Author Topic: Episode #736  (Read 2339 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #736
« on: August 17, 2019, 12:40:19 PM »
Your Numbers Up, News Items: Banana Fungus, Epstein Conspiracy, Weber's Law; Who's That Noisy; Changing the Calendar; Name That Logical Fallacy; Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline RMoore

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2019, 04:01:33 PM »

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2019, 05:17:29 PM »


I look at the comments to see if it’s worth listening to the episode.  I take it from your comment that there’s nothing worth discussing or listening to?
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2019, 07:41:05 PM »
I once invented a very large number. I have no way of knowing if mine is larger than the one discussed on the show. Here's my number:

Raise a googolplex to the googolplex power. Raise the result to the googolplex power. Iterate this process a googolplex number of times. Add one, just for giggles and so that it might not be prime. I call this Daniel's number. The symbol for it is a capital letter D with two horizontal lines through it. Sort of like superimposing an equal sign on a D.

The 28-day-per-month calendar has an added drawback: What happens to the birthdays of people born after the 28th day of a Gregorian calendar month? For that matter, birthdays will fall in different seasons, with the difference being more pronounced later in the year. And of course, people who believe in astrology would have entirely different signs. But the biggest reason not to change the calendar is that it's like repainting a house that's so infested with termites that it's going to fall down in a month. Our civilization is on a climate precipice and about to fall off. Maybe you'd get to use the new calendar for five years before nobody has any need for dates any more.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2019, 07:50:50 PM »
The best pizzas I've ever eaten are all the ones I've made myself from scratch. I've eaten a lot of pizzas in my 71 years, and the great majority are ones I made myself from scratch. 100% whole-wheat crust made from flour I mill myself. Back when I was living in rural North Dakota I made the tomato sauce from scratch also, until  my finances improved and I was able to start using the fancy tomato sauce in jars, which is almost as good and a lot less work.

I decided to have pizza for lunch today and was half-way through making it before I turned on the podcast and heard them talking about pizza again. The ubiquity of white-flour pizza crust means that you cannot buy a pizza as good as you can make at home if you have a flour mill. Whatever toppings your favorite pizza parlor uses, you can get at the store. Whatever cheese you like, you can buy, from basic mozzarella to artisanal cheeses. (I prefer sharp cheddar on pizza.) My pizza today was as good as any I've made, which is about five times better than any I've bought from a store or pizza parlor.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2019, 07:59:06 PM »
I once invented a very large number. I have no way of knowing if mine is larger than the one discussed on the show. Here's my number:

Raise a googolplex to the googolplex power. Raise the result to the googolplex power. Iterate this process a googolplex number of times. Add one, just for giggles and so that it might not be prime. I call this Daniel's number. The symbol for it is a capital letter D with two horizontal lines through it. Sort of like superimposing an equal sign on a D.

The 28-day-per-month calendar has an added drawback: What happens to the birthdays of people born after the 28th day of a Gregorian calendar month? For that matter, birthdays will fall in different seasons, with the difference being more pronounced later in the year. And of course, people who believe in astrology would have entirely different signs. But the biggest reason not to change the calendar is that it's like repainting a house that's so infested with termites that it's going to fall down in a month. Our civilization is on a climate precipice and about to fall off. Maybe you'd get to use the new calendar for five years before nobody has any need for dates any more.

As a child, I had a lot of trouble remembering how many days each month has, whether it’s 28, 30 or 31.  When I was doing the oral part of a German examination, the examiner asked me in German how many days are in...?  I looked at her blankly, and she had to whisper the answer to me in English, so apparently I wasn’t alone.  Eventually I worked out that July and August, and December and January have 31 days, and the other months alternate between 30 and 31 days, with the exception of February, which has 28 (29 in leap years).

A more sensible calendar would be one of 13 months of 28 days (4 weeks), with separate days outside of the week for new year day and leap year day.  For example, the first of any month could always fall on a Monday.  You’d never have to look at the calendar to know which day of the week April 24 will fall in any future year, because it would always be a Wednesday.
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2019, 08:28:00 PM »
Can one invent a number? Surely they are just waiting to be named?

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 08:45:36 PM »
Can one invent a number? Surely they are just waiting to be named?

It's more like picking a number and trying to give it a name.  Graham's number was used in a proof, and therefore deserves a name.  I think just picking a number and naming it is kinda silly.

From now on, I will refer to the number 19 as Kip.  Because you know all 19 year olds are a Kip.  Or maybe Tad.  Tad can be who Kip becomes at 20.....

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2019, 09:23:34 PM »
A more sensible calendar would be one of 13 months of 28 days (4 weeks), with separate days outside of the week for new year day and leap year day.  For example, the first of any month could always fall on a Monday.  You’d never have to look at the calendar to know which day of the week April 24 will fall in any future year, because it would always be a Wednesday.

Which is exactly what they said on the show. But also that the calendar you are describing was invented like a century ago and still has not caught on, so it seems pretty much hopeless.

But with 5 or 10 years until we've totally fucked up the Earth, I don't see much point in changing the calendar now. Though I always favored the idea of a three-day week: Work one day and then get the two-day weekend off. Of course, now that I'm retired, I don't care how many days are in a week. But really, if you're going to invent a calendar, what's with a seven-day week anyway? It's 2019 and we're still using a week based on the belief that God made the world in six days and then took a day off???
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline bachfiend

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2019, 09:55:43 PM »
A more sensible calendar would be one of 13 months of 28 days (4 weeks), with separate days outside of the week for new year day and leap year day.  For example, the first of any month could always fall on a Monday.  You’d never have to look at the calendar to know which day of the week April 24 will fall in any future year, because it would always be a Wednesday.

Which is exactly what they said on the show. But also that the calendar you are describing was invented like a century ago and still has not caught on, so it seems pretty much hopeless.

But with 5 or 10 years until we've totally fucked up the Earth, I don't see much point in changing the calendar now. Though I always favored the idea of a three-day week: Work one day and then get the two-day weekend off. Of course, now that I'm retired, I don't care how many days are in a week. But really, if you're going to invent a calendar, what's with a seven-day week anyway? It's 2019 and we're still using a week based on the belief that God made the world in six days and then took a day off???

I wasn’t aware that it had been proposed a century ago.  It still could catch on.  It took 270 years for the British to adopt the Gregorian calendar instead of the Julian (and in the process, changing the first day of the year from March to January 1.  And some countries took even longer.

Agreed, being retired means you don’t have to care how many days are in the week.  I’ve been on a permanent long weekend ever since I retired 10 years ago.  I don’t favor a 3 day week though.  The workers need to continue to slave away to support me in my ill deserved retirement.
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Offline mddawson

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2019, 02:25:28 AM »
Big Banana is based in Coffs Harbour Australia. :)
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 02:28:02 AM by mddawson »
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Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2019, 03:21:15 AM »
It's 2019 and we're still using a week based on the belief that God made the world in six days and then took a day off???

No. The 7-day week is Babylonian, based on the phases of the Moon.

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2019, 06:32:48 AM »
Can one invent a number? Surely they are just waiting to be named?

Name away! The number of real numbers is a different level of infinity than the number of possible words in the English language, so we won't run out.

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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #736
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2019, 11:15:13 AM »
It's 2019 and we're still using a week based on the belief that God made the world in six days and then took a day off???

No. The 7-day week is Babylonian, based on the phases of the Moon.

Well, that's a relief.

As for bananas, I've eaten a number of different kinds of bananas. In Mexico there were Chiapas bananas, and somewhere I had something called apple bananas, and here in Maui there's a different kind of banana whose name I forget, but a friend of mine has a tree. I don't like any of them as much as the Cavendish. But for some reason, I cannot get good bananas here more often than about one in every 8 or 10 visits to the store. They're either too green, and then never ripen properly, or they're off in some other way. I've had plantain (which has to be cooked) and I find it so unpleasant I can barely manage to eat it, and then only a few slices at most.

If the Cavendish goes extinct, farmers and suppliers will ramp-up production and delivery of the other kinds. Some people may not like them as much, but there will still be bananas. Or maybe bananas will be the thing that turns public opinion around regarding GMOs, and they'll accept them in order to have their cavendish bananas.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

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