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Welcome, BoN
This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
Icon beer yellow.gif For previous conversations, see the automagic barchives.Guinnesssmiley.gif

What is going on?

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

Pointless poll











Spicy food, yay or nay?

Spice is nice!



Can't handle heat, must avoid at all costs.



Should Azureality be the site mascot?

Heck yeah!



That thing is so cool, I love it!



Needs more goat



What am I looking at, and whose hairbrained idea was it to make a frickin' Pokémon our mascot?!?



Who is the better rapper?

Tupac Shakur



Biggie Smalls



Both are equally great



MC Goat



To do list

Progress & Regress Pokémon — Help Wanted

Hey, I've been working more on my Progress & Regress Pokémon concepts, and I'd like to get some feedback on them. I'm also running out of ideas to expand with (I'd like to end the chains with a Fire/Rock Progress Pokémon and a Poison/Fighting Regress Pokémon, to be hard-countered by Crimsolusion and Azureality, respectively), so I need some more ideas on things RationalWiki endorses and opposes. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:47, 10 February 2024 (UTC)

…Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 18:48, 11 February 2024 (UTC)
I'll check it out. Carthage (talk) 06:02, 12 February 2024 (UTC)
I can hardly wait. (I also need some help fleshing out the ideas I do have. Like, for instance, was Leavanny really the best Pokémon to turn into the avatar of hippies? I still have some doubts about that.) Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 13 February 2024 (UTC)
I have nothing whatsoever against you Luigifan (I'm a big Ingress player) but if you expect RW to endorse your Pokémon enthusiasm I think you may have to wait a long time. :-( Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:04, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
…Can I get some feedback on my ideas, please? Luigifan18 (talk) 04:35, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
I got a Gameboy and Pokemon Red as a Christmas present back in 98. there were two other kids in my 5th grade year who knew anything about pokemon, and they liked the anime, so they were making Pokemon noises at each other for fun. You have to understand that this is incredible for me, not the first I've seen it but do you really get what being a fan of Pokemon would afford you in the late 90's? The game was awesome, the fandom was getting beat up. To see somebody so confidently be like 'don't y'all know Pokemon?' Like, no, I don't. I know about around 150 pokemon. But I am a little jealous of current anime fans. Their taste is bad, but everybody's taste in everything is bad, so whatever, at least they get to watch anime without being called the f word. Torrent (talk) 10:18, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
…Uh… should I take this to the saloon bar talk page? Luigifan18 (talk) 17:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Any ideas on what sorts of woo I can represent with a Grass/Ground-type? (Aside from herbalism, since Creikipath has that covered.) Luigifan18 (talk) 03:50, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
@Bob M By the way, what does Ingress have to do with this, aside from being developed by the same peopleWikipedia as Pokémon Go and using basically the same servers? Luigifan18 (talk) 16:21, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
You walk about and interact with locations in the real world. All the PoGo gyms and poketops were originally imported from waypoints created by Ingress players. I only mention it in the context of having nothing against these games in principle. But, as I said, I kind of doubt you will get the community very interested in this.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:56, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
Things are progressing pretty smoothly, but I do need a few more ideas. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:43, 24 February 2024 (UTC)
BTW, I'm in the process of commissioning artwork of Azureality from BaeFakemon on Instagram (who previously drew my Paradox Dragonite idea, Noble Wish). Luigifan18 (talk) 19:43, 25 February 2024 (UTC)
I now officially have a rough sketch of Azureality! Would anyone like to see it? Luigifan18 (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2024 (UTC)
Here's another rough sketch. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:59, 29 February 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── …I dunno how much longer I'm willing to keep this open without responses. I'm currently waiting for BaeFakemon to finish the drawing. (And can someone please help me think of a few more ideas?) Luigifan18 (talk) 17:51, 2 March 2024 (UTC)

I've now got the finished drawings of Azureality, for those who are interested! (But seriously, if this continues to get no responses, I'll probably archive it myself and recreate it in the talk page.) Luigifan18 (talk) 17:40, 3 March 2024 (UTC)
Maybe a military or war one? It could be like a tank or bomber plane. maybe steel/dark or steel/fire. steel/dark with an ability that powers up fire type moves could work. Koafox (talk) 16:36, 5 March 2024 (UTC)
I already have a war one. It's named Inceruction, and it's Steel/Fire. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:08, 6 March 2024 (UTC)
Hey @Carthage, did you ever check out the project? Luigifan18 (talk) 21:48, 8 March 2024 (UTC)
@Carthage? Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 00:39, 11 March 2024 (UTC)
…I do wonder what the holdup is on Instagram… Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 14 March 2024 (UTC)
I just PM'd BaeFakemon; Azureality is due to appear on Instagram this week. Luigifan18 (talk) 18:13, 18 March 2024 (UTC)
…Maybe I need to send another PM. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:37, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Never mind, the Instagram post just came up! Luigifan18 (talk) 02:25, 24 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── After reading (and editing) the pages on numerology and new gematria, I can't help thinking that maybe one of the remaining Regress Pokémon should be based on it. Should it be the Ground/Grass one or the Fairy/Ground one? (Also, apparently none of the Regress Pokémon represent conspiracy theories yet. What?) Luigifan18 (talk) 20:15, 28 March 2024 (UTC)

…Still not sure what woo I can represent with Ground and Grass… Luigifan18 (talk) 22:57, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Okay, conspiracy theories it is, at least unless I get a better idea. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:01, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I also decided to make the Fairy/Ground Regress Pokémon represent freemen on the land. (I've named it Legandeeract — a (admittedly somewhat butchered) portmanteau of "legal", "land", "free", and "contract", with "legend" semi-coincidentally mixed in.) I even made the symbolism a pun on the typing, since the legal system devised by the freemen on the land is, well, a fairy tale — a mere fabrication, not accepted as valid in reality. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:38, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Common ground between rationalists and the alt-right?

…Anyone have any ideas what rational leftists and alt-rightists both dislike? All I've got is communism. (Conservatives don't like communism because it bashes their self-interest, and rationalists don't like it because it requires the absolute suppression of self-interest, which only works for eusocialWikipedia animals like ants, bees, and mole rats — not for humans, so attempting to implement it results in shitholes like the Soviet Union and North Korea.) Luigifan18 (talk) 22:43, 16 March 2024 (UTC)

I think you might be conflating rationalism and rationality. A rationalist is a person that adhere to the epistemological view of rationalism, not someone that is "rational" (indeed, everyone thinks they are rational). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:06, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
I did indeed mean "rationalism", but "rationalist[ic] lefties" would have been a bit of a mouthful. Luigifan18 (talk) 20:03, 20 March 2024 (UTC)
There are also definitely leftists whom I met who identify as a rationalist (of the less wrong variety) and as a communist on the internet. Many folks who self-identify with the term "leftist" rather than liberal, specifically do so because of their explicit support of socialism, or their sympathy for communist ideals. You have to remember that communism broadly speaking is like egalitarian "communal living" as an economic system. Small-scale "egalitarian" or "intentional" communities exist throughout the United States and elsewhere that live by the norms of "each according to their ability, and each according to their need" in small commune communities. The issue is with applying such norms nationally, or upon economies of scale. Not everyone who identifies as a communist is sympathetic to the model of state socialism practiced by the likes of Russia, or China. And folks sometimes can recognize the applicability of "commune-living" on a small scale, or among hunter-gatherer tribes (as what Marx would call "primitive communism") without embracing it as a political ideal on a national or international level. Even those who may identify themselves as social democratic, and may not fully embrace communism as a national political system, or even socialism for that matter, can still be argued to have some sympathies with these political philosophies regardless and hence the overlap between social democrats and democratic socialists in terms of supported policies. It is weird and kind of politically loaded to assume that to be a "rational leftist™" would entail some unnuanced rejection of communism as a general idea. It also seems to be at least partially crediting the alt-right as having some rationalistic commitments.
And as with what GJK said accurately, rationalism is an epistemological view, and you are confusing rationalism with rationality. They are not both conflatable, and it should be said that "rationality" itself is a term with no consensus definition among those within cognitive science and philosophy who study the concept. What is rationality supposed to be here? Responsiveness to reason? Logical coherence in one's set of beliefs? And instrumental relationship between what means reliably produce what ends? And inherently valued state of being? The maximization of personal utility? Why would any of these definitions per se rule out any particular political philosophy? Some seem more inclusive to certain political philosophies over others, and some seem compatible with any particular ideology dependent on the particular ends of the individual who is applying it. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:12, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Yes, social democracy, democratic socialism, socialism, and communism occupy a spectrum of equality (economic and otherwise), [enforced] altruism, focus upon the whole community, etc. There's a reason why Karl Marx called socialism an intermediary step before the full implementation of communism in the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, and that's because socialism is, in many ways, a "diet" version of communism. The idea behind why I think a rationalist could support socialism yet reject communism is that socialism (and its one-step-below variants, social democracy and democratic socialism) is workable in practice, but full communism, as you said, is not practical, at least not on a national scale (or anything above the scale of individual villages, really). Socialism, social democracy, and democratic socialism allow for some degree of reward for above-and-beyond effort, individualism, and other things that can channel humanity's innate selfishness in productive and communally-helpful ways, while still being… unamused with "look out for number one" antics; communism expects humans to behave like ants, with all effort being directed towards the well-being of the group as a whole, and then gets flabbergasted when humans turn out not to act like that. (BTW, I'm not crediting the alt-right with having any rational thoughts, let alone commitments; I'm asking what things they might dislike that might also be things that rational lefties would dislike. The two groups can and probably would dislike those things for very different reasons. For instance, conservatives tend to skip all the practical reasons to be skeptical-at-best of communism and zero in on it being a huge change to the status quo (which makes it scary) that seems to be out to hurt them in particular (which, to be fair, it kind of is…).)
As for rationalism versus rationality, well, I do tend to conflate those and treat them as equivalent. I think I go a little more in-depth when I talk about Azureality (i.e. what I'm hoping will be the site mascot), but "rationality" and "rationalism" as I see it entails responsiveness to reason and evidence, i.e. a skeptical, empirical, scientific point of view. Rationalism is not hostile to ideas that came about largely through the exercise of solid logic, and can have a grudging respect for beliefs that are logically consistent even if their truth value is shaky-at-best when put to the test (for instance, the ideas behind the concept of qi). However, while rationalism can respect ideas that are logically well-formulated and conceived with good intentions (especially if the people who came up with those ideas legitimately didn't know better and lacked the ability to properly gain the information that could have helped them know better), that respect tends to go out the window when people start getting hurt and/or ripped off or when those ideas are presented as some sort of [empirically]-verified truth when they're not, and it does not accept ideas that do not have supporting evidence and/or do not pan out within perceivable reality; for instance, rationalism does not hate religion and attack it on principle (unless the religion in question is something really abhorrent and/or stupid), but given the lack of evidence for religious claims, it is strictly secular and does not incorporate religion into its philosophy. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:27, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Actually, Marx never claimed socialism as a interperiod transitionary state, That was something introduced by Lenin. One thing GJK and I would agree upon is that socialism is best thought of as a economic system where the means of production is predominantly under collective and/or public ownership as opposed to being predominately privately owned. Communism is therefore a proper subset of socialism, but socialism is not a subset of communism.
As for the rationalism conception, that is way too broad. I know of philosophers who use that exact definition as a basis for moral naturalism. “Responsive” to reason is so vague, it’s hard to see who isn’t a rationalist besides those who have no language capacities and are completely indifferent to their sense experiences. You need to determine what is and what is not an appropriate response to reason and/or evidence. Regardless, by your definition, most philosophers throughout history could be conceived as rationalists, communists included. Also most philosophers of rationality (and many a cognitive neuroscientist) would discount one as being rational if they rejected inferences of classical logic.Wikipedia I don’t think you are really describing rationalism if implicit to it is a skepticism of logic, that seems to be a more radical empiricism than that of W.V.O. Quine - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:05, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
*sigh* Not skepticism of logic, that's just silly. I'm talking about skepticism driven by logic. Luigifan18 (talk) 02:27, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
Oopsies, I misread. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:05, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
Whoops, I was not aware that the idea of socialism as an intermediate step towards communism started with Lenin rather than Marx.
For my interpretation of "rationalism"… if it helps, you can think of intuition and pure logic as being useful as starting points — the process of forming ideas that make sense, given what is known about the world. Then the next step of empirical rationalism is to see if those ideas actually work in the real world, i.e. experimentation. This is what I mean by something like qi being logical but lacking truth value — the underlying concepts are logical and consistent, but they fail to actually explain reality.
As for zeroing in on communism, that is largely being used as an example of something that both rationalists and alt-rightists would dislike — the alt-right hates it because it directly challenges their ambitions to achieve complete… economic… domination, keep them there dirty minorities in their place, and/or rule like kings over all of mankind, and rationalists don't trust it because it's been tried several times and ended catastrophically damn-near every single time. Why communism seems to consistently fail is a subject for debate — I'm sure tankies would blame it on the U.S. and other capitalist nations relentlessly sabotaging and undermining communist nations like the USSR to force them to fail, but that sounds like a baseless conspiracy theory to me (if communism is really such a perfect and optimal way to run a country, one would think that a communist nation would be able to be a prosperous state and a great place to live, even with the rest of the world doing everything in their power to turn it to shit; it makes more sense to attribute communism failing to plain old weaknesses of human character that it doesn't account for, which results in stuff like government corruption and excessively-optimistic hair-brained schemes (like Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward)Wikipedia that hamstrings it before it can even get going). Anyways, I'm sure there are other things that both rational, sensible people and fascist fundie nutters would have a noted dislike towards. Communism was just the first and main thing I could think of; to me, it is the prime example of something that the reality-based community and the Religious Right Trump's coterie of Worst People Ever People With More Hate-Boners Than Sense would both dislike. (That, and I blame the Cold War for shifting the Overton window far enough to the right for fascism to not only become viable in America, but to get strong enough to flat-out utterly consume the Republican Party. (Well, I partially blame the Cold War. I'm sure McCarthyism and other facets of struggling against communism wasn't the only factor that made the American political climate scared shitless of anything left of center and hospitable to the far right; just one of the bigger ones.)) Luigifan18 (talk) 18:00, 26 March 2024 (UTC)
I think there are some conceptual problems from the outset here. Given the inclusive definition of communism here, including what Marx called “primitive communism” — not every historical attempt can be called a failure. Are the small intentional egalitarian communities that have populations of a few hundred people or less who have managed to sustain themselves for decades failures? What about the various hunter-gatherer tribes or horticultural tribal communities that survived for centuries sometimes even for millennia without any semblance of a class, state, or currency?
If you are versed in communist theory as you claim, than the issue of “communism” here is not per se in the possibility of a classless or stateless society. There something more so the matter with the means to which states have tried to direct society towards an advanced communism that has consistently failed in the last century.
That being said I think the sustainability of such an advanced communism is underdetermined, because as an end-point stage it has never successfully been reached. Every state project has turned into something that would resemble a capitalist market economy with more or less of a presence of state enterprise. To talk about a “communist country” is a contradiction in terms if used under its economic meaning. The only sense of “communism” that is applicable is as an ideological orientation of the ruling party. The problem with that being that none of these nominally communist states actually have a wholly consistent or shared ideology. Hence all the variations from Classic Marxists, Leninists, Trots, ML’s, Maoists, etc.
There is also an issue of simply accepting state’s definition of itself. Is China really a republic? North Korea a democracy?
Also “reality-based community” isn’t a genuine social group. Have a little more analytical of a mindset then relying on the positive association of terms. This is on par with calling one self a “goodist”. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:07, 26 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── What is RationalWiki if not an expression of the reality-based community?

Also, @OnlySortaDumb, can you give me a source on Lenin being the source of the idea of socialism as a transitory state to communism? Our list of forms of government article's section on communism seems to attribute the view of communism following Socialism to Marx. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:25, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

Everyone thinks they are part of a “reality-based community”. It doesn’t genuinely pick out anyone specific. Hardly anyone thinks they are not believing on the basis of what is real. That is almost what it means to believe in something. The only purpose of such a term is to allege a special insider status for oneself to insult an outgroup. It’s unhelpful, prevents meaningful communication, and only speaks to illustrate how far your head is up your own ass.
As for the claim about socialism. It’s a basic fact about the very notion of a socialist mode of productionWikipedia. Wikipedia says “Marx himself did not use the term socialism to refer to this development. Instead, Marx called it a communist society that has not yet reached its higher-stage. The term socialism was popularized during the Russian Revolution by Vladimir Lenin.” Don’t think Wikipedia is reliable? Similar claim is made in Marx: a very short introduction by Peter Singer published in the Oxford University Press. Most secondary literature I have read has suggested that Marx didn’t make the distinction between socialism and communism, and instead spoke of higher and lower stages of communism. Even the DoTP is never described as “socialist” within the communist manifesto. That which I have read several times. When socialism is mentioned in the manifesto is often used disparagingly by Marx to describe german and french socialist projects that Marx saw as failures, or doomed to fail on the basis of being largely petit-bourgeois projects. Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 18:43, 29 March 2024 (UTC)
I'm inclined to disagree with both of you. I believe it was Engels who, in fact, coined the term "scientific socialism".[1] If you want my opinion, he was far more of a sophisticated thinker than most people give him credit for, but for some reason he'll live forever in the shadow of his friend. It is true, however, that Marx (especially the older Marx) hardly ever wrote about communism, he was studying capitalism. Heck, the tiny communist manifesto at least had a list of ways to achieve communism IIRC, Das Kapital basically only focus on capitalism. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:54, 29 March 2024 (UTC)

What the heck is "everybodywiki"?

…Huh. What is this "en.everybodywiki" that vandal cited in his "fishhook theory" tirade, and is it trustworthy? Now I'm curious. (I'm not restoring the vandal's comment itself because the way it was phrased was clearly more of an attempt to pick a fight than to contribute to the conversation, but I did take a peek at that link he posted, and it looks decent enough aside from a typo (and being a stub… and not being updated since 2020). Do we mention that subject on our horseshoe theory article?) Luigifan18 (talk) 15:12, 22 March 2024 (UTC)

Just checked… yep, fishhook theory is there. Right in section 1.1 after the intro, even. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:34, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
Horseshoe theory is hot garbage, and the article we have on it is hot garbage. "Anecdata". Seriously? That's your standard for evidence? Carthage (talk) 16:41, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
Everybodywiki is a Wiki with no notability requirements whatsoever. Predictably, a lot of the recent changes therefore are self-promo spam.
My take on "horseshoe theory" is that it has some "merit" mainly because binary "left-right" political classifications in itself are often problematic. But only because of that. It's like music genres - everyone uses these terms as shorthand. And by-the-numbers genre artists certainly exist. But when you look deep into the detail of many artists classified a certain way, though, it's often not like the genre stereotype at all. BobJohnson (talk) 16:55, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
I am inclined to say it's got something to do with the 'Overton Window' than anything else. Folks [of all stripes] who fall outside of it end up having rather similar views towards the various horrid mainstream anything - for example, a Nazi will bitch at 'the MSM' because it doesn't report how whites are being screwed-over by 'da Jews' etc while Communists will equally bitch at them being nothing but flunkies for 'international capitalists' but fundies also hate it for not taking seriously their claims that Satan is physically present on Earth right now and organising their minions to conquer the world. Occasionally, you can get a situation where several, unrelated groups end up hating the same person for overlapping reasons - good example being George Soros. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:42, 22 March 2024 (UTC)
I think Horseshoe theory is valid in that authoritarians often come to similar conclusions and use similar methods once in power no matter what ideology there is behind it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:23, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
I love how we keep pretending a theory considered garbage in political science is worth taking seriously, and the fact there are so many interpretations of this garbage theory just within this very thread doesn't make a charitable case for its analytical utility. Carthage (talk) 00:33, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
So we have different opinions on why extremists seem to come to similar conclusions, we just recognize a common phenomena and don't quite have any better term for it besides "horseshoe theory". How would you explain far right/left similarities, or do you seriously believe they are nothing alike?-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:51, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
Horseshoe theory is oversimplified rubbish that does away with the political spectrum entirely. I think a better question we should be asking is if these similarities are stylistic or substantive. As for the problems with authoritarianism, that's just how power works. It's not limited to the "far left" and "far right," no matter how vague and useless such terms are (horseshoe theory ignores the top down axis entirely), as Tikitime illustrates on the horseshoe theory talkpage. So do I believe that authoritarianism is a real thing? Yes. Do I believe that horseshoe theory does a good job of explaining it? No, and neither do political scientists. Carthage (talk) 02:58, 23 March 2024 (UTC)
I think Bob's take is pretty defensible. If there is any merit to the idea, it is only because the left/right political spectrum is itself not particularly unambiguous or distinctive. I think it is more than possible to make "similarity" arguments superficially that can come off as equally compelling to someone of a particular political background simply because it permits them to hate on the groups of people they were already inclined to hate on anyway. Like it wouldn't be hard to make the argument to lefties that liberalism is openly compatible with and benefits from far-right authoritarianism based on the active interests of neoliberal institutions to help establish far-right dictators in South America during the Cold War, highlighting the subsequent gross human rights violations. I can hear the centrist cries of non-applicability already, given that such violations or policies weren't established domestically, but I can already predict the leftist response in not finding that particularly compelling considering that there is an open history of human rights violations against certain disenfranchised groups within the US, and the sheer fact that countries like Canada and the US founded upon liberal ideals, were also established through acts classifiable as genocidal. Then we can devolve into the discussion of the various leftwing atrocities and attempt genocidal acts until the cows come home, with nobody realizing how not fucking innocent any particular point of the spectrum is in any of this. We need to build a new house that is not made with the master's tools. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:20, 23 March 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Anything which is 'overfitted' becomes 'rubbish', Carthage. Horseshoe is a fair (though simple) explanation of how various types of nutjobs can end up at similar conclusions. Consider it more a 'lie-to-children' answer for laypersons than a fully fledged pol/sci theory which you'd use in an academic debate. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:07, 23 March 2024 (UTC)

Is it though? You run the risk of false equivalency with such oversimplifcations (as can be seen in our own article), especially when an argument can be made that they don't fit. An argument can be made that centrism just as easily runs the risk of authoritarianism as any other ideology used to justify power, as has already been expressed both here in this thread and elsethread. I am not convinced that this "confused, semi-illiterate" reading of politics is worth the digital paper it's being printed on. Carthage (talk) 11:06, 24 March 2024 (UTC)
However, you run the risk of folks not getting your argument at all if you subject them to a multi-minute, polysyllabic monologue detailing why at times folks on the fringes of political debate appear to end up holding suprisingly similar views at times despite being ostensibly being ideologically opposed to each other. Similar complaints can be made towards, say Occam's Razor, Dunning-Kruger, the Grass/Rabbit/Fox ecoystem, 'Outside Context Problem' and so on - that they are simplifications which some can either over-apply or not understand at all.
This is basically the 'lies-to-children' debate; it is better to give 'children' [laypersons with no specialist interest/knowledge] a simplified, though technically incorrect view of the subject/issue so they can at least grasp the principle [and run the risk of overfitting etc], or do we try to drill them in the correct technics straight away, knowing full well that a large % will most likely mentally give up before they finish your lesson? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:06, 25 March 2024 (UTC)
Arguably the former suggestion is based in a kind of epistemic injustice and a slight sense of intellectual arrogance. People can be genuinely curious, and be provided with the epistemic capacities to understand a subject, or at the very least you can debunk common misconceptions. Something like an oversimplification, is not merely a simplification, as “over” is built in to the terminology it’s worth considering what could amount to such an overcorrection to be bordering on disinformation. As skeptics, we end up perpetuating the exact thing we are supposed to be committed to combating. “Lies to children” (putting aside the deep condescending nature built into the term) is often how pseudoscience gets born. It’s how a lot of quantum woo came to be. It is how climate change, framed as an inevitable apocalypse, motivates doomerism. This isn’t to say there isn’t a place for necessary simplification, but in stating that we have to keep in mind that simplifications can distortive, and over-simplifying can be overly distortive. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:07, 27 March 2024 (UTC)
Yes, simplifying can be distortive. That kinda happens when you throw nuance and accuracy out the window to make sure the dumb less-educated rubes get the overall message. Luigifan18 (talk) 14:03, 31 March 2024 (UTC)
If you throw "nuance and accuracy" out the window, then what is that message worth? People are not inherently stupid. This more implies a laziness on your part to adequately explain the topic (which, yes, impedes the "overall message") than the intellectual capacity of the person you are condescending to. Carthage (talk) 05:01, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

The collapse of Western anti-war/disarmament movements

This is just an observation but it seems like most major anti-war/disarmament movements in the West have collapsed into tankie-ism, or at best appeasement of Russia (and to a lesser extent China) in the name of peace. Many groups that were opposed to the Iraq War like Veterans for Peace are now openly parroting Russian propaganda. Similarly, it's difficult to find any relevant anti-nuclear weapons groups who focus just as much on Russia's and China's nuclear expansion rather than solely blaming the West and the U.S. in particular. For example, recent leaks of Russian military doctrine shows that they have a much lower threshold for using nuclear weapons than previously thought mainly to compensate for their crappy conventional military forces, with targets including civilian infrastructure. Yet the most recent anti-nuclear video to pick up any traction by Emma Pike seemed to completely gloss over and ignore this.

The worst part of this is that not only are anti-war groups declining in influence, the most visible groups remaining are tanking their own credibility by engaging in this kind of appeasement attitude or outright being apologist of Russian imperialism. And the fact is, if the U.S. nuclear deterrent is reduced, it's very possible that it may encourage nuclear proliferation, because smaller countries will no longer trust the U.S. umbrella and see nuclear weapons and the guarantors of their sovereignty. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention, but how did it all come to this? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

'Nothing new under the sun'. Orwell noted this tendency during WW2; that 'pacifism is objectively pro-fascist' (ie by hindering the war effort you're ultimately helping the enemy). During the Cold War, NATO states had ready various plans to 'detain' various far-left/pacifist/anti-war types (as well as 'suspicious foreigners') in internment camps during any 'WW3' scenario - the British plan (partly leaked in the 1980s) showed they'd already had roundup lists, training guards and earmarking the Butlins camps they'd convert etc.
And Russian/Soviet military doctrine re: NBC usage has always been different to 'the West's' - I have read texts from the 70s which detailed this. So this 'leak' is a 'bears shit in woods' type. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:10, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
I noticed it years ago with regard specifically to what groups favor improved relations with North Korea. I came to think the typical "Korean Friendship Association" groups are a bunch of stooges (actually last I heard one of their leaders was even wanted by the FBI for sanctions evasion or something). I thought it was really unfortunate. You do not need to parrot the propaganda narratives of these governments to realize US policy towards them could be malformed. Chillpilled (talk) 12:01, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Do we, er, have some evidence to support the "most major anti-war/disarmament movements"? This sounds like a hasty generalization to me. Mind you, from a US perspective, I don't doubt the existence of anti-war movements like this -- some of these groups truly start out with an "anything anti-US / anti-West" paradigm, and thus they are overly receptive of tankie propaganda (which online Russia trolls are happy to dish out; they don't just target the MAGA dumb, after all). I'm just not convinced it's permeated the entirety of anti-war movements; peace groups tend to be scattered on the underpinning philosophy and the mission. For instance, some of them operate more at the think-tank / NGO level (think UNESCOWikipedia), while others operate from, shall we say, a wee bit different underlying motif than a "hard-left" anti-West activist (e.g. the peace organizations driven by religious faith). In environmentalism, there is a world of difference between, say, the WWF and Just Stop Oil. Likewise, I would expect that Emma Pike is not the first and last word on nuclear disarmament. BobJohnson (talk) 13:58, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Likely not the entirety, but certainly the most vocal that I've seen on platforms like Twitter/X i.e. Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, even Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists sometimes. Granted I know that being vocal on these platforms doesn't necessarily make them the most influential, just what I personally witnessed as a somewhat casual observer. The sad part is that I think we are currently in a geopolitical situation where an arms build-up is necessary, because sadly I don't think Xi or Putin would be deterred otherwise, and I say this as someone who's traditionally been leery of neoliberal/neocon foreign policy and opposed to the Iraq War. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Their social media sites may skew to non-members, so is perhaps not the most reliable metric for where a group stands. The Veterans for Peace does include some peculiar non-veteran "big names" (e.g., Ralph Nader, Phil Donohue, Cornell West, Medea Benjamin) on their advisory board member list.[2] Code Pink and VfP have what appear be tankie talking points on the Code Pink site with regard to Ukraine.[3][4] Bongolian (talk) 17:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
Allegedly current Code Pink leadership was captured, i.e. linked straight to the Chinese government via Jodie Evans' husband, who provides a quarter of the org's funds. This kind of thing will be familiar to anyone who knows about the way that Cold War spy wars spilled over into Soviet agents taking control of some left-wing activist groups, I'm thinking specifically of the CPUSA but there could be a lot more that happened with. With CPUSA, that ended with the FBI sending so many agents into the group in retaliation that it pretty well wrecked the org, not least its reputation, for a few decades. Chillpilled (talk) 00:26, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
You act like the US military desperately needs all that funding, when the US is light years ahead of any other country on the planet. It could go toe to toe with both China and Russia and still win. You could also make an argument that for a lot of countries, they view the US the way the US views China and Russia: as an unjustified aggressor. Why exactly should the response to jingoism just be more jingoism? Carthage (talk) 18:47, 2 April 2024 (UTC)
The Pentagon does not agree with that, and nor do I. Now, in qualitative terms the US military is still the world leader and in size is still the strongest on earth - but she lacks 'staying power'. US 'pinch-points' include relative lack of 'war reserve stocks', a thiness in her native matériel production capabilities and a general 'lack of personnel' issue [both regular and reserves]. You tell me; how powerful is a Abrams with no ammo, a Nimitz-class with her F-35s unable to fly due to chip shortages or an mech infantry division which is down to 25% capabilities but unable to replenish due to lack of reserves? Most of the Euro members of NATO are in even worse shape; the Brits, for example recently showed that they could only deploy a single armoured division [about 160 tanks] to Europe and they would only have the capacity to fight for two months. This is why Russia is winning the war; 'quantity has it's own quality' and she sure does have tons of 'obsolete' tanks/artillery/APCs from the Soviet era, colossal stockpiles of everything from ammo to boots and a functional conscription system 'just in case'. Western 'national resilience' is in even worse shape; due to a major lack of cash and will I suspect no government actually has a plan if we woke up tomorrow to learn China's just sunk a US carrier group in the South China Sea and is carpet-bombing Taiwan.
'Why exactly should the response to jingoism just be more jingoism?' Simple; because if the West does not prepare itself it shall find the Russian 'jingoism' run them over in their tanks. You know how much damage a peace sign does to a T-72? Absolutely none. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:06, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Is Russia actually winning the war? Two years in and they still haven't seized Kyiv. Ukraine has been mounting an effective resistance for two years using NATO's surplus. Assuming Russia does win the invasion, they'll have their hands full dealing with the occupation. Why do you assume Russia would be in any shape to successfully invade and occupy NATO held territories after this war? Carthage (talk) 13:37, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I keep wondering about this. I see many news articles telling us that we should be ready to resist Russian aggression. And I don't doubt Russia's bad intentions.
But after two years of pretty intense fighting they haven't managed to invade their much smaller neighbor. OK, that neighbor has had a lot of western help, but we were all initially calculating their defensive capabilities in days or weeks.
So it has taken them two years to capture like a quarter of Ukraine: and that at a terrible cost in manpower and equipment. Are they really going to be in any condition to take on the rest of Europe? Let along NATO.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:57, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Is Russia actually winning the war? Two years in and they still haven't seized Kyiv.
The war has turned into one of attrition [a la WW1 or the Iran-Iraq War] and Ukraine is not getting enough advanced Western kit [and more importantly, ammo and replacement parts] to give her a sharp enough qualative edge to counterbalance the Russian numerical one. If current rates continue, I believe Russia will win in around two more years.
Ukraine has been mounting an effective resistance for two years using NATO's surplus.
Ukraine is doing sterling work in doing a defensive 'fighting retreat' on her southern/eastern fronts. But it is still a retreat. And it was not 'NATO's surplus', it was NATOs reserve stocks. We do not have the industrial capacity to replenish these any time soon [let alone supply Ukraine with the gear to continue fighting]. What's more, N Korea in one deal supplied Russia with more artillery shells than the whole of NATO managed in a whole year. Remember that.
Assuming Russia does win the invasion, they'll have their hands full dealing with the occupation
Putin shall create a Ukranian wasteland and call it peace. Chances are he hopes to find enough Quislings to place in charge of a puppet rump Ukraine so he doesn't have to worry about 'occupation' - there's enough of them hiding in Russia right now [starting with the ex-President Yanukovych who was driven out in 2014].
Why do you assume Russia would be in any shape to successfully invade and occupy NATO held territories after this war?
If Ukraine falls, Putin will almost certainly come to the conclusion that he can win if he simply 'toughs it out'. I don't think he will go for NATO itself [at least not on purpose], but any bit of the 'near abroad' [aka what Putin thinks should be a Russian vassal, such as the whole of the old USSR] which tries to escape his control will be fair game [so Moldova and Georgia will be his next victims]. Putin shit-stirring in the Balkans [using his vassal Serbia as a front] shall also be very predictable and is an old bomb neither NATO or the EU wishes to have to deal with again. Lastly, a Putin win shall embolden the wannabe Quislings in Europe, which shall weaken NATO as a whole. Even if we leave out of the matrix the possible emboldening of China/Iran etc that 'America can be defeated if we simply drag it on long enough' it is fairly obvious that a Putin win is not in the interests of either Europe or the US. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:17, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
I think you're underestimating the costs of occupation and overestimating Russian capabilities. The US won the war in Iraq, but lost the occupation, and that's because the US didn't have the numbers to effectively secure the country. Why do you think Russia would have the numbers to effectively secure Ukraine if the US wasn't able to effectively secure Iraq? Carthage (talk) 14:23, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
The Americans lost the Iraq War because the Pentagon was unwilling to 'do anything it took' to win. Shoot anyone who resists and dump them in mass graves, throw cluster-bombs into rebellious villages, turn the nation's kids into hostages, make 'getting food/money/fuel/medicine' dependent on public collaboration, have 'collective punishment' for anything bad, find enough Quislings [however nasty they are] to do most of your dirty work etc. It is in fact rather easy to subugate a land if you have zero qualms about how you go about it and plan to be there forever - this was the lesson that both the Nazis and then Stalin showed in the 1940s. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:34, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
It's universally recognized by counterinsurgency experts that collective punishment is generally bad counterinsurgency practice. If anything, these tactics would only result in a strengthening of any potential insurgency. Here's a handy dandy manual from RAND Institute detailing what's generally considered good and bad counterinsurgency: [5] Carthage (talk) 14:40, 3 April 2024 (UTC)


Ukraine may end up being a situation like the Soviet–Afghan WarWikipedia for all we know, though of course in all probability different in the details. Still, the USSR was never able to *completely* capture Afghanistan despite nearly 10 years of trying. Some point this conflict's failure as key to the dissolution of the Soviet Union (though there were other factors). Likewise, Ukraine might end up being a similar "conflict that never ends", devastating Ukraine of course, but doing considerable damage to Russia as well.
One thing that seems somewhat different compared to that conflict is there are multiple articles that Russia is experiencing a brain drain. Multi-national companies pursuing globalization had started tip-toeing into Russia prior to the invasion, and some tech companies in Russia likewise flirted with international markets. So in contrast to the prior war, it seems like it has been easier for the "brainy skill" workers to find jobs elsewhere. How this affects Russia's future, who knows, but in general "brain drains" are never a good thing. (Since the Nazis were brought up, the brain drain from Nazi Germany had the direct result of transferring the heart of the world's scientific community from Germany to the Anglosphere, for instance.) BobJohnson (talk) 14:45, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Afghanistan had geography to help in their resistance, as well as external support via Pakistan. And the suppression doesn't have to be completely effective; simply to atomise/depress the people enough that organised active resistance is effectively neutralised.
Personally, I think the most likely result right now is another Korea - that we end up with a rump 'West Ukraine' joining NATO and a wasteland 'Eastern Ukraine' under the Russian thumb, with a thick DMZ along the middle and the world's largest minefield. And yes, the Russian future here is an even faster decline than previously predicted; and a rapid morphing into an effective Chinese colony. So the US/EU need to not only help Ukraine 'not lose the war' but also to inject trillions 'after the war' to get them not just back on their feet, but better than before. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:02, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
And so Russia still fails its initial victory conditions, which was to install a new puppet state for all of Ukraine. Russia has very much failed in its attempt to reestablish itself as a superpower. You are also still failing to recognize that collective punishment near universally fails as a measure of counterinsurgency. There's a reason it's considered bad counterinsurgency. What tends to be more effective to prevent sustained resistance is a combination of police action and investment into development. People are less likely to fight if they have a stable source of bread. Russia does not have the numbers. If anything, attempts at "suppression" will only galvanize resistance, which is also part and parcel of the insurgency playbook. Attempting to initiate crackdowns that generate moral outrage, which feeds into recruitment for the insurgency. Carthage (talk) 15:12, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
In a way, this 'meat-grinder' war benefits Putin, because a swift blitzkreig would have left lots and lots of Ukranians behond the 'Russian line' both angry with the invasion and capable of resisting. Instead, it's possible he ends up with a Ukraine which has been totally bled white, with those 'most desiring/able to resist' now dead/in gulag/in exile and with a profoundly tired and depressed civilian population remaining which is rather reigned to their fate.
Nor does Putin give a damn on your lecture on 'how to deal with insurgencies'. He will simply re-apply the 'Chechnya solution' to Ukraine; bomb it flat, loot it, then turn it over to corrupt Quislings to make it their plaything as long as they bow to the Czar [which I suspect he views as fairly successful]. Will it fail? In the end, yes. To paraphrase Churchill, you cannot ride a tiger indefinitely - at one point you either fall off it or are knocked off. But 'the end' can be a long time coming; decades, perhaps even centuries. Look at North Korea; people have been predicting it's collapse since about 1992. Ultimately, Russia will run out of steam to hold their 'empire' together [again], but that could be some time coming. This means we have to attend to reality; which is a deeply paranoid, cynical klepto-fascism on the edge of Europe with a rusting, though still functional war machine funded by China and ruled by a ageing Czar who dreams of being 'Vladimir the Great'. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:02, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Chechnya also has a lot less people than Ukraine. Russia had the numbers to effectively occupy it. Even then, it still took Russia years to fully pacify Chechnya. Pacifying Ukraine would be a lot more costly than Chechnya. Carthage (talk) 16:14, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
These facts may be true [I accept them as such, for starters] but it doesn't mean Putin accepts them as such. Or has even been told of them to deny them. It is quite possible he is not being told that there is even 'Nazi resistance' in the bits of Russia he has recently returned to the Motherland. Even more importantly, he might know somewhat but simply not give a fuck - after all, who now talks [or cares] about the Crimean Tatars, the Volga Germans or Pontic Greeks? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:49, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
Who cares if it's more costly Carthage? It's a cost they're ready and willing to accept since they believe it's worth it no matter what. After all, going to war and invading Ukraine to begin with was once considered too costly, yet here we are. Russian politicians have said they want to go after The Baltics next and Lavrov can't be taken at his word since he once said Russia wouldn't invade Ukraine. Rather than pretend we're just idiots or "warmongers", maybe you should take Russia at their word.-Ryan1257 (talk) 01:54, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Are we just going to continue to ignore how generally speaking the "measures" that people here are proposing Russia will use to crush any insurgency in fact are recognized by experts as strengthening insurgencies? Anyway, why strawman me, Ryan? My question is if Russia will even have the ability to effectively occupy any NATO territory after what is by all accounts a draining war, and what is going to be an even more draining occupation? Perhaps you should consider that saber rattling is a real thing. Russia has by all accounts proven itself to be a paper tiger. Japan probably has a stronger military than they do. You are all overestimating Russian capabilities. After all, Russia has failed in its initial victory conditions. No matter what way this war turns out, Russia will not be a superpower again. You are all ignoring that. Carthage (talk) 03:17, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You forget something, it doesn't need to be a super power, it just needs to be a nuclear power willing to use its nukes as a threat against any retaliation against its military during an offensive action [6] [7]. Why do I "strawman" you? I simply see all self-proclaimed socialists as two-faced individuals who woke-wash anyone who is "anti-west" in some form or another by default, even if it's spreading disinformation like, "X would never do that", followed by, "X did that, but it's actually your fault". Considering you call weariness and preparation against Russia "jingoism", I suspect I know who you're really rooting for.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:20, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Your hasty overgeneralizations get really tiresome. Karma's a self-declared socialist, but they're taking the opposite position of me: that Russia isn't a paper tiger. Where do Karma's loyalties lie? Also, do you honestly believe that calling for an increased nuclear arms race isn't somehow jingoistic? Even Russia's nuclear arsenal is a paper tiger, Ryan. Carthage (talk) 04:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I never called for a nuclear arms race (something which will inevitably happen if more countries feel threatened by Russia and aren't sure if NATO, and by extent, The US will protect them), I just simply think we should boost military industry again and start building up weapon stockpiles again to not give Russia or China the idea that they just need to "tough it out" long enough to win. And the difference is Karma has demonstrated to be someone with more than just "America bad, west is bad" contrarianism. Meanwhile, you once told me "China and The US are no different" which told me enough about your politics.-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:14, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
They are the same in that both are aggressive superpowers who pursue their interests without regard to ethics. You know, like any state does. You are evidently an American exceptionalist. Try telling someone in Iraq that the US is any different from any other would-be hegemon. To much of the global south, the US is viewed the same way the US views China and Russia. This is a fact. Are the countries and peoples who have been victimized by American empire wrong in that perception? Who are you to tell them so? As for building up nuclear stockpiles, you may not have argued for that, but such an interpretation can be easily read in the BON's posts. Do you just jump into threads without reading them beforehand? And don't try to pretend you weren't committing a hasty overgeneralization: you yourself stated that all self-declared socialists are "two-faced individuals who woke-wash anyone who is "anti-west" in some form or another by default." Carthage (talk) 05:20, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I've seen socialists claim the rape of German civilians was "corrective", laugh at Israeli rape victims, then claim they're morally the superior ones in the same breath, so yes, I suppose my interactions with socialists have damaged my ability to want to parse out the "good ones" from the "bad ones" as of late. It's become worse after October 7th, especially now that I hear any lethal force against me at any time is justified and in self-defense since I'm inherently violent for being a "colonist". And I really don't care about what you claim the opinion of "The Global South" is when: 1.) All we tend to hear are just the opinions of their ruling elites (surprise, they're not your third-worldist maoist comrades!). 2.) The "Global South" is just a general label given to a bunch of countries regardless of their different histories, geopolitics, and ethnic cultures. But no, I'm not an American Exceptionalist, I just believe Russia and China are worse alternatives who you wouldn't last a long under without being disappeared. Lastly, I respond to what people say in a thread, not to the whole thread at once since I believe conversations change over time.-Ryan1257 (talk) 06:14, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 1/ The 'policies of repression' I outlined earlier don't when taken as a whole policy 'strengthen insurgencies'. You cherry-picked one aspect, then hoped [apparetly] that the exception proves your rule. Insurgencies also require external support to be sustained - the USSR faced insurgencies within it's territories which it defeated - qv: 'Forest Brothers' in the Baltics after WW2. I'm not arguing that it would be easy to stamp resistance flat, but it's best to make the assumption that it shall prove effective enough at least in the medium term and Russia still have enough capacities to move on to the next victim.

2/ Does Russia have the power to 'defeat NATO'? I suspect not - even if it was 'minus the USA'. But I do know he could seriously fuck up Europe in his attempt and will cost a mountain of treasure and a sea of blood to defeat [and that is assuming that it doesn't end with mushroom clouds]. I don't want us to go through that again, esp as this time around the USA might not have another Marshall Plan to get us out the soup afters. But the thing is, what I think is irrelevant [also, what you think]. The only view which is relevant is Czar Vlad's and, well he thought Ukraine would be a walkover - he could miscalculate again. Perhaps one of the few things Europe can do to 'turn the dial' is to restore some of our military capacities so the Czar becomes convinced that NATO can win. Thus the old maxim 'if you want peace, prepare for war'.

3/ The analogy of the Iraq War is irrelevant in this case, as many factors are completely different. The Ukranian war was 'caused' by the Ukranian people choosing to defy Russia's demands to become a vassal state. They wanted to continue being 'masters of their own home', to decide for themselves how to live. Historical materialism also shows us that Ukraine is a superior societal form than the Russian; a developing 'bourgeois democracy' vs an 'autocratic fascism'. Why is the former 'superior'? Because the simple fact that it has enough freedoms within it to allow further development, which is something which is not afforded by the Kims, Putins or Xis of the world [and which Ryan rightly points out]. Now, did 'the West' cause mistakes which led us to the point of '22? Perhaps. But that doesn't matter now, just like debating whether the Treaty of Versailles 'caused WW2' didn't really matter by 1941. The question now is whether Ukraine lives free or in a gulag. That's it.

4/ The truth is that the ruling classes in the 'Global South' generally don't give a toss about the war either way - as in 'who wins'. It does not directly involve them and the most are adopting a variant of 'cakeism', such as the South Africans and Indians are. The bits of the 'South' who are pro-Russian are the usual suspects; as in the ones which have a direct material interest to continuing to suck up to Moscow - for example, their use of food supplies [some of it stolen from Ukraine] to buy support in parts of Africa. If the Russian 'cause' was just, they'd have some friends which didn't need to be bribed... right?

KarmaPolice (talk) 12:32, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

OK, I'll respond to the rest later: but where did you get that I believe that autocratic dictatorship is better than bourgeois democracy? I was talking about foreign policy, not domestic political systems. How also do you get that only the elites of many global south nations are anti-American? What? Public opinion is irrelevant here, or doesn't exist? My contention of Iraq is relevant to the fact that many people in the global south view the US the same way the US views Russia or China: as unjustified aggressors. Carthage (talk) 04:13, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Also, regardless of what you spout: Russia does not have the numbers to successfully occupy Ukraine. That is not on the table. To quote Atlantic Council:

This would be a daunting task even in the best of circumstances. Unfortunately for the Russians, they face the worst of circumstances for an occupying power. Historical cases of occupation and counterinsurgency suggest an impending disaster. There is almost no chance that Russia will successfully occupy Ukraine.

Successful occupations by foreign powers have some notable commonalities. Generally, chances for a smooth occupation increase when the occupier is welcomed by the population; is supporting an acceptable local government; can count on competent local defense forces; applies patient, humane population control tactics; has denied sanctuary to insurgents; and has kept antagonistic foreign powers from disrupting the occupation. All occupations face challenges, but some succeed. Coalition occupations of Germany, Bosnia, and Kosovo were generally successful.

Ukraine will be unlike any of these cases. Assuming Russia occupies large parts of Ukraine (Putin may still decide to negotiate a withdrawal), and assuming Ukrainians continue to resist occupation, a number of factors will line up for and against the Russians.

As for foreign support:

Meanwhile, insurgents will benefit from sanctuary and strong foreign support. In this study of 89 historical insurgency cases, the presence of an insurgent sanctuary strongly correlated with insurgent victory. If insurgents have a safe place to mobilize, rest, recruit, and train their forces, it is effectively impossible to wipe them out. In all likelihood, Ukrainians will be able to operate out of western Ukraine for years or, if necessary, decades. If international support can be sustained in the face of economic and political challenges, western Ukraine will also serve as a conduit for weapons, supplies, and ammunition the insurgents will use to kill Russian occupiers.

Given that you yourself have argued that Western Ukraine will likely remain independent, why are you so dismissive that they won't receive the support necessary to continue the insurgency? The Forest Brother insurgency was very different from Ukraine of today.
You also continue to ignore the fact that Russia is a paper tiger. It has failed in its initial victory conditions, to establish puppet rule over all of Ukraine. Even Russia's nuclear arsenal is a paper tiger. Realistically speaking Russia would not be in a state to meaningfully invade NATO territory. No amount of "special Russian willpower" can change that fact. Carthage (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
RE; reasons for support. Done from a Marxist standpoint to counteract the 'well Iraq War was bad so this is too, Russia and the US are just all imperialists' false equivilences which I have heard coming from a lot of leftists in Anglo circles, aided/abetted by shitheads like Galloway and Russian propaganda outfits such as Redfish.
RE; Global South. Never mentioned the populations of such, just their elites. Why the hell are you flogging this line anyway? To argue some 'appeal to popularity' crap?
RE; Expert Opinion. I don't trust them. They were the same ones who told us that Russia would not invade, then that economic sanctions would stop the invasion, ending with vague claims that Russia would kind of 'give up' after their first assaults failed. Now I will listen to them, but I won't hang my hat on their pronouncements alone. And as I pointed out above, Putin doesn't give a flying toss of what the Atlantic Council says. Lastly, said quotes make it clear there are assumptions within it; such as 'assuming Ukrainians continue to resist occupation'; I already laid out the conditions that it's quite possible that by the end an occupied Ukraine has been bled so heavily that it's lost the will to resist.
RE; After the War. You keep on parroting 'Russia has failed it's initial victory conditions'... why? You think they cannot learn from their mistakes, regroup, then approach their targets more systematically? [Shock; they have!] Russia is a lot larger/richer than Ukraine; she has the will and is developing the means to completely grind her into mince. Ukraine needs more matériel; tanks, IFVs, artillery shells, AA missiles, drones and so on. It's the only way she will be able to even survive as a rump state. Where is she going to get these from? Us, as in 'the West'. But our military production capabilities are terribly weak; we cannot supply gear that literally does not exist. Thus the call of folks like Ryan to 'boost military industry again' - in short, the West needs to become the new 'Arsenal of Democracy', to allow us to help our friends fight for their freedom and keep enough in reserve for 'other needs'.
But you [apparently] don't agree with that, because that is 'jingoism'. So what's your plan, then? Let Ukraine get ground up and occupied, then watch the Ukranian people have to struggle for a decade or three to get their freedom again? On the argument that a think tank or two has said that ultimately, Russia won't win this? All the while, with a hyper North Korea sitting behind a new Iron Curtain on my continent doing their upmost to split apart Europe and turn us on each other? Yes, Russia is a declining power but hell, that makes them more dangerous than ever because they become more reckless. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:04, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Algeria, Ireland, Vietnam, we could go on,... unpopular military occupations cause a lot of damage and death but they very very rarely last in the face of a sustained insurgency. Also the idea that the western occupation of Iraq failed because "the Pentagon was unwilling to 'do anything it took' to win really downplays the problems with the western interventions in Iraq and more broadly. Collective punishment, the bombing of civilians and the infrastructure they need to live, concentration camps, torture, indiscrimante retaliatory massacres - all feature and tend to all play a role in ensuring that the insurgency has a motivated and well-supported populace to draw from. Tikitime2 (talk) 23:36, 7 April 2024 (UTC)
Also when it comes to the collapse of the anti-war movement in "tankieism", I can't help but ask whether previous anti-war movements weren't also filled with people who were considered to be "tankies" by current standards? Traditionally the far-left have always been the cultural vanguard for progressive causes as, unlike liberals, they are not too worried with kowtowing to conservative social mores. The idea that the modern anti-war movement is saturated with leftists, falsely presumes that previous anti-war movements were more representative of the views of nice electable liberal moderates. The truth is that back then, as now, most of those moderates spent the majority of their political energy chastising leftists, only joining in with their movements once they had been adequately assured that it was the popular thing to do. Songs like "Love me I'm a liberal" satirise this quite well. Tikitime2 (talk) 00:00, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
"Modern standards" would trip up any comparison here. Prior to the second World War in the United States, there was a significant pro-Communist movement in the United States. It not only was anti-war, its positions were progressive for the day, and aligned with the labor reform movement of the time. Having said that... before WW2 (and the subsequent Cold War), I don't think anti-Soviet Union ethos was quite as strong in the United States (no Cold War had started). It also probably wasn't quite as evident to some that the idealism of Communism would in reality turn into the brutality of Stalinism. From what I can recall, due to a combination of the pressures of the Cold War as well as the revelation of Stalin's brutality, the "tankie" influence on the New Left of the 1960s was quite minimal.
(Edit: At least from a pro-Soviet perspective... there definitely was some pro-Castro sentiment in the 1960s New Left from what I recall reading, if you count that as "tankie". The Wiki articleWikipedia and our own article on the New Left also mentions support in this movement for Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh as well, but my current "impression" is this element was not terribly strong.)
In fact, "modern standards" brings its own quandry. One weird aspect of modern "tankie" movements to me is that, while seemingly a "leftist" movement, I would in no way consider the governments of either Russia or China to be "left" these days. Russia clearly is currently in a modern fascist government, albeit one with reactionary characteristics, not revolutionary ones (ruscism). Such can be said to be a similar template as many reactionary other populist movements elsewhere that also typically would be "right-wing" in most people's views (such as Trump, Orban, Bolsonaro, Modi, etc.). I feel (along with others) that China has abandoned any elements of pure communism and has instead embraced authoritarian capitalism,Wikipedia which is more similar to "ruscism" in many ways than anything progressive. BobJohnson (talk) 13:47, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I probably disagree with you on quite a few issues I think you have touched on something relevant which is the expansion of the term "Tankie" to almost any left-wing position that isn't anarchism or soft social democracy. I think by today's standards, Trotts, Lenninists, Maoists, people supportive of Castro or leaders like Sankara, the Black Panthers - most conventional socialists with a Marxist view of society or orthodox beliefs about what it would take to replace capitalism would be and are considered by many liberals and anarchists to be Tankies. And if you exclude every socialist bar the anarchists and "respectable" social democrats you're not left with much of a movement.
In terms of "Tankie" commentary on China and Russia I think one has to differentiate between people who are advocating for the policies taken in context, those who view those policies as their ideal and those who view themselves as simply pushing back against misinformation. North Korea isn't my ideal society and I doubt their policies are one's I'd agree with even in context but I can still be caught from time to time arguing the "North Korean" position in the face of what I consider to often be a highly propagandised and imperialistic narrative about "the enemies of the west" - but that doesn't mean that I think North Korea is an ideal society or even a morally good one. At least a few of the Tankies who are described as "Pro-Russia" view themselves as combating "propaganda" rather than advocating for Russia as a model society, though the former activity can often bleed into and become the latter. Tikitime2 (talk) 12:43, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I agree that the most worrying thing about Western peace groups (from the OP) is the potential credibility damage they can do to the notion of peace movements in The West.
Fortunately, most of the “traditional” peace movement has recognised this when it comes to Ukraine, because there is simply no plausible road to peace that doesn’t ultimately amount to “Ukraine should just capitulate”, i.e. rewarding the Russian aggressors for both betraying their own treaty commitments to Ukraine and the invasion of a sovereign neighbour.
Hence, most “peace calls” come from either those who are outright sympathetic to Russian imperialism and aggression (and thus cannot actually by called “peace movements” by any stretch of the definition). Or they come from those who are so locked into a framing in which the US and The West are always(!) the (only) imperialists that their knee jerk reaction is to find excuses for why Russian is “really” the victim.
The problem with trying to push for a negotiated settlement is that Russia/Putin has already demonstrated a blatant disregard for such treaties with their choice to invade Ukraine in the first place. The treaty (The Budapest Memorandum) in which Ukraine gave up its legacy share of the USSR nuclear arsenal was co-signed by Russia as a (supposed) guarantee of Ukrainian independence, sovereignty and borders. One cannot help wondering a counter factual scenario in which Ukraine kept its nuclear stockpile…, but things looked markedly different in 1994 than in 2014…
That means that a settlement would involve formally splitting Ukraine to let Putin keep (some of) his ill gotten gains (not likely to be accepted in Kiev) while simultaneously securing Ukraine against future Russian attacks, which basically would mean NATO membership (unacceptable to Putin and not likely to be accepted in NATO, either, due to the demand that members should have settled borders a a condition of membership).
Because such a settlement is so obviously unacceptable to either party, there isn’t really any scope for a traditional peace movement, because it would not have any realistic endgame. The only alternatives would be arguing for either Ukrainian surrender (and thus being more of a pro imperialist than a peace movement), or for unilateral, Russian withdrawal (which is just not on the horizon).
As for arguing against military aid to Ukraine as being a “peace initiative”, it’s hard to come to different conclusions from those presented by KarmaPolice. Namely that this would be a de facto support for Russian aims, given the respective sizes of Russia’s and Ukraine’s demographic, economic and military assets and Putin’s very obvious desire to continue the war to see how much of Ukraine he can gobble up. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:58, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Oh, and as for the “well at least a defeat of Ukraine will stop the war” perspective, it’s worth thinking a bit ahead and consider what a Russian ruled Ukraine (whether in whole or in part) would look like:
The “best” case is that it would change from a corrupt and somewhat dysfunctional democracy into a Russian style kleptocratic authoritarian state that imprisons and murders dissidents. And that’s the “best” case…
Another scenario is the Chechen model, meaning that some local vassal is essentially let loose to do as he (it’s probably not going to be a woman…) pleases, as long as he crushes any sign of opposition or rebellion and heeds any orders Putin might have. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:31, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Tikitime, you hate the word "tankie" not because it's an inaccurate position, but because it's the only insult that stings people who've earned the name. Tankie is generally used against those in favor of left-wing dictatorships and violence, and almost all of the positions you mentioned that are "reasonable, orthodox socialist" positions have authoritarianism baked into their philosophy and their followers. I mean, seriously, I'm supposed to look at someone who likes the idea of a revolutionary vanguard and think, "huh, perhaps they don't mean a dictator"? You just hate that others who have objections to those philosophies are allowed to disagree, after all, we're just future class enemies who will be dealt swiftly when the revolution comes. And for someone who claims to have no love for North Korea or Russia, it seems like you're very defensive and protective of them if you have to constantly come to bat for them. You see yourself as "combating propaganda", but that often devolves into spouting propaganda on their behalf to play PR for them (while conveniently ignoring propaganda they have about us, because hey, enemy of my enemy). Plus, you ignore the topic at hand, the problem with pro-Russian activists masquerading as anti-war activists, just to say, "I hate moderates, they're so mean and their positions are fake and fascist-sympathizing! Only far-leftists, like me, are true, moral people!". On second thought, you're the exact kind of person this phenomenon is about, so it's ironic you'd post in it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 22:59, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
@Ryan1257, if you want to argue with me about democracy, revolutionary politics and criticisms of Lenninism et al, I'd happily do that some other time. Preferably once you have demonstrated an ability to carry an argument past "spraying diarrhea then going silent when challenged". You've ducked Carthage's response in this thread, you've ducked Carthage in the thread below, you ducked out of the discussion in polyamory when I pointed out the unsubstantiated bullshit you were spreading there and I distinctly remember a good few other times that you have ghosted when challenged after popping off in discussions (usually about Leftism) here in the Saloon. So for me there is simply no point in crafting yet another response to your ravings since the chance that you will respond in good faith (or at all) is so low. I will however put it in writing that I think you are being a twat.
The modus operandi that I see here is you venting your political frustration with the left and then when you get spanked (and you nearly always get spanked, because let's face it, as far as the centrists on this site go, you're not exactly Christopher Hitchens) you either change the conversation to nut-picked posts you saw on the internet or simply bow out before restarting the cycle a few weeks later. And unlike your McCarthyist fugue-state musings about me, my assessments of you are based on real observations of your posts on this site.
You are of-course, free to prove me wrong. Prove that what you said has any basis in reality. Find one example, of me going to bat for the Russian Federation or for North Korea. You can click on my username and it'll take you to my page and you can check through my contributions. Since I go to bat for them constantly and you, Ryan, would never make such an accusation without evidence I wait with baited breath. Or alternatively you can end up like Raven and AMassiveGay, getting booted when your screeds become so tiresome that even other moderates start to feel embarrased. Tikitime2 (talk) 15:27, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Checking Ryan's most recent edits find almost no constructive edits. Only one WIGO. The rest are shitposts on the Bar and other talk pages. He doesn't even do the bare minimum of reverting vandalism. Carthage (talk) 16:16, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Tiki: the issue is that all of your 'occupation' examples involve democratic states - that in effect, 'public opinion' broke the regimes' will to continue. Russia is not democratic, and thus can go along with it for much longer and bloodier. What's more, you are completely failing to see my point; that having to have a 15-30 year insurgency war against a regime which doesn't give a fuck will might leave Ukraine 'victorious', but in an utterly destavated land with a severely traumatised [and smaller] population and dealing with a severe case of cultural brainwashing in esp. their younger citizens. Even more importantly, it shall rely on the West in sustaining this resistance effort - which will piss off Moscow no end and will result in them meddling in our affairs too.
I fail to understand how this is a 'better' result for either the Ukranians or for Europe in general. The only folks I can see 'immediate peace [at any cost]' policies satisfying are [mainly] American pacifists and isolationists who can engage in such wankery behind two oceans, a nuclear arsenal and the world's biggest navy. Oh, and Putin fanbois, obviously. But thing is, these Anglo peaceniks are totally impotent and know it too. They don't have any power and minimal clout within the wider 'left family'. They have the complete freedom to proffer entirely batshit 'solutions' and policies in the certain knowledge they won't ever have to make them bleeding work.
BobJ: I'd argue that modern 'tankie-ism' is not pro-Russian/Chinese, but simply so 'anti-Western/American' to the extent they cannot see anything past that fog. The USA/NATO is supporting Ukraine, therefore Russia must be in the right and so on. I note that [for example] it's not the tankies going to fight for Russia from the West, it's the fascists. Perhaps a good example of 'nuanced tankieism' is shown by the British Communist paper Morning Star; they are under zero illusions of how shit Putinism is, but then plough an anti-NATO line leading to a 'bothsidesism' while dodging the question 'who's victory would be best for the people of Ukraine?' However, there are times in which a non-Tankie can appear to be as such [as Tiki points out]; for example, arguing the likes of the USA/UK/France lecturing North Korea/Iran on the possession of nuclear weapons is rank Western hypocrisy [though in this case, the Morning Star is pro-Chinese to the point it sickens me; they fucking send Maoists to gulags these days]. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:42, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I shall also point out that from as far as I can tell, AMassiveGay did not get 'booted' for anything. Attendence at RW or it's Bar is hardly mandatory. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:42, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Not only that KP, but if anybody is going to boot users for being tiresome, they better bring a lunch.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:49, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
First off @Tikitime2, what you see as me "getting spanked", crumbling to opposition, and simply getting owned is more of just the fact I don't carry on arguments too long since I have a lot of other things to do with my day, like work, so I try not to make a habit of carrying on posting if I feel like the conversation will only get worse from there. I'm willing to let you get the last word in and move on if it means the argument is done. If you or Carthage stopped responding to me, I wouldn't think I "won", I'd just think you had other things to do rather than continue. Also, if others have responded to a conversation I was having, as Karma has done in this thread, and I agree with their take, then I don't feel like I have to add anymore since I doubt my take would be that much different and theirs was well said. And let's go over some of the other threads you mentioned. The thread below, that's an example of I simply didn't see a point of continuing the conversation since we simply have two different points of view on a situation that's essentially alt-hist at this point. On the poly one, you responded awhile after I had lost interest. I didn't even discover your response till way later and I'm not going to go for "round 2".
And why am I not cleaning up vandalism or contributing constantly? Simple, I'm not proficient in all things wiki and still need to take the time to learn them and the useful pages and tools for seeing them. Hell, I'm still having to figure out how to check all of a user's edits like you recommended. This isn't my hobby, so I'm never gonna be as active as more dedicated users, I mainly use this site for information and seeing topics discussed.
Lastly, I've developed a deep suspicion towards out-and-out socialists after previous run-ins in other spaces where they'd pretend to be friendly and agreeable, crowd in more of their friends and get prominent moderator positions, then finally, cement their control by banning any disagreement with the party line. I remember the days when Oxy, another socialist who was around here, where I didn't think it was worth engaging since we had a dedicated angry user who'd hone in on any disagreement like an artillery shell and do everything but threaten to come to your house and beat you up. Seeing that and how she got away with it for so long dampened my confidence in this site's ability to stand up to even one extremist as long as they're on the left, so I've just been waiting for the inevitable next one ever since to finish the job. That said, in the future, I'm gonna try and make our disagreements less personal, but getting into an argument with you doesn't mean I've signed a contract that I have to continue just because you're rearing to go, I'm gonna bow out whenever I please whether you like it or not.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:02, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
The anti-government forces in Myanmar haven't received significant foreign support, and yet they've fought the war to a stalemate. Also, unlike your contention that France, the UK, and the US were democracies and Russia isn't, that criticism doesn't apply to Myanmar, which is a military dictatorship. Carthage (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Myanmar doesn't have a colossal amount of natural resources to sell to China, a massive stockpile of weapons to use, a huge cash-stash to spend on stuff and a large, functioning domestic arms industry. Myanmar is also made up of a lot of jungle and hills, which is a bonus for armed rebel groups while most of Ukraine is flat 'tank country' which offers little places to hide. But what's your point again? That it's better for the Ukranian people to have to spend a few decades waging a bloody civil war which most likely [if they win] leave them with a utterly trashed nation? KarmaPolice (talk) 14:20, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
No, my point is that an occupation of Ukraine would be so costly for Russia that it would be impractical to invade NATO right after the Ukraine war. They'd have their hands full trying to secure an occupation doomed to failure from the get-go. Threats of invading NATO right off the heels of the Ukraine war are clear saber rattling. Carthage (talk) 14:53, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Also do you seriously think there aren't ways to compensate for flat terrain? Urban warfare is hell for any counterinsurgency force. Hell, you can approximate the tactics of the Viet Cong in an urban setting. Carthage (talk) 14:58, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
That is so comforting to the Ukranian people. I dare you to tell them that [ideally, to their faces]; 'oh, don't worry, you'll lose this war and be occupied, but don't worry, because a think tank or two said you'll win your freedom again eventually'. You tell me, how is this situation better? No, really - this is a genuine question. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:51, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
Which is quite possible, as some folk are warning - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68778338 KarmaPolice (talk) 10:46, 13 April 2024 (UTC)

US Election: 7 Months Left

Just a monthly thing I would likely be doing every month concerning the countdown to the election.

I wonder how much generative AI would affect this election given the state of this emerging medium of technology. And how would this new front of information and misinformation go from now until November. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 03:58, 3 April 2024 (UTC)

In the United States Senate, the Democrats are having it tough, they have to hold on to 20 seats while the Republicans only have to hold on to 11. The Democrats can only afford to lose 1 seat to lose the Senate! Since Joe Machin is leaving the Senate, West Virginia is lost unless Zachery Shrewsbury wins the Democratic primary and creates a Bernie style campaign in the deeply red state then they might be a small glimmer of hope? The Dems will struggle to hold on to Ohio and Montana since they have swung into being safe red states. The Democrats will try to win Texas off the Republicans due to unpopularity of Ted Cruz but we will have to wait and see if Texans will warm up to Collin Alreed. Ψ (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2024 (UTC)
A bernie-bro trying to instruct how to win elections is like a vegan teaching how to cook meat. And I can assure you, living in Texas, Ted Cruz is popular enough solely because he has an R by his name.-Ryan1257 (talk) 02:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
@Ryan1257 I'm not trying to be rude here, but just remember that the Dems are basically non-existent in many states like Nebraska, and Bernie could have made a lot of rusted on Republican voters vote for the Democrats for the first time in decades. Instead they decided to have Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden instead. May I ask how Biden is doing right now? Ψ (talk) 03:12, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Bernie-bros are the Ron Paul fans of the left with their conspiracy theories. I remember the 2016 election, and if Bernie voters were so numerous and had such an electoral determination, where the hell were they in the primaries? I still remember the rhetoric shifting from "he'll win the popular vote, but the super delegates will overrule him!" to "The super delegates need to vote Bernie in!". Plus, if you think a Hillary loss, as thin as it was, was bad, the Republicans would have won in even greater numbers since they'd have had a field day going against someone who claims to be socialist in any form.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:18, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You know, neoliberal centrism sure won 2016, didn't it? Why is it that whenever corporate Democrats win they say they didn't need the left, but whenever they lose they say the left abandoned them? We can already see this bullshit with your own strawmanning of progressives unhappy with Biden. Also, why be rude against Psi? Carthage (talk) 03:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't need to take people in good faith who are cool with Trump winning in order to "teach us a lesson" as psi has demonstrated in past posts. These types have done it for the past two presidential elections and they're just doing it again.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:18, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Trump wants to genocide Palestinians, is against the universal health care, is against increasing the federal minimum wage, sides with Republicans on the border issue. And Biden also believes those things as well. Ψ (talk) 04:25, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Example A of why I think you're a clown. Do you actually think Biden wants a genocide of Palestinians? Do you think he's whispering in Ben Yahoo's ear to up the body count further? I can assure you, if you think Biden and Trump are on the same level, just look at Trump's actions with Israel during his presidency (recognizing The Golan Heights, Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, The friggin Abraham Accords). With Biden, you at least have someone who is reaching his breaking point on the issue and will eventually say "enough is enough", whereas Trump, he's been shown to give blanket approval to any he sees as his chum.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:59, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Keep in mind Biden has continued those policies, and is still giving Israel weapons despite everything Israel has done. It doesn't matter what a powerful politician thinks, it matters what they do. Carthage (talk) 05:26, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I remember Bernie being really big with blue collar Rust Belt workers. The same people Trump was trying to win over. Polls also indicated that Bernie had a bigger lead over Trump in any hypothetical general: [8] I suppose it's easier to rewrite history than to acknowledge the fact that people were fed up with the neoliberal status quo, however. Also, Psi took a moral absolutist stance on support for genocide. Isn't genocide a bad thing, and support for it also unequivocally a bad thing? If you think that morally objecting to those who support genocide is unreasonable, then you're a clown. Carthage (talk) 04:30, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
You may as well be saying, "the polls were right, the voters were wrong". Again, where were his "numerous" voters when it mattered [9]? And you're not dumb for morally objecting to a genocide, but you are dumb if in response to one, you convince people to not vote and inadvertently help the candidate who is the most likely to encourage it.-Ryan1257 (talk) 04:59, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I know that a lot of the youth vote was suppressed. Areas around universities and shit were subject to severe voter suppression campaigns. Covid didn't help either. [10] Carthage (talk) 05:05, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Now you're just grasping at straws and trying to come up with excuses. If he had the critical mass of voters you claim, then winning in the primaries should have been an easier task since lower numbers can make a bigger difference than in the general election.-Ryan1257 (talk) 05:28, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Remember that he did win some primaries. He was number 2 for a reason. Carthage (talk) 05:39, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
I would rather vote for something than vote against it. Tactical voting is for losers, because if you want to vote against someone than the other candidate would only have to be only a micrometre to the left to get your support. Also, the idea that Biden gives a shit about Palestinians is complete crap, I will never vote for a genocide President, fuck your civility politics. Ψ (talk) 05:33, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes I know that Sanders lost. At the end, the establishment Democrats were able to get their candidate to win. Without a doubt, things will continue to get worse and the far-right is going to get even more popular like in Europe. The political right would rather that the working class people use scapegoats like LGBT people, black people and immigrants to blame for their problems rather than the rich. Distractions that don't hurt the rich. Ψ (talk) 05:46, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It is really interesting that this entire thing started because Ryan couldn't help but throw in a dig at people who just wanted universal healthcare and a living wage. Beyond that, what election are we even talking about? I brought up 2016 and Ryan responds with 2020? It's also really funny how Ryan completely ignores relevant factors such as media bias (such as how the corporate media didn't feature almost any representatives from organized labor between 2014-2016 not to mention the infamous Bernie Blackout), and party machinery. Remember how all 55 counties of West Virginia voted for Bernie but the superdelegates voted for Clinton? Yeah Ryan just completely bulldozes past all of this shit to smear people two inches to his left as conspiracy theorists. Carthage (talk) 06:24, 4 April 2024 (UTC)

As the person who once painted Biden as 'the American Brezhnev' and expected him to do absolutely nothing for his entire term, I shall admit he did surprise me. With this in mind, I cannot see the Gaza war going into say, May/June at this tempo and Biden continuing his two-faced 'it's bad but here's more cluster bombs' routine. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:42, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
People seem to forget that the Democrat party is a pretty big "big tent" coalition. Sanders captured the youth vote, but failed to capture the vote of people over 50. Sanders also failed to capture critical minority bloc (the African American vote in particular). "The party machinery" is not necessarily this evil shadowy blob conspiring against your favorite candidates, it might instead actually be aiming for the goal: who is the most electable? We've seen this with Donald Trump blasting his way into the RNC "Leeroy Jenkins" style -- the Republicans lost several elections in the last few cycles simply because the Trump-endorsed candidate sucked.
At any rate, Biden's nomination in the end meant that he got a fair share of the "suburbs" vote in 2020. This voting bloc previously was part of the Reagan coalition, and was the major notable shift that cycle. I'm still not entirely sure the "suburb" vote even now would accept full-on progressive politics (at least the Bernie Sanders style), but as it's hard to knock down a sitting president (traditionally), we're not going to test any "bloc" / "coalition" changes this cycle as much.
Assuming certain Republicans don't succeed in their desire to restyle the US as an illiberal democracy, millennials will be a majority of the US voters by 2028... making that cycle possibly more "interesting". BobJohnson (talk) 15:07, 4 April 2024 (UTC)
This is irrelevant to the contention is that superdelegates are inherently antidemocratic. Again see West Virginia. Also polls have shown that Bernie showed a major lead over Trump in any hypothetical general election. Carthage (talk) 04:16, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm actually surprised at the length of the war. Bush Jr basically gave Israel 30 days to go in before he removed support, during one of the wars in the early aughts. Obama did the same during a couple of the wars. There wasn't a war under Trump, surprisingly, so we don't know how he'd react. Biden has allowed the war to go on for 6 months and counting. CorruptUser 05:15, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I personally hold that the whole 'Third Way' project for leftist parties is dead. It was okay in the '90s when economically things weren't that bad and there was no real ideological challengers left standing globally, but the '20s is not this world. Part of the major draw for the native working class to right-wing demagogues like Farage, Trump, Orban etc has been not their 'culture wars' shite, but their promises of economic 'radicalism'. What's more [like BobJ], I don't believe there is many more 'votes to be had' on tacking any further 'progressive' socially - in this, it is perhaps best [at least on a national level] to either a) keep to the centre of the Overton window on social issues and/or b) restrict yourself to only 'harm principle' changes. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:20, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

Global monkey torture network

I repeat: global monkey torture network. Why is that a thing? No, seriously, why is that a thing that exists in real life?!? That is Saturday morning cartoon villain shit. A global monkey torture network is the kind of thing Captain PlanetWikipedia should be fighting. Humans in real life should have better things to spend their time on. What the actual hell. Luigifan18 (talk) 02:18, 5 April 2024 (UTC)

The second anyone can find their.niche and make money from it, morality takes a backseat. If somebody can stomach doing torture, which we all must agree humans did and do to each other in our long history and under certain circumstances we still abide, they can make money doing it. This looks stupid and perverse, BECAUSE IT IS. Torrent (talk) 05:30, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
This reminds me of both Dr Harlow and Dr Pavlov. Both were important researchers... but both were monsters. CorruptUser 16:53, 5 April 2024 (UTC)
Yes, this is one of those online rabbit holes on the more twisted side. There's a few, but with the people who hate monkeys it's extra bizarre, because the obvious question of: "why monkeys?" emerges once you find out they especially and specifically hate monkeys. I always thought it was some "uncanny valley" feeling they experience, and some of these people hate other primates because of some perceived mix between familiarity and otherness, which is if I'm not mistaken where a feeling that some things are "creepy" comes from. This is about as far as I have pondered this because dwelling on it much in one sitting is probably not a way to remain mentally sound. Chillpilled (talk) 05:17, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I remembered this because it was so strange. https://youtu.be/Vtn9rZUsfnk?feature=shared Timestamp 10:20 or so, 4 years ago. the idea of torturing baby monkeys is what I would call a bad meme. It can be engaged with as a joke, but the problem is, it's solidified in dark edge humor to the point it must be legitimate. This is why I actually agree with the Desantis camp, that kids under 14 shouldn't have social media. It's definitely more complicated, parents should know more, but a conversation about why it's not funny to torture animals is actually beyond a lot parents. Especially dominionist homes Torrent (talk) 06:20, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
Conversations happen in Dominionist homes? I thought it was mainly 'adult tells you the Correct Way™, you counter it, they tell you you're wrong ['because I said so'] and if you press it, you're told to shut up, go to your room and read the Bible'. At least in my experience. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:57, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
That's a big blind spot in my take. I am anti dominionist, I am criticizing what we've got on people who like monkey torture. A simple resolution would be to show everyone a bunch of monkey torture videos and wait for the last one to tap out. That would be a deranged group. I do not have to watch the monkey torture myself to describe the pathway to it, and to know the hubs in which it is freely marketed is the next step. Children under 14 can find their own way out of fundamentalism, they do it constantly, the idea that it must be via direct contact is really not reading the situation. Direct contact can exist in both negative outcomes. And it's not mutually exclusive. But, mitigating harm, a lot more nonsense devolved into hate has gone on in social media. By 14 I bet a kid is ready to deliver hot takes. I don't think they are ready for the general public. Torrent (talk) 04:58, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Why it isn't funny to torture an animal

First definition first, to slaughter an animal is not to torture one. We do a lot of killing to eat. When we slaughter an animal, we take into account what we can eat. If we approach the idea of killing carefully, we can go hunting and return with venison but not buffalo. Because killing and hunting are different. A lot of hunters don't know how to clean a carcass, good for business but really? cut the thing down with a rifle then have no idea what to do, that's pitiful. Some people are so excited to 'bag' A buck they will defend hunting just because they got.a.gun and that's their best use for it. I think you should clean enough carcasses to know how to teach it, if you're gonna be out gunning down anything. Being said, few animals get a dignified end, so a bad shot bleed out kill is adjacent to the human experience of dying slow. The point is, don't hurt anything for fun, and find no fun in anything getting hurt, the fuck is wrong with you if that doesn't add up?Torrent (talk) 09:15, 6 April 2024 (UTC)

I think I enrolled in the wrong class. Chillpilled (talk) 10:03, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
Engaging in animal cruelty is associated with antisocial personality disorder.[11] Bongolian (talk) 17:41, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I think animals deserve certain moral considerations to the extent that I think we should refrain from eating them if we can afford not to. I personally think hunting is actually more permissible ethically compared to buying meat from a store. That being bought from a store where the animal was provided through factory farming. The sheer difference in QoL for the animal who is allowed to live in the wild to adulthood, and is ideally killed instantaneously and without their conscious perception of it, is vastly preferable compared to animals who are raised industrial under extremely distressing conditions, and killed swiftly on a production line. The opposition of carnists to hunting I always found hypocritical, but I also think the opposition gets abused by carnists and vegans to rationalize culturally imperial acts against traditional indigenous hunting practices — that can actually be pretty harmful for both the animals and these communities. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:06, 6 April 2024 (UTC)
I had a buddy who went on a fishing trip in Canada. He stopped by some bait and tackle and said the owner was all pissed off. Said 'you got a limit, but the natives got nothing stopping them.'. His takeaway was 'whoah, I don't care, I came out to catch a couple fish.' I had some other friends who went out for a game expo, big long trip, had to pick up another friend. They hit a gas station and the guy behind the counter said 'watch out for the natives.'. I visited Quebec at the age of 13. I had some spending money. I was approached by a white man with a dirty Quebecois accent who said 'I've been in an accident, I have to call my mom.' I gave him no paper money, but I think he might have swindled me out of some coins. So the point is, perceived swindling versus actual swindling versus actual culture. I do think it's wrong to over-fish, but if that's the only equitable Export, I get Reservation Dogs (equitable edit) as a show retaining the mantra 'Catfish is Life'. I caught a catfish in Missouri with frozen jackinthebox as bait. I was on vacation with a friend, and we literally dragged it up with line tied around a stick. I was too young to clean it, took it to the houseboat, buddy's dad was like 'you guys wouldn't like catfish anyway.' It was a horrible moment, what do you do with a dead catfish? Torrent (talk) 05:54, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
There is also an issue of anthropomorphism or how "close" an animal is to humanity here. We are much more likely to value a dog over a cow, and a cow over a cleaner wrasse, even though cleaner wrasse have passed the mirror test. (This ignores that there are criticisms of the mirror test.) Carthage (talk) 08:21, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Exposure is also a factor. Since I'm on the autism spectrum I've read plenty about Temple Grandin, and I'm familiar with how the slaughterhouses that actually do it right operate. And my grandmother has told us about growing up during the Depression, and her father always had work but was mostly on his own for getting meat, so she's talked about watching him catch fish and decapitate chickens. If you need to do it to survive, you'll likely find it in you to do. What bothers me much more are the "humane traps" people set, which truly are torture. If you want to exterminate mice or rats (catching them alive is also fine, they make very good pets), use something that will kill them. I once had idiot coworkers set one and I showed them the trap caused the mouse to panic and rub its legs raw, then since there was no way to extricate it I made them watch me administer the coup-de-grace with a hammer. It was in no way a fun experience, but it was better than letting it die over several more hours; either use traps that are meant to keep animals alive for release (as I once did for a band of flying squirrels) or kill on impact. And in a general level, a purely self-interested argument against animal torture is the meat of a stressed animal doesn't taste nearly as good; even medieval Europeans knew this. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:11, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
I had a similar experience. i was home alone with Cool Dave, a short haired pointer mix rescue I had inherited because, party house, and who really had no idea how big he was, but he saw something in the kitchen. He jumped out of my lap with no concern for my balls as a launchpad, and trotted into the kitchen. Cool Dave did not trot often, so I caught my breath and followed him. Our landlord had put out poison for mice. We had been catching them in buckets and letting them go. But here was a mouse, paralyzed by the waist up, just kicking itself around in circles. Cool Dave wasn't the type to eat a mouse, but I wouldn't risk it. I shooed the dog, got a washcloth, ran it in hot water til it was warm, picked up the mouse with it and twisted the poor vermin. I put it in the trash and took the trash out. The strange thing is you wouldn't expect it to be over. But it was, we never saw another mouse. Noises in the walls, probably squirrels and mice, but nothing in the soft trap buckets that used to catch at least one a day. The poisons for home intruders are apparently effective, I still hold a painless death execution ideal. It's kinda statistics, suffering will happen, the more outliers that can be affected in some way, the less it counts towards an inevitability. If it's superficial, it's still my experience. Torrent (talk) 05:13, 12 April 2024 (UTC)

Why do people say consciousness isn't a brain process?

I got frustrated today because I couldn't convince someone of this. They say it's just a theory and science was wrong before and that some scientists argue otherwise, but the reality is that the evidence does point in that direction. Even denying the relationship between the self and the prefrontal cortex. It's just...what can I do about it?

They also keep falling back to personal experience, that no one is 100% certain about reality or that no one person is an arbiter of reality. It was just the same line of excuses I often hear when someone doesn't want to question their understanding of their own experience. I couldn't even talk deeper about it because everything was just dismissed as "beliefs" and "ideas" or theories and they kept trying to draw me back to experience. But isn't the point to question our understanding of experience to know what's going on? (talk) 00:02, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

I'll just note that traumatic brain injuries definitely affect consciousness. Carthage (talk) 02:19, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Some aspects of the dualism (i.e., the mind-body problem) can be scientifically demonstrated, e.g. that damage to a various parts of the brain have a direct cause on specific physical behaviors (as noted by Carthage here). Other aspects are not disprovable, e.g., the existence of a soul or solipsism. These latter types of dualism are usually dismissed by rationalists as not worth bothering with, based on the heuristic of Occam's razor. In the case of the soul, one could also dismiss it based on the requirement of supernaturalism. But such dismissals are not likely to convince a true believer. Bongolian (talk) 02:29, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I've noted in my projects in the past that the mind can be conceived of as the bridge between the brain and the soul. However, as Bongolian stated, that delves into metaphysics that can't be demonstrated, let alone proved, one way or the other. In any case, there are documented cases of people's personalities changing dramatically as a result of brain damage; Phineas GageWikipedia (the guy who survived being impaled through the face by a freakin' railroad spike) comes to mind. If a person's personality was stored entirely within their non-physical soul, then brain damage wouldn't have any effect on it, and yet Gage got a lot more irritable after the accident… hm. Luigifan18 (talk) 03:08, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I've occasionally entertained thoughts that the brain is a conduit for consciousness, so physical expression of consciousness can be affected, but there is a sort of deeper field of consciousness that remains unaffected. Such ideas don't really pass the "smell test" so to speak, so I don't seriously believe them, but it makes for fun thought experiments or flights of fancy. Carthage (talk) 03:34, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

I guess I'm just frustrated trying to talk sense into people because it's clearly a mystical bias that leads to this. I know a lot of BUddhists deny the brain is the seat of consciousness, and all that other stuff. The problem though is that demonstrating it would be SUPER unethical, I'm not going to mess around with someone's brain to prove a point. But more than that even drugs can affect consciousness, I should know because I was knocked out once for wisdom teeth removal. I literally blinked and missed the whole thing, it was trippy and a little scary but that was a chemical that changed my awareness.

But then again I'm talking to people who think that the self is this awareness that doesn't change even though the content of it does, but that is still just a belief. I don't think the self is that awareness but that belief does affect them though. I think of consciousness as electricity that lets us do what we need to similar to how a computer needs power to run everything stored in it. The evidence every day seems to point to all this just being the brain as well. How do you argue with someone who says emotions reside in the body because that is where they are felt? Don't they know what is responsible for those sensations? (talk) 06:25, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

Both brain damage and drugs affect the brain and affect consciousness. The affect on consciousness is quite clearly a consequence of the biological effect on the brain. How do you argue? Ask for specific, testable counter-examples.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 06:49, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
The real question is to ask why people insist that “consciousness” refers to anything singular, specific, coherent, or real. Also wasn’t this exact fucking topic posted sometime last year, and OP got really upset at the suggestion that some physicalists would argue that consciousness could manifest in non-biological systems like a sufficiently advanced AI? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
Well, an AI with consciousness is something that could hypothetically happen if it was programmed to think for itself in a similar way to how humans (or other highly intelligent animals, if we want to argue that they might have consciousness) do, rather than simply accepting and executing commands or running a function. It's just not possible with current programming techniques and computing technology to do that quite yet, especially since there's still a heck of a lot we don't know about how the human brain works. Luigifan18 (talk) 14:50, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
It should be said that physicalists who make this claim mostly agree with you here, but it’s the possibility of their being conscious AI that they appeal to —- many don’t think we have actually reached such a state yet. But also this possibility also depends on your conception of consciousness. Many dualists reject this possibility, but it’s seems self-contradictory to reject this possibility if you are, say, a functionalist. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:35, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
There is a whole variety of theories that fit with this idea. The supreme being concept is one of the best ones. From solipsism, where ones consciousness is all there is (either in your brain, or somewhere else in the phenomenon that is you), to Berkely idealism calling for everything to emanate from the mind of god. So, you are the god, or someone else is the god, and that's where consciousness comes from. These theories are philosophical, but prescientific. They are scientific dead ends. Not everyone likes science. UncleKrampus (talk) 15:46, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I think this can be chalked up to a simple 'denial of facts due to dislike of conclusion'. People do not want to consider 'their consciousness' [ie themselves] to be simply a massive pile of synapses [of which operation is dependent on chemicals and what the wiring is like], so it's not true, utilising a god of the gaps defence. This is understandable, because to accept this is to have to look in the face the quite possible end for us - that of dementia, where as said synapses fail, we lose ourselves bit by bit ['I feel as if I'm losing all my leaves' a la The Father] or a stroke damages a % of our synapse-pile and thus, changing 'us'. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:51, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
the problem of Phineas Gage and all lobotomy is actually asking where the individual resides, and it's the brain. There's an old joke, 'I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.'. There's a really tough question to answer, how much of the self is brain chemistry? We've got soul, but what happens to that soul when brain damage occurs? The answer I've come to is, yeah, brain chemistry defines the self. This isn't prederministic, inherently, it's a recognition of our own will. Free will comes back into play, baybeee, because the faster we understand ourselves the quicker we are to move towards understanding each other, and nothing monumental is built by a single artist, despite what history books record. Torrent (talk) 06:22, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Fatah and Hamas fighting each other: This is not the time to be dicking around


So Israel has decimated Gaza Strip but you are more worried about fighting against each other. How about working together instead of fighting each other? No unity means no room to reach a peace agreement. --Trans Fem Agenda 16:08, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

After all, it's National Brotherhood Week![12] Bongolian (talk) 17:33, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
You mean to tell me Hamas cares more about maintaining its own power than helping the citizens of Gaza!?-Ryan1257 (talk) 20:06, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Kinda hard to do that when Israel is deliberately blocking aid. What's the purpose of this post? No one here is pro-Hamas. Carthage (talk) 20:21, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
I never said that I supported Hamas. That said, Hamas is still the de facto government that is certainly not going away and has popularity in Palestinian society. If each party wants the State of Palestine to survive then they need to make a unity government. There are no other political parties in Palestinian society that holds sway. It is a crap shoot but that is what there is to work with. --Trans Fem Agenda 21:56, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Fatah was extirpated from Gaza by Hamas. The only "unity" deal Fatah wants with Hamas is to fight against Israel, not in any longterm peace deals. Barring a war against Israel, Gaza collapsing into complete anarchy is actually a Win for Fatah. CorruptUser 05:09, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
One reason Netanyahu propped up Hamas (or so I hear) may have been precisely to divide Gaza versus the West Bank. If it's working, I can't say it's unsavvy. Chillpilled (talk) 08:53, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Israel also controls the infrastructure of Gaza, controls the borders, maintains a blockade.... It's a farce to say that that Gaza was autonomous in any meaningful way. Carthage (talk) 09:30, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm talking divide-and-rule. It benefits Israel if a critical mass of Palestinians in Gaza support Hamas, another mass in the West Bank support Fatah, and then they feud. They're already divided geographically, now also politically to an extent. Reportedly, Netanyahu has explicitly outlined driving that wedge as part of his strategy. Chillpilled (talk) 11:58, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm aware, I just thought it worth bringing up as an important note of context. People are acting like the Palestinian territories are fully sovereign, with complete autonomy. They aren't, they're under hostile military occupation. Carthage (talk) 12:01, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Just to respond to the idea that Hamas and Fatah are "dicking around." We here are mostly non-sectarian and for the most part non-believers. Hamas and Fatah are groups with world views deeply rooted in Islam-related realities. From my perspective, what could they do besides dick around? When one has a world view entirely grounded in religious mythologies, where is there to go, really? The real enemy is the belief that God is supposed to help defeat the enemies of the righteous. You may find yourself substituting "reason" for "God" in your internal dialogue. UncleKrampus (talk) 15:49, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Isn’t Fatah primarily secular though? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 16:18, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I don't know what the leaders actually believe. They are Islamic by cultural tradition. Google supplies "Fatah al-Islam (Arabic: فتح الإسلام, meaning: Conquest of Islam) is a Sunni Islamist militant group established in November 2006 in a Palestinian refugee camp, located in Lebanon. It has been described as a militant jihadist movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda."UncleKrampus (talk) 16:36, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Assuming we’re talking about Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah here and not some weird tiny Islamist namesake, then Fatah is hardly an Islamist outfit, so it’s basically yet another chapter in the “People’s Front of Judea” saga.
Palestinian factions infighting and killing each other to gain control of “the movement” is not something that suddenly arrived with the conflict between Hamas and Fatah. Hence the jokes in Life of Brian. And that infighting of yesteryear happened between groups that were all (at least nominally) secular and driven by various types of leftist revolutionary ideologies. So I don’t think the “Islamist worldview” explanation holds much water.
As for the effect of this latest internecine struggle on any “peace initiatives”, I doubt that it makes any difference. You could even argue that the division makes it more likely that Israel would cease its latest war in Gaza if Fatah doesn’t close ranks with Hamas, because Israel sees such divisions among the Palestinians as a useful part of its security strategy. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:52, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
They are probably followers of the Islamic traditions. I think the Christian population of the Palestinian territories has declined precipitously from 15 percent in 1950 to less than 2 percent today. So, in order to be secular, I assume that Fatah must likely be comprised of atheist Muslims and others who got on the wrong bus. It's no wonder that they attack each other.UncleKrampus (talk) 17:07, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
An element of the 'Bibi created Hamas' argument is the fact that various Israeli Govts for two decades have run roughshod over what little powers the PA did have; this has led Fatah do become totally discredited with the Palestinian people as 'corrupt collaborationists' because they feathered their own nests while 'not stopping' continued Israeli thefts of land/resources etc. Part of Hamas' very appeal was that they promised to purge corruption and 'stand up for our people' - and well, we know what that looks like, don't we kids?
And now folks are talking of having Fatah return to Gaza on the backs of Israeli tanks, with the West pinning their hopes in such a crippled, puppet PA to 'sort out' the daunting list of tasks which would tax the ability of an functioning state staffed by geniuses. Totally fucking ludicrous. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:27, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I agree with KarmaPolice’s point here, not to mention that Fatah/PLO/PA lost most of the popular appeal it once had long before this current war in Gaza.
As for Fatah having to be ”composed of atheist Muslims” (as per UncleKrampus above) to be secular, I don’t see why that should follow at all. Secularism is not a view on personal(!) religion but about the relation between religion and state. Hence, personal religiosity does not necessarily have to conflict with support for a secular society. Until the 1970s/‘80s the driving ideology of most branches of the Palestinian movement tended to be a combination of Pan-Arabism and some version of socialism (or at least strongly state guided development), similar to, say, the various Ba’ath parties or Nasserism.
It’s also interesting to see how the “othering” of Arabs in The West in general (and the “othering” of Palestinians in particular) has shifted from then to now. Then they were mainly “othered” by considered “uncivilised” in a direct continuation of imperialist/colonialist notions of civilisational hierarchies. Now they are “othered” by the “othering” of Islam as a whole and the notion that Muslim societies cannot “really” change, or at least not into modern, secular, democracies like “us”. ScepticWombat (talk) 04:37, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

Idiot Chechen politicians banned music outside of 80-116 BPM

I've recently heard the news about Chechen government banning EDM that is outside of 80-116 BPM because they don't fit their "Chechen mentality" and traditions. I fucking hate these idiotic traditionalists who are trying to stop foreign music because of so-called "Western influence". I really wish that these trads fucked off.

Source: https://djmag.com/news/chechnya-reportedly-bans-all-music-outside-80-116-bpm 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 16:12, 8 April 2024 (UTC)

It's an odd definition of "trad". It wasn't too hard on Youtube to find a purported Chechen folk song that exceeded 116 BPM ([13] - about 150bpm as played, I'd say).
Interestingly enough, too, the BPM range *not* banned is around the BPM range of hip-hop. Whoops? BobJohnson (talk) 17:02, 8 April 2024 (UTC)
Time to play Chopin's Funeral March, but only at 80bpm,[14] not the alternate peppier version of 160bpm.[15] Bongolian (talk) 06:34, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
I'm just waiting for someone to come in and defend this dumb practice as "protecting an indigenous culture". After all, a culture must be respected because of how long it has lasted, yet it is so weak, it must be protected with heavy censorship and xenophobia.-Ryan1257 (talk) 23:07, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
This is what irks me the most. As long as you create nothing new and don't make foreign genres on your own, you're to be blamed for your culture decreasing. 🇷🇸 Serbian Arbiter (What would you have your arbiter do?) 14:03, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Apparently this law would inadvertently ban the Russian national anthem, which is usually played at a tempo slower than 80 bpm. (Not sure if Chechans consider that a bad or good thing...)
Also, as far as music coming from the Caucasus, this law would ban probably the most prominent piece of music the Western world actually knows by someone from that region: Aram Khachaturian's "Sabre Dance".[16] (Khachaturian is not from Chechnya, he was born into an Armenian family in Tbilisi,Wikipedia now the capital of the neighboring country of Georgia.) This is usually played quite briskly (160bpm-180bpm or so), so way too fast for these prudes. :p BobJohnson (talk) 14:46, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

vertical church article?

should we have an article on the vertical church? Or is it not big enough for an article? Koafox (talk) 15:26, 9 April 2024 (UTC)

The "vertical church" network, from my Googlings, appears to be part of Harvest Bible Chapel,Wikipedia which was formerly run by a very naughty boy, James MacDonald.Wikipedia There's probably enough "meat" for an article on them, sure (at the very least, on MacDonald). BobJohnson (talk) 16:11, 9 April 2024 (UTC)
Doesn't seems especially notable in a sea of dodgy churches - but feel free to do the work if ya' want. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:26, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Yet this also means WP has nothing on them [or more correctly, a dedicated page]. I argue this makes it more important for us to cover them - even if it is a semi-stub with a load of links to other RW pages. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:30, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

Cass review and youth transgender healthcare in the UK

Cass review as discussed by PinkNews I'm a bit puzzled that the report found that there was no real evidence for social transitioning improving the mental wellbeing of trans-youth. I seem to be seeing a lot of reports recently claiming that loads of kids are getting quick and easy access to puberty blockers and parents are being forced to let their kids transition or else they get labelled transphobes, which sounds like a TERF fantasy and as far as I was aware up until now a minority experience. Doesn't mean that it's true, just it's definitely not a finding I was expecting to see. What do people think? Tikitime2 (talk) 16:48, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

I strongly suspect there has been a tendency of the NHS to over-use puberty blockers. My reasoning for this is a) the NHS has a tendency to throw drugs at problems due to a massive shortage of alternative provision [therapies etc], b) the field of trans youth being very new [lacking strong medical evidence base for treatment plans etc] and c), a relative ignorance of the long-term effects of puberty blockers [in which is basically an 'off-label' use of them]. A serious plank of this report is that said kids should be 'screened for other issues first', such as mental issues, neural-diversity and I suspect sexuality too. I could forsee, for example a situation where a 'questioning' trans kid comes to realise they're 'just' a tomboyish lesbian, or effeminate bisexual male or even just a very depressed kid who desperately wishes to 'escape' into a different person.
The main fears the trans community has here is that a) it shall be weaponised by the 'phobic Govt in attacking them further, b) the 'alternative, holistic provisions' won't exist c) said 'talking therapies' that are provided may simply be politically/religiously led hectoring lectures of 'stop feeling that way' to the victim and d) it might take so long to actually 'clear the hoops' to arrive at actual medical intervention it could cause significant distress [imagine having to watch yourself developing into something you hate for 4-5 years, knowing that then you'll have to undergo a huge amount of medical intervention to reverse it]. We're also not overly happy that the person who will ultimately be deciding on all this is most likely to be Wes Streeting, a guy who's increasingly echoing TERF talking-points [evidence if any is needed that 'LGBT' is in reality a fractious, vague alliance with precious cross-loyality].
I shall also point out that 'social transitioning' is held by NHS adult gender services to be required [something like two years?] before they even discuss any provision of hormones etc [which shall be heavily subsidised; test would cost £960 a year for a transman privately but £115 on the NHS]. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:32, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
It doesn't claim there's "no real" evidence. It carefully lists a lot of studies showing evidence and deems virtually every one of them "low quality" evidence, a term of art likely to be lost on laymen. Apparently because the research wasn't double-blinded, which has been argued to not be practical and/or ethical in this instance, but the people concerned with evidence quality can go ahead and design/fund some research if they actually would like the base to improve (they won't do this). The fact they're talking about social transition in this way, which is just changing name/pronouns/clothing and other presentations... well, what else can I expect from British institutions? Of course this will be used to push for conversion therapy, relabeled as "exploratory therapy", which for some unknown reason requires no "high quality evidence" to be deployed. The funny thing here is that even if I granted them everything in terms of actual arguments they make, I think it still may not refute the underlying principles and potential risk/potential benefit analysis, because the worst case scenario is that you've got a cosmetic placebo (bearing in mind that even placebo can have positive effects) given at the request of the patient exercising bodily autonomy. That's a worst case scenario, and the most they've demonstrated is uncertainty between that and something better than placebo. But then, I'm not even sure if "placebo" is the right word; it's like saying that feeling better about yourself after dying your hair or growing your muscle mass is "placebo", it's someone shaping their body how they think they'd prefer it to be. Chillpilled (talk) 20:45, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Hmm, I missed that bit. Odd, how it appears nobody 'important' picked up that Catch-22 element of the report. Now you raised 'bodily autonomy', the report does also basically order the ignoring of Gillick competency [the ability for minors to consent for medical treatment for themselves, as long as it is believed they are mature enough to understand] by shunting the lowest age to 16 [an age where a person has near-full bodily autonomy]. Even then, they say 'extraordinary cases' which [as a layperson] suggests that it's going to be an assumption for 'no' regarding medical interventions until 18 [of which then they would then socially transition for at least a year and await on the list to get diagnosed/treated, meaning that it's quite possible they'd have to wait well into their 20s before anything concrete was done].
Now I'm digesting this further, this report is starting to rather stink a bit... KarmaPolice (talk) 21:17, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I am curious to what the actual significance or scientific authority of such a review is. It is odd that such sweeping conclusions are being made that go against what peer-reviewed systematic reviews produced in the US state about the effects of social transition on mental health, and for such a report to align so strongly to the sort of talking points trans-exclusionary actors have been arguing for decades. Is this an actual peer-reviewed publication, or one of those “independent” reviews? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:04, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
The Cass Review was commissioned by the NHS and led by a paediatrician named Hilary Cass. Consider it a "meta review" done by medical professionals instead of being something purely scientific.
I don't have a huge disagreement with a lot of the conclusions, and a lot of the giant PDF (skimmed) seems pretty good, though digesting such a big document in full would take more time than I have right now, so I'm sure I'm missing a lot of things. Emphasizing therapeutic individual approaches seems, well, correct. Having said that, I think the report goes quite fair bit overboard in being over-cautious on exactly the thing there is a moral panic about in the UK. The conclusion the NHS committee reached on puberty blockers sticks out quite a bit compared to the conclusion of a vast majority of nations. Even though personally I do think some caution is warranted in using puberty blockers in adolescents (in light of the relative newness of this treatment), I think the NHS conclusion is way too tight (over-applying "caution is needed" to a fault). Most developed nations seem to also aim for a "therapy first" approach, but are okay with puberty blockers as the case may be - it may be better to undertake this, whatever the risks, than the alternative after all. The impression I get of the NHS approach, in contrast, seems to be setting themselves up for lots of unnecessary hoops to be undertaken for those special cases. Furthermore, like others mention, maintaining barriers to treatments like gender conversion well past adulthood (when one in theory has full body autonomy) makes no sense to me. (Though I believe options outside the NHS exist in these cases, it just sucks it has to be that way.)
The giant PDF actually mentions that conversion therapy is bullshit (page 151), so anyone using it to justify such is, well, wrong-headed. But I suppose this is the other problem: the moral panic is so raucous right now, this is seen as a "victory" for the TERFs. The United Kingdom is probably where the worst of the anti-trans moral panic is at the moment (even worse than the evangelical US in some ways), so one wonders whether the almost glacial over-cautiousness on some of the subject matter was influenced by the sheer angry volume of the "controversy" there. BobJohnson (talk) 23:23, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
A recent Swedish review of the literature says much the same thing re. lack of quality research. Le législateur (talk) 01:46, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
It doesn't reject conversion therapy, it pretends to while rebranding a form of it as "exploratory therapy", then argues that this term has only been described as a form of conversion therapy for "political" reasons. What that "exploratory therapy" is, is instead of respecting the patient's gender identity they ask them a ton of leading questions trying to raise doubts about it. They call it "exploring". The point where the "exploratory therapist" actually turns to affirmation under this model, if they ever do, isn't quite clear. They do this because they think some significant amount of people with gender dysphoria have it because of some mental disorder or other it is stemming out of, a belief the review itself attempts to validate at the p. 150–151 section you pointed out (the topic is also discussed at p. 202 where they essentially argue this "exploratory therapy" should receive an exception in any conversion therapy ban). A partial search for "explor" in the document (where you'll find their coded conversion recommendations) turned up the strange result of the review suggesting on p. 110 that "exploration with gender-questioning youth should include consideration of their engagement with pornographic content." I tried to find the paper the review cites for this suggestion, probably this, which seems to be claiming gender dysphoria may be caused by "misogynistic pornography". It also states: "Girls affected by autism might be at higher risk because of their reduced mentalization capacities." So apparently the Cass review found a paper reliable despite its first foot forward being to call autistic people too stupid (sorry, equipped with "reduced mental capacities") to know their own gender identity, no it must be the porno instead. After the review's publication, the leader of GenspectWikipedia immediately took to The Economist to argue that a conversion therapy ban would ban the treatment pathways that the review recommended — I wonder why. Chillpilled (talk) 06:09, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
My bad, apparently some go further than just asking the patient a lot of leading questions. Some "exploratory therapists" also may recommend "smearing henna on their chest to simulate surgical scars, forcing them to maintain an extreme haircut after they have decided they don't want it", or stabbing transgender people with acupuncture needles to associate being transgender with the upsetting sensation. So there's a range of practices, but the thing about asking a lot of leading questions seems to be what they agree on. Chillpilled (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
I can't offer any insight what the medical care of a trans person should comprise. There is no diagnosis for the trans-gender person, some say, because transgenderism is not a medical condition. And yet, it seems, the trans-person may well require a form of treatment often called "gender affirming care," (GAC). This immediately presents an antinomy in the framework of medical ethics: a non-medical condition that requires medical treatment. But the ethical practitioner is bound by oath to practice as if no harm will be done to the patient. We see here, in this thread, non-professional opinions asserted with the intention of supporting GAC arguments. I would call it a sympathetic reaction, but nevertheless, a political one. The so-called TERFS attitudes are irrelevant to strategies for therapy, except when the argument becomes political. Politicians argue with politicians and doctors argue with doctors.
This adds to the antinomy: how should the structure of medical therapies be affected by political opinions? The question appears to suggest an unsound basis of understanding. Therapies should be recommended and followed because studies have proven them to be effective. We hope that these GAC therapies are effective treatments. Should we sensibly be antagonized by those medical professionals who remain unconvinced assuming that their intention is constructive? I am concerned that sort of contention only adds to the general disrepute society is coming to hold for scientific experts who may uphold controversial or unpopular opinions. UncleKrampus (talk) 02:28, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
TERFs have only ever been a supporting element, a spearhead for social conservatives to use. The Cass review claims (p. 100) that behaviors such as girls playing with dolls and boys playing with trucks are due to biology; the recommendation against social transition under age 25 is effectively in part saying that "caution" should be taken before clinicians support patients in such gender-stereotyped behaviors if they don't align with birth sex. Seems really feminist to me. Unsurprisingly, the review also cites Richard Green and Ken Zucker (p. 67), who decades ago advocated the idea that minors became gay or transgender because they were allowed to engage in such behaviors stereotypically associated with the opposite sex (see more here). It cites these two to suggest trans-minor high desistance rates despite the fact they defined a child as transgender if they showed stereotypically gender/sex "misaligned" behaviors as described. The review mentions critiques of this methodology but attempts to cite Steensma to back it up (more on the pitfalls of this approach here). Chillpilled (talk) 09:56, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
As noted, my "observation" is more between the opinion of experts. The Wiki page on puberty blockerWikipedia provides summaries on several national stances, and its relatively easy to look up others. Obviously none of us are experts here on psychotherapy and medical care, as far as I'm aware, so we can only rely on professional opinion. It is obvious that this is a contentious topic even among medical experts. But even from the perspective of that Wiki article, the CASS/NHS UK perspective stands out as being overly conservative. Due to the contentious nature of the topic, I do wonder if some therapists will go "off-label" in the UK should the NHS stance hold.
The politics of transgender are quite a bit different in the United Kingdom compared to, say, the United States. This is because the transphobic stance is frequently not only found in the "social conservative" sector of society, it is also heavily found in the "old guard" of second-wave feminism (the "F" in TERF, of course). In the United States at least, from my perspective, the "trans controversy" in feminism (in addition to other concerns such as minority perspectives in feminism) took place in the 1990s-2000s. Opinions were made, tempers flared on and off, and some radical "womyn" of the time simply LANCBed, in a sense, once the dust settled (see Michfest). As of now, anti-trans stances are largely the domain of reactionary social conservatives here. I agree that TERFs have only been a supporting element even in the UK, but that side has contributed to some surprisingly shoddy anti-trans journalism in places you might not expect (including The Guardian, The Economist, and even the BBC). Medical experts are human and I've certainly read about cases where a medical expert lets their social background -- religious, political, or elsewise -- irrationally override the medical consensus. I don't think it's a stretch to wonder if the trans moral panic in the UK, likewise, has played a factor in the NHS guidelines. BobJohnson (talk) 13:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
The BBC surprised me the slightest bit recently with this highlighting the years-long NHS wait times for a first gender dysphoria appointment. (Not years for a prescription, years for a *first* appointment.) From my view the British media tends to platform anti-trans views much more than pro-trans views to the point I wonder if they aren't tending to lock out pro-trans perspectives except in places like the three you listed where they'll just platform both at once. Chillpilled (talk) 14:07, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
While outrightly 'fixing' a report to say what you wanted it to is fairly rare in the UK, it's somewhat common to 'stack the deck' in your favour by selecting the report writer(s) who while still having professional credibility are pre-disposed towards the Govt's view and/or defining the remit of the report to focus on particular aspects. Personally, I think they'd have liked the report to read 'trans is a load of hocum' but that's an unsupportable position scientifically as of 2024 - so they'll settle with a report which has a butt-load of hedge-betting in it. They'll then cherry-pick from the report, package it up as 'trans youth guidence for the NHS' and release it with great fanfare within the next couple of months. We also have the trans guidence for education still sitting in draft form, which is also very over-cautious [demanding parental consent all the way, every step being solely driven by the youth, as little information as possible to be provided, being obligated to grass them up to said parents etc] which is a very English way of making sure shit don't happen much without actually saying you cannot do it. So I suspect a big dogwhistly anti-trans gear-up is happening, in the vain hope it might shore up the bleed-out from Tory to Reform in the coming GE.
But yes, if you can go private all the way, you can theoretically avoid all this crap as it's nothing more than 'company policy' [draft policy at that right now]. However, there's the risk that most, if not all private gender services would follow this guidence anyway.
On the TERF issue, foreign readers need to bear in mind the second-wave feminists of the Greer type are 'the Establishment' now in the UK, and is perhaps the 'default view' of places like those bastions of middle-class mores, MumsNet and the Hate Mail. I've long argued that their motivation is 95% misandry; that they cannot think of a man as anything else than 'sexual predator' and the sole motivation they have is of sex. Thus, they simply think of transwomen as being men who are so obsessed with women/sex that they 'want to be one'. I heard a discussion on the radio last night on this; about half of the callers were on the 'transwomen are perverts' line to the exclusion of all else [though a lot of these fall into the toupee fallacy]. Yes, the British media is suffering with 'false balance' on this issue [as a whole] but the BBC is one of the lesser offenders here. Plus, that story is about waiting lists which is quite obviously facts, not anyway 'opinion' [which is where a lot of the drek comes from] KarmaPolice (talk) 14:12, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
On that last point: that's the thing though. Even outside the realm of "opinion" and instead only looking at "just facts" reports, these news outlets based in the UK tend to completely ignore stories that make the anti-trans side look like they've got some egg on their face, or if they report on whatever it is at all they'll do so in an incredibly tilted way. The usual exception is kind of "alternative" media like the Byline Times, Novara Media, or else explicitly LGBT-oriented media like PinkNews. I've been told time and time again that one of the underlying reasons is that British media is full of people who went to the exact same schools as each other and essentially operates like an elitist clique. Anti-trans activists or pundits saying scandalous things somehow tends to only reach the pages of PinkNews while if a pro-trans person (oddly, it does not even have to be a notable person and often happens to not be) says or does something scandalous it's in at least one major paper/tabloid if not, somehow, all of them.
The bias has been noted by some American news outlets, who nevertheless rarely take interest in British trans matters it seems. Such a rare occasion cropped up recently and led to an interesting juxtaposition when, at the same time that the JK Rowling topic of the moment in the UK media was whether she would be arrested, the Rowling topic of the moment in non-British media was whether she had denied Nazi crimes (something which was covered by as far as I can tell absolutely no British outlets except Spiked which ran an article defending her... that was also written by Malcolm Clark, the exact person she was citing for her historical interpretations in the first place). Chillpilled (talk) 14:40, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
It's not exactly 'everyone went to the same school', more a situation of where most, if not all the main players are no more than 'Three Degrees of Separation' away from any other player and musical chairs is a popular pastime. That yes, 'A went to school with B', but also 'B went to Uni with C', 'C trained at the BBC under D', 'D was E's editor at the Independent', 'E got to know F when E worked the political beat and F was the Tory PR person' while 'F was screwing C during a period in the '10s' while 'B and E keep on running into each other at dinner parties in Hampstead/Islington, at which B told E all about A' and so on. Couple this 'London Nexus' [the Swedes call this 'Ankdammen'; aka 'the duck-pond'] with the fact a lot of the upper echelons of journalism is clogged up with ageing/elderly journalists with stale views and stale 'black books' of sources as elderly as they and [for example] mistake a few nutjob/troll accounts on Twitter as being a massive 'extremist trans lobby' or similar. Good, better-nuanced journalism does exist in places like the BBC/Grauniad/Independent etc on trans issues, but they're really not getting the 'column space' which they deserve. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:24, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
To elaborate the point, another issue I suspect has happened is that a relatively small clutch of 'gender critical' experts have managed to hog the trans bandwidth by being 'easy to work with' and so they keep on getting re-used. It's a similar trick used by shiteheads like the IEA; they will almost at a drop of the hat haul their well-presented arses from Tufton Street to the BBC studio or similar to deliver their slick BS about why cutting taxes for billionares is good for Britain which exactly fills the four mins of airtime allotted. But due to the damn Nexus above, new [and perhaps more 'pro-trans'] experts are fairly locked out from this gig. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:43, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Actually that reminds me about the Cass review, one of the critiques I've seen a few trans people mention in response to its release now: that they've excluded any transgender people from involvement in the review process to avoid "bias", while including people (well, at the very least, Tilly Langton) who are themselves personally involved with "exploratory therapy" groups of the kind I described in some comments above. As far as whether they really did exclude any transgender people from the review process, a quick search at least turned up this from 2021, but I don't know whether it's been better proven since that. Chillpilled (talk) 16:36, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
If the allegations put forward by 'Translucent' are correct, it does appear that there has been some 'deck-stacking' going on. Now, I don't buy the 'cisgender narratives' argument about the Advisory Group [I in fact do accept that in this case, a trans person is likely to be too partisan for being on the Panel, though I do agree on the 'cis persons won't be partisan default assumption' being blatently incorrect]. But the simple fact a) Cass alone appointed people to the Advisory Panel and b) 'Cass followed a number of high profile trans hostile people and groups prior to being appointed, and no trans positive people or groups' does reek when put together. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:12, 11 April 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Again, this is the political part, where one speaks of "pro-trans" and "trans-hostile" participants in research evaluation. The qualifications of analysts may be selected for sufficiency, in scientific review work, but the motives for participation are really not negotiable. A politician may not possess a good ethical basis for their positions, but a scientific professional must be dedicated to the ethics of experimental design. The agita from disagreement is not clearly justified. Politically, you don't want to employ a research team member who wants to implement a bias toward any predetermined outcome. Scientifically, it doesn't matter what ones opinions are if rigorous procedure is followed. The problem I see is that, though outcomes may be good, none of it is a result of really good science. UncleKrampus (talk) 19:21, 12 April 2024 (UTC)

There is something sort of naive about this. The history of science is one where political factors are hugely implicative to the trajectory of scientific revolutions. Darwin was hugely influenced by arguments for free-markets and Malthusian arguments about overpopulation popular in England for his time. The popularity of these ideas were a big reason why Darwin ended up so popular in England but far less popular in places like Germany that held strongly to the dominant “nature philosophy” of the time.
The military and industrial applications of physics and chemistry is a big reason why achieve such disproportionate amounts of funding compared to other sciences, and that allows a far greater quantity of research to be conducted in these disciplines (provided it is justifiable to applications tied to why they are funded to begin with).
I don’t think it’s possible to have “a-political” science. Feminist philosophers of science argue that androcentrism is a political bias that biases research design in such a way to undermine objectivity, and so, methodology has to correct for and account for sexism. You can also argue the total opposite as well, but it would be hard to conceive that either case isn’t being made towards some political bias. Take common objections to Gould as being “ideologically motivated” in the aim to being anti-racist. The objection suggests that scientists can be “neutral” about racism, but it’s not clear if that is genuinely possible — as any neutrality ultimate leaves racism itself unchallenged, and racism is itself by definition a type of bias. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:24, 12 April 2024 (UTC)
This is one of those rare days that Dumb and I [apparently] agree; that the only science which is truly apolitical is the ones which don't really have any effect on our everyday lives. What's more, 'scientists' are still people; coming with their own biases, political slants, ulterior motives and so on - this becomes more pronounced the further they stray from their own fief. This can be rather small - for example, being a genius at finance/banking does not grant you instant expert knowledge about say, behavioural economics. Lastly, 'running investigations', 'knowing what questions to ask' and 'spotting biases' are all skills in their own right; which is why [traditionally in the UK at least] big reviews/reports are done by retired judges [who are always experienced lawyers too].
As for 'pro trans' and 'anti trans' usage; I was quoting the Translucent article. Whether Cass was following only say, TERFy social media before they started to produce this report is a question which does need to be answered, re possibly being biased from the outset. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:18, 13 April 2024 (UTC)

The newsroom bloodbath in New Zealand

I am puzzled why the news about the announcement of severe cuts in television news in New Zealand is not getting the traction among many circles. This is the closure of the commercial Newshub which does the news for the TV channels Three and Sky Open, and the severe cuts in on the public broadcaster TVNZ. It would means that from the middle of this year, the country would have only two daily English-language news programmes on TV. They are Breakfast and 1 News at Six, both on TVNZ1. - Euromec (talk) 18:30, 10 April 2024 (UTC)

From an American perspective: even in the best of times, coverage of international events was often marginal. And traditional American news (e.g. print and television) are in serious decline these days, so there's even less international coverage than ever. So, no, not a peep over here. Scanning, it seems like The Guardian covered the story,[17][18] but I didn't see anything else that wasn't an Australia / New Zealand source.
News in general is in a bad place right now. For many, the replacement for news is the Internet. The Internet is a horrible place for news, with so much fake news bullshit floating around. An advertising model exists for fake news -- since bullshit is cheap to generate (it costs nothing to PIDOOMA), you can cover your expenses with scammy advertisements. This advertising model doesn't work for the more expensive long-form journalism as news consumers shift to the Internet (regardless of the high bullshit factor, it's "free", so...). Sure, it still exists, but increasingly its behind pricey highbrow weeklies / monthlies with a paywall. The future looks even shittier -- I can't wait (sarc) until AI "news" mucks things up even further. BobJohnson (talk) 20:02, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
I think it's important to note that fake news / crap news [ie technially true stuff, but poorly reported etc] often is plying a particular 'line' some rich fucker(s) want the plebs to believe, so they will take a financial hit to make it 'free' [qv: GB News has lost ~£76m in the last three years]. It is why [if nothing else] all the right-wing news barons etc hate the BBC; it is perhaps one of the very few news orgs left which are 'reliable', 'global' and 'free'. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:24, 10 April 2024 (UTC)
Even before the internet took off, pundit-driven news really damaged the news brand since it really primed viewers to accept misinformation as a "partisan viewpoint" as well as viewers becoming accustomed to "don't just tell me the news, tell me what I want to hear about the news that conforms to my previous beliefs". I think the Maryland bridge story and its conspiracy theories being the main story is what the final conclusion of what this type of news reporting has resulted in where even a simple ship accident story can't escape politics and conspiracy.-Ryan1257 (talk) 00:24, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
We are in New Zealand - a pleasant little place best known for hobbits, sheep and being (usually) good at rugby (in some places). Otherwise we are far removed from most ppl's consciousness.... had someone in Ukraine tell me they thought I was "at the end of the Earth" as far as they were concerned. Dunno what more you were expecting.Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:09, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Also - I suspect that the concept of public news media smacks of communism to many Americans so many will see it as "good riddance"- they have a love/hate relationship with their PBS that has an educational bent rathe than news, it often being criticized by the far right! And Libertarians resent anything funded by the taxpayer as loss of a potential profit making opportunity - whether it actually exists or not!Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:21, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
Googling, I don't think there's been any recent polling regarding public media. In the past, though, it's been quite a bit more accepted than the GOP / libertarian snarling would suggest. IMHO, chalk most of the "noise" up to a bunch of billionaire yahoos who only give a fuck about themselves, and a bunch of reactionary culture warriors and conspiracy theorists far out of step with the general public.
I suspect that even if the reactionary side of the GOP got their way, a good chunk of US public media would survive (albeit in a scaled back fashion), as US public media already is heavily reliant on donations and contributors. I speculate that what might not survive is the stations deep in the middle of reactionary territory, perhaps. BobJohnson (talk) 21:42, 11 April 2024 (UTC)
I am curious, what are the two english holdout shows (answered) and what language would the rest be instead? Torrent (talk) 08:38, 13 April 2024 (UTC)