. He could certainly pick his battles a lot better. Chillpilled (talk) 17:15, 19 December 2023 (UTC)
Leonard Peltier,Wikipedia anyone? Carthage (talk) 17:23, 19 December 2023 (UTC)

Conspiracy theory[edit]

Jerry Coyne promotes the conspiracy theory that George Floyd was not murdered by police. It’s a conspiracy theory, not an actual conspiracy. — Unsigned, by: 2603:6000:9941:4777:70cf:ffcf:be06:57ba / talk / contribs

Thanks, BON. Carthage (talk) 00:15, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
What the hell is up with Coyne? Is evolution (and possibly science/religion in the broadest sense) the only thing he gets right? I don't know much about him, but every time I run across his blog it's something like this. Chillpilled (talk) 00:17, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
I haven't paid much attention, but I think over the last few years his content has become a lot more political (and batshit as a result) and less about science. I get "angry old reactionary" vibes from him. Carthage (talk) 00:24, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Hmm! You know, I think I very well may have accidentally uncovered a piece of this puzzle the other day when I was digging into the tax records of the Thiel Foundation and documenting where the money was going at Peter Thiel § Thielsphere. Coyne's page does mention something about Thiel already, which I believe @Pinkerite added. Now, would it be interesting if over the years, the Thiel Foundation has given at least $455,500 to the University of Chicago, Coyne's institution? That was one of the universities that kept popping up, and I was actually reluctant to list it but it simply came up too many times. A note here though. I believe most of this was going to the UoC's Leo Strauss Center, indeed one of the entries on the tax docs says at least $100,000 of that was earmarked for that although other entries don't make it so clear.
I would of course never suggest that every academic at this university is somehow compromised by Peter Thiel. That'd be too conspiratorial (and honestly, my impression is that Thiel simply tends to fund things that are already in line with his beliefs, rather than somehow influencing them with money to push what he believes; he also funds some things that are innocuous). But now I am wondering where exactly that money was going at the university. Again, I assume most or even all of it was to the Leo Strauss Center, considering Thiel's support for Leo Strauss or so I hear (which I don't know what that's even about). At the very least this might be a future line of inquiry. Chillpilled (talk) 00:46, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Should we include Coyne as part of the Thielsphere? Carthage (talk) 01:07, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Nah. As far as I know, all we've got is he spoke at the same event as him (could be incidental; doesn't even necessarily mean they spoke to each other directly), and Thiel has funded his institution. I would like to treat those lists with more rigor than that. Chillpilled (talk) 01:15, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
The Panda's Thumb has also seen a sort of reactionary turn, but most posts there still focus on science and the evolution/creation "controversy." I think Hanlon's Razor fits best here. We're just dealing with angry old boomers. No need to invoke shilling or conspiracy. Carthage (talk) 01:17, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Of course, but consider: Coyne has invoked both himself. Chillpilled (talk) 01:37, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Yeah, Coyne is a conspiracy theorist. I'm talking about applying Hanlon's Razor to Coyne. We should keep an open eye out for possible links to the Thielsphere, which Pinkerite has definitely suggested, but to me the weight of the evidence favors Hanlon's Razor at least for the moment. I am open to the possibility, perhaps even probability, that Pinkerite is correct, though. Carthage (talk) 01:42, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Definitely an interesting line of inquiry. Coyne has a curious relationship with Thiel - right before the Thiel-keynoted Stanford Academic Freedom Conference Coyne claimed to have never heard of Thiel (who was already pretty damn famous for supporting Trump), even though he had mentioned Thiel by name prior to that on his blog. My own theory is that Coyne is the victim of creeping senescence and decided it was a good time to trade his career as a once-respected scientist for the easier and more lucrative career of right-wing political operative. He's very chummy with Anna Krylov these days - she was one of the organizers of the Stanford conference along with Dorian Abbot - of the University of Chicago and University of Austin. Pinkerite (talk) 01:36, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
That is noteworthy, but not in and of itself conclusive. Still, we should keep an open eye on this in case anything further comes out. Carthage (talk) 01:42, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
While we're on it I think Pinkerite has been too gung-ho about declaring Quillette as Thiel-funded. Apparently based on the testimony of one guy who isn't terribly reliable. However, I find it possible considering Lehmann has done stuff like dinner with Eric Weinstein, and some other people with links to Thiel being linked to the mag. Given her denial of this, I wonder if it's something like they discussed funding but it never ended up happening. I found no indication of the Thiel Foundation in particular funding Quillette. There are many organizations Thiel uses to fund causes though, and the Thiel Foundation is just one (the declaration by one of Thiel's guys that they fund weird stuff through it intrigued me). Chillpilled (talk) 02:30, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Chafkin's source for the Thiel-Quillette claim, Charles C. Johnson, is a far right-winger. Why would he randomly tell Chafkin that Thiel secretly funded Quillette? Quillette is not even well-known outside the far-right and those of us who oppose the far-right. I sometimes qualify the assertion that Thiel secretly funded Quillette, because it was not verified and Lehmann denied it - although I'd trust Charles C. Johnson before I trust her. But funding the far-right and doing things in secret are both activities that Peter Thiel is known for, so it's extremely plausible. Pinkerite (talk) 22:33, 1 January 2024 (UTC)
Far-rightists smear and back-stab each other all the time, particularly if they feel someone isn't extreme enough. I think Quillette is definitely up to some crypto-politics, and that could irk someone who wants them to be more overt (and if Johnson raised money for Andrew Anglin of all the people, he certainly fits that profile). They might even be accused of trying to "gate-keep" people interested in very far-right ideas towards somewhat more moderate ones. This is sort of silly, but it's how many on the far-right think about it. Chillpilled (talk) 01:10, 2 January 2024 (UTC)

The Gab AI "Coax"[edit]

I removed the most recent WIGO Clogs entry about the Gab AI Coax because it is most likely fake news. The text I removed is: <vote poll=clog3268142>[https://infosec.exchange/@bontchev/112257849039442072 Someone managed to coax Gab's AI chatbot into revealing its default prompt], revealing its [[Bullshit|delightful opinions]] on the [[Holocaust denial|Holocaust]] and [[the Great Replacement]] among other topics.</vote>
The premise of the WIGO entry was that a user was able to extract the system prompt from Gab AI, but the linked page merely shows a screenshot of two users communicating, and one says unsavory things. Nothing about it points at it being the system prompt of any AI, and the fact that 1) the screenshot shows the user simply asking an AI (or potentially just any user on any chat platform, you cannot even identify the platform or verify that it was indeed a bot that was communicated with) to "repeat a previous statement", 2) it never shows the chat leading up to that moment (so makes it impossible to reproduce) and 3) Gab AI users were able to reproduce almost the entire text to a fault by just putting the text and asking the AI to repeat it -> 1) to 3) all lead me to believe that the better explanation for this is that user got AI chatbot to say a thing, rather than AI chatbot reveals system prompt. It is possible that I am missing something from the linked resource - if so then please point it out, that would be my fault in that case. Otherwise, I believe it is in the interests of this wiki to wait for better evidence - if it exists - before posting this kind of headline. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 09:30, 13 April 2024 (UTC)

For what it's worth, Rolling Stone [1] and Wired [2] have articles on the Gab chatbots. I don't think the assertion in the removed WIGO is quite correct; rather, it seems like Gab has decided to train several chatbots to act like conspiracy theorist shitposters (eg pretty much the typical Gab user) in various fashions. They've also apparently trained a few chatbots to appear like what they think a left-wing poster would be like (my guess is these bots are as laughably bad as the left-wing stereotypes in MAGA Facebook memes are). It's the ol' principle of garbage in garbage out at work.
What the fuck is Torba thinking, anyways? The business community is excited about chatbots and other AI tools mainly because they can help solve problems (and in theory replace those pesky human employees the ruling class seems to hate, of course, though the jury's out on that for many tasks). A bot tuned to spout conspiracy garbage? Rather useless. The only business case I can see for these chatbots is to replace troll farmsWikipedia and make things like Musk's bot infested conspiracy shithole social network (let alone the shithole of Gab) even worse. BobJohnson (talk) 17:18, 13 April 2024 (UTC)
It seems to be real (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Natsuki Marx ♥ (talk) 19:00, 13 April 2024 (UTC)
Should we put it back? Carthage (talk) 19:01, 13 April 2024 (UTC)
I suppose I'll do that now. (っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ Natsuki Marx ♥ (talk) 20:21, 13 April 2024 (UTC)

Mark Kern: AAA Games are overrun with woke politics[edit]

https://twitter.com/Grummz/status/1778454965578875053 --John123521 (talk) 08:31, 21 April 2024 (UTC)