Tarchia & Tarbosaurus in the Hwaseong City Hall 1

©Hang-jae Lee

Many years ago I had a RationalWiki account. RationalWiki was set up in response to another wiki called Conservapedia, a socially conservative Christian-focused version of Wikipedia. Indeed, Conservapedia itself was founded by Andy Schlafly, son of the conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, in disgusted response to Wikipedia using “CE/BCE” for dates and not “BC/AD” instead.

Now, this was back in the very late Dubya era and very early Obama era whe the national mood at large was visibly getting sick of the cultural southern captivity and it was finally becoming fashionable for more people to openly mock and loathe the social conservative types. RationalWiki was very much part of that wave, and despite an ostensible mission of providing pure science articles as well, it basically became a trolling center to go against Conservapedia. (And the articles themselves became politicized, praising socialism and saying the USSR wasn’t that bad, while hating the US South something fierce.)

I was one of those trolls, if a minor one: my biggest success was uh, let’s say webcamming with and trap-trolling the guy who wrote the infamous ultra-huge homosexuality article (amongst others) by doing the ol’ bait and switch with a cheap skirt I brought, and I’ll say nothing more. Other than that I spoke to a mod type there who despite his own socially conservative sympathies and admiring the mission, admitted Conservapedia was so poorly run by Schlafly that it shouldn’t have allowed so many trolls to keep doing successful raids against the site. (Most trolls got far by making a fake identity, sucking up to the people who ran the site, making parody edits and once caught would usually going out in a big blowup.) That one mod eventually left in disgust, although we managed to keep in touch enough that I updated him on when Schlafly appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss the site.

I left for a few years and came back: Conservapedia was far less of a big deal then but RationalWiki was still keeping tabs on it. One Conservapedia admin, the guy I trolled above, was found out to increasingly be mentally ill as time went on and a closetcase. My instinct was actually that maybe we should reach out and get him help, since being closeted sucks, and the dude was pill popping which sure couldn’t be a good sign, and so forth. But I was shouted down and screamed at by the RationalWiki crew: he was after all, the enemy, he brought it on himself, and so forth. I was told to find other people to help if I wanted to do that.

And that was one of my first signs of the politicized tribalism running rampant throughout the land, since it sure wasn’t about restoring balance, making people see their mistakes, getting people help when they needed it, or so forth. It was just battling, and in this case it was pounding on people even in this case when they were down, personally and politically. There wasn’t even what one would think would be the practical bonus of new converts right from the other side, it was a desire for total destruction.

I wonder about that admin still, I feel sort of bad about what I did with the skirt years ago even times had very much changed and there was new information later on I didn’t know back then. But it still felt very weird and unpleasant when I turned out to be the one guy wondering out loud about doing straight talk with people from the other side, especially when our side had the obvious upper hand.

I guess that’s it for RationalWiki stories, at least that I can remember. As I said, things were pretty politicized in ironic response to Conservapedia over there, and on their article on the USA I said it needed a massive unbiased rewrite, although I pointed out they at least got it right when it was noted the ultimate starting point of American ideology came with the puritans in New England and the main locus of revolutionary thought was in the north and not the south. I wonder how the article looks now but I don’t know if I want to go check it out and see.


Alex Daedric


Alex Daedric

The cost of putting even a modest-sized library into a computer is more than can be justified.
Warren Johnson, The future is not what it used to be, 1985 — Copying it from a book buried within the “outdated future predictions” section of my /books/ folder. My external would be even more of a disprover of this. (via tomasnau)

María Cristina de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, Reina de España, Detail.
by Vicente López y Portaña, 1830

María Cristina de Borbón-Dos Sicilias, Reina de España, Detail.

by Vicente López y Portaña, 1830




Really, watch this. It’s fantastic.

My grandfather knows, like, seven languages. The reason why? He grew up in a particularly volatile part of the Carpathian mountains, and every so often the teachers would say, “Okay, we’re under the rule of [new country] now. Time to learn [new country’s language].”


10 years ago today, Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way went back in time to sedouce Volxemort and protect all of us from his evil plans

reblog this post to honor Enoby’s brave sacrifice, ignore if you’re a prep or a poser