Author Topic: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?  (Read 1341 times)

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Offline God Bomb

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Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« on: July 13, 2017, 05:59:06 AM »
I assumed it would be.  So I downloaded an episode.  The oldest in the archive  (on my phone app anyway) was episode 345 from 31st may 2015.

First I was a bit put  off by the structure of the show.  It isn't that long (33m), but the first 7.5 minutes were the two hosts talking about what they were going to talk about later.  Or talking about other things, not really sure, they seemed to be just listing people, events and places.  It was a bit like being in one of those long meetings where they have 5 slides just telling you what's coming later in the meeting.  Maybe if you listen more regularly this format makes more sense? Who knows.

Then there were interviews with people at a paranormal convention.  And the interviews were 100% credulous.  An American guy was saying how he had 6 eye witnesses to say he had been abducted by aliens, and that would convince a court of law, therefore aliens, and the interviewer went along with the whole thing, never once making any objection, or maybe highlighting WHY someone might need more evidence for extraordinary claims etc.  Usually when I hear stories like this I have multiple objections to the narrative that come up in my head then expect a skeptic to point out, e.g. 6 eye witnesses to a murder Vs 6 eye witnesses to a UFO abduction don't have the same standard of evidence.  Also one has a dead body and the other has nothing.  Well he didn't point any of them out, he even seemed to agree with the guy. 
The2nd interviewee was a ghost hunter.  Again, 100% credulous, only 1 comment where he asked what type of energy their detectors measure seemed to be heading in a skeptical direction, then no follow up.

That was about half the episode and I didn't feel like continuing. 
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 06:44:08 AM »
They very clearly explained the purpose of these interviews in the part of the load cast you criticize as being "off-putting":

Quote
"With this series of interviews Maynard's bringing us this week, it's really for you, dear audience, to put on your thinking caps and think about the logical fallacies and the arguments and the reasoning these people use.  Maynard does a great job of interviewing these people, and he's not there to pick holes in them, he's there to let them talk for your benefit, which I think is a good thing."
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline God Bomb

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 07:12:59 AM »
Sounds great when you have the transcript.  But here's the problem with that.  That important caveat was in an 8 minute info dump that included trivia such as "what I'll be cooking later" and many other names, places and topics.  You can say in an intro that you'll be talking to X,and Y about Z and you have to remember A B and C, but the problem is that I've never heard of X and Y  so I won't remember their names and probably wont remember A, B or C 10 minutes later either when it's sandwiched with trite banter.    You can have a serious lecture-style podcast, or you can have an informal conversational one, I thought it was the latter so I didn't realize I'd need to take notes. 

Structurally the shows a mess, but it's good to know that it actually is skeptical.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 07:18:27 AM by God Bomb »
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 07:54:50 AM »
I didn't read a transcript.  I listened to the podcast and found it quite easy to follow. Then I transcribed it for your edification.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline God Bomb

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 09:07:16 AM »
thanks for the effort you put into that.  I think that a case like this where you were primed and my case where I wasn't and it was one of many things I listen to as I go about my daily business are quite a bit different though.
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Offline wastrel

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 11:18:25 AM »
I'm amazed at people's inability to say "oh, good point.  My bad"

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 12:18:29 PM »
I'm no longer amazed by it, though I can't say I'm not a little disappointed.  I mean, even if they didn't have that disclaimer there, what would he think the guy would do in the middle of a paranormal convention?  He was there to find out what people were thinking, not to be an asshole.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Is Skeptic Zone a skeptical podcast?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 02:06:28 PM »
I'm amazed at people's inability to say "oh, good point.  My bad"
I'm not surprised and pretty sure I've pulled a, "yes, but...." more than once.

 

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