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Thread: Phantom members

  1. #1 Phantom members 
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    At the moment there are over 1,000 "users" online, most of them with weird user names. 90% of them all joined on the 25th or 26th July and collectively have made zero posts. The other day there was a similar situation (around 1,100 users), except that nearly all those users joined on the 5th of August and had never made a post.


    Are these users human? If not, shouldn't something be done to make it more difficult to create an account?
    Is this forum under an orchestrated spam attack, or are these genuine people who have yet to contribute?


    Cogito Ergo Sum likes this.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko View Post
    At the moment there are over 1,000 "users" online, most of them with weird user names. 90% of them all joined on the 25th or 26th July and collectively have made zero posts. The other day there was a similar situation (around 1,100 users), except that nearly all those users joined on the 5th of August and had never made a post.


    Are these users human? If not, shouldn't something be done to make it more difficult to create an account?
    Is this forum under an orchestrated spam attack, or are these genuine people who have yet to contribute?
    I asked about this on July 28th.
    I'm certain the vast majority of these names do not belong to real people!


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  4. #3  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Absolutely.
    Anyone with a weirdly-spelt and patently unpronounceable name is obviously a spambot.
    pyoko, shlunka and zunc like this.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    I used to administer a forum board ( unrelated to science ) until recently. At any given time there could be anything between a handful to several thousand spambot accounts online, trying to make automated posts ( which end up in the mod queue ). It is an unfortunate reality of the modern day Internet. Some of the better forum software solutions have counter-measures in place which prevent the automatic sign-up of spam-bots, but those aren't 100% effective, so you will always get some active spam-bot accounts.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I used to administer a forum board ( unrelated to science ) until recently. At any given time there could be anything between a handful to several thousand spambot accounts online, trying to make automated posts ( which end up in the mod queue ). It is an unfortunate reality of the modern day Internet. Some of the better forum software solutions have counter-measures in place which prevent the automatic sign-up of spam-bots, but those aren't 100% effective, so you will always get some active spam-bot accounts.
    It's not clear to me what the individuals, creating these spambot accounts, hope to gain.
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  7. #6  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Absolutely.
    Anyone with a weirdly-spelt and patently unpronounceable name is obviously a spambot.
    You are dead Sir DUCKNESS *chuckle*
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday View Post
    It's not clear to me what the individuals, creating these spambot accounts, hope to gain.
    They hope to gain the highest possible exposure rate for their posts ( normally commercial spam ). The more people see those posts, the higher the likelihood that someone will click on the link and go through to their commercial sites. It's simply increasing traffic through the sheer volume of links. This is a fully automated process ( software for this can be purchased ), and behind it are the owners of the commercial sites, who more often than not are also involved in things like credit card fraud, 419 scams etc etc. Trying to make a purchase on those sites is definitely not advisable.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Absolutely.
    Anyone with a weirdly-spelt and patently unpronounceable name is obviously a spambot.
    I assumed your had a Welsh name.
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  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I assumed he was dyslexic and couldn't spell duck.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    not just "spambots"
    all search engines have googlebots, yahoobots, etc...bots roaming the web constantly
    they don't sleep
    they don't eat
    they don't use the toilet
    they are constantly seeking the keyboarded word and/or phrase and sending it back to the search indexes.
    at any given moment on any forum, most of the visitors will be searchbots.

    You can test this for yourself by misquoting something you read somewhere and keyboarding it in on damned near any forum
    then the next day search for the thing using your exact misquote, and find yourself back at your previous posting

    eg: search dywyddyr, and, aside from his secret identity as a world of warcraft character, you will find postings in here

    atleast one of those spybots is watching all of us right now
    hi spy bot. please tell your master that I said that hesuxdonkeydick
    ................
    long ago(2007) I foolishly typed in my memory of a poem I remembered from studies in my 5th university
    , about the demise of the greek gods, asking the forum members if any knew the original:
    "Then feasted they all day
    till the setting of the sun
    then along came a ragged jew
    dragging a huge wooden cross
    as he approached the table,
    the gods grew silent
    he then threw down the cross
    on their feast table
    and the Gods
    just faded away"
    (not an exact rendition of the original)(if anyone remembers the original...)

    now, if ever I search for the original poem
    I get the crap excreted from my failing memory

    just copy and paste the first 2 lines, put them in quotes and search
    ................
    now, if google can parrot back that crap memory, just think of the government spybots, or the retailers spybots
    targeted advertising is the tip of the iceberg.
    (for the loony gvmt spybots(and the poor overworked NSA schmuck who gets to read this))
    allahu akbar
    have a nice day
    Last edited by sculptor; August 11th, 2013 at 08:37 AM.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Professor Zwirko's Avatar
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    Yes, this site is indexed very fast:



    They are the good kind though.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    hahahahahha much faster than I had thought
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  14. #13  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    ??

    If I recall, there is the part of registration that requires you to type in some random letters...how can an account be created if that part is skipped? I always thought that section of registration prevents "spam bots."
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  15. #14  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    ??

    If I recall, there is the part of registration that requires you to type in some random letters...how can an account be created if that part is skipped? I always thought that section of registration prevents "spam bots."
    I noticed something the first time I ever made a captcha box on a website in school. We were told to name the images that can be pulled to show. And everyone was naming the images by what was in the image. So a twisted 3 was called 3.jpg. If the writers of the forum software are doing the same thing then these bots need only to look at the code behind the page to decipher the captcha. So I always make sure to name the images that make up the captcha are not the same as what the image displays. But I haven't made a site with the captcha on it since then to test it against bots.


    edit: I just made an attempt (a weak one) to decipher the captcha image by looking at the source code. It seems that vbulletin buries the captcha solution in several levels of layered javascript redirect files so it would take a pretty good hacking bot to locate it. I don't get into hacking so I don't know what softwares are out there that do that, but i don't doubt they exist.
    Last edited by seagypsy; August 11th, 2013 at 03:33 PM.
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    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  16. #15  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I assumed he was dyslexic and couldn't spell duck.
    or unfamiliar with DAFFY DUCK!

    However he kind of grows on you.....like a duck feather pillow!
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  17. #16  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Simple really, dywyddyr got really tired of playing "world of warcraft"(2012), then joined these discussions(2013).
    If I understand the game, it consists of a series of battles, which just might have had a continuation in here.
    explains a lot?


    Penguinaciously duckalicious.

    (once upon a time on a different forum)
    Last edited by sculptor; August 12th, 2013 at 11:24 AM.
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  18. #17  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Simple really, dywyddyr got really tired of playing "world of warcraft"(2012), then joined these discussions(2013).
    If I understand the game, it consists of a series of battles, which just might have had a continuation in here.
    explains a lot?
    It might.
    Then again, this particular Dywyddyr has not only never played WoW he's never even considered it.
    And he moved from a different science forum on which he'd been a member since '09 and, in a different guise since '05.
    The Dywyddyr on WoW has, to the best of my knowledge, appropriated my name - because it's a name I invented (it's "sort of" Welsh 1) way back in the '70s and resurrected for my online identity 4 years ago.

    1 At the time I was reading the Mabinogion and teaching myself Welsh and also required a name for a science novel I was writing - hence the invention.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    this particular dywyddyr was a mod on the SciForums?

    wow someone copied your name........
    mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery
    (sorry 'bout the mix-up)

    you must have really impressed someone
    ......................
    It seems that a bunch of you guys moved here close to the same time?
    something happen there that initiated the exodus?
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  20. #19  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Yes, this particular one was.
    For a short time.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  21. #20  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Do you plan to volunteer to be a mod here too?
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  22. #21  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Do you plan to volunteer to be a mod here too?
    I wasn't aware that volunteering was an option.
    I didn't volunteer on the previous ocassion.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  23. #22  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    every breath you take, every move you make, is an option
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  24. #23  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quoting the psycho stalker song doesn't help!
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; August 12th, 2013 at 12:53 PM.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  25. #24  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    maybe not, but brings back a memory
    ..............
    why'd you leave the SciForums?
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  26. #25  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    maybe not, but brings back a memory
    ..............
    why'd you leave the SciForums?
    An increasing number of woo woos and a perceived (on my part) "official" refusal to confront them or deal with them.
    E.g. the number of times one particular woo woo was permabanned and then allowed back.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  27. #26  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    I am constantly amazed by people who visit science forums who have no positive interest in science nor the scientific method.

    It seems as crazy to me as athiests wanting to talk about god.
    Or a 78 year old virgin talking about sex.
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  28. #27  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    It seems as crazy to me as athiests wanting to talk about god.
    You really should think about that statement.
    You might as well claim that non voters discussing politicians is crazy.
    Regardless of one's opinion of the existence or otherwise of god the fact is that his followers have a massive influence on how life and society are conducted.
    Ergo discussion "about" god is a direct attempt to understand (and possibly undermine) the mindset of those followers.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  29. #28  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    I got thrown out of a church by challenging a rednecked baptist preacher about using "his" in reference to god.(I was unkind in my challenging of his faith, and it turns out that he had none beyond bluff and bluster)(god is NOT an adjective.)
    As previously stated: Anything beyond "I am" is pure guesswork.

    Your arguement is not with "god" per se, but with certain religions and their belief structures and political actions.
    Mine is with certain "religious" nutjobs who seek not to understand "god", but rather to use "god" for their personal gain whether it be for $, fame, or position in society. Pseudo love for god is the worst of religious sins.

    Think of "god" as a "straw man" and base your arguement where it really belongs. Argueing with the strawman is akin to waves crashing against a granite cliff. They may wear it away, but it will take thousands of years.

    I've toyed with self descriptors like theist, or deist and many more, but none quite fit nor come without unwanted baggage.
    We fight the same foes-religious bigots and "holier than thou" miscreants; Just from almost opposite directions.

    Ain't life peculiar?
    Last edited by sculptor; August 12th, 2013 at 01:36 PM.
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  30. #29  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Your arguement is not with "god" per se, but with certain religions and their belief structures and political actions.
    Think of "god" as a "straw man" and base your arguement where it really belongs.
    You really should think about those statements.

    Religions are predicated on the existence of god.
    They are are based around "what god wants".
    Ergo, showing that the basis for their claims is (at best) shaky removes all the other "justifications" they have.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  31. #30  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    do you see that "what god wants" is precisely the point?

    If god is god then god has no wants.
    You need not attack "god", just the mistakes of those who would honor "god" who needs no honoring.

    one on one: dismantle the arguement and reconstruct something approximating understanding.
    Knowing that one does not and/or cannot know is a big step in understanding.

    When someone choses to "speak for god" that is vanity, and we have "do not use the name of god in vain"
    The seeds are born within the flower.
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  32. #31  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    If god is god then god has no wants.
    That happens to be your personal take on your personal definition of god.
    NOT the god of any of the organised religions that have so much influence and apply so much pressure.

    You need not attack "god", just the mistakes of those who would honor "god" who needs no honoring.
    See above.

    When someone choses to "speak for god" that is vanity, and we have "do not use the name of god in vain"
    The seeds are born within the flower.
    Yeah, blah blah.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  33. #32  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    It seems that we each have our own approach.
    Do you feel that yours has succeeded?
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  34. #33  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    It seems that we each have our own approach.
    Really?
    You have an approach?

    Do you feel that yours has succeeded?
    Am I dead?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  35. #34  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    It seems that we each have our own approach.
    Really?
    You have an approach?
    ?
    You are really funny dadio
    Thanx for the laugh
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  36. #35  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    I am constantly amazed by people who visit science forums who have no positive interest in science nor the scientific method.

    It seems as crazy to me as athiests wanting to talk about god.
    Or a 78 year old virgin talking about sex.
    Cough, be nice.
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  37. #36  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    It seems that we each have our own approach.
    Really?
    You have an approach?

    Do you feel that yours has succeeded?
    Am I dead?

    Duck L'Orange for dinner.
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  38. #37  
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    Would this count as the Hitlerwin Law? A topic about mystery members turned into an argument about God.
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  39. #38  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    A topic about mystery members turned into an argument about God.
    Because god obviously sent them.
    We're just trying to work out why he did.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Because god obviously sent them.
    We're just trying to work out why he did.
    God moves mystery members in mysterious ways.
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Religions are predicated on the existence of god
    I would tend to disagree; this is not the definition of "religion". The word itself literally means "return to the source/root", which is a much better and much broader concept than God alone.
    For example, by your definition, Buddhism would not be a religion.
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  42. #41  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    I would tend to disagree; this is not the definition of "religion".
    1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
    Although I do grant that there are innumerable definitions.

    The word itself literally means "return to the source/root", which is a much better and much broader concept than God alone.
    Hmm...
    Religion (from O.Fr. religion "religious community," from L. religionem (nom. religio) "respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods.
    Or even:
    religare "to bind fast" (see rely), via notion of "place an obligation on," or "bond between humans and gods."

    For example, by your definition, Buddhism would not be a religion.
    Entirely possible.
    Then again, Buddhism isn't exactly noted for its ferocity in telling people how to behave, is it?
    (I.e. it's not exactly on my radar at the moment).
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  43. #42  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Then again, Buddhism isn't exactly noted for its ferocity in telling people how to behave, is it?
    No, definitely not
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  44. #43  
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    Then again, Buddhism isn't exactly noted for its ferocity in telling people how to behave, is it?
    novice is meditating in the courtyard
    master approaches quietly behind novice carrying a big stick
    rasies stick, and says to novice
    "if you move, I'll hit you, if you don't move i'll hit you"(double bind)
    proceeds to swing stick toward novice's head
    novice reaches up, grabs stick, and holds firmly(thinking outside the box)
    master releases stick, bows to novice and says
    "Precisely so, young master"

    ...............
    perspective
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    And your point here would be...?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  46. #45  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    Wow...this thread went sideways. Lol
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  47. #46  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    And your point here would be...?
    did I ever say the stick had a point?
    if it had a point, I'd probably have called it a spear:
    ...
    novice is meditating in the courtyard
    master approaches quietly behind novice carrying a spear
    rasies spear, and says to novice
    "if you move, I'll stab you, if you don't move i'll stab you"(double bind)
    proceeds to hurl spear toward novice's head
    novice reaches up, grabs spear, and holds firmly(thinking outside the box)
    master releases spear, bows to novice and says
    "Precisely so, young master"
    ...
    (happy now?)

    ..............
    or
    buddhism and ferocity
    ..........
    chose one within your abilities of understanding
    .............
    ...........
    "sideways"?
    You ain't seen nothing yet!
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  48. #47  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    or
    buddhism and ferocity
    ..........
    chose one within your abilities of understanding
    On the face of it, and on the strength of this reply and the previous one it's your "ability of understanding" I'm questioning.

    Questions leading (with luck) to your illumination:
    1) Is a particular instance regarding two individuals to be taken as the overall policy of an entire religion with regard to society?
    2) Were both participants in your scenario already members of said religion or, as is the case with my argument, was one a member and the other not?
    3) Was the motivation/ emotion/ intent behind the wielding of stick ferocity or something else?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  49. #48  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    1) only the chan school of sudden enlightenment
    2) only the chan school of sudden enlightenment
    3) ferocity, yes, and also something else entirely

    If, and only it, you can understand that it can be all of one thing and also all of another thing.
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  50. #49  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    A ko'an doesn't have a point.
    That's the whole point of it !
    sculptor likes this.
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  51. #50  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    1) only the chan school of sudden enlightenment
    What?

    2) only the chan school of sudden enlightenment
    Not an answer.

    3) ferocity
    I remember you posting sometime earlier about being a given a dictionary when you were young.
    You really should have read it.

    If, and only it, you can understand that it can be all of one thing and also all of another thing.
    Blah blah. Again.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  52. #51  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    again
    you are a very funny duck
    thanx for the laughs


    ................
    edit
    see the blind thread
    Last edited by sculptor; August 13th, 2013 at 10:31 PM.
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  53. #52  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko View Post
    At the moment there are over 1,000 "users" online, most of them with weird user names. 90% of them all joined on the 25th or 26th July and collectively have made zero posts. The other day there was a similar situation (around 1,100 users), except that nearly all those users joined on the 5th of August and had never made a post.


    Are these users human? If not, shouldn't something be done to make it more difficult to create an account?
    Is this forum under an orchestrated spam attack, or are these genuine people who have yet to contribute?
    I notice that, at the moment, there are exactly 1500 "users" online and the record is over 2300 earlier this year.
    It is very annoying that nothing can be done to stop the antics of these "creatures" and the individuals behind them!
    Someone, somewhere, must have the solution.
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