Blog entries tagged with "skeptic"

Listening to podcasts

Monday, February 22nd, 2016 at 9:05 pm

For the past year and a bit I have been listening to podcasts, either while commuting to and from work on the train, or while out for walks. I have known about podcasts for a long time, but it was the combination of having suitable idle time and the suggestion of two comedy podcasts that finally made me give them a go.

The list of podcasts I listen to has grown (and occasionally shrunk) over time, and there are some that I prioritise over others. Right now this is the list of podcasts in the app on my phone: (in roughly priority order)

  • I Love Green Guide Letters
    One of the two comedy podcasts that were suggested to me, great to hear stories from comedians, and there is also commentary about the letters.
  • The Little Dum Dum Club
    The other of the comedy podcasts that was suggested, some of the conversations can be quite serious and thought provoking, while others are hilarious.
  • The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
    A very popular podcast that covers a wide range of science/skeptic topics, recent news through to historical events/figures.
  • Geologic Podcast
    Usually a skeptical topic or two, but what I am really enjoying is the other topics such as music as that is something I wouldn’t normally be interested in
  • The Dollop
    Despite this being two comedians (one telling the other about something from American history), I was surprised by how much I was liking the historical aspect of this. The live shows in Australia where they covered some Australian history stories really showed how you don’t learn the horrible details at school.
  • Comedy Film Nerds
    This is now my preferred source of movie information, I find myself agreeing with their reviews. Plus the spoiler episodes either make a movie I have seen better or mean I don’t have to see it at all.
  • Probably Science
    Interesting discussion between the hosts and the guest, but also coverage of recent science news that is weird or interesting.
  • Don’t You Know Who I Am?
    This one is just fun, some unexepcted stories from the guest comedians.
  • Filthy Casuals
    I haven’t played games for a long time and only started listening because of The Little Dum Dum Club, but it also can be interesting (as well as funny)
  • Oh No Ross and Carrie
    Another skeptic podcast, Ross and Carrie go do the crazy woo things and report back on what they were like.
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage
    Funny and informative at the same time about some quite serious scientific topics.
  • Penn’s Sunday School
    Started listening because I am a fan of Penn and Teller, as well as Penn’s skeptical position. Interesting stories, sometimes science sometimes (US) politics.
  • Can you take this photo, please?
    Open discussion between Justin Hamilton and (usually) a guest, interesting hearing the background and experiences of these comedians.
  • TOFOP/FOFOP/Wilosphy
    I’m lumping together three Wil Anderson podcasts here, there are a lot I haven’t listened to, I pick out the ones that look interesting.
  • Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project
    I’ve been a fan of MythBusters for a long time, but it is only recently that a few of the topics caught my eye…
  • Steele Wars
    Another one I am selective about, while I like Star Wars, I’m not obsessed, so will check the description before listening. But the live reaction podcast after the midnight screening of Force Awakens (with Comedy Film Nerds) was worth it.
  • Stuff You Should Know
    I have a number of these in the backlog, for when I want to learn something but don’t need to be amused…

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TAM2014 is over… it was great

Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

For the past four days I have been immersed in The Amaz!ing Meeting 2014. The closest I got to the outdoors was looking out of the window in my hotel room as I was in an organised session/workshop/event, was talking to people or I was asleep. Throughout the conference I made handwritten notes (instead of posting directly to G+ or Twitter) and I will eventually type them up, but meanwhile I recommend looking through the posts in Twitter tagged with #tam2014.

Tomorrow I will start stage two (before heading to Portland, Oregon for OSCON) which involves hiring a car and driving around Las Vegas and then heading into Arizona for a big loop around the Grand Canyon.

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I went to TAM Australia

Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

For many years I have been a skeptic. That doesn’t mean I maintain a doubting attitude, it means that I don’t take things for granted, instead I will look for the evidence.

For some time I have been aware of local skeptic groups such as the Australian Skeptics and the Victorian Skeptics I had not become actively involved. Instead of was content to follow the science from a distance via blogs and the books that I read.

That changed when I found out that an Amazing Meeting! would be held in Australia for the first time. I had to go, but while waiting to see if it would conflict with OSDC2010 I missed out on a ticket. But when I heard that a lottery would be held for the final few tickets I entered and was lucky enough to be offered a ticket. I jumped at it, even though I would have to miss the final day of OSDC2010.

So how was it? It’s in the title: Amazing.

Although I struggled a bit, I did manage to make my 8AM Friday flight to Sydney which got me there in plenty of time for the 1PM start. From then on it was a rush. I am not attempt to detail everything that happened, but the obvious highlights included meeting and hearing speak: James Randi, Dr Karl, Dick Smith, Simon Singh and Rob Morrison.

I also met many other people, some of who I expect to see again as next year I intend to go along to some of the local skeptic events. Of course that may even include a Melbourne based TAM.

While most of the talks were great, they had the issue of repeating things I had already read. The discussion panels were more interesting as they depended on the questions people asked. But the largest surprise of the entire event was a talk on management pseudoscience.

It had never occurred to me that management was a psuedoscience, but now that I think about there are plenty of management theories, but very little evidence to back them up. Think about it, businesses are wasting money and time on unverified theories, often on theories that in practice fall down.

Seven years ago I did start to write about work processes and I have been meaning to get back into it. Realising that much of management training is pseudoscience if hopefully the trigger I need. (we are also undergoing major organisational change which was the first trigger)

Instead of writing more here about the event, I will simply link to my messages from during the event. When I do get around to sorting through the photos (mostly from the dinner cruise) I will try to provide some more detail.

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