Author Topic: I'm not going to be popular saying this but  (Read 5770 times)

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Offline RyanInOz

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I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« on: May 22, 2009, 10:26:45 AM »
I think SGU is starting to lose it a bit. I have loved the show, looked forward to it every week but lately it seems the show should be called the incredibly in-depth scientific guide to the universe not the skeptics guide. When SGU debunks something they are brilliant but sometimes I feel like the pod cast gets so detailed with science or a particular scientific discovery that it is no longer a skeptical podcast. I want to hear more debunking, more interviews, what about a debate with a skeptic and a creationist/alternative health advocate etc. Also where is Rebecca lately ? Her input gave the podcast sass also she is brilliant at calling BS BS. I know it is a voluntary commitment on behalf of the SGU team but I feel something special was created and it's started to lose it's way. Perhaps Jenny's show will be good fodder for SGU, what about a campaign to get a skeptic on Oprah ? that would be like climbing Mt Everest ! Anyway I will keep listening but I just didn't want to see the podcast wimper out without saying something.

Offline Skulker

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 10:46:28 AM »
I think they have pretty much debunked all of the major stuff at one time or another. I mean how many times can you call Bullshit! on homeopathy?
What you see as "losing it's way"  is rather them trying not to be repetitive.
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Offline Ran

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 02:25:11 PM »
I say the other thing. SGU rocks when they explain/discuss science!
Sure, I could listen to TWIS or something like that (which podcasts are best?), but they're not nearly as good as the SGU. The only problem is when the science or rather the arguments for/against something are crap (like whenever the SGU talks about computers... oh boy, they don't know anything about them  ;D).

What I do think is that the SGU should try to find more things to debunk, not just the most popular or extreme stuff. Random myths for example, there are lots and lots of them in all cathegories, and they probably cause a lot of damage, but they are very rarely mentioned by skeptics. Sure, "carrots doesn't make you see better" is well known, but many such myths are a myth even to skeptics.

Offline Trinoc

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 04:18:12 PM »
Sure, I could listen to TWIS or something like that (which podcasts are best?), but they're not nearly as good as the SGU. The only problem is when the science or rather the arguments for/against something are crap (like whenever the SGU talks about computers... oh boy, they don't know anything about them  ;D).

I wonder whether physicists think they don't know anything about physics, chemists think they don't know anything about chemistry, and so on. That's the problem with plausible-sounding reporting -- it seems correct so long as it is a subject about which you don't know much, but when it is about your own subject the cracks start to show.

On the positive side, I expect the neurology is pretty reliable.
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Offline Henning

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 04:34:34 PM »
I could use some more interviews with hardcore woo-meisters, myself.

Do you listen to the 5x5? They debunk something each week, or address a core skeptical principal. Not as in-depth, but not as funny either.
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Offline wastrel

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 06:22:48 PM »
I think they have pretty much debunked all of the major stuff at one time or another. I mean how many times can you call Bullshit! on homeopathy?
What you see as "losing it's way"  is rather them trying not to be repetitive.

Agreed.

One problem with addressing pseudoscientific claims is that proponents rarely come up with anything new.  Most of the arguments are just a rehash or repackaging of the same old tired arguments.

They still, IMHO, do a great job of addressing new items that pop up.  In particular free energy, since that is a pretty common news item.

Offline Green Ideas

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 07:11:17 PM »
Also where is Rebecca lately ? Her input gave the podcast sass also she is brilliant at calling BS BS.

Agreed. But there's a reason:

Rebecca has purely technical problems. We are working on them and hopefully will have the situation resolved soon.

I think I remember her saying that her laptop had been stolen.

Offline repete66211

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 04:42:15 PM »
I think SGU is starting to lose it a bit. I have loved the show, looked forward to it every week but lately it seems the show should be called the incredibly in-depth scientific guide to the universe not the skeptics guide. When SGU debunks something they are brilliant but sometimes I feel like the pod cast gets so detailed with science or a particular scientific discovery that it is no longer a skeptical podcast.

I've had this very sentiment on a number of occasions of late.  First, I really do like the show.  It has enriched my intellect and my life.  I am a better person for having listened to it.  However, I have been tuning out more and more lately when it comes to the really heavy science stuff.  There would be greater appeal if these weekly science bits were about things which have an actual, direct, perhaps immediate impact on the lives of the general public.  Esoteric subjects (i.e. particle theory) and long-shot predictions of what Earth might be like in a billion years have limited appeal.

Once again, I love the show and I appreciate how much hard work is involved, so keep up the good work.

Offline Alkmene

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 07:55:16 PM »
I think SGU is starting to lose it a bit. I have loved the show, looked forward to it every week but lately it seems the show should be called the incredibly in-depth scientific guide to the universe not the skeptics guide. When SGU debunks something they are brilliant but sometimes I feel like the pod cast gets so detailed with science or a particular scientific discovery that it is no longer a skeptical podcast. I want to hear more debunking, more interviews, what about a debate with a skeptic and a creationist/alternative health advocate etc. Also where is Rebecca lately ? Her input gave the podcast sass also she is brilliant at calling BS BS. I know it is a voluntary commitment on behalf of the SGU team but I feel something special was created and it's started to lose it's way. Perhaps Jenny's show will be good fodder for SGU, what about a campaign to get a skeptic on Oprah ? that would be like climbing Mt Everest ! Anyway I will keep listening but I just didn't want to see the podcast wimper out without saying something.

I disagree. The show is evolving nicely (and predictably) due to, as mentioned above, the lack of actual skeptical topics out there. To me, Skepticism is common sense with a name. The only way to make this deeper is to go deeper into the science of certain topics (well, duh!). I think this is done nicely and very effectively.

E.g., There is a myriad of frivolous lawsuits out there - they barely have novelty value anymore but are nice hooks to talk about things in depth. Feng Shui hardly needs a Skeptical mind to be addressed. But the working of the slighly deficient minds of followers, as with deluded followers of other cults/believes, is of major interest if one wants to make headway in the sense of skepticism.

Cheers,
Alk

Offline Jim S

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 08:04:34 PM »
I wonder:

 - what the weekly download podcast numbers look like?

 - if this forum's continued decrease in traffic is a reflection of the podcast?
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Offline Alkmene

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2009, 12:05:57 AM »
Sure, let's commit some logical (statistical) and inferential fallacies here:

Increase in McDonalds burgers eaten is an indicator for the quality of the food  :P

Pupularity has no necessary link with quality.

Here is what is more likely: Skepticism (an outrageously bad term for common sense) has originated from a group of very smart and educated people with strong academic backgrounds and/or high intelligence.

The lowring of the average standard that has occured *necessarely* through the increase in members of the movement makes it more accessible to the common person. And so we have moved from the thin upper tail in the Gaussian to the wider realms of the mediocraty. Hence more downloads.

If the SGU wants more listeners, they should lower the standard!

Just one way of seeing it! Probably wrong  ;)

Cheers,
Alk.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 12:25:09 AM by Alkmene »

Offline EvilAnonym

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2009, 10:32:30 AM »
Quote
I say the other thing. SGU rocks when they explain/discuss science!
Sure, I could listen to TWIS or something like that (which podcasts are best?), but they're not nearly as good as the SGU. The only problem is when the science or rather the arguments for/against something are crap (like whenever the SGU talks about computers... oh boy, they don't know anything about them  ;D).

What I do think is that the SGU should try to find more things to debunk, not just the most popular or extreme stuff. Random myths for example, there are lots and lots of them in all cathegories, and they probably cause a lot of damage, but they are very rarely mentioned by skeptics. Sure, "carrots doesn't make you see better" is well known, but many such myths are a myth even to skeptics.

Exactly my thoughts!
But I must add, that maybe with some topics skeptic guide team would need some expert help.
Maybe there should be voluntary help team collected from listeners..?
Private mailing list..?


Offline Alkmene

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2009, 05:45:58 PM »
EvilAnonym,
Help team? If you are expecting the SGU team to be 100% right and politically correct all the time, always and forever? Then you better understand the terms of speech. This takes all the fun out of the show.
Wait. You did not say that? Well, wrong topic, but I am starting to adapt ... it is fun to be one of the group!

Cheers,
Alk

Offline EvilAnonym

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 07:42:45 PM »
Quote
You did not say that?

I didn't... of course you cannot be always right about everything,
no matter what kind of help team you got. Maybe they don't even want
help team, but like you said it could be fun. And maybe the show would
be even better, if possible.
And about political correctness, I prefer outspoken approach, they don't
need any help with that!

Offline Voodoo Rage

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Re: I'm not going to be popular saying this but
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2009, 12:10:20 PM »
I hate to agree. As someone who listened to every single episode within the last 6 months or so, I find that I'm not relishing the new episodes as much as the past ones. I've found that some of the most enjoyable episodes were the one's that were less science directed (like the guy who exposed Amway and pyramid schemes). I also really like their archeology expert (who sounds a lot like Phil Plait). I think there are many potential topics that could be discussed like deception in advertising, motivational groups employing cult tactics, and other psychology related scams.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 08:46:43 PM by Voodoo Rage »

 

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