Author Topic: Podcast Topic suggestions  (Read 31879 times)

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Offline Epicurious

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2009, 04:48:23 AM »
Dear JoelWhy, thank you for your input on this! I agree it would have to be luck, and if she was anyone else I would instantly dismiss this without a second thought. However, she is horribly accurate in everything - I learned quickly that even a slight exaggeration in a story renders the whole story wasted breath in her view. She prides herself on her accuracy and she happily says that she could never guess any other star sign and admits that even her guesses for Pisceans are wrong on occasion. But she would bet her life that her guesses are better than chance on Aquarians. Hence, why I wonder if there could be ANYTHING, that is not complete horsesh*t, that could even possibly, slightly, influence a person's personality?

I would be happy to leave it, but it is my main trump card! Albeit a dog-eared, palm-greased card considering the number of times I have played it now!  :-\
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

Offline JoelWhy

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2009, 11:55:01 AM »
Dear JoelWhy, thank you for your input on this! I agree it would have to be luck, and if she was anyone else I would instantly dismiss this without a second thought. However, she is horribly accurate in everything - I learned quickly that even a slight exaggeration in a story renders the whole story wasted breath in her view. She prides herself on her accuracy and she happily says that she could never guess any other star sign and admits that even her guesses for Pisceans are wrong on occasion. But she would bet her life that her guesses are better than chance on Aquarians. Hence, why I wonder if there could be ANYTHING, that is not complete horsesh*t, that could even possibly, slightly, influence a person's personality?

I would be happy to leave it, but it is my main trump card! Albeit a dog-eared, palm-greased card considering the number of times I have played it now!  :-\


I concede it's possible that a person's appearance would somehow, someway be influenced by the time of year they're born.  But, I find it highly unlikely.  In fact, I believe that either she can pick out Aquarians through some supernatural power or she can't.  (My money is on the latter option.)

If you really want to put this issue to rest, there's a simple way to do so.  This type of "power" would likely be eligible for the JREF prize for $1,000,000.  (In fact, Astrology is specifically mentioned by JREF as an eligible category.) 

But, I would recommend starting off smaller.  Set up an unscientific test with, say, 10 people (3 of whom are Aquarians.)  Have her examine the 10 people and pick out the 3.  I'm terrible at statistics, but I say if she gets even 2 out of the 3, I'd be impressed.

If she can do better than chance, you'll need to get some"media attention" to apply for the JREF prize.  (Brian from Skeptoid has been approved by JREF to fulfill the media requirement; he's willing to provide you with the requisite media attention if you can convince him of the power)  You then get sign up for an informal test.  Pass the test, you go to the formal test.  Pass that, you get $1 million in cash w/in 10 days.

Of course, no one's ever made it past the informal test.  I'll bet dollars to doughnuts your girlfriend doesn't even do better than chance on a self-run test with 10 people.  But, if she genuinely believes her claim, I suspect you guys wouldn't mind the extra cash:)

That being said, if she gets past the informal test, make sure to marry her before the formal test.  You wouldn't want her to dump you right before she hits paydirt!  ;)
"I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

Offline mattrogers

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2009, 01:37:54 AM »
scientology
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Offline seaotter

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2009, 07:34:16 AM »
9/11
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Offline JoelWhy

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2009, 10:23:11 AM »
9/11

Oh, the nutsos we'd bring to the board if they did a 9/11 episode...
"I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2009, 11:23:51 AM »
How about "neurodiversity"? I heard this concept being proposed by Tyler Cowen. Basically, the idea that diversity is under-appreciated, and many things that we think of as disorders (even, say, autism) really aren't. I would like to hear what Steve has to say about this.

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2009, 01:10:32 PM »
9/11

Oh, the nutsos we'd bring to the board if they did a 9/11 episode...

I recently visited the Seattle skeptics.  They like to invite some of these types of locals...creationists, truthers, etc.  They said the creationists were far more respectful than the truthers, who apparently stuck them with their beer and food tab.  Bastards!
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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #67 on: August 22, 2009, 01:32:27 PM »
9/11

Oh, the nutsos we'd bring to the board if they did a 9/11 episode...

I recently visited the Seattle skeptics.  They like to invite some of these types of locals...creationists, truthers, etc.  They said the creationists were far more respectful than the truthers, who apparently stuck them with their beer and food tab.  Bastards!

Maybe the truthers saw this as "sticking it to the man."

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Offline Evil Eye

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #68 on: August 24, 2009, 06:37:11 AM »
Florida Muck Monster baffles Marine Biologist?

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/278151

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Offline Batmaz

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2009, 12:18:09 PM »
How about "neurodiversity"? I heard this concept being proposed by Tyler Cowen. Basically, the idea that diversity is under-appreciated, and many things that we think of as disorders (even, say, autism) really aren't. I would like to hear what Steve has to say about this.

Sounds like more mental illness denial to me.
"You don't like it, go somewhere else. Another universe, where the rules are simpler." [Richard Feynman]

Offline JoelWhy

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #70 on: August 24, 2009, 12:27:05 PM »
How about "neurodiversity"? I heard this concept being proposed by Tyler Cowen. Basically, the idea that diversity is under-appreciated, and many things that we think of as disorders (even, say, autism) really aren't. I would like to hear what Steve has to say about this.

Sounds like more mental illness denial to me.

I heard an interview with Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who also is considered a leading expert on animal behavior.  She believes that functional autism is more a different way of experiencing the world than it is a disability.  She noted that a significant number of computer programmers, etc, fall within the autism spectrum, and that this "illness" was actually an asset for certain lines of work.  (This obviously plays right into the not-altogether-inaccurate stereotype of computer programmers being socially awkward.  I am NOT saying that all programmers are like this, but if you've worked with programmer before, you most certainly have met your fair share of people who don't seem to fit in.)

I'm not saying she's correct, but I think her explanation is certainly plausible.
"I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

Offline Batmaz

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #71 on: August 24, 2009, 12:39:17 PM »
But then you could argue that narcissistic, histrionic, or borderline personality disorders are all different ways of perceiving and reacting to the world, which they certainly are, but that doesn't mean that they are a product of a wholly functional brain. It seems like a bit of a non-sequitur.

[ETA] For some things it is an advantage to be autistic. There's an autistic boy in my maths class that achieved very high scores. But it's only one aspect of someone's life; what about when an autistic person has to go shopping, or integrate with any other aspect of life? It's a real problem.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2009, 12:43:10 PM by Batmaz »
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Offline JoelWhy

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2009, 12:40:49 PM »
But then you could argue that narcissistic, histrionic, or borderline personality disorders are all different ways of perceiving and reacting to the world, which they certainly are, but that doesn't mean that they are a product of a wholly functional brain. It seems like a bit of a non-sequitur.

Well, I guess it's an issue of how well said person can function in society and whether the benefits of such a "disorder" outweigh the negatives. 
"I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

Offline Batmaz

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2009, 12:44:43 PM »
I edited to add something but you replied to quick for me; I don't really believe the benefits do outweigh the negatives. When everyone perceives the world in one way and you in another, it will ultimately do you no good if you want to be a member of society.
"You don't like it, go somewhere else. Another universe, where the rules are simpler." [Richard Feynman]

Offline JoelWhy

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Re: Suggestions for Topics to cover on the Podcast
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2009, 12:49:50 PM »
I edited to add something but you replied to quick for me; I don't really believe the benefits do outweigh the negatives. When everyone perceives the world in one way and you in another, it will ultimately do you no good if you want to be a member of society.

I definitely understand your point.  And, if I somehow had a choice of being "normal" or being autistic with terrific math skills but terrible social skills, I'd definitely prefer to be "normal".  Maybe it's more an issue of 'when Xenu hands you lemons, make lemonade kick-arse advances in the world of high-tech."
"I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony