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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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What is going on?

(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)

Pointless poll

How would you like us to go out?

Nuclear war



Climate change



Collective harakiri



Planet of the apes style



At the hooves of goat



Who'd win in a fight?

Teddy Roosevelt



Chuck Norris



Steve Irwin (living)






A genie offers to let you choose how you die. What's the best option?

Old and toothless, surrounded by grandchildren



On the field of battle, atop a pile of enemies



Heart attack from winning lotto ticket after marrying



Rocket failure on Mars



Saving children from burning orphanage



Melting yourself so your microchips can't be used to hurt humanity



Trampled by herd of goats



Aneurysm during sex with any combination of Salma Hayek, Beyonce, Ryan Gosling, Chris Hemsworth, and/or Christina Hendricks



To do list

Is creationism still relevant?[edit]

While it's undeniable that creationism as a movement still exists and still has followers, I have noticed that it seems to nowadays be fringe even amongst the anti-science movement, which is itself fringe (although sadly not politically). This might be due to the fact that acceptance of the fact of evolution seems to be mainstream nowadays, at least here in the West. The core wedge issues of the anti-science movement nowadays seems to be a resurgence of racial pseudoscience, anti-medicine sentiment, biological determinism, and transphobia-motivated denial of a whole litany of fields, all of which intersect with one another and are, at least IMO, motivated more by reactionary politics than reactionary fundamentalism, although again the two intersect. Has anyone else noticed something similar? Carthage (talk) 19:09, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

Unfortunately, yes creationism is still relevant. The current person "in charge of" the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, is a Biblical literalist and creationist.[1] Bongolian (talk) 19:23, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Oof. Yeah, that's bad. Carthage (talk) 19:25, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
(EC)I think it still matters but it has also passed its peak. There was this golden age in the early 2010s, when the tea party made it a huge culture war issue, but it's no longer a serious priority. In 2012 republican primary debates the presidential candidates were actually asked "do you believe in evolution" but if that came up in 2023 even diehard MAGAs would probably be confused. As Bongolian pointed out it's true a lot of the GOP power players are still YECs and they would love to shove it in classrooms if they could...but that's not the first item on the agenda and it is rarely brought up in election cycles nowadays. (Compare that to 2010-2014.)-Flandres (talk) 19:28, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
The wealthy creationists are still pushing creationism around the edges after the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in 2005. They've been pushing "school choice" and school vouchers in part as end runs around the effective ban of creationism in public schools. Texas tried to do the vouchers as recently as this year.[2] Fortunately vouchers are uniformly unpopular among voters, even in Texas. Bongolian (talk) 19:45, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
I can see two factors playing out:
A) Since the 1970s, Christianity as an institution has declined significantly in America. Around 20-30% are now "religiously unaffiliated" these days.
B) Of those still left as "evangelicals" (the main group pushing creationism, especially strict types like YEC), a lot of them have merged with "Trumpism". The evolution / creation debate doesn't seem to be a priority at all of Donald Trump. So politically, this topic is pushed to the back-burner, even though this group still believes in such.
Based on a Gallup poll, [3] though admittedly wording matters a *lot* for polls of this type (so all the nuances aren't captured here), I do think plenty of Americans still have some form of creationist view (and many more have a theistic evolution view). But a pure evolution viewpoint is quite a bit more popular than it was in the past, even if still in the minority. BobJohnson (talk) 21:53, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
Yes of course. I'm beginning to find that all these anti-science types are a bit linked. If not literally, then because, when you tolerate the flawed methods and fallacies used by any of these others you've already let the dogs out, and don't be surprised to suddenly find the creationists hitching a ride. Though I can at least say that creationists seem somewhat repulsed by racialists and vice versa, but this is basically happenstance; their views are incompatible except maybe if they believe God made "unequal races" himself (which, some do believe, but rarely). But even so you'll see some of the same general trends (the same sorts of flawed reasoning and evidence-gathering, pseudo-history, casting as much doubt as possible on conventional scientists, etc.). This is similar to what I said in the Flat Earth section recently.
Also just anecdotally, I've run into a batch of creationists online recently without even going looking. Christianity and Islam are quite popular still, you know... Chillpilled (talk) 20:58, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
They mostly seem to have moved on to reactionary politics. Many of the Grand Old Pile would love to keep making serious attempts at pushing it in the classroom, but much for the same reason why they wonโ€™t make serious attempts at getting rid of gay marriage (25% of Americans are homophobic whereas 55% are still transphobic) they know it would completely destroy their chances of retaking the presidency next year. Especially since they couldnโ€™t even take away abortion rights in ohio ๐Ÿ’€ --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 23:49, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
I actually know a few atheist Republicans. I don't like them, but a few exist funnily enough. Carthage (talk) 16:49, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Iโ€™ve heard of โ€œAtheists for Trumpโ€, and encountered one on a forum who strongly opposes immigration and supported Trump (this was when he was president). During his campaigning in 2016, he even had a bunch of young gay men simp him, and even gave their leader a cabinet job as his token gay. And several older US gay men of the misogynistic, ultra-dominant and ultra-masculine type are far-right, and hypocritically oppose trans rights --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 17:02, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
While it doesn't have the appeal it once did in the mainstream (and Intelligent Design didn't take off as they hoped), it will always be hiding in the rafters waiting for its time. We're currently experiencing a post-covid, anti-intellectual wave here in the west, so the conditions are right for creationism to make a come back, though what form it will take, I don't know. One thing to consider is a big part of the "school-choice" initiative is to force kids into tax-payer funded religious schools to teach them creationism among other things, and while that idea is unpopular now, we could begin seeing it in Republican states more and more (Florida would be my guess since here in Texas, public schools are still considered popular). Lastly, the current Speaker of The House being a creationist is just one example of how these people are still in positions of power and still electable. In my opinion, the main reason we're not seeing creationism in the current culture wars is because other issues, like the trans and pedo panic, anti-vaccines, and Trump worship are sucking up the oxygen right now. But who knows, maybe "yassified" creationism will be a topic trending on Tiktok.-Ryan1257 (talk) 18:33, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
I don't think creationism is that relevant right now in the USA on the simple fact it is no longer an effective wedge issue to play, thus it is not. 'Modern' creationism exists directly to justify a literal reading of the creation stories of the Abrahamic religions and indirectly as a stick to beat dirty secularised educationalists using the 'religious freedom' excuse and draw folks into supporting the right-wing/fundie nexus. Naturally, this only works on folks who are already fairly religious, which is an increasingly shrinking base and by the 10s already mainly 'in the bag' electoral-wise. Propagandists and demagogues normally employ the scattergun approach - they look to 'see what sticks' and then exploit the 'sticky point' until it falls off the wall. With the Big Public, creationism and homophobia no longer sticks but 'woke' and transphobia does, so they re-loaded their guns and went with those.
Naturally, within the fundie-cult zone creationism is still a big thing and I am sure within their own belljars they still argue ร  la angels on a head of a pin and maintain the delusion ร  la KenBot that the world is taking them very seriously and Final Victoryโ„ข is just around the corner. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:06, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
I used to believe in creationism. However, times have changed. I would argue that creationism is still relevant on the basis of it literally being taught (in my experience) to children before proper science classes. I was certainly misled in my earlier youth, and I don't know where I am now. At 16, I feel as if I've lost my faith whilst simultaneously gaining a better understanding of the world. Maturity hits different, I guess. Gang O' Shadow Wizards ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™‚๏ธBore me 17:54, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

It was disconcerting how RW started in 2007 in opposition to very particular things in US evangelism, and then in early 2017 precisely those people showed up in the Trump administration. Sometimes you don't want to be right - David Gerard (talk) 17:13, 2 December 2023 (UTC)

Of course creationists believe their Final Victory is just around the corner. These are the same people who believe that the Rapture will whisk them away to heaven at any moment while leaving the godless heathens behind to suffer horribly and then get dumped into hell. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:57, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
It is very present among Evangelicals not just in US, repeating the same PRATTs discussed here to defend for example the Flood happened (fossil sorting, non-uniformitarianism, 2 Peter 3:3 onwards, etc), claiming for example there's God science and Satan's/Worldโ„ข's science (guess what theories are that), using arcane arguments from genetics (CRISPR) attempting to prove Adam and Eve existed, fine-tuning and anthropic principle arguments besides other PRATTs to defend a divine origin (theirs, of course) for the Universe, and with its proposers showing often an astounding ignorance of the most basic science even if their listeners will be as ignorant if not more.Panzerfaust (talk) 00:09, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

Trump-eting hype[edit]

There have been various web pages, and an article in the current issue of (UK magazine) The Week etc making alarmist statements as to his intents if he gets re-elected, including deploying 'usage referred to in Godwin's Law' what is the reality - as to his statements and what would happen if he were to return to the White House?Anna Livia (talk) 18:19, 27 November 2023 (UTC)

I think it's easy to see that much of the GOP currently is a "ruscism-lite" party in a similar manner to Hungary's Fidesz.Wikipedia (Putin IMHO is a much more apt comparison than Hitler.)
It's difficult for me to leap to the "oh noes ends of democracy!" conclusion of some commentators. Though certainly the chance of an "illiberal democracy" exists, that definitely cannot be written off (and is a reason to vote for ol' Joe). But the Trump-led GOP has shown themselves to be, repeatedly, over the last decade, incompetent at governing. Though there are sycophants, even Trump appointed judges have frowned on some of the illiberal shenanigans of Trump and various Trump-y governors like Ron DeSantis. In addition, the "Westpoint crowd" hated Trump 1.0 back in the day, and I see no evidence things have changed. This would rule out "military shenanigans", though since some of our more authoritarian police love the Trump and vice versa, there could be issues in this direction (as happened under Trump 1.0).
In addition, the United States is federalized; governors are fairly powerful. The parts of the country that actually make money tend to detest Trumpism. I can't see them bowling over to GOP illiberalism without a fight.
So, what certainly is guaranteed IMHO: A) Trump will yell a lot and generally be chaotic, even if he doesn't do much. B) Trump's an isolationist, and I think he'll certainly do some moves (eg perhaps dissolve NATO) that will ding our international clout even further than Trump 1.0 did; C) Like the Freedom Caucus is KOing the House, Trump also will clash with the "Senate Old Guard" like Mitch McConnell, with unpredictable results; D) Trump will use some sort of bully pulpit to... well, be Trump, and be the crass ol' racist sexist piggie old fart everyone knows he is, basically embarrassing every sober-minded American out there. BobJohnson (talk) 18:45, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
The Week magazine (which is 'fairly neutral, given its nature' from a UK standpoint) has a section heading pairing Trump and Fascism.
Is some version of the 'Salazar recovery "ruling in private" option' feasible? Anna Livia (talk) 19:59, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
This article? [4]
The "ruscism" crowd is not dissimilar from "old school" fascism. Trump's usage of "vernim" is close enough to the Nazi legal term "VolksschรคdlingWikipedia" (which is translated as "human pests" or "human vernim") to make the commentary outcry a "not Godwin's Law" moment.
One "issue" with trying to figure out a Trump 2.0 term is his rhetoric has definitely become way more authoritarian and sectarian. This means nothing if his "bark is worse than his bite", but it's still a wildcard in case it isn't. BobJohnson (talk) 20:47, 27 November 2023 (UTC)
Different heading. Anna Livia (talk) 00:03, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
Trump and Trumpism pretty solidly meet the 14 characteristics, or at least most of them. Remember that when fascism came to America, at least a politically relevant form of it, it didn't come with Swastikas and copies of Mein Kampf. It came draped in the Stars and Stripes with preachers at the pulpit with a Cross above their heads. Carthage (talk) 18:17, 28 November 2023 (UTC)
What are the '14 points' in this context? Anna Livia (talk) 19:45, 3 December 2023 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ Here.

To give an example of how Trumpism fits the 14 characteristics, I'll list the characteristics and a few of the ways Trumpism fits these characteristics. Keep in mind the examples listed are not exhaustive, although these are the 14 characteristics.

1) Cronyism and corruption. Trump promoted members of his own family, and close associates, to positions of power they were unqualified for.

2) Demonization of academia and the intelligentsia. COVID-19 denialism is probably the example that comes to everyone's minds here, but promotion of antivaxxer bullshit also counts.

3) Subversion of the electoral process. 2020 US Presidential election and 1/6. Duh.

4) Supremacy of the military. Pardoning of war criminals, escalation in jingoist rhetoric, et cetera.

5) Uncritical promotion of nationalism. Trumpists will wave the flag, back the blue, and call their enemies "un-American".

6) Promotion of aesthetic law and order. Blue Lives Matter, anyone?

7) Disdain for recognition of human rights. I don't think I need to seriously list the many human rights abuses committed by the Trumpist regime, and how his base cheered it on.

8) Otherization. Donald "All Mexicans are Rapists" "Democrats are Vermin" "Muslims celebrated 9/11" Trump.

9) Obsession with national security. "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." "Let's build a great big wall."

10) Promotion of corporate power. Excessive promotion of the agenda of big oil, Trump tax cuts that predominantly benefited the wealthy, deregulations that predominantly benefited the wealthy plutocrat class et cetera.

11) Suppression of organized labor. The AFL-CIO released a long list of Trump's "catastrophic" anti-union record: [5]

12) Rampant sexism and promotion of the patriarchy. Donald "If she wasn't my daughter, I'd fuck her" Trump. Trans-military ban. LGBTQ+ people are groomers. Feminism is responsible for the decline of marriage et cetera.

13) Controlled mass media: Fox News, OANN, demonization of mainstream outlets as "fake news" et cetera.

14) Promotion of a theocratic agenda: Trumpism is heavily correlated with the dominance of the Religious Right in mainstream right-wing politics.

Fascism isn't so much a coherent ideology as it is a framework for power. When people call Trumpism fascist, they are not being alarmist. Carthage (talk) 20:29, 3 December 2023 (UTC)

Yeah, I've been active enough in Reddit's political subreddits to be aware of Project 2025 and very nervous about it. Not so much for myself โ€” I live in New England, where that shit is not gonna fly โ€” but I can't help feeling awfully worried about the people living in the rest of America while society goes to hell in a handbasket. Luigifan18 (talk) 19:00, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Trump is horrible for a number of reasons but I'm not sure why that 9/11 thing is in there. Many people did celebrate 9/11 and mourn the death of Bin Laden. You should also note that Trump's antivax rhetoric started before covid and includes the vaccines cause autism bs, which is its own level of special.Brokenglass (talk) 16:06, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

Ready for another war? The second most "pacific" continent in the world (of course I'm disregarding the rampant crime) might face one very soon[edit]

Venezuela will have a referendum this weekend over a territorial dispute with Guyana. Basically, they want to annex 70% of the tiny, oil-rich country.[6][7][8]. This is can be very well a sham referendum since Venezuela is not a democracy. And who knows how they'll react if it passes. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 17:49, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

What about insurgencies? Conflict is still conflict regardless of whether or not the belligerents are non-state actors. (I'm also distinguishing base "crime" from politically-motivated insurgencies, although there is heavy overlap between the two.) Carthage (talk) 17:57, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Was specifically talking about large-scale wars involving two or more countries. The last time there was an actual war in SA was I believe, the Cenepa War 30 years ago, and it only lasted a month. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:03, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Ahem! The Falklands affair? Scream!! (talk) 18:45, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, didn't realise how long ago that was! Seems like yesterday. Scream!! (talk) 18:45, 29 November 2023 (UTC)
1/5th of the entire population of Guyana is living in the US. The US should just annex the place, and problem solved... /sarcarsm Corn (talk) 20:34, 29 November 2023 (UTC)

Yay! Another Military occupation! This should be interesting. This will probably be the next Crimea --Trans Fem Agenda 02:12, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

I wonder how the usual "anti-imperialist" gang will react to this. Surely they'd condemn a country invading another country for oil...right?-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:37, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
They haven't condemned Morocco for outright exterminating an entire people and stealing their land. Corn (talk) 14:16, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Tankies will likely call Guyana a "colonial creation," so therefore Venezuela has a "right" to take back what's theirs. Never mind that runs into the same problem proponents of reconquista of the American Southwest have.... what about the indigenous peoples? A colonizer is a colonizer to them, and they sure as hell didn't like either Anglo or Hispanic colonization. Carthage (talk) 14:24, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Theyโ€™ll call Guyanans โ€œsettler-colonialistsโ€ and try to deny their status as actual civilians like theyโ€™re doing with Israel since the early 2000s, purely because Guyana is pro-Western (thatโ€™s their real ideology, theyโ€™re clearly not above simping far-right factions that promise to conquer and erase vexing pro-Western neighbors). Since they openly simp Ruzzia (a fascist one-part state where gays are so abused and invisible that you can literally see the sadness in their eyes and is so jingoistic it has terrorized its neighbors for decades), so itโ€™s almost as if they donโ€™t really care about leftism. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 03:30, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
It works both ways though. Israel is a settler-colonial state born out of an act of mass ethnic cleansing (NaqbaWikipedia) and terrorism (Jewish insurgency in Mandatory PalestineWikipedia) and to this day Palestinians live under crippling apartheid and Arab Israelis suffer under a regime equivalent to Jim Crow. Israel is a belligerently occupying power, that leaves a much higher standard for Israel (which they fail to live up to, I can and will provide more citations upon request) than the territories they are illegally and belligerently occupying. Israel has a right to self defense, but Palestine doesn't? Already we've seen, last time I checked, 11k Gazan deaths. 4k kids dead. Roughly two-thirds of that women and children? This is completely ignoring what Israel's doing in Lebanon and the West Bank. As of a month ago 19k were already displaced by Israeli bombing campaigns in Lebanon. And anyone who has paid even the slightest bit of attention knows that life for Palestinians in the West Bank is pure hell. Settlers forcing people out of homes at gunpoint and uprooting orchards with impunity. Here's an article on settler-colonial violence in the West Bank: [9] This also ignores how Israel gets the lion's share of water and land in the West Bank, and Palestinian control is limited to lesser quality land. This creates a pressure cooker for violence. And there is a clear double standard here. Palestinian picks a gun up to prevent their home being taken over by settlers? Well they can't go to the courts. Palestinians live under military law, and the PA is powerless. So the situation with Israel is a lot murkier IMO than Ukraine or Taiwan. Carthage (talk) 03:55, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Good point, it is more complex in Israelโ€™s case since theyโ€™re galloping towards a one-religion ethnostate and even subject Ethiopian Jews to similar racism and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to even bring them to Israel. But wait till the tankies find out how Russia, America and Canada got all that land they now own, drowning entire countries in blood and tears. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 04:07, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Well at least Crimea had the matter of the locals inviting the Russkies over. This one seems to be a pure land grab. MeowPurr 15:33, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
You mean the Russian "locals", who themselves were the descendants of those who emigrated from Russia proper during the Soviet era in order to keep an eye on the native populations, just in case.Corn (talk) 16:41, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Ignorants. This has been a dispute going on for centuries, not something cooked up on a whim. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:34, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
That's why I brought up the reconquista analogy. Not everyone here is unfamiliar with geopolitical history. Carthage (talk) 17:40, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Scream's Falklands analogy is perhaps most accurate here - a situation where [I suspect] while the claims to land might be correct they cannot really claim the people who dwell within it [and I suspect like the Falkland Islanders, have amost nil desire to be 'reunited' with Venezuela]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:48, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
You mentioned it has been going on for awhile, but in the wikipedia article, it's also mentioned that it had been calmed down for some time. It started back up again with the discovery of oil, so it seems the historical claim idea is just a cover for wanting to own most of the oil and mineral wealth in that region.-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:33, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
It's also a colonial claim. Made with no consideration for the people who already lived there and owned that land. Carthage (talk) 04:01, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ 95% of the population "voted" for annexing Esequibo.[10]. This reminds me of when Saddam Hussein was "elected" in 2002. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:17, 4 December 2023 (UTC)

Would the US intervene if Venezuela annexes Esequibo? If military intervention is off the table, sanctions are still on the table. Carthage (talk) 21:19, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
No idea. Guyana is not part of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal AssistanceWikipedia, so the US is not obliged to defend them as far as I understand. I've read something about the UK having some sort of duty to defend them, but I don't know if it's true. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:25, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
True. My question, I suppose, since I don't think the US wants Venezuela getting control over all that mineral and oil wealth... would they be willing to go to war over it? Under a Trump presidency, I suppose.... The US, if there's armed Guyanese resistance, might be willing to arm and fund proxy groups. Carthage (talk) 21:57, 4 December 2023 (UTC)

Create local copy of RW for offline reading[edit]

Hello everyone!

I am looking for a way to get an up-to-date local copy of all public RationalWiki pages, preferably in html format, to read offline. I did try informing myself on things and know tidbits here and there, I know of the regular dumps of Wikipedia and I know that there used to be dumps of RW as well. I know it would technically be possible to use wget or curl to download RW but I'd rather not. Does someone know what I can do to get the stuff I'm looking for? Thank you very much in advance. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 14:03, 30 November 2023 (UTC)

Uh, this is a wiki site. Pages are updated on a rather frequent basis. You want an up-to-date archive, and you want it to be available offline. Iโ€ฆ uhโ€ฆ I have no idea how to help you. Heck, I don't know if what you're asking for is even possible. Luigifan18 (talk) 14:43, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Wikipedia does this by providing dump snapshots in various formats.[11] I do not know the "MediaWiki" details" to technically enable this. I imagine it wouldn't be a top priority to do so. (Rationalwiki is small.) "Up to date" of course is not what you are going to get.
There's apparently a site [12] that archives websites in the ZimWikipedia format. ZIM is one of the main formats to get a full Wikipedia dump. Not sure how well this site works though. BobJohnson (talk) 15:36, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Have fun! KarmaPolice (talk) 16:04, 30 November 2023 (UTC)
Thank you so much for sharing! The thing you sent me doesn't export to html but should work fine regardless. That makes it my first time using XAMPP and setting up PHP and MediaWiki but I think I'm getting the hang of it. Recently looked into installing my own personal, locally stored "wiki" for notetaking and essay writing so this knowledge actually comes in useful. Right now I'm pulling article revisions using the provided maintenance script, working on "A_New_Astronomical_Quranic_Method_for_The_Determination_Of_The_Greatest_Speed_C" at this exact moment in time (which means it's gone through the numbers). Not fun and also taking a while, but as far as I can see it's working and moving on at a consistent rate. Thanks again, ULTRACOMFY (talk) 01:17, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
If you don't want to do the DIY method, there have been irregular RationalWiki:Content dumps every few years. You're in luck there was one this year: apparently none since 2019. The actual dumps are now stored at the Internet Archive.[13] One that includes the Russian Language RW was done in 2019:[14] Bongolian (talk) 02:55, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Quick question: How did we come to have a Russian RW and a French RW but not a Spanish one, if RationalWiki had a North American to European ratio of like infinity back then (and arguably still does)? --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 03:16, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
The is no French RW as far as I'm aware. The Russian RW dates back to 2011 as far as I can tell.[15] The idea was that once there's an unspecified critical mass of articles in a given language, then it could get its own domain rather than residing in Category:Babel. Bongolian (talk) 04:38, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Yes. The French articles are here on this wiki. There isn't a separate domain for a French RationalWiki. Spud (talk) 04:48, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
I think I am going to take that. The getText script from the guide crashed at the Alt-Right glossary after revision 2562005 with "Error 1153: Got a packet bigger than 'max_allowed_packet' bytes", "Function: MediaWiki\Storage\SqlBlobStore::storeBlob" and then goes on to print out what I assume would be the content of the revision that's quite the experience. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 04:57, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
So basically, you're looking to make a personal wiki to use as a digital commonplace/note/scrap book? I'm interested in how this works out; personally how I handle the digital 'loose papers' is to have a big 'Notes' folder and now and then go through it and 'bind' them up as a PDF and put them in my 'Library' folder. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:26, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Yes! I like the various templates/"building block" options that, for example, RationalWiki has. Easy categorization, editing, drawing connections between topics by linking, user and permissions management for if ever I want to host it on a server for access from abroad or by third parties, great general layout (I like the general layout with the sidebar to the left), many functions like listing articles, different namespaces, inserting of references, allows inserting all kinds of files, customizable the world over and it's dynamic, ie. references are updated if the parent is changed. I think it's perfect! I have already started importing templates and functions to lay the foundation for writing things later and I am already quite happy, here is a quick excerpt. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 22:18, 2 December 2023 (UTC)
Kiwix used to be the way to do this, though I'm not sure how old their downloadable copy is - David Gerard (talk) 17:15, 2 December 2023 (UTC)
Yes, I used Kiwix for Wikipedia before and it's great, actually. BobJohnson suggested to use [16] and it does things, but I tried to download the most recent content dump as suggested by Bongolian. That too does things until I realized I'm working with an .xml file, and now that I am working on my own private note-taking "wiki" and using the Import function for some templates I know what these .xml files are for. I assume I would have to import that into a new wikimedia wiki? The idea is interesting but I don't want to have to run a literal local server just to read some websites. I don't want the entire Wikimedia running, I just want a static way to look at RationalWiki. So with your input I went on Kiwix's website again and scrolling through the pages I realized that they actively promote [17], and when I went onto THAT website again I realized it says "Powered by Kiwix and Webrecorder, thanks to a Mozilla Open-Source Support Award", which means it's actually an official project, not some poorly made patch job powered by hope and love, and perhaps a few malware samples. So I'll just let it create a new, up-to-date zim of all of RationalWiki and download THAT. At this point I'm kind of running out of enthusiasm because I tried one or two too many things to get this working... HTTrack, downloading content dumps, creating manual content dumps twice over, crying a lot and waiting several hours in between because I have a 1MB/sec connection. I will take this zim and I will keep it close. Thank you all for your input(s)! ULTRACOMFY (talk) 22:18, 2 December 2023 (UTC)

George Santos[edit]

Has finally been expelled. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 20:01, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

They should've made him a non-voting delegate. That would honestly be more humiliating and not make him a martyr either. Carthage (talk) 20:30, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
That would have been amazing, absolutely brilliant lol.Brokenglass (talk) 15:59, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
And Iโ€™ll do you one better: Hold a special election for his vacated seat (which then could be taken by a Democrat, Crooked George only narrowly won in the first place) --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 21:10, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Under New York law, they legally already have to hold a special election within 70 days. ๐ŸŽ„Chef Moosoliniโ€™s Ristorante Italiano๐ŸŽ„Ask about our holiday specials! 00:11, 2 December 2023 (UTC)
He's not a martyr. His approval rating is so low, nobody will miss him. Chillpilled (talk) 23:40, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
Non-voting delegates still receive a salary (and in Santos' case the ability to steal more credit cards). The expulsion hit him where it hurts. Bongolian (talk) 04:46, 2 December 2023 (UTC)
a fairly nuanced, if reasonable objection to santos' ouster is that it happened before he was convicted of any crime, which was an unprecedented move. now, there is precedent. (a south carolina republican who is part of the "moderate" wing of the gop pointed this out, though she has a history of flip-flopping, so take whatever she says with a grain of salt.) who is to say they won't try to remove, say, rashida tlaib or ilhan omar next over their views on israel?
other than that, there is really no loss in removing santos from congress. (if anything, it might benefit the democrats, depending on how the impending special election goes.) The G (talk) 03:17, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
According to one report I saw, [18] there was a "tipping point" last minute email (particularly for Republicans) where a fellow House Republican, Max Miller(R-OH),Wikipedia described how Santos made several unauthorized credit card charges to both himself and his mother. Of course, this was on top of other factors such as Santos's refusal to cooperate with the investigation and the findings of the investigation itself (where he was abusing campaign funds for personal luxuries at a level even politicians couldn't stomach). So while "unprecedented", this sort of was an "unprecedented" situation, where even people on the same "political team" were getting ripped off by this swindler. BobJohnson (talk) 03:39, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Even if that seat flips, it doesn't change much in the wider picture of the House, although it's true the GOP only has a slim majority. But the GOP obviously felt the cost/benefit ratio weighed against Santos in the end. I think a part of that is how he started fraternizing with Gaetz and the rebels crowd who keep overthrowing the Speaker every few weeks or whatever it is. Losing one seat certainly won't be fatal, especially when Santos became such a thorn in their side. If anything, their calculus may have even been that removing him could help them overall by removing one of the "chaos elements". Chillpilled (talk) 04:04, 4 December 2023 (UTC)

The Annual Culture War of December.[edit]

It's about time that I bring this up, but what people are supposed to "say" during the month of December has been a contentious topic due to the dozens of festivals during the month of the southern solstice, as well as the desire for various people to only recognize one of them, all of them, or somewhere in between. Any thoughts and feelings on this? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:21, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

What I would say for this dilemma is "Happy December." TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:21, 1 December 2023 (UTC)

I personally refer to it as โ€œHappy Winter Solsticeโ€, and would make jokes about going along with it when someone at my high school (when I had just deconverted and was rather tumultuously and embarrassingly just starting out on this site) complained about โ€œpolitical correctnessโ€; my suburban neighborhood near Seattle was a little conservative by WA standards at the time, and was paradoxically both very homophobic and very gay. Ah, simpler times, when I had hours and hours to spend on this site --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 21:34, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
I just adapt to whatever fits the moment. "Merry Christmas", "Happy Holidays", etc. Whatever. It's a multicultural world, and the Bill O'Reilly manufactroversy (a now tired 19 year old rage with even older roots) is just a whine complaining that other cultures exist. If I ever met someone in Fox News rage mode, I'd probably throw in something "off the Fox News worldview track" (like say, the Dongzhi FestivalWikipedia) just to attempt to confuse them. But I've personally never met anyone that I can remember who really raged about this topic much in person. BobJohnson (talk) 21:46, 1 December 2023 (UTC)
The only acceptable answer is โ€œHappy Honda Daysโ€. ๐ŸŽ„Chef Moosoliniโ€™s Ristorante Italiano๐ŸŽ„Ask about our holiday specials! 00:09, 2 December 2023 (UTC)
I say whatever occurs to me including "Happy Christmas", "Feliz Navidad" or whatever. I have no more problem with "Christmas Day" than I have with "Wednesday" (Woden's Day).Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 10:14, 2 December 2023 (UTC)
I've got this userboxWikipedia on my Wikipedia user page right now and I'll put out a similar message on my user page here and on Facebook later. I'm quite partial to "Season's greetings" and "Compliments of the season" as catch-all terms, I use those online too. In real life, I'd usually just say, "Merry Christmas". But I'll be saying, "Happy New Year", a lot more since I'm in Taiwan, where most people don't really celebrate Christmas but they celebrate the start of a New Year on January 1 and again at Lunar New Year. Spud (talk) 05:32, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Happy holidays! "The phrase has been used as a Christmas greeting in the United States for more than 100 years." or Season's greetings! "Victorian Christmas cards bore a variety of salutations, including "compliments of the season" and "Christmas greetings." By the late 19th century, "with the season's greetings" or simply "the season's greetings" began appearing. By the 1920s it had been shortened to "season's greetings," and has been a greeting card fixture ever since. Several White House Christmas cards, including U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1955 card, have featured the phrase." --ร„xl (talk) 10:56, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Just wait till Faux News finds out about that one. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 21:17, 3 December 2023 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜just say, "happy hallothanksmas!" you're metaphorically killing three birds with one stone. The G (talk) 00:49, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

Concern troll alert (tRump's Ig Noble Award for lifetime achievement)[edit]

Crustyclown.jpeg ๐ŸคกConcern Troll Alert!๐Ÿคก

Krusty the Clown finds concern trolling dull and not amusing.

Imagine being on fire, running up to a firefighter screaming for help, and they hook their hands in their pockets and say, "Actually, before we start, I think you should say you're violently oxidizing. Not all oxidization is bad. I mean, some of my cells are performing oxidation right now, and I think it would be better if we ..."

New book[edit]

I've just bought the Art of war by Sun Tzu, reading through it, it seems over rated to me, what is everyone else's opinion? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

It's basically the size of a pamphlet. The premise is simple; only fools attempt to win on the battlefield. Corn (talk) 09:14, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Whatabout 'i would rather betray the world than have the world betray me'? (Cao Cao: other variants available.) Anna Livia (talk) 19:48, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
And it's entirely silent on siege warfare, which is a rather obvious omission. The Blade of the Northern Lights (่ฉฑใ—ใฆไธ‹ใ•ใ„) 21:27, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
It's basically an ancient Chinese "military strategy for dummies" book. Good book for strategy game players and corporate middle managers who have no idea what they're doing.โผ (talk)
It's a book that goes into great detail about how to conduct a war in ancient China. Unfortunately, coked up finance bozos in the 1980s decided it was a complete manual to being a mighty corporate paperwork warrior and got very weird about it - David Gerard (talk) 00:23, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Okay, now my curiosity's piqued. What the heck happened? Luigifan18 (talk) 00:29, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
In a word, Orientalism. In a few more words, people in the West got interested in various Eastern topics, did some cursory looks, misinterpreted/reinterpreted things, and ran with what they found. It's the same reason you can find "The Zen of [insert topic here]" floating around, and why "yoga" in English bears very little resemblance to the yogacara school of thought which has been around in Hinduism for over 2,000 years. (I've long considered Carvaka/Lokyata to be much more convincing than any of the other nonsense these regions spout, at least The Art of War has somewhat useful pragmatic advice) The Blade of the Northern Lights (่ฉฑใ—ใฆไธ‹ใ•ใ„) 07:18, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

That phenomenon where children come to despise their parents' ideals so much that they deliberately dedicate their lives to defying them[edit]

What I'm doing here is the RationalWiki equivalent of a YKTTW at TV Tropes, so bear that in mind. I'm putting it here instead of the to-do list because I'm not sure what the formal name of the phenomenon I'm describing is (if it even has one).

About a year and a half ago, when editing the article for Responding to Sam Burke's Argument That Christianity Entails Anti-Natalism, I went on a bit of a tangent about how children who are raised by abusive assholes would obviously want nothing to do with their parents' ideology, to the point of going out of their way to subvert it. (I have the edit marked in the mini-essays part of my user page.) The specific example I used was children being raised by abusive fundies becoming atheists (possibly even antitheists of the "religion is evil and must be completely abolished and erased" variety that can be seen with depressingly high frequency on Reddit), citing this as an example of how parents really can't guarantee that their children will be as religious as them (because trying too hard to do so could very well have the opposite of the desired result). While I didn't bring it up in the article due to the fact that it would have been off-topic (and this is coming from someone who once described himself as having about as much respect for the current topic of conversation as Genghis KhanWikipedia did for the concept of monogamyWikipedia), the phenomenon could also work the other way around, with a child of obnoxious antitheists finding faith just to defy what their parents stand for. Really, what I'm looking for is any circumstance where parents who go to egregious lengths to mold their children in their image hurt and/or piss said children off enough to push them in the opposite direction. I initially thought this to be the backfire effect, but upon reading that article, I found that it wasn't quite what I had in mind, and we don't seem to currently have an article describing the phenomenon. Soโ€ฆ does anyone have any idea what I'm trying to describe? Luigifan18 (talk) 12:37, 3 December 2023 (UTC)

See this article in Vox. It describes an interesting thing where this effect practically cancels itself out on the broader-scale since parents and their children often don't even understand what each other's beliefs are. But more individually, my own beliefs are quite different from most of my family, and I think I can say I understand theirs pretty well as religious conservatism.
I wouldn't say I rebel against them so much as I've seen what it's about and it helped influence my dislike for how it plays out in practice. As a matter of fact I think the way they raised me still influences the "style" of my political presentations. So kind of "progressive in a conservative style" would maybe be the way to self-describe although no label truly fits me I feel; I've found similar presentations were, allegedly, historically represented by Magnus Hirschfeld and Helen Stรถcker. One might say "culturally conservative" in the "cultural Christian" sense. But I've moved away from even this slightly/moderately. So it's not non-negotiable. On the flip side, I've seen how right-wing personalities who were assimilated by a liberal or leftist environment present themselves differently from those who grew up in entirely conservative environments. Examples might be Gavin McInnes, Richard Spencer, and Jackson Hinkle, the last two of which I observed some strange personality similarities in.
I am kind of antitheist. But that's more a personal belief and I still favor legal rights for every religion, probably along the lines of what's provided by the First Amendment. Things like Scientology do start to challenge where the line on that is, and I do wonder whether churches being tax-exempt isn't an implicit endorsement of religion by the state. Overall I have no real hopes that religion will stop being a thing any time soon so while I may criticize it here and there I'm not on some crusade. Would be folly. Anyway regarding more progressive Christianity, the thing here is that I recognize Christianity was probably progressive in the first place. So even if it's returned to those roots I can see it veering back into conservatism at any point in the future even if progressive Christianity predominates again. The same could even be said for irreligion I suppose but the difference is irreligion doesn't involve a book telling me I'm obligated to do what it says (and so giving extreme weight to whatever the latest correct interpretation is). Chillpilled (talk) 13:03, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Sorry, I donโ€™t really have time to read what you just said, but I just realized that it would be prudent to quote myself so that people don't have to bumble through the article looking for the mini-essay I'm talking about (it's currently note 4, but I digressโ€ฆ):
โ€œโ€In many cases, children of evangelists/fundamentalists will end up becoming atheists precisely because their parents were strict and controlling to the point of being (borderline) abusive (not to mention being excruciatingly bigoted and overall unpleasant), creating a powerful incentive for the children to virulently reject and oppose everything their parents stood for. Children who are raised by more reasonable Christian parents who emphasize the loving, warm aspects of God's stated personality and Christianity's lessons on compassion,Wikipedia empathy,Wikipedia and charity, as well as encouraging them to form their own relationship with God, think for themselves, and not regard faith as some twisted zero-sum game where one either follows their religion's holy book and dogma perfectly or is a filthy infidelic hypocritical hell-bound sinner (and yes, we do have to be vague on that last one, as there are thousands of Christian sects, each of which has their own interpretation of the Bible and various extra-biblical codes), are more likely to stay Christian throughout their lives, at least in the cultural sense, or at the very least not regard God and Christians with hostility.
As I said prior, the point I was making here was that fundie parents who go whole-hog on the fundie lifestyle and do stuff like denouncing opinions that deviate from their worldview as pure evil, treat homosexuality like some sort of depraved disease, wallop their children for setting a toe out of line, etc. tend to shoot themselves in the foot, as their domineering and abusive parenting style produces children who resent and dislike them so much that they make themselves as distant from their parents' ideology as possible. And I don't think this phenomenon is unique to fundies. Anyone with an intense ideology who has toxic behavior that harms and/or embarrasses their children is likely to end up with children who want nothing to do with the ideology that their parents endorsed โ€” and while the effect might be stronger if the toxic ideology directly led to the bad behavior, it might happen even if the ideology and bad behavior had nothing to do with each other. (I dunno, I think it might need more research.) So, again, does anyone know what to call this phenomenon, or if RationalWiki has or needs an article on it? Luigifan18 (talk) 13:19, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Zeal of the convert is at least adjacent. But no, I don't think we have a page on this particular phenomenon. I'm not sure what we could call it, either. Chillpilled (talk) 13:32, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Just spitballing - the disinterest of the dissuaded? I always adore added alliterative appeal. Semipenultimate (talk) 21:23, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
What I'm looking at goes a little further than "disinterest"โ€ฆ it's more along the lines of outright antipathy. Luigifan18 (talk) 00:33, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Although it's not an exact match, Reactance Theory is the closest thing I'm aware of. Jessamyn (talk) 05:51, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
I would describe this as a simple 'action/reaction'. Until we're an adult, our parents are normally the folks we know the most about. Even more importantly, we observe their 'private' as well as 'public' faces. We notice the lies, the contradictions, the hypocrisy and the selfishness. We listen to their 'pearls of wisdom' and assay them using the scales of reality - like Luigi notes, we read the Bible, then look at your actions and find you wanting. I'm reminded here of a quote from the novel Fatherland; '[Hitler] once proclaimed he had taught the German people to think clearly. Now you turn that clear thinking on us'. You become our anti-role models; the people we do not want to be, the lives which we do not desire to inhabit. We are a net results of all our experiences to date, and if we have come to see a strong correlation between [say] 'religious folks' and 'pompous, selfish and bitter authoritarian jerkwads' there's normally a damn good reason why we got there.
This is why fundie cults love to homeschool, put a media belljar over you and discourage 'outside' friends - at best, it's an attempt to avoid 'shapes and colours' of the outside to avoid the victim questioning anything, at worst full-blown coercive control. There's a reason that after you escape and deprogram yourself you become so anti-Them to the point it can become your own crusade. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:36, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

coming of age[edit]

hey all, long time no see from me, i know. i meant to make this post a couple of months ago, but life got busy and i forgot about my page here almost entirely. i'm 18 now (although it hardly feels like it most of the time), and i have more privileges as a result. what should i do with my newfound freedom? Jake Holmesyell at me 19:47, 3 December 2023 (UTC)

I don't want to encourage you do drink, but there are many countries around the world where you can drink beer right now. If you like to party, go abroad and get drunk. Other than that, yeah, nothing really changes. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 19:54, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Could you list the privileges you have obtained as a result of your age/geographical area? That way people will be better able to suggest which ones you should most exploit for fun and profit?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:33, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
whatever you get as part of being an american. i can vote and drink and own a gun(?). i can also drive, though i don't own a car at the moment. Jake Holmesyell at me 20:55, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
In that case you should make sure you are registered to vote.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:10, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
In the US, 18 is also (broadly speaking) the age you can gamble (though many casinos are 21+), buy the pornography and other "age restricted" stuff (which in the United States includes different oddities depending on the locale, such as dry ice and spray paint). You can now also do a lot of boring "adult" things (eg child labor laws no longer apply so you can work full-time and in some "hazardous" occupations; you can now do "bank" and "credit card" stuff; you can now have your own place, etc.) Of course, in the US, the alcohol is verboten for another 3 years (even though from what I remember of that time people worked around this "pesky regulation" regardless), but this age restriction is not found in the vast majority of countries in the world. BobJohnson (talk) 21:16, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm 20 so I still have to wait one more year before I can participate in the drinking game to be played whenever someone says "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 23:27, 3 December 2023 (UTC)
I voted for the first time in 2020 and it felt cool, actually not because of the conventional elections since every one of my preferred candidates lost in my state/area, but because I was able to vote for a direct ballot initiative that ended up passing. Even if one is excessively pessimistic about American elections I recommend voting if only just for ballot initiatives and referendums, if they exist in your state. They're one of the most effective tools we have for direct democracy anymore. As a matter of fact, Maine established ranked-choice voting in state-level elections due to a ballot initiative. I believe Alaska did something similar, too. So while it's clichรฉ, I do find that gaining and exercising the right to vote once you're 18 is still important in this country. Chillpilled (talk) 03:32, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
It felt very good when I voted for the first time in last year's midterm election. All of my preferred candidates won, except the one for my State Senate district (but I wasn't too sad, the one who instead won is a wonderful state senator all the same). --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 06:33, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
There is something new I [think] you can do, Jake - run for office. You can also join things. Evil prevails when the good do nothing and all that. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:03, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

Congratulations one and all[edit]


To the mods we have chosen for the wiki! May you be up to thoughtpolicing and oppressing us by stomping on our faces repeatedly containing HCM in this upcoming year that just might be more climactic than the year when I was one of y'all, where I at worst had to rename a few vile usernames and get a couple long-term Conservapedian trolls banned via Coop cases- what with one of the most incendiary topics in human history on everyone's minds once again (and this time people on both sides are mighty passionate about what their TVs and phone apps tell them to think about it, believing that they "stand with [preferred side], and thus sTaNd WiTh hUmAnItY!!1!oneleventy!!one!!!" and that those who don't blindly lick the boots of one side are not only wrong but reveal themselves as monsters who now deserve condemnation), and 2024's US election cycle coming up. What fun.

But I believe in you, you'll certainly be better mods than I was (I didn't run because I don't trust myself to not get busy and disappear again). --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 06:28, 4 December 2023 (UTC)

I think we should be concerned we only had 24 voters. Going forward, we need to be friendlier to newbies to the site, and not let wiki-drama chase people away. To the second point, well, that's what we're elected to do... Corn (talk) 17:24, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
I completely agree. An Advocate (talk) 17:25, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
I agree on the drama part, a big part of why I vanished for 2 years even during the school holidays was because of Oxyโ€™s endless drama (I was unaware of the community finally sending her packing), and because I was once one of the established editors GC started screaming at with his caps lock key and wantonly promoting- and when I called him out on it everyone got mad at me and he got off scot-free. His realization that continued participation here would do his mental health no favors is another reason why I saw fit to finally un-lurk. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 17:48, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Yes to the above. Congrats to the winners, even though it is a demotion of sorts. Being objective can be a tough challenge, but I have confidence that they will be up to it. Personally, I prefer to express my own opinion at all times. Mazel tov!Ariel31459 (talk) 17:54, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
I'm with you on that one Goat, I was a lurker who wanted to become active, but was dissuaded from joining because of that person. Oxy is my go to example of how one user can ruin it for everyone. Too many people here could've said something, stood up for other users, and not supported Oxy's crusade against those who posted wrongthink, but didn't because of some bad belief that if someone has the same politics as you and argues for the same things you do, then their bullying is okay. Whoever is mod, I hope you don't go as easy on the next person who takes up Oxy's mantle as they were last time and remember that someone can be right 100%, but still be an asshole about it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 20:06, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Even though none of them are up to the job, no one is perfect. Good luck! I'll be watching.UncleKrampus (talk) 17:56, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
I'm not actually sure how this happened, really. I feel a bit like the Uni student who got elected an MP despite being assured by HQ there wasn't a chance of hell of that outcome happening... KarmaPolice (talk) 21:54, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
I for one am glad to now be part of RationalWiki's new Sinister Six. Plutocow (talk) 21:58, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Eh, this is one more way I disappoint a parental figure. Corn (talk) 23:02, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
If you're the Sinister Six, then who's RW's Spiderman? Carthage (talk) 23:28, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
I don't know, but aren't you supposed to be getting pictures of him for your boss? Corn (talk) 14:23, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
#PayRationalWikiEditors2024. Carthage (talk) 17:35, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

Luigifan's mop[edit]

I considered participating in the mod voting, but I'm not sure how trustworthy I am after the drama that cost me my mop. (I'm still missing that privilege โ€” I can think of a few highly-obstructive page edits (generally involving <div> code abuse to put text where it really shouldn't be) that get in the way of reviewing their pages' fossil records and need to be purgedโ€ฆ) Luigifan18 (talk) 18:31, 4 December 2023 (UTC)

Yeah I know how that feels, I once lost mine after going rogue and assuming bad faith on part of a more established editor, abusing my tools on them. I re-earned it after a month of community service. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 18:50, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
I lost my tools aboutโ€ฆ a year ago, I think. I'm still not sure how to demonstrate my ability to handle the responsibility and get them back. Apparently I really hurt my case by posting a music video proposing the view that the Republican Party's current crop of politicians can't die off soon enough. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:53, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
There can be a fine line between allowing constructive debate and not tolerating abusive behavior. Community Standards have changed a lot since the beginning, and particularly since 2020. I think there's a much better handle on misbehavior because of the revision of community standards now.
As for remopping, evidence of consistent constructive edits over time, and staying out of trouble generally is a good way to go. Bongolian (talk) 20:59, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Good post! I agree, thatโ€™s how I re-earned my mop after my embarrassing first couple of months on this site. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 21:46, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
The repeat edit warring over Luigi's "mini-essays" makes me skeptical of whether or not Luigifan is mature enough to get their mop handed back to them yet. Although Luigifan has made consecutively constructive edits, the edit-warring and occasional edits that make one tilt their heads would merit a solid goat from me. That said, Luigi has taken edit ideas to the talk page recently, so I might vote for a probationary sysop period. Carthage (talk) 21:52, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Considering Luigifan had misbehaved before that promotion (I was just reading the ATIM archives), Iโ€™d say theyโ€™re not ready yet but yes, theyโ€™re getting there and seem contrite. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 22:13, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
Does there have to be a vote? Sysoprevoke promotions are the business of moderators. The article says nothing about voting. If it is required, perhaps edit the article. I see no reason for it however. UncleKrampus (talk) 23:26, 4 December 2023 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what is meant by "head-tilting edits"โ€ฆ but thanks for the votes of confidence. Oh, and I also took the liberty of splitting this sub-conversation off so the discussion of the moderator election results can get back on track. I hope nobody minds too much. Luigifan18 (talk) 00:25, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Luigifan18 was sysoprevoked by a vote, so it should take a vote to remove that. I'll say for now that while Luigifan18 has clearly made attempts at being more constructive, the biggest issue with them is their lack of maturity, which will take a while to change. Plutocow (talk) 06:58, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
The fact that rights were removed by vote is not obviously related to whether rights are to be restored by a vote. The ordinary award of sysop rights does not require a vote. The removal of those rights does. Any moderator may restore such rights if they dare to do so. At your subordinated level of authority, I suppose you assume fewer rights as moderators. Is this an act of modesty, or is it unwillingness to stick ones neck out? UncleKrampus (talk) 02:53, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜I theoretically have the right to unilaterally ban any user I want. Does that mean I should exercise that right? Just because you're a mod doesn't mean you're above the mob. Furthermore, I don't support a resysoping of Luigifan18 at this time. Plutocow (talk) 03:13, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

True. Unlike certain types of moderator, ours are not unanswerable to nobody and actually care about the mob. And hopefully have lives outside of this wiki. This is why wiki moderators are so much better than social media ones. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 03:18, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
Well, you don't need Mod powers to ban people, technically. For users that can't be banned without voting first, well, I'm not sure that mods have that power unless extreme circumstances call for it, and abuse of that power is likely grounds for de-modding. Corn (talk) 04:36, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
Exactly. One of the things I like the most about this site is the fact that trolls seldom last longer than 10 minutes since every good-faith editor is a sysop on here (and we have a special process for taking the privilege of being one away from those who go rogue, as a good portion of active users as of the last time I was on here have done). --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 04:37, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
I don't remember the issues with JD. Oxy's issue was, well she was shoving breadtube BS everywhere and when asked very simple questions, she had absolutely no defense beyond "I have mental disabilities; if you disagree with me you're ableist!!!". GC, well, it was strange; he was normally a reasonable person but if someone disagreed with his worldview there's a chance he'd snap and go ballistic. Corn (talk) 04:53, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
Basically JD got banned for doxxing, and before that he lost his RMF board membership for using a cheap manโ€™s checkuser using an exploit (against site rules). And yeah, as someone with ASD and ADHD, I definitely donโ€™t miss Oxy making โ€œableismโ€ a meaningless term by going โ€œYOU HATE ME YOU FASCIST CENTRIST LIBERAL IMPERIALIST ISLAMOPHOBIC(TM) ABLEISTS1111!!!oneoneelventy11one!!111one!!!11!!โ€ and causing HCM every time she turned on her caps-lock key. Sheโ€™s part of what drove me away for 2 years. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 17:08, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

Off-topic on bad psychiatry[edit]

Very often the red flags of BPD are encrypted in complex, and sometimes ambiguous, inflammatory words like, "racist", "misogynist," "Islamophobic," and so forth. As if it is perfectly normal to be unkind to individuals, but horrible to be unkind to a pseudo-minority group like non-white people, women or Muslims. Let's be kind, eh?UncleKrampus (talk) 16:10, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
BPD? Borderline Personality Disorder, or something else? I'm not a psychiatrist, nor have I had an extended session with anyone here in MeatSpace, so I can't make a determination. However, it does seem to fit for several people here or formerly here...
Also, welcome back Circular. As mod, I pledge to get my revenge on you for petty reasons do my best to protect you and everyone else from excessive wiki drama.Corn (talk) 17:29, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
Sadly, trolls still stink up the bar occasionally with passive aggressive wanking. One wonders why "racist", "misogynist", and "Islamophobic" is the only focus? Surely, the same can apply to such fun snarl words on "the other side" as "woke", "liberal", "libtard", or that all-time favorite, "cuck" (and we won't even get into the more... "colorful"... dialog of places like 4chan!). So, shall we apply the BPD diagnosis to, oh, the vast majority of 4chan boards too? Nay, this is the Internet, the dickwad theory has been around since basically the Internet began (along with the alternate, probably more correct theory that a core of all of us humans are just a bunch of fuckwad asshole apes at heart). No need for fancy armchair psychological diagnostics! BobJohnson (talk) 18:14, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
"Woke", "Liberal," "libtard" are not typically found here. Passive aggressive people tend to not interact directly and express their negativity indirectly. UncleKrampus (talk) 18:56, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
BPD doesn't fit every troll. It does fit a user who constantly changes identities, has a very short and violent temper, frequently brings up un-aliving thoughts, paranoia or disconnect with reality, mentions their reckless and self-damaging behavior (drugs, promiscuity, etc), etc etc. It might not be the only diagnosis, of course; "inability to find a description of oneself in the DSM" is strong evidence for Dyslexia. Corn (talk) 18:21, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
I'm too generous with myself to self-diagnose. How about emotionally incapable of difficult conversation, or EIDC. Better?UncleKrampus (talk) 18:43, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ Hi there idk if any of youโ€™ll remember me, but. Just out of retirement rq to say that Iโ€™m, really not comfortable w the discussion of BPD here. Idk if I ever mentioned this, but I actually have BPD โ€” as in, I was fully diagnosed w the condition by a legit psychiatrist 2-3 years ago, and since then have been managing and treating it however I can (individual + group DBT, addiction counselling, medication, support from family/friends, etc). And yeah, itโ€™s not always easy to control/manage my behaviour, and it does sometimes make me overreact, or do stupid, self-destructive, impulsive shit. But I meanโ€ฆ I think Iโ€™m pretty good at being kind, reasonable, and non-confrontational most of the time, and I hope the ppl here whoโ€™ve interacted w me would agree? So just bc I have BPD, doesnโ€™t mean Iโ€™m gonna b this image you have, of โ€œchanging identitiesโ€, โ€œshort and violent temperโ€ and so on and so on. And, honestlyโ€ฆ personally, I really donโ€™t think Iโ€™m comfortable with this whole thing of armchair diagnosing ppl w my actual, real condition โ€” esp when said โ€œdiagnosisโ€ is based on a kinda unfair and one-dimensional stereotype of โ€œwhat ppl w BPD are likeโ€. Idk like, I mean tbc Iโ€™m not like mad or upset or anything lmao, itโ€™s nbd, and ik itโ€™s not meant in an offensive type way or anything. Iโ€™m not tryin to start shit or make anyone feel bad or do a โ€œCall Out Postโ€ or whatever. Iโ€™m just sayin that like, idk, Iโ€™d appreciate a lil more sensitivity when discussin this shit ig, idk. Anyway sorry thatโ€™s all bye ๐Ÿ’ž ASELAเฒฎเฒพเฒคเณ ๐Ÿ’ž 12:54, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

Good post!
I definitely remember you. And yes, you are pretty good at everything you said. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:14, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Hello @Asela! I remember you, how have you been? Just returned to this site a couple weeks ago myself, the disillusionment from the shit Oxy and sometimes GC were getting away with has worn off, I couldnโ€™t help it. When I heard news of I/P reigniting like never before (remembering the flame wars that drove away many OG editors over the same issue) I thought of RW and decided to check on how yโ€™all were holding up. Personally, I feared that Oxy would be having a field day screeching โ€œAPARTHEID SYMPATHIZER1111!!!oneoneelventy11one!!111one!!!11!!โ€ at Jewish users who even innocuously insinuate that they think their kind need a place (even if they still condemn Israelโ€™s abusive treatment of Palestinians and to a lesser extent Israeli-Arabs/black Jews) and becoming the next Mona, and was so relieved to see that sheโ€™d finally been banished and that the discussion of the difficult topic seems to have gotten far more nuanced and (usually) civil. That, and I also unlurked upon realizing that the days of RW tolerating abusive sysops (like that one time GC promoted me and Cory, told us to โ€œfuck barbed wireโ€ and nobody gave a fuck) just because theyโ€™ve been around a long time and are mostly well-meaning seem to finally be over. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 17:48, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I saw our page on personality disorders, and noticed we don't have ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), and when I went to the other wiki to find where it should belong (cluster A, B or C), apparently it's not listed. What gives? Where does ODD belong? Corn (talk) 16:10, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
That's because it's not a personality disorder. "Unlike conduct disorder (CD), those with ODD do not show patterns of aggression towards people or animals, destruction of property, theft, or deceit." As a diagnosis, ODD has also met some very heavy criticism. And given that psychology is facing a replication crisis, I wouldn't go about parroting claims made without sufficient skepticism (I also wouldn't armchair diagnose other users. If a user is an asshole, just call them an asshole. Don't be a dick.) Carthage (talk) 16:15, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
How did talking about my mop shift into personality disorders?!? I'm high-functioning autistic (not that autism is a personality disorder, but I digress). That doesn't justify me going into autistic screeching mode. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:20, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Welcome to the Saloon Bar. Is this your first time here? Carthage (talk) 16:21, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
My guiding principle is this; RW is not a neurodiverse safe space/support group. That while we can and should be reasonably tolerant/accepting to as many ND's as we can, the general rules of conduct still apply. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:56, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I mean, yeah. Obviously. Anyone who thinks the wiki's a safe-space has never edited this wiki. Where does armchair diagnosis fall in that? Carthage (talk) 17:32, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
And if I recall correctly, Oxy and GC would often use their respective conditions as a shield to cover their asses when they got caught causing drama and scaring people off in their anger. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 18:20, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I donโ€™t think anyone has really argued that ND/mentally ill/etc ppl should not be held to the same standards of behaviour as others. Even within the โ€œneurodiverse safe spacesโ€ I participate in, the consensus has always been that your condition may explain certain behaviours, but it does not excuse them โ€” maybe we understand why you fucked up, maybe we even empathise โ€” but youโ€™re still not allowed to be a shitcunt. Frankly, I feel this whole point is somewhat of a strawman โ€” aside from sporadic instances of individual ppl using it to excuse themselves, I do not think I have seen anyone here argue that ND people should be exempt from the rules, and idk why this point is even being made
But, getting back to the actual thing I was trying to discuss โ€” can we please just agree that itโ€™s kinda shitty to armchair diagnose ppl with actual real-life conditions, based on reductive and denigrating stereotypes? Iโ€™m sorry, I know Iโ€™m being far more blunt and non-diplomatic than I would usually be, and I really am sorry โ€” I donโ€™t like being rude like this. But itโ€™s just smth that does bother me, and Iโ€™m a little frustrated that the point I was making is kinda being ignored. Like if you disagree or think Iโ€™m being oversensitive or even that this is โ€œproof of how insane BPD ppl areโ€ or whatever. Thatโ€™s okay, I get that thereโ€™s different perspectives and that Iโ€™m p biased here. But I just would really appreciate if ppl would actually engage with the thing I said, please.
(PS GJK, CircularReasoning, and anyone else who has welcomed me back: thank u, I appreciate your kindness, and I promise Iโ€™ll properly respond a bit later, once Iโ€™ve had more sleep and am in a better headspace. Thank u!) ๐Ÿ’ž ASELAเฒฎเฒพเฒคเณ ๐Ÿ’ž 18:48, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Yeah I agree, itโ€™s not in our place to make such assumptions. I was referring to Oxy saying she was neurodivergent and then asserting you are โ€œableistโ€ if you disagree with her or ask questions she didnโ€™t like, and how GC would post graphic threats to self-harm on the SB when angered or provoked, using his chronic depression and temper issues in discussions to make those heโ€™d โ€œtemporarilyโ€ promote look inconsiderate- like he did with me here, to great effect --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 18:57, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
1) Welcome back, and 2) yeah, the whole "ASSUME makes ASS out of U and ME" thing WRGT mental health. Corn (talk) 19:00, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
My general read of the issue/situation is this; much of it is mainly down to frankly, shit 'allyship'. That they confuse 'friendly place' with 'safe space' and thus, don't call out BS when it rears it's head. They also often wade into discussions with limited grasp of the nuances of it and pick a side thinking it is The Settled [and right] Opinion for the whole group and thus, any dissent must be -phobic. Naturally, there are folks out there who know this weakness and try to exploit it for their own ends. The Oxy/GC drama was a touch before my time but I have seen a couple of half-arsed attempts to pull this wheeze on me here which, to their credit I don't think anyone fell for.
But I fully agree with Asela's main point; that armchair diagnoses are not on. At least not in respect for non-public figures you don't know personally. And even then, I would do my best to write my theory in a manner which doesn't read like it's an insult. And to try to at least do a little bit of reading to see if it fits first. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:32, 7 December 2023 (UTC)


I think the big issue is that mental disorders shouldn't become the replacement for other disability-based insults, e.g., calling a person a "sperg". But, I'd also like to move on from bad users, so... anyone see any good shows on Amazon lately? Corn (talk) 21:10, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I donโ€™t know about Amazon, but I found this show on (if I remember correctly) Netflix called โ€œBodiesโ€. Keep in mind, itโ€™s one of those mystery ones where everything is very slowly revealed, so describing it would be spoiling it.
Also, Iโ€™d recommend โ€œI, Zombieโ€, a supernatural police drama kind of like Grimm. It takes place in my home state, too. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 22:33, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

I agree with Asela's point fully, and I'd like to add something about what I saw when I first came here, which was in 2021, before Oxy left and there was otherwise generally also more drama. And also, about something you legitimately can "diagnose" but which wasn't diagnosed enough back then, in my view: manipulative behavior.

The problem with Oxy (to pick that one prominent example, and going by what's highlighted above) was a manipulative character first and foremost, and those buying into something like Oxy's weaponization of diagnostic labels (used to excuse the self and intimidate others into shying away from criticism), were part of the problem, as such people are enablers until they wisen up. Enablers are as much of a problem in a group as the manipulators they enable, whenever both exist in a group. If a group is prone to such enabling, then it is very vulnerable and may go to crap (or HCM in RW's case) as soon as a single manipulative character works forcefully enough upon it (as can also happen on much larger scales in society, in e.g. destructive political transformations).

However, both sides in a conflict involving a manipulative character are often counterproductive, and that's often a natural result of the manipulator's activity. It drags things down to a lower level in general. This happens more, the more there are childish and/or easily-upset people for the manipulator to work. In my time here, I've sometimes been disappointed when the mob has judged both sides in such a verbal slug-fest of a conflict about equally, despite clear evidence being shown by one side that the other has lied. In such cases, I think it should be policy to judge and respond to the lying side far more firmly, as that takes into account why and how the problem erupted. But over time, I think people here have become gradually better (from my perspective) in this, and that this change may go hand in hand with the increase in civility people more generally see.

Maybe this is a bit controversial or uncomfortable, I don't really know how people here look at my own firm view at present. The big point anyway is that I think there's a more constructive focus than the disruptive presences of the past or speculating about disabilities, namely manipulation and the psychology of it. I think that forewarned is forearmed, and that being smart about it in RW terms means both less HCM vulnerability and also less happening that drives off good-faith members and newcomers. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:55, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

Good post! --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 22:52, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

Server bill: calling Trent[edit]

Anyone know how to contact Trent? I emailed him, but a method that catches his atteniton? Anyway, the Linode server bill's overdue - David Gerard (talk) 00:21, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

Did you try his academic email address? Bongolian (talk) 01:01, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Onozomg.gif --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 18:39, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

Drink choice[edit]

What's a drink that doesn't taste like piss and is relatively affordable? Carthage (talk) 18:33, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

Tap water? :)
If you mean "alcoholic drink", there's a lot of "your mileage may vary" here. Beer is probably the most affordable alcoholic beverage (it is the "most industrialized", after all). A fair number of people, of course, can't stand beer of any kind. (Don't ask my opinion, though, I'm one of those silly sorts that enjoys the IPAs that many find way too bitter. :) ) BobJohnson (talk) 18:45, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Oh? What, if anything, brought you to like the taste of bitter drinks? Carthage (talk) 18:47, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
No idea. I will say that I also like to drink my coffee without sugar or cream. So genetics, I guess.
Now, it's still possible to be *too* bitter; some IPAs are way out of balance, and I avoid over-roasted coffee (a prominent example being Starbucks).
I think the reason pilsners are genuinely popular worldwide is because it has less off-flavors like bitter hops or yeast flavors. But, if you like the "extra flavor" that, say, roasted barley (Irish stout eg Guinness), hops (IPAs), or yeast flavors (hefe, Belgian beers) bring to a beer, pilsner might "pale" as a beer category.
No matter which way you end up, I think it's easily possible to get a fairly quality beer at a price point of somewhere between $1 and $2 USD a can. There's probably some liquors that are that affordable when looking at a per serving basis that are pretty decent, though since I don't drink liquor I can't really recommend anything here (and this is a category that certainly can get pricey, same with wine). BobJohnson (talk) 19:25, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
As soon as I get home from work I neck an entire bottle of $8 Pinot Noir in under a minute. That works wonders for the price. Acei9 21:34, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Can only give 'rule of thumbs' here, and it's a rather Euro-centric one at that. First, my 'inverse rule of advertising'; the more ads you see for X drink, the higher chances it's shit. Case in point; 'Budweiser', Stella Artois and Bell's Scotch - too me, thirst is preferable, while I never see anything for Budvar, Tuborg or Zubr. My next one is for you to simply 'try things out', clearly not all at once and testing only works if you're actually sober. Wine is an acquired taste [like non-lager beers like IPAs and porters], but again, it's something which requires knowledge to weed out the non-shit ones out there. Plus, you might be one of those people where the tannins simply give you a headache. Also, it's more expensive per-item which makes you developing your 'palette' [the most foodie-poncey word I'll use today] more expensive.
In this case, if you're looking for a simple drinkie and are either unable or unwilling to go through the palaver of the above, I would start out by getting your preferred soda and then using it as a mixer for a spirit. If you hit up the Superweb you will be able to get suggestions for which ones 'go with' each other; for example I'm drinking whiskey and ginger beer right now. This has two advantages; if you pair 'right' you can cover the sharpness in poorer quality booze and secondly, if you pick a-low calorie mixer you'll also be cutting down on your total calorific intake, which isn't to be sniffed at. Though this option has one serious down-side; kinda harder to take to a party. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:49, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
All you need to homebrew apple cider is apple juice, yeast, and sugar. I'm pretty sure I've brewed some by accident in the past! Plutocow (talk) 21:57, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
a) I'm thirsty now and b) the local shop has cider cheaper than how it would cost to make it. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:04, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜@Ace McWicked, did you see that the cheap reds are probably less likely to give one a headache (Wine#Red wine, not so fine)? Bongolian (talk) 01:30, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

Sake can be surprisingly cheap, it's a weird drink in that you either want really high-end (subtly flavored) or low-end (the fiery stuff you have warm), or for sweet you get nigori (which looks different). Also, I'm an IPA guy for beer, for spirits you can generally get second-tier gin for a decent price; the kind that works well enough in a martini and in a gin and tonic is my go-to (New Amsterdam green label I can also make Vespers with, American Gordon's is too low proof but good for the other things). The Blade of the Northern Lights (่ฉฑใ—ใฆไธ‹ใ•ใ„) 20:47, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
At a bar, just go gin and tonic or vodka and soda. I had a friend who turned 21 at Applebee's, I had been having fun at a singles bar, the friends who did not protect the guy were old teens. Generations ago. Torrent (talk) 04:18, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Ahem, drinks are always an extreme on curve, I would take and remember that being drunk is armor you honestly rarely need. Torrent (talk) 04
25, 8 December 2023 (UTC)


Someone in Germany has pointed to me this website about German lobbying, thought it was really despite it being in German. [19] Thoughts. Euromec (talk) 22:21, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

Looks like a good source given that there are extensive citations to mainstream media. Bongolian (talk) 01:34, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
OpenSecrets is a good source for US lobbying. Plutocow (talk) 01:55, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
@Euromec There's a short summary of Lobbypedia on the German Wikipedia, indicating that it is supported by donations and edited by registered users. It won the Grimme Online Award for journalistic quality on the internet in 2012. Bongolian (talk) 00:59, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

The oldest song known to man, about 4000 years old...[edit]

And it still references "those distant days"... --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 23:18, 5 December 2023 (UTC)

About 6000 years old? I think you got that off by a factor of two entire millennia. Carthage (talk) 23:24, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
Oh crap yeah, you're right. But it's still the oldest that survives to this day, Sumer was ancient to the Greeks. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 23:32, 5 December 2023 (UTC)
This is a bit confusing, the Epic of Gilgamesh is generally presented as a poem. From another video [20] it seems like he attempts replicas of the ancient instruments based on the bits we know, but all music is improvised because no Sumerian music is notated in any way. I guess there's also a guess that poems like this were sung? "Historically informed performance" is indeed a thing, but they'll be more guesswork on this than others.
The Google tells me the oldest notated music is the Hurrian songs,Wikipedia which multiple people (Pringle included) also have done interpretations of as well (with obviously a lot of guesswork, hence results vary).BobJohnson (talk) 00:25, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
There's also ambiguities still left in the pronunciation of Sumerian. Carthage (talk) 00:30, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
True, thatโ€™s what happens when a language hasnโ€™t been spoken in any form for millennia, heck todayโ€™s Hebrew (the only successful case of a dead language coming back into everyday use in a country) was technically still around as a religious language (like Sanskrit, Latin) before the 1910s, and itโ€™s extremely far removed from its Biblical-era version; I hear that the originalโ€™s true sound has been lost to time because it had no vowels. --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 18:24, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I mean, yeah, but one can still make educated guesses using the comparative method. It's not like Hebrew is a linguistic isolate. Carthage (talk) 18:33, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Fair point, from what words of it Iโ€™ve seen there are many similarities to Arabic words (Shalom aliechem/Salaam aliekum, zahav/zahab, etc.) as theyโ€™re both Semitic languages. A sad reminder of how those who are hating, killing and often wanting genocide of each other like never before right now are, in some ways, brothers. :( --Goatspeed. Stop the War On Secularism๐ŸŽ„CircularREmail2.gifasoning๐ŸŽ„See my experiments 18:49, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

Tampons For Men - AITA?[edit]

Neutral-ish commentary...

For the crappier [but more common] commentary...

Okay, reading this I don't really see the point. Reasoning being;

1 - I don't think there's enough transmen who need this product to support it being stocked in any physical shop.

2 - Like Sparks mentioned, buying this product would out yourself as trans to everyone who knows what it is.

3 - That heavy 'male' branding will be as annoying to NBs than the current 'female' branding these products have.

4 - The 'traditional' versions are - from as far as I can tell - being increasingly 'de-gendered', even though they still reside in what I term 'the pink zone' of the shop.

The only mitigating factor I can see here is a variant of 4 - that going into 'the pink zone' can be rather nerve-wracking even if you know you're simply buying stuff which has been pointlessly gendered [soaps, scrubs and even nail files] and so having a packet or two in the 'guy zone' might make it easier. Plus, I can get some transmen won't want to go into said pink zone. But there's a very simple solution to this that I use for my stuff - buy it online.

Am I missing anything here? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:03, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

Up there amongst the least pressing issues of all time. An underlying hint is the fact that it involves debating the appropriate "branding" for a consumable product. In Finland and England, wait times for gender transition appointments (and, in the case of England, medical appointments in general or so I hear...) are excessively long: now that's something to talk about. Chillpilled (talk) 17:34, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
[laughs] Yeah. If this was the most pressing issue transmen faced I'd be the first to cheer. While most normies don't get the mental stresses of having to go in and going to the 'wrong' bit of the shop [perhaps also hating the reminder of your sex/gender mismatch] but there's already other solutions to this issue.
Plus, the maker's own site [I looked] talks about it being for asexual folks too. Which any trans/NB person knows has sod all relevance to this issue. So I chalk this up to simply 'normal company tries to jump on bandwagon to make money', which is normal activity for companies, not a 'conspiracy against women' or some crud being punted by TERFs etc. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:38, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
Responding to the various points about stocking/buying then in a shop - mail-order would seem to be the obvious solution.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:12, 6 December 2023 (UTC)
True, but in that case you can buy a pack of 'normal' tampons. Just make sure you find a brand where the inner packaging is plain/neutral. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:20, 6 December 2023 (UTC)

Political commentator[edit]

Our infamous Allen jones from sky news has been accused of allegations of sexual harassment from multiple men, why am I not surprised. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Haggard's Law strikes again? Carthage (talk) 01:37, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
To be fair, homophobes who don't break Haggard's law don't make the news. Spotlight effect and all. An Advocate (talk) 02:30, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Who the heck is Allen Jones? Luigifan18 (talk) 02:59, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Alan Jones (radio broadcaster)Wikipedia Chillpilled (talk) 04:25, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

The Continued Scourge of Astrology[edit]

It's about time I brought it up, as the search suggestion boxes of many search engines continue to push astrological bunk whenever I try to search something, many newspapers also continue to have sections where astrology and horoscopes are pushed, and even the occasional nonsense via word of mouth I've overheard. It's quite irritating to see it again and again, knowing that people still believe that pseudoscientific bunk, and it also causes unnecessary scrolling whenever I do have to search something on an astronomical context. Many grief vampires also continue use astrology in an effort to fleece money off of the gullible (or reap ad revenue), often attacking astronomy while doing so.

So what would it take to purge the scourge of astrology off of the Internet and everywhere else, turning said bunk into a scornful taboo? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:37, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

The general gist I'm getting from skimming recent articles on the recent rise in astrology popularity is:
A) We live in, er, "interesting times", so people are "searching for answers".
B) For some, astrology acts as a "mostly harmless" "religion lite" that offers some of the "comfort food" of religion, without the considerable bigoted baggage of religion that has caused many to leave the church.
C) Astrology is connected to the "wellness industry", so add in all the people who for various reasons turn to alternative medicine etc.
The last time astrology was popular was, well, in the "interesting times" of the 1970s (aligned with the hippies and the New Age movement, which peaked in spirit-nonsense-babble (not commercially) during that period). So the best way for the astrology babble to die down is probably for times to become less "interesting". Good luck. BobJohnson (talk) 14:04, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I don't know... IMO astrology is indeed ridiculous. but it's harmless. It's not like other forms of pseudoscience, such as homeopathy and some forms of traditional medicine, where some governments are actually spending money on it (and as a result, spending less money on actual treatments). If people want to believe in astrology, well, then they are wrong, but it's still their right, as they aren't actually influencing public policies and/or scientific progress as far as I know. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:12, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
To say something that is perhaps controversial, I don't think that believing in astrology is so different from believing in the Christian God, or any other God. It's fine (even if we believe that you are wrong), as long as you don't try to force your beliefs on us. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 14:17, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
There are also people who look at astrology for fun while not necessarily believing any of its claims. In this respect, astrology is no different from tarot cards. Heck, some of my (borderline fundie Catholic) cousins were talking about amusing themselves with horoscopes this Thanksgiving (in between very uncomfortable conversations about "the scourge of transsexuality"). Luigifan18 (talk) 14:32, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I personally regard it as a 'mostly harmless' pastime, perhaps similar to say, Wicca, Dungeons & Dragons or Pokemon. The majority of human beings are fully capable of a) enjoying something and b) knowing it's a load of bullplop [qv; most works of fiction]. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:45, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Honestly, I find that there is an important distinction between nonsense that tries and nonsense that doesn't. Everyone should know that DnD and Pokemon aren't TRYING to pose as something real and true. The waters get quite murky quite quickly when you ask about astrology where facts and science are quickly cast aside as "We don't know everything" and "There are so many unexplained things". Astrology, like so many things, is trying to fuzzy the line between what is real and what is not real. YouTube skeptic "Captain Disillusion" once made a brilliant video on this problem. The link has a time code appended which means it skips to the relevant part (11:05), but the whole video is worth a watch if anyone's interested. The point is that blurring the line between what's real and what's wrong is a real problem and even if you yourself are smarter than that, not everyone is. *looks at Twitter* Yes. definitely not everyone. ULTRACOMFY (talk) 20:43, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
I sacrifice goats because I'm a Capricorn. What about you? Carthage (talk) 16:31, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I ate goat brain once. Bongolian (talk) 18:26, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
How did it taste? Carthage (talk) 18:35, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I remember hearing once that Astrology is "Yassified Phrenology". That's what I call it now.-Ryan1257 (talk) 20:02, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
The main problem with astrology is the automatic prejudice which tends to be ignored. "You should not date this person because of their birthdate" is functionally identical to "You should not date this person because of their skin colour."Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:06, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Given that celestial divination has been around for something like four thousand years, I would recommend starting with something easier to deal with, like knock-knock jokes.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:58, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
That we have definite records of, but there's evidence that such traditions extend far back into prehistory (we cover some evidence of such "deep cosmomythology" in our article on pagan survivals). Carthage (talk) 20:02, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

Garlic bread[edit]

What is the deal with garlic bread and being ace? Koafox (talk) 15:29, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

There's a deal? Kencolt (talk) 15:42, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Template:User asexual1 this: Koafox (talk) 15:51, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, it's a joke about how someone who doesn't focus their energy on sex ends up having other hobbies. Corn (talk) 15:57, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Garlic bread is a hobby? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:07, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Baking is. Corn (talk) 16:15, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Has anyone here ever cooked garlic bread in an air fryer? Redneck baking... Carthage (talk) 16:19, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
I'd argue baking can be a hobby, but not all baking is done for hobby reasons. I'm currently baking a couple of batches of homemade 'meal bars' for the coming week which I only do because to buy them in would cost an extra ยฃ40 a week or so. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:29, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Based on Reddit [21] I think there's a running joke in asexual communities about how food is, to them, better than sex. Garlic bread is tasty, so it became "a chosen meme". Cake is also used in memes (for those with a sweet tooth, I suppose). BobJohnson (talk) 16:42, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
"Cake" and "Pie" are also euphemisms, so there could be that aspect as well. Corn (talk) 19:49, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
...and now I want some garlic bread. And maybe some cake. Kencolt (talk) 21:37, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

Spring UK General Election?[edit]


Why do I get the strong whiff that 'techy finance bro' Sunak is going to try to win [or lose less] an early General Election by using the continuing malign, stupid and clusterfucky 'Rwanda immigration policy' [another Tory policy running against the 'bollard of reality'] in hoping it will be a successful distraction/wedge issue like Bozo the Clown did with Brexit in 2019? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:15, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

I'd theorise that it's because it's splitting the party (though apparently not so much between disgust and support so much as support and support for an even more horrible plan????), which seems to be the worst possible thingโ„ข for the tories. A quick election to show that it's what the voters want! /vomit Namako (talk) 10:42, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
I don't live in the UK any more - but I find it really hard to believe that anyone takes the Rwanda plan seriously.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:41, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
I would also theorise it's that it's the only thing which 'sticks to the wall' with the small demographic the Tories think will win them the next election - the Brexit-loving, GBNews-watching, 'I'm not racist but'-saying Rustbelt-dweller I've nicknamed 'Frank Gammon'. They're clearly planning to make immigrants the main Other of what is promising to be a pretty negative election campaign, esp as their next-term spending plans feature another heavy hit of Austerity to a state which is already starved to the point of being unable to fulfil it's core functions.
On Bob J's question... most folks appear to me to judge the whole thing as either a) evil, b) stupid and/or c) a colossal waste of money. I go out of my way now to explain the exact details of the policy to people, such as 'if their application is successful, they still cannot come to the UK' and 'for every person we send to Rwanda, they send us one back!' which if they don't accuse me of being 'woke'/lying etc, frown and and agree it's b/c. Despite it being constantly pumped out by client journalism and astroturf social media, it's still not getting to the top of people's concerns and even more importantly, even some Frank Gammons don't sound like they will vote on this issue alone. But Sunak and Co are getting high on their own supply, getting caught in a feedback loop re: their own propaganda. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:01, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
As a deterrent it's really dumb. These people are prepared to cross was-zones, deserts, closed frontiers, oceans - paying an extreme physical and financial cost. But they are going to be dissuaded by the small possibility that half-assed UK scheme will send them somewhere else? Assuming they even know the weird plan exists? It's nuts.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:13, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

List of Quakersโ€ฆ A bit of fun[edit]

On the list of Quakers, I thought about adding few more for a bit of fun. There are;

  • Victoria Wood (1953-2010) comedienne and actress, and her former husband, magician Geoffrey Durham.[quaker 1]
  • Sheila Hancock, award-winning actress
  • โ€œEuromecโ€, an irritating frequent contributor to RationalWiki. [Seriously, guys I am a member of Cambridgeshire Area Meeting]

Euromec (talk) 21:02, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

  1. โ†‘ Being a Quaker: A Guide for Newcomer; Durham, Graham, Quaker Quest Network ISBN 978-0955898327.

The Case of the "Pragmatic" Spymaster[edit]

So, I just came up with a funny thought exercise for you guys to go over.

So, let's imagine a multi-ethnic espionage task force with agents who get sent out on missions to covertly investigate and undermine threats to their nation. After this task force has operated for some time, the agents start to notice that they're being selected for given missions moreso because of their race than anything else. The baffled agents inform the higher-ups of this, and a discrimination investigation begins. Upon being questioned, the head of the task force admits that he is in fact sending his agents on missions based on their race, but that he is acting out of pragmatism rather than racism โ€” he is sending his agents on missions based on their well-suitedness to the tasks and likelihood to succeed and come back in one piece. The investigators are understandably quite puzzled and ask for further explanation.

The task force head explains that he prefers to send white agents on missions that take place in the daytime, because their light skin coloration blends in with the light. He sends black agents on missions that take place in the nighttime, because their black skin coloration blends in with the darkness. Finally, he sends Asian agents on missions that take place at sunset or sunset, because their yellow skin coloration blends in with the sun when it's low in the sky. By sending agents on missions this way, the task force head explains, his agents are better able to remain undercover and undetected, perform their tasks, and return home without being compromised, captured, or killed.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "perfectly rational" and 10 being "not even fractally wrong", how bizarre is the task force head's logic? Luigifan18 (talk) 21:33, 7 December 2023 (UTC)

To be clear, the skin of humans is not built(evolved) for stealth or camouflage in the first place. In fact, other things could go awry like the fact that skin and walls/floors tend to not be the same color anyway. The clothes matter more than the skin in many cases, as a full bodysuit would work a lot better as camouflage than skin color. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 22:52, 7 December 2023 (UTC)
Well, for one, asians aren't "yellow", they range from darker to lighter skin. Also, most missions aren't "one-and-done", they often take place over an extended period of time, so choosing agents based off of time of day would not offer any advantage. Lastly, I think you ignore the most common instance where skin color or ethnicity come into play for an agent be considered for an assignment, blending in into a population. Even if the agent is not native, isn't too familiar with the culture, and isn't even the correct ethnicity, having a skin and hair color that doesn't stand out from the general population makes it harder to be positively identified by the authorities at a glance.-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:39, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Apart from some other pretty dubious assumptions (not the least being using "yellow" to describe Asians) the logic would only work if they went about their tasks naked. Something which might not be in keeping with the whole "blending in" idea.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:38, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Fair enough. My idea when writing this short story was that the task force head genuinely is not racist and is genuinely trying to be pragmatic with his "skin color as camouflage" idea, but his logic is half-baked (for one thing, camouflage works on the basis of similarity of coloration to other objects nearby, not lighting conditions, and as @Bob M said, the camouflage value of skin color would only be relevant for the portions of the body which are not covered by clothing). I wanted to do a thought exercise on the idea of someone who "discriminates" not due to a belief that any race is inherently superior or inferior, but out of the idea that the qualities associated with a given race might genuinely be advantageous or disadvantageous in certain situations (with said situations not having anything to do with human conceptions of race and how they influence our treatment of one another). In short, well-intentioned, innocent discrimination. (I don't have time to elaborate further right now.) Luigifan18 (talk) 15:00, 9 December 2023 (UTC)

Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler and Moms 4 Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler[edit]

There is a big and complicated story regarding the Zieglers in the news involving a mรฉnage ร  trois with a woman. Can someone explain this? Euromec (talk) 13:43, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

It's not terribly complicated. The Zieglers were engaged in a consensual threesome relationship with another woman (some details vary on how long its been going on but reportedly at least one threesome definitely occurred per police afidavit). During one planned encounter, Bridget Ziegler could not make it. So the other woman cancelled the threesome. Christian Ziegler showed up at the other woman's apartment anyways. This is when Christian allegedly raped the other woman.
Regardless of how the rape allegation plays out, it's yet another instance of Haggard's Law in action, as it's been pretty much confirmed (from what I can tell) that Bridget, co-founder of one of the most virulent anti-gay organizations in Florida, participated in some bisexual threesome action. BobJohnson (talk) 14:38, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
A rare female example of Haggard's Law, you'd usually see the husband as the one who swings both ways. Also, as I said in another case, it's good not to fall into the Toupรฉe fallacy.
That said, I will be adding this on the Haggard's Law page. An Advocate (talk) 15:39, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
It would be best if you had an anti-gay quote or action from the person in question. Mere membership in this group could be seen as a stretch, even if it's involved in anti-LGBT actions it started out I think as an anti-mask/anti-lockdown thing didn't it? Chillpilled (talk) 15:48, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Wait, she co-founded it? And the other guy is chairman of the Florida GOP? Ok, 1. I guess what I just said shouldn't be too hard to find. 2. Holy fuck! Chillpilled (talk) 15:57, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Most of her arguments are of the "think of the children" type (ignoring that those in high school could hardly be considered children). But you can catch her in a quite transphobic T-shirt here.[22] Relatively recently, Ziegler refused to directly rebuke nasty homophobic comments (the ol' "you're gay, therefore you're a groomer!" slander) made towards a gay member of the Sarasota County School Board by some critics, some of whom have associations with the Proud Boys. [23] According to the Washington Post, Bridget Ziegler helped Ron DeSantis fashion the notorious "don't say gay!" "parental rights" legislation that restricted classroom discussion on sexual orientation etc. [24] BobJohnson (talk) 16:37, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
One can find the spot-on memetic mockery here:[25] Bongolian (talk) 18:44, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
I hate people who are too vapid to create their own mockery from scratch, don't you?UncleKrampus (talk) 20:01, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

My main technical hobby, an audio synthesis language[edit]

saugns is the open source program that implements it; I've renamed it twice over the years since early 2011 when I first started working on it. To my knowledge, while not quite suitable for writing music in (yet--it's far from the language of my vague dreams, and I'm not yet really a musician either), it stands out in how short scripts can produce soundscapes (quite a few pseudo-randomized FM ones can be made in less than 80 characters).

But people who don't run Linux or *BSD won't be able to test it easily. Though I've put up some examples with audio to listen to on the website (which however miss the more musical soundscapes, which maybe I'll add later). Anyway, feedback on the website itself could be useful.

The project has been on and off over the years. Early I did a lot quickly and intuitively, in recent years I've cleaned it up and slowly clarified ideas. (And made a new, featureful combination of noise generator and oscillator earlier this year.) More redesign may come ahead of adding new audio synthesis features; still lacking many conventional ones, this project may be "boring" in that way compared to alternatives with other features, and which are implemented with code several orders of magnitude longer. I don't think anyone else has explored my main underlying combination of ideas, to see where it goes, impractical as it is (taking time, and all or most of it commercially useless).

In this project, you see the basic nature of a weird nerd without a job and without a degree. I'm not sure whether being stuck in a rut as I am is more about depression or the autistic spectrum. Anyway, this project has been a main thing during otherwise heavy recent years (2018 perhaps the worst), also driving on learning about more things. While I feel less heavy this year than the prior ones, I have yet to get up the pace in life. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:48, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

Should people just embrace AI art among other things?[edit]

People say it is theft. Though is it true or just people typically fighting technology? Wikisarecool (talk) 20:39, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

It's "theft" because of how AIs are trained. Rights only matter as far as you can enforce them, and if you're stealing content from a poor creator who because they are poor lack the institutional power to enforce those rights they were promised.... that's when it's shitty. Corporations have that institutional power. Poor, individual artists don't. Carthage (talk) 20:50, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
I have never really been on the AI hate train. AI output seems typically transformative although you can get it to put out things that aren't. The way AI is being used to fuel spam is possibly a problem. Chillpilled (talk) 21:01, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Here's another thing to consider. AI image generators are not that good with detail. If you look at those pictures long enough, you'll notice inconsistency after inconsistency. That should be a red flag, especially when they're trying to replicate a photograph. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:13, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Image generators are also especially bad at generating text within images, constantly misspelling words. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 21:16, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
The question has a critical incorrect assumption.
AI has zero intelligence, zero 'agency'. It does what it is told by a human. This makes them a tool, and tools cannot be held guilty of any actions committed on the human's behest. To blame 'AI' for IP piracy is similar for charging a gun for being used in a murder or the camera-maker for making the product later used in the production of child porn.
Thus, the critical issue legally is that of plain ol' IP theft, which is already a rampant crime and has been around since forever, as Carthage alludes to. KarmaPolice (talk) 21:40, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
Sort of off topic but your point about guns being tools I think is worth commenting on: "guns are tools" is a common talking point, but you don't see anybody posing with power drills on their status updates, do you? If we're gonna hold the gun crowd to account by their own talking points "guns are a tool," "it's the person'culture/whatever, not the gun..." then stop treating your gun as a replacement for your dick lol. If it's a tool, and not a status symbol, treat it like one. Make sure it's locked away so little Timmy can't grab it on a whim, and stop posting those stupid photo-ops for your Facebook profile. Carthage (talk) 22:13, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
I think you missed one of the more important parts of the "guns are tools" claim, their primary function and the intent behind them is to efficiently kill something, aka a weapon. If I put a drill through someone's head, the drill is being "used like weapon" since its primary function, the intent behind its design, and its advertising doesn't include killing. A gun on the other hand is fulfilling the purpose, intent behind its design, and its advertising if it kills someone or something irrelevant of if it's an accident, murder, or hunting. Yes, a gun could be used for non-lethal activities like target practice, but that's still just practicing for an actual kill in most contexts. If guns were primarily designed and adverised for target practice, they'd have a point since it'd basically be a t-shirt cannon (though, its design would have to change to conform to this non-lethal role), but no sane person with honest intentions would claim such an idea. They may say "knives and machetes are weapons then since some are made to kill", but that ignores the fact that blades have different categories, and those that are intended as weapons are designed and advertised differently than other knives since its main goal is different from other knives. The same thing goes with cars despite killing a lot of people, especially since safety features are constantly being updated to make them less lethal.-Ryan1257 (talk) 22:57, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
That's also true, but I suspect the people pushing the "guns are tools" talking point know this. However, even if the purpose of a gun is to kill: that doesn't justify treating it like a symbol. It's purpose as a tool is irrelevant from the fact that it's a tool. The fact that it's a tool meant to kill people should only encourage more responsibility, not less. Remember, I'm discussing holding the gun crowd accountable to it's own talking points. We keep kitchen knives away from small children, we should do the same with guns. Lock your guns up, and stop posing for stupid photo ops. There's image problems for posing for status photos with knives in a way that there isn't for guns. It is very much a cultural issue, because you've turned guns from tools, admittedly tools meant for killing, into status objects. Carthage (talk) 23:05, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

Getting back on topic... is it possible for AIs, in the way they learn, to even recognize letters and language in an image? Since its never learning context, I presume it'll always see lettering in an image as just mindless pixels as part of the greater image, no? Revolverman (talk) 23:17, 8 December 2023 (UTC)

GPT and as a result ChatGPT is apparently pretty good at doing that. Chillpilled (talk) 23:36, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
First generation Capatcha [2000s] used the 'words as graphic' test to weed out bots. The fact I've not seen such a test in perhaps 15 years suggests AIs are now sophisticated enough to pass them. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:46, 8 December 2023 (UTC)
It's possible to train "AI"s for several purposes, and to bundle several types of narrow "AI"s in a tool. Recognizing letters and such is one classic narrow task which an "AI" system can be trained for. A text-subsystem may not be able to deal with images at all, but an image-subsystem invoked when the user points the tool to an image may, the result sent to the former. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:46, 9 December 2023 (UTC)

Speak of the devil. Chillpilled (talk) 02:30, 9 December 2023 (UTC)