January 20, 2011

Is anyone watching OWN?

Do you even know what it is?
When I started watching OWN, a couple of days after it began, on January 1st, I truly thought I was watching reruns from other cable channels.... From what I’ve seen so far, it’s numbingly unimaginative and middle of the road. What that road is, and where it’s going, and why we need to be on it remains to be seen. Promoting the channel, [Oprah] Winfrey likes to say that it will air nothing that will keep you from sleeping at night. “The intention of this channel is to bring good energy”...
Oh, but Oprah, the very idea of energy keeps me up at night.

The very first episode of Skeptoid was about the horror that is energy...
Energy is a measurement of something's ability to perform work. Given this context, when spiritualists talk about your body's energy fields, they're really saying nothing that's even remotely meaningful. Yet this kind of talk has become so pervasive in our society that the vast majority of Americans accept that energy exists as a self-contained force, floating around in glowing clouds, and can be commanded by spiritualist adepts to do just about anything....

24 comments:

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

Haha, yeah I do. I work for a cable company.

11 AM email- "We have no plans to carry OWN at this time."

11 AM-3 PM- I have 4 customers ask for OWN. I live in a small town, this is actually a lot.

4 PM- email "We are proud to announce that OWN programming will begin 1/1!"

So, yeah, the power of the O. Just for grins, I checked the channel guide to see how long until "The Color Purple" came on. Not long..

q12345q6789 said...

PAGING CRACK EMCEE.
Courtesy Blog Post for You.

(hope that's not bad for my karmic energy.)

bagoh20 said...

"Energy is a measurement of something's ability to perform work."

In the New Age industry energy is something used to avoid performing work and while still getting paid.

Chip Ahoy said...

I like the boy's answer to the test question: what is the definition of horsepower?

Ans: Horsepower is the amount of energy required to drag a dead horse for one mile.

sunsong said...

I haven't watched Oprah's channel. I don't watch Oprah - those I have seen one or two over the years. I think that Quantum Physics has changed the discussion of energy"


What is Quantum Physics?


Quantum physics is a branch of science that deals with discrete, indivisible units of energy called quanta as described by the Quantum Theory. There are five main ideas represented in Quantum Theory:

Energy is not continuous, but comes in small but discrete units. 1
The elementary particles behave both like particles and like waves. 2
The movement of these particles is inherently random. 3
It is physically impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time. The more precisely one is known, the less precise the measurement of the other is.4
The atomic world is nothing like the world we live in. 5

While at a glance this may seem like just another strange theory, it contains many clues as to the fundamental nature of the universe and is more important then even relativity in the grand scheme of things (if any one thing at that level could be said to be more important then anything else). Furthermore, it describes the nature of the universe as being much different then the world we see. As Niels Bohr said, "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it." 6



continued

Bob Ellison said...

If Sarah Palin starts a network, will she call it the Palin Warehouse of News?

q12345q6789 said...

@ bob ellison
I see what you did there.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@sunsong:

I think that Quantum Physics has changed the discussion of energy"


NO. Energy is one of the few concepts that carries over from classical to quantum physics.

Despite putting many years into the study of energy I don't know if I would say that energy is "real". I would say it's not even something we can measure. Rather it is something that, if we assume it exists, we can use to predict what is going to happen in nature. But I don't know if that makes it "real", except in a Platonic sort of way.

Ask two other physicists about what energy is and you'll get at least three other answers.

Another reason we take energy seriously: if you say that energy cannot be created or destroyed, that is mathematically the same as saying that the laws of physics do not change with time.

Nobody of course knows for certain that they DON'T but almost all of us agree that the burden of proof should be on those who say that the laws of physics do change with time. We've been able to do VERy sensitive tests of this but only for about fifty years.

Manfred said...

Noether's Theorem in a blog comment about Oprah's network!

Unexpected! So much so that I wonder if a symmetry has been broken.

edutcher said...

Like John Lynch, mine doesn't carry it, either.

Clyde said...

I'm sure there are a lot of women who will watch it. They're welcome to it. Fortunately, there are enough channel choices that I won't have to. Vive le difference.

al said...

Bob @1/21/11 12:04 AM

That was perfect!

ironrailsironweights said...

I would rather watch the washing machine.

Peter

MadisonMan said...

If it requires Cable, no.

Thank goodness we get Fox. Steven Tyler was excellent again last night.

Original Mike said...

I'd never heard of it.

"Energy is a measurement of something's ability to perform work."

I'm interested.

"Given this context, when spiritualists talk about your body's energy fields,..."

I'm outta here.

Henry said...

I was queuing up some Pink Panther cartoons on Hulu for my son and saw a promo for OWN. It was kind of an exquisite corpse moment. In this case the disconnect wasn't between head, torso, and legs, but between talking heads and voice over.

The voice over happily proclaimed the freshness and specialness of a lineup of stale celebrities. There must be a talent agency for aging spokesmodels. I'm surprised Arsenio Hall didn't get a call.

Leland said...

Yet this kind of talk has become so pervasive in our society that the vast majority of Americans accept that energy exists as a self-contained force, floating around in glowing clouds,

If you are going to poke at metaphysics, you might want to make sure your own physics is correct. A cloud is water vapor containing lots of potential energy. Perhaps the War on Metaphors hasn't gone on long enough...

SteveR said...

Its hard to predicts its failure, there are many examples (e.g. Today Show) where insignificance has long been successful.

This is, of course, a huge ego trip from someone already on a big one and that alone makes me not want to watch it but to root for its demise.

Unlike when ESPN started and even watching Australian Rules Football, one could sense a new age of entertainment, this offers nothing good in any sense IMO.

Timon said...

The problem with people like Dunning is that they think they can limit the definition of words to suit their own unproven assertions. All he can say is that physicists and spiritualists use the same word to describe different ideas, but he tries to pretend that it is a legitimate use of language to substitute the physicists definition for the spiritualist word. He might as well substitute 'physical' for 'spiritual.' Perhaps if he put down his dictionary of science and picked up Lewis Carroll, he might learn about language.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Is anyone watching OWN?"

Why not pack up your brain in a Tupperware to let it rot in the fridge?

William said...

It is customary to criticize Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh for the hypnotic hold they have on their audiences. They also usually mention A Face in the Crowd and Father Coughlin (but never Father Devine) while elaborating on this criticism. Oprah Winfrey's name never comes up. Yet her candidate is in the White House, she owns her own network, and her personal wealth exceeds two billion dollars. I have never watched Oprah for more than a few minutes. She seems a likeable, sympathetic person, and I don't begrudge her her success. Still I wonder why when they talk about the undue influence of media figures, her name is never mentioned. Rush is a minnow in that whale's sea.

Smilin' Jack said...

There are five main ideas represented in Quantum Theory:

Energy is not continuous, but comes in small but discrete units. 1


Wrong. The energy of a system can have any value. For example, the observed energy of a photon depends continuously on the relative velocity between the observer and the emitter--that's how extrasolar planets are detected, and how you get caught speeding. It's the angular momentum of a photon that's quantized--all photons carry the same amount.

sunsong said...

Gabriel Hanna,

Despite putting many years into the study of energy I don't know if I would say that energy is "real". I would say it's not even something we can measure. Rather it is something that, if we assume it exists, we can use to predict what is going to happen in nature. But I don't know if that makes it "real", except in a Platonic sort of way.

From my persepctive - that's another way of saying that Quantum Physics has changed the discussion of energy :-)

You speak as though you have a scientific background? That's neat if that's the case. It doesn't change my mind, of course. I wasn't claiming how scientists use the word: energy. Though you acknowledge that they disagree :-)

I was speaking to the thread and the now *common* use of the word: energy. My own view is that the ideas from Quantum Physics have changed they way we look at things.

We talk of emotional energy, personal enery, solar energy, nuclear energy, light as energy, the *energy* debate surrounding oil and climate change, mental energy etc etc

Whether or not it is *technically correct* - when someon talks of a person's *energy* - most of us know what they mean. In other words - it communicates something that most of us understand. When we talk of emotional energy - the energy of rage for instance or of hate as compared to the energy of joy or enthusiasm - again - most people know what is being communicated.

From my perspective - limited as it is - the *discussion* of energy has changed. Energy, to me is abstract - it is not concrete. And because it is abstract it is very interesting and at the same time more difficult to define, *because* it is not concrete.

What is energy? a measurement? that's not a definition. Something that moves a mass? - does an idea move a mass? I would say yes. Is an idea energy? Does *mass* even exist? Not at the Quantum level. It all appears to be energy - if it exists at all :-)