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The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe => Podcast Episodes => Topic started by: Steven Novella on December 16, 2017, 09:46:25 AM

Title: Episode #649
Post by: Steven Novella on December 16, 2017, 09:46:25 AM
Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Kathleen Drew-Baker; News Items: Space Policy Directive 1, Group Perception, Ticks Dinosaurs and Amber, Antarctic Extremophiles, Water Cloak; Who’s That Noisy; Your Questions and E-mails: Earthing; Science or Fiction
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 16, 2017, 06:29:52 PM
On the subject of paying attention, there's a (presumably) true story about an old land-line telegrapher on the day he first got his job: He had answered an ad in the paper for a telegrapher and gone to the address in the ad, and a receptionist directed him into a waiting room, where there were a bunch of other people, all of whom had come in response to the same ad. At the far end of the room was a closed door. Everyone was talking among themselves, when our man heard clacking from a small speaker mounted on the wall. The clacking said, in Morse code, "The first person to walk through the door gets the job." He was the only one who noticed, so he got up and went through the door, and got the job.

Land-line telegraphers had to be alert to the clacker at all times, because every station along the line would respond to every signal that came down the line, and they wanted people who would be alert to a call for their own station, and not miss anything. Nobody else in the room that day noticed, because they were not expecting it, even though they were all trained telegraphers.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 16, 2017, 06:37:39 PM
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!

On using scrap metal and electricity to sequester CO2, I have to wonder, given the small amount of CO2 captured this way, whether there might be better uses for the scrap metal. And for the electricity. Even though they want to use solar panels to create the electricity, that electricity could be used to displace internal combustion engines for transportation. That is, instead of burning gasoline, producing CO2, and then using electricity to recapture some of the CO2, would we have a better net effect on atmospheric carbon if that same electricity were used, instead of gasoline, to power the cars in the first place?
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Ron Obvious on December 16, 2017, 06:52:40 PM
A friend of mine once met Isaac Asimov at a Gilbert & Sullivan society meeting. The randy old goat even spontaneously composed a limerick on the spot praising her beauty. She had no idea who he was, and to this day refers to him as "that Gilbert & Sullivan guy".  Grrr....  I wish I could've met him.... >:(
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on December 16, 2017, 06:59:24 PM
A friend of mine once met Isaac Asimov at a Gilbert & Sullivan society meeting. The randy old goat even spontaneously composed a limerick on the spot praising her beauty. She had no idea who he was, and to this day refers to him as "that Gilbert & Sullivan guy".  Grrr....  I wish I could've met him.... >:(

Cool story. Asimov enjoyed the smell of phosgene, and knew not to enjoy it too much.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: GodSlayer on December 17, 2017, 05:24:06 AM
:) yay, they used my noisy! (not my singing, just my suggestion)

but there is a slight skeptical twist to it -- though it's considered an old Swedish 'herding call', like whistling to a sheep dog or something, you can find youtube videos of people testing it or debunking it by showing that cows will come to any old sound at all (though they're iffy about people, once people stand still cows don't mind approaching them ... and _perhaps_ any old call is a herding call ... so maybe this comes down through tradition and is only confirmation bias, 'herding call attracted cows' just like 'dowsing rod found water').
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: 2397 on December 17, 2017, 07:21:48 AM
there might be better uses for the scrap metal. And for the electricity. Even though they want to use solar panels to create the electricity, that electricity could be used to displace internal combustion engines for transportation. That is, instead of burning gasoline, producing CO2, and then using electricity to recapture some of the CO2, would we have a better net effect on atmospheric carbon if that same electricity were used, instead of gasoline, to power the cars in the first place?

That line gets used a lot. Treating it as free energy, because the source is solar. Well, why isn't everything (that can be) powered by solar already, if it's so inconsequential?

Steve mentions it as scrap metal that isn't being recycled, indicating that it otherwise is just waste, but we should ask why it isn't being recycled. If we can pick it out of the landfill, then we should have more options. Maybe we can use it to build solar panels.

And he estimates that the method could reduce net CO2 emissions by 2% (at most) of current levels. That's less than what's estimated to be released from wild coal fires, going by this 7 year old article (http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2006195,00.html) (3% of a slightly smaller total).

Cara says she wishes we'd stop increasing annual emissions. We probably have done that now (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/climate/carbon-in-atmosphere-is-rising-even-as-emissions-stabilize.html). Which would've been good news if we did it 40 years ago.

I'd like to see the numbers for a straight up sequestration process, scalable to much more than 2% per year, with no fuel as a byproduct to mislead.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: gebobs on December 18, 2017, 05:31:23 PM
A friend posted a video on Facebook about Earthing. I thought about ripping into it, but I need to resist these temptations.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on December 18, 2017, 06:03:56 PM
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
We really need to work on your hyperbole detection. And if that is tuned okay, we really need to speak to you about how different people live different lives, and that's ok.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: mjfoley on December 18, 2017, 09:57:19 PM
I always thought, and once mentioned to a NASA presenter at MakerFaire, the distance and time to deal with problems of a Mars mission has a solution... the surface mission would be orders of magnitide more dangerous than just getting to Mars orbit, so put all kinds of help in orbit. Put the equivalent of a small manufacturing city in space, imagine an aircraft carrier sized just-in-case-they-need-it thing. We're going to have fueled return-to-orbit vehicles on the surface before anyone descends. Keep fueled Earth Orbit Return vehicles in orbit. We'll apparently need to get the spinning-for-gravity idea working for people to be prepared to land healthy enough. This will take time. Lots of it. Time to robotically go hunting foe ice and rocks to park in Earth orbit or at Lagrange points for manufacturing ships and fuel. NASA didnt think anyone could be talked into goung to Mars orbit but never to Mars, I think that's underestimating us. At the same time we could also get to the Asteroid belt. Elon, you listening?
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 19, 2017, 09:56:57 AM
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
We really need to work on your hyperbole detection. And if that is tuned okay, we really need to speak to you about how different people live different lives, and that's ok.  :laugh:

The tone in which he said it sure sounded serious to me. So much so that he didn't want his kid to see the movie without him. The poor kid is in for such a disappointment after all the build-up. Star Wars, as bad as it was (IMO) was something new and different. With all the space operas out there now, a new space opera, even if it is a decent movie, is not going to have the same impact on a kid today as the original had on a kid back then.

And, yes, I really think it's sad if at their age, you've never had anything more exciting happen in your life than seeing a movie with your dad. A lot of people are stuck in dull lives. And that is sad.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 19, 2017, 10:06:45 AM
I always thought, and once mentioned to a NASA presenter at MakerFaire, the distance and time to deal with problems of a Mars mission has a solution... the surface mission would be orders of magnitide more dangerous than just getting to Mars orbit, so put all kinds of help in orbit. Put the equivalent of a small manufacturing city in space, imagine an aircraft carrier sized just-in-case-they-need-it thing. We're going to have fueled return-to-orbit vehicles on the surface before anyone descends. Keep fueled Earth Orbit Return vehicles in orbit. We'll apparently need to get the spinning-for-gravity idea working for people to be prepared to land healthy enough. This will take time. Lots of it. Time to robotically go hunting foe ice and rocks to park in Earth orbit or at Lagrange points for manufacturing ships and fuel. NASA didnt think anyone could be talked into goung to Mars orbit but never to Mars, I think that's underestimating us. At the same time we could also get to the Asteroid belt. Elon, you listening?

All this makes sense. And you've just increased the cost of a Mars mission from 10% of the entire US economy every year for the next 20 years, to ten times the entire US economy every year for the same period.

It's cheaper just to send some volunteers on a one-way mission, knowing they probably won't make it there alive, and if they do they won't last long. And if they don't make it, send some more volunteers. Until finally someone makes it there alive and lives long enough to send a "Hello Earth" message. Then, having contaminated Mars with all the bacteria in the astronauts, we can go back to ruining the one really suitable planet we have.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: 2397 on December 19, 2017, 10:52:52 AM
Keep sending volunteers until the radiation runs out, or until it hits its predetermined kill limit.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 19, 2017, 11:21:52 AM
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
We really need to work on your hyperbole detection. And if that is tuned okay, we really need to speak to you about how different people live different lives, and that's ok.  :laugh:

The tone in which he said it sure sounded serious to me. So much so that he didn't want his kid to see the movie without him. [...]

And, yes, I really think it's sad if at their age, you've never had anything more exciting happen in your life than seeing a movie with your dad. A lot of people are stuck in dull lives. And that is sad.

First of all, Daniel, I would have thought you would have learned better, by now, than to try to interpret people's tone.  You aren't capable of it, and you know it, but you keep trying to do it anyway.

Second, what made that memory special was that he saw it with his dad and was able to connect with him over a shared love.  It's about the relationship, not the movie; indeed, I would go so far as to guess that much of his appreciation of the film is inextricably bound up in this memory of sharing the experience with his father.

Third, I would forgive you this oversight because I understand that through no fault of your own you complete lack the ability to comprehend interpersonal relationships (indeed, I didn't respond the first time you made this comment), if it weren't for the fact that your response is so horrifically judgmental and offensive.  Who the fuck are you to tell others what is important in life?  And who are you, someone apparently incapable of any human emotion, to judge Jay for his?

Fourth, and most horrific of all, you are telling a man who just weeks ago lost his father that one of his most cherished memories of his father makes him sad and pathetic.  That is monstrous, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 19, 2017, 12:33:44 PM
Sorry. I still don't understand why my posts were so offensive as to arouse such anger, and I've long been under the impression that the rogues don't even read these forums. But I accept your statement that they were. I will delete them if you feel that's preferable to leaving them up.

FWIW, your statement that I am "incapable of human emotion" is simply untrue. I am unable to read certain kinds of social signals, often read jokes as literal, do not understand some sorts of irrational beliefs, cannot understand why some kinds of music or other popular culture have any appeal, and generally have near-zero interpersonal skills. But I feel as much as the next person, and I give money and volunteer time to help out people in need. All my adult life I have spoken out against injustice, supported peace and social justice causes, turned out to protest against war, and served six months in federal prison as a stand against militarism in general and nuclear weapons in particular, those being the principal face of militarism in the state in which I then lived. And I did those protests in a manner that led the arresting Air Force officers to put in their report that my actions were peaceful and respectful.

Now, let me know if you think I should remove the posts you consider offensive in this thread and I will.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on December 19, 2017, 01:19:45 PM
I enjoy you on the forums very much Daniel, but you do definitely look at everyone's experiences through the lens of your own life.
Some of my best memories as a kid revolve around the fantasy world Star Wars built as well, but I think that speaks a lot to my privilege, and to yours too. There are plenty of people who don't have the means to explore and experience the bigger world, and to call that sad seems harsh.

Plus hyperbole. Lots and lots of hyperbole. How many times does Jay call something epic, or say it's the best thing ever? I do it too. In the moment I might say one of my best memories is going to the drive-in to see Star Wars, but that's one of literally a thousand best memories.  :D
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 19, 2017, 03:44:10 PM
I enjoy you on the forums very much Daniel, but you do definitely look at everyone's experiences through the lens of your own life. ...

Yeah, that's my Aspergers. And FWIW, I never intend to offend or insult anyone (except I suppose racists and homophobes and similar haters). And certainly one of my biases is a prejudice against movies as a genre.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Ron Obvious on December 19, 2017, 09:34:43 PM
Sorry. I still don't understand why my posts were so offensive as to arouse such anger, and I've long been under the impression that the rogues don't even read these forums. But I accept your

Don't let the bastards get you down, Daniel. You are perfectly genuine and not in the least offensive.  It's just the times we live in, and no, I don't understand them either (I'm about your age).
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 20, 2017, 08:34:32 AM
Sorry. I still don't understand why my posts were so offensive as to arouse such anger, and I've long been under the impression that the rogues don't even read these forums. But I accept your

Don't let the bastards get you down, Daniel. You are perfectly genuine and not in the least offensive.  It's just the times we live in, and no, I don't understand them either (I'm about your age).

Thank you.

But I do respect The Latinist, and I recognize that I have no social skills (though I do have feelings and empathy), so if he feels I should remove the posts that he regards as offensive, I will.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Ah.hell on December 20, 2017, 09:06:34 AM
And, yes, I really think it's sad if at their age, you've never had anything more exciting happen in your life than seeing a movie with your dad. A lot of people are stuck in dull lives. And that is sad.
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life. Even if you really feel it was the best movie you've ever seen, watching a movie should never be the best experience of one's life. That is so sad!
So these are the posts in question.   Its basically saying that folks who have different interests than Daniel are sad and a little pathetic.  It is also a statement of privilege, there are kids out there that don't have the resources to have "interesting" lives.  Maybe going to the movies with dad was the most exciting memory of their childhood.  And then comes Daniel, with his, how sad!  Well that maybe for daniel but for folks that really like movies, its a good time and kind of a shitty thing to disparage their choices.

I find rich folks tend to make a virtue of their hobbies,  Traveling and exotic trips being high among those hobbies that the well off put on a pedestal.  That's sad really. 
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 20, 2017, 10:21:29 AM
I’m sorry, Daniel, I should not have said that you lack human emotion; I don’t really think that of you.  What I do think is that your statements are incredibly judgmental and show a lack of empathy.  You are right that you frequently show a generalized empathy for human suffering, but I think you need to recognize that, because you have difficulty understanding interpersonal relationships, there is a whole class of human experience with which you may not adequately empathize, a fact which I think is on display here.  What is offensive about your posts is that they reduce the experience Jay talked about to “watching a movie,” completely ignoring the element of human relationships that is the root of Jay’s feelings.

I don’t know what your relationship with your own father is, but I will confess that some of my most cherished memories from childhood—things I might easily describe as the best experiences of many life—are of doing things of the type you dismiss here as “pathetic.”  I’ve travelled to Greece and met the President of the United States and visited breathtaking natural wonders here in the US, but I don’t know that any memory is better than that of sitting on my grandfather’s tractor with my Dad as he tedded hay; it is tied up with all sorts of emotions, attitudes m, and my image of myself and my dad.  It’s a formative memory in the same way that Jay describes his experience of Star Wars for the first time with his dad.  What you did in your posts is the equivalent of dismissing one of my fondest memories of my father as “a tractor ride.”

No, you should not delete your posts.  You should own them and hopefully learn from them not to dismiss the experiences of others in such cavalier ways. Learn to appreciate and respect people’s experiences of the world even if they differ from your own; and when you just can’t manage it, shut the hell up.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 20, 2017, 07:57:43 PM
I’m sorry, Daniel, I should not have said that you lack human emotion; I don’t really think that of you.  What I do think is that your statements are incredibly judgmental and show a lack of empathy.  You are right that you frequently show a generalized empathy for human suffering, but I think you need to recognize that, because you have difficulty understanding interpersonal relationships, there is a whole class of human experience with which you may not adequately empathize, a fact which I think is on display here.  What is offensive about your posts is that they reduce the experience Jay talked about to “watching a movie,” completely ignoring the element of human relationships that is the root of Jay’s feelings.

I don’t know what your relationship with your own father is, but I will confess that some of my most cherished memories from childhood—things I might easily describe as the best experiences of many life—are of doing things of the type you dismiss here as “pathetic.”  I’ve travelled to Greece and met the President of the United States and visited breathtaking natural wonders here in the US, but I don’t know that any memory is better than that of sitting on my grandfather’s tractor with my Dad as he tedded hay; it is tied up with all sorts of emotions, attitudes m, and my image of myself and my dad.  It’s a formative memory in the same way that Jay describes his experience of Star Wars for the first time with his dad.  What you did in your posts is the equivalent of dismissing one of my fondest memories of my father as “a tractor ride.”

No, you should not delete your posts.  You should own them and hopefully learn from them not to dismiss the experiences of others in such cavalier ways. Learn to appreciate and respect people’s experiences of the world even if they differ from your own; and when you just can’t manage it, shut the hell up.

Guilty as charged. Mostly. I do feel empathy for others. I lack the social skills to always recognize when a comment of mine might be perceived as offensive. I do not hide my opinions, and this has often made me unpopular for my atheism, my politics (I was a communist when I was younger until I decided that was utopian and became a socialist), and even my vegetarianism. Yes, I've had people actually get angry at me for not eating meat. I speak out about injustices. My relationship with my father was pretty much nothing. My step-mother made it pretty much impossible to have much of a relationship with him, and he had no idea how to relate to kids, including his own. But that's not really relevant here. I never intentionally try to be offensive or insulting (except towards bigots, as noted before) and I'm always trying to improve. But don't expect miracles. I've lived entirely alone for 50 years, except for the 15 years I had a cat, and the six months I was in prison. I'm not ashamed of what I am, but I do try to learn from my mistakes. And I thank you for pointing them out to me.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: seamas on December 21, 2017, 12:11:16 PM
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life.

+1.
I am a huge fan of the show but their Star wars blather I could do without.
Star Wars was a fun popcorn movie, I just don't get the obsession about it at all. Most of the movies really suck.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on December 21, 2017, 01:20:55 PM
If the best experience of your life was watching Star Wars with your dad, you must have had a pretty dull life.

+1.
I am a huge fan of the show but their Star wars blather I could do without.
Star Wars was a fun popcorn movie, I just don't get the obsession about it at all. Most of the movies really suck.
(https://i1.wp.com/howsmyenglish.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Thats_just_your_opinion.jpg?resize=300%2C300&ssl=1)

Yeah, most of them aren't remarkable now.  :D It's difficult to ignore the cultural context though. I freaking hate football, but I'd be a blithering idiot to say that football is terrible and has no value in some objective way.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: seamas on December 21, 2017, 01:42:28 PM
I would never say that football or Star Wars have no value, just that their value is more about commerce and merchandising than anything.
Artistically the whole Star Wars things is about as over-hyped as it gets. Good costume design, some godawful acting  middling soap opera story lines.
I honestly do not understand the anticipation this particular installment received, as the previous one was  probably the most forgettable of the lot*, with one of the lamest villains I can recall.


* episodes 1-3 were far worse, but memorable because of their awfulness.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Jeremy's Sea on December 21, 2017, 01:54:46 PM
That's difficult to disagree with. In a writing class at UCLA a guest lecturer came in once and passed out notecards to all 120 people or so in the room and asked everyone to list their favorite film. He then collected the cards as an exercise in writing a simple log line to "pitch" the film.
As an aside he asked a show of hands for everyone who wrote down a movie they first saw when they were around 10-13 years old. Nearly the entire room, regardless of their current age, raised their hands. I think that is extremely telling.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 21, 2017, 02:14:21 PM
Spectator sports are another thing I just don't get. I totally understand playing sports, though I don't do it myself. You get some fresh air and exercise with your friends. But sitting on your ass watching? I don't get it. When I lived in Fargo I went to the Family Y (formerly YMCA) to use the gym. There was a guy who was often in the locker room at the same time as I was, who would rant and cuss against some kid who made a mistake in a high-school ball game. He would get absolutely livid. I wanted to say "Hey, he's a kid, and it's just a damn game!" I don't know, maybe this guy had a habit of betting big money on high school ball games. When I was in Barcelona one time they had a big soccer game between Germany and England. After the game the fans spent the night in the square a few blocks from my hotel and in the morning it was so littered with beer bottles, other trash, discarded clothing, and barf that there was more trash than exposed concrete. And in South America they once had a war over a soccer game! An actual war with soldiers killing each other and planes dropping bombs. Over a soccer game!

I just don't get it.

As for Star Wars, Spaceballs was a better movie, and that was mediocre.

Obviously (I hope) all the above is just my opinion and not intended to offend anyone who holds contrary opinions.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: seamas on December 21, 2017, 02:46:20 PM
That's difficult to disagree with. In a writing class at UCLA a guest lecturer came in once and passed out notecards to all 120 people or so in the room and asked everyone to list their favorite film. He then collected the cards as an exercise in writing a simple log line to "pitch" the film.
As an aside he asked a show of hands for everyone who wrote down a movie they first saw when they were around 10-13 years old. Nearly the entire room, regardless of their current age, raised their hands. I think that is extremely telling.

Same thing happens with music for most people. It's telling all right.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Swagomatic on December 21, 2017, 02:57:06 PM
Spectator sports are another thing I just don't get. I totally understand playing sports, though I don't do it myself. You get some fresh air and exercise with your friends. But sitting on your ass watching? I don't get it. When I lived in Fargo I went to the Family Y (formerly YMCA) to use the gym. There was a guy who was often in the locker room at the same time as I was, who would rant and cuss against some kid who made a mistake in a high-school ball game. He would get absolutely livid. I wanted to say "Hey, he's a kid, and it's just a damn game!" I don't know, maybe this guy had a habit of betting big money on high school ball games. When I was in Barcelona one time they had a big soccer game between Germany and England. After the game the fans spent the night in the square a few blocks from my hotel and in the morning it was so littered with beer bottles, other trash, discarded clothing, and barf that there was more trash than exposed concrete. And in South America they once had a war over a soccer game! An actual war with soldiers killing each other and planes dropping bombs. Over a soccer game!

I just don't get it.

As for Star Wars, Spaceballs was a better movie, and that was mediocre.

Obviously (I hope) all the above is just my opinion and not intended to offend anyone who holds contrary opinions.

Regarding sports, I really don't understand it either, but I love to watch it.  I will watch anything live from little league baseball to professional soccer.  The key to really enjoying it is to not have a serious stake in the outcome. I must admit that my interest in professional football & basketball has waned over the past ten years or so.  I still love baseball the same, however.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 22, 2017, 03:35:00 AM
Spectator sports are another thing I just don't get. I totally understand playing sports, though I don't do it myself. You get some fresh air and exercise with your friends. But sitting on your ass watching? I don't get it.

I feel sorry for you. I love watching sports. I did play when I was younger, Mainly Aussie Rules, Cricket, Soccer and Hockey (Real hockey not that ice shit  ;) )
But watching sports you love can be an emotional past time and it's also tribal. The feeling of belonging to a group of people with the same passion.

I will admit that I have cried during sporting events. In fact I have cried watching the last 2 AFL Grand Finals. (My all time favourite sport)
In 2016 because I had wanted to see the battling working man's club Western Bulldogs win my entire life (54 years at that point)

This year I cried because the team I have followed for 51 years, won their first Championship in 37 years, after struggling and nearly disappearing.

To paraphrase a great quote:

Football is not just a matter of life and death: it's much more important than that.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on December 22, 2017, 07:20:15 AM
I feel sorry for you. I love watching sports. I did play when I was younger, Mainly Aussie Rules, Cricket, Soccer and Hockey (Real hockey not that ice shit  ;) )
But watching sports you love can be an emotional past time and it's also tribal. The feeling of belonging to a group of people with the same passion.

I've never been to Australia, yet Aussie Rules is the first sport that ever grabbed me and wouldn't let go and this was fairly recently, late in life. To fall in love with any sport pick a side and stick with it, the tribal aspect seems to me is key. Another game, soccer, called 'football' in most places, is a visually unexciting game, but one I find exciting if my beloved Bodø/Glimt is playing, especially if I have my toothbrush (you wouldn't understand). Ten-pin bowling is the most boring game ever, right? No, because all too frequently the match is decided at the very end -- pick a player or team and suddenly it matters to you, too. (Plus ten-pin appeals to the inner geek via those complex machines called automatic pinsetters). (Plus there's Belmo, another Australian innovation).

I will admit that I have cried during sporting events. In fact I have cried watching the last 2 AFL Grand Finals. (My all time favourite sport)
In 2016 because I had wanted to see the battling working man's club Western Bulldogs win my entire life (54 years at that point)

This year I cried because the team I have followed for 51 years, won their first Championship in 37 years, after struggling and nearly disappearing.

Both were excellent games, the Doggies for being the triumphant underdogs and Richmond for their unrelenting pedal to the metal style of play against Adelaide. I just re-watched the 2017 Grand Final in its entirety a few days ago as I am becoming stir crazy without football in the off season. In retrospect only in the first quarter was there any doubt, it was exciting to observe how the game just kept building up to that great crescendo, the Richmond supporters glowing red by half time then turning white hot by the time the final siren made it official. I'm not sure anyone at the MCG actually heard the siren but all knew when it had sounded.

Football is not just a matter of life and death: it's much more important than that.

The women's AFLW season begins February 2nd and I'm ready, got my online season pass in an email just yesterday. And for the 2018 AFL season, unlike the Bulldogs, I expect the Tigers will be a threat to the competition once again and for years to come. See you there. Aussie Rules, greatest team sport on planet earth.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Ah.hell on December 22, 2017, 09:54:49 AM
You should check out Irish Football, apparently the rules are so similar they regularly play cross sport matches with Aussie rules teams.  If you are in the the US or UK, there's a chance of there being some local players. 

I can watch American Football and Basketball, pretty much anyother sport bores the crap out of me.  Even those sports infrequent viewing for me. 
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 22, 2017, 10:28:13 AM
When I was a little kid, and forced against my will to spend alternate weekends at the house of my father and step-mother, my father's idea of spending "quality time" together was to watch football on TV. He preferred college football. It bored the crap out of me. I had to sit there for hours on end while he watched football. I don't know if he thought I would like it, or if he thought I should like it, or if he thought that forcing me to watch it would teach me to like it. When I was a bit older I would just go to the other side of the room where I didn't have to look at the television. Don't remember for sure, but I probably read a book instead. My step-mother was a bibliophile. There were valuable books I was not allowed to touch, but there were also books for reading. (In my mother's house, all the books were for reading. My father, who never read books, married two book-lovers in a row.)
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 22, 2017, 10:40:23 AM
Can anyone summarize the Aussie rules?  I have to say that during the last Olympics I became quite enamored of the rugby sevens; it struck me as a kind of distillation of all the best parts of football/rugby.

Daniel: I wonder—have you ever had the experience of an event or activity being important or meaningful merely because of who you do it with?
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Ah.hell on December 22, 2017, 10:41:43 AM
Daniel, Is it possible your father was just trying to share something he enjoyed with his son?

My father and I shared a number of activities that years later we realized neither of particularly enjoyed but we both did because we thought the other liked.  Sure, there's communication issues that should have been resolved but its a funny story we both enjoy now. 
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on December 22, 2017, 11:11:36 AM
Can anyone summarize the Aussie rules? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMZYZcoAcU0

Ad for the AFLW women's league,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1UEy5Lv20U
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 22, 2017, 11:35:22 AM
Daniel: I wonder—have you ever had the experience of an event or activity being important or meaningful merely because of who you do it with?

No. However, there are people who are special to me because of what I do with them. My favorite hiking lodge is one I've been going to nearly every year for a decade now. The two daughters of the family that owns and operates it were 11 and 13 when I first went there, and they were a lot of fun when they joined us on the hikes. Now they are grown up, are full-on hiking guides, and because they've lived their entire lives there, they know the area and when they guide me they take me off-trail to places they never take the groups. (I pay extra for a private guide so that I'm not going to the same places over and over.) Those two girls are special to me because of the hikes they take me on, and they're a lot of fun to hike with. There are other guides who are special to me because hiking is so much fun, so a really good guide is special.

I can imagine that if I had a girlfriend, spending time with her would be special regardless of what we were doing. But I haven't had a girlfriend since I was 15.

Daniel, Is it possible your father was just trying to share something he enjoyed with his son?

Certainly, at first. But I made it abundantly clear that it bored the crap out of me. Going so far, when I was a bit older, as to go sit elsewhere. But if there was a college football game on, he was in front of the tv. And since it was always weekends when I was there, that was a lot of our time together.

He also occasionally took me to a baseball game (which I probably enjoyed when I was much younger) but only if the stadium was not sold out and he could get tickets cheap from a scalper. The best part of that was that it was a few hours away from my step-mother. The odd thing is that he was a generous tipper and always generous with money and donated a lot (I mean a LOT!) to progressive causes, but would not pay full price for tickets to a baseball game, so we only ever saw games that didn't get much public interest. I've never figured that out about him. I think I was probably around 10 when baseball ceased to interest me. He was also a fan of track and field. He took me to a track meet once, Russia vs. the U.S., and it was the first time that a new method of putting the shot was introduced. It involved starting with their back to the field and spinning around for the throw. Every shot-putter put the shot beyond the prepared field for it. That was impressive. At least this is how I remember it. It would have been more than 50 years ago, and we all know what memory can do to facts in 50 years.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 22, 2017, 11:53:42 AM
I think, Daniel, that that is what is making it so hard for you to appreciate what Jay meant. You are judging only the objective quality of the experience of seeing a movie, and cannot comprehend that what Jay is talking about has very little to do with the movie at all.  It’s all about the human relationships—who he was doing it with.  And just as you think it’s sad that “seeing a movie” is Jay’s favorite memory, I think it’s sad that you have never experienced the magic of “doing something with your dad”—that you could not appreciate that your father was sharing something of himself with you when he wanted to watch football with you, but that all you could see was a stupid football game.  That thought genuinely makes me sad.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Harry Black on December 22, 2017, 12:30:01 PM
Guys, can we stop with the "I feel sorry/sad for you" bullshit?
Its very patronising and insulting.
I give zero fucks about organised competition of any kind. I dont get that feeling people get when a crowd of people who agree with them at a concert or other crowded event are getting really excited. Ive said before that I find it to be the single most terrifying thing about humanity and that it confuses the shit out of me because I cant relate. Im in a crowd of people losing their shit at a club or event and I feel like Im in some sort of weird sci fi movie where everyone is infected with something.
And I used to feel sorry for you all, but then I realised I was being an asshole.
Ive never in my life experienced the kind of emotion people seem to go through at seeing their favourite artist or team nail the thing they do, even when surviving life or death situations and I am 100% ok with that. You can keep it and Im glad it makes you happy.
If your happiness does  not require me to have to turn up my headphones or leave a bar, Im even happier.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 22, 2017, 02:06:28 PM
Guys, can we stop with the "I feel sorry/sad for you" bullshit?
Its very patronising and insulting.

I, for one, do not feel the least bit insulted or patronized when someone says they feel sorry/sad for me because my experiences or opinions differ from theirs.

I accept (without really understanding) that my use of that language was considered offensive. But if someone says they find it sad that I don't enjoy watching football, or that I do enjoy hiking in the mountains or snorkeling with turtles, or whatever, I take it as their expression of their feelings, not as a disparagement of mine or of me. And I appreciate their openness because words are the only form of communication I can understand.

My father wanted to "share" his love of football with me, even knowing that I found the tedium of it painful. He never played with me. Ever. He was very generous with money but his only forms of communication were to criticize or interrogate. When my sister and I were babies and he had visitation rights, he would come to my mother's house and sit and read the newspaper. That was his idea of spending time with his children. He smoked in the car and scolded me for being "inconsiderate" when I tried to wave the smoke away from me. Apparently I was being "insensitive" by making him feel bad for forcing me to breathe his second-hand smoke, which made me extremely nauseated, and severe nausea is one of the worst experiences there are. I don't say this to elicit sympathy or to excuse myself. He made up for it all by leaving me and my sister and my step-mother's kids a bucket of money. But, no, I never had positive experiences with him.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Tassie Dave on December 22, 2017, 03:44:30 PM
Football is not just a matter of life and death: it's much more important than that.

The women's AFLW season begins February 2nd and I'm ready, got my online season pass in an email just yesterday. And for the 2018 AFL season, unlike the Bulldogs, I expect the Tigers will be a threat to the competition once again and for years to come. See you there. Aussie Rules, greatest team sport on planet earth.

Have you heard of the new AFLX competition on February 15, 16 & 17

http://www.afl.com.au/aflx

It looks like it could be an exciting experiment. I think the idea is to have a game that can be adapted easily for exhibition games on foreign, smaller sized sporting grounds.

Guys, can we stop with the "I feel sorry/sad for you" bullshit?
Its very patronising and insulting.

I didn't mean it to be patronising or insulting. I sincerely apologise if that was the way it came across.

Of course everyone has different passions. Some that I don't get and I wish I did. My life is no less, because I don't share those passions.

My statement was hyperbole. I don't literally feel sorry for anyone who doesn't have a passion for sport.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: 2397 on December 22, 2017, 04:24:16 PM
I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 22, 2017, 05:46:28 PM
I don’t care a whit about sport, but I care about human relationships, and I do genuinely feel sorry at learning that anyone has never had a relationship that could imbue an activity or event with special meaning.  I was really not prepared for Daniel’s response, and it made me genuinely sad because it suggests a degree of loneliness and disconnect that I had never imagined.  I can’t help feeling that sadness, and won’t apologize for expressing it.  I’m sorry, though, Daniel, if you felt condescended to; that was not my intent, though perhaps I should have had the foresight to anticipate the possibility.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 22, 2017, 05:51:40 PM
I’m curious, Daniel; have you ever had the experience of finding a place or object meaningful because of its history or other association rather than because of its inherent properties?  Like the desk at which your favorite book was written or the house where one of your heroes grew up? Would you find the pen with which Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation more valuable or awe-inspiring than an identical pen without its history? Etc.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 22, 2017, 08:37:20 PM
I don’t care a whit about sport, but I care about human relationships, and I do genuinely feel sorry at learning that anyone has never had a relationship that could imbue an activity or event with special meaning.  I was really not prepared for Daniel’s response, and it made me genuinely sad because it suggests a degree of loneliness and disconnect that I had never imagined.  I can’t help feeling that sadness, and won’t apologize for expressing it.  I’m sorry, though, Daniel, if you felt condescended to; that was not my intent, though perhaps I should have had the foresight to anticipate the possibility.

I said above that I do not feel the slightest bit offended or patronized, and I will add that I do not feel condescended to, when people express their feelings or opinions about my life. My life has indeed been lonely. The only times in my adult life that I have not been alone were the 15 years that I had a cat, and the six months I spent in prison. I attribute this to my lack of social skills. And I still think I've been fortunate, as I've had mostly good health, I've never been homeless, though I couch-surfed briefly between apartments, and when I've gone hungry it's been by my own choice.

I’m curious, Daniel; have you ever had the experience of finding a place or object meaningful because of its history or other association rather than because of its inherent properties?  Like the desk at which your favorite book was written or the house where one of your heroes grew up? Would you find the pen with which Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation more valuable or awe-inspiring than an identical pen without its history? Etc.

No, I've never been interested in historical or personal associations. The house my favorite author or painter grew up in has no interest for me. Abe Lincoln's pen would not interest me. Diego Rivera's house interested me only because it's now a museum with his and Frida Kahlo's paintings. I collect art because I enjoy looking at art. And I'd really rather have a book I can read than one that's been signed by someone special which must be kept safe and untouched because of it. (Though I mostly only read e-books now because my eyes have a hard time with paper.)

History can be fascinating. But the artifacts of history are only interesting to me insofar as they can elucidate history, and since I am not trained in the field I'll leave them to people who can draw information from them. I learned from looking at Google Earth that the house I lived in in rural North Dakota is gone, either burned down or torn down, and as much as I enjoyed my life there, I felt nothing upon realizing the house was no longer there.

Things for me have value for what they can be used for or their intrinsic beauty as art, and places interest me for their intrinsic properties, not for their associations. And, as will not surprise you, I've never understood the fascination for places based on their associations. The house where Dostoyevsky grew up, or the one he lived in when he wrote The Idiot. There are people I admire enormously. Hilary Hahn or Katja Sager to name just two. But if their childhood homes were opened to the public and I was walking along the street, I probably would not bother going in, though I'd travel across the country to meet them in person.

Hilary Hahn:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3aloHY7I_g

Katja Sager. If you find the praeludium lugubrious, the fugue starts at about 3:30:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tjl15rMnas
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: The Latinist on December 22, 2017, 10:36:47 PM
That was my suspicion, Daniel.  You must understand that many people—probably a majority—cannot possibly understand your perspective on this any more than you can understand ours.  And the same goes for associations of events with people and relationships.  I understand how your mind works only intellectually; it’s something I accept but not something I can possibly relate to or imagine.

In my work as a teacher I have many students who lie at various places on what’s now called the Autism Spectrum. Part of what We work to teach these students to do is understand at least intellectually the minds of others that don’t work like theirs.  We try to teach them that even if they don’t value certain social niceties or understand the importance of things like relationships and the association of memories with people and places, they need to live in a world where many people do value these things. We’re not trying to change them, but to help them learn to navigate social interactions with their minds even when the don’t understand them intuitively.

If I may offer a suggestion: when people are talking about experiences with loved ones or about cherished possessions, assume that what they are talking about is not the football game or the movie or the baseball card or the pen (though it may seem to you that it is), but about their father or their mother or their brother whom they experienced it with or who gave it to them.  And understand that any words you use to dismiss the experience will not be perceived as a dismissal of the activity or of the value of the intrinsic value of the object in the abstract, but as an attack on the value of their relationship with their loved one or even an attack on their loved one himself.  You may not understand it, and it is surely not rational; but it is the truth, and your social relationships will go a little more smoothly if you can remember it.

It’s not easy.  You’ll note that, despite my understanding intellectually the differences in the way our two minds work, I could not prevent myself feeling personally attacked when you seemed to be attacking Jay’s memory of his father.  Your words dismissing his cherished memory seemed to me an attack equally upon my most cherished memories.  Imagine how much more it would affect someone whose memories you seemed directly to be attacking.

Anyway, I wish to apologize again for some of my harsh words. I understand intellectually that you did not intend the offense, and I will get over it.  I want you to know that I respect your opinion in many things, and I’d like to consider you a friend as much as one can have such an anonymous friendship online. But there’s is no doubt that I will someday become impatient with you again.  Please be patient with me when that happens.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: Harry Black on December 23, 2017, 05:52:43 AM
Interestingly, I really relate to Daniels indifference to artifacts or historical places.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: daniel1948 on December 23, 2017, 08:45:42 AM
That was my suspicion, Daniel.  <...snip...>

Thanks. I'll try to keep those things in mind.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: godbomb on December 28, 2017, 03:19:48 AM
regarding group perception and this topic of not noticing when someone behind a counter for example suddenly changes appearance and people do not notice... how much of that is just general reluctance by people to engage with strangers even when they notice something odd?  I think there are plenty of people who notice but say nothing because they don't know what kind of nonsense is at play.  Or they notice something, but have enough self-doubt to not say anything.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: MTBox on January 01, 2018, 06:06:39 PM
regarding group perception and this topic of not noticing when someone behind a counter for example suddenly changes appearance and people do not notice... how much of that is just general reluctance by people to engage with strangers even when they notice something odd?  I think there are plenty of people who notice but say nothing because they don't know what kind of nonsense is at play.  Or they notice something, but have enough self-doubt to not say anything.

There is nothing like seeing this for yourself. Look on the web for "Gorilla in the Midst."

One of the main investigators of this study (Sorry, I can't recall his name right now) brought his presentation to a national (US) Motorcycle Safety Conference that I attended. He showed a lot of the films, including the one with the gorilla, the one where the counter clerk ducks below "to get something" and up comes a different person; and one where a building appears in the background of a panoramic landscape while he is speaking to us. There is even an update of the gorilla video, because so many people now think they can out-think it; the update is to prove they still are not noticing what else happens.
Title: Re: Episode #649
Post by: godbomb on January 01, 2018, 07:40:20 PM
I've seen it before.  The Gorilla video tests the viewer directly.  I don't think it's exactly the same as the counter example where you are in on the gag.  You can't just show people not reacting, you have to also ask them why they didn't react.