Author Topic: Podcast Topic suggestions  (Read 81148 times)

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Offline zoomHYPERIONzoom

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #570 on: April 15, 2017, 02:48:35 AM »
Hi first time poster. I'm still working my way through the podcast archive. Really enjoying the podcast.

I have an associate that is unfortunately extremely susceptible to woo and has recently fallen hard for this new thing called Functional Patterns It's an exercise method which is aggressive towards science and spends an unusual amount of energy attacking science and the scientific community. It seems to me that it is preemptively attacking science before it can be debunked. That way if it turns out to be hocus pocus then it could claim that "science" is just being spiteful and/or corrupt.

I'm not saying that Functional Patterns (FP) is not an effective exercise methodology but while talking to my friend I noticed a few red flags. I don't know if it was just my friend's warped interpretation of FP but he definitely associates it with:
1. curing chronic pain (this one is a common boast in the fitness industry so nothing new there)
2. preventing disease in a more significant way than just being more physically active would normally do so,
3. and creating a spiritual mindset that is in my opinion both anti-scientific and new-age in nature. Alters behavior that could change the world! (This isn't that new either)

I haven't yet found much that supports that third one online so take that one with a grain of salt. It could just be my friend's misrepresenting FP or it could be my own fallible interpretation of it. I have read hints of this in this "Letter To The Fitness Industry" on the FP website as well as from this obvious antagonist to FP here: It could be that FP is keeping the more radical views out of the general view a la Scientology and Mormonism or I could be way off the scent.

My main interest is Functional Patterns' apparent animosity towards science. My friend has just returned from a training course in America so he can be a local redistributor of the brand AKA an official FP trainer and it could just be his nature but the intensity of his loyalty and defense of FP borders on cult-like fervor. Has he been suckered by a guru? If it's the real deal why is it so adamant that it doesn't need scientific testing?

With only a little bit of research I've found enough to be sceptical of Functional Patterns but I've by no means performed a deep dive. Don't get me wrong, if it works I'll be the first to get on board but what's up with the guru/anti-science angle?

Has anyone else already researched FP? What have you found?



P.S. TNG is the best Star Trek series.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 05:54:44 AM by zoomHYPERIONzoom »

Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #571 on: April 15, 2017, 07:38:46 AM »
Another thread is discussing self-aware AI.

I think it would be an interesting topic to discuss what sort of test could be devised to determine if an AI was actually self-aware. Since programming could achieve the illusion of self-awareness, I fail to see how one could discern true self-awareness - even in principle.
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Offline NorwegianHobbit

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #572 on: April 23, 2017, 06:28:00 AM »
Would love the panel to discuss this: "The Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics"

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #573 on: April 23, 2017, 12:40:00 PM »
The degeneration of cable news.

Jeff Zucker's been president of CNN since 2013. 

Zucker is a big sports fan, and from the early days of the campaign had spoken at editorial meetings about wanting to incorporate elements of ESPN’s programming into CNN’s election coverage. “The idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understood that and approached it that way,” he told me.

As Zucker sees it, his pro-Trump panelists are not just spokespeople for a worldview; they are “characters in a drama,” members of CNN’s extended ensemble cast. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, I can’t believe you have Jeffrey Lord or Kayleigh McEnany,’ but you know what?” Zucker told me with some satisfaction. “They know who Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany are.”

I'm a millennial.  It's my understanding that the news wasn't this stupid in the days of yore.  Is that true?  Because cable news has been complete trash at least since I was a teenager.
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Offline jeffgdotorg

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Re: Podcast Topic suggestions
« Reply #574 on: April 25, 2017, 10:53:25 AM »
[This post is an expansion of my reply on an episode thread, apologies for the duplication]

Hi, I'm a new listener working backwards through the episode catalog. I've tried out several generalist skeptic podcasts, and yours is the first one that really suits me. I appreciate the relatively soft touch, the variety of backgrounds (if not surnames  ;)) among the presenters, the predictable publishing schedule, and the great production values. Especially with five presenters, I know that the last two are hard to achieve. Thank you all for pouring your time and energy into this important vehicle.

The discussion of dark anti-vax conspiracy theories in episode 310 (starting at 35m30s) really hit near home for me, as I have a family member who is way down the rabbit-hole. It started with an evidence-backed exercise therapy method that brings a strong anti-surgical slant, progressed to essential oils, and has spiraled into electromedicine (specifically Rife) with anti-vax being just one facet. I agree that a promising strategic approach is to target highly visible conspiracy promoters, limiting their ability to reach unwary marks. I'm doing just that via a professional board action against one promoter (an MD) whose influence was a big factor. Bringing the action feels good, and I know it's a public service that stands to make a real difference down the road, but what about the people already harmed? I'm wondering what the panel and community think are generally the best ways to help those already lost in Wonderland. As a corollary, how do we deal with the damage done to relationships when our loved ones decide that their skeptical family members are in on the conspiracy? Counseling surely plays a huge role in addressing both points, but it may be impossible to get the family member to consent to it.