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User talk:Eira/Archive3

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Creationism as a valid hypothesis[edit]

Creationism is not a valid scientific hypothesis, since it violates methodological naturalism by positing the necessity of God's involvement. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:23, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

She's been involved in this discussion on a Whorehouse of Shit. I don't wish to speak for her, but my impression is that, while you're correct that the existence or non-existence of a deity is not a testable scientific hypothesis, Eira would accept that some of the hypotheses creationists assert as downstream corollaries to their belief in a god (and all the contingencies they place on the belief) are indeed testable. Nobody seems to bother, but that's another matter. Some specific creationist hypotheses are falsifiable and have been falsified. That's enough to make the general claim that creationism is at least theoretically within the realm of science. Most of it's rubbish hand-waving and post-hoc story-telling using a synthetic language calculated solely to support a single viewpoint. I don't think any creationist hypothesis is a "valid scientific hypothesis," but I'm steeped in "anticreationist" bias. Nutty Rouxnever mind 19:42, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
My view, as I expounded here, is that if the creationists did not make God's involvement a necessity in their hypotheses, they would be valid even though they were falsified; this is what separates the old flood-geologists like Niels Stensen from the new ones. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:48, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
The statement isn't that it isn't a "valid SCIENTIFIC hypothesis", but the statement was that it isn't a "valid HYPOTHESIS". It is clearly, plainly, and patently a hypothesis.
Now, to assault your premise that "methodological naturalism" is a prerequisite for a valid scientific hypothesis. If a god actually existed, then such a restriction to scientific hypotheses would be wrong. Thus, the hypothesis that a god exists and may have done something is nonetheless a valid hypothesis. Just because it isn't a naturalistic hypothesis does not make it by nature or definition invalid. The assertion: "God created the Universe" is a valid hypothesis, whether you wish to admit it or not due your desired exclusion of the preternatural, and supernatural. After all, the positing the existence of an aether as the medium through which the waves of light propagate is and was accepted as a valid scientific hypothesis for a long time. It's wrong, but nonetheless a valid hypothesis. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:28, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
If a god actually existed, then such a restriction to scientific hypotheses would be wrong. Uh, right; surely all the theistic scientists of the past (who called it natural philosophy) held that view. The distinction is between what happened in the natural sphere (science), and what, if anything, caused it in the supernatural sphere (religion). By these tokens our modern science is silent on the dispute between theistic and atheistic evolution.
After all, the positing the existence of an aether... The luminiferous æther was an altogether natural concept. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
My point is "goddidit" is a possible explanation, thus it is a valid hypothesis. That modern science limits itself to only naturalistic explanations, due to a presumption that that is all that there is, is true. However, the actual presumption that nature is the only thing that exists is not known to be true. (I certainly believe that holding that presumption is the best choice to make, and that positing the existence of the supernatural and preternatural is unwarranted. That does not however make my assertion "The Truth".)
It is however a valid philosophical statement that if a god were to exist, then such a restriction applied to scientific hypotheses would be wrong. As an example, let's take the fictional world of the RPG World of Warcraft. Positing in that world that the only valid scientific studies were naturalistic explanations, you would fail to account for the very real and evidenced existence of magic in that world. And as such, this is my point: "valid" does not say anything about right or wrong, correct or incorrect, true or false, it says if the statement, hypothesis, or proposition is "well-formed" (the conclusion follows from the premises). Please review the term "Validity".
We rightfully reject Creationism in science not because the argument isn't valid, but because it is not sound. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:44, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think you are confusing methodological with philosophical naturalism. No matter how much creationists want to pretend otherwise, the uniform laws of physics are conclusions drawn using the scientific method, rather than presuppositions thereof; theoretically speaking, science would have no problem positing modified laws to incorporate World of Warcraft magic.
On the other hand, if YHVH were to start picking up boulders, breaking them with rods of iron and dashing them in pieces like a potter's vessel, science could only go so far as to say that boulders were rising into the air and falling back down. The supernatural part would have to be left to the theologians. Creationists, on the other hand, would insist that the boulders could only be exhibiting that behavior due to supernatural agency, categorically ruling out any natural explanation. That is not science.
Please review the term "Validity"... Using the term "valid" in its formal sense does not apply there, since an hypothesis is a proposition or sentence rather than an argument. In the informal sense, you are right to say that such an hypothesis is "valid" in that it is well-formed and consistent, but it is not a "valid" scientific hypothesis under any circumstances. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:20, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
You have made a contradictory argument in that science could work within modified laws to incorporate World of Warcraft magic, but you fail to acknowledge that science could work within modified laws to incorporation purposed Real World magic. Please explain why one magic is ok, and the other is not acceptable. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:11, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
I do not know much about World of Warcraft, but am I correct in surmising that this is "mechanical magic" that does not involve any supernatural elements, such as calling on a demon? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:29, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Dude, there is a whole class that is devoted to calling up a demon as a servant. My point is that in a universe where the supernatural exists, that any scientific philosophy that rejects the supernatural would be false, or at least insufficient. I am making a valid argument here, my conclusion follows from the premises... However, in this world we have no reason to suspect that the supernatural actually exists, so the argument is most likely unsound... but its only unsound in a universe where the supernatural doesn't exist. So again, creationism is still VALID, but there is no reason to believe it is SOUND in this universe. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 08:03, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
My lady, I prefer to study the material that the game-writers rather clumsily rip off. Please restrict the scope of my previous statement to the mechanical spells, which breach the uniformitarian conclusions but can be examined in full without violating the naturalistic premise.
You are still confusing methodological with philosophical naturalism. Science, in itself, must be completely silent on the question of the supernatural; that is what "methodological naturalism" means. This makes the question of its efficacy entirely independent of the question of whether the supernatural exists. Science does not pretend to be anything but "insufficient" with regard to supernatural questions. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:11, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
If I am confusing methodological with philosophical naturalism, then actually phrase the sentence in a way where such an equivocation is not possible: "Creationism is a methodologically invalid hypothesis in science." --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:35, 2 December 2010 (UTC)


HTML ignores all but the first space unless you use "     " (look at the code to see it) Him (talk) 01:42, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

HOLY SHIT! Somehow I managed to get all the way through a Bachelor's in Computer Science, and never learned this key bit of insight! Also, like, how IE will elide all whitespace between two XML tags. This fact, however, does not change the fact that proper English punctuation and writing some random sources and common convention dictate that two spaces should follow all periods and the following word. After all, HTML is not the only way that an article can be rendered... only the most common. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 05:36, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Just happened on this: Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period. ... Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule Him (talk) 19:09, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I've never heard of any "two space" rule (indeed, I don't think I've ever read a document that was done like that) except on one instance where I read a Wikipedia MoS thingthat said to use two spaces in wiki code. This fits in with the above article's point about non-proportional fonts. Scarlet A.pngpostate 21:25, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
From your article Him, "We would never accept teachers pushing other outmoded ideas on kids because that's what was popular back when they were in school." Then we should spell "later" "l8er" now? At some point, teachers must teach to a consensus that everyone uses. If the majority of the English speaking world uses double spaces, then naturally it is what people should strive to get their students to use. As for the author of that article, he removes spaces from his column, but fails to realize that HTML renders it as a single space. Computers have long since picked up the ability to correct text from a raw text input into a glowing representation of typological purity. The multiple spaces that anyone inserts automagically becomes only a single proportional space, thus eliminating the "ugly" that he claims exists when using double spaces after periods. Now, however, he points out that double spaces are desirable for monospaced fonts, which in fact are not as rare as he makes them out to be. In fact, every webbrowser has a font default for monospaced text, and I believe the <mono> tag does this. <mono>Am I right?</mono> So, in actuality, the double space rule should be followed, and any rendering text should represent it into only a single space for a proportional font. This is absolutely trivial in fact for kerning, because you can set the kerning of a space character following a space to be negative-the-width-of-a-space. Viola, now your program doesn't even need to be special to draw it properly, it just needs to draw text.
Computers actually take Arabic text in a single form each. That is, each letter is written plainly in order. The font drawing is what takes care of picking the proper form (initial, medial, final, isolated) of the letter and drawing it where appropriate. The same with ligatures. There is no reason why your font doesn't turn the "st" characters into the "st" ligature beyond simply not supporting it, or the ligature feature is turned off. So, again, the complaint of "zomg, they use double spaces, and that makes the text look ugly" is trivially wrong, as modern computers already do a lot of stuff to fix our text to be typographically beautiful. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:58, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Eira, I'm afraid you're out of date. Two spaces after punctuation dates back to mechanical typewriters and was usually part of the manuals of style during that era. In the electronic age, it's no longer necessary. Saying it's a rule of "proper English punctuation and writing" is just wrong. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:02, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
There's a good WP article on this very topic. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:27, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Fixed the section. Honestly, I'll point out again why I think it's stupid that the person is complaining about the double spaces in the text that he will eventually put into his article, that will be rendered as single spaces: due to the way HTML works, no one will know if you're using double spaces or single spaces (which is the way computers should handle this matter.) However, a large number of people still use monospaced fonts for various purposes on computers, and using double spaces and having proportional fonts automatically account for this and rendering the regex /[.]\s+/ as ". " is what should be done. I think it would be cool if the wiki automatically converted /--/ to render as "—" (an em-dash). The Esperanto Wikipedia already auto-converts the various "cx", "gx", "hx", "jx", "sx", and "ux" to "ĉ", "ĝ", "ĥ", "ĵ", "ŝ", and "ŭ", respectively. Basically, computers are super crazy smart anymore, and arguing about what logically consistent input should be given that will all programmatically be reduced to the same visual result is pointless. (However, the change I made replaced an entirely absent space after a period with two spaces.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:54, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Jack London about bigotry[edit]

"She would never have guessed that this man who had come from beyond her horizon, was, in such moments, flashing on beyond her horizon with wider and deeper concepts. Her own limits were the limits of her horizon; but limited minds can recognize limitations only in others. And so she felt that her outlook was very wide indeed, and that where his conflicted with hers marked his limitations; and she dreamed of helping him to see as she saw, of widening his horizon until it was identified with hers."

(Martin Eden)

--Idiot number 59 (talk) 12:13, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Such a quote is a dual-edge knife... because his perspective is no more special than hers. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:03, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Fishing Expedition[edit]

Yes, you are absolutely correct. RagTopGone sailing 06:56, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Questions regarding your run for board member of the RationalWiki Foundation[edit]

Congratulations on your nomination to appear on the ballot for board member. I've created a section with questions for you. RationalWiki_talk:2010_board_of_trustees_election/Election_booth#Questions_for_the_candidates ~ Lumenos (talk) 02:15, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


Good catch. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 18:28, 14 January 2011 (UTC)


Could you please e-mail with the e-mail address you would like to use for communicating on RWF issues? Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:11, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Vanessa Carlton[edit]

Click for flash concert. What's your favorite song? ~ Lumenos (talk) 00:02, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Jimmies iz Brown[edit]

And of course,

well... if the "cool kids" are doing it...

I was gonna jump off a bridge with them, but it wasn't high enough
I was gonna drive in a car with them, but it wasn't fast enough
I was gonna fly to the moon with them, but it wasn't high enough
I was gonna sit down and talk with them, but they weren't interesting enough
there, I wrote a pottery for you ħumanUser talk:Human 07:24, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

EWwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww he's hitting on me... >_< lol *jk* --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:57, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


As a fellow member of the RationalWiki Foundation, you may want to chime in here. Thanks. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 23:10, 25 March 2011 (UTC)

Street harassment[edit]

Considering discussions on talk:Sexism I thought you might be interested in this article. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

It's a frustrating situation, because there is little that can really be done about it. As long as women are undeniably biologically weaker than men, it is the case that if men want to assault/harass women in public, then what are we going to do? We can't really stop them. I applaud their efforts, but one need think about how reasonable a solution would be... really, the only solution is to effect a change upon culture that makes men not want to do it in the first place. (I personally vote for being accepting about guys reading pornographic material, and non-accepting about them approaching women that they don't know. I call it the "distract the dog with a pork chop plan"...) As well, the article notes that 95% of the respondents to an online poll at say they have been the victim of street harassment. While I think nearly every woman (and most transvestites) have been victims of street harassment their poll doesn't say anything, because of selection bias. It's like taking a poll of people who visit and finding that 95% of them have lupus... Anyways, yeah, it sucks getting harassed on the street, but I would settle for just "safe" all alone. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
The "distract the dog with the pork chop" plan sounds very Sex Positive, actually. It's all about expanding people's opinions so that they don't just walk down the street and spot a bit of skirt and start drooling like a moron.
I agree about the selection bias, as that popped up on my bullshit detector pretty quick. This is a shame, because I don't think the situation can be solved by just assuming that 95% of all women have received equal degrees of harassment. You need information and proper data to assess it. Who does it? Who receives it? And so on. Is it really just builders and football hooligans or are you more likely to get harassed by some rich git City Boy who thinks his money and expensive suit entitles him to whatever woman he points at? With that sort of thing I think we could then figure what the underlying problem is. Whether it's something like a feeling of entitlement and possessiveness that causes it, for example, which would warrant a different solution than "these lower class yobs need to be put in cages". Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
You get harassed on the streets? Are you that hot or are things different where you're from? Occasionaluse (talk) 13:38, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
They have very low standards around here. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:54, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Is it not a compliment type of thing either? Or is it just too crude? Occasionaluse (talk) 21:08, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's a question of style. Coming to a woman and saying "Hello, you are a very beautiful woman, would you like to go out some time?" isn't on the same level as "Hey baby, your ass is so sweet I need to eat a salat after I eat it!". The second reduces the woman to an object - of course there's a compliment in it too, but a flower in a pile is poop isn't beautifull either. Also, I second Occasionaluse's question (basically because I really wanna know). --UHMharassme 21:33, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

I haven't been violently harassed at all on the street. I've had uncomfortable people compliment me uncomfortably, and I've had people compliment me comfortably. Ullhateme is pretty much on the nose, in that it depends upon style. If you're creepy, and say something creepy, then it's offensive. However, I've had older men (like 70's 80's even that I don't find attractive) that have complimented me and I've blushed, and appreciated it. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 05:50, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

The "compliment" thing always bugs me because it seems too much like an apology for unacceptable behaviour. We wouldn't say "Hey, you should be glad you've been raped because you should be flattered that someone wanted you that much!!" - okay, so that's the fallacious end of the reductio ad absurdum trick. Still, if it's harassment it's harassment and if it's a compliment it's a compliment. I don't think there's much of an overlap to generate a place where "it's harassment but it's okay because it's complimentary", it's really one or the other, although the boundary between the is very Your Mileage May Vary and one person's creepy git might be another's dashing hero. Scarlet A.pngpostate 08:30, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Are You Kiddimg[edit]

Nothing funny about Glenn Beck? That fake news rodeo clown is hilarious! Soros, blackboards, abstinence balls, Mormonism! I was just linking to his fun namespace article to the main.--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 22:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm waiting for a turf war between Beck and Alex Jones to break out. Jones has already been talking about Beck being a NWO operative for some time (but who isn't in Jones-world?). Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Well they are both renowned for conspiracies, but I think Beck's Obama Soros union commie world domination secular progressive ones are teh funniest.--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 22:41, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Bull. Jones has the market cornered on the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory. He's far closer to sprinkler lady territory. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. They're all so amusing to watch. Maybe Jones would beat Beck in the conspiracy realm, and Beck will lose much fodder in 2012 or 2016 when Oba.a is replaced (if Faux doesn't get enough sense to cancel him) and Beck would never criticize a Republican President. So Jones just might have this one.--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 22:59, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Hint: The excessive number of periods was supposed to make it clear that it was a joke... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:14, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Uh huh. I see. Don't trick new peoplez, mkay?--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 00:43, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I tend to avoid that by assuming everything I disagree with is actually sarcasm. Works about 95% of the time. Scarlet A.pngpostate 00:44, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Sounds good.--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 00:45, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
But is the "95%" thing sarcasm?? Or just Schlafly Statistics... Pegasus (talk) 00:53, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Plainly Schlafly statistics. Did you know that RationalWiki editors are 87 times more liberal than the general public of America at large, compared to Wikipedia's 6 times?--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 01:00, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Why no!! Are they also overweight?? Pegasus (talk) 01:04, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
We do _NOT_ censor people here! --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:10, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
lol Pegasus (talk) 01:13, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
You did. Just like the liberal you are. You are 87% more likely than a conservative to be obese now, 45% more likely to die young, and now can be equated with Adolf Hitler. Did you attend public school? I can tell with 95% accuracy if people did and am sure you did.--Mr. Bojangles (talk) 01:15, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Your Political Bearing...[edit]

...confuses me. Where are all these libertarians you speak of? And why don't you want to turn over the means of production to the workers (capitalist pig)? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:03, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I need more context here to answer, because I believe that all corporations should either be co-ops run by worker's unions, or non-profits, so... what exactly are you talking about? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, that clears up one part, but..."Instead of being a libertarian like most people seem to be, I am actually a socialist." How are most people libertarian? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:22, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I believe the operative part of that sentence is "seem to be"... I don't need to provide evidence to support said assertion, because it's an opinion of my perception. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:25, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Just seems strange to put most people under that heading...Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry that you find my perception of reality "strange"... but then that's never stopped me from holding opinions... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:36, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Arizona Tax Break[edit]

Re this, the linked article says "the US Supreme Court effectively declared Arizona’s subsidy of religious schools via a tax credit". Elena Kagan's dissent read (in part) "subsidize through the tax system", then there's "...slammed the courthouse door in the face of Americans who don’t want their tax dollars to subsidize religion". It seems at least three parties disagree with your edit! –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:08, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Oh? So, if I donate money to a church, I don't get a tax discount? Isn't that indirectly subsidizing religion? The language used in a dissent doesn't mean much of anything, there have been dissenting opinions that have lambasted what is now well-established pieces of law, and everything else. It doesn't matter what the dissenting opinion about the majority opinion is... the majority opinion itself holds that governments can give tax credits to individuals who donate to organization that donate to religious schools... if that' "subsidizing religion" then I would really like to know how getting a tax credit for donating to a church is ok... or donating to any non-profit is ok... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:13, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry... can you rephrase? I don't understand what you posted. It's a subsidy and you deleted that it's a subsidy. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:16, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
SCOTUS ruled that the state can give a tax credit to people who donate to an organization that funds religious schools. It's the actual text of the article posted. If you want to call "donations" a "subsidy" then you're fine to use that language, but the government isn't subsidizing religious schools directly, they're subsidizing donations which are made towards religious schools. The government subsidizes all sorts of donations, why should this one be treated differently? Because it's to an organization that promotes religion? Why do we offer tax deductions for donations directly to churches then? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:20, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
The taxpayer pays the same, the government receives less tax, the church gains money. Net flow of money is from government to church. It's a subsidy! –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:27, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Again, no one is going to argue that the government shouldn't give a tax deduction or credit to church donations... so why is this one being blown out of proportion for what it is? The government isn't making the "subsidy" themselves, it's entirely driven by individuals and their interests. Thus it is not the government's discretion that is spending this money. Plus, this money could end up going to atheist schools, or Muslim schools, or even private secular schools. The government is endorsing a BEHAVIOR, not a religious sentiment. (I don't think the government should give any tax breaks to anyone donating to a religious organization in any way... but then that's my opinion and not the law of the land. This ruling does square up with the current laws of our land.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:35, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
That's exactly what I'm arguing. The government should NOT be deducting tax for religious donations. It's a subsidy to a religious organisation, which is against the law. At least four justices have their heads screwed on. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 18:45, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, you're free to hold that opinion, but it's still arguing against the entire history of law in the United States... donations to churches have always been tax deductible, precisely because religious organizations are tax exempt. You can't argue that four justices "have their heads screwed on", but their job is not to make policy, it's to enforce the laws... and the laws hold that making all religious donations tax deductible (or tax credits) is not promoting a religion and therefore ok, because that the government is free to promote religiousness, just not a particular religion.
So, again, the original description of the SCOTUS ruling makes it sound like this is some wild new interpretation of law, when this is not true. And in fact, I'm not even in Arizona, but if I donate money to a non-profit private school, then I get a federal tax deduction... even if that school is run by a religious organization. The government arguing that it has an interest in promoting charity. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:13, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Look, I don't have time to argue properly about this right now. The fact is that nobody (except you) is denying this is a subsidy. The court denied cert on the basis that taxpayers don't have a right to challenge tax deductions, only spending. This opens a huge hole for other subsidies. I suggest you read the linked item in more detail then head to SCOTUSblog for more info. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:58, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that it isn't a "subsidy"... one can use a lot of technical semantics to define any transfer of money from the state to anyone else as a "subsidy". But just because it is a subsidy doesn't make it wrong or illegal. Again, to churches are tax-deductible (no matter what your deleted prior assertion may be). It's not a one-for-one "tax credit" but simply a decrease of your tax liability. However, it is not impossible that the government might choose to decrease your tax liability enough from charitable donations so as to make it a one-for-one tax credit. Again, people not the government are making the donations to pay for the tuitions of students, and the government is merely reimbursing those people for their charitable contributions. To point, the government is already "losing taxes" due to people donating to churches directly, so what the fuck is wrong with them "losing taxes" due to an even less direct donation rate. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 06:19, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
It's wrong because the Establishment clause says so. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 14:31, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
You're entitled to your opinions... this is however not the interpretation or opinion of the US government, and they have bigger guns. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:37, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Your thoughts[edit]

You seem reasonable enough, please indulge me:

  • Do racists tend to use psuedoscience in proffering their claims?
  • Is racism a crank idea?
  • Does racism employ authoritarianism and/or fundamentalism?

Thanks! Occasionaluse (talk) 20:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

First question: Most certainly they have. yes.
Second question: I would say yes.
Racism absolutely employs fundamentalism, and often authoritarianism.
I honestly don't see how one could debate otherwise... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks again. Considering your answers and our mission, do you think RationalWiki should analyze, refute, document and explore racism? Occasionaluse (talk) 21:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Well put Occasionaluse! It goes without saying that racist ideas should be rejected, but I find it a little disconcerting that so many of my contemporaries are willing to turn a blind eye and ignore the rise of populist far right parties in Europe, because they are 'offended'. Racist ideas spread like a bacterium, the gullible classes (ie, the majority of people) can be susceptible to foul ideas, all they require is a convinced demagogue and unemployment. What really gets my goat are groups like 'unite against fascism' which are basically fascist in their modus operandi and their perception, if they have any, of free speech and the free exchange of ideas. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:32, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
RW already does analyze, refute, etc. racism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:34, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I won't dispute that now, but do you agree that debate is part and parcel to analyzation, refutation, documentation and exploration? Occasionaluse (talk) 21:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Excuse my interruption. I would say we should allow racially themed debate. I'd have no issue with "Debate:Do white people have material and intellectual superiority?" It is merely the language that can pose a problem, as ListenerX points out at RW:CS; if a debate is phrased as an epithet, and could easily be rephrased as a proper question, than it should be rephrased. Blue (is useful) 22:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
That was basically my take on it. It's like making a debate question: "Debate:Why do evilutionists deny that Piltdown Man demonstrated that evilution is a fraud?" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:24, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

The point is, RW stands against irrational ideas like racism. Yes, racism is offensive prima facie, but we have deeper reasons to reject it than just "it's not PC!" I think phrasing the debate as "Do white people have material and intellectual superiority?" is not actually fixing the "problem". As an example, I point to a Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic... If a question is so blatantly counterfactual that the best possible rationalist answer is "no", then the debate is being phrased wrong. Rather, a "proper" debate title would be: "Why do racists think that whites automatically have a material and intellectual advantage?"

In my sociology class in college, (oh god, how many arguments end up valid when someone starts with this, amirite?) our instructor told us about a survey which has been conducted for a long period of time, and started off asking "why do blacks statistically make less money than whites?" (As a statistical fact, asking this question itself is not racist.) Some of the answers were: "They're stupider", "They're lazier", and "They do not have the same opportunities available." What was interesting is that there has been little change in response counts if you count the obviously racist answer (They're stupider) along with the less apparently racist answer (They're lazier). It's been called a form of "neo-racism"... an insidious racism that hides behind couched terms, not calling the people physically or mentally incapable, but simply unwilling to put in enough effort to accomplish goals.

Debate about racism is central and core to the RW mission, this is totally apparent. But if we treat racists any better than we treat Ramanand Jhingade then we're totally violating our own mission. Racism deserves to be broken down, denigrated and dismissed... giving voice to racists on our platform undermines ourselves. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Blue, Neb, Eira, I'm glad we all agree that racism is mission. However, I object to labeling such claims (e.g. whites are intellectually superior, have more money, etc) as false without them being debated - either way. If a racist comes and claims such a proposition, you don't freak out and delete it, you do what you'd do in any other situation: ask to see evidence. And if you want make the counter-claim that it's false, by all means, trot out the evidence.
I'm not comfortable in having rules for debate titles because it's like having rules for the debate itself. Saying you can't use a loaded question in the title (and that it must be deleted/changed) is like saying you can't use a loaded question in the argument (and that it would have to be changed/deleted). Either way, as an opponent, you're going to gain ground (and hopefully help out the other person out) by identifying the problem with the argument. If you don't accept the premise in a debate, say so. If you really are interested, tell the creator you'd first like to see the evidence for the underlying premise with which you do not agree. To me, that seems like the most rational thing to do, and (quite obviously, at this point) would have been the most constructive option. No bitching, no moaning, no deleting or blocking...just getting to the bottom of it and asking for the facts. What's wrong with that? Occasionaluse (talk) 01:28, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I object to labeling such claims (e.g. whites are intellectually superior, have more money, etc) as false without them being debated Should this argument be used against homeopathy? Should we refuse to label homeopathy as false without them being debated? You know, neglect that there is no mechanism of action possible in either homeopathy or "whites are intellectually superior" and require debate about the issue? We're not the source or origin of homeopathy debate, science has thoroughly trounced that idea. In the same way, science has trounced the idea that whites are intellectually superior. So, why rehash shit (and I use that word specifically by choice) that is already invalidated? Should we refuse to label "the world is flat" as false without debate? What in your mind is the threshold to throw arguments out because they're absurdly, and well accepted as wrong? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:38, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
"Should this argument be used against homeopathy? Should we refuse to label homeopathy as false without them being debated?"
Absolutely, and I can't believe you don't agree. It's the most rational approach. If you say "Homeopathy is real", I'm going to ask you to prove it. If you don't prove it, and go on to say I haven't disproven it, it's a meaningless claim. I'm just going to say "you have no evidence". If you want to go on saying "but you haven't proven me wrong!", you're going to look like a jackass and everyone is going to see. But we don't just declare that homeopathy is false because we haven't proven it so. Or are you saying Russel's teapot doesn't exist? Because I'd love to see proof.
"Should we refuse to label "the world is flat" as false without debate?"
Uh...yeah. Don't you think you could manage such a debate? ;) It's a lot like how TOW wouldn't say the earth was round without a citation. A constant stream of bullshit to refute shouldn't be a problem for a wiki created to refute bullshit. [User:Occasionaluse|Occasionaluse]] (talk) 01:47, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
But it's all PRATT... I'm not saying that we can't refute them or debate them... but they've already been refuted a thousand times before, so why give a platform for shit that has already been argued to the ground? We're NOT going to add anything to the debate really. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:00, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
That's one of my biggest disagreements. If it's a PRATT, not only would it be trivial to refute, but of all places, it should be refuted here: the home of refuting bullshit. PRATT means that we don't refute it again, not that we don't refute it. Occasionaluse (talk) 02:03, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Shall we open the flood gates and wait for a thousand people to flood the site with the exact same argument that homeopathy works? And we can't close down the 999 copies of the same argument because "we can't dismiss it without debate". RationalWiki should not be a platform for PRATT, the arguments have already been debated and dismissed, we thusly dismiss copies of that argument without debate, because they have already been debated. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:17, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like a great plan for RationalWiki, but I don't think you're going to get the flood you expect. You can close down 9 copies of the argument once you've redirected (perhaps literally, in wiki terms) the 9 lunatics to the refutation. Would that be a bad thing, directing 9 lunatics to refutations of their claims? You can't dismiss a copy until you show what it's a copy of. Occasionaluse (talk) 02:21, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
So, we should just redirect "Debate:Why do whites ignore their obvious superiority?" to "Mainspace:Racism" then? Honestly, RationalWiki shouldn't be the platform to refute every idiot who has mastered CTRL-C & CTRL-V... whether the argument comes from some dick here on our site, or from Ray Comfort doesn't change the argument. So refuting or permitting idiots to start up debates declaring PRATT is pointless... if the debate wouldn't stand up as a Mainspace article, why should we allow the loophole for us to host their PRATT by debate? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:39, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
It sounds like you're not saying I'm wrong, just that what I'm proposing is infeasible. If so, I'll make you a bet:
  • We "open the floodgates" (what exactly does that entail, btw??? I propose a banner on main saying "RATIONALWIKI: NOW REFUTING ALL BULLSHIT")
  • If we become so overwhelmed with bullshit that we can't deal with it, not only will we go back to the old ways, but I will donate $500 to the RationalWiki foundation
Occasionaluse (talk) 02:45, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Such wp:A Modest Proposal... of course, you gain the benefit that RW isn't super popular, and thus it's possible that the situation might be tractable. The point however, is not that we can't handle the flow, but how we should handle the flow. We should not allow PRATT to build a sedimentary layer on RW by exploiting the Debate and Essay namespaces when the content would be blasted off of Mainspace in a heartbeat. Why give a platform to authoritarian, crank ideas, and pseudoscience? That is not our job, or purpose, in fact, it's the exact opposite of our mission. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:58, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Do you know how bug tracking works? Trust me, it does, but I can provide references. It'd be like:
  • User proposes debate.
  • Another user identifies debate as a copy of debate'. Merge/Redirect.
It's so much better for refuting/correcting bullshit and being a better resource than "NO, GTFO".
We obviously have fundamentally different concepts of what RW should be. I think we should give a platform to these people, because it's the only place we can be guaranteed to share the platform in refuting their bullshit.
Seriously, are you just going tirelessly to trawl the internet? "Aha! I found some bullshit! To RationalWiki!" Never you mind that whatever bullshit du jour you feel like harping on has already BRATT and that pretty much everything we ever do has been done more times than I have socks. Why not let them come to you? Because of the inundation? I'm not fucking around, I'll put my money where my mouth is. Occasionaluse (talk) 03:17, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I worked at Microsoft, trust me, I know how Bug tracking works. Your analogy fails though. Let me show you the better analogy:
  • User proposes a bug.
  • Another user identifies the bug as a copy of a different closed bug. New bug is closed as duplicate.
Or, Another user immediately identifies it as something that will not be addressed or resolved at all, then the bug is closed as "Will not fix".
I don't care that you're ready to "refute all comers", filling up RW with bullshit destroys our signal to noise ratio, and makes us as worthless as Citizendum... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 03:33, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I still think you're living in fantasy land about people coming out of the woodwork, grinding us to a halt bringing up the exact same point 999 times a day. I'm still not convinced you really think I'm wrong, you just want a lazier solution. I also think it's bullshit that RW is somehow going to "fill up" with this shit and no one is ever going to be able to find anything. Whatever. Can't blame me for wanting to make this a better place that reaches a larger audience. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:21, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, I would rather not have cranks and quacks using our webpage to promote their woo... I don't care how small the pile of dogshit is, I don't want it in our house. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 18:24, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Isn't that called emancipation?[edit]

(Block log); 00:28 . . Eira (Talk | contribs) changed block settings for Vagina (Talk | contribs)
Yea it's puberty humor, but I couldn't resist. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 00:34, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

I have a boyfriend now, and I thought I would change the block settings so that he could get to it... >_< ---Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Facepalm Blue (pester) 03:35, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Just as an aside for anyone who cares, this was of course a joke... I am unfortunately not currently seeing anyone. *sob* --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:07, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Eira, you should try my dating service. If you think I am odd, well I can set you up with some people even odder than me! --(((Zack Martin))) 10:12, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I think I would rather have every tooth in my mouth pulled out without any anesthesia than follow any recommendation you can give me for dating... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:16, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh Eira, it was just an attempt at a bit of self-deprecating humour... --(((Zack Martin))) 10:37, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Spaces around em dashes...[edit]

...should be used to facilitate more even line-wrapping; see the New York Times Manual of Style, page 96. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:40, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Trouble with that is that line wrapping changes from user to user. Also, UK typesetting often uses the en dash with spacing rather than the em dash without. ADK...I'll agree your bevel! 13:31, 3 May 2011 (UTC)


Thanks! I was always confused about that. I was taught Brutus but thanks for clarifying. +Wikipedia has Brute so it must be brute. Rationalize (talk) 00:29, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Project Gutenburg: William Shakespear's Julius Caesar has the line as: "CAESAR. Et tu, Brute?- Then fall, Caesar! Dies." And then there is the whole Wikipedia article on the matter. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:59, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Jesus pl. Jesi[edit]

I'd spare you the Latin pedantry, but I see you recently inflicted the same on someone else, so maybe you're interested. Jesus is actually fourth declension, but quite irregular even there. I don't think the plural form ever appears, but supposing it followed the usual pattern, it'd have to be Jesus with a long "u". Beats me what the right English is, though. --Benod (talk) 01:38, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I was being a dork. ;) And in English it would be "Jesuses", as per the regular pluralization rules in English. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:46, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I got a lot of practice blaspheming in high school Latin -- declining Jesus and his buds was an important skill. --Benod (talk) 02:02, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Please email me[edit]

Trent has the address or alternately you can briefly enable wiki email. Nutty Roux (talk) 15:35, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Email has been enabled. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 15:51, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm done now...[edit]

I'm done with the Homeopathy joke, before anyone asks... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:52, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Backing down now that Pi's the new sheriff in town, eh? EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:53, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Not backing down from anything else... I'm talking about the reverting the Homeopathy article back to a blank version... no one else is carrying the joke with me, so I'm bored now... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:54, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I was joking about backing down due to Pi. Never mind, let's pretend this never happened. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:59, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I would block you and me, and oversight the whole conversation, but no one has any rights anymore... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 14:01, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Are you going to around much longer? - π 14:12, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
You mean, am I going to go to sleep soon? Hell, things just got interesting... I couldn't sleep now... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 14:15, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Well I need sysops an the USians are not about. - π 14:22, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I am a USian, but yeah, they're probably just waking up now (10:23 Eastern Standard Time right now) to a sight of pure devastation... and who's going to make sysops? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 14:24, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Some people hate Human[edit]

If that's about me, I don't. he's one of my fb mates. I just don't like the way he gets drunk and barges round the wiki like a bull in a china shop. I've tried not to use cratship to suit my favourites, as you can tell from my Superjosh comment. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:13, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Your very comment shows a direct contradiction. You're not giving human a sysop, because you don't like his behavior on the wiki, and yet you're not using the cratship to suit your favorites? And what of Nutty Roux? What has he done to deserve oversight? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:15, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
And no the comment "some people hate human" is not directed specifically at you. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:16, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
thanks for that last bit. re Nutty, I skipped him and SR. The recent silly fight they had was also part of this whole stupid mess, so overlooking them both was for that. I may or may not have got things right today and it's good you're questioning me about aspects of it. TBH I've had enough of userrights being a popularity dickwave, it's time that part of the wiki was taken seriously. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:24, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
That's kind of the point... excluding people just because you don't like what they do to the wiki is or "they were part of this whole stupid mess" is taking their position ("our way is the way things are going to stay") and asserting that now the new way is the way things are going to stay, and you're going to lock people out of rights and management so that you can maintain this New Wiki Order. You don't have a mandate from the mob to give sysop rights to only the people you agree with... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 19:32, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't invite SR to my user talk page to attack me and stir shit. I actually asked him to stop posting there but I think he told me to fuck off or something similar. The greatest extent of our scuffle was on RWW and was occassioned by him and some others running back there to WIGO and report on themselves in the shitstorm as it developed. I pretty much lost that fight when SR removed my rights and blocked me something like 3 times. I've written else where about me being in any way responsible for the Human/Blue bout that led to all this. But anyway, I can imagine Martin's response will be that either I'm wrong or SR's wrong or we're both wrong and that in any event Martin's only the temporary bureaucrat and all this will change ad hoc and ad nauseum until the revolution is over. Nutty Roux (talk) 19:40, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
(EC)It's not whether I agree with them, it's what they do on the wiki. as i said before, I have not picked my favourites. I hardly agree with ListenerX about anything, I even called him a Nazi once, but he hasn't been a drama queen in the last few days and has tried to help. I chose "active and useful" as the reason for sysopping people, and he's been both. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
@nutty - I am about to hand on this cratship, no doubt when I come back in the morning he landscape will have changed completely again. if i got you wrong, i'm sorry. the whole drama was too TLDR for me and at some point I decided to not care whose fault it all was, but just thought "a pox on the lot." perhaps the next crat will think differently. I haven't tried to be personal. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:49, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Your position[edit]

Here you argue that a particular action will cause HCM, and is therefore undesirable. But here you question my dislike for HCM. What gives? Blue (pester) 20:48, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

I argue that a parciular action won't stop HCMs. So, if someone's attempting to do this stuff to avoid HCMs, then they're not going to avoid HCMs. In fact, there will always be dispute resolution going on, because someone somewhere will always get upset and demand their grievances redressed. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:50, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, so your position is that HCM is unavoidable (same here), but it is best to let it play out? I think our differences are centered on mobocracy - you firmly believe in it, while I believe it isn't the best way of running the wiki. On that I think we'll have to agree to disagree. Blue (pester) 20:56, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's the best way of running the wiki either, but I don't think it's the worst way, either, and since it was inevitable, I wonder what good reason is there to choose a different method? Is it demonstrably better? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 20:58, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Question: When a system, let's call it mobocracy, allows it's own end, is said ending then fair and ok or unjust(ified)? --ǓḤṂ³ 21:02, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
It depends on if it succeeds at killing itself. If it does kill itself then it was fair, ok and justified. If it doesn't kill itself, then that also is fair, ok and justified. The fucked up thing about a mobocracy is that everything is legitimate. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:05, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Then … stop bitching about it? I really don't know what to say anymore. --ǓḤṂ³ 21:10, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
BECAUSE THE MOBOCRACY ISN'T DEAD YET. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:12, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah I get it now. I disagree, but I get it. --ǓḤṂ³ 21:13, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
And that is the glory of the mobocracy... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 21:16, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
(ECx2)Well, nothing's going to be "demonstrably" better, because mobocracy has been the order of the day since the beginning. My position amounts to this: we should try to fix the problems of the mobocracy by establishing some non-mobocratic policies. Whether or not you think our problems need fixing (or are even extant) is where we'd differ. Blue (is useful) 21:05, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Colloidal silver[edit]

Vote for Ron Paul, you know you want it! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:16, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Take a look at......[edit]


Terrible to see a bunch of people calling themselves "Christians" sending profanity-riddled mail to a prominent atheist thinker. What happened to constructive, civil debate? (Warning: This video cannot be played in most schools, libraries, and workplaces due to extreme, uncensored profanity, and I am not responsible for anyone who gets in trouble............)--Lefty (talk) 23:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


Whatever your feelings about the current situation and your feelings towards other editors here, main space articles are not the place for your petulant rants. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 23:56, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

So, now we can't even do wandalism? WTF is wrong with this site anymore? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 02:25, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
That wasn't about vandalism and you know it. Now either grow up or fuck off. --PsyGremlinZungumza! 07:10, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
What would you call it? δij 07:12, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Strange new feeling[edit]

I usually come here to argue with people-especially those that agree with me but in reading what you've done and said I actually like you. Human has his moments but you're really sticking it up their asses. People like you make this site worth it. Thank you. δij 07:11, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Now kindly fuck off. :) δij 07:12, 17 May 2011 (UTC)[edit]

I believe it now. Well played. -- (talk) 07:24, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

"pedantic" does not mean trolling.[edit]

No, but taking your pathetic hissy fit to main space articles does. Your lack of respect for the wiki is sickening. -- (talk) 10:37, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Articles? (No assertion or argument is made about my revert war being trolling, as it was.) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:44, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Trust you to focus on the important things. Article then, pedantic one. Still makes you a troll. -- (talk) 10:51, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
And there exists no one on this wiki who is themselves clean to cast the first stone. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 10:53, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I will answer specific comments, and address actual arguments. However when a post doesn't actually contain any content beyond an attack, then there's nothing to respond to. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 11:13, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

You are unbelievable[edit]

Is there anywhere you aren't prepared to abuse your powers? PsyGremlinPraat! 11:52, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I thought you Left and were Never Coming Back. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 11:56, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Makes me sad.[edit]

You've been here almost as long as I, but we don't really talk alot. I always thought you were okay. I always thought Kels and Psy were okay. Don't let the bastards bring you down. P-Foster (talk) 13:54, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I've been watching all the shit that Human has gotten just for being popular. (As in well-known, not as in well-liked.) And this doesn't particularly strike me as all that bad. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:59, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
OBTW thanks for cratting me like two or there days before everyone was decratted anyways. It still meant a lot to me that you cared. :) --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 13:59, 19 May 2011 (UTC)


Thank you!!!! ħumanUser talk:Human 06:06, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

whatever, fuck off ;P --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 06:22, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


Out of curiosity, where in Europe are you from? Spain? Rationalize (talk) 21:11, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry about how wrong you are with this question... it happened to me all the time at work. People would be all "I thought you were from Germany!" and I'm like "No, I most definitely am from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA". I just have absorbed so much German culture that I am basically as pseudo-German as one can get living their entire life but one month inside the US. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:00, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm that way with Spain :). I understand, I was just curious because if you were from another terrority other than the UK in Europe I was going to say wow, you speak English way too well. Rationalize (talk) 00:06, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, like I said, it's a common assumption that people seem to make about me. I really don't fit the American stereotypes very well at all. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't really think there is an American stereotype- we're an extremely diverse country, probably the most in the world. But that's another discussion. cheerz king of the rats do you wanna kick it in the backseat? 00:21, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
There is always a stereotype of any type of people. True, you and I live in this world where we're not constantly exposed to stereotypes, but foreigners really are. For instance, I saw a study where subjects were told that they didn't really look American, and they found that natural born Americans didn't respond by ordering more stereotypical American food (hamburgers, fries, fast food etc) while foreigners in a fit of self-consciousness over compensated. Even though we may be diverse, there really are a lot of behaviors that are typical to Americans. (Have you had an opportunity to spend like a month or more abroad with actual natives? Interacting with Americans after that becomes a practice in holding back from shouting "Dear GoatThe Goat be Praised., you are one of the most arrogant and annoying people I've ever met" directly into their ear. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 01:05, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
You got a point. And yeah, I've lived in Spain for a month, different culture for sure. Diverse? Meh, not so much, although I didn't spend much time in Madrid. Barcelona, yeah, all kinds of Europeans there. king of the rats do you wanna kick it in the backseat? 19:30, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

The Horrors (mini-debate)[edit]

The most horrible thing about being attacked by someone on every media that that person can get a hold of, is that if you raise any objection or defense to these attacks, they can claim a persecution complex. Now, you're left with the horrible position that even if you attempt to defend yourself from this person, you're still playing right into his claims. Disregard that you don't actually have a persecution complex because you're not claiming that any other people attacking you, for instance, perhaps because those other individuals are making fair criticism, and not personal attacks. So, let us consider an analogy. Adam is walking down the street, he sees Bob, and comments that Bob has spaghetti sauce on his shirt. Since Bob has been fighting in the bar with Charlie for the last hour, Bob lays into Adam and starts punching the shit out of him. Adam laying there on the ground comments that Bob is attack him, to which Bob then says "he's got a persecution complex; get him!" Yet Adam isn't making any claims that anyone else is attack him, only that Bob is attacking him, and the proof is readily apparent. In fact, Adam had just prior picked a fight with David, and David keeps complaining how Adam is a childish git for picking the fight, which Adam readily acknowledges is fair criticism. Yet, Bob still continues to insist that because Adam is complaining about the very real attacks that Bob is making that Adam has a persecution complex. It frankly boggles the mind. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:12, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

So say it's not like that and you won't continue to fuel such childish acts. --ǓḤṂ³ 23:27, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
But my entire sense of humor revolves around immature and childish acts... it's why I love Family Guy so much. And it's not like anything I can do can stop the attacks, admitting to what I did doesn't help, because they just turn that back against me... (and only leads to calls to act against my nature.) Really, the only solution acceptable to some people would be for me to disappear and walk into the sunset, but then that's just going to piss off my friends here. Frankly, confirmation bias fuels emotional rage so much so that nothing Adam does could ever get Bob to stop hating him. Sure, Bob will eventually wear himself out and stop wailing away on Adam, but it doesn't mean that Bob is any less sore about things, and any less hateful of Adam... it just means that Bob is too worn out to continue. And everything Adam does will end up just rubbing Bob the wrong way, and he'll just be sitting there waiting for Adam to slip up and do anything, anything and he'll lay in anew. I know the behavior, I've experienced more than my fair share of abuse in life already... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:53, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
  • If I walk the land a thousand years, I think I shall never see a greater monument to passive-aggressive butthurt.
I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Completely ignoring the BoN's overusage of the word butthurt, as it is so traditional to RW, and the lack of sourcing for that quote (I'm complaining out of interrest), I return to a conversation I completely forgot for a few days:
I have a mixture of "I don't give a fuck about your opinion unless you're trying to make a point" and "I don't care how you see me" feeling that I've picked up over beeing bullied in the ol' school days. (It is amazing how fast people stop being a pain in the ass if one simply asks "Do you feel better now?" after being insulted or simply behaving friendly as fuck even another person gives you shit all the time) But you're not the only person that ever told me that they simply can't "not care about it", so yeah, fight the fight if you find the need to do so. But doing it is my eyes a giant waste of time as in the end you gain nothing of importancs if not nothing at all from fighting people that either don't want to see your point, or are out to get you or are just bored with their lives. --ǓḤṂ³ 22:40, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Even saying "Feel better now?" can just make a person more upset sometimes. If they've made up their mind to hate you/do anything they can to tear you down, there really isn't much that can be accomplished at all. Granted on the school's playground people are usually so very poorly invested in anything that they'll typically back down once they've had their rant, but there are some people who are so "butt hurt" (yeah, so typical RW) that they make a life mission out of attacking someone/something... especially, when they find out that they can get a lot of attention for doing so. It becomes a horrible situation of "I can't defend myself, or I lend them credibility, but if I don't defend myself, some people might actually believe them." A good example is "American President", the incumbent President is being attacked by his political opponent, and saying some down right hurtful and tactless things, yet the President in the movie sees it as a no-win scenario if he tries to defend himself. It's like the Obama Birth Certificate crap as well... Obama released the birth certificate, but it doesn't matter how authentic it is, because every document has minor inconsistencies in them, there is always enough room to squeeze a conspiracy theory through. Basically, some people get so locked into their beliefs that it gets silly. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:51, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
You could try destroying all who oppose. -- (talk) 22:52, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Last time I tried nerve stapling, all the other nations got pissed at me for "War Crimes" or some crap, and exterminated my nation. :( --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:55, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah destroying all who oppose is more of "my" nations style...
Well, off course, if you deal with crazy people, trolls or people that need to prove that there penis length is enormous you're pretty lost. You could still pull a RationalWiki and make fun of them. --ǓḤṂ³ 16:19, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

abusing block powers to try and instigate continuation of HCM,[edit]

WTF, Eira? When!?!!? P-Foster (talk) 03:47, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:53, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

here's the logs and the relevant entry is: "(show/hide) 20:04, 23 May 2011 P-Foster (Talk | contribs | block) blocked Human (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 31 seconds (account creation disabled) ‎ (making constructive mainspace edits instead of contributing to HCM) (unblock | change block)"

... yeah, I know the joke is late. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:08, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, I for one, lolled. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:47, 25 May 2011 (UTC)


Is blocking people to send messages appropriate? The unbusinesslikeman of business 03:27, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

You're trying too hard to not appear like a sock. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:03, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Pa. The. Tic. *yawn* Nutty Roux (talk) 04:19, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Or maybe the sysop guide has an enormous "In Flux" at the top. The unbusinesslikeman of business 16:34, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
You forget, John - it's Eira. The rules don't apply to her. (talk) 08:32, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Fuck off, bitch. To John, it can be fun but it is also silly. Use their talk page, it's easier. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:49, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Alright then, thank you for clarifying. The unbusinesslikeman of business 12:02, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Philosophy of language[edit]

What is the relationship of linguistic philosophy to philosophy of language again? Like that of cats to catfish? (((Zack Martin))) 08:24, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Don't start. Aboriginal Noise What the ... 10:47, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I knew the analogy was weak when I made it. It was exaggerated as a hyperbole. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:42, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
So, what then is your current position on their relationship? The same as it was at the beginning? Or changed? Do the citations I presented change your view at all? (((Zack Martin))) 22:44, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not getting into this mess again. TallMan has already criticized your citations better than I could: they're from non-notable people. I could come up with criticism from a Ph.D. candidate for why the Big Bang is a bunch of melarchy without even leaving this wiki, that doesn't make the citation a good one or a compelling one. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 22:56, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
You just went and created your own little mess on my talk page instead, about a different topic. Rather than arguing about whether an author is notable, how about arguing about whether their ideas are correct or not. I haven't seen any attempt by yourself or TallMan to engage what Das has to say, rather than just dismiss him as non-notable. And, if his ideas are wrong, surely you can find a cite (hey, even by a more notable author) that says the opposite? (((Zack Martin))) 23:27, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Unrelated topic was unrelated.
I did provide a cite to support my position... it was posted quite early on the talk page. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:32, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
You mean this? Even less notable than the sources I gave. Isn't even attributed to anyone. (((Zack Martin))) 23:35, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
It is attributed: "Source: J L Austin, Collected Papers (1961)" and J. L. Austin is notable enough to have wikipedia pages in a great many languages. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:42, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
It's obviously not a quote from J L Austin's collected papers in 1961. It says "lasting until the early 1960s"... how could something published in 1961 know that the 1960s would be the end of its heyday? And the "Source" doesn't even give a page number. Austin died in 1960 - how could he have said that it lasted "until the early 1960s"? (((Zack Martin))) 23:48, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Right, because quotes are the only acceptable sources in the world. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 00:27, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
No, because you are complaining my sources (in published books) are worthless because their authors aren't notable, yet your source is an anonymous webpage. Undoubtedly Austin is notable, but just because some random person on the Internet claims Austin as the source for their info (without any quotes, without even a page number), doesn't somehow make Austin's notability rub off on them. (((Zack Martin))) 05:24, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Let me explain the thought process that happened behind my objection. "Oh cool, Philosophy of Language... *reads* huh, yep." Later: "Oh, huh, 'linguistic philosophy'... interesting. I'll go check it out elsewhere... huh. That doesn't match up. Huh, that doesn't match up either. Huh, I can't find any immediate sources backing up that argument." I'm frankly done with the argument. The only sources you can come up with are of the form: "I can't be bothered to be rigorous in terminology", which I guess fully suits you from my experiences arguing with you.
I've already talked to a few people about how I'm sick of us letting cranks shit all over the walls here, and frankly, if this is how we're going to let RW be, then it's going to die a slow death caused only by itself. And if you're going to argue about "I'm not a crank", let me just remind you: if we had a Mainspace article on Maratreanism, you would be lambasted and edit warred off every single edit, and it would look just like our page on scientology or mormonism. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:31, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Madam Eira, Maratrean was just asking questions, I assume, like another crank we know. I agree you with the edit war thing on Maratreanism; wouldn't it get the treatment all other religions on RW do if it were there? --Colonel Sanders (talk) 23:38, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Exactly... so why would/should I (and/or RW as a whole) suffer a crank? It seems fundamentally antithetical to our mission. I would of course start a Maratreanism article, but then I would just look like a spiteful bitch. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:51, 11 June 2011 (UTC)
Eira, you make the mistake of assuming that all my editing must have something to do with my religious beliefs. The "philosophy of language" has nothing to do with my religious beliefs. It's an unconnected topic. I am just trying to improve the article. (((Zack Martin))) 00:00, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

What about the creation of universe?[edit]

Hi Puellanivis. The above section title doesn't mean that I want to create a universe but just that I'd like to describe with your help as a pedantic, bitchy, native English speaker, how it came to existence. Or rather how it is possible that it existed always, as Carl Sagan suggeted in one of his TV interviews that I've seen.

The purpose of the enterprise would be tripplefold: (i) shut mute the creationists and crypto-creationists (like yourself) who still believe that the "big bang" ever happened, (ii) to provide a text book on gravitation for high school kids and astronomers, and (iii) to create a world level bestseller selling better than "Harry Potter" but based on truth discovered by Einsteins or at least Mileva Marić by which we are also going to "prove" a distastfully sexist proposition that in exact sciences women are way better than guys.

We can do it since now we have a scientific theory that may neatly support Carl Sagan's idea. I just wanted your opinion on my latest book propositions, one on my page and another on page refered to from some of your page, about debating something thousand times, and you ignored both. Not being a native speaker I didn't understand the hint and that's why I take your space to ask you directly. What would be you answer? I supect, "JJ fuck off", but I still want it rather from you not to leave it to a possible misunderstanding. JimJast (talk) 19:16, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

First, I'm not going to link to your crank shit on my talk page. Second, we have no idea how the "creation of the universe" happened, because we don't know anything about of the Big Bang. All we know is that all the evidence points towards an expanding universe (not just in stuff flying apart, but in the very expansion of space itself). You can't seem to understand any of this basic cosmology, which I as not even a physicist or cosmologist understand, so your attempts to attack the Big Bang fall upon deaf ears, because you don't have any clue of what you are talking about. You're attacking a straw man. (Posing believers in an expanding universe as "crypto-creationists" is ready example of this fact.) This is why I was trying to get you to say when your "crypto-creationists" believe that energy was created, because if the answer is anything after , it's wrong because they don't assert any such creation of energy, and if it's anything at or before we don't know anything about it at all. Unicorns and gods and gremlins all could have existed at or before just like they could exist within blackholes, because we are completely unable to make any observations about them.
So stop labeling people "crypto-creationists" because you don't understand basic fucking infinite series, and divergent vs. convergent sums. You're an idiot, and your articles should have been taken down a long time ago for being nonsensical dribble. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:03, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with JimJast. I myself think many of his views are wrong. But there is something wrong with saying to him "You're an idiot" — that is a personal attack. Attack the ideas, attack the arguments, but not the person making them. Since you are standing for election as a moderator, I would have thought you would have understood this distinction, but sadly it seems you don't. Likewise, there is no need for swearing and calling his ideas "crank shit". There are plenty of constructive, polite, criticisms of his views which can be made (e.g., I myself think he has failed to really understand the theory of relativity, and has some very idiosyncratic interpretations of Einstein's work) — but there is no need to swear at him. (((Zack Martin))) 06:46, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks (((Zack Martin))), we just had an edit conflict and now I have to add two more colons to each paragrapf of my response to Eira :) who is basically a good and bright girl (sorry for patronizing) just a little bit quick in judgments unlike like we, the old timers. JimJast (talk) 09:03, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised.. Simple "no" would siffice. I just thought that you may realize that old JJ, repeating only what Feynman said, and thinking abut it for a couple of decades, living also in a socialist country for several decades, being interested not only in art, physics, and math in which while only 18 he won both national olympics (so girl, I could run loops around you if I wanted) but I'd rather saved your feelings, but also in social sciences, might know a few things that you don't.
BTW, did you check Rose Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky's works by now (as being a bright female of socialist persuasion you should). It might sraighten also your other misconceptions and to let you realize how bright even also some males may be, like eg. another Carl (or rather Karl). Then you might understand Ms Rand (the objectivist) better.
You have a lot to learn, girl, but since you don't want any help I'm not going to interfere. I just want to keep your spirit up by telling you that the greatest Polish writer of 19th century said: "who wasn't a socialist when young, becoms a pig when old", so I hope that at least you won't become one dispite your predispositions.
Thanks for responding so quickly. It saves me time, which I don't have that much. Now I need to look for another bright female, native English speaker, to write this book. Do you think that Blue is a right choice (if she agree)? We might fit better than we did with you and human :) JimJast (talk) 09:03, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I presume that would be Rosa (or Rosalia) Luxemburg you are referring to?
Of course, who else? My mom pronounced it "Rose" in Polish ("Róża") so I assumed it was her most known name among her friends. A great lady, wasn't she. Too bad she was murdered by the likes of our mutual friend, "socialists" too.
Also, posting people's sigs by way of addressing them is poor form.
Sorry. I just copy them with their names togethers since I don't know (or rather don't bother to find out how to separate them while keeping the colors). I thought they prefer them this way, and it is also easier to find then on printouts, otherwise why would they sign their messages this way. JimJast (talk) 11:34, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
 Lily Inspirate me. 09:28, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Eira, I changed the beginning of my Essay "Gravitation demystified" just for you so you might understand it better. If you do, I'm happy, if you don't, too bad, I don't bother you anymore with "this shit" since as improbable as it may sound I like you for some strange reason. Just be carefull with your socialist friends since there is a very thin line (if any) between contemporary socialism and fascism Eg. NSDAP (the Nazi party) allowed no members of other parties except communists since they felt communists are their natural "Kom'raden"). So when you hear your socialist friend start singing "Kom'raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen, Marschier'n im Geist in unser'n Reihen mit", you are already in the wrong side of that line. Just a reminder from an old guy who saw many things in his life and remembers even the whole WWII which seen from Poland didn't look as pretty as from New Mexico. JimJast (talk) 21:33, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
You're equivocating. "Socialism" as I'm using it doesn't mean the repressive government-owns-everything that you are using. I could very well say that you pressing for Democracy makes you a part of the Stazi from the German Democratic Republic. Look at what a mess democracy made of that country, amirite? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:08, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Wait wait wait... did you just say that the Nazis allowed Communists in their own borders? Did you even look at what people were killed in the concentration camps? Jews, Mentally disabilited, gays, and fucking communists. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Maratrean, I will respond as I so chose, and if you don't like it, then you don't have to vote for me in the moderator elections. I won't shut up or tone down my rhetoric just because you don't like it. As well, when someone tells me sexist bullshit like "Eira, stop being a litlle girl (possibly just playing with your pussy, though it might be nicer activity than straining you brain over science)" I don't feel any requirement to refrain from obscenities. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:04, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree that Jim should not be saying such things — I have brought that to his attention. But one does not need to swear at him to do so, just state the situation clearly and calmly.
In terms of my objection to your personal attacks, this isn't just my personal dislike, it is actually the community standards of this site which you are violating in doing so, Discussions here sometimes get heated, but resorting to personal attacks is strongly frowned upon, however justified they may seem.. (((Zack Martin))) 23:32, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Calling somebody an idiot isn't really frowned upon at RationalWiki, except apparently by you. Aren't you a little young here to be dictating to Eira what this community likes & dislikes? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:55, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Or is the problem that the "community standards" aren't worth the (electronic) paper they are printed on? That insider editors can do what they like, rules be damned? It says no personal attacks, and calling someone an idiot is a personal attack — maybe the standards should be changed to say some personal attacks are OK? If so, when are they OK and when are they not? (((Zack Martin))) 00:05, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Community standards are not rules; they're guidelines based on what the community does, not vice versa. & They don't say "no personal attacks"; they say "personal attacks are frowned upon" which ain't the same. My observation at RW is that the kinds of personal attacks which are really unacceptable to the community are ones which contain hate speech, threats, slander, etc. But calling somebody (new or old editor) a dick or an idiot is par for the course. If you disapprove of Eira calling JJ an idiot, you are entitled to do say so, but please don't claim to be disapproving on behalf of the community. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:22, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
If you think those forms of personal attacks are OK, why don't you propose to edit the Community Standards to state that it is fine to call people a dick or an idiot. Maybe you could draw up a comparison of acceptable v.s. unacceptable personal attacks? (((Zack Martin))) 00:34, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
As Weaseloid pointed out, the guidelines are not rules, thus we don't need explicit exceptions about when violating them is ok. It's left that we can use our own goatThe Goat be Praised. damn judgement about when it is appropriate or not. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 05:03, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Furthermore, I'd say that from JJ's writings, he's empirically shown himself to be an idiot. ThunderkatzHo! 05:48, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
In other words, the guidelines might as well not exist, since anyone can substitute their own judgement whenever they feel like. Why not just delete them? (((Zack Martin))) 06:14, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
So what your saying is guidelines are meaningless unless they're mandatory? I'm not sure you understand what a guideline is. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:44, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm saying, guidelines are meaningless because they aren't mandatory. What's the point of having guidelines, rather than rules, since the idea of rules is that you apply them fairly and consistently, the idea with guidelines is you follow them when you feel like it and ignore them when you feel like it. What's the point of bothering with guidelines then, you'd better just dispense with guidelines and do what you want all the time. Same ultimate outcome, but more honesty. (((Zack Martin))) 08:36, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Lots of shared concepts are "not mandatory" but are not "meaningless". Why should something have to be enforced to be meaningful? "you'd better just dispense with guidelines and do what you want all the time". RW is a site where people basically do as they like most of the time, but guidelines are there as a frame of reference, so that new users have some ideas about what is & isn't found to be acceptable by the community. "Maybe you could draw up a comparison of acceptable v.s. unacceptable personal attacks". Maybe not, since such a list would be unlimited, pointlessly arbitrary, and create more problems than it would solve. This just illustrates why a rigid set of enforced rules would not be practical or desirable at RW. There's no set definition of what is or isn't a personal attack; it's a judgement call. You see Eira calling JJ an "idiot" as a personal attack, but don't seem to see JJ calling her a "crypto-creationist" as one. How is your view on this any less arbitrary than mine or anyone else's? Do you object to it because you think "you're an idiot" has caused JJ any genuine emotional damage or just because you've seen a page at RW saying personal attacks are discouraged? The real test of whether the community supports something is, well, whether the community supports something. & I do not think you will find widespread condemnation for calling somebody an idiot based on the idiotic ideas they express, but you are welcome to prove me wrong. I think that you will find most regular users would prefer a site where people are free to express their opinions about each other than one where people are afraid to do so for fear of offending or breaking the rules. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:14, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
Reason is about setting up non-arbitrary rules and trying to follow them consistently. Of course, there will always be exceptional or unforeseen circumstances, but those cases need to be justified as exceptional/unforeseen, and the rules should then be adjusted to deal with those circumstances in the future. RationalWiki doesn't like rules because despite its claims to think highly of reason, it doesn't actually want to be a community govered by reason, just a community governed by mob whim. RationalWiki talks the talk, but it isn't willing to walk the walk. Wikipedia is much more rational than RationalWiki, because Wikipedia is unafraid to have rules, and to try to follow them (as imperfectly as it does sometimes).
I think the basic idea of a personal attack is quite clear. It is an ad hominem. It is when you attack your opponent's person rather than their ideas or arguments. I can't see why it's so hard for some people to grasp that concept. Ad hominems are generally considered, for good reason, to be a kind of logical fallacy. Yet why is a community which supposedly has a high regard for reason so tolerant of them? Its supposed regard for reason is a smokescreen for its fundamental disregard for reason.
The difference between crypto-creationist and idiot is simple — "idiot" is describing someone's person, it is stating that they have low intelligence; "crypto-creationist" is describing their beliefs. Idiot is a personal attack, crypto-creationist isn't. (((Zack Martin))) 09:30, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
"Crypto-creationists" is a personal attack, especially in the way it's used by Jastrebski. At the very least, it implies that a person is being deceptive about their beliefs, either towards themselves or the others - that they are either too dumb to realize what their beliefs are, or that they are liars. In addition to that, on Rational Wiki "creationist" has a lot of negative connotations and yes, it can be read as synonymous to "idiot".--ZooGuard (talk) 09:53, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
"RationalWiki doesn't like rules because despite its claims to think highly of reason, it doesn't actually want to be a community govered by reason, just a community governed by mob whim." The second part of this is basically correct, but you have a strange understanding of what "reason" is ("Reason is about setting up non-arbitrary rules") which makes most of the rest of what you say unintelligible. Wikipedia is a very different & much larger community than RW; what works on one, isn't necessary a good idea the other.
"'idiot' is describing someone's person . . . 'crypto-creationist' is describing their beliefs." Do you really think Eira wasn't referring to JJ's beliefs when she called him an idiot? JJ called Eira a crypto-creationist based on her ideas or beliefs, which he thinks are crypto-creationist beliefs; Eira called JJ an idiot based on his ideas or beliefs, which she thinks are idiotic. It's really not as much of a distinction as you think it is, and it's not an ad hominem fallacy to call somebody an idiot in the context of disagreeing with their opinions. If Eira had disregarded JJ's opinions based on something irrelevant, like him being a sculptor, this would be an ad hominem argument; calling him an idiot due to his opinions which she finds idiotic is not. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:25, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
The term idiot, by most dictionary definitions, applies to a person, not a belief. Wiktionary: "(pejorative) A common term for a person of low general intelligence."; Merriam-Webster, "a foolish or stupid person". So idiot is a personal attack. As to "crypto-creationist", it isn't commonly recognized as a personal attack. (Ask the average person on the street, "Is calling someone an idiot an insult?" "Yes". "Is calling someone a crypto-creationist an insult?" "Huh?"). Contra ZooGuard, I don't believe calling someone a crypto-X necessarily implies "being deceptive about their beliefs, either towards themselves or the others - that they are either too dumb to realize what their beliefs are, or that they are liars". Maybe they simply fail to see the true nature or consequences of their own position? (Not necessarily because they are "deceptive" or "too dumb" either.) And as to creationist being a synonym of "idiot", I am a creationist, but I am not a person of "low general intelligence". And Weaseloid, the essence of ad hominem is address the person rather than the argument. Even if you take "you are an idiot" to mean "your belief is idiotic" (why should we take A to mean B, when they are clearly saying different things?), calling people's beliefs idiotic is just a non-constructive content-free contribution. Insults are cheap; you are better off just sticking to the much more polite wrong. (((Zack Martin))) 10:12, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I thik Weaseloid is right while ZooGuard egzagerates (except dropping "z" from my name, which is not necessarily necessary but should be there to keep record straight). The problems with "idiots" ar obvious but problems with "ctypto creationists" are more interesting. They (CC's) are not volunarily such but only because of high complexity of the science that has to be comprehended to understand the issue. To simplify the issue one may say that creation of "something" from "nothing" is forbiden in physics, particularly creation of energy since there is strict "law of conservation of energy" that explicitly forbids such extravagance. The Big Bang hypothesie (that some call illegaly a theory) contains in it creation of enegy from nothing which showed up there out of desperation because some physicists couldn't imagine many things that today are easile explanable through the universe that exsisted always. Not by conservative scientists though who reject parts of Einsteins' theory as the relativity of time. For them time is absolute (though "scalable") while in reality it is not only "scalable" but really relative. That's the whole stupid issue. To explain it better I'd need an opportunity to discuss it with someone who understands at least enough physics to ask intelligent questions that I could answer. But it might be a long process despite I know most of the answers to most of the possible questions. But is around here anybody who is ready to discuss the cosmology? (Just asking). I know that there are many who think that the Big Bang is science. Mostly since they don't know the situation in science and in cosmology in particular and don't believe Richard Feynman when I quote his opinion about those matters even if I could give a word of honor that Feynman was not joking. JimJast (talk) 18:00, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

So, you understand convergent infinite series, but can't seem to grasp why gravity is a convergent sum? --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 07:07, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Ad hominems for idiots[edit]

Step 1, dismiss an argument. Step 2, do it for a reason related to an irrelevant condition of the person making that argument.

Note that insults are not necessarily ad hominems... if the insult is used to dismiss an argument, then it is an ad hominem, however if they are not used to dismiss an argument, then it is not an ad hominem. Ad hominems can also be entirely civil. For instance:

Alice: "The sky is blue." Bob: "You have brown hair, so you're obviously wrong about the sky being blue."

An attack upon the person making the argument is not necessarily an ad hominem. For instance:

Alice: "Your appendix is infected, and you need immediate surgery." Bob: "You are not a doctor, and thus, do not have the training necessary to make such a determination. Therefore I am justified in being skeptical of your diagnosis."

And again, sometimes insults are peppered in and entirely unrelated to the argument, and are just fluff.

Alice: "The earth is flat." Bob: "Your assertion is false, and has been shown to be false based on lots of evidence. You are an idiot."

Note how the argument is just as effective without the insult. The the insult is rhetorical sugar rather than actual argument.

Some people argue that an assertion or argument make in an uncivil manner is wrong. Asserting that the statement is false because it is insulting or uncivil, is a fallacy of attack the style of the argument. As can be noted by the example: "2 plus fucking 2 is fucking 4 you shithead". It is apparent that the argument is still true despite being offensive/uncivil. Thus, any arguments about civility are about style and form, not about the arguments themselves. As RW has oft taken the position that uncivil and offensive arguments are acceptable as long as they're satirical or funny, thus the position that such an argument is out of style or format of the community is in fact false. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 07:00, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Civility in argument and debate is an important social value. RW is bad for society through its wilful and repeated disregard of this important social norm. RW is part of a general decline in civilized discourse (much broader than RW), and that isn't doing the world any good. In fact, RW claims to serve rationality or rationalism, but a decline in civilized norms of polite discussion is not good for trying to make society more rational or rationalist. So RW actually undermines itself; it commits a pragmatic (but not formal) self-contradiction. (((Zack Martin))) 10:16, 23 June 2011 (UTC)