Author Topic: Science or Fiction  (Read 2583 times)

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Offline crazylegsmurphy

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Science or Fiction
« on: May 10, 2009, 06:12:13 PM »
Hey Everyone,

I just got back from a trip to the US where my friend and I had a LOT of hours to catch up on Podcasts. Since I have been trying to get him interested in SGU we listened to quite a few past episodes all the way up to the current one.

It wasn't long before my friend said, "The only part of this show I don't like is this science or fiction part!"

Even though I agreed with him I asked him why. He responded with, "Because I don't get what the point is. Why are we listening to them repeat the same thing for like 10 mintues?"

I have to say I agree. Listening to the panel repeat the same things over again is the same thing as dead air in my opinion. I understand the idea is to show in some way how to think skeptically, but I just don't think it's having the desired effect.

While it is interesting to find out what is in fact science or fiction, I really believe the time could be better spent on something that is passing along information to the listeners. If you think about it, we never actually learn anything while they're deciding which one to pick, nor are we really learning how to think critically.

Unless I am mistaken, being skeptical is not the same as guessing which things are real and which are fake in this world based on how plausible they sound. If the segment was simply a quick, "I pick 2" "I pick 3" and then it was revealed then it would at least go quick enough that everyone at home who has already made their choice doesn't have to listen to, "ummm, well...that sound like it was thrown in to fool us!" and so forth.

Anyway, I would like to see the segment shaved off, or replaced personally. For people with limited time (or more than one podcast to listen to) it can get a little lengthy.

Anyway, what do you guys think?
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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 06:49:29 PM »
I'm afraid you're gonna be outvoted on this. AFAIK, it is most fans' favorite part of the show.
All I can say is, it grows on you as you get to know the personalities of the Rogues: it is the part of the show where they can make fun of each other and of themselves, be more conversational and freeform... it's always where the best comedy bits come from.
If anyone thinks the educational value of the show drops below their threshold during Sci or Fi, well, they can stop listening at that point: you won't miss much at the end. But I'll remind you that, in the midst of all this fun, there ARE three news items presented and explained, even the fiction is almost always based on some real news. If anything, I think the joking, hemming, and hawing make a more memorable news item than a straight delivery of facts.
In short, it's for the enjoyment of the fans and of the panel... leave it alone!
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Offline crazylegsmurphy

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 07:04:56 PM »
Fair enough.

I have listened to SGU since the start and I agree it has it's charm. It's not that I just want a straight delivery of facts with no fun, but I think there are better ways to have a free form discussion.

I also listen to a podcast called "The Reality Check" here in Canada and their whole show is more free and loose and it works well because you still feel like you're getting something out of it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the segment or anything and I enjoy listening to the banter, I just think the time might be better used on a segment that wasn't repeating the same thing over and over. Even with "who's that noisy" the audience gets a chance to participate making it a little more engaging.
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Offline seaotter

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 07:33:23 PM »
Crazy talk
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Offline Sordid

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 07:41:16 PM »
Well I for one agree with him. First Steve reads the items, and then the rogues repeat after him exactly what he said. Only slower, to show that they're thinking about it. It's really irritating and drags and otherwise good segment down considerably IMO.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 07:47:48 PM by Sordid »

Offline JamesTate

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 07:51:22 PM »
Well Sorid that an editing issue. Though I think that would hamper its purpose.

Sy or Fy is still to how to approach new information and subject it to crit. thinking process, to shows its failing on lack of information.
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Offline avsa

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2009, 09:17:30 PM »
The SorF part is essential for a simple reason.

It's easy to be a skeptic of something you already know is false.

By testing the hosts on subjects that are a little bit too outrageous to be truth but not enough to be false, we can see the way each one's mind work, and how much they know about each field. If the show was all about laughing at obviously false claims and applauding all science, it wouldn't be a show about critical thinking, only crowd cheering.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2009, 04:30:17 AM »
The SorF part is essential for a simple reason.

It's easy to be a skeptic of something you already know is false.

By testing the hosts on subjects that are a little bit too outrageous to be truth but not enough to be false, we can see the way each one's mind work, and how much they know about each field. If the show was all about laughing at obviously false claims and applauding all science, it wouldn't be a show about critical thinking, only crowd cheering.

i love sci or fi anyway, but i hadn't thought of this, it's a very good point.  the segment is meant to demonstrate that it's not all about scoffing at believers and drooling over nanobots, birds, monkeys and all that.  it's also a light-hearted segment, even if the rogues treat it like serius bizness ;D
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Offline MOKITA

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 03:35:28 PM »
I really enjoy science or fiction, and of course, play along in my mind.  The items are always interesting, and generally news to me.
However, my only criticism would be that the participants often don't really seem to be using any particular analytical technique to determine which proposition is bogus.  Sometimes they seem more concerned with looking at Steve's psychological motivation to trick them.
For me, this undermines the instructive nature of the segment as an example of how to skeptically approach the verity of a some proposition, and just turns it into a guessing game.
Isn't there an analytical template that can be used to break down a proposition into something that is either likely to be true or unlikely?

Offline Kessdawg

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Re: Science or Fiction
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2009, 03:44:28 PM »
Well I for one agree with him. First Steve reads the items, and then the rogues repeat after him exactly what he said. Only slower, to show that they're thinking about it. It's really irritating and drags and otherwise good segment down considerably IMO.

Yup I also agree.  S or F would be a lot more interesting if it didn't drag on so damn long.  Quit repeating it so many times!  ugh!  Huge pet peeve of mine and I thought I was the only one.
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