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The meaning of the message[edit]

This arises from 'various trains of thought/discussion':

If a text or image etc has a secondary meaning that has negative connotations towards 'a person/group etc' and someone not from the target audience fails to pick up on the secondary meaning (eg reads as 'X is a bad/weak etc person' rather than 'X group is bad/weak etc') does the text or image cease to be racist etc? Anna Livia (talk) 11:28, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

I think that without a precise example the question is too vague to be answered. Thinker(unlicensed) 12:46, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
If you were the last ever member of the Illuminati would your secret handshake still be meaningful? 2A02:C7D:1635:5C00:9E2:3B47:D026:B241 (talk) 13:37, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Is a racist message in German still racist even if you don't speak German? What if it's in Klingon or your own personal conlang that nobody else can speak? --Annanoon (talk) 14:06, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
It sure is, if I call some a omgyjyer then that would be rude whatever, even if they have no idea what it means. Dysklyver 14:18, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
As I said, various inputs - but, just as we now see some material from past periods as 'not being culturally tasteful/having unpleasant overtones' when it was considered perfectly acceptable at the time, can the reverse process occur? Anna Livia (talk) 15:22, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
If a tree falls over in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?TheTallMass (talk) 16:08, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
During my medical treatments, I watch a whole lot of TCM. (It's the only station they have that isn't infested with lawyers talking about disability and nursing home neglect, and ads for patent drugs for psoriasis and breast cancer. At the clinic, that crap is too depressing to bear.) AAR, you get both sides there. You occasionally see blackface performances and mammy stereotypes in the movies, especially from before the 1950s. OTOH, you have entire films whose plots turn on the Shocking Scandal of Divorce, or women defending their 'reputations' from suggestions that they might have spent a night alone with some dude. Those plots have not really aged well either, but something like the opposite dynamic is in play. They don't work because we go 'so what?' Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 17:29, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Dressing up as Nazis by clueless teens. Millennium Scallion (talk) 17:45, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
this all very much depends on the message - how negative are the negative connotations, how wow spread is that view, is the message the problem, or just the phrasing, does context make the intended interpretation clear, how you react when you discover the negative reaction.
with old movies and shocking racism, sexisms, etc, a lot can be hand waved away with 'it was of its time' and can be seen with a view to this. a lot of the really stuff that could have been depicted is often omitted due to the hays code and what was permissable at the time wouldnt have allowed it to be even suggested. when such stuff does occur its often ham fistedly done or so shockingly blatant, its almost comical seen through a modern lens. i imagine cuts are made if something is really glaring. ive not seen a john wayne flick for a while. do they leave in the parts where he slaps the leading lady before leaning in a for a kiss/rape? AMassiveGay (talk) 18:47, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────we have a term for this, and yes, it's still racism ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:53, 8 February 2019 (UTC) Favorite scene from a John Wayne movie:

- Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 19:48, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

It is in no way possible to eliminate secondary or tertiary meanings from coming up in the context of communication. Intent should be the most important clue to interpretation. What should we think of the fact that the Dutch have a blackface Christmas tradition? I'm sure some would call it racist. I call it ridiculous. Close enough? Ariel31459 (talk) 22:26, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
I would agree that meanings beyond the initial will always arise when certain words or phrases are spoken. Does that absolve the word itself of the remainder of its meanings when we listen for the intent? Calling a close friend the "n word" or calling a buddy a cigarette stick when they've been (and are still) used in highly derogatory fashion doesn't feel fair to those that do take offense, many for good reason.
As for the Dutch... Think of Thanksgiving.TheTallMass (talk) 23:04, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

To take examples from various contexts - Hamlet tells Ophelia 'Get thee to a nunnery': someone from the present might read it as said, rather than what is actually meant. And with the biblical story of the Good Samaritan - we do not share the views of Jesus' audience to that group. Allegories and similar (The Abbess of Crewe, Gulliver's Travels etc) which are clear to readers at the time of writing are a slightly different version. If the original message is no longer understood as intended and is interpreted in a different way (through 'natural cultural evolution') does it cease to exist?

With the Dutch character there are many 'folk activities and entertainments' which incorporate 'non-standard characters' (Morris Dancers; cross-dressing in pantos etc): and probably most people make some allowance for 'the past is another country and they did things differently then' (SF in the mid-20th century describing a future with scientists/technical persons who are primarily white males - and with no 'personal computers and handhelds' or wikiverse etc). Anna Livia (talk) 12:30, 9 February 2019 (UTC)

The basic problem is going to depend on your view about whether original meanings can be lost forever, or are discoverable by a reader who, say, takes the time to study the language/history/culture and therefore attempts to get into the head of the writer. This is a major scholarly debate in fields where interpretation is important, such as the history of philosophy and literature. To simplify, either the author's original intent can be discerned if you ultimately put in enough effort and thought to find it, or that intent can't be discerned and there is no point in trying to figure it out. The more you lean toward the former, then those original meanings don't go away, but rather just become more and more obscure as fewer and fewer people know the context in order to find them. The only way they could go away is if all of the contextual information was lost as well.
If a work had a hidden meaning that no one knows or even could know about, then the hidden meaning effectively doesn't exist. If that hidden meaning was bigoted, no one could possibly know. So any answer is going to lead to the same conclusion, even if it arrives there by a different road. In which case, I'd just go with: yes, the author and work is still bigoted, but since I and everyone else has no idea about it, we'll all just absorb the work as if it was not bigoted. --Mabian (talk) 21:18, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
If you mean that the offensive word/image is reclaimed by people of the group that it is intended to smear, then if enough people from the group appropriate it for themselves, then no, it would no longer be a pejorative. For example, if you'll take a look at my userpage, you'll find that I've reclaimed the classic Militant Atheist™ smear. And also, back in the early days of the site, we reclaimed CP's "cabal" smear (even though there isn't one). --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularReasoningSee what I'm planning 16:24, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
My question is why does someone else's interpretation matter more than another? One thinks something is racist, another doesn't it's subjective.76.8.245.247 (talk) 14:05, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Netflix is "Marxist Propaganda", according to 8Chan's /pol/ section[edit]

https://8ch.net/pol/res/12642118.html

Do these people ever leave their basements? Tinribmancer (talk) 21:08, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Why is this a shock? nobs piss in my ear 21:32, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
It's a first post notoriety fighting a best post culture. But I have to manage these kids. They are brilliant improv comics, and half of them will do work, but occasionally I beat them in an improv nonsense conversation. They know Alex Jones is trash, they know Shapiro and Crowder are trash, they don't know why.
I also manage my own millennial generation. They are also brilliant improv comics and most of them do work.
These Gen Z kids know what a roasting looks like, they know how to do it, and when they hit the workforce they are our darling Gen Z savages. Gens X and Y taught them the only important skills you can ever have are roasting and trolling. Gen Z never gives it a rest. They will do normal human labor if you tell them to, the world is not ending. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:28, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, Alex Jones and Roger Stone reported in real time 21 months ahead of CBS 60 Minutes that the FBI & DOJ sought to remove Trump by the 25th Amendment. No wonder there's efforts to silence Jones & Stone. nobs piss in my ear 06:18, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Except of course the FBI did not attempt to remove Trump - discussion how hte 25th works is not actually an attempt to remove the President, no matter how much of a doofus the President is. Alex Jones' fantasy remains nothing more than his wet dream. Aloysius the Gaul 22:35, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Dershowitz says something quite different. nobs piss in my ear 00:08, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Yeah he's making exactly the same mistake as you - in the article linked to the link you give it explicitly says there were discussions at the Justice Department on potential scenarios to remove President Trump from office - discussing political scenarios is NOT actually attempting to remove the president. Actualy you expect justie officials to discuss scenarios - they SHOULD have a clear idea of what the process should look like!! I don't expect Trumpets to understand the difference.Aloysius the Gaul 03:10, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Consciousness is REality?[edit]

"The Vedic view makes more sense to me. Whether you accept it or not, it's logical and consistent, and in principle verifiable by personal experience.

The basic concept is that the the ultimate reality is consciousness, and the whole universe is a virtual construct within consciousness. Matter only exists virtually within consciousness.

So is the universe real? Both yes and no. It's a virtual construct, so in that sense you can say it's not real, but since consciousness is real, everything based on it is real.

Analogies help to clarify the ideas, though they have their limitations.

Analogy 1. Are the objects and locations in a computer games real? Both yes and no. No - because they only exist in the virtual space of the computer game, so in that sense they are illusionary. Yes - because if you are playing the game, you can't take the attitude that objects don't exist. They exist for all practical purposes within the game, and follow certain 'laws of nature' within the game. You have to treat them as real. You're not going to win the game by doing nothing and saying that it isn't real.

Analogy 2. Consciousness is like the ocean, and individuals are like waves on the ocean. Each wave has its own limited structure, individuality, and scope in time and space, but ultimately all waves are just perturbations of the ocean. The innermost self of all beings is the self of the universe, and because it's all consciousness, individuals have free will.

Analogy 3. Another analogy is that individual consciousness is like white light passing through a glass of coloured water. The light passing through takes on qualities according to the reflecting/refracting medium. The individual consciousness is simply the universal consciousness reflected through the brain and body (which are themselves virtual constructs within consciousness). So any change to the brain results in a change of consciousness, like changing the colour of the water in the glass changes the colour of the reflection. But it is possible to refine the brain and body to reflect the pure white light of universal consciousness, and that is enlightenment."

"The sole reality is the infinite consciousness which is omnipresent, pure, tranquil, omnipotent. ... Because the substratum (the infinite consciousness) is real, all that is based on it acquires reality, though the reality is of the substratum alone.

One cannot say that [the universe] is real or unreal, but one can only say that the substratum alone is real. The world exists in Brahman only as a word, an idea. It is neither real nor unreal.

The infinite consciousness is unmanifest, though omnipresent, even as space, though existing everywhere, is unmanifest. Just as the reflection of an object in crystal can be said to be neither real nor entirely unreal, one cannot say that this universe which is reflected in the infinite consciousness is real nor unreal. Again, just as space is unaffected by the clouds that float in it, this infinite consciousness is unaffected and untouched by the universe that appears in it.

Just as light is not seen except through the reflecting agent, even so the infinite consciousness is revealed through these various bodies. It is essentially nameless and formless, but names and forms are ascribed to its reflections.

Consciousness reflecting in consciousness shines as consciousness and exists as consciousness; yet, to one who is ignorant (though considering oneself as wise and rational) there arises the notion that there has come into being and there exists something other than this consciousness. To the ignorant this consciousness appears as the world-appearance; to the wise the same consciousness appears as the one Self.

This consciousness is not created, nor does it perish; it is eternal and the world-appearance is superimposed on it, even as waves in relation to the ocean. In that consciousness, when it is reflected within itself, there arises the ‘I am’ notion which gives rise to diversity.

In that infinite consciousness there is an inherent non-recognition of its infinite nature. That appears to manifest as 'I' and 'the world'.

In the mirror of infinite consciousness countless reflections are seen, which constitute the appearance of this world. These are the individual consciousnesses. Individuality is like just a little agitation on the surface of the ocean of Brahman; or just a little movement in the flame of a candle in a windless room. When, in that slight agitation, the infinitude of the infinite consciousness is veiled, limitation of consciousness appears to arise. This too is inherent in that infinite consciousness. And that limitation of consciousness is known as the individual."

The above was something that someone said to me when we came to the discussion about an ultimate reality. I think it is based on Hinduism, because there is the idea of a "one consciousness" aspect to the whole thing. But it literally makes no sense to me and kind of smacks of either idealism or solipsism. He says it's logical and consistent, but from what I read it just sounds like nonsense. I honestly have no idea where they get this stuff from, if it's based on meditation then that has it's own set of problems (since we find that meditation's realizations are really just the byproduct of when happens to the brain during it,this has been lab tested). It also assumes there is an infinite consciousness, it actually assumes a lot of things that make no real sense. How do they know it is infinite? I don't know. Analogy 3 assumes too much to really be a logical explanation.Machina (talk) 03:47, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

There's a bunch of different ideas in there. One is obviously something along the lines of idealism (all reality – physical matter/energy included – is ultimately/fundamentally mental). And then add to that, there is also an idea of monism (all is one; plurality is an illusion.) Maybe, if one wants to evaluate the position, rather than trying to evaluate it all at once, one could start with just one idea, and make up your mind about that, before moving on to the next? So, start with idealism – is that a coherent position? Do we have any good reasons to believe it is true? Do we have any good reasons to believe it is false? How does it stack up against its main competitors? i.e., materialism (in its various forms, e.g. reductionism vs eliminativism), various forms of dualism (substance, property, hylomorphic, etc), neutral monism, etc. And then idealism itself comes in several different varieties ("subjective", "objective", etc), so do the answers depend on which variety of idealism we are talking about? DepressedAustralian (talk) 05:24, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

You ask a lot of these pseudo-profound philosophical questions[edit]

And, more than wanting to answer your questions, I increasingly want to interrogate you on your own epistemological framework. Everyone can speculate on all sorts of "deep" stuff, but if you do enough of that, you really need to go back to fucking basics and ask "What is knowledge, how do I understand what is true and what is false" and arrive at a serious answer, otherwise you can just end up bouncing from one half-assed answer to a poorly phrased question to another. There's no insight to be gained from that. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:36, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Now We're Philosophising![edit]

I'm a little unsettled by the jump from the described reality to the substratum. I mean, if we're living in a substrate, and Brahman is the superstrate, that's... OK, I guess, but it's not describing anything that's described here. We're living in a substrate that can perceive a superstrate? I doubt it, but in that possibility, infinity squared is kind of a fun theoretical math thing, and it exists as much as it doesn't. Aleph Null is enough to make my head spin, I don't like to touch it.

The problem comes down to physics, which I'm no ace at. I'm trying, but if I look at too many numbers my eyes cross. There are plenty of well spoken ideas about human physiology and determinism and free will, and it's frustrating because since I dropped out of college they are now available everywhere. I would argue that because free will cannot reasonably exist in our substrate, our superstrate is only valuable if it informs our substrate.

So, if I am to agree with the argument, I would like to know how we evaluate the information coming from this superstrate to our substrate. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 04:06, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Is the true self one that involves clearing everything away?[edit]

https://browardmeditation.org/what-is-meditation/overview/

I mean they don't really say why it is false though, my guess is that it is something that is built up over time as we experience life and the like (or subjectivity). But it's not like we control whether we like or dislike certain things, it's not like I decided to like pop music one day or country the next, it just happens. What makes any of that false? Because I wasn't born with it? It just seems like an awful amount of the proof behind the claim is based on meditation, but that kind of leaves me saying "eehhhhhhh". Especially since experiences with meditation vary among people and the experience someone has doesn't really show any sort of truth about the world, rather it's just the result of the practice. Kind of like how that one case where a man turned aggressive after a rail spike went through his head. Thoughts people? I CAN accept that people change over time and we aren't the same people we were when younger. But I don't think that's what they mean.Machina (talk) 23:34, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

The reason why we have opinions on things is that as we are exposed to more information and gain more experience in the world, we tend to develop certain attitudes and opinions on certain topics, or change our interests as we are exposed to things that we currently find more interesting than what we were previously interested in. And this change is again influenced by past experiences and notions of what you would be interested in. It doesn't "just happen". And as for the case you mentioned where the man's personality dramatically changed after having a rail spike go through his head (Phineas Gage?): When the brain is damaged in such a way that the parts of it that control your personality and memories are destroyed but the parts that you need to survive and function are left intact, then of course your personality will change. It's just neuroscience; nothing woo-woo about it. --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularReasoningSee what I'm planning 23:39, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
The underlying idea is the same as has been presented thousands of times over in all sorts of other contexts. It's effectively a form of No True Scotsman with the self to lead you to the desired conclusion: your "real self" is defined (perhaps vaguely) as X, and anything which does not accord with X must therefore be "false." Did you achieve Enlightenment/find God/realize that you should give me all of your money? If not, then something is holding you back and you should try again until you achieve Enlightenment/find God/realize that you should give me all of your money. The logic behind the mechanism - what makes bodily experiences "false" but meditative experiences "true" - is irrelevant, because all you need is the rhetorical flourish of telling people that they can reach Truth and Happiness if they close their eyes and breathe just the right way. If you don't feel the overwhelming sense of oneness with the Universe described, then there are classes which can be conveniently found to help you develop your technique so you can do it right. --Mabian (talk) 23:57, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
It's the whole "who you really are" which they take to mean the universe and not a self or this body in the picture world. If you look that the other tab about meditation you'll see the list of the steps. I think that since this sense of self is developed of time and not something you are born with then it is "False" or not who you are, but that doesn't really say WHY it is false especially since our likes and dislikes seems to be true enough. But then again, humans don't finish developing until later on. At most I can logically boil it down to you are a body that has experiences. I'm guessing the universe experience comes from meditation which is really just the result of brain activity. In fact most mystical awakenings then to happen when the body is stressed and the mind too, which seems to me is what the result of "throwing away" does. But that doesn't seem like it gets at "who you are" so much as it just destroys you. It's like saying a house is false just because it was built.Machina (talk) 00:41, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
I disagree. This is asking me to pay money to learn how to not care about possessions. This is easy to spot garbage, low-level palm reading/fortune telling level. They don't want to create a cult, it's not scientology. They just want your money. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 06:10, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Created CP account under same name as this one earlier today;  K e n  D o l l  blocked me almost instantly.[edit]

@Newton Here is my block log:

  • 19:33, 11 February 2019 Conservative (Talk | contribs) blocked CircularReasoning (Talk | contribs)with an expiry time of 5 years (account creation disabled) (Silly and/or foul username. Account may be recreated as a first name and last initial)

As opposed to my account creation log:

  • 19:32, 11 February 2019 User account CircularReasoning (Talk | contribs) was created

As you can see, it doesn't seem very likely that this was because my username was "silly and/or foul"; if that were the case, then why didn't  K e n  D o l l  never got banned for not being "KenD" or "KenDM"? Hmmm... maybe his recently regained obsession with our site (as evidenced by his ongoing war with Ace and Merican) may have led him to lurk around here and find out that "CircularReasoning" is me- a user here on RW, and thus he quickly recognized me and blocked me mere minutes after my CP account was created.

Just a random thought I'd like to share... --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularReasoningSee what I'm planning 07:16, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

Ken thinks only he has a right to have a name format besides the standard. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 07:32, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Ikanreed But then how come he, Karajou, etc. have allowed (and occasionally even promoted- which on CP, is being given adminship) people like Northwest and AugustO? Well, I guess time will tell if we soon start seeing a new Ken essay titled "Commentary in regards to young Indian evolutionist and self-admitted militant atheist Rohan aka CircularReasoning" or something along those lines... --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularReasoningSee what I'm planning 07:49, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
I was blocked by Ken once for being "an atheist from London who hates me." I don't know who that is, and as for my location - he got the right country. Then he deleted all my edits and remade some of them as his own. I've still no idea what he got out of it. Notthelondonguy (talk) 16:47, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
I found the argument of high levels childhood diabetes among Asians in Birmingham compelling. What Ken hasn't realized yet is that "Brits" as a nationality are as extinct as the dinosaur, and no one uses the term "Britian" or "British" anymore. It's all UK and UK citizens. You guys need a SamHB or AugustO to engage. Too often someone makes a valid comment on Main/Talk, and it gets reverted or nuked before anyone sees it. nobs piss in my ear 21:42, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
that is complete and utter shite. british is used all the fucking time for all manner of ethnicities. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:39, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Rob, at any time in the past 2 years, have you heard the word "Brexit"? What do you think the "Br-" means? Or maybe you always hear it as "UKexit". And what about all those people who identify as Black BritishWikipedia's W.svg or British AsiaWikipedia's W.svg? Oh, surely they don't say that. They must call themselves "black UK citizens" and "Asian UK citizens". You plonker! Spud (talk) 15:45, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm referring to the Americo-centric bigotted sense; when Americans hear "Brit," they usually think of white people. nobs piss in my ear 17:00, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
So when (some) Americans hear about the Brit awards they think "The White UK Awards. Weird.Hubert (talk) 19:49, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
#BritsSoWhite Dysklyver 22:31, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

That's that standard block reason for crappy names there. I mean yeah it's a perfectly ok username, but it sounds like you are there to debate stuff. Which last I checked was not the purpose of their site. Dysklyver 11:50, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Bobby Brown[edit]

Palaeonictis Fossil beds 10:48, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
Your point being, @Palaeonictis? Bongolian (talk) 03:22, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Does there have to be a point? Prudes. Palaeonictis Fossil beds 04:27, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
That Youtubers choose wrong album covers, I guess? ("Bobby Brown" was on Sheik Yerbouti, not Joe's Garage.) Soundwave106 (talk) 13:28, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Not a prude. I think the song received some misinterpretation when it came out. That's all. Bongolian (talk) 05:10, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Fearmongering News[edit]

So my phone has a newsfeed that it shows me. It's got the usual blend of decent journalism and novels about how Kim Kardashian is #goals, but there's an annoying amount of total fearmongering. British rag "The Express" seems to be the kings of this, but rags of all (faded) colors love doing this. What's odd about this is that it's not the standard "Takn' yer Jurbs" fearmongering, it's more... Hollywood. It's all about the asteroid hitting earth TOMORROW or the STRANGE NEW PLAGUE that SCIENCE CAN'T EXPLAIN! Somehow, life goes on despite these constant threats to civilization. To give you an idea of how crazy this gets, the good folks at the express were kind enough to make an "asteroid" category. Every time the word "asteroid" slips through NASA's lips, these people jump on it. Lo and behold, the asteroid category:

https://www.express.co.uk/latest/asteroids

Some of my favorite headlines:

-NASA asteroid tracker: LOOK OUT as three giant asteroids skim the earth TODAY

-NASA warn 'APOCALYPSE asteroid' Bennu WILL appear in the sky this Valentine's Day

-Asteroid WARNING: NASA admits killer asteroids threaten humanity with 'global DEVISTATION'

-NASA asteroid threat: New spacecraft to SMASH INTO asteroids and SAVE EARTH

-Asteroid which wiped out dinosaurs contains alien metals which could CURE CANCER

-Asteroid Apophis: Will 12,000ft asteroid named after god of CHAOS slam into earth in 2020?

-NASA asteroid WARNING: Former astronaut demands defense against CITY-KILLER asteroids

-Bible's Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by 10 MEGATON asteroid explosion, archaeologists say.

And finally, my personal favorite,

-ASTEROID WARNING: Centaurs from Neptune and Jupiter could DESTROY EARTH

All of the caps, formatting etc was by them. None of these were satirical.

An ordinary human man (talk) 18:26, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Asteroids? More like AsTERRORoids, amirite? DuceMoosoliniYour friendly RW dictator moderator 18:29, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Hmmm. Maybe a giant asteroid magnet. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 19:18, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
Sadly, here in the US, we no longer really have such a paper. About the closest we do have is such upstanding examples as the Enquirer, which are less about Astronomy That Will Kill Us and more about Celebrities That We Want To Kill (and to a lesser extent, right-wing political support, ignored by most readers in favor of whatever the fuck the Kardashians are doing this week).
We used to have the Weekly World News, but alas, the days of the BatBoy and the like are over... Kencolt (talk) 19:30, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
The Express articles I see besides asteroids are Yellowstone supervolcano scare stories. Example-
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1086097/yellowstone-volcano-fears-scientists-monitoring-rising-magma-spt/amp --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 01:28, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
My favorite thing about all this has to be the caps. Like, do they think their readers are so stupid they won't get the idea of the articles? What's funny about this is that they don't only do this for world-ending news. Here's one from today: "REVEALED: The next TWO countries who will quit 'EU cult' as Brussels fears UK success" That's a dire, world-ending headline about... an economic union? An ordinary human man (talk) 14:10, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Any headline with the word DESTROY in all caps is invariably followed by useless drivel. Also any headline with numbers in it, e.g. "5 things you didn't know about A", "Top 10 reasons why you should get B", "20 best places for C", etc. Millennium Scallion (talk) 20:03, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Don't forget asking a "question" with a heavily implied answer. When a tabloid asks "Was an alien superweapon responsible for faking the death of Elvis?," they aren't promoting critical thinking, folks! An ordinary human man (talk) 15:11, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
And here's a combo plate: Do aliens exist? Is Elvis still alive? Top 30 commonly believed myths REVEALED. Millennium Scallion (talk) 19:55, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

RIP Opportunity (2004-2019)[edit]

Its lasted dozens of times as long as expected, but we all knew it would have to come to an end someday. 𝔊𝔬𝔞𝔱-𝔈𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔯𝔬𝔯 𝔅𝔦𝔤𝔰 (𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔡𝔬𝔪/𝔞𝔠𝔥𝔦𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔪𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔰) 04:05, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

I demand a rescue mission! But seriously, it did its job well. RIP, mate! Nerd (talk) 04:20, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
RIP, little rover that could. An ordinary human man (talk) 14:12, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps this place could 'twin' with the locality.
Why can't the terrestial equivalents last as long as Opportunity and the Voyagers (and a few other such constructs)? Anna Livia (talk) 17:25, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
@Anna Livia What "terrestrial equivalents" are you talking about? Also remember, that we are talking about space probes here. They have some of the finest engineering in the world going into them, and a lot of redundancy as well. A lot of things can go wrong along the way, and NASA cannot just send in people to fix things. Nerd (talk) 17:29, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Various of the expensive projects (computer systems etc) which develop problems within a very short space of time. Anna Livia (talk) 17:58, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Such as? Remember, these space probes had undergone extensive testing before getting sent into space. Nerd (talk) 18:01, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
The NHS computer system, Universal Credit and various of these]. (Crossrail has to contend with the Romans - whatever they did for us - plague pits, the legacies of Joseph Bazalgette and other inconveniences created by 2000+ years of history.) Anna Livia (talk) 18:08, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
RIP, indefatigable traveller of the endless Martian deserts (and wasn't for that fucking dust storm it would have kept going on). May you rest someday in a Martian museum. Panzerfaust (talk) 14:44, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Space Bat[edit]

Why does that remind me of this? Palaeonictis Fossil beds 13:12, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Trump 2020[edit]

Will he win?

On this odds checker site Trump is at the top of the list. Thinker(unlicensed) 13:56, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Yeah he will win. Then hell will freeze over, releasing satan, who will start a MAD nuke fight which will cause the extinction of mankind and most life on Earth, as global warming boils the oceans away and solar flares singe our atmosphere and reserve the poles, causing the moon to impact the Earth and break it into bits which then float into deep space as the sun goes nova, wiping out the solar system. Dysklyver 14:11, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Look at the recent State of the Union. When Trump boasts about the job creation and the massive increase in human trafficking arrests, the Democrats are motionless. When he talks about the new Democrat Congresswoman, the Democrats erupt in celebrations. People will see the Dems are more interested in their own careers and prestige than they are about ordinary people. —RWRW (talk) 14:40, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Well, yeah, of course they were motionless when he mentioned jobs. It's not like someone's going to shout in the middle of the State of the Union "Most of those jobs are part-time jobs and independent contractors meaning that less wealth is being passed down to the ordinary people. Also, because the business cycle is, like, a thing, a recession is going to come soon, and we have no monetary means of correcting it, meaning that we will have to resort to fiscal policy, but because the government deficit is so huge the loans market is lowered, meaning that any fiscal policy we make isn't going to be as effective as it could be." Doesn't quite roll off the tongue. RoninMacbeth (talk) 14:55, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
As for the question UT posed, it's too early to say. Considering the way Trump arrived on the scene, I think the whole election punditry and bet-placing thing before, like, September 2020 isn't really helpful. RoninMacbeth (talk) 15:03, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
agreed. only an imbecile would call it 2 years in advance when a week in politics is a long time. we dont even know who hes up against. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:05, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Were you watching the same SOTU I did? The impression I got was that Trump just learned what D-Day was and wanted to brag about it to the entire country. RoninMacbeth (talk) 21:43, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Granted, talking about D-Day was a waste of time since nobody under 35 knows what it is, but comparing the War on Cow Farts to defeating Nazis isn't exactly getting off on the right foot, either. nobs piss in my ear 21:49, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
"...nobody under 35 knows what [D-Day] is..." Gee, thanks nobs. Your faith in me and my generation is appreciated. RoninMacbeth (talk) 21:56, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Never underestimate the ability of the democrats to field a centrist whose personality everyone detests in an easy to win election. 2000, 2004, and 2016 were not flukes, 2008 was the fluke. But also, if you get your information on what is true from betting sites, you're giving way too much credit to dumb people with money. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:09, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
There are times when you wish there was a 'none of the above' option on the voting paper. 17:03, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Not for me. There are times where I definitely like one candidate better the other, but shoving everyone who voted in the primary for that candidate into a blender would be ideal. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 17:12, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
Trump probably won't win, God I hope he loses. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 20:32, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
@Rationalzombie94 in the past you have claimed to side more with Republicans than Democrats. Would you rather an extremist Democrat (say, Bernie) become President if that means Trump is defeated? --RWRW (talk) 21:22, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

@RWRW Things change. --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:46, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

That's fair enough, and I can understand having a personal dislike towards a politician. But what about policies? Would you be comfortable with a President who wants to abolish ICE and hike up everyone's taxes? --RWRW (talk) 09:19, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Back to basics. To beat Trump, you need a candidate. Tulsi Gabbard looked good until she won the coveted David Duke endorsement. nobs piss in my ear 21:35, 14 February 2019 (UTC)
I am reasonably impressed by most of the declared Democratic candidates. The only really unacceptable ones are Booker -- no way I'm voting for a goddamn vegan cultist -- and Gillibrand, whose shameful treatment of Al Franken helped hand over the Senate to the Republicans. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 11:39, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

Opinion Poll[edit]

Because opinion polls are always accurate, right? --RWRW (talk) 21:22, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Ignoring personal preference, who do you think will win the 2020 Presidential election?

Donald Trump18Vote
Kamala Harris3Vote
Joe Biden2Vote
Elizabeth Warren6Vote
Other20Vote
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez4Vote
I added Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the poll, but I think that doing so the previous votes have been compromised. Does someobe know how to fix it? Thinker(unlicensed) 07:58, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Nope, you're just going to have to learn to live with the outcome of your actions!! Cardinal Chang (talk) 12:39, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
It'll be those pesky Russians for sure... --RWRW (talk) 09:20, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
its 2 years away and we dont even know the candidates. whats the point? AMassiveGay (talk) 11:20, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Also Cortez is too young to run for president. 𝔊𝔬𝔞𝔱-𝔈𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔯𝔬𝔯 𝔅𝔦𝔤𝔰 (𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔡𝔬𝔪/𝔞𝔠𝔥𝔦𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔪𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔰) 13:30, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
@AMassiveGay I don’t know, I’ve always enjoyed speculating and punditry
@Bigs well, I guess America has dodged a bullet there. —RWRW (talk) 13:45, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
We don't even know who the Dems are gonna run. A better poll question would have been "Will Donald Trump be reelected?" DuceMoosoliniYour friendly RW dictator moderator 14:03, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

I love how the Trump vote keeps going up to equal the Other vote. It’s very 4chan. — Unsigned, by: 24.91.159.57 / talk / contribs

Ocasio-Cortez won't be eligible until the 2024 election, so her votes should go to "other".Ariel31459 (talk) 02:02, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Mentioning Logic&Such is an instaban offense[edit]

A national emergency (U.S.) is now in effect......[edit]

The "Emergency" is a fucking wall. What else will Trump can Trump do to make a mockery of the United States? Kill a Bald Eagle? Use the Bill of Rights as a napkin? How about using the American flag as toilet paper?

I am just frustrated about the whole thing. Sorry if I am going off the deep end. How would you feel if someone ran a country and disregards everything your country stands for? 😡😡😡 --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 03:00, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

These days?
Sadly, I might well feel European. Or South American. Possibly East Asian in many cases. Or Near Eastern-- albeit without much of the religious aspect, since even Trump isn't going to try to put liturgical laws in place (no matter what much of his base would desire). Not sure about Australian or it's nearby neighbors, but then of late I'm not sure of anything from that quarter. The thing about Trump is (a) He's here in the States and directly affecting the residents thereof, and (b) We US citizens haven't got the experience that those in many other nations have with would-be strongmen imposing (Or trying to impose} their pet ideas on the nation, hang what reality says, and we have a better chance than many of resisting. But I think it does sting a bit more because we're not used to it, unlike much of the rest of the world. Kencolt (talk) 04:51, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm personally worried that the general apathy the American people have is the perfect hotbed for Trump to set up an autocracy. The Atlantic made an amazing article on this, and loads of people don't seem to understand how much info they put out there that outs them as political opponents. Would Trump mass murder every opponent he has? Unlikely, but expect hardships if the worst happens. Spoony (talk) 11:20, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
They impeached Johnson for less explicit violations of the constitution. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:34, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Lawsuits will stop it from actually happening. Congress not agreeing with you does not constitute a national emergency, by any definition. If it was a real emergency, action would have been taken on it during the 3 years that Republicans controlled all branches of government, and the solution wouldn't be a decades-long public works project. Even if for some crazy reason the courts don't strike down the entire "emergency", future governments will stop the project: there things take decades. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 isn't fully implemented yet because of the sheer difficulty of getting people who live on the border to give up their land. Hannasanarion (talk) 17:42, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
  • It seems that Trump is drawing $8 billion out of the defense construction and drug enforcement budgets to build his wall as part of this. I can't say I am surprised. Dysklyver 16:10, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
    Clear and compelling evidence that the DoD is massively overfunded. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 16:22, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
If the 'processes, planning and purchases processes' have not yet been started half way into the Trump presidency, and there are no 'buy this bit of back of beyond and the government will pay you megabucks to acquire it' scams yet, then what are the chances of anything actually happen? And what is the likelihood of earthquakes/plate tectonics/climate change etc causing problems? Anna Livia (talk) 19:21, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
The only climate change induced possibility (and it's a remote one) is that the Rio Grande continues drying up to the point where it's no longer a natural border crossing barrier. Oh, and if that happens, we'll have more serious things to worry about than illegal immigrants. Millennium Scallion (talk) 19:59, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
What's everybody in a tizzy for? This bill is a compromise. The wall funding was put into a Pentagon reserve funding to provide deniability, in exchange for amnesty. If you don't like how sausage is made, don't watch. nobs piss in my ear 23:03, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Or become vegetarian :)
Could the 'multiple part-ownerships of pieces of land' set-up be used to thwart undesired development projects? (Depending upon the situation using 'major investment companies' or involving sovereign pseudo-law know-it-all citizens to clutter up the legal system.) Anna Livia (talk) 23:27, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

@RobSmith Trump refused the compromise. What do you think happened? --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 16:45, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Bull. Trump signed the bill with the provisions not to separate children, etc. nobs piss in my ear 21:15, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

What is "Good Enough" for the Survival of Humanity?[edit]

We know the sun will eventually die. I say die, because we all say batteries die.

If Homo Sapiens intend to continue their existence in this universe, which I fully support, what do we have to do? Our legacy CAN outlast the life of our sun.

Is launching a probe to nowhere a good enough legacy? Is an AI android good enough? Do we have to send living humans in a diaspora? Can we send AI as nannies to human DNA?

What level of permanence does humanity really need? I'd like as many probes as we can launch to take Tardigrades everywhere. If there's alien life out there, at least our water bears won't be a horror sci-fi disaster if they find them. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 04:54, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

It's useless to speculate about this. Earth will continue to be habitable for hundreds of millions of years. We could send space ships across the galaxy and back hundreds of times with today's technology before Earth became uninhabitable. We have no idea what humanity's options will be when it comes time to leave the earth. Hell, I don't know what my options will be to commute to work in 100 years. Anything beyond that is a great big question mark as far as civilization and technology goes. Hannasanarion (talk) 15:06, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
The luminosity of the sun increases by around 1% every 100 billion years. This will eventually lead to there being too little CO2 in the atmosphere around 500 million years from now. Plant life will then become unsustainable and life on earth will be over. Fortunately, intelligent life is a self limiting phenomenon. Whatever survives us, if anything does, is unlikely to be in a position to do anything about this. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱs. 19:41, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
Unable to save the earth, probably, yeah. But unable to do anything? that's a stretch. I continue to hold that this whole discussion is silly. Homo Sapiens evolved 200,000 years ago, and human civilization started 5,000 years ago. We have 500,000,000 years before the natural destruction of the earth. This is like a one-hour-old baby fretting about retirement. Hannasanarion (talk) 22:10, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/books/review/seveneves-by-neal-stephenson.html Cardinal Chang (talk) 13:00, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

what would be the point of 'survival' via human dna sent out in space if actual living human beings dont survive? thatb is isnt survival in any sense. i couldnt give a shit about genomes. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:52, 16 February 2019 (UTC)
And if Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens futurus then Formicidae/Xestobium rufovillosum/tardigrade/nematode sapiens sapiens will do so. And these beasties will 'switch off the lights' as they leave. Anna Livia (talk) 23:38, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

As the sun grows bigger, the goldilocks zone extends further out into the solar system. While Earth becomes uninhabitable, Mars becomes marginally more inviting as it's no longer permanently below freezing and solar power becomes worthwhile. More importantly, Jupiter's moons become possibilities for permanent habitation, and as anyone who's ever played Kerbal Space Program for long would understand, the lower gravity combined with all the other moons right there makes space travel far cheaper. Eventually, of course, humanity must seek out a means of interstellar travel. No matter what people say, we do not have the tech for it at this time. Space is an extremely hostile environment, and we would be unable to produce anything that'd be capable of traveling for thousands of years without ever being taken to the shop for inspections and repair, let alone store the fuel and supplies needed to keep a small group of humans alive on a sort of "generation ship" where the great great great great grandkids of the original astronauts tell their grandkids about how their great great great grandkids may one day walk upon something other than the overly cramped tin can that is the only world in the universe as far as they are concerned. We may have the technology in the future, but I'm not holding my breath. CoryUsar (talk) 07:16, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Dungeons & Dragons is a lot like religion[edit]

See here. Besides the Fundy thinking scheme of that something featuring dragons, deities even if fictional ones, and of course devils and demons must be by force Satanic, I think the author has a very good point, knowing how all what the former have to justify their BS is just a book, and once it's removed they're pretty much SOL -same as for their hate of evolution, BB, etc-. Panzerfaust (talk) 23:34, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

This is a weird conclusion as I came in thinking Dungeon and Dragons foster cult like behavior and promote delusions like a religion does and kept reading the article until I found that point but didn't find it. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 04:38, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
You mean like anything large groups of people are passionate about? Palaeonictis Fossil beds 08:07, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Dungeons & Dragons is designed to work off religious themes. It includes a lot of pagan iconography, as well as neo-satanic themes. Dysklyver 13:19, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

THIS LAND IS MINE!![edit]

GOD GAVE THIS LAND TO ME!!:

Palaeonictis Fossil beds 12:29, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

this is better

AMassiveGay (talk) 12:59, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

This is not better but it is an Esperanto adaptation of the above song. I never thought I'd get an excuse to share it.

Spud (talk) 16:07, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

tear gas and wars[edit]

tear gas is ok for quelling rioting civilians, and ok enough for civilians to use on each other (in the form of mace and the like) in some regions. why is it not ok to use tear gas during actual wars? AMassiveGay (talk) 18:50, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

BeCAuSe oF ThE gREAt WaR. Dysklyver 19:52, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the chemical weapons treaties. It is kind of odd in a way because it's one thing you can't legally do to soldiers in war that you can do to civilians. Soldiers generally have fewer rights than civilians. Bongolian (talk) 20:45, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes and no; often times when a soldier kills there is no investigation or coroners report. nobs piss in my ear 21:09, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Arctic, global warming and states[edit]

With all the retreat of artic ice that could lead to new land being exploitable, companies and states are going to want to exploit them, but could some of the territory become habitable too ? Could that, in time, lead to the expansion of northern states or the creation of new states ? I don't know much at all on the subject so I have no idea whether or not something like that could happen. Diacelium (talk) 20:03, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Yes, Russia for example is doing this and has great plans to do more to develop their northern region both economically and for habitation. Dysklyver 20:45, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Hmm, interesting. Who has claim to the land? Are squatters rights applicable? nobs piss in my ear 21:12, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
There isn't any land. The arctic is an ocean. The handful of islands that exist in the arctic circle have been claimed, or even inhabited, going back over a century. Hannasanarion (talk) 22:04, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Yahbutt claiming the land isn't sufficient enough. What about squatters rights? and who adjudicates?
This question really applies more to the Antarctic; gold hasn't been discovered there yet, but when it is, the rush is on. And Chile is the only country that has sent pregnant women to Antarctic to have anchor babies, AFAIK. nobs piss in my ear 22:27, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Squatters rights have nothing to do with it, because there is no unclaimed land. The northernmost piece of land on the planet is already inhabited by Canadians. Russia has done nuclear testing on their parts of the arctic. Norway hosts a massive seed bank on their largest arctic island. There isn't any room for disputes or new claims, the receding ice won't reveal anything but water. As for the antarctic, mining is banned by treaty and all signatories of the Antarctic Treaty agree to treat it as common heritage of mankind, like the seafloor, or outer space (regardless of what claims they may or may not have), and there is little reason to expect that to change in the forseeable future. Hannasanarion (talk) 22:52, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
Inhabited? Hahaha! population density was 0.0 people per square kilometre. nobs piss in my ear 00:11, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
In my state, I knew a guy who had several acres with squatters on for years. When he wanted to evict the squatters so he could sell the land, the judge ruled it wasn't his land anymore. Since he made no use of the land, and no attempt to remove the squatters, the law reads it's their land now - the people who actually worked to develop it. nobs piss in my ear 00:20, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
This would cause a major geopolitical issue. While Antarctica would be habitual, almost all island nations would be sunk. You have many island nation governments competing for Antarctic land. Plus South American and South African nations competing for Antarctic land. Don't forget, the major world powers would attempt to revoke the Antarctic Treaty so they can lay claim. Undead EAS Productions is invading --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 00:43, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Aristolochia cover story nomination[edit]

I have recently nominated Aristolochia to be a cover story. I invite everyone to read it if you haven't recently done so. Please add your comments to the talk page regarding the nomination. Also, take a look at Category:Cover story nominees and Category:Silver-level articles to see if there are any articles that you think that you can work on to help move them to cover story. Bongolian (talk) 05:41, 18 February 2019 (UTC)