Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Aug 7, 2008

The Show Notes

The coolest paragraph EVER
Musikfest Noise
Last Tuesday, a great day
Iroc 280 Z Dra-CAR, and cologne in general
Rupert McClanahan's Indestructible Bastards

- Phineas Gauge  thanks to JHG Redekop
Michael Mark's Interview
Religious Morons of the Week
- Abusive father guy from Jared Congiardo
- Restaurant and patrons in Birnin Kebbi from Jerry Hedden & Julio from NY
- US Department of Health and Human Services also from Jared
- Katherine Gunther wiccan extraordinaire from Peter Sosna & Andy Beale
Padre Bingo is supposed to be Brother Love
Padre Bingo: Time Traveling Inappropriate Rock & Roll Scream Guy
Ask George   
- Brain Download? from Ashley Higgins
- Most Wrong? from Clark Van Horne
Off to the Islands
Congrats to Phil Plait
show close


Mentioned in the show: JT Shea and his amazing ukelele rendition of The Assumption; Beatnik Turtle; Larry Florman, aka Brother Love; Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Episode 157; Dr. Phil Plait, newly appointed president of JREF.

Score more data from the Geologic Universe! Get George's music at CD Baby and iTunes, and Non-Coloring Book at Lulu, both as download and print editions.

Have a comment on the show, a Religious Moron tip, or a question for Ask George? Drop George a line and write to Geo's Mom, too!

Ms. Information wishes the Maestro happy trails!

Chuck D. (yeah, him)
almost sixteen years ago


I never lumped all Republicans together. Re-read my previous post. A good friend of mine (a Rep and a Gulf War Army Vet, no less) has recently decided to vote Democrat this election. I detailed the administrations sins, not those of the rank-and-file voters. I never assumed anything, as this administration has earned their ignominious stature and record-low poll ratings. My beef is with the administration, not with all the Reps. Sorry if that\\\'s the impression I gave in my posting, but I just re-read it and I don\\\'t see where you get my assumption that all Reps think alike. I will allow Ms. Information to referee our dispute in Geo\\\'s absence.

Be well, Wig.

Ms. Information
almost sixteen years ago

Every once in a while, the Maestro and I remark about you, the listeners, and your intelligent, thoughtful, articulate commentary.

It\'s amusing that this is what passes for a \"dispute\".

Ms. Info

almost sixteen years ago

Re: how much I/O: If the alternative is dying, not much. A nice broadband Internet connection, a real-time, high def video camera and stereo mic, decent speech synthesis, and I\'m set. As long as I have those, I can wait for the Smell-o-vision and Orgasmatron modules. Oh, and I would insist on having the right to permanently turn myself off if I feel the need.

Mrs. Schaarschmidt
almost sixteen years ago

Regarding downloading your mind: this one makes me shiver a little bit. Imagine for the sake of arguement that you could do a download and it is experientially the same as being alive in your current form. I could deal with the thought of doing a transfer at the moment of death or something. But imagine that such a technology is available during mid-life. You do a download. Now, which one is you? Is the you in the machine alive? If the experience for the \\\"you\\\" in the machine is as valid as your real experience in the world, then you are both alive and conscious. But now you are two individuals. So when you die, you still die. It\\\'s just a copy of you.

The only way this would not totally weird me out is if you could only transfer yourself, not copy yourself. But if that\\\'s true, and the experience would be the same from your point of view (how is digitial pizza for a digital person less valid than actual pizza for an actual person?) then it\\\'s matrix-style immortality. I think I would enjoy that.

almost sixteen years ago

I disagree with Geo on a point that he made on the \\\"contraception as abortion\\\" story. I don\\\'t think that \\\"jerking off\\\" would be outlawed. Why? Men do it. If men gave birth then this wouldn\\\'t be an issue. Both sides would be pro-choice. But because women give birth then it\\\'s a controversy.

Ohh and I\\\'m male, so this isn\\\'t male bashing, just my personal beliefs.

I think I got all the speling wright woodn\\\'t whant to let Geo down. :P

Chuck D. (Puffin Man)
almost sixteen years ago

Icepick: Press to Play?! Anyday! \\\"Stranglehold\\\" kicks ass, and I say fuck \\\'em if they ain\\\'t smelling\\\' what the Macca is cooking\\\'.

Wig: No assumptions about this administration; they suck. To wit:

Saddam link to 9-11.
Torture? Us? Nah!
\\\"the dark side\\\" of Darth Cheney.
Gitmo and the \\\"quaint\\\" Geneva Convention.
Domestic warrantless wiretapping. Yum!
Waterboarding: it\\\'s not just for X Gamers anymore.
Yellow cake: Plaime-Wilson outted by Bob Novack.
Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh, O\\\'Reilly, Dick Morris, Hume, & Fox News.
Tell-all book by ex-Press Sec. reveals blatant lies used in run-up to Iraq War.
Torture memo reveals what we already know: Bush ain\\\'t in the room when the real nasty shit goes down.
Taliban re\\\"surge\\\". Why didn\\\'t we put these guys on ice back in \\\'01?
Bin Laden must be hiding out at Clinton HQ in Harlem.
Al Quaeda in Iraq: since Summer \\\'02.
\\\"We\\\'ll be Greeted as Liberators.\\\"
McCain says, \\\"100 more years if necessary.\\\" WTF?!

And that\\\'s just off the top of my head. Time to move over and let someone else drive for a few years. No assumptions here. Reps got to go.

Proud to be cited in the show again. Thx Geo! You forgot to mention we covered the entire 1st side of The Wall and a few other tunes by the Floyd. Mr. Brown ruled South Campus!

Me & Max like Puffins.

George was in fine voice at Musikfest, and drew a good crowd. The man never dissapoints in a live show.

almost sixteen years ago

Thanks for the response Chuck D. But yeah, there were definite assumptions made by you. For one, you assume just because one is a republican that they blindly support the administration. I am and I don\\\'t. I never said anything in support of the administration; what I said was that I was disappointed that all republicans were being lumped in together. That\\\'s all I\\\'m saying.

Ms. Information
almost sixteen years ago

I\'ve said for the past eight years, and with increasing conviction, that true Republicans should feel disenfranchised by this administration.

If fact, not all walk in lock-step with the current cabal. I know a few who don\'t.

almost sixteen years ago

OneDollarWilliam - Mostly I was trying to emphasize the rather dramatic change that would be involved going from meat to microchip. Computer simulations would not need to breathe, sleep, eat, drink, defecate, urinate or copulate and unless they were given the right inputs they could also not see, hear, feel, smell, taste, or move (unless the box was inside a robot or vehicle). Would you, in this state, want to read about or watch movies about people who could still move and feel? Some people could probably thrive just on just thinking (thus the math puzzles), but I don\\\'t think most people could. In fact I think doing this to most people would result in the simulation going swiftly insane (were that possible). Certainly there will always be more things to learn and observe, but the question is would you trade your humanity for the opportunity to do observe and learn them? And how much of \\\'you\\\' would be left if you did? Taking the consciousness of a social primate with a life span of decades and putting it into an immortal, unfeeling circuit board just doesn\\\'t strike me as a recipe for success.

almost sixteen years ago

Thameron, like the circuit board, the human brain is itself unfeeling, with no nerve endings. Regardless of whether we\'re living in silicon or meat, our quality of life will depend on the quality of our input/output devices.

almost sixteen years ago

I can definitely see your point then Thameron. I certainly wouldn\\\'t want to be just a brain in a box.

Filb, you have made a good point too. I guess the new question would be: How much i/o would you require to be willing to do this? Sight and sound only? Touch, smell, and taste? Virtual movement? Actual movement? What is the minimum amount of input or output you are willing to accept?
I find Thameron\\\'s argument pretty convincing, and I think it might take quite a bit more input than I previously thought.

Then again, What about a highly accurate virtual reality in the vein of The Matrix? What if this place were a virtual heaven? Would it fall prey to the same problems Geo has mentioned regarding fictional Heaven?

almost sixteen years ago

PS- sorry for misspelling your name Flib.

posty mcposterton
almost sixteen years ago

@ JHGRedekop... re: Roger Waters-era Pink Floyd...

well, wasn\\\'t he only not on one Pink Floyd record? :-)

Personally, I dig David Gilmour much more than Roger Waters. The songs on Dark Side, The Wall, Wish You Were Here, et cetera that David sings are the classics (to me)... Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Comfortably Numb...

Plus on the solo album front, Roger\\\'s are way too hit and miss, whereas David seems a bit more consistent (or maybe consistently Floydish)... I dunno...


JT Shea
almost sixteen years ago

Here is the link to my cover of Geo\\\'s The Assumption!

Thanks for watching!


almost sixteen years ago

Hey, Always a great show. I was wondering though, in the Religious Moron segment (always my favorite) with the US Department of Health and Human Services story, you said if we vote to keep this administration in we\'ll get more of the same. I assume that since we can\'t vote this administration back in that you meant if we vote Republicans back in we\'ll get more of the same. For an open minded guy you really seem to have a narrow view of Republicans. I could be wrong but based on some of the things you say you appear to have the view that Republicans = bad. Am I making the wrong assumption?

almost sixteen years ago

I\\\'m not sure what you mean by mathematical puzzles Thameron. I figure so long as I have a way to see and hear there would always be new things to learn and think about. New books, movies, music, the rise and fall of governments, technology. The future will be a fascinating place, and I would like to see it. I still can\\\'t decide if I would upload myself given the option, but I think there would be more than just math to look forward to.

almost sixteen years ago

I\'m not sure what you mean by mathematical puzzles Thameron. I figure so long as I have a way to see and hear there would always be new things to learn and think about. New books, movies, music, the rise and fall of governments, technology. The future will be a fascinating place, and I would like to see it. I still can\'t decide if I would upload myself given the option, but I think there would be more than just math to look forward to.

almost sixteen years ago

Erg!!! Half of that last comment is missing.
It was supposed to continue:

doesn\'t.((don\\\'t?) Has Minoishe covered this?))
I also love feeling. Those days in the late spring when it is about 78 degrees, and the sun is shining, and my wife and I get smoothies and drive around with the windows down looking at all the McMansions that we would never want to buy. (But ooo, did you see the chandelier in that one?) Is knowing that that exists and not being able to feel it worse than knowing that the future will happen and I won\'t feel it? I couldn\'t say.

Then again,l some clever programmer of the future might come up with Spring Day 2.0.234 (BUG FIX- Removed fishy smell except by lake) for the iSoul. So that might be cool.

almost sixteen years ago

Ok, I know this is nitpicky, and I am totally spaming the comments, but this is really bugging me.

The penultimate sentence of the first paragraph in post three should read, \"Is knowing that DAY exists and not being able to feel it worse than knowing that the future will happen and I won\'t SEE it?\"
Sorry for the postalanche,


almost sixteen years ago

Thanks Carrie I\\\'ll check that out. It just seems to me that downloading yourself is the equivalent to suffering an accident that leaves you totally paralyzed and numb and having the doctors come in and say \\\"Good news! We\\\'ve discovered a process to make your body immortal!\\\" Thanks, but no thanks. I can see it maybe for those who live for mathematical puzzles, but for anyone else, not so much. Another story that covers this theme is Harlan Ellison\\\'s \\\'I have no mouth but I must scream.\\\' Worth a read if you haven\\\'t read it.

almost sixteen years ago

Geo! Please take photos!! I want to go to the galapagos vicariously though you, ok?

Have a wonderful, skeptical time!

almost sixteen years ago

Thanks for mentioning Phineas Gage! He\\\'s a fascinating case study in indistructability.

Speaking of neurological imparements, I suspect that there\\\'s some sort of short-circuit which makes men unable to tell the difference between Single Dose size and Family Value Pack size cologne bottles... They just get the quart jug and dump it over themselves.

As for Pink Floyd -- I also am not a stoner of any sort (in fact, no drugs, booze, cigs, or coffee for me), but I\\\'m a big Floyd fan. Mostly Roger Waters era, with Wish You Were Here, Animals, and Meddle as my favourites. Dark Side not so much, though probably because it\\\'s overplayed rather than for any problem with the album itself. (That said, \\\"The Great Gig In The Sky\\\" is one of my favourite pieces of music of the last 300 years.)

almost sixteen years ago


I think if they become able to completely digitize a personality on of the first steps would be to digitize emotion. In doing so you would have to be able to quantify digital brain chemicals. Then as part of the digitization process of my personality they could test for the chemicals generated when I do something I enjoy (especially the one with the trampoline and the goose.), and of course they would also have to track my chemical balance when I am sad. The real trick would be not allowing my digital self to live in a constant state of electro-coked-out pleasure.

I personally hope that I live long enough to get digitized... or not. My next sentence was going to be: \\\"I would give up pizza, sex (even the stuff with the garden hose), and Fall days.\\\", but when I got to the Fall days I started to think about not feeling a cool breeze on my face, and I am not so sure. I don\\\'t know that you can digitize a breeze.

I guess the question boils down to: \\\"Is unlife better than being dead?\\\"
I don\\\'t know.

I love learning things, and the thought of being able to see what comes next excites me in a way even the goalie mask and bathtub full of porcupines doesn\\\'t. ((don\\\'t?)

George Hrab
almost sixteen years ago


I ALMOST mentioned the 10% loonieness, but I think I got distracted by a Harley. Shoot- You;re totally right. I\\\'ll get back to that soon...

Thanks everyone for all the Bon Voyage Wishes. I\\\'ll be sure to eat a tortoise for you.

Woo hoo.


almost sixteen years ago


Better fried tortoise fingers than Puffin soup!


almost sixteen years ago

Even if you could download your brain patterns (personality and memories) into a computer, would you really want to? How much comfort could there be in knowing that somewhere there was going to be a box that remembered everything you remember, wanted all the things you wanted, but was unable to act on any of it? (Computers after all don\\\'t require sex or pizza). Sounds kind of hellish to me.

almost sixteen years ago

The show was really great this week; as usual.

My musical taste is pretty heterogeneous so for me to dislike the music because of the fans would be pretty strange. Rather, I hide some bands that I like from other people because I don\\\'t want them to associate me with the fan base. Putting my Fallout Boy mp3s in a hidden folder, for instance. (Not that anyone will confuse my 28 year old out of shape self for an Emo kid.)

Geo, When you were talking about The Age of Spiritual Machines I noticed that you didn\\\'t warn people to be careful with their Kurzweil consumption. I loved The Age of Intelligent Machines so I picked up The 10% Solution which was 100% batshit. It might be something to mention in show 79.

Have a great trip! We are REALLY envious,


PS to Icepick - Recaptcha was trying to say \\\"Nixon 4 Eva. Thug life.\\\"
\\\"I have often thought that if there had been a good rap group around in those days I might have chosen a career in music instead of politics.\\\"
- Richard Nixon

My Recaptcha was = 38 Wiley. I think it wants me to shoot the bad guy from Megaman.

almost sixteen years ago

Never was a stoner, but I always liked Pink Floyd. Maybe I\\\'m the only one on Earth, but I\\\'m a fan of The Final Cut. It never gets mentioned, and I\\\'m not sure why. (I also like McCartney\\\'s Press to Play, which seems to get reviled as well.)

I was very happy when I heard about Phil Plait being named the new president. It is always a fear that organizations that start as something of a cult of personality will not survive beyond the founder. I\\\'m glad that won\\\'t be the case for the JREF, I still haven\\\'t made it to TAM!

Anyway. Have a great time on the cruise. Represent the rest of us gushing fan-folks of the luminaries of the skeptical world.

Recaptcha= \\\'Nixon for\\\'
Paranoid, Dead Guy of the Century?

almost sixteen years ago

Today (the day that the show came out) is Randi\'s 80th birthday. I just thought that it would be nice to mention it...