Author Topic: Episode #724  (Read 2595 times)

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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2019, 03:16:38 PM »
[Humorless rant omitted]

I found the guest's topic and presentation boring as hell, and the discussion of Martian colonization quite interesting. I don't listen to the SGU for a science lecture, but for interesting news, speculation, and the fun personal interactions of the hosts. It's what makes the skeptical lessons go down. If you're looking for a lecture, why not just sign up for The Great Courses; you can even use the SGU promo code.
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Offline Alex Simmons

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2019, 08:02:59 PM »
The talk of Mars contamination was only considered as a one way street.

No mention of potential of contamination of Earth with Martian life (should it actually be found to exist) as one would presume an eventual return mission.

Of course such "contamination" may already have occurred naturally though exchange of planetary ejecta.

Online 2397

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2019, 06:48:42 AM »
Mars contaminating Earth is much less likely, with Earth being crowded by life everywhere on the surface and quite a ways down as well. Like your skin being coated in bacteria, preventing foreign bacteria from settling there.

Offline lobsterbash

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2019, 10:19:48 AM »
[Humorless rant omitted]

I found the guest's topic and presentation boring as hell, and the discussion of Martian colonization quite interesting. I don't listen to the SGU for a science lecture, but for interesting news, speculation, and the fun personal interactions of the hosts. It's what makes the skeptical lessons go down. If you're looking for a lecture, why not just sign up for The Great Courses; you can even use the SGU promo code.

It's surprising to me to see a review as damning and harsh as Daniel's here on this forum. Like, why does he even listen to the podcast? Why is he on the SGU forums?

Anyway, I've thought a lot about what I think could make the podcast better, and while I definitely do have some thoughts on that I'd rather talk about what they get right. The format of the show relies heavily on perspective, and bridging the gap between issues in professional science and the layperson. It's good that Steve is there to provide the more rigorous perspectives, while on the other end of the spectrum, Jay is the more everyman skeptic. With the others somewhere between. It's beneficial to the target audience to have the interaction between these different perspectives in response to the science news, interviews, discussions, etc. Arguably it isn't diverse enough, being between 4 dudes (3 of them brothers) and 1 woman, all white, but whatever. It's actually good that they aren't all experts with 3 PhDs each because then the show would perhaps consist of incessant detail nitpicking and pedantry. We get enough of that just from Steve, as it is ;).

The show is intended to be accessible, and, as Latinist stated, it makes the rigors of the overall subject matter more palatable.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 10:25:36 AM by lobsterbash »

Offline Earl Grey

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2019, 11:31:34 AM »
...rant about how awful every aspect of the podcast is...

A more efficient solution would be for you to simply stop listening to the podcast.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2019, 11:51:19 AM »
I suspect daniel actually quite likes the program but in my experience he has a quite dour personality and rarely expresses positive opinions.  I would not be so harsh to him on this subject, I find myself somewhere between his opinion and lobsterdash.  I almost certainly wouldn't notice if any two of Bob, Jay, or Even quit the show.  I definitely like that they have the perspective of science enthusiast lay folks though.  The show would absolutely suffer without all three of them.  On the other hand, they could use more diversity than three brothers, there long time friend, and another neuroscientist/psychologist. 

Online brilligtove

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2019, 11:59:31 AM »
To paraphrase unfairly, "The rogues need more diversity!" and "Guest rogues suck!"

SGU is a family affair. I expect it will continue to be. I don't like every guest rogue, but I do like having all those guest rogues.
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Offline seamas

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2019, 12:01:19 PM »
She's recording a TV show. This has been mentioned repeatedly in the last several weeks.

A reboot of Brain Games--a pretty good show. My kids enjoy it a lot. Good for adults too. I believe it is still on Netflix, it is definitely worth a watch.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2019, 03:18:33 PM »
SGU is a family affair. I expect it will continue to be. I don't like every guest rogue, but I do like having all those guest rogues.

I agree. I think these complaints are a little unfair. The SGU basically grew out of the NESS, which was founded by three brothers and their two friends (one of them, Perry, is no longer there) and they do this in their spare-time, as a hobby sort-of. Yes, I agree that diversity within skepticism is important, but it is not fair to except the SGU, a single podcast, to serve all worthy aspects of skepticism, or be everything to everyone. They do make an effort to have a female rogue, which is very good, and also various guest rogues, also good, but it still revolves around Steve, and from there his family and friends. But again, I don't think it is reasonable to expect them to cover all possible aspects. It is also not reasonable to expect them to kick out their founding members because of their skin colors or genders, either. Let the SGU do what it does well.

I can think of at least two skeptical podcasts that strive to bring multiple perspectives of skepticism to the fore. These are the European Skeptics Podcast, and the Skeptic Zone. For example, you could listen to the story of a Lebanese expat who is starting a skeptical group in Ukraine. Or the story of Slovenian skeptics who run a skeptics in the pub group in Ljubljana. Or various interviews with skeptics in Norway.

Or you could watch the embedded video of a speech by the Turkish (female) skeptic Isil Arican:
(click to show/hide)

Really, there is a lot of diversity within skepticism and different perspectives of many diverse backgrounds out there, if you just bother to look.
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Offline Alex Simmons

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2019, 01:05:34 AM »
Mars contaminating Earth is much less likely, with Earth being crowded by life everywhere on the surface and quite a ways down as well. Like your skin being coated in bacteria, preventing foreign bacteria from settling there.

But why would Earth life necessarily present a barrier to Martian life (if it exists) taking hold here? Earth life has formed defences against and competes with other Earth life. If it had not encountered Martian life before, Earth life may require time to adapt to the "threat" or "competition".

By contamination I don't mean an animal becoming infected, rather that Martian life may get an independent foothold in an Earth environment, and compete for resources like all life does.

Say we do discover some life forms on Mars. How can we reasonably expect to perform a return mission without risk of contamination? If Mars ever became a "colony" of Earth, then return missions would be expected. Especially as it would be expected that Mars becomes an economic resource to be exploited, at least initially. Just like all of human colonial history.

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2019, 02:49:05 AM »
Scientists have been careful not to contaminate buried lakes in Antarctica, more or less.
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Online 2397

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2019, 04:20:40 AM »
But why would Earth life necessarily present a barrier to Martian life (if it exists) taking hold here? Earth life has formed defences against and competes with other Earth life. If it had not encountered Martian life before, Earth life may require time to adapt to the "threat" or "competition".

Because Earth life has already filled every niche it can, and is in constant competition with itself. There's no free space available, alien life would have to be able to displace what's already there and anything else that would spread there if what's there disappears.

Offline CookieMustard

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2019, 06:11:57 PM »

Because Earth life has already filled every niche it can .... There's no free space available ...

I'm not so sure about that. You might not realize that there is a niche until it gets filled. For example, if there was an alien life form that thrived on plastic it might find a niche on Earth.

Online 2397

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2019, 06:22:18 PM »
It's a niche that didn't exist at all a little over 100 years ago. If there are other planets that have had plastic for hundreds of thousands of years, maybe their life could easily contaminate Earth, but that doesn't seem to be the case for Mars.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Episode #724
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2019, 09:24:16 PM »

Because Earth life has already filled every niche it can .... There's no free space available ...

I'm not so sure about that. You might not realize that there is a niche until it gets filled. For example, if there was an alien life form that thrived on plastic it might find a niche on Earth.

Literally everywhere on this planet we've looked, we've found life. Including in rock deep underground. Life on this planet has spread to fill every conceivable niche, and many inconceivable ones.

Also, a food source is not a niche.
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