Author Topic: Episode #592  (Read 3298 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #592
« on: November 12, 2016, 11:51:46 AM »
What’s the Word: Xerophile; News Items: Wireless Brain-Spine Interface, Arctic Ice, Quantum Time, Hydrinos and Cold Fusion, Male Birth Control Study; Who’s That Noisy; Your Questions and E-mails: Democratization of Knowledge; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
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Online lonely moa

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 12:43:46 PM »
Just started listening but it's the typical; milquetoast response to the election I expected. 

The reaction to the election has been huge in the science community and this is supposed to be a scientific/sceptic broadcast; they wait till the damage becomes more apparent.  The anti-science rhetoric has been so your face from Trumps campaign, Myron Ebell, EPA, Forrest Lucas, Interior (or Sarah Palin), Ben Carson, Health, Hamm, Energy.... Jesus H Christ, how much anti science can they look away from.

The whole campaign turned on (aside from misogyny and racism) climate change denial, anti-vaccination and environmental destruction for corporate profit.  Surely a target for scientific debate.

What do I know, anyway?  Why should I care, living on a beautiful island in the South Pacific with the leaders of our Governnment openly atheistic for the last two decades. 
« Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 03:58:00 PM by lonely moa »
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Offline Mozart321

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2016, 01:21:15 PM »
Talking of the Black Mirror pig episode, anyone here aware of #piggate? And David Cameron allegedly doing a similar thing?

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/shortcuts/2015/sep/21/pigs-prime-minister-black-mirror-ashcroft-allegation-charlie-brooker

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2016, 02:03:32 PM »
I was already writing an email to you for not calling Bob out for not making the 'many Bothans died' joke. Steve restored my respect at the last second


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Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2016, 02:33:04 PM »
If we can't fix our governments, it's because we're failing individually en masse. Of course, we need to breed less, eat less meat, travel less, throw away less, etc., but if we can't get enough people organized to elect leaders who give a damn and actually will enact appropriate regulations and funding, it's because we can't get enough people organized.

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2016, 02:40:53 PM »
Just started listening but it's the typical; milquetoast response to the election I expected. 

The reaction to the election has been huge in the science community and this is supposed to be a scientific/sceptic broadcast; they wait till the damage becomes more apparent.  The anti-science rhetoric has been so your face from Trumps campaign, Myron Ebell, EPA, Forrest Lucas, Interior (or Sarah Palin), Ben Carson, Health, Hamm, Energy.... Jesus H Christ, how much anti science can they look away from.

The whole campaign turned on (ask from misogyny and racism) climate change denial, anti-vaccination and environmental destruction for corporate profit.  Surely a target for scientific debate.

What do I know, anyway?  Why should I care, living on a beautiful island in the South Pacific with the leaders of our Governnment openly atheistic for the last two decades.

I'd like to second Lonley Moa's thoughts on this. I was stunned by how quickly Steve and the rogues glossed over the election. I totally understand that this is an apolitical show, and that we are all sick of talking about politics. This election will likely have unprecedented consequences for scientific research and education. It also has major implications for the role of facts and conspiracy theories in public discourse, empiricism in public policy, freedom of expression, libel laws, and plenty of other topics that are dear to skeptics' hearts.

Even if the most odious policies advocated by the president elect are never implemented, America has suffered a severe trauma. The misogyny, racism, xenophobia  and Islamaphobia that have seemingly been validated by the election results are a terrible blow to the American values of inclusion and diversity. I agree that we should accpet the election results and help this president be the best he can be, but we also need to acknowledge the fear and pain being felt by many of our most vulnerable citizens. I find it really difficult to listen to riffs about juvenile science fiction topics at a time like this. Much love to Steve and the rogues-- I appreciate your work on the show so much-- but I had to vent a little.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 04:53:53 PM »
Sawbones, another non-political podcast, began by lamenting that they cannot use obscenity on their show. (They keep it family-friendly.) By that comment, they made it clear where they stand. I understand that SGU has decided to be a non-political show, but I was disappointed they did not make some concession to decency. Something along the lines of Sawbones' "I wish I could use obscenity right now."
Daniel
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2016, 05:04:50 PM »
On "hydrinos" and similar free-energy scams: What I always want to ask the scammers is: "How much will it cost to build and maintain the machine that harvests your free energy?" Because, we have free energy already: The sun. A humongous thermonuclear power plant that's going to keep pumping out energy for several billion years more, and beaming it to us wirelessly, and all we have to do is build collectors and storage. Granted that storage is expensive, but we have all the technology and we all know people who are collecting and using it today.

Hydrinos and water-for-gas and the Bedini motor, and all the other perpetual-motion free-energy devices would cost money to build, if they worked. So unless the machines are cheaper to build than wind generators and solar panels, even if they worked they would be pointless. It's not enough to invent a free-energy machine. You have to invent one that's cheaper to build and operate than solar or wind or geothermal, etc.
Daniel
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2016, 05:29:05 PM »
What's wrong with being apolitical?  It's not like they owe us their personal opinions on everything, and it keeps the show more accessible.
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Offline synapsomatic

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2016, 05:52:01 PM »
Just my two cents on what makes a degree like a PhD significant over "at home" independent research via the internet:

Since most grad programs require you to do some teaching, that absolutely forces you to know your shit really well.  Now, even though the material you'd be teaching is only undergrad level, the experience teaches you the value of more thoroughly knowing and understanding the material, which will surely carry over into whatever you're actually working on for your degree.

There is also something to be said for having to meet deadlines.  Most people don't already have the kind of discipline to be able to go through what you have to go through when doing an advanced degree.  Having to meet deadlines forces you to learn discipline in your work. 
But I don't just mean discipline with respect to getting it done within a time frame.  Since you do have a limited time frame, you are forced to learn how to do disciplined research, in the sense that, you have to be more rigorous, more focused; you have to be able to have a sense of the quality of the work of others, to decide whether you can rely on it as a source.

Perhaps most importantly, you get grilled.  You have to work with a mentor or advisor or whatever you want to call them, and you have to, on several occasions, present your work to him or her, and they will regularly critique your work, both positively and negatively.  (In fact, it's never just one person; usually a few.)  And especially with a PhD, that doesn't just happen regularly while you're working on your dissertation: when you're finally done with the thing that has dominated your life for 2 or 3 years, you have to then go through the finale: your defense!  It is pretty much the job of your advisors and other professors and colleagues to grill you in your defense. 

One of the things I am most grateful for from grad school is that I learned how to research, learned how to learn about things that I was not previously familiar with.  Grad school taught me the skills I need to be able to research on the internet and try to learn "on my own".  I mean, there is definitely a world of difference between how I did research in undergrad - and the internet was much, much smaller then! - and how I was doing research in my last couple of years of grad school. 

But, even though I say I know how to do research and learn "on my own", I would never claim or even think that I could have nearly the same amount and depth of knowledge and understanding that someone with an advanced degree has. 

Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2016, 07:57:27 PM »
Just started listening but it's the typical; milquetoast response to the election I expected. 

The reaction to the election has been huge in the science community and this is supposed to be a scientific/sceptic broadcast; they wait till the damage becomes more apparent.  The anti-science rhetoric has been so your face from Trumps campaign, Myron Ebell, EPA, Forrest Lucas, Interior (or Sarah Palin), Ben Carson, Health, Hamm, Energy.... Jesus H Christ, how much anti science can they look away from.

The whole campaign turned on (ask from misogyny and racism) climate change denial, anti-vaccination and environmental destruction for corporate profit.  Surely a target for scientific debate.

What do I know, anyway?  Why should I care, living on a beautiful island in the South Pacific with the leaders of our Governnment openly atheistic for the last two decades.

I'd like to second Lonley Moa's thoughts on this. I was stunned by how quickly Steve and the rogues glossed over the election. I totally understand that this is an apolitical show, and that we are all sick of talking about politics. This election will likely have unprecedented consequences for scientific research and education. It also has major implications for the role of facts and conspiracy theories in public discourse, empiricism in public policy, freedom of expression, libel laws, and plenty of other topics that are dear to skeptics' hearts.

Even if the most odious policies advocated by the president elect are never implemented, America has suffered a severe trauma. The misogyny, racism, xenophobia  and Islamaphobia that have seemingly been validated by the election results are a terrible blow to the American values of inclusion and diversity. I agree that we should accpet the election results and help this president be the best he can be, but we also need to acknowledge the fear and pain being felt by many of our most vulnerable citizens. I find it really difficult to listen to riffs about juvenile science fiction topics at a time like this. Much love to Steve and the rogues-- I appreciate your work on the show so much-- but I had to vent a little.

Yes, I concur. This election result is clearly a complete disaster for the scientific and skeptical community, its consequences will be felt around the globe, and the SGU has never shied away from discussing politics before when it has had those kinds of implications. Extremely disappointing to see you do so now.
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Offline werecow

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2016, 08:08:56 PM »
What's wrong with being apolitical?  It's not like they owe us their personal opinions on everything, and it keeps the show more accessible.

They owe us nothing at all. However, that does not mean that we cannot give them feedback on the topics we were hoping they would address. Personally, I'd hoped that one of the most significant political developments in science and skepticism in decades would get at least a few minutes of air time. They don't need to say anything about Trump as a person, just his attitudes towards our shared topics of interest.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2016, 08:29:46 PM by werecow »
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2016, 09:41:57 PM »
Just started listening but it's the typical; milquetoast response to the election I expected. 

The reaction to the election has been huge in the science community and this is supposed to be a scientific/sceptic broadcast; they wait till the damage becomes more apparent.  The anti-science rhetoric has been so your face from Trumps campaign, Myron Ebell, EPA, Forrest Lucas, Interior (or Sarah Palin), Ben Carson, Health, Hamm, Energy.... Jesus H Christ, how much anti science can they look away from.

The whole campaign turned on (ask from misogyny and racism) climate change denial, anti-vaccination and environmental destruction for corporate profit.  Surely a target for scientific debate.

What do I know, anyway?  Why should I care, living on a beautiful island in the South Pacific with the leaders of our Governnment openly atheistic for the last two decades.

I'd like to second Lonley Moa's thoughts on this. I was stunned by how quickly Steve and the rogues glossed over the election. I totally understand that this is an apolitical show, and that we are all sick of talking about politics. This election will likely have unprecedented consequences for scientific research and education. It also has major implications for the role of facts and conspiracy theories in public discourse, empiricism in public policy, freedom of expression, libel laws, and plenty of other topics that are dear to skeptics' hearts.

Even if the most odious policies advocated by the president elect are never implemented, America has suffered a severe trauma. The misogyny, racism, xenophobia  and Islamaphobia that have seemingly been validated by the election results are a terrible blow to the American values of inclusion and diversity. I agree that we should accpet the election results and help this president be the best he can be, but we also need to acknowledge the fear and pain being felt by many of our most vulnerable citizens. I find it really difficult to listen to riffs about juvenile science fiction topics at a time like this. Much love to Steve and the rogues-- I appreciate your work on the show so much-- but I had to vent a little.

Yes, I concur. This election result is clearly a complete disaster for the scientific and skeptical community, its consequences will be felt around the globe, and the SGU has never shied away from discussing politics before when it has had those kinds of implications. Extremely disappointing to see you do so now.

This is bull.

They said very clearly that when politics intersects with science and skepticism, they talk about it, and they said that they will talk about it when such subjects come up, because it is inevitable that they will come up.

What they're not talking about is the election itself, and in my opinion that is a Good Thing.

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2016, 02:10:54 AM »
I just wanted a brief acknowledgement that this election has seismic implications for a huge number of issues that are frequently discussed on the SGU. I didn't expect a long discussion, but a 20 second recognition of the enormity of this results would have been appreciated. It would have also been a great opportunity to reassert the skeptical community's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

I guess I am being selfish. I really value the thoughts/analysis of Steve and the rogues. Their wisdom has helped me understand a lot of difficult topics, and the disturbing results of the election left me searching for answers. They should steer the editorial tone of the show in whatever way they see fit. I'll be grateful for their wisdom, whatever the topic.

Offline SkeptiQueer

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Re: Episode #592
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2016, 07:40:42 AM »
I just wanted a brief acknowledgement that this election has seismic implications for a huge number of issues that are frequently discussed on the SGU. I didn't expect a long discussion, but a 20 second recognition of the enormity of this results would have been appreciated. It would have also been a great opportunity to reassert the skeptical community's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

I guess I am being selfish. I really value the thoughts/analysis of Steve and the rogues. Their wisdom has helped me understand a lot of difficult topics, and the disturbing results of the election left me searching for answers. They should steer the editorial tone of the show in whatever way they see fit. I'll be grateful for their wisdom, whatever the topic.
While it almost certainly does, the SGU is best served to highlight the places when it interacts with science and skepticism, not to fill a show talking about how it might.
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