Episode 234 : Repressed Feelings for Ponch

So this is from two weeks ago. Don’t get confused. We delve into the questions this time, but only manage to get through two. But that’s just a sign of how in-depth we got! Enjoy!

***indicates a question was WAY too long, and was SO ABRIDGED!

If there was a new star trek series who would you pick for the captain?Β –Anonymous

Theory says Solar System moves like comet, w/ Sun in center, planets move around in vortex pattern. What do you think of theory?Β –Cawfee


Here’s what we were watching in between episodes.Β 


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19 Responses to Episode 234 : Repressed Feelings for Ponch

  1. jas says:

    I kind of disagree with the premise of the skepticism about scientific conclusions–the premise seeming to be that we can’t trust these conclusions because we don’t have first hand experience and are having to rely on studies done be others. If we take the same skepticism to its logical conclusion you wind up in extreme Cartesian doubt. Why can we even trust in our own experience? This is not to say that one shouldn’t approach science (or the news or whatever) with healthy skepticism, but skepticism has its limits, and we do have to trust at some point in the report of others because if we didn’t we wouldn’t have things like the ability to speak (because learning, back to our first learning from our parents, is based on trusting in the report of others).

    • William says:

      Right… I didn’t mean to imply (and I don’t think Tony meant to imply) that relying upon the reports of others is wrong or bad. Obviously, relying on the reports of others is just how humans work, even how humans become human. I don’t think “[W]e can’t trust these conclusions because we don’t have first hand experience,” was one of our premises. What I thought Tony and I were both challenging, primarily, were notions of certainty. And also, “trust the reports of others” can mean many things, including, “that thing humans do as a matter of being human,” or, “blindly following along with what someone tells you is true based upon their arbitrary claim of authority.” Most of the time Tony and I were addressing that latter meaning, trying to point out how easy that is to do in our present culture, and, to some extent, even how unavoidable it is (not unavoidable in the sense that humans can’t avoid it as humans, but in the sense that modern US citizens can’t avoid it as people overwhelmed with more information than they can reasonably be expected to thoroughly process).

      So, we, too, were advocating “healthy skepticism”, not extreme doubt OR extreme acceptance… though I think Tony finds his particular brand of acceptance to be perhaps a bit more “blind” than it could or should be, but he’s not inclined to do anything about that. πŸ™‚ Especially since he thinks I work pretty hard to not be “blind” about things and, for all of that work, I end up being practically in the same place that he is. In the end I think we both agreed, though, that appreciating nuance and checking notions of absolute certainty, both part of “healthy skepticism,” are important if you don’t want to be a jerk, regardless of whether you’re right or wrong. πŸ™‚

      At least, all of that’s what I thought we were saying, based upon what I recall from when we recorded and what I heard when I just listened to the podcast. πŸ™‚

      • jas says:

        Well yeah, I never trust someone who thinks they have the absolute truth or certainty sussed out. πŸ™‚

        But to give a concrete example, if one compares scientific reports on global warming versus scientific reports on gmo’s, one can see why the former looks a lot more trustworthy than the latter. Multiple sources, reporting bias, where the money is…I think people do generally have a sense once they have the information. I’m just wary of the way the skeptical card’s been played, especially when it comes to global warming.

        • William says:

          Ah, right.

          Well, in my view, a statement sold as “skeptical” that’s logically inconsistent proves its insincerity, which means it’s not actually skeptical at all. I think you’re right to portray it as a card that’s being played. As with all such “cards”, it’s not the face on the card (skepticism, feminism, what have you) that ought to be questioned, but the sincerity (or lack thereof) of painting said face upon a flimsy scrap of paper and disingenuously presenting it as some sort of magical proof of the dealer’s habit of thinking.

          Denial does not equal skepticism, and skepticism is not merely denial.

          • jas says:

            I’m not sure I completely followed that. One thing I’m not certain of is how one can judge sincerity. However, inconsistency is I think key to determining whether something is hegemonic or an intersubjective truth, because I think ideologies contain inconsistencies. That to me is a way to tell that global warming is an intersubjective truth rather than a hegemonic belief.

  2. William says:

    Sincerity, as with other human qualities, may be judged according to behavior.

    In this case, a person who says they’re a skeptic when they don’t behave like one isn’t being sincere in their claim. Of course, such a person simply may not know what skeptic means and they’re, quite innocently, misapplying the concept. But, again, ignorance can be judged according to behavior, and the insincere people I’m referring to are clearly not ignorant. I doubt they think they’re being deceptive in using the term “skeptic”. I’m sure they feel perfectly legitimate throwing that concept around for their own purposes. But none of that changes the observable fact that they’re being duplicitous, not ignorant.

    Not that I think there’s any point calling such a person out on that dishonesty. I use that piece of information to cue me that there’s no point continuing a sensible conversation about it with them. And, I should point out, I give a person a lot of time to prove that we’re not simply having some kind of misunderstanding before I give up on them. They have to prove to me they’re not being honest, and I usually give them the benefit of the doubt far longer than most. But eventually, the evidence gets pretty overwhelming.

    • jas says:

      I don’t think there’s any way to know, but my sense is that people who say something like global warming is all a hoax, or it’s being perpetrated by scientists who want money, or whatever, don’t think that they are being dishonest. I don’t think people generally can live with themselves day to day thinking, well, I know this is a bunch of BS but I’m getting well paid to say it so, what they hey! Rather, I think they talk themselves into their own positions and get all shouty about anyone who says otherwise.

      • William says:

        Oh, I’m sure there are plenty of people in that camp also. There’s a whole spectrum of types who fit into the nation of the insincere. From the outright liars on one end, to the self-deceivers on the other, and all kinds of folks in between.

        As for people who can live with themselves day-to-day being outright liars… they exist. I’ve met some of them and I’ve heard of many more from reliable sources. Don’t get me wrong, they do come up with some rationales. “People are sheep who don’t want the truth.” “It’s for the greater good.” “Everyone’s a liar like me, I just don’t pretend otherwise.” “I’m better than most people, and that grants me the privilege of lying to them.” Lots of different things they tell themselves without having to convince themselves that their lies are truth. (Of course, some think that these things they tell themselves are also lies, but that’s a matter of opinion.)

        As for the people who do convince themselves of their own lies… how are they different, really, from people on the other side of this spectrum? Let’s say for a moment that all of the people who believe ridiculous things are of the self-deluded type. Are they somehow less culpable, less guilty of deception than they would be if their lies were direct? Surely willful ignorance and denial aren’t the same as true ignorance. If a person lies to himself and then to others, rather than directly to others, what difference does that really make? I can’t see that it makes any difference at all.

        None of that means it’s OK just to assume a person who professes a blatant falsehood is a dirty rotten liar. There are ignorant people. And there are people in denial who might be ready to move past that if someone helps them do it. A person should always be given the benefit of the doubt, and they should be given that for as long as one’s patience can last. After all, that’s what each one of us would want someone to do for us if we were ignorant or struggling with denial. But a person’s patience can run out. And sometimes that happens because they realize that this person they’re arguing with, at least in some way on some level, knows good and well they’re wrong. But their wrong belief serves them in some way, so they’re going to hold onto it. And there’s nothing anyone can do to convince them otherwise. Because, to them, it’s their belief — or simply their assertion of that belief — that matters, whether they get paid to have that opinion or that opinion keeps them in good with their particular “tribe” or that opinion allows them to hide the fact that they’re gay… that opinion and defending it is the thing, not whether or not that opinion is rooted in inter-subjective truth.

        To most people, there are worse things than living day-to-day knowing they’re a liar. So they lie and don’t lose much sleep over it. Heck, for a lot of them, maybe even most of them, it’s hard to blame them, given what they’ve been through in their lives.

        • jas says:

          Yeah, I wasn’t talking about their culpability, just that I don’t think they are being insincere. You’re right, there are people who know they’re lying. But I guess the majority of people seem to me to be more of the type who’ve just been pretty thoroughly indoctrinated in a system of false beliefs. And their certainty is pretty absolute–which to me is one sign that they’ve bought into an ideology–they think they’ve got absolute truth and right on their side.

          • William says:

            Right. I count those folks among the ignorant. And there are fewer of them than one might think. Certainly fewer of them than I used to think there are.

            In my experience, the rules of the bell curve apply here. One tail of the curve is occupied by the few people who are just outright liars. The other tail contains the few people who, through lack of exposure to the facts or through being subject to the indoctrination of false facts, are truly ignorant. The majority of people are in the middle, not ignorant, but not willing, for any variety of reasons, to face facts. The good news about this majority in the middle is that they might be convinced to give up their comforting delusions if only they can be helped to be less afraid. That’s a tall order, though… for most of these people, there is something there to be afraid of. There’s no real reason for them not to just be afraid unless they somehow acquire a greater interest in the value of courage, and courage for most of them means, by experience, “sticking your head out only to get it chopped off”. No real incentives there outside of principle, and principle doesn’t put food on the table.

            The whole thing is a tough nut to crack, it seems to me. Not impossible, by any means, but not easy.

            One thing’s sure… we need to flood the whole place with better stories.

  3. jas says:

    Ming-Na Wen and Claudia Black! Both good nominations πŸ™‚

    How about also for consideration, Michelle Yeoh, Mary McDonnell and Gina Torres.

  4. Dave of Id says:

    Yes, Corridor Con is a go, Oct. 23-25. It is a role-playing game convention in Cedar Rapids. No experience in RPGs is required. If you would like more information, please contact me, dmkcreative@gmail.com. If you want a testimonial as to the kind of environment or games, please feel free to ask William as he’s been to several of our Playing in Public events at both Geek City Games and Comics and Tempest Games.

    • themagicaltalkinghat says:

      I’ll be going! As soon as I can figure out where my checkbook is, or learn to use Paypal!

      • Dave of Id says:

        You could ask your wonderful neighbor who cleaned house where the checkbook is. πŸ˜‰

        Looking forward to gaming with you and everyone else.

    • William says:

      If you’ve never attended a Playing in Public event hosted by Dave of Id and Corridor Games on Demand, you’re really missing out! If at all possible, make plans to attend Corridor Con! You will not be disappointed!

      I’m William and I approve this message.

      • Dave of Id says:

        Thank you, William, for the great endorsement. We had a number of new faces at our event at Tempest games who tried out a quick pilot tv show scenario that we called Spooky Ads (Fate Accelerated system) and Atomic Robo (Fate Core system) for the first time. Feel free to Like our FB page, https://www.facebook.com/CorridorGoD as well.

  5. Mark says:

    Big Quinoa: Yeah, you’re not in bed with them now but you sure want to be!

    Kitty Butt will crank this podcast to 11!

    Corridor Con: ICON was a different weekend. Unfortunately I got busy and didn’t go to Corridor Con, so hopefully that went well for those who attended.

    New Star Trek series captain: Nah, William would be a better science officer than a No. 1. Also Claudia Black would be an awesome choice; as for Tony’s objection that she would be too much of a rebel, don’t forget that Sisko was pretty much a rebel during his captaincy of DS9. The green-skinned women are Orions. While the blue-skinned guys with the “deely-bobbers” are the Andorians.

    Emotions to the Android vs. to the Holograms: Miniaturization is always a problem. A hologram runs off the entire ship’s computer, but Data only runs off the chips inside his body.

    Star Trek Voyager: There are some good characters and some amazing stories but the bad in the series totally outweighs the good.

    DTT: So you’re a big Fantasy Island fan?

    New Star Trek series captain: Off the top of my head, I’m thinking Morena Baccarin as a Romulan captain would be interesting. Both because she could pull it off and because it would be interesting to see the Star Trek universe from somebody’s point of view who’s not part of Starfleet.

    If homeopathy actually worked then people would/could just out to the ocean and drink the water to be cured of whatever their ailment is.

    • Dave of Id says:

      Corridor Con: Thanks for asking. Yes. The convention went better than expected. William, Abby, Tony, and Trish should be able to fill you in on their personal experiences with Corridor Con. Hope to see you and your wife at future Corridor Games on Demand events. πŸ™‚

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