RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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Do we really need to reproduce clickbaity headlines here?[edit]

The article bigs posted, "Who's more compassionate, democrats or republicans?" Is a hell of a clickbait headline, that refuses to actually answer the question it presents in the body, though it takes a stab at it at the end, alleging that trump supporters aren't.

In addition to my dislike of us using clickbait headlines, I have other problems with the article in question. She links to "my research", in the summary, but her CV actually only has , and then she's only the second author. And that paper barely touches on compassion at all. It's measured twice on really quite old data that reflects a modern electorate in no way.

does a little better, but it also becomes clear, skimming it, that her MO is the equate anti-abortion rhetoric about "innocent babies" to compassion, which really really represents most of the extent of her data's backing the presence of compassion existing in republicans. To me, that's always been the thinnest veneer that immediately transitions to the far more conservative political debate of "defending" from "attackers".

Oh man, I don't even know what I'm complaining about. It's fine. There's not that much wrong, other than her hanging way too broad a conclusion on her dissertation. It's a blog post. By the original author. It's fine and I'm being a pedant. But the clickbait headline sucks, bigs. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 22:09, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Isn't that why they aren't in the "world" section? I do feel for you, though. They should be in the "clogosphere" section. Tyrian (talk) 20:51, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
I just like to pretend we're cool and have smart, skeptical editorial standards here. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 20:59, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
Honestly, yeah. I wish we had stricter quality control, but sadly, people get pissy if you ask them to prove their own point, or demand proof that's of a decent quality, or aren't fooled by logical fallacies. Tyrian (talk) 21:35, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

We need clickbaity headlines here now. Here's why[edit]

  1. 9 out of 10 clickbaity headlines are clicked annually by more people per year than 1000 kW.
  2. Clickbaity headlines are becoming surprisingly popular in China.
  3. The Silver Age of clickbait - what does it mean?
  4. What does this signature say about pictures of baby animals? (talk) 23:22, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them.[edit]

Shouldn't really come as a surprise, and yet people still remain deeply invested in the Zuckerberg ecosphere.

Delete your facebook account, you really don't need it. Cardinal Chang (talk) 15:14, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Atlantic blog post on school shooting shits on ADHD out of nowhere[edit]

I think for the most part, it has a point, but there's one paragraph that completely goes into the ADHD and medications trope, and it's the worst thing in this otherwise good read. Made me stop reading for a bit.

Similarly, we expect children to match adults’ capacity to hurry or to be still for long periods of time; when they fail, we are likely to punish or medicate them. Examples abound: an epidemic of preschool expulsions, the reduction in school recess, the extraordinary pathologizing of childhood’s natural rhythms. ADHD diagnoses, which have spiked in recent years, are much more common among children who narrowly make the age cutoff for their grade than among children born just a week or so later, who must start kindergarten the following year and thus end up being the oldest in their class; this raises the question of whether we are labeling as disordered children who are merely acting their age. The same question might be asked of newer diagnoses such as sluggish cognitive tempo and sensory processing disorder. These trends are all of a piece; we’re expecting schoolchildren to act like small adults.

No... NO! This trivialization of ADHD is pure bullshit and came completely from left field. ADHD isn't just "kids being kids" and it isn't a means of "extraordinary pathologizing children's natural rhythms", (nice word choice in "extraordinary"; ADHD is a real mental disorder that entails in children truly struggling in school (with poorer grades than expected, not paying attention, not understanding directions, poor emotional control) and in turn leads to actual real life problems such as causing or aggravating anxiety problems, impeded social life, aggravating depression or suicidal thoughts, and so on; ADHD is often compounded with other disorders. What gets more on my nerves is this point is made on top of the pity-appealing moralizing about how hard kids have it and how dare we try to to medicate and "correct" them. The reality is that medication for people with ADHD are often a life-saver, and they level the playing field, as they are at a huge disadvantage. We have more ADHD diagnoses not because we try to "pathologize" children behavior but we have more awareness of a disorder that has been documented well over a century ago. , imagine how ridiculous and short-sighted that sounds.

The Atlantic, keep your ADHD denialist shit out of this as well as your uncalled for attack on psychiatry in an article about psychology. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:54, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

ADHD is absolutely real. I was diagnosed when I was a child, and even in adulthood I still have some issue with the symptoms. However, the exact thing they describe is also bad. The fact that being less physically and mentally mature than your classmates is deemed a mental illness is a serious red flag for misdiagnosis happening. Type I and type II errors are both bad. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 23:01, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
On a broad scale, I believe there's no case of overdiagnosis of ADHD. The problem is that public perception and media reporting that ADHD is overdiagnosed is common, and there's the issue of underdiagnosis in other places. The Atlantic is feeding to this one-sided perception when it talks about it, and if it doesn't use the denialist trope of "ADHD is just pathologizing normal behavior", it comes dangerously close to it. There are problems with how ADHD is diagnosed; it's a clinical diagnosis after all, and it has fuzzy edges. There are better ways to discuss about how to deal with the fuzzy edges; there are huge downsides to both those Type I and II errors, but how The Atlantic treats it is irresponsible, by presenting it the same way as the deniers and the media does it, by exaggerating this "epidemic" of misdiagnosis and overlooking some of the more complicated parts of clinical diagnoses. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:22, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
That's a fair thing to believe, but I'm not sure there's a valid way to scope the epidemiology. I wish there was. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 23:26, 11 February 2019 (UTC)
Mmm, I'm seeing to suggest that there is some concern that ADHD is being over-diagnosed for certain populace / characteristics at this point. This doesn't dismiss ADHD as a real phenomenon, nor necessarily dismiss the equal possibility that . In particular there seems to be a concern that ADHD is over-diagnosed in boys and also over-diagnosed among the age pattern described in the Atlantic, but equally there is concern about ADHD being under-diagnosed in girls. As far as medication is concerned, the general pattern I'm getting is that there is some justified concern over the lack of physician time in evaluating ADHD thoroughly, and also there is concern over an overemphasis on medication over behavioral theory (the best case treatments involve some combination). So I have no problems with the Atlantic paragraph in one regard, however it is not the complete perspective of concerns in the field and IMHO is too tangential to the topic of active-shooter drills to justify inclusion.Soundwave106 (talk) 13:50, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

Is someone getting this confused with Clogs?[edit]

Recently we've seen a bizarre article about "A Secular Case Against the Notion that Death is the End of all Experience" (which seems to be a mix of misunderstanding metaphors and tilting at a solipsistic strawman) and a rant about abortion leading to Nazi eugenics. It's offputting enough that I have ended my decade-long period of simply lurking on this site to comment on it.

Did someone post these here by mistake? — Unsigned, by: Mecharonin / talk / contribs

Maybe. It might have been snarkier if it was intended for the clogs. Sometimes people post bad blog WIGOs, no biggie. RoninMacbeth (talk) 07:15, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
I've been the one tending to the blog WIGO section recently, so they weren't put there by mistake @Mecharonin @RoninMacbeth. Palaeonictis Fossil beds 15:36, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

God's Not Dead take on Planned Parenthood[edit]

Are they still doing it under the team behind God is Not Dead 3? God is Not Dead 3 actually treats atheists much more fairly than in the first two. So does this make the punch at the WIGO text accurate? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:45, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

@LeftyGreenMario I got the WIGO text directly from the linked article's opening paragraph. I trust the source, so I left that text in. Cheers, Cosmikdebris (talk) 19:48, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
"Gods not dead, gods not dead" I continue to insist as I shrink and transform into a atheist professor. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 21:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Neoliberal pundits might be dumb[edit]

But if you see the way the wind is blowing, and don't realize that the institutional resistance to Bernie is profound and widespread, and see in that wind we're likely to end up with another candidate with the nearly unique ability to lose to trump, I don't get you. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 19:22, 12 July 2019 (UTC)

Polls showing me hope that I'm wrong right now. ikanreed ??Bleat at me 20:47, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

McSweeney's Internet Tendency[edit]

@? They make nice books, too, and are a very good literary source worth a look or two. Cosmikdebris (talk) 03:33, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

That Off Guardian article is complete rubbish[edit]

Like, it apparently cares about facts and figures, yet it doesn't quite to read the links it trots out. NASA's links show "an average" fire season, but you see that some areas are getting more fires on average while others aren't. But that science20 link says the opposite of what the article claims, that if you factor data prior to May, then the season is a record burning one. It gets some things right such as the misleading "lungs of the planet" claim but I think it seriously downplays the burning and also ignores the context of Bolsonaro's regime. Oh, and the word choice for the WIGO entry is crap too. It's one thing to try to get facts straight and then word it to your ability, but there's another thing if the entry misleads me into thinking Bolsonaro isn't actually trying to do anything to damage/destroy the rainforest. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:20, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

There are two problems with that simple average by NASA: it is average for the whole Amazon rainforest, not just Brazil's part of it, and secondly the 15 year period has two huge outliers: 2004 and 2005. If you get only Brazil's data, you can see even though 2019 is "slightly below average", it is still on track to be the third worst year in that period. 2004 and 2005 were so horrible that they push the average way up. (talk) 20:44, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
That's very good to know. But even if you don't factor the burning, even if the burning isn't as bad as in 2005 and 2006, there's still Bolsonaro who actually threatens the rainforest. While it's bad we have a tendency to not care for things until there are legitimate threats (like voters who sat out during the election) and we should probably should devote more effort in protecting the environment rather than let fire in our pants motivate us, that distracts from Bolsonaro's nakedly aggressive plans on the rainforest and its people, unlike previous leaders' attitudes, which tries to capitalize on that apparent complacency.
Anyway, I think that has been the most downvoted entry I've ever seen at my stay in RationalWiki. Impressive. Should we comment out or show off that trainwreck? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:27, 27 August 2019 (UTC)
Let's put it this way: OffGuardian is a known , and the Ann Coulter-esque style writing of this article frames things exactly how you would expect. (I love how this supposed Catte Black reporter represents itself using an image of Marla Singer, from the movie Roger Ebert "Fight Club". 20th Century Fox should sue.). -- because compared to the slash and burn era of the 1990s that led to the initial efforts to stop deforestation, of course the stats will look better. It's still way in the wrong direction, coupled by a Trump-esque leader who doesn't understand why clearing the forests slash and burn style for agriculture is a pretty stupid way to go. This is really a clogosphere article, not a blogosphere article. Soundwave106 (talk) 13:05, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Their self description is of people who have been kicked out of the Guardian comment sections. Even I haven't been kicked myself, though I despise vegans, sobriety campaigns, and all else that stinks of Moral Endeavor. Smerdis of Tl?n, wek?ōm te?s. 22:56, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Little known[edit]

Cummings has been a known cunt for years AMassiveGay (talk) 20:07, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

About that paper on religiosity and empathy[edit]

Turns out it was a , and that completely whacked out the results. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:02, 29 September 2019 (UTC)

I don't remember this paper, did it fall off the WIGO already? ikanreed ??Bleat at me 20:54, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
I commented it out. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:37, 8 October 2019 (UTC)

My recent addition regarding economic freedom[edit]

I didn't see an edit reason, so why is it not considered suitable for WIGO Blogosphere? Colossal Squid (talk) 04:05, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Considering the author is a red link account, it's probably a libertarian edgelord who thinks socialism is teh evolz! Reversed that edit. Tuxer (talk) 19:29, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Decolonizing games[edit]

To all of those who downvoted, how many of you actually watched the video rather than compulsively clicking the downvote button because it hurt your cishet heteronormative WASP special snowflake sensibilities? Oxyaena Harass 21:33, 3 December 2019 (UTC)

While no doubt the majority of the downvotes come from alt-reich snowflakes, the presentation could be better. Something like "A [ link a video ] analysing how non-white cultures and civilizations as barbaric savages or magical monsters in video games". Tuxer (talk) 13:16, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Man these are some petty bastards. Oxyaena Harass 13:30, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Personally, I've always considered it poor form to make an argument by sharing a YouTube video without context. I'll downvote a link just for that. AcidTrial (talk) 13:59, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
In agreement here (although I wouldn't go so far as to downvote it). I don't mean to sound like . Watch this," way too many times over the years. It's to the point where I've kind of stopped caring about orphaned links to talky internet videos (unless it's by a videographer I already know).
At least with written articles and posts, I can read the first and last paragraphs or skim the text for the main points of the piece to get a feel for the overarching arguments, and then decide if I'd like to do a more in-depth read. That's not as possible with audiovisual media like videos or podcasts, which require more attention and time commitment. As for this, I'll give it a watch later. ?oir LeSable (talk) 15:33, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
I added a more detailed description btw. Oxyaena Harass 15:36, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
I saw, thanks for that. I'd mentioned I'd give it a watch later. ?oir LeSable (talk) 15:46, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
The chuds keep coming. Oxyaena Harass 17:16, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
My down vote is because I downvote things that I think are bad - like longwinded boring videos with no context. I consider your whining as an adequate reward for a correct decision. Aloysius the Gaul 19:52, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
You realize I corrected that error, right? Are you always this big of a prick, or no? Oxyaena Harass 03:40, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
It's nothing specific to this link: YouTube videos seem to get far more negative votes than anything else here, almost regardless of content. Maybe this is an indication that people don't want to watch YouTube videos or see them listed here. Maybe RW needs another, more obscure WIGO for YouTubes so that most people can forget it exists. --Annanoon (talk) 17:59, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif I'll admit, it sounded like more generic identitarian whingeing to me. Another person who probably identifies as some flavor of leftist, out there making enemies because of that weird drive to impose moralistic drama on other people's entertainments. But if the link were to text, I would at least have allowed them to state their case. Smerdis of Tl?n, wek?ōm te?s. 20:06, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Yes, because it's not like "entertainment" wasn't political already. (cough Watchmen cough) Oxyaena Harass 21:33, 10 December 2019 (UTC)
Furthermore, you didn't even watch the video, wherein he says that "this is not a criticism of people who like these specific types of games." Oxyaena Harass 16:21, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

Web link hygiene[edit]

Apparently the frequently encountered issue of paywalled links came up again in an article from Haaretz. I was able to read it by opening it in a private window, which removes all cookies set by the site after the site is closed and gets around the "You have two free articles remaining" issue in most cases. Some sites attempt to detect whether you are reading in a private window and try to object. In most cases, including New York Times links, this can be dealt with by turning Javascript off. In Firefox I use a simple addon called QuickJava to do this. I think it a good idea for links to carry reminders if they are to these sorts of damaged websites. Smerdis of Tl?n, wek?ōm te?s. 05:46, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

Should we have a template for this like we do with the country flags, telling users how to read the article?—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talk ? stalk) 05:55, 9 December 2019 (UTC)
That strikes me as a good idea, but the details might vary depending on the user's browser. Smerdis of Tl?n, wek?ōm te?s. 17:38, 9 December 2019 (UTC)

On the RawStory "reporting" of brain damage and religious fundamentalism[edit]

Really!? We're now posting sensationalized crap from RawStory on a study from 2017 that found a (potentially spurious) correlation from a sample of 119 male brain-damaged patients from Vietnam War veterans (which I couldn't determine if it's a randomized sample)? As well as a completely tasteless picture of Michelle Bachmann, who, as far as I've checked, isn't a male brain-damaged Vietnam War veteran. This is far from a representative sample. Even in that sample, there's relatively limited applicability as noted in the study:

Cognitive flexibility and openness are by no means the sole predictors of religious fundamentalism. We found that PFC lesions along with cognitive flexibility and openness explain less than 20% of the variation in fundamentalism scores. Therefore, these factors are only a few out of a number of other factors that play a role in modulating adherence of religious beliefs. Other key factors contributing to the formation of fundamentalist beliefs can range from genetic predispositions related to cognition to a host of peer and other social influences.

In other words, while there's some damage to areas that govern flexibility and openness to other beliefs that can contribute to fundamentalist beliefs, it explains only a minority portion of the variance.
Finally, can we just not post stuff from RawStory? They're purveyors of sensationalized garbage. It's not the first time I had to despin its content and I always groan a lot inside whenever someone who should know better shares a story from it. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:09, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Point taken, I will nuke the entry now. Cosmikdebris (talk) 00:16, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. We do need to learn more about the sources especially from news that seems outrageous and plays into your biases. RawStory's intention is to provoke your emotions against the right-wing rather than use more reasonable criticism. We should smell rat from the shocking headlines as well, think about the intentions of the headline and article; it'll help a bit when dealing with news. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 05:07, 31 December 2019 (UTC)