Author Topic: Podcast Topic suggestions  (Read 76758 times)

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Online werecow

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #555 on: July 17, 2016, 09:27:50 PM »
Rat kings are an interesting phenomenon that appear to be kind of on the border between cryptozoology and general biology. I think this would make for a fun topic, as crypto-stuff usually does (imho).

Also, bit of a long shot, since I know the SGU doesn't do politics, but recently I've become more interested in the Iraq war, its motivations and its consequences. I realize it's a minefield, so it will be controversial, but from my admittedly limited excursion into this topic, there may be a bit more to (in particular) the whole Iraq WMD discussion than there at first appears to be in the narrative one hears in most of the press (at least on my side of the political divide, which tends to be more towards the left). That is, even after more than a decade, it is an interesting, controversial topic with a big impact, but which can be fact checked, that I don't think has been given its fair due in the skeptical community.
I was thinking of plugging a lecture here on that topic, but actually, I'd rather hear what others come up with by themselves (though if you're interested, shoot me a PM).

Offline bbookman

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A few topic ideas and a study suggestion
« Reply #556 on: July 27, 2016, 05:54:08 PM »
I might do this myself, and it would be cool to see other fans of the show with more time and knowhow do it also - How about a count of topics?  Really this may boil down to a chart of word frequency use.  Take all the text of all the show notes and do a word usage analysis.  The objective would be to see which topics are getting the most play and the least play.  Using this and other tools would help keep the show lively if the team makes decisions from such data.  In other words, use science based tools to keep track of what is covered and leverage those tools to improve the show

Topic ideas:
  • NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming): I'm still troubled that there was a NECSS conference section teaching the methods of this technique while the show has not taken on this subject
  • Hypnosis: my gut tells me this is not addressed frequently on the show and I'm really struggling with the info online about the evidence for efficacy
  • Mindfulness and Meditation

Offline wgallop

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #557 on: August 08, 2016, 01:11:59 PM »
Was wondering if the show could cover this therapy that Olympic Athletes seem to be using a lot. Would love to hear Steve's take on this "Red Cup Therapy" especially...Here is a link to the first article I could find:
http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-phelps-cupping-therapy-rio-olympic-swimming-2016-8
« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 01:14:48 PM by wgallop »

Online Friendly Angel

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #558 on: August 08, 2016, 01:45:23 PM »
Was wondering if the show could cover this therapy that Olympic Athletes seem to be using a lot. Would love to hear Steve's take on this "Red Cup Therapy" especially...Here is a link to the first article I could find:
http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-phelps-cupping-therapy-rio-olympic-swimming-2016-8

Covered in Dr. Novella's blog a few years ago.
http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/wacky-medical-treatments/
Amend and resubmit.

Offline fil512

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #559 on: September 02, 2016, 03:28:53 PM »
This looks like big news:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/09/01/alzheimers-new-drug-that-halts-mental-decline-is-best-news-for-d/

Can you speak to the voracity of the claims?

Thanks!
Ken

Online werecow

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #560 on: November 14, 2016, 08:14:12 AM »
Has the SGU ever talked about the possible deep relation between entanglement and space-time? I don't recall, but I've now seen this mentioned in various places as "a mini revolution in physics". In any case, it sounds very interesting. Seems like a :bob: topic. From the article:

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Online werecow

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #561 on: January 30, 2017, 07:42:39 AM »
I'm currently reading this article about Stanley Milgram's famous experiments about the banality of evil - you know the ones that are in every psychology textbook, in which he had people administer increasingly powerful shocks to another person and they all went along with delivering a fatal shock without requiring much effort by the experimenter. Well, as it turns out, it's not quite that simple.  The article is unfortunately in Dutch, so I'll do my best to summarize the main points here:

First of all, Milgram conducted not one, but 23 variants of his experiment across 117 sessions, with results varying between 0 and 92.5% compliance. In 1963 he reported only on one of these, in which 65% went all the way. However, if one looks at all 23 experiments, 57% actually eventually disobeyed. Obedience decreased significantly if the person receiving the shocks was in the same room, or if the experimenter took off his grey lab coat, but everyone complied if the person receiving the shock was silent. Everyone tried to resist, and used three main tactics to do so: (1) talking to the victim, (2) pointing out the experimenter's responsibility and (3) simply refuse to continue. The subjects who successfully resisted going along with the experimenter simply did so more often and more consistently than those who didn't.

Milgram's "experimenter" (who was picked specifically because he radiated a sense of authority) frequently deviated from the protocol they had established in order to push people as hard as he could, and Milgram himself wrote in his notes that he wondered whether his experiments had more to do with science or theater. For example, the experimenter was asked to give each subject 4 verbal "nudges" of increasing intensity when they failed to comply, but in reality he often went beyond those, giving as many as 9 or in one case 26 nudges. When he gave the most urgent nudge "you must comply, you have no choice", every test subject refused to cooperate. It seems that Milgram, whose career depended upon reaching a certain conclusion from these experiments, had started with his desired conclusion and refined his experiments until he reached it. It also turns out he failed to inform about 600 of his subjects that the experiment was faked after it was over, because he feared that word would spread and that would render his results useless.

Because of the 1973 refinement of ethical guidelines for psychological experiments, it was next to impossible to even attempt to replicate Milgram's findings.

Recently, two psychologists, Alex Haslam and Stephen Reicher, re-interpreted the outcomes of these experiments as being due not to a hard wiring for obedience, but due to the subjects' love for science, and them actively deciding to team up with the experimenter. This would explain why, for example:
- Fewer people went along with the experiment when Milgram conducted it in an ordinary office building, rather than at Yale.
- Little nudges that appealed to scientific goals (e.g.: "the experiment requires that you proceed") were most effective.
- Fewer subjects went along with the experiment if they were told it was about "social behavior" than when it was about "cognitive neuroscience".
- Many subjects were relieved and reacted positively (encouraging the experimenter to continue his experiments) when they were assured that their participation had benefited science after the experiment.

In other words, the Milgram experiments were not about blind obedience at all, but rather about seduction, conviction, misdirection, temptation, and engagement. The subjects came into the lab hoping to help out with a scientific experiment, and, rather than relying on blind obedience and human nature, Milgram and his experimenter manipulated those preexisting tendencies. They went along with it not because they were submissive, but because they thought it was the right thing to do. For example, one subject recounted that he went along with the experiment for the sake of his 6 year old daughter, who suffered from a form of paralysis that he hoped science would find a cure for.

The article also deals with other symbols for the banality of evil, like Hannah Arendt, Adolf Eichmann and the Holocaust, and the question of why it is so tempting to believe the worst about human nature.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 07:47:12 AM by werecow »
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Offline 2397

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #562 on: February 17, 2017, 02:00:25 AM »
With the recent talks about sport, I'd like to suggest a tangential topic; doping. Maybe talking about the challenges of detecting it, but also about the potential benefits of the methods for humans outside of cheating in competitions. Or about the damage it can cause. Could there be a "doping" league, allowing more ways of exploring what can be done to enhance humans, or is that an absurd idea?

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #563 on: February 17, 2017, 08:17:52 AM »
The recent report of the American College of Physicians recommending acupuncture as an alternative treatment for lower back pain.
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