User:Bicycle Wheel/RationalWikiWiki G
Gang of Four
The Gang of Four was the name given to a collection of RationalWiki members who typified a particularly strong anti-religion bias. In any discussion involving religion, you could count on at least two of them appearing on the page. They were opposed on the wiki by the Nag of Four.
These days, the Rationalwiki community has, in large part, adopted the Gang's strong anti-theism and the site itself now largely reflects their POV. The resulting lack of strong debates about the question of religion, along with the decreasing activity levels of several members and the death of another have combined to make the Gang a less important factor in regular wiki affairs. Though it can be said, for certain, that they had an enormous impact on shaping the Wiki as it is today.
The classic 4
- Bob M was a relative moderate among the Gang of Four. While opposed to religion, he did a better job than the rest at avoiding fruitless confrontation over the subject. Nonetheless, he was an ever-present figure in the push for a less religion-friendly atmosphere on RationalWiki.
- Genghis Khant was somewhere in-between Jeeves and Bob M in terms of religious intolerance. Certainly an antitheist, though better able to criticize religion without smearing 95% percent of the population as emotionally and intellectually inferior.
- Jeeves often made offensive and contemptuous statements about the religious. While consistently more caustic than SusanG, his wrath was less feared than Susan's, lending his presence in a debate less weight. He was also the most frequent offender of people's sensibilities on the matter. His remarks set off the Great Pissing Contest, although he isn't as closely associated with the incident as Susan is in RationalWiki's collective memory.
- SusanG (aka Toast) was definitely an antitheist, although she was normally quite mellow and interacted amiably with many theistic RWians. However, every once in a great while, some spark would set her off, at which point her ire could create verbal hurricanes raging across the wiki. During such times she was easily able to equal users Human and Radioactive afikomen in terms of abrasiveness. Susan, unfortunately, died in early 2011.
These RWians could easily have been members of the Gang of Four, but for individual reasons, weren't quite at their level. Additionally, with extra members, we wouldn't be able to call it the "Gang of Four", now, could we?
would have liked tocould have been on the list, but he couldn't muster up the effort to really care that much. He saw no reason to get involved in such hard-core fights over ceiling kittens.
- Proxima Centauri was renowned for her jaw-droppingly presumptuous statements about the nature of religion and the religious. She possibly represented a new and frightening generation of atheists—a generation coddled on their pro-atheist forums and sites, for whom religion and the religious only exist as straw men and caricatures.
- Tmtoulouse is a logical positivist, a philosophy he has honed into a razor edge against any who would challenge him. However, as the owner of the site, his behaviour sets a tone for others to follow. Perhaps because of this, he largely stayed out of confrontations regarding the role (or lack of a role) of religion on RationalWiki; loudly proclaiming his position on the matter would possibly fracture RationalWiki irreparably. Consequently, he is fairly quiet about it, and the issue only comes up when others confront him on the subject.
- TheoryOfPractice was, until a certain point, tolerant toward religion and even critical of antitheists, but he changed his mind.
Individually, its members could be and were challenged. In her more accommodating moods, SusanG backed down relatively easily, while Jeeves was more likely to "harrumph!" and leave to never come back. Genghis Khant and Bob M were more challenging, being more willing to enter prolonged discussions and press the point, and showing more prudence in choosing in their battles.
It is important to note they did not conspire with each other. Their overlapping presence during discussions was purely a consequence of their similar opinions on the subject (although Susan was known to encourage Bob and Genghis after dropping out of the fight herself).
They are all believed to be British. (Does this mean something?)
The goat is RationalWiki's principal mascot.
Although the first article on goats is known to have appeared on RationalWiki as early as June 2007, the precise origins of this fondness of goats among RationalWikians is lost in the mists of time, although Human says that it sprang from the creation of recipes "mostly using goat" posted by PalMD's sock, DocSock. Another theory states that it is probably related to the expression "goatspeed", which was common among certain RationalWikians during July. This was in turn, of course, a snarky rewrite of the Schlaflyism "Godspeed".
RobS claims that the origin is from a template made by Helios. However, the article on goats predates the existence of the template by several days. According to Kels the gag was started by Conservapedians thinking they were sacrificing goats.  By October, this veneration was further refined with the adoption of the goat Heidrun as official mascot of RationalWiki.
Other creatures have been proposed, though all attempts to replace goat were short-lived, and all the proposals forgotten.
State of the meme
Usage of the goat meme began on RationalWiki 1.0, and it was promptly ported over to RationalWiki 2.0 when it started. Those early days in 2007 saw the birth of the "Needs goat" and other such templates and the joking adoption of Heidrun as patron deiity.
All joking aside, the Goat vs Jerboa "war" in 2008 was probably the peak of the goat meme. References to goats quietly declined afterwards. By 2012, goats were so rarely mentioned that even Genghis Khant asked why the site's icon was changed to a goat on April Fool's Day.
The Great Funspace Purge of 2011
The great Funspace purge of 2011 was a massive purge of funspace articles that took place in April 2011. Despite complaints directed toward Mei and Ty, the majority of action was performed by Totnesmartin and Weaseloid.
Oh you wanted details? all right then
After Bob M started a forum page on 3 April to discuss renaming funspace, the usual RationalWiki act-first-think-later stuff happened, with people deciding that what Bob meant to say was that Funspace should lose its non-funny articles. the first opening salvoes took place later that day, with a flood of removals mostly taking place over the following two days. Eighteen articles bit the dust, and another seventeen were moved. The fate of over 200 more was deferred as people went back to usual RW business.
- 1959 - copyvio
- A day in the life of Barack Obama - no reason given.
- Alas! Alas! fair Conservapedia may end - no reason given.
- Bedfordshire - Author request
- Cabbage: Spam [even though it wasn't - Ed.]
- Fat People - no reason stated
- Harry Potter - "no valid content"
- Jim Beam - no reason given.
- John Woo - author request
- Kill my landlord (poetry) - copyvio
- Kitty-O was "a strange relic of the CUR era."
- Leonard Cohen - copyvio.
- Resistance is futile - "Resistance is useless!"
- Short people - "just an EL to something or other"
- The Preconception - attack page
- Tribble - "beamed into space" and "CURcruft"
- Why men and women are different - spam
- Windstream - "drive-by comment, not fun."
Moved to userspace
- Atheist names - to Ty's userspace.
- Belgium - to Totnesmartin's userspace.
- Days of the week ending in G- to Human's userspace.
- Dogs vs. cats to Pacodog's userspace.
- It's three in the morning, no one else is editing, and I'm bored as hell - to Radioactive afikomen's userspace.
- Tartar sauce - to Barikada's userspace
As well as returning a truckload of mainspace articles about musicians that had been moved wholesale into funspace the previous December, there were:
- Curse of Ham - added to mainspace version
- Fucking - content moved to Austria.
- JPatt - moved to Conservapedia:Jpatt
- Kara Duhe - merged to Conservapedia:RobS
- Lord of the Schlaflies - to CPspace
- Movies about preadolescents - merged to Conservapedia:Ed Poor
- Satyr - moved to Goat
- Sir Farnaby Widdecombe - to CPspace
- Sockpuppetry - merged with Internet
- Weapon of gun - to CP space, natch.
- WWCD - merged with Cthulhu
By 6 April the initial rush was over, leaving only the amply replete category "things you should imagine Mei is pointing at" for people to pick through at leisure.
By 9 September, the mass purge began anew. An enormous centralized deletion page was created.  Over the course of about a month, some 155 pages were deleted by humorless nerds, with only token opposition. The project ran out of steam by 7 October 2011.
- A Rational Approach to Dealing with Religion and Society, an essay written by TheoryOfPractice, then called PFoster
- TOP loses his patience toward religion
- Kels: PalMD's thing about goats came from the whole "they assume we're all over here sacrificing goats" gag. It was always a bit of an in-joke
- The page in question