Difference between revisions of "RationalWiki:Saloon bar"

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(Prayer to prevent health care reform)
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"Life and death hinges on the Senate health care bill. We face significant threats to the God-given right to human life through government funding of abortions, our health from rationing, our family finances from higher taxes, and our general freedoms posed by the government plan to take over health care." [very sic] {{User:Human/sig|}} 00:28, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
"Life and death hinges on the Senate health care bill. We face significant threats to the God-given right to human life through government funding of abortions, our health from rationing, our family finances from higher taxes, and our general freedoms posed by the government plan to take over health care." [very sic] {{User:Human/sig|}} 00:28, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
:Search engine ending in "e", eh? Hum... wait, I know: Netscape! --[[User:⁠|⁠]] ([[User talk:⁠|talk]]) 00:54, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

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Saloon bar
WIGO Bar colour.png

Welcome, BoN
This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
Invision-Board-France-355.gif For previous conversations see the automagic barchives.Drinks drunk.gif

What is going on?

The Bar
(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (*cough*) (hic)

Pointless poll

What is your New Year's Resolution for 2022?

Exercise more, lose weight, etc18Vote
Find a girl/boy/nonbinary-friend15Vote
Do better at that whole "jobbing" thing9Vote
Give up tobacco for ganja3Vote
Finish work on my doomsday device29Vote
Write a book, learn to play guitar, or other skill/hobby15Vote
Finally start a business4Vote
Same as above, but the business is a goat farm2Vote
Have fewer mental breakdowns29Vote
Summon a hoard of zombies to do thy bidding7Vote

Should Latin be revived as a national language for a country

No bringing back extinct languages15Vote
Bring back 8 Track Tapes3Vote
Bring back some other language5Vote
I would like to order a large pepperoni pizza with a 2 liter of Pepsi52Vote
Make Esperanto a national language.11Vote

Fuck, Marry, Kill. Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro.

F Jordan, M Joe, K Ben14Vote
F Jordan, M Ben, K Joe2Vote
F Joe, M Jordan, K Ben4Vote
F Joe, M Ben, K Jordan5Vote
F Ben, M Jordan, K Joe3Vote
F Ben, M Joe, K Jordan13Vote
F Goat, M Goat, K Goat89Vote

Are goats cool

To do list

National Geographic

PalMD might get into print now that ScienceBlogs & NG have teamed up. just the one link: it's all over, over there I am eating Toast& honeychat

The big times at last! CЯacke®

We have another Republican to hit golf balls at

I just created Carly Fiorina. Feel free to add crazy things she's said, some classic fuckups she did at HP, or anything else of interest.

Cheers, The Wine of TyrantsDrunk with power again!

Size and scale of the bar (sticky)


As the saloon bar is massive, I'm wondering if it'd be a good idea to split it into a few sub forums (in practice, sub pages of this page, which would act as a menu screen). The benefits are pretty good, you can organise it all better and probably keep a good level of activity. It might also help a little with server load so we don't need to reload the entire page repeatedly (this has been an issue for me, at least, recently) but I'd want Nx or Trent to comment on whether that's true or not. Downside is that there are more pages to keep track of. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 09:40, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I like that idea. At the moment Pibot is archiving when threads are 40 hours old and it is still long. Or we can go back to using the forums? - π 09:51, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
The forums died when the Saloon bar started. This page is more plusgood because it's easier to load in pictures an' that. Sub-saloon bars? Hot l Baltimore, anyone? Totnesmartin (talk) 10:00, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
But a decent install of phpBB or something similar can do just as much stuff as the MW page. The downside to using the forums is that it's two log ins and two different ways of working. It could be advantageous as the forums are designed to hold forum traffic so may help with the server problems and the archiving problems. So if the forums aren't a popular option, splitting would be a good way to sort of merge the two types of interaction. I'll think of some categories but I imagine the standard net break down of on-topic/off-topic etc. would be good. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:05, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


  • Rationalism/Pesudoscience (for the odd time when we want to talk about it)
  • Mad Fuckers (for the reporting of the batshit insanity of the world)
  • Saloon Bar (for general discussion)
  • Goat Worship (the totally off-topic forum)
  • Sticky page (where adding new sections are is forbidden, but the pages aren't archived)
Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:08, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
No, no no! I like that the Saloon Bar has all kinds of discussions going at the same time, like an actual bar. Splitting it up would decrease the amount of talk because no one would bother to follow all of the individual discussion pages. Tetronian you're clueless 13:50, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That's more of a problem than anything else. The bar is fucking huge and threads get archived after less than two days. The prospect of bringing up old topics is practically impossible and some of the interesting or productive or important topics get archived quickly because they're swamped by the random crap. It needs to happen one day. At the moment, the system is like a Facebook group with more than 50,000 members; the messages are impossible to keep up with because there is ZERO organisation and it updates too frequently to keep track. This is especially important as people, you know, work, or have lives and can't be attached to the Internet 24/7 just keep track of every new conversation, at least half of which they may well not be interested in. Fragmenting it on the other hand has numerous benefits, and giving topic titles might encourage people to start more threads, not less. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:28, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I suppose you are right. I think we need more discussion though, and I would like to see what other editors have in mind. Tetronian you're clueless 05:20, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
The saloon bar should be disbanded.
And why is that, pray tell? The Saloon does more than anything else to contribute to the sense of community here. Tetronian you're clueless 13:52, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
It adds to the insular and reactionary culture which is making this place slowly die.
Are you now too lazy to log in, MC? Fedhaji (Talk) 00:44, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Best reason for keeping it I've seen so far. --Kels (talk) 18:06, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

From Pi's talk page

As the discussion didn't attract many people, I figured I'd probably go ahead and split the Saloon Bar unilaterally (it gets the mobs attention quite nicely). Would this cause any issues with Pibot and archiving? Adding the Template:Talkpage/Pibot template should work but there could be an issue with searching subpages. The simple way to do it would be to search all the archives of all the "sub forums" (I.e, the saloon bar page itself would have the titles of the search bar, the bartop and the links to sub forums only) but I'm not sure if the pibot parameters would do that automatically. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:58, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

If you leave the archive path parameter as it is, it will archive all the subpages to the one archive page. The search box searches all sub pages of the current page. There is a Template:Talkpage/PibotHidden that will archive a page without creating any on screen display. - π 14:06, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, so literally "don't change it". That's good to know. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:38, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
No if you need to archive sub-pages they each will need a template, but if you tell them to all archive to the same page it will. - π 23:20, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree that a split would be a good idea, but I think we should have more discussion first. No need to do it unilaterally and send everyone into HCM. Tetronian you're clueless 23:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Armond, we really need to discuss this before unilateral splitting. How about a "sticky" thread on the bar about it? I'm sure the accumulated brainz here on this site can come up with a good way to do it so it doesn't dilute the energy that makes the SB what it is, while allowing us to perhaps slow down the archive rate a bit. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:50, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

It is probably best to ask everyone first, however if you are going to do it, the best way would be to put:

|algo = old(time)
|maxarchivesize = 150K
|counter = 44
|algo = old(96h)
|archive = RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive%(counter)d

on each subpage. That way they will archive back to the main saloon bar's archive. - π 08:08, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that will work because of the counter.-- Nx / talk 08:10, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
It updates the counter itself, doesn't it? I haven't looked at the script in a while. - π 08:14, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah but if the counter is different on some pages, won't that cause problems? -- Nx / talk 08:17, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
It does only add one at a time, but it loops until it has archived the threads, so it should keeping going until it finds the next free archive. - π 08:18, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I am an old man, easily confused and I may have missed something. But what we going to split the Saloon Bar into? And how exactly will it help us?--BobNot Jim 08:48, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

My suggestion is to keep the Saloon bar for off-mission chat (food, music, rl anecdotes, etc.), have a separate but similar page for on-mission or topical chat (anything about cranks, blogging, also news stories, etc.) & a separate place for discussing possible changes to the site (technical, aesthetic, policy), a bit like WP's village pump.

Also, I think this discussion ^ should be moved back to the Saloon bar. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:40, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

The problem with "more discussion" that nothing ever gets done that way. The unilateral action at least gets some attention - but thanks for the comments above anyway. Weasloid seems to have the best idea, it seems. There will always be a place for off-topic discussion. Discussion on cranks etc. (the "on topic" chat) can go on the WIGO pages, though, they're not used much but they should be. Having yet another place might dilute it too much but perhaps if we could integrate it all better, add the saloon bar (off-topic chat) to the WIGO nav-bar. A subpage to discuss new article ideas specifically (perhaps combine with the "to do list" in some way) and also add this to the same nav-bar. Site policy would probably need a new page (or use talk:main_page?). But again, put it on a nav-bar. That puts all the major social interaction points on one navigational template that can be jumped between easily. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:09, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I think this should be on a seperate debate page.
And I'm still a bit confused about the objectives/advantages. If people don't understand or sign up to such a change then they will all continue to go to the same page. What would be nice would be a clear statement of:
  • The problem which needs to be resolved.
  • How the proposed solution would resolve this problem.
  • What advantages (if any) this solution would have for individual users.
  • How the split would work in practice.
While I understand that unilateral actions have the advantages of overcoming institutional inertia, I do feel that a general discussion would help get some kind of consensus, and messing with the main point of interaction on RW is not a small step.
I would suggest therefore that: 1) this be moved to a debate page. 2) the debate page be announced on the intercom 3) those proposing the change explicitly answer the questions I have outlined above.--BobNot Jim 17:45, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I definitely agree with separating off-topic chat from discussion about site changes. -- Nx / talk 20:37, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Other suggestions

Why don't we create a "forum" namespace, and instead of a new section being created here, a new page in the "forumspace" is created for each new thread. That way users need only watchlist those threads which interest them. And we can keep track of all the new pages created by adding one of those thingies that display Recentchanges, and set it to only display edits to the forumspace. It's a lot like what Uncyclopedia does, really. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:52, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

That might work quite well (haven't looked at the UC one though). And the SB itself could perhaps be transclusions of all the current ones, set up so the "edit" buttons take you to them? That way the SB contains everything in one place, but after editing one ends up just loading the "current" thread. Can each thread then have a menu listing all the others? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:45, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a good idea. With the inputbox extension we can create a box to easily start new threads, and with dpl we can list the x threads with most recent activity on a single page. I suggest we don't replace the saloon bar though, let's just leave it alone during the transition (if we decide to do this), and if the new forum namespace is successful we can close down the saloon bar. -- Nx / talk 06:35, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, we could use categories to create various "subforums", since dpl can filter by category. Also, the new version I installed a while ago can produce multi-page output -- Nx / talk 08:06, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
That's good to hear. Though if we want to actually implement it we'll need to hear from others first. What do Pi, Toast, and Ace think? Bob (both of them)? All the n00bs who've joined since I left?  : ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:43, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Does this mean we would scrap the RW forums as they are now? WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:02, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Nah, they'd be left as they are (presumably as a testament to our own sadness : ) ). We'd simply continue not using them. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to get my brain around this. As I understand it we're trying to resolve two problems:
  • The SB uses a lot of bandwidth.
  • As a consequence of this the SB gets archived very quickly and sometimes before people have time to read or comment.
So the suggestion is to create a new namespace and make each new topic a page in this new namespace. These pages would themselves be accessed through topic headings in the existing SB (or a new variation thereof).
If I have understood the problem and the solution correctly then I'm all for it.--BobNot Jim 08:23, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Alright! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:42, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, dpl and individual threads are more complicated than I was thinking, but it sounds interesting. But yes, Bob, the problem is that the sections get archived so quick they're almost impossible to keep going if only a few people are involved. Sticky threads work, but as with most forums with stickies, they're starting to expand and take up more room. With sub-forums (as categories, as Nx suggested), individual threads and discussions will be easier to find. A single page to a thread won't work like the Saloon bar, where you see everything, but it'd be no more clicks than the usual kind of forum ran on VB, XMB or phpBB or whatever. Though if we go that route, it'll be best to implement it while still running the saloon bar as it is and encouraging people to use both to provide feedback - as the trouble with most changes (As a Facebook user of nearly 5 years, I know this from experience) is that people just go "NNOOOO!! CHANGE IT BAK!!! NOO!!!!!" to any change. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC)We're not typical facebook sheep, though, surely? Totnesmartin (talk) 18:03, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
As Human has demonstrated, we aren't far off. Professor Moriarty 18:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll get on it soon. Just don't start creating pages that start with Forum: because that will be a problem when I introduce the namespace. -- Nx / talk 18:00, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The SB became popular because it was a single entry point to lots of different topics, it has an immediacy that is missing from the BB. Previously WIGO:CP seemed to get clogged up with non CP stuff. The advantage of the Saloon Bar is that you don't have to click around to see what's of interest. I don't like the sticky stuff here as I feel there's probably better places where it should go and if a topic generates a lot of interest it is often moved into a separate space. The bulletin board format makes it more difficult to peruse as you have to keep clicking between the different threads. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 23:47, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
That is a good point. In any case, I've set up RationalWiki:Forum for testing, so you can try it out and decide which one is better. -- Nx / talk 01:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
It's possible to create a page that resembles the saloon bar with the new system: RationalWiki:Forum/Off_topic_chat_expanded. This lists the 25 most recent threads with their content, and allows you to scroll through all past threads (the pagers don't appear because there are less than 25 threads) -- Nx / talk 02:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Why don't we make that the default setting, because it's the most familiar view to everybody? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:12, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

On a related note

I'm finishing the phpbb upgrade and will open up the rationalwiki forum again soon. -- Nx / talk 21:27, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Looks nice, do you think we can encourage people to use it? - π 01:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Say what?? There's a forum??? (I'm kidding) Tetronian you're clueless 01:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
There's always been a forum. Search for it on RationalWikiWiki for some amusing insights. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:01, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

New thread way down below

I think I'm so smart, but I did make a lot of the things we like here work well. User #188 ;) OK, Trent made them work well, but I made them pretty and wrote the instructions. If anyone wants to cut and paste it up here go ahead, I just didn't want to get EC'd after writing it. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

James Cameron's Avatar

Well, the first reviews are in, and things are looking good so far:



However when I talked about this on a forum, I got this 'interesting' response.

"They read like fucking advertisements, I think it would be best to wait for the thing to come out and the embargo to be lifted on all the reviewers who intend to do more than just function as mouth pieces for press releases.

Although they do basically confirm all my worst fears about the plot, it is pretty much exactly the story I figured it would be as soon as I saw the first preview and seems to have that same trite, tired and hypocritical "industry and military bad nature and vague spiritual bullshit good" garbage we've been hearing from the boomer generation all too often for their entire artistic history. Frankly as a proponent of the "military industrial complex" as they call it this is not a message I'm interested in hearing."

Fascinating, wouldn't you say?Ryantherebel (talk) 04:25, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Since I saw the first preview a few months ago, my opinion has been the same, and has only been confirmed by these reviews. This movie is nothing new. The special effects look slightly above average, but even then, special effects don't make the movie. The story looks very basic and boring, and I have no desire to see this movie. Cameron got too far up his own ass for this one, I think. Z3rotalk 14:39, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Holy fucking shit! Humans are assholes who kill the indigines! What a facinating and original plot! --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 15:04, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
SF film directors really need to get their act together. All they do these days is regurgitate the same old crap. For fucks sake, read some classic science fiction and or come up with some original ideas. Tetronian you're clueless 16:33, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Well said. When's someone going to do the Foundation trilogy? Alhough they'd probably ruin it... Totnesmartin (talk) 18:42, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Sadly they probably would ruin Foundation, since they attempt to shoehorn everything to fit into today's dumbed down mold for a sci-fi flick. What they really need is a visionary and risk-taking director to make movies that preserve the tone and intent of SF works. Regardless, I'm also waiting impatiently for Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Ender's Game. Tetronian you're clueless 18:49, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Foundation has almost no action, and the sum of its attraction lies in the phrasing and concepts within it. It would be incredibly boring as a movie unless it were changed beyond all recognition. Stranger in a Strange Land is a great book, albeit with the ubiquitous Heinlein dirty-old-man stand-in character running amok, and is already in development. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is also already in development, and we can only pray that commercial concerns grind out some of the libertarian bullshit. Ender's Game is terrible, so are its moral lessons, and so is Orson Scott Card, and I hope it never gets made.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 21:42, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Stranger in a Strange Land and TMIAHM are in development?!?! *jumps for joy* Actually, now that I think about it they're probably just going to turn them into the usual special effects-laden unsophisticated nonsense that passes for science fiction these days. Tetronian you're clueless 21:48, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Here's a great essay on one of the many reasons why Ender's Game is so terrible.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 22:05, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Wow. That is one hell of an essay. I agree with most of the points there, although I think some of the arguments in the second section are a bit absurd. Although it makes me want to read Ender's Game again more than anything else. Tetronian you're clueless 22:24, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
They will screw up Stranger and Moon just like they screwed up Starship Troopers. Honestly, I think with the concentration on the "evil businesses/empires/secret societies, good rebels" meme that pervades most movies these days the movie industry would be able to screw up Glory Road, one of Heinlein's more straightforward novels abut acculturation, acceptance and service. Imagine what will happen when they get ahold of topics like sentient AI, morality, religious distortion, salvation, acceptance and the human condition. When it comes to sci-fi movies, I don't have much hope for the genre anymore since they fucked up ST. -- CodyH (talk) 23:30, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I am still pissed about how badly they fucked up ST. The director skipped over all of the philosophically important points and just went overboard with his assumption that the book is a utopian satire of fascism, which is probably isn't. The more I think about it, the more I realize that they will probably do even worse job on Stranger and Moon, since both are heavily related to the time period in which they were written (birth of the 60's counterculture for Stranger, Vietnam War for Moon), and the writers of the screenplay/directors will undoubtedly ignore that. Worse still, I am afraid that they will completely pervert Heinlein's stance on religion as outlined in Stranger and/or fuck up his message in Moon, which (if I am interpreting it correctly) is pro-libertarian but cynical about libertarian revolution. Tetronian you're clueless 23:36, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Haven't seen ST, but I was disappointed at how seriously they copped out with the ending of the movie for The Puppet Masters, one of my favourites of Heinlein's. Poor sound on the copy I saw too, hard to really get the dialogue. --Kels (talk) 00:41, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Really the only major scifi book I can think of that really lends itself to the big screen is 2001, which was a movie before a book, so it doesn't really count. Hyperion might make an okay movie, and maybe Asimov's Robot series (the novels, not the short stories. Plus, I, Robot wasn't even based on the plot of the book. It came out okay, though). Let's analyze this:
  1. Foundation would need a billion dollar budget to even come out okay, and it would be like twice as long as the LoTR series.
  2. A MIAHM movie adaptation would be a slander uon his best novel. Either the libertarian themes get downplayed to the point that the novel loses its message, or ramped up to the point of insanity. I don't think a balance is even possible in a film.
  3. Don't even get me started on SIASL. My childhood has been ruined already.
  4. I haven't seen Starship Troopers, so no comment there.
  5. Oh god, please no Card movies. The books are bad enough. I especially loathe Ender's Game. Just another manifestation of adolescent power fantasies for adults that didn't grow up enough to read non-shit literature. Hate the guy. I've read the essay before, and yeah, I agree totally. Trust me, many of his novels are worse. Empire is a absolute piece of neofacist shit. Actually, I would reccommend buying and reading it just to see how he thinks. It's horrifying. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 01:59, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with most of that. Although I think they wouldn't be able to pull of the Robot series, either: to talky for Hollywood. Dammit, why is it impossible to put something in another medium and still have the same message? Or is it just that Hollywood producers don't give a shit about creativity and are just trying to make a quick buck? I'm guessing it's the latter. Tetronian you're clueless 02:03, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Avator=Starship Troopers. i.e. director coming off massive hits directs huge budgeted sci-fi spectacular involving thousands of CGI characters and some grade-B stars in plot you can't explain in one sentence and involving a story no-one cares about. Result? General disinterest. Avatar looks awful, and will not be "changing cinema forever", not a chance. That Cameron or the studio has the hubris to make such a claim augurs well for my theory - generally, the more noise they have to make about a picture, the more MIchael Bay-ish the picture is. DogPMarmite Patrol 02:07, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Why has no one mentioned Niven? Though I don't have the patience for Sci Fi anymore, credible and necessarily fragmented adaptions of Ring World, Integral Trees and Out of Time each have the potential to make a honking good sci fi movie. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 02:21, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
"2001, which was a movie before a book" Um, what planet are you from? Arthur C. Clarke, meet Stanley Kubrick, awesome film based on great book. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:37, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Scifi fail. The book and film were developed concurrently, and the book was published after the movie was released. wp:2001 (novel) --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:54, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
"The Sentinel" came first. And of course you are right, I screwed up on that. Gawd, I am so embarrassed! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:09, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
You know, it would be interesting if someone took a crack at E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman books. Lots of special effects, clear heroes and villains, very visual concept for the most part, cool aliens (Worsel!!), just the sort of thing the blockbuster boys would eat up. Practically writes itself. --Kels (talk) 03:41, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Just got back from seeing 2012. Terrible movie.
Tet said: I am still pissed about how badly they fucked up ST. The director skipped over all of the philosophically important points and just went overboard with his assumption that the book is a utopian satire of fascism, which is probably isn't.
I thought Starship Troopers was a great adaptation. I didn't think that there were any real philosophical points made in it, in general, even if Heinlein was trying. It was not a very good book, overall, since it basically read as a rather poor military adventure story that attempted to make up for its own shortcomings by bouncing back and forth in media res.
Worse still, I am afraid that they will completely pervert Heinlein's stance on religion as outlined in Stranger and/or fuck up his message in Moon, which (if I am interpreting it correctly) is pro-libertarian but cynical about libertarian revolution.
Moon is a good story but a lousy message, so I'm completely okay if they abandon the message. It's very libertarian, but like virtually all libertarian nonsense (Atlas Shrugged, Sword of Truth series) they have to invent absurd situations to justify their philosophy. And even then it's stupid. The Heinlein-stand-in in that book, the old professor, is so full of crap. Vivisect that sucker and make it a good action movie, is my view.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 03:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

@TomMoore: I disagree. To quote you: I didn't think that there were any real philosophical points made in [Starship Troopers]. Come on now, there were plenty of points to be made. Heinlein was discussing the role of the military and America's attitudes during the Korean War. It discusses the perceived dichotomy between capitalism and communism that was so prominent at the height of the Cold War, and like most Heinlein novels it lectures the reader on duty. The movie does none of this. While I agree that the book is horribly written, the movie did not do it justice in terms of philosophical weight.
On Moon: Moon is a good story but a lousy message. I agree, but there is more to it than that. Moon is also a novel that speculates about the Vietnam War, since it is told from Vietnam's perspective. By blending the concepts of Vietnam and the mythology surrounding the American revolution, Heinlein is questioning the nature of libertarian revolution (and perhaps satirizing it as well). True, the libertarian themes are a bit heavy, but making it into an action movie, would, in my opinion, be butchering it. Tetronian you're clueless 04:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
It discusses the perceived dichotomy between capitalism and communism that was so prominent at the height of the Cold War, and like most Heinlein novels it lectures the reader on duty.
I know. And I'm not saying it didn't try to make some points. I just thought it did so terribly and didn't make any. I was not sad to see them excised, accordingly. It's pretty much the same reason it wouldn't bother me if Edward and Bella got their bone on before marriage in the Twilight series; even though the author as a Mormon tries to make the point that it would be bad, I think she does so really poorly and so I don't care if they knock fangs early.
Moon is also a novel that speculates about the Vietnam War, since it is told from Vietnam's perspective.
In what way? Inasmuch as I can see, it just uses a few parallels about situation. Vietnam was also a hostile environment that favored the indigenous, with the war primarily being one intended to make it economically impossible to continue and politically unpalatable to wage. I don't see many philosophical parallels, though. What do you mean?
Heinlein is questioning the nature of libertarian revolution
I disagree. He is questioning the nature of libertarian governments, and instead suggesting that a state of perpetual revolution is necessary and minimal government in between. While distrust of the government is necessary, it's only in the scifi world he creates, with a deliberate devaluation of life, that his points become viable.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 04:47, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I see what you mean about Starship Troopers. Our disagreement is more a matter of taste: I am satisfied with Heinlein's rants and consider it to be legitimate and successful point-making; you do not. On Moon:
In terms of Vietnam: The Loonies are stand-ins for the Vietnamese: a small agrarian society in a harsh environment that does not appreciate being meddled with. Earth is of course the US, a technocratic and rich nation marked by its desire to intervene in foreign affairs, intolerance, and greed. Though the reason for their conflict in the novel differs wildly from the real war, the strategy on both sides is strikingly similar: at one point Mannie comments that the Earth has the technology and resources to win, but they can be stopped if we raise the cost of their victory high enough. This is precisely the strategy the VC used, and it was the basis for their guerilla tactics. Furthermore, during the war the Vietnamese were depicted as backwards, evil, etc. Moon flips this view on its head by blending the image of the Loonies with that of America in 1776, which was a similar situation but it has the opposite connotation. Thus, Heinlein is commenting about the war and how we see it through the juxtaposition of these two allusions.
In terms of libertarian revolution: He is questioning the nature of libertarian governments, and instead suggesting that a state of perpetual revolution is necessary and minimal government in between. I agree, but there is more to it than that. Heinlein is also satirizing libertarian revolution by depicting it as too perfect: the Loonies have Mike, who is way too good to be true in practical terms, and the tone of the book in general over-glorifies the revolutionaries even though they are essentially terrorists. (Prof and Wyoh are, at least.) Once again he uses 1776 imagery ironically to drive home the point. Yes, Heinlein sets up an artificial world much like Atlas Shrugged, but he does make some complex points that are more thoroughly grounded in reality. Tetronian you're clueless 05:15, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I said before that I saw the situational similarities between Vietnam and the moon. I still don't see any philosophical similarities, though. When you said the story was told from "Vietnam's perspective," did you just mean in the situation as the small poor country versus the rich distant one? Because that's obviously true, but I sure don't see any greater philosophical point there that would be lost in an adaptation.
This is precisely the strategy the VC used, and it was the basis for their guerilla tactics. Furthermore, during the war the Vietnamese were depicted as backwards, evil, etc. Moon flips this view on its head by blending the image of the Loonies with that of America in 1776, which was a similar situation but it has the opposite connotation.
Inasmuch as I can tell, he mostly glorifies the American Revolution, only pausing to ding it slightly when it came to scope and the self-interested nature of the revolutionaries. I didn't really see him trying to make a point about Vietnam, except inasmuch as the military and political situations had similarities. You seem to imply he is trying to equate the three wars in some sense, but that isn't the case. Instead, he points out their military and political similarities, but only glorifies the philosophy of the American one and doesn't touch the Vietnamese one.
Heinlein is also satirizing libertarian revolution by depicting it as too perfect: the Loonies have Mike, who is way too good to be true in practical terms, and the tone of the book in general over-glorifies the revolutionaries even though they are essentially terrorists.
I don't think he was trying to satirize that aspect. He does mention that Mike made it much easier than it would have been, and often spins off into discussions of why it could have been so much worse and so much harder for them. But it seemed to me that such circumstances were dramatic necessities... it wouldn't have been a neat narrative with good pacing if it had been more "realistic."
I will be perfectly happy if they lobotomize it.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:25, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I didn't really see him trying to make a point about Vietnam, except inasmuch as the military and political situations had similarities. You seem to imply he is trying to equate the three wars in some sense, but that isn't the case. I think he is trying to equate the wars, in a way. His main point is not about the wars themselves but about how we view them. If I am interpreting it correctly, he is saying that although the American Revolution and Vietnam are similar wars, our biased perspective makes them look like opposites. He does touch the Vietnamese mentality slightly with that concept of enduring and raising the cost of victory - as I understand it, that was America's view of the Vietnamese response to the war. I take his glorifying of the American Revolution to be satire because of how much it saturates the book and how over the top it is; I didn't think he means it seriously.
Sure, it would have been a less exciting book if it were less realistic, but the whole thing seemed to me to be too easy and too morally one-sided. Heinlein wrote hard SF and wrote some more speculative rather than didactic books (such as Stranger), so why is this one too easy and too simple? My guess is that he's mocking libertarian revolution in that sense, not glorifying it. Tetronian you're clueless 05:35, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Re Heinlein, I'd much rather see producers skip some of his more philosophical stuff like Stranger and Job, and make some good adventure adaptions/updates to his straight YA stuff like Tunnel in the Sky and Podykane of Mars. There's lots of fun to be had there, if anyone actually films it. I recall there was a decent animated adaption of Red Planet a while back which was fun, more of that would be nice. --Kels (talk) 16:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

On that note, I'd like to see "Orphans of the Sky." I read that over and over when I was in elementary school, it'd be a great movie. Tetronian you're clueless 17:34, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
Orphans, Tunnel or even a live action version of Red Planet would rock, although I imagine the last would need to be set elsewhere now that the way Mars really looks is pretty well accepted by the public. Although I'm sure they could get away with it all the same. --Kels (talk) 21:26, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
My not so secret dream is to one day adapt Stranger into a film. I do mean adapt, 'cause nearly half it is completely unworkable (read: Jubal Harshaw) for film. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 03:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
You'd also have to rewrite about 80% of the dialogue. It's fun and fast-paced, but boy is a lot of it corny and dated now. Plus, a good quarter of the novel, if filmed straight, would end up as porn. --Kels (talk) 05:14, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

A couple of rules of thumb to consider:

  • Adult novels are too long to make into movies without massive abridgements. Very roughly, one page of novel makes for one minute of movie. Thus, a two hour movie means a 120 page novel, which means all but the Heinlein juvies would have to be cut to pieces. Also note the movie novelizations are usually very light reading. Novellas are the write length for movies.
  • This is only partially true, but good novels lead to bad movies and bad novels can lead to good movies. Consider:
    • The Godfather movies (at least the first two) and Gone With the Wind are both classics of American cinema. The novels aren't considered anything special.
    • The Harry Potter books are great fiction. The movies, while not bad, aren't going to be cinematic classics and are pretty clearly for people who have read the books anyway.
    • One notable exception is The Princess Bride, which is a very good book and an absolutely wonderful movie. Note, though, that the book's author, William Goldman, is a screenwriter, and actually wrote the movie's screenplay. And yes, To Kill a Mockingbird is an obvious exception, too.

MDB (talk) 18:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

RW Poker Tournament

Peeps here up for a quick holdem poker tournament on either Tuesday or Thursday next week at 20:00 GMT? If so then sign up here. You don't need to install anything (other than flash) as the software is web based, and it's all free. It'll just be a single table tournament with max 10 seats (no limit) so we should be done in about 1 / 1.5 hours. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:44, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

P.S. If anyone fancies playing who doesn't know how, there are tons of easy tutorials out there, and the software stops you from doing anything stupid anyway. You can also turn on a hand helper which tells you what your best hand is. So go on, give it a try! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 11:36, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Bump. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:35, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd love to, but the only card game I actually enjoy is "Uno". Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:10, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't forget everyone, if you're bored tonight then instead of having a barclays to some frankie vaughan why not pop in for some virtual cards with us all? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:22, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd love to play some virtual poker with y'all, but it is realistic bowling night. Perhaps next time (as long as it isn't Tuesday?) Aboriginal Noise What the ... 11:38, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Could do this Thurday or another Thurs after xmas? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:28, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Thursday is definitely good for me. Aboriginal Noise What the ... 16:34, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Sign your name up. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 17:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Rage Against the Cowell

UKians, don't forget to buy a couple of copies of 'Killing in the Name Of" this week. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:15, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Whatever for? This is just "don't buy what they tell you to, buy what we tell you to" - it's just commercialism pretending to be subversion. Totnesmartin (talk) 15:11, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
True, but I like the idea of wiping the smirk of Cowell's face far more than having an internally consistent philosophy on the nature of consumerism. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:35, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Wiping the smirk off Simon Cowell's face will be slightly harder than that. Whatever you think of his lack of integrity he knows the market and how to play it. Bob Soles (talk) 18:00, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
At the end of the day, the xfactor single will be number one, whatever happens. The record label will buy millions and millions of copies to make sure of it, and they have inside info to the chart situation (and let's face it, this is all just a big dick competition in the end). The whole point is not to get to number one, but to make them work (and pay) for the right to get to the top. Also, am I the only one who thinks they're not even trying this year? OK so they always find a lame single from the past to cover to pull in the votes, but come on, the shit they're picking this year isn't even a year old yet. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 22:10, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, they can't really buy a no.1 because it would flag as suspicious and not count if they tried doing that. Anyway, it'd be fun just to see RATM chart (which it will). Though I can't wait for the irony meter's reading when thousands of teenagers scream "FUCK YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!!" just as they realise, "shit, we actually did do what you told us... damn". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
We're in the lead! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, at least the thirty grand for charity is better than anything the X-Factor has ever done. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:39, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Epic win. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

heh... Well, Tom Morello has endorsed it. But Cowell is still talking out of his arse when he says "Shows like Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor have actually got people more interested in music again, and are sending more people into record stores". That's BS, it may have made Cowell a lot of money but it's done nothing positive, it's just made music into a disposable commodity. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:59, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Yup, and the poor sod who's getting his moment threatened has absolutely no idea what he's in for. A million pound record contract? How many exclusive albums does that include? 5? What happens when Cowell dumps you after your first album flops and you can never work with another label again because you are tied into their contract? How long is that million going to last you in this climate? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:48, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
But it's not quite that black and white. As a long haired hippie in the 60's I despised the manufactured Monkees with their blatant cash in on Beatlemania. But now, forty years on, I actually own - and listen to - a Monkees CD because it's fun bubblegum and pop music shouldn't be taken that seriously. Furthermore several careers have been launched by Pop Idol and/or X Factor - Will Young springs to mind. He's not my cup of tea but my missus loves him and who am I to say that my old Grateful Dead CDs have any greater merit? Bob Soles (talk) 10:50, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


Having spent most of the day marking just four undergraduate lab reports (and remarking four more fuck ups), I'm starting to see why a certain individual we all know likes to just give a quick glance at any text and just say "10 out of 10, will use as model" instead of doing it properly. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:39, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

And on a related note, it's always good to see them citing Wikipedia! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I always wonder if the academics who contribute to Encyclopedia Britannica weep whenever they see someone do that. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:08, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I've pondered slipping some false information into the relevant article for a week or so to see how often it pops up in lab reports. I should really read the reference papers on there to make sure they say what they say they do. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:54, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
@RA:as long as they cite the WP:Bivalvia article, they should be OK. Half of that I nicked from my Britannica cd-rom. Totnesmartin (talk) 16:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I thought that all of the initial Wikipedia stuff was copied from an out-of-copyright version of Britannica (1919?). Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 07:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Lots of it was from the 1911 Britannica, and I still find parts of it in articles about old artists, saints etc. There used to be a template about it but I din't know if they have it now. Bivalvia definitely wasn't from the 1911, though, because it was shite. Totnesmartin (talk) 08:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Most of the original articles were pulled from US census data, that is why any physical location is "notable". They just had scripts that pulled information about census zones and created articles on them. - π 00:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I've always viewed lab reports as the intellectual equivalent of rice cakes. Sterile autobiographer 15:17, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't aware lab reports where crunchy and taste good with peanut butter. I'll have to try some now. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:57, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


I thought this was somewhat amusing. I have no idea how they gauge religiosity, though. Tetronian you're clueless 22:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

From polling data: "In 2006, 2007, and 2008, Gallup asked representative samples in 143 countries and territories whether religion was an important part of their daily lives. This map is based on the results, and shows religiosity by country, ranging from the least religious to the most religious on a relative basis." ħumanUser talk:Human 22:53, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm surprised the US isn't darker. I suppose that we only hear about the lunatics.--BobNot Jim 23:00, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It's only an average figure; the results would be very, very different if it were by state/region. In the northeast, for example, the majority of people would probably say "less important." But in the Bible Belt the most common answer would undoubtedly be "very important." Tetronian you're clueless 23:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm personally interested in all of the religiosity around the equator, across the globe. Is it the hot summers that stir religious fervor, or the cold winters that discourage belief in gods?Junggai (talk) 23:23, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Probably that the harsher and hotter equatorial climate has a tendency to create less economically sound societies, which would explain why religion is more prominent there. I realize that is an enormous generalization, but I imagine climate ultimately has something to do with it. Tetronian you're clueless 00:22, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
It's been known for ages that hot whether tends to change peoples behaviors. You get more riots, for instance, and a remember one hypothesis that said that if you transplanted the whole Middle East to somewhere with cold or mostly mundane weather (like Manchester) the problem would fix itself. But if climate makes life a little more unpredictable, I can imagine that it is one of the indirect causes of religiosity. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
That seems to be the ironic thing about anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe. When typical Europeans think of Muslims, they imagine Palestinian bombers or ultra-fundamentalist women wearing all-black. In reality, they don't realize that the friendly, laid-back woman who sells them kebap around the corner is more representative of their country's Muslim population. The Minaret ban in Switzerland is a typical case. Junggai (talk) 13:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
The same could be said of us looking at religion in America because we are so focused on fundamentalism. Tetronian you're clueless 19:22, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Late night thought...your capital.

Let's say by one way or another you became ruler of your own personal country, with broad powers. What would you end up naming the capital city? Something broad, egotistical, boring, absurd? The Wine of TyrantsDrunk with power again! 09:33, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Polis. Then I would give up my power and institute democracy.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 09:49, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd name it "drunxville" and make it the law that all beer be free in the capital city. Lord Goonie Hooray! I'm helping! 14:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
"Fat City." Ace can tell you where that comes from. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 15:15, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Doomstadt, and I've name the country Latveria. Because I'm a geek who wants to be a supervillain when I grow up. MDB (talk) 17:10, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd name the country France and the capital Paris, just to confuse people. Totnesmartin (talk) 18:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Neo-Atlantis--Thanatos (talk) 19:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Bacon. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:52, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


Speaking of bowling, I just remembered something amusing that happened to me a while back which I thought y'all might like. My department at work had organised a 10 pin bowling night out, and on the day it was scheduled, myself and another guy were wandering down to the local convenience store to get a sandwich and were talking about bowling. The other guy was saying how he loves the really heavy size 16 balls because he loves to pelt them down the lane. Just as we walked into the shop (and were walking in front of the register) I said "I prefer 14's but I usually can't get my fingers in them". I got the weirdest look from the cashier before pissing myself laughing. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:14, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Answerbag has left me and my fellow AB’ers, possibly for Facebook—what am I gonna do?

"So are you leaving or staying on Answerbag?"
I like a place where one can be anonymous, have multiple accounts, and the questions are always open; one that has minimal advertisements, avatars are big, and glitches are few.
We had that in Answerbag several days ago. Now what?
Civic Cat (talk) 15:27, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Kent Hovind's Dissertation

It's up and ready to read here. Please waste no time in taking a look -- it's worth it.

Typical quote: "I believe that the earth is young and Darwin's theory is not only unscientific, it is absolutely stupid." (everything sic), p. 93. Junggai (talk) 17:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Mmm, it is fun (it's been linked on his page since last Thursday). As a dissertation it rivals "Budgie the Helicopter". I am eating Toast& honeychat 17:41, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
It's absolutely hilarious. It reads like a poor first year research paper, and is filled with obvious errors (Democrates != Democritus). For god's sake, it's full of anecdotes, and even has a poem Hovind wrote about atheists! PubliusTalk 17:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it might be killing the wikileaks server. How big is that damn thing anyway? I've tried to load it twice (now and a day or two ago) and all I get is fail, sadly. Is it posted anywhere else yet? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:14, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Haven't read it all yet but it is hilarious. His writing and grammar skills are almost as bad as mine, and yet he calls it a "doctoral dissertation." Tetronian you're clueless 21:21, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Has it been confirmed that it's the real McCoy and not parody? I just downloaded it and it looks pretty damn puerile. Then again, is this from an actual university? DickTurpis (talk) 21:39, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
After reading a little more of it, I can't shake the feeling that it is parody. My high school wouldn't accept writing of this quality. Is he really that dumb? Tetronian you're clueless 21:51, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, the "university" in question is in fact an unaccredited ranch-style home in Colorado. Nuff said. DickTurpis (talk)

I'm new at the uploading thing. Someone please tell me if this is kosher. Junggai (talk) 22:02, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for uploading it, but I suspect there might be a strong copyright reason not to have it here. I think wikileaks gets away with it by living in Kenya or something. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:23, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
If we run some side-by-sides on it then we should be allowed to have it because of fair use. Tetronian you're clueless 22:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I added the link to Wikileaks, which was found on PZ Myers site, here [1] (via Richard Dawking's site). CS Miller (talk) 01:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Have both Myers and Dawkings been taken in? With PZ's comment #6 and Skip Even's comment #110 on PZ's site I doubt it. CS Miller (talk) 01:16, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That is such a poorly written piece of crap. Funny, though. If it's real. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:50, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I've just started reading it, and I do think it's real. Is it any wonder why Hovind or Patriot* bible 'university' don't let anyone read it, unlike pretty much every other dissertation ever written? (*Why do 'Merrrikan bible-bashers equate Jesus-loving with patriotism?) PS. DPRJones has a vid up on YT where he's enquiring about these 'Doctoral' courses... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
For me, there's no question that at least it's the same dissertation Karen Bartlett reviewed several years ago (link can be found on our own Kent Hovind page). That's strong evidence for its authenticity. Junggai (talk) 09:35, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
He got one thing right though. 'Christians are often guilty of neglecting or twisting the Bible to fit their lifestyle or their preconceived ideas.' EddyP (talk) 20:27, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

On the blog linked above, someone mentioned that it seemed truncated - 1) two few pages (120 vs. 250), 2) too few chapters (4 vs 13?), and they mentioned a lack of references. If you look at the last page, it just sort of ends with that "These honest questions deserve an honest answer. ... I believe Jesus was right" paragraph, which seems like more of an introduction to what is to come rather than a conclusion. The refs would have all come at the end if there were any. Ergo, I think it is incomplete. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:33, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

For doubters, it's real, by the way, and he's drawn some flak from it. See here and the bastion of liberal bias, wikipedia. EddyP (talk) 22:44, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Agony Aunt

I was flipping through some trashy womans magazine, reading the agony aunt column and came upon this gem -
Question: A colleague of mine has overpoweringly dreadful body odour. She is obviously oblivious to this but it has the whole office talking. I want to tell her but I am mortified at the thought of doing it. Should I be the bigger person?
Answer: Something does smell stinky but I suspect it is you. It sounds like you have something against this girl personally, and you're trying to turn the whole office against her. Grow up.
WTF? Aceof Spades 21:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

The answer is in the question: as you said it was a "trashy women's magazine." Do you really think they put time or effort into what they publish? Tetronian you're clueless 21:19, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
...you're trying to turn the whole office against here and I bet you want to censor prayer in the office too. This is what happens when people believe in relativity.
DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm more interested to know why Ace was reading a "trashy womans magazine" in the first place. Any explanation? --User:Theautocrat/Sig 02:18, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

There were the lesser known characters - Disgruntled Goat... Uncle Ant... Klu Klux Klam. --Edgerunner76...and a hotplate! 02:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

One less Evangelical nutjob.

Oral Roberts, noted extortionist? Dead"called home to the Lord". TheoryOfPractice (talk) 21:26, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Just saw that myself. Funny....I'm not sobbing uncontrollably. DickTurpis (talk) 21:29, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I should be glad or not give a fuck... — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:31, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm neutral to it. Though I don't wish death upon people simply for being fundamentalists, I will not mourn him whatsoever. Tetronian you're clueless 21:37, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad he's no longer extorting money from the stupid, then using it to make other people stupid (and charging them for it). — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:40, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I didn't get around to donating my life savings, and the Lord still took him? What a gyp! Aboriginal Noise What the ... 21:44, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I heard legends that he would bellow "HEAL!" at people to try to cure their ills. I suppose he failed to use the technique on himself. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:48, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Dude assumed room temperature hours ago, still no mention on CP. Their article is pretty neutral--is he persona non grata somehow? TheoryOfPractice (talk) 00:33, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I'd never wish death on (nearly) anyone, but he's not exactly a great loss. I remember Chris Hitchens's strikingly honest comments after Falwell's death... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 01:41, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

@Aboriginal Noise - Wes does this mean we've moved into a three way tie? Look at me force overtime with only two weeks to go. --Edgerunner76...and a hotplate! 02:29, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Sure looks like it (for those reading, this is a death poll we do with a friend and his wife). You know the case of beer carries over to the next year if there is a tie. Aboriginal Noise What the ... 02:57, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Dancing on fresh graves is so unbecoming. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Puerile thread is puerile. Dumbasses. --User:Theautocrat/Sig 04:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The coming decade

Just wondering what people expect to see happen in the 2010s, whether in politics, culture, science, CP or what have you... Totnesmartin (talk) 23:43, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I see bad things for YOU. Aceof Spades 23:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
GPS enabled smart phones will become ubiquitous, change absolutely everything and will be as big a deal as the internet. The apocalypse which thus far has gotten off to a slow start will begin in earnest. By 2020 drinking water will be insanely expensive by today's standards. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 23:52, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I have a guess that people will get interested in paranormal stuff again - it seems to come and go in 20-year cycles. I think the last couple of decades of increasing democracy will reverse - governments will use the excuses of "security" "fighting crime" etc to supervise people more and more. Iran will get the bomb. Totnesmartin (talk) 00:02, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
So this is it. We're going to die. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 00:30, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Giant robots for use in war!--Thanatos (talk) 00:33, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
We won't all die, don't worry, some of us will just be horribly mutated. Aceof Spades 00:48, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the expensive drinking water is an interesting thought. The fact that the reserves we pull drinking water from all seem to be declining could be a massive long term problem and doesn't get talked about much. I agree that governments will supervise people more, and it will get much easier for them to do so. Also, it will get easier for them to do so without the average citizen noticing (do YOU know how often the FBI has accessed your cell phone's GPS log this year?). Robots are and will be used for fighting and will increasingly be used for everything else that people would rather not do themselves. I don't know about the 20 year cycles on paranormal interest. We'll see. OneForLogic (talk) 01:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
The developed world have to start dealing with energy as a real problem if we are to get by. Sterile autobiographer 02:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Communist! - user:ListenerX ħumanUser talk:Human 06:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Reds are too obsessed with class warfare to give a hoot about the environment; those are more the green anarchists. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:09, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Speaking of obsession... LX gets the 2009 RWWWW award for extreme generalization. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:08, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify. I don't think the ubiquity of GPS enabled smart phones is going to be a bad thing. I think it will be a big consumer services boom, the details of which I'm a little fuzzy on. Oh yeah and Uncle Sam will know the number, frequency and pattern of our visits to various public restrooms, not that there is anything wrong with that. I think nearing the limits of potable water as well as cheap energy will mark the beginning of a long, slow motion apocalypse. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 17:01, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Y2K redux

Can none of you count? The next decade does not start until 1/1/2011. - π 01:02, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm going into a business where "rough" is spelled "RUFF", and you're asking me to COUNT!? --Kels (talk) 02:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
@Pi: I hate to sound stupid here, but how do you figure that? Tetronian you're clueless 02:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Because there was no year "zero." The first decade went from 1-10 AD CE, the second from 11-20 CE, and so on...TheoryOfPractice (talk) 02:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Silence fools. There are two conflicting views, one that a decade ranges from XX01-XX10, and another that it goes from XX00-XX09. They are both perfectly legitimate, so it is like quibbling over "humor" versus "humour". Also, what business are you going into, Kels? --User:Theautocrat/Sig 02:16, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Animation. And yes, it actually does involve a lot of counting and keeping track of stuff. Plus geometry. --Kels (talk) 02:39, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Now then now then NOW THEN! Pieman is indeed correct; however although we are not coming to the end of this decade, we ARE coming to the end of the 'noughties', so it's a good time to reflect back on them. Also, it is 'humour'. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:22, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
oh, but the "odometer" effect is sooooo much more compelling. 09>10 coolish; 10>11 yawn. Sterile autobiographer 02:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The rules for defining decades are not the same as defining centuries. We number centuries chronologically, so the 1st century is 1-100, the 2nd is 101-200, etc. Decades, however, are defined by the 2nd digit number. The 1960s are 1960-1969. I don't think anyone would define the 60s as 1961-1970. So yes, it's the end of the noughts, but not the end of the 1st decade of the millenium. DickTurpis (talk) 04:26, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Okay, so numbering pedantry aside, what about naming? I have never used the term "noughties" (except for just now and other places where I've made this same point) but have kind of reluctantly accepted its use just like "nineties" or "forties" (90s, 40s). But what about this next one? Tenties? Onesies? I think that's the most pressing issue we face in the next two weeks. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Leaving the inaccuracy aside I think the 'teens is likely to be what our Alien Overlords call the decade after 2020. Naturally, since we will have our speech organs burned out we won't have to call it anything. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 17:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The past decade

What were uyour personal highlights of the last ten years? What were the lowlights? Totnesmartin (talk) 23:45, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I got engaged, traveled extensively worldwide and kicked several nasty addictions. Hurrah! Oh and lowlights would be a sick family member, a couple of deaths, career issues and the picking up of several new addictions. Aceof Spades 23:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Finished high school, got my Eagle Badge, experienced the death of my high school sweetheart, discovered philosophy, watched my father remarry, finished college, traveled across Japan and Korea and Tunisia and France and Italy and Spain, started graduate school. Been an eventful decade. Maybe the next one will be quieter, but I doubt it.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 23:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Moved from NZ to Australia, secured a good job, met my current partner, retained serveral addictions, gained 10 kilos, lost 10 kilos. As for the downside the only major one's were a sick family member and one dead cat (remember Ace??).Rad McCool (talk) 00:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah, dead cat, but that didn't really bother me so much. Aceof Spades 00:09, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Married, divorced, drink, therapy. Then BA, MA, fell madly in love, married again, moved to a new country, started a Ph.D. Got a bitchin' cat. And a mandolin. Wasted too much time on the Internet. Went to Africa. More therapy. Fell in love with New York. And Vancouver. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 00:29, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Got out of an abusive relationship, had a number of other flings, got in and out of BDSM, had an increasing and then declining interest in Paganism, moved to a different province for the first time ever and had a relationship with a sociopath that ended dramatically, started a new career, ended same career, started another new career (still pending education), became a photographer, became an artist, gave up being a writer, got involved with the local queer community and eventually drifted away from it, volunteered with various festivals, got tattooed (twice), was publicly naked, seen people on the verge of death, lost contact with friends, regained contact with friends, made new friends, lost others, and found RationalWiki before it officially existed. All told, nothing out of the ordinary. --Kels (talk) 02:16, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Stopped taking recreational drugs, stopped smoking, stopped drinking, resumed drinking, bought my first home, admitted that I had a 'proper' girlfriend, resumed smoking, left long-term employer, embarked on new line of work, became an anti-theist (from being an apathetic atheist), discovered conservapedia, wrote this. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:18, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Drank. Sailed. Drank. Had a good time, all in all. DickTurpis (talk) 04:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

wow you guys are WEIRD User:FineCheesesUser talk:FineCheeses 04:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I thought I was a bit boring, really. I didn't even mention spending two weeks in an 18-wheeler or creating a reference library from scratch. --Kels (talk) 05:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That's an understatement. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
No, really. It was exactly two weeks. --Kels (talk) 13:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Found RW. Wasted a lot of time on the internet. Got older. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I had a good decade I guess, still alive though with a fatty liver. Had a shit shit shit shit year though. Aceof Spades 05:38, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I found this thing called the internet, Started a band, restarted a band, joined a band, was in a film, became a pagan and a vegetarian, had a succession of lame blogs, wrote about shellfish on Wikipedia for a month, moved to Totnes, didn't have a cat but did have an eye operation. Totnesmartin (talk) 08:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Fell in love and got a job with a great company (named one of the ten best places to work in the DC area by one magazine's survey, and got an honorable mention in a similar list at another magazine). Oh, and lost almost 300 pounds. That's not a typo. MDB (talk) 10:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Performed on stage, became a DJ, saw 2 total eclipses, quit corporate life and started own business. Still not starving, so must be doing something right. Managed to remain firmly single and set in my ways. --PsygremlinTala! 17:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Wow. My decade will sound unbearably bland compared to everyone else's. Let's see...started the decade in public school. Ended it in public school (last year of it, though). A bunch of "exploded in the hangar" relationships, one good one. And...that's it. Tetronian you're clueless 18:06, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Partied way too hard. Fell in love. Got a BS I hardly use. Had a horrible breakup. Couple relationships with some chicks that were probably out of my league. Still at this fucking job. But I recently bought my first house, so we're kind of on an up tick. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Cut my long hair short, graduated, taught myself to play guitar, graduated again (MA), made friends, alienated friends, met girls, alienated girls, became a lot more self-aware, moved out of family home, travelled, spent too long in soul-destroying jobs, emotional problems, therapy, started a band, realised I can't really play, left work, made some more bad decisions, moved back in with parents, spent a year unemployed, got a good job & moved out again, grew my hair long. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:25, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That reminds me...I forgot half a dozen backpacking trips around the Europe ;) — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:32, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


I've created Template:Hatnote to consistently format hatnotes ("where you looking for...", Template:Moved, Template:Movedto (two slightly different templates that do the same thing, hurray) etc.). Because my past attempts at bringing order to chaos have met with resistance, I'm not going to pursue this, and I'll leave it to you to fix the existing hatnotes, if you want to. The template uses css to do the indentation and italicization, so you need to add this to MediaWiki:Common.css.

Also we need a new category for these that could include Template:Cp and friends, but I can't think of a good name. -- Nx / talk 08:32, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Why hatnotes? We don't have shoenotes, so shouldn't it be headnotes? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 11:58, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
wikt:hatnote -- Nx / talk 12:02, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
If this was a music wiki, we could have sleevenotes too. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:36, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
We might need socknotes, too... ħumanUser talk:Human 22:45, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand what that template is supposed to do. Currently it doesn't appear to do anything. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:44, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
It does this, i.e. it indents the text and italicizes it. But it uses css to do that instead of wikicode, and since I can't edit Common.css, it does nothing for you. -- Nx / talk 21:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I stuck it on the end of common.css [2] for you. I hope I did it right, please check my work? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:27, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That's right, thanks. -- Nx / talk 21:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
You're welcome. Is that where we break things edit to make custom formatting for messagebox? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:45, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes. See the documentation on Template:Messagebox -- Nx / talk 22:51, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, ok, yes, I had read that before. It's not very clear - for instance, it doesn't say where to add that stuff, or how to get a new version to use the new info. It also doesn't really list what can be css'ed. I know you guys are trying to explain this stuff, but you already know it so well it's hard for you to write instructions in a way that a person who has never edited css to follow. Based on what I did above for Nx, it's obviously fairly simple, but I suspect it's also really easy to make a huge mess. I'll keep trying to understand. Oh, also, if I were to try to get it right in order to improve the instructions, I can use my own monobook thingie as a sandbox that only affects how I see things, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:02, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, you can use that as a sandbox. As for the css instructions, that would probably be best on a separate help page. I didn't want to clutter up the messagebox doc with a Css 101. -- Nx / talk 09:31, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


Just seen. Way better than District 9. But maybe because it has more of a "I was there" feeling. --Psygremlin講話 12:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Didn't see District 9, but I will try to see Invictus. Tetronian you're clueless 12:19, 16 December 2009 (UTC)


Over at ask, Philip has proposed an experiment that he claims will indicate the existence of a supernatural being. Hence, we're doing a bit of experiential learning here, and we're going to do an experiment. If you are an editor there, please come on over and participate. Sterile autobiographer 17:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I don't get it. It looks a lot like Javascap's "two pens" thing, & I don't see how either of them can prove anything. Also, can you link to where PJR proposed this - the page linked above seems to be your own work. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:53, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

That's kinda the point. (ADD: It's a discussion of falsifiability. This is what Philip proposed is an experiment to falsify the supernatural....) The ref is in the experiment page: [3] Sterile autobiographer 17:55, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Some similar data from another experiment conducted by staunch theists, just how many thousands of people were fervently praying for Oral Roberts, but he died anyway? Either that means there's no supernatural element and he died just like anyone else, or God said "fuck you" to his most fervent followers. Which is more likely, hm? --Kels (talk) 18:09, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
It reminds me a bit of the cursing experiment we tried to get off the ground here a while ago.--BobNot Jim 18:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, what came of that? Did the neopagans ever respond? I think some aren't delusional enough to want to embarrass themselves, while others are so delusional that they don't want to harm you with their curses. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:15, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
They sent us Marcus. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:52, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
"Your experimental premise is flawed, because I have already asked God not to respond to any such requests. Fortunately, his refusal to respond to your requests is confirmation that he is responding to my request." heh heh heh Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:16, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I'll have to figure out how better to incoporate tricksters like Martin into my "experimental" "design." Sterile autobiographer 19:03, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC2) The notice went up on the witching forum, and then the Wiki crashed. Speculations were made that this occurrence was not coincidental. The only response I ever got was an e-mail ranting about how "WE DON'T CARE THAT YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN THE MAGICAL LIFE!" Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:17, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Shame 'cause it could have been fun. Ah well. Perhaps we could try cursing each other?--BobNot Jim 18:41, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That, I could have predicted. People are all very happy saying "yeah, respect our beliefs, they're just as valid as yours!!" until you respond with "prove it" (a useful phrase for getting people to shut up, I find, I once said it to someone who was declaring how good they were in bed). Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Most religions in which magic is an element utilize orthopraxy rather than orthodoxy, so it does not matter whether the magic is believed in or not. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:11, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
That's a good thing, especially since "magick" is a little less than real. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

You know, I think this whole experimentation thing is aiming a bit high. Instead of immediately going after the ultimate Mary Sue God himself, why not go after something smaller? I know Bradley believes in demons, and they're said to be very interested in screwing around with humans. So why not look for evidence of them? --Kels (talk) 13:01, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Other than "the gays", you mean? Me!Sheesh!Mine! 14:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
You might also look for shovel marks where Satan buried all those fossils. --Kels (talk) 15:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Paying for RW

Since the last thread got archived thought I would sneak another in. Short summary of the issue: due to a strike action at my university I am extremely short on my pay checks till end of January. Thanks to donations from wonderful users I was able to get the December internet bills paid off, but I still need a little more for January. My end of January pay check will be back to normal and we should be good to go again. The call for financial support is consistently met by the same people, and I appreciate them immensely. However, we should spread the load! If you are new to RW or havent given a few buck yet, please think about it. A $2-$3 from even half our daily users is plenty to get us over this hump. tmtoulouse 18:36, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I do think it might be time I stepped up to the plate. Aceof Spades 18:49, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
You have my continued support. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:58, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess it is time to pony up... — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:00, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
There. I did it. I hope you're happy and that my hard earned money doesn't go towards drugs or fMRI machines or something. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I earn my money by kidnapping orphans and selling their kidneys, so you're welcome to it. Eases my conscience a little. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 19:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Sort of embarrassed I never gave before (in my defense, I was unemployed for a while, and I sort of hate paypal for some reason), but now I have. Hope it helps. DickTurpis (talk) 19:57, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Hm...may I mail you cash? Tetronian you're clueless 20:05, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't you have a bank account? — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:07, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Cash would be much easier, if possible. Tetronian you're clueless 20:08, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, someone has their nose in it? If you have a bank account and don't want to do paypal, I'd go to your bank and get a cashier's check. They're usually free for account holders. Don't mail cash. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Makes sense. Will do. Tetronian you're clueless 20:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
My student loan check will be here very soon. Corry (talk) 20:22, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm looking forward to feeling better about myself than the rest of the mooches here. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:38, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Not if I feel better about myself first! Tetronian you're clueless 20:42, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Hey, Trent, I'll kick you another $20 for a cratship. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:47, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Trent--can we send $ to the McM U address? Sterile autobiographer 20:57, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Trent: Email me your account number and sort code and I'll set up a standing order (saves on the transaction fees). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 21:51, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it's that easy tansferring money from a UK bank account to a foreign account. You have to use Swift or something like that and it has a heavy fee of something like £20 per transaction, OK for large amounts but not regular small amounts. I have been double pi-ing through Pay-Pal ever since the first call for support went out. I'd certainly recommend Pay-Pal for small sums of money. It takes a small cut but it's worked fine for me. I'd offer myself as an intermediary (you put cash in my account and I pay RW) but the exchange rates fluctuate and I might find myself on the wrong-side of a currency movement. Trent pays his bills in $ so it's much better to set up your regular payment as a dollar denominated amount. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 23:36, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I was thinking about this earlier. If all the UKain Rationalists gave their donation to one person, we could reduce the paypal's cut or even make it worthwhile sending money some other way. Of course that person would have to be trusted knowing who donated how much, and trust none of use to be cads with their bank details. (I've already donated this time around). CS Miller (talk) 02:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that would be an advantage. This claims to describe the paypall charging structure.--BobNot Jim 07:41, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Why are people so reluctant to use Pay-pal??? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? 20:03, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
No idea. I do it all the time and I've had no problems. My bank only charges 18p for converting to dollars too. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:08, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Easy way to just search for images that don't have a copyright notices on them?

Yup. Anyone know of an easy way to locate the images that lack copyright notices? I'd like to gradually run through them to see if they can be correctly licenced. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 22:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

You can use the categories. -- Nx / talk 22:29, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Or to search for the ones you uploaded:
createdby = Π
namespace = File
uses = Template:Nolicence|Template:Nolicense
- π 22:39, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
He has none though. -- Nx / talk 22:47, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Nx/Pi, thanks. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 22:50, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
One thing I forgot to ask: Do you see any problems in me deleting orphan images that have been uploaded (at least 6 months back) that aren't being linked to anything? Apprehensive_Kitty.jpg is an example of something that just seems to be sitting around looking apprehensive but not doing much else. --ConcernedresidentAsk me about your mother 23:01, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
If it has a free licence leave it we might use it one day, if not check with the uploader, if they are no longer active I say go ahead although others may disagree. Check what links here as well as what uses the image, we sometimes use images indirectly in articles. - π 00:31, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Also remember that deletion does not save HDD space. The image is still there, just no non-sysops can access it. Right? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:55, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Pretty much. It might still be accessible through the full url, I have never tried. - π 02:57, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Reading the Bible in public school

So in my high school english class we just finished studying the Bible. There were a few interesting things about the whole ordeal that I wanted to bring up. First, the teacher was very careful not to violate the Establishment Clause. At no point were we told that the Bible is true; we studied it as we would a book of fiction. We were also given the choice to "opt out" in private if we felt uncomfortable. The rationale for teaching it - which I understand and agree with - is that it is the basis for much of Western literature, and many American works make strong allusions to the Bible. Second, reading it actually made people more skeptical/doubtful than they were beforehand - they were surprised at the amount of violence in the Old Testament and were shocked by how God acts like such a moralistic, malevolent bully. Andy, if you're reading this, you can suck it - everything you've said about Bible studying in school is basically false. Tetronian you're clueless 00:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

In English we had a priest come into class to explain the theology behind some of the events in Hamlet. The bible needs to be taught along with the Greek classics if you are going to have any hope of understand English literature at all. - π 02:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. The KJV and Shakespeare are probably the two most powerful influences on the development of modern English. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 03:01, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Didn't Isaac Asimov argue that Shakespeare was so influential, the English language would never evolve to the point its current speakers could not readily understand Shakespeare? (Incidentally, anyone who claims they 'can't understand Shakespeare' has never experienced is as it was intended be -- performed. Some of the specific words will give the modern listener trouble, but a well-produced stage or screen version can be understand with a decent level of concentration.) MDB (talk) 14:20, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Those two, and the Twilight saga. User:FineCheesesUser talk:FineCheeses 07:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Er, isn't the Twilight saga a bit young to be "influential"? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:27, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
RA fails at sarcasm.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 09:14, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
You're glossing over Harry Potter. I was informed by a pair of colleagues who had literally never read any other work of long fiction that the series was "for the ages." Of course, I was judged to be the asshat for saying it was adolescent fluff without having read more than half of the first book (in order to better bond with a favorite niece). I may well be an asshat, but not because I don't have appropriate respect for the broader significance of Harry Potter in western literature.Me!Sheesh!Mine! 14:36, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it depends on the exact meaning of "for the ages". If it means "will have a lasting influence of literature and human thought for many many years", then I'd agree Harry Potter is not "for the ages". If it merely means "people are going to reading Harry Potter for many many years", then I think Harry Potter does qualify as "for the ages". If anything, we've got an entire generation of children now, who, in twenty-thirty years, are going to have pre-teen kids to whom they'll say, "y'know, Draco, I enjoyed these books when I was your age, why don't you read them?" MDB (talk) 16:32, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Wherein human tries to be as useful as Mei regarding new forum/saloon bar ideas

I've been thinking, or at least drinking, about this, and have some "ideas" which I will now propound.

I think that we should have both the Saloon Bar and the forum: "sub SB" system.

The arguments for change are good - 1) the SB is a pig and takes ages to reload after editing, even though 2) it is archived aggressively.

One problem - sticky sections. The section way up above that is about this topic is huge, and we have to load it every time we want to read why someone hated a TV show. Usually we moved long sections to debate pages and talked about them to death. The forum idea makes this more streamlined.


Here is my idea. And it is my idea, no one else's, my idea and my theory and it is mine.

Let us have both the old-school SB and the new forums page - but let us integrate them automagically. We have the skills, we have the technology.

I propose that:

  • People continue to add section to the SB as always.
  • Some sections will die a quick death due to lack of interest and pibot will archive them after 48 hours or so.
  • Sections that grow and gather interest can be renamed carefully to indicate their content and tagged "forum" or "(forum)" (by anyone). Then pibot should move the contents to a forum: page.
  • The SB should list, at the top, the last ten (or so) edited forum pages. Thus any "vanished" topics will be obvious to readers, due to the intelligently designed title.

The forum page will list all topics edited in, say, 30 days, in order of recent editing. Both pages will link to each other, and I will write brilliang instructions or help bits for both. Pi and Nx will write brilliang code to make the magic work.

Thus, headers like:

== I saw Star Wars==
And it sucked, I preferred Star Trek. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:42, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

That get no further comments, will just get archived.

Headers like:

== Let's discuss Heinlein and making movies of novels==
(Eight hundred comments)

Would have days ago been moved to a forum: page.

For a lot of time on this wiki, I acted as the "make it pretty and easy" adviser to Trent, back when he was the only "extension writer" here. Most of this work occurred behind the scenes, ie, on the phone while he and I worked in sandboxes. That time is over, and I wish to now figure out how to work on-wiki with our new reptilian overlords. Trent & I did some great work, and some crappy work (the "vote" template was probably the best, the AotW the worst, mostly because no one ever figured out how to make comments there turn up on RC, so it was a dead end page). Nx rewrote Trent's work to make it better code. Now the wikiworld has changed - Nx and Pi work on their own, and I struggle to work with them. OK, "struggle" is the wrong word. I am not working well with them ;) The "new" RW, if I am to influence its direction, requires that I work well with our new reptilian overlords, in terms of helping with "look and feel" and "user interface", and, most importantly, writing help pages and instructions so noobs and css illiterates like me can work with the awesome web 2.0 functions we have here.

I hope that some or most of you will think my idea of how to manage the SB/forum: space makes sense (it did to me, but, yeah, whatever). I hoped I explained my idea clearly, since poor explanation results in failed dreams (wow, great insight, I should write an essay on CP about that!).

That's most of my thunks, I think I expressed them reasonably well. Now let the mob tell me why or where I'm wrong, and let Nx and Pi make it happen. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:42, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Reptilian Overlord Nx controls the MySQL database for Pope Trent
Reptilian Overlord Pi is just eye candy.
I generally agree with you, that it would be nice to integrate the two, though I have concerns that moving a popular section to its own page, a la the forum, will make orphans of a significant chunk of the edit history of every popular thread (in other words, half the fossil record is buried in this page, the other half is buried waaaaaaaaaaaaay over here. (Oh, and its from two months ago—good luck finding the relevant chunk of edit history!) Maintaining an easily accessible edit history is one of the things that is most important to me on this site, and part of why I supported the creation of a new "forumspace" in the first place. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
You have addressed the weak link in my grand plan ;) Let pibot also make auto links "from" and "to" like we do when we move sections to debate pages? I just didn't want to clutter the SB with "this section moved to" links, but of course that would make sense. Please add the new thing for pibot to do be added to my list? Does that work? Gawd, it's nice working with you again, none of these drunks and general reprobates on this place have a clue any more. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:06, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, the "movedto" and "movedfrom" templates don't point to a specific chunk of edit history, they're merely signposts that tell you a thread has been relocated—with the relevant edit history of the thread still orphaned. Is there a way to link to a page history so it displays the edit history made within a given span of time? If we could automate that, it would be tolerable. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:20, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I do think "this came from there" is sufficient. Do you disagree? Oh this will be awesome, all bow down before the RA v. H edit wars once again!! But seriously, I think, at least, our conflicts always resulted in imrpoovmints to the wiki. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:46, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I disagree that saying "this came from here" is sufficient. It is a huge step in the right direction in that it tells you where to start looking for the original edit history (versus giving no indication at all), but I still find it inadequate. However, for the time being, I am resigned to the fact that I won't be able to get the site to completely shift over to a new forum system. At the moment I'm just tickled pink that your actually supporting such a major change in format. (First chance I get though, I am totally going to drown our fat, spoiled baby of a Saloon Bar in the bathtub  : ) ). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:06, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Do this magic. It is desirable.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 09:13, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with RA that the edit histories would become much cleaner with the new system. It would also make it much easier to link to an individual discussion. With the SB you have to link to the section, but if it gets archived you have to hunt it down in the fossil record, which is a pain in the ass. You could of course use a permalink, but then the thread won't show any replies added after that revision, and you would have to go clicking next diff until you find the diff where the section got archived. And with the forum when you just keep clicking next diff, you won't get "noise" from other threads that you are not interested in, you can just follow the same discussion nicely.
Unfortunately, the expanded view isn't faster, it is actually slower (since DPL has to fetch all the pages individually, and there's no caching). But viewing and editing the individual threads is faster, since they are smaller pages.
As for shifting to a new system, this whole thing will be replaced by LiquidThreads soon, which looks a lot like our new system, except it's shinier. -- Nx / talk 10:17, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, do this. It's probably a good idea. Tetronian you're clueless 12:26, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I support Human's suggestion. I don't think every new Saloon Bar thread should immediately be a new page, as often there are threads started where few people or nobody responds. Moving popular threads to a new page is better. I think the edit history issue is being overemphasised. These are discussion pages where (almost) every comment is signed & datestamped, so digging around in the fossil record of old threads will rarely if ever be necessary. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:35, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

It's like Hoth out there!

It's kind of ironic that the section above is going on a little about sections that will receive little attention and then I post some random crap, but anyway, I thought people might want to know what Star Wars planet the weather is like out there. Any city in the world (kind of funny when you put in a place it doesn't recognise). Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:25, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

does it have Tataouine, Tunisia? Totnesmartin (talk) 13:33, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I got Hoth too. Whoever made that website should give themselves a pat on the back, it's very clever. Tetronian you're clueless 13:57, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
It is like Hoth, at -30C counting wind. And I gotta go out in that at 6:30 tomorrow morning, when it's bound to be even colder! Damn my Design prof anyway for making the final project deadline so early. --Kels (talk) 14:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Greetings from Tatooine. I'd write more, but I need to instruct the serving wench to wave the palm fronds a bit faster and my fresh mango julep is on the way. --PsygremlinRunāt! 15:16, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Tataouine is, apparently, like Alderaan. This is illogical, Captain. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:27, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Richard Dawkins on Oz TV

Richard Dawkins will be Andrew Denton's guest on Elders next Monday evening. Denton usually does a decent, non-confrontational interview. The broadcast will be UTC+9 - +12, depending on Oz timezones. It should be available on the website later. I'm posting now as I'm off on holidays tomorrow, with no reliable internet for a week or so. Hope the interview is a good one. RagTopGone sailing 13:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Name that fallacy!

A horrifying news story is being debated at a forum. Some people have expressed skepticism about its truth.

One person argued that even if that particular instance is falsified, "we know" things just as bad happen.

That strikes me as a logical fallacy -- is there a term for it? MDB (talk) 14:15, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Ad hoc. Tetronian you're clueless 14:26, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that Ad Hoc covers it, I'm also not sure what the answer is. However it's the same argument that goes "Just because that well known woo-meister has been shown to be a fraud doesn't mean that they're all frauds; why my auntie went to a psychic the other day and the psychic knew Uncle George's name after only sixteen guesses so that just proves... etc etc" Bob Soles (talk) 14:55, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Saying that "we know" things just as bad happen kinda strikes me as an argument by assertion. Of course, whatever it was...that shit probably did happen. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 15:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
It's somewhere between ad hoc and argument by assertion. But their argument might be true in this case, as bad stuff does happen. Tetronian you're clueless 16:01, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
No it doesn't. God is love. Open your mind. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 17:26, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Certain papers will also print stuff that's easy to believe/feeds off prejudice in order to assert moral superiority - stories about immigrants/travellers etc committing various crimes and so on, which later turn out never to have happened - but the damage has been done. Still can't find a name for it though, my naming mojo has low battery today. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:05, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I feel dumb

Where's the page for nominating AotW again? I lost my link to it, and can't remember what its called.--Mustex (talk) 15:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

RationalWiki talk:Proposed Article of the Weak ought to be it. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:47, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

deleted article redlinks

To save deleted articles showing up in wanted pages, should we recreate the page as a redirect to its talk page? I'm only asking because the most wanted page is Felidae, and I'm sure we don't want some well-intentioned newbie starting that all over again. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:14, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

That's certainly easier than deleting all the in-links I suppose. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:19, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
OK then. Totnesmartin (talk) 20:25, 17 December 2009 (UTC)



Well, the wife is away again, meaning I get to eat what I like. Therefore I made myself chicken katsu. Not quite as nice on its own as it is with some sushi and sashimi, but hey ho. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 19:54, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Clearly I should have checked RW before dinner so that I could get on the "post your dinner" train, too. Fedhaji (Talk) 23:54, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Andy Schlafly, Lawyer / Author...

So I took a look at the latest edition of the Journal of the AAPS, and there's an article by Andy on why health care reform would be bad for physicians. So many apparent uses of the quote-generator ("Nothing new or innovative comes out of the government") So many factoids pulled from his rear (Lasik apparently only costs $99 now). The use of random quotes from unrelated sources to back his argument (The use of a Bishop's opinion on the health care situation to make a point about economics and markets). It's pretty fun stuff, and probably has a few good nuggets to add to the quote generator. --SpinyNorman (talk) 21:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Conservapedia_Talk:What_is_going_on_at_CP%3F Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:51, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Is this going on at CP? — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:52, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
(EC) I laughed in less than 10 seconds. Would you leave $100,000 laying out for someone to steal? Of course not, because you're smart. And that's why you will oppose health care reform. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 21:52, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
"The power of our government increases or decreases depending on how much control it has over the practice of medicine." Ronald Reagan was saying much the same thing back in 1961. Then they brought in Medicare and proved him wrong. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Prayer to prevent health care reform

Has anyone else been catching bits of that lunacy from a day or two ago? I guess it was a one-hour webfest, with the usual suspect politicians pandering. I'm only hearing it on the radio though so I don't really have a nice linkie to share. But here's some random hits from a search engine ending in "e":

  • [4] (old news)
  • [5] this might be it
  • [6] there it is, home base!

"Life and death hinges on the Senate health care bill. We face significant threats to the God-given right to human life through government funding of abortions, our health from rationing, our family finances from higher taxes, and our general freedoms posed by the government plan to take over health care." [very sic] ħumanUser talk:Human 00:28, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Search engine ending in "e", eh? Hum... wait, I know: Netscape! -- (talk) 00:54, 18 December 2009 (UTC)