October 8, 2008

Althouse meets Skeptoid, on the new Bloggingheads.

I love the Skeptoid podcast, and it was a big thrill to talk to Brian Dunning.

Topics:
Lost cosmonauts and shortwave-radio spies (04:01)
Why do we believe conspiracy theories? (06:13)
Debunking subliminal sexual imagery in ads (09:02)
Quack remedies’ tenacious hold on the infirm (12:48)
The real-world consequences of our irrational beliefs (10:10)
What does “Free Tibet” really mean? (04:45)
I'll have some clips in a few minutes, including the context of the "smack in the face" clip I blogged here.

ADDED: Here's the part where we talk about why people believe in conspiracies, miracles, and extra-terrestrial and supernatural beings:



(Hey, it looks like I'm wearing an earpiece!)

AND: Here's the context for my "smack in the face" line, in which I also talk about the irrational things educated, intelligent people think. (Remember my asking you for some input?)

13 comments:

sonicfrog said...

Way Cool!!!

I listen to Brians podcast and the guys from "Skeptics Guide To The Universe", both excellent skeptic shows.

Original George said...

Rodent Revolution

Shortwave spies here

Original George said...

Soyuz 11 did depressurize on re-entry killing three cosmonauts in 1971.

Richard Dolan said...

I was surprised to hear Dunning say that Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are irrelevant to students today, almost a waste of time. They were the original Skeptoids; critical thinking and rationality were what they were all about. Aristotle, especially, was interested in science and focused on observing the world around him.

I'm not familiar with Dunning, his books or his podcast. But that didn't make me eager to pursue any of it.

Original George said...

Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays, the father of PR.

You can blame him for: Women smoking cigarettes, people eating more bacon, Presidential media stunts, abetting military rule in Guatemala, thinking that cleanliness is next to Godliness, and water fluoridation which everyone agrees is safe. Study after study proves this.

He got Coolidge to go to a pancake breakfast with Al Jolson and other vaudeville acts. "Actors Eat Cakes with the Coolidges...President Nearly Laughs," headlined the NYT. Made him look human. Apparently, this was the first time a President had abased himself in such a way. Today…McCain gets mocked mercilessly for not kowtowing to midnight clown Letterman, and Bush is obviously uncaring because he doesn’t personally visit hurricane victims.

Some NPR clips of him.

People in advertising for years have used terms like shotgun blast vs. .357 round to the forehead when describing the impact of targeted vs. non-targeted media on audiences. Nice.

ron st.amant said...

Oh Ann...Skeptoid?
You realize this means if you ever develop a relationship with him, the celebrity media will dub you guys "Altoid"...the horror, the horror.

integrity said...

You look good in white.

bearbee said...

I generally avoid bloggingheads as tedious with the exception of Fukuyama/Kaplin, Arnold Kling and Cato guy, and this one.

I was surprised to hear Dunning say that Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are irrelevant to students today, almost a waste of time.

It also struck me as odd so I listen to his podcat. He is critical of student time being spent on the dialogues of ancient matters rather than being disciplined in applying the Socratic concepts to current matters.

Here is the transcription of The Importance of Teaching Critical Thinking which includes:

But the concepts Socrates introduced, such as the Socratic questions, are brilliant and fascinating when we apply them to things that interest us. More significantly, they become relevant. Take a few Socratic questions:

What is the source of your information?
What assumptions are you making?
Is a different conclusion more consistent with the data?
What is an alternate explanation for this phenomenon?

Christy said...

I enjoyed it. Thanks for introducing me to Skeptoid.

vbspurs said...

*checks thread for Maxine's inevitable, bizarre open drawers comment*

Nope. Whew. Good. Be back later to savour this episode.

rhhardin said...

I had a boss who was into parapsychology. I always kept a couple of bent cafeteria spoons in the office.

Meade said...

Exactly what Christy said.

Mark said...

Trying to understand why Astrology is anymore irrational than a literal belief in the Bible; the Earth is 6,000 year old etc. Would that disqualify a potential date as well? Most religion has some degree of irrational belief that requires a degree of "faith"; are those without doubt of the unknowable irrational as well? Spinoza nailed all this down pretty well in the 17th Century. Picking on those poor deluded Astrologists misses the larger group by a mile.