Podcast - Adam Savage Project

TED and Tom Tomorrow – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 2/23/16

We’re joined by a special guest this week: Dan Perkins (aka Tom Tomorrow), who writes and draws the long-running comic strip This Modern World. Dan joins us in the cave to discuss his work and storytelling, as Adam recounts his past week of adventures at the 2016 TED conference in Vancouver!

Comments (50)

50 thoughts on “TED and Tom Tomorrow – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 2/23/16

  1. The Trump situation is truly baffling! I know I’m from Britain but it all seems very strange. It would be like Boris Johnson being Prime Minister….. (or worse Nigel Farage).

  2. Don’t flee if Trump gets elected. Get involved and fight back, which would probably involve a lot of boring meetings…

  3. I spent a good portion of yesterday reading the last 300 pages of The Three-Body Problem in hopes of finishing it in time for todays spoilercast. Its a really good read so I am not complaining but I was still looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

  4. Talking about gravitational waves – did you listen to the audio conversion of the detected wave? It is in the audible range, and there is a video on youtube where you can listen to it at original speed, and slightly sped up for better clarity: https://youtu.be/TWqhUANNFXw?t=3s

    I found the sped up version sounds like a dripping tap… 🙂 I think I’ll change my Skype “message received” sound to that.

    Still hard to imagine two massive black holes circling each other 100 times a second to make that sound from billion lightyears away…

  5. Darren: I’d say it is much, much worse… Boris might be a rich and privileged tory, but he is no Trump. Behind the dumb haircut and the bumbling persona, he is an actual politician with serious experience.

    And while Farage is awful, Trump’s rhetoric has been more full-on BNP than UKIP.

  6. Trump is just riding the resonance wave of culture flowing back from Europe thats a reflection of the one established by Bush. Either you’ll get a president that’s gonna make it cool to not be an inflamed bigot again using some sort of turning water into wine first contact shor you’ll get one that’s going to up the ante even more in regards to how far you can go before it’s acceptable to be called a racist just by being elected.

  7. The problem with the Republican primaries is not that Trump is getting 35% of the votes, but no one looks at the 65% he is NOT getting! The Republican field is so divided that the 65% is fragmented so no one comes close!

    –Paul E Musselman

  8. I love that they just did a podcast on cognitive bias.

    I know y’all are super-liberals, but would it kill you to at least pretend that people who don’t agree with you aren’t idiots? I give y’all a lot of leeway because I know you live in little SanFran VR bubbles where every gathering is an echo chamber, but even I get sick of your liberal pratting every now and then. And drop the hyperventilating. “If someone I don’t like is elected, I’ll leave the country. . . [insert stamping of little foot]”. Do you even think that whine is amusing or original anymore?

    Will next week be the post-Oscars ” we hate white males” podcast? I think I’ll skip it.

    For the record, I do usually enjoy the discussions and banter. But if they say one more bad thing about conservatives, I’ll have to flee to Uruguay.

  9. but people who disagree with liberals are idiots, they are just too stupid to understand it.
    thanks for making the point for us.
    thanks for playing.

  10. I’m not from the United States but I thought that the freedom of speech ranked right up there if not above the right to bare arms. If it bugs you that much just don’t listen.

  11. People grousing about politics: Don’t be whiners.

    Adam has never, ever been shy about his politics. This is his show. Tom Tomorrow is a political cartoon, and as such is polemical. You likely know both of these things. You can look at the podcast and go “This is very likely going to be political, and I don’t think I want to listen to it” if you don’t want to hear opposing political viewpoints.

    Also, there was very little actual disparaging of the opposition here, aside from touching briefly on how difficult to parody Trump’s public persona is, which is more of a statement of fact than anything else. Adam has said far more aggressive things in passing when discussing things like climate change or other kinds of science denial.

    As for Tested being a politics free zone, well, that’s kind of difficult. Everything is political, whether or not we choose to recognize it. The Maker movement has political implications in its critique of mass production, etc. Adam is a very public champion for science, and the veracity and trustworthiness of science and those who practice it are intensely political topics in this United States. So, it ain’t going to go away.

  12. So you just go straight for the name calling in your first comment? You must be quite the philosopher king.

    You honestly can’t think of a single conservative thinker who isn’t an idiot? What about Frank Miller – they love his stuff on this podcast? Or Flannery O’Conner? Or Walker Percy? Ever read Joe Sobran? Sam Francis? I could list a whole bunch of other names, but the odds of you having even heard of them are pretty slim. Of having actually read anything they’ve written, even slimmer. Not because they aren’t intelligent and fairly well known thinkers but because you strike me as an echo chamber inhabitant. At least, that’s what I got from your comment.

  13. I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I’m pretty sure if you apply the Freedom of Speech to Adam yammering about how much he hates conservatives it should also apply to someone commenting that such yammering is tiresome.

    Or do you think Freedom of Speech is only for espousing liberal views and insults whereas non-liberals should shut their gob and go away?

    And trust me, it doesn’t bother me that much. If I got upset over what some dudes in a SanFran podcast said about Donald Trump I’d be in pretty bad shape. I usually listen to the podcast for background noise while I work. The banter is usually very enjoyable. When one of them (for the record usually not Norm) says something truly, insipidly stupid, I enjoy coming here and posting my thought on their comment. I couldn’t resist pointing out that, just a few weeks after they talked about cognitive bias they’re playing the good, ideological liberal.

    And I do truly hate the, “If so and so gets elected I’ll leave the country” blather. I hate it when liberals said it about Bush. I hate it when conservatives said it about Obama. I hate it because it sounds like the petulant whining of a child who knows full well they won’t carry out the threat (ala “I’m going to hold my breath until I pass out”). I mean, what is the expected reaction? Should folks everywhere say, “Oh no, Adam Savage is going to leave the USA if I vote for Trump? Heavens forbid! I guess it’s Hillary for me!” I know Adam has a very hefty ego, but I don’t think even he thinks he’s that important.

    Also for the record, I’m neither liberal nor what I’m assuming most of the folks here would call a conservative. I’m against ideology, which is almost always a bad thing. I don’t like being assigned to a team and being told what to think (and, no, agreeing with everything the liberal establishment espouses is not akin to being enlightened). I wish more and more folks would follow suit and become free agents.

  14. Granted, but, for the record, I had absolutely no idea who Tom Tomorrow is.

    Also, a reasonable line can be drawn between the political nature of all human things (i.e. science, the “maker community” . . . etc.) and specific Presidential politics. The one is probably unavoidable whereas the other should be avoided as much as possible. Just ask Pope Francis.

    If the Pope is going to take flack for talking smack about Trump, I don’t see why Adam should be any different.

    Besides, he said a few podcasts back that he quit reading internet comments. So I don’t think any of our comments here will be bothering him much.

  15. You may not have known who Tom Tomorrow was, but the first two minutes of the podcast conveniently told you who he is, and where he publishes. Crazy, right? It’s pretty easy to guess the content of a political cartoon that appears on Kos or in the Nation. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with them as well?

    Also, how does one separate “the political nature of all human things” and “specific Presidential politics”? By speaking in vague generalities that never address any granular policy matters, or the positions of actual politicians?

    Adam may or may not read the comments on Tested. Doesn’t really matter, one way or the other, it’s not so much about him, it’s about how the Tested community relates to itself. There is an important difference between offering actual criticism of someone’s position or take on something, and whining about it. Most of your first post is just whining couched in shitty language. Why would you expect to post a bunch of dumb garbage that lowers the quality of discourse within the Tested community and not get called out on it?

  16. Okay. Few things. Define “shitty” language because I’m not sure I understand what you mean by that. What, specifically, in my original comment came across to you as “shitty” language? Why did you consider it “dumb garbage”? If you aren’t more specific then you’re not much better than Naughtyhorse, the name-caller.

    Second, I was pretty specific with my complaint – stop the bellyaching about running to another country if the idiot you don’t like gets elected as president. I also said it was a reasonable idea to not automatically assume that folks who do not agree with you must be idiots (I know, that’s not the way the internet works or, apparently, this comment thread).

    Third, you are correct. While I’ve heard the names I can’t say I’ve knowingly spent any time on Kos or the Nation. Is there some unwritten rule that if I haven’t read Tom’s comics I’m not allowed to criticize stupid things Adam says?

    Fourth, if you think my comments here are “lowering the quality of discourse in the Tested community” I have to throw the bullshit flag. Unlike others in this very thread, I’ve refrained from random name calling. In fact, my comment was an attempt to actually stimulate some discourse. Something other than the standard 30 to 50 posts saying, “Adam, that is so cool!!” or “adam, ur the best!” or “Adam, I wish I had something just like that!!” . . . .etc.

    Is there a law that only Adam adulating comments are allowed around here? All I’ve seen so far is me claiming it is infantile to assume those who disagree with you must be idiots and to say you’ll leave the country because you don’t get the president you want. The response from the “Tested community” has been name-calling, a “shut up and let Adam exercise his free speech” (which I never tried to curb), and “your shitty dumb garbage comments aren’t welcome here.”

    What open minded, welcoming folks you liberals are!

    And if I didn’t make it clear, there is obviously a difference between talking about subjects with political implications (like global warming, mass industrialization, pollution, evolution . . .etc.) and talking about specific political Presidential candidates (i.e. “I really hate Trump/Hillary/Bush/Rubio/Sanders.”). If you can’t figure that out, I can’t help you.

    I’m not sure why y’all feel this podcast and Adam should be above criticism. If you don’t like my comments so much, why don’t you take your own advice and get lost?

  17. It’s not a Nixie device; it’s a byte. Early computer memory. Before core memory.

    –Paul E Musselman

    Or maybe a ‘word,’ if the tubes are two-section.

  18. So, you can’t see how your characterization of the people who run the site in your initial comment is shitty? Genuinely? Or that it amounts to nothing more than the petty namecalling that you are decrying Naughtyhorse for engaging in (for the record I don’t condone them just calling you an idiot, either).

    Your comment that I am saying people can’t criticize the contents of the site is a handy-dandy strawman, but not at all what I actually said. What I’ve said is that anyone listening to podcast probably knows Adam’s (and Will’s, and maybe Norm’s) politics, shouldn’t be surprised when he brings them up when they have a political cartoonist as a guest, that whining about it does nothing to contribute to anything, and that wanting Tested to be somehow apolitical is just not going to happen.

    Nor, listening through the back-end of this podcast again, do I even hear anyone calling anyone an idiot, or even imply it! Adam refers to Trump as “weird” and cartoonish, and his invocation of the “moving” cliche is delivered in a very off-hand, low-key way, no foot-stamping involved. Most of the discussion of politics is entirely superficial, and Norm deftly directs the discussion back to Dan’s storytelling process when it drifts too far afield.

    Beyond all that, you yourself point out that you think Adam doesn’t read the comments, and yet you direct one at him, in what you should by your own statement know to be a completely futile gesture. Aside from maybe making you feel good, what did it do? Did your biased, ungenerous characterization of the Tested crew add something meaningful and important to the site?

    And yes, there are plenty of essentially useless comments that amount to nothing more than “boy that’s cool!” or whatever around Tested. They may be useless, but they aren’t actively negative. There are also plenty of comments in which people have strongly (and I think productively) criticized the content Tested has produced (see Will’s desk building escapades for many, many examples), disagreed or expressed skepticism with the conclusions drawn about various things (see Glowforge), as well as some good discussions on various minutiae related to gear or tools or whatever, etc.

    In the future, if you want to engender actual discussion rather than having people simply call you names, I’d suggest that you not make your opening gambit the equivalent of shoving your thumb in someone’s eye.

  19. Just to be clear, I didn’t tell you that you couldn’t speak your mind just saying that you need to let someone else speak theirs. Just take it easy, everyone knows that he is not leaving the country if Trump gets elected. It was just a figure of speech, nothing to get worked up about. Seems like you might just be a fan of stirring the water and seeing what happens which can be entertaining from time to time but gets a little old after a while. There are ways of stating your opinion without coming off as having a holier than thou look on life. Work on your delivery and the responses may be a bit more open to discussion.

  20. It is actually a demonstrable fact that children with low IQ’s have a much higher tendency to grow up to be right wing ‘thinkers’ whereas children with high IQ’s tend to grow into left leaning adults. that’s just facts (yeah I know GOP kryptonite!)

    And while it is true to say not every right winger I have ever met is an idiot,

    It is true to say every idiot I have ever met is a right winger.

    As pointed out elsewhere Adam and to a lesser extent Will make little secret of their general political stance, and the show features a guest political cartoonist… it’s hard to imagine that the podcast would go any other way than it, in fact, did. (TBH I thought there was a significant degree of restraint shown)

    Trying hard to ignore political bias (real hard, I’m European, so you can imagine how rabidly left wing I am… it’s all that free education and healthcare!) you have to admit, in the field of political satire that the current array of republican candidates present an embarrassment of riches to the lampoonist. While it is true to say that Mr Sanders cuts a somewhat comical figure, and Mrs. Clinton is clearly a creature of the Washington elite. they don’t offer much in the way of comedic opportunity when compared to:

    Well, you know all the names.

    If it seriously offends you that people mock your political party, do something about it. Get involved and do what you can to get some serious candidates in the running.
    I take your point that there are some heavyweight political thinkers on the right (however misguided I think them to be), but none of them seem to have much if anything to do with the ragtag gaggle of crazies that have hijacked the GOP in recent decades.
    The best way to stop people laughing is to be serious.

  21. I knew somebody would say that, totally agree. I can’t actually think of any scenario as crazy as Trump. Also, I’m not brave enough for politics (or religion), so that’ll be the last time I ever comment on such matters.

  22. I’m trying to figure out what offended you so much. I figure it must be two things. When I said “y’all” in my first comment, I was actually addressing it towards the podcasters and not necessarily all the commenters. I’ll agree that is not clear in my comment, so for the confusion I apologize. Second, I said they were liberals living in “little SanFran VR bubbles where every gathering is an echo chamber.” I don’t really see the problem with that statement. With regard to the podcasters, they are in fact liberal, they live in SanFran which is a reality unto itself and far different from the rest of the country (which, for the most part, has not recovered from the 2008 recession and is struggling with under/unemployement and wage stagnation . . .etc.), and they do appear to spend most if not all of their time in echo chambers. At least from the political/philosophical perspective.

    Was the tone a tad combative? I’ll grant that. But no more combative than is typical for this website. Adam and Will are usually fairly derogatory when talking about conservatives or Christians. Many of the commenters here are also pretty openly hostile towards conservatives and Christians. I would actually say my comment was on the milder end of the spectrum, and don’t think it should be judged by a double-standard just because it was critical of Adam.

    Besides, all that was just to say I usually give these guys a lot of leeway and don’t normally complain when they spout some stupid liberal political trope. Check out my comment history – I honestly don’t comment that much, and there have been a LOT of podcasts with liberal shenanigans where I have nary whined even a bit.

    I prefer to “always be testing” myself and others on political, philosophical, and moral issues. It’s why I posted my comment here in the first place. Not so Adam would read it (I don’t consider the value of a comment being whether Adam sees it or not – Will used to read the comments occassionally, although I suspect he’s busy trying to start a company or something). I wrote to criticize what I found genuinely stupid, and on the side I hoped it would foster some sort of discourse. Which it did, and which we’re having. And which I’m enjoying.

    Speaking of “strawmen” – I never claimed this site or the podcast had to be apolitical. I recommended that discussion of specific Presidential candidates should be avoided when possible. It’s a highly divisive topic that almost always immediately collapses into name calling and is utterly valueless when it comes to persuading or informing – most especially on the internet. We live in an age of unsophisticated stubbornness. We say, “my guy, right or wrong and to bloody Hell with everyone else.” It’s why I don’t endorse any ideology and wish we would all get out of the “I’m on team liberal/conservative” mindset. Adam claims to be a Critical Thinker (his words, not mine), but he, and many others, tend to only think critically when it suits their agenda. If one ever finds one’s self parroting a party line, one should always stop, ponder, and investigate before continuing.

    Can we at least agree that the clichéd “I’ll move if I don’t get my way” whine is execrable, whether spouted by liberals or conservatives or said in a foot-stamping or understated way (incidentally, Al Sharpton just said he’s flee the country if Trump is elected president – and any time you find yourself in the same company as Al Sharpton it’s usually a bad thing). The world would obviously be a better place if no one ever used this stupid phrase again, or, if they did, they were legally required to carry out their threat. I would also nominate the phrase “that’s not who we are” to be thrust into the dustbin of history, but if we open a thread on political bomfoggery that should be forever banished it would go on for quite a long time.

    Finally, I will agree with you that Norm’s role is often under appreciated. He usually does a very deft and subtle job at roping the conversation back to a topic and rarely pops off with random political comments.

    Sorry for the length of the comment. I think it’s the anti-Twitter part of my brain that hates the entire concept of TL:DR.

  23. I am most certainly a fan of stirring up the waters. And I agree, it can be tiring if done ad nauseam, but I rarely comment on the site. I don’t really have all that much free time right now. I figure, if I’m going to comment, I’ll stick with one topic and make it worth my while.

    I figure Adam is free to speak his mind. In fact, he does so all the time. However, I don’t reckon it means he’s not liable to the consequences of his speech. Free speech doesn’t mean speech without consequences. If I go up to someone and insult their mother or wife, they ought to knock my lights out. I’m free to cry “wolf” when I like, and folks will then ignore me when I get into serious trouble.

    If Adam wants to use that truly idiotic phrase – he’s welcome to. However I hope that every time he does he will be told how stupid and infantile it sounds, and not just by me.

  24. Let me start by saying this last comment of yours is much, much more enjoyable than your first comment.

    Demonstrable fact that only low IQ kids grow up to be conservatives? Really? I find such studies dubious at best, and the use of those studies for political purposes even more so. What was the nature and scope of the study? How often has it been repeated and what was the variation in the results? Who funded the study? Who conducted the study? How many kids? What ages? What ethnic backgrounds? What environments were they raised in? How educated were the parents? Were the parents married, divorce, single, remarried…etc.? Did the kids go to public or private or home school? What kind of college or university did they attend? Did they practice any religion or no religion? What kind of books did they read? What kind of shows did they watch? What kind of food did they eat? What kind of vitamins did they take? At what age did they make their political affiliation? Etc., etc., etc.

    I find the social sciences often the weakest and most useless of the sciences. Behind the guise of actual knowledge there are far too many variables in a far too hard to control environment. How does one even go about isolating factors and determining causation? Especially with humans who tend to display erratic behavior on a routine basis (we used to call that Free Will, but I don’t know what social sciences has named it now).

    Besides, do you also posit that the studies that show African Americans tend to have lower IQs means they’re inferior to other races? I presume not, since that would be racist and what a White Supremacist would say. So which is it – IQ studies are good data to use or not truly indicative of intelligence? You tell me, but I would point to the principle of non-contradiction and say you can’t have it both ways.

    I’ve met plenty of idiots that were liberals and Democrats. I’ve met plenty of idiots who are conservatives and Republicans. Even a modicum of human experience will tell you that there is no monopoly on idiocy. I’ve also met good hearted and intelligent people in both camps.

    I’ll agree with you that the current crop of Presidential candidates is ripe for satire. Trump is hilarious and absurd. However, I would say that Sanders and Clinton are equally hilarious and absurd (I mean, Clinton?!? That’s an absolute gold mine of comedic material right there) With very rare exceptions, I consider every US politician on the national level to be hilarious and absurd. I begrudge the Jon Stewarts of the world not because they insult and mock Republicans but because they do not insult and mock Democrats with equal vim and vigor. Well, that and I don’t think he’s all that funny.

    Besides, it’s not like you Europeans have a whole lot to brag when it comes to your politicians. Cameron? Milliband? Corbyn? Farage? Hollande? Le Pen? Merkel? And that buffoon in charge of Greece? Please – Donald Trump would fit right in with that crowd of nutters.

    Now Putin – that’s another matter. Maybe the Donald and Putin could go bare-chested horseback riding? Maybe we could improve Russo-American relations by the Donald donating some of his fantastic hair to Putin? There’s possibilities there.

  25. I’m not offended. I just think your characterization is ungenerous and biased. And I find it odd that you’d feel comfortable commenting on how much any particular member of the Tested crew entertains opposing arguments, lives in an echo chamber, is a “Critical Thinker”, or what have you. We see only a tiny, fairly heavily managed fraction of their lives.

    Also, the initial statement about it not being likely that Tested would ever be an apolitical space was not directed at you, though you picked up on that thread, and I was merely restated my original post above.

    But, if we can agree on nothing else, we can agree that Norm is often under-appreciated, and really very good at his gig most of the time. I’m quite often impressed with his questions.

  26. I don’t think it’s that far a leap. They are super-liberals, self confessed, at least with regard to Will and Adam. Not once in the many hundreds of videos and podcasts that I’ve seen and heard have they ever interviewed, praised, discussed, or interacted with anyone of the conservative persuasion (with the possible partial exception of Patrick Norton whom I really like but who isn’t on the shows nearly enough). They consistently praise any and all liberal politicians from any country while also denigrating any conservative politicians. I’ve never seen them recommend or praise what could be called a conservative book or movie. They constantly espouse liberal slogans and catch phrases and harp on favorite liberal topics.

    Is it a remote chance that Adam actually goes to the Friends of Abraham dinner party? Sure, but highly unlikely. And, in my experience, one doesn’t get to be such a tried and true ideologue without being pressure treated with the party doctrine (if it helps, think of the opposite example – someone who only gets information from Rush Limbaugh and Fox News).

    On the other hand, I don’t feel I’m being unfair since Adam and Will do this sort of thing, and much worse, all the time. Take the Ahmed the Clock Boy controversy from a while back. Despite not knowing any of the folks involved, not knowing any of the facts of the case, and being miles and miles removed from the incident, both Will and Adam were able to read the hearts and minds of the police officers and school administrators and know that they were racist and acting out of hatred for Ahmed and Islam. My claims are not nearly so bold!

    In the end, Adam and Will are public figures of their own choosing, and part of that deal is that they submit to be judged based on what they do and say in public. If they want people to think that they are other than super-liberals, they have ample opportunity and means to fly their true colors. I think, however, that they don’t have any problem being called super-liberals because they’re pretty darned proud of being super-liberals.

    At any rate, have a pleasant evening. My bed is calling and my eyes are heavy.

  27. You need to listen more closely and try not to let your own clear bias influence what you’re hearing. One example that is mentioned at least a dozen times is that Adam and Jamie are good friends with Penn & Teller and admire their brand of skepticism. Both of them are actively political libertarians. Penn especially, by virtue of doing most of the talking, is an outspoken critic of liberal ideology, and individual liberals. Have you ever listened to the Sunday School podcast?

    In the first skeptic-themed podcast they did, Adam spoke about how that community has people from all across the political spectrum, from every major religious group, and who agree only on the skeptical philosophy.

  28. Sorry, I’m afraid you can’t chalk this one up to my “bias.” I’m not sure how I was supposed to be listening to Adam on a podcast which I didn’t know existed, but after your comment I did look around the web a bit on Penn & Teller. I’m not big followers of them, so I assumed they mostly just did their magic schtick. I did know that Penn was a raging and very hostile atheist, and I find such folks far from delightful (I don’t have any problem with atheists, just the ragingly anti-Christian ones like Penn). I was surprised to read about Penn’s libertarian views. They came across as amazingly naive for someone who claims to be a cynic and a critical thinker, and they are a far cry from what anyone would call conservative. I’ll grant, though, that he seems hostile to Democrats, so, yes, it appears that Adam did one time interact on a show with someone who was hostile towards ultra-liberal Democrats with regard to politics (I think Penn tends towards ultra liberal side when it comes to social issues).

    What, exactly, are you trying to prove? That Adam is not a super-liberal? He even calls himself a liberal in this very podcast. That Adam doesn’t spend the vast majority of his time with other liberals? If so, then one exception doesn’t disprove the norm – rather validates it I’d say.

    I don’t think it’s terribly biased of me to point out that Adam is a liberal that spends the majority of his time with other liberals. How is it that you think this is an unreasonable thought? What is it, exactly, you’re trying to defend him from?

    Thank you, though, for the info about Penn & Teller. I honestly had no idea they mucked about in political activism, and while I think Libertarianism is untenable in the long term, I tend to side with them on a lot of political issues just because the enemy of my enemy tends to be some degree of ally. I even liked Ron Paul, although the man didn’t ever really have a chance of getting the Republican Nomination. I even agree with Bill Maher on a lot of what he says with regard to foreign policy (especially some of his very recent comments with regard to ISIS). I’m even against the Iraq war and loath George W. Bush.

    Perhaps your bias is what keeps trying to paint me as some sort of Fox News, Glen Beck loving fanatic? I don’t play for team conservative. I’m against such ideological pre-packaged thoughts.

  29. Shipmate – you’d serve us both better if you interacted with my comment vice throwing an internet link at me.

    I read your link. First, please be advised that slapping the word “science” onto something does not make it 1.) scientific or 2.) pertinent. That article was a bunch of blather with hardly any facts, no useful links to any actual data on any actual studies, and a bunch of smug, liberal pandering. The article even quotes both men involved with the study who specifically warned that the study should not be taken too literally, and that it did NOT mean that all conservatives were stupid, which runs contrary to the conclusion you seem to have drawn.

    Still, without any details being revealed, how can this study be validated? How many kids were in the test? The only number they mention is 254 and that was from another, separate study. 254? Do you know how many billions of people live on earth? Do you really think a study of a few hundred kids should have any real significance on understanding human development?

    Even worse than that, though, is the numerous studies that contradict your conclusion. Google “IQ studies by race.” Numerous studies have shown that African Americans have lower IQ than Caucasians who have lower IQ than Asians. So, by your logic, African Americans should be mostly racist, stupid, and Republican. Funny – the polling data sure doesn’t support your position.

    So much for your “demonstrable fact.”

    Please – if you’d like to respond, respond, but don’t throw any more links at me. That’s the disrespectful and lazy way to pretend that you’re arguing.

  30. I’m not saying Adam isn’t a liberal (or trying to pigeonhole you into a political camp), just pointing out that politics is something that only occasionally comes up on the podcast and that people who are not liberals are mentioned in positive light multiple occasions. So if you only hear them speaking well of liberals and negatively about those on other parts of the political spectrum, maybe that comes down to either not listening to all the podcasts or simply being ignorant as to some of the subjects’ political leanings?

    Either way, your views are clearly colored by your exposure and experience to the subjects on discussion, as is the case with all of us (although some of us realize we can only ever hold part of the puzzle based on what we gleam from a couple of hours of podcasts and therefore don’t get too riled up about it).

    As for the guys being in an echo-chamber, as you’ve repeatedly stated, Adam and Jamie at least spend a lot of time in circles where there are people from across the political and religious spectrum and seemingly manage to form friendships and maintain civil discussions just fine. In the skeptical community, you’ll find lots of atheists who are social and fiscal conservatives, just like you’ll find tons of religious people who are liberal across the board. I’m not in Norm or Will’s social circles, but I did live in San Francisco for five years and I can tell you there are people from all over the political spectrum there too, and the tech scene is no different.

    PS. From what I gleam from his books, Penn would be the first to admit his libertarian outlook is naive and probably practically unrealistic, but he still believes it to be morally right.

  31. I reckon we’re at an impasse. For what its worth, it’s come down to my “bias” vs. your “bias” (and we are using the term rather loosely at this point).

    My bias is that I’ve seen no evidence that Adam spends any significant amount of time actually interacting with folks with radically different philosophical and political views (specifically folks of the conservative persuasion). I base this on what I’ve seen and read and heard on this website. He’s a liberal thoroughbred, and he pretty much jumps at the chance to spout liberal positions whenever the opportunity arises. Bear in mind, this hasn’t stopped me from listening to just about all their podcasts – I usually enjoy the banter and discussion and have learned a few things about “making” from Adam’s comments. I just don’t have any illusions about who Adam is or what he thinks.

    On the other hand, you claim that he does, in fact, interact with many folks who are not liberal Democrats. You gave one specific example in Penn & Teller. I don’t really buy it, though. I’m not disagreeing with you that Penn & Teller are at least of a mindset that is critical of liberal Democrat positions, I just don’t think Adam spends much time with them specifically discussing liberal Democrat policies or politicians. Sure, the Skeptics Society or whatever they call it is made up of folks from many different backgrounds, but when they meet I’d be willing to bet some money that they talk about being a skeptic (which, more often than not, comes down to bashing or making fun of Christianity).

    Take the Friends of Abe, for example. Within their ranks I’m sure you’ll find folks who are for public health care, for gay marriage, for abortion, and even some atheists. When they meet, though, I bet you dollars to donuts they talk about Conservative policies and such (which, more often than not, comes down to bashing liberal Democrats or figuring out ways to sell out to Corporate Lobbyists even faster then their current record pace, er, I mean, promoting “free” trade).

    I’ll bet a large number of the folks who go to see Mythbusters Live are actually conservatives. Just because Adam saw them or even signed an autograph for them doesn’t actually mean much. I don’t hold to the theory of learning by osmosis.

    So, I think that about sums it up. If you could provide more actual evidence other than hypothetical “I’m sure he interacts with tons of folks off camera” I’d be willing to listen. However, while I fully understand I’m not privy to his entire life through these podcasts, he has been pretty eager to share his political views and I feel pretty comfortable judging that aspect of his character based on the evidence he’s provided.

    Put it this way – do you think Jenny McCarthy spends a lot of time in forums where they talk in depth about vaccines, their formulation, safety, and efficacy? Or do you think she spends all her time reading books by Dr. Tenpenny? Based on what she says and does in public, wouldn’t you say it’s reasonable to assume the latter?

  32. To summarize “I see A, thus I assume B doesn’t happen, and I’m not interested in reality, so I’m going to some accusations based on the stuff I see re: A”… have fun, dude.

  33. Reductio ad absurdum. You don’t want to deal with my comments, so you ignore them, too. Humans use words, and words convey thoughts, and thoughts tell you about the person. Aren’t you science-y guys always saying you can’t prove a negative? (It’s a favorite quote of Penn) You’re the one claiming that there’s all sorts of goodness happening that I can’t see – I’m just asking for proof.

    Besides, I thought my analogy with Jenny McCarthy was killer. You can tell a lot about what a person thinks and how a person thinks by the thoughts they verbalize.

    It’s no skin off my back that Adam’s a liberal who hangs out with liberals and likes to talk about liberal things. You’re the one who, for whatever reason, thinks this is wrong and too be corrected. That seems farcical to me. Does it tarnish your image of him somehow? I’m curious.

  34. You were the one who spoke up, asking the hosts to moderate (censor) their speech in order not to offend (boo, fucking hoo).

    You then made some rather ridiculous sweeping statements, unreasonable even if based solely on the podcast in question, but in this case, applied to the hosts as individuals.

    Someone tells you, “hey, I’m sorry, but I believe you haven’t seen the full breadth of the discussion, why not try looking outside this forum?… and after considerable pushback, you still hold firm on burying your head in the sand… well, keep looking or don’t, it isn’t my job to direct your enquiries.

    Your McCarthy example assumes you have actually seen the breadth of discussion, I think it is very, very safe you say you haven’t.

    Edit: as for your last question, it doesn’t. Politics are amongst the least interesting things about people.

  35. You’ll have to explain to me where, exactly, I tried to censor anybody. Silly me, I foolishly thought the comments section here was to, you know, comment on the podcast. So I did. All I specifically said was that it is idiotic to say “I will leave the country if the guy I don’t like is elected president” and of that anyone with a brain cell and a shred of civil decency I’m sure would agree. Adam is free to continue to say it. He can get the phrase tattooed on his forehead. He’s at liberty to look like as big an idiot as he likes. And I’m free to point it out. You’re also free to ignore me if you can’t bring yourself to admit that Adam is a liberal (which, I’m pretty sure, he’d agree with me on that one seeing as how he self-proclaims himself a liberal at every opportunity). Even other commenters in this thread are calling him liberal. It’s not a controversial statement, and I’m a little baffled that we’re still arguing over it.

    And if by “the entire breadth” of the conversation you mean I should stalk Adam and listen to every conversation he ever has with anybody ever, I’m afraid I have better things to do with my life (shocking!). I’ve listened to almost all the podcasts on Tested. My statements were a reflection of what Adam has consistently presented to the public for years. If you’re telling me it’s unfair to make a judgment on a public figure based on the things he has said in public, I would ask you to apply that same judgment to Adam who not only does that all the time (he does it to Trump in this very podcast), he does it to folks who aren’t public figures and whom he knows nothing of what they may have actually said or done (I believe I already pointed out the Ahmed Clock Boy example). His batting average of 1,000 on all liberal issues makes me pretty comfortable with my McCarthy example.

    And, again, this hasn’t stopped me from listening to this podcast or from even learning a thing or two about making, about science, about showbiz . . .etc. I even read The Martian based on the heaps of praise piled on it in this podcast. And I even enjoyed it, although it wasn’t quite as much the bee’s knees to me as it was to these three.

    I can see by your tone and language, though, that this is really starting to get to you. You can say I’m burying my head in the sand, but that’s hard for me to swallow when you basically keep either ignoring or missing the points of the comments I’m posting here. So, for the record, are you insisting that Adam is not a liberal who hangs out with liberals and enjoys talking about liberal things? If not, upon what evidence do you base this position? Please note, wishful thinking does not qualify as evidence. And if you want to throw vague terms around (like “breadth of the discussion”) can you at least make some attempt to define them? Should I have listened to all these podcasts and all of Penn & Teller’s podcasts? Does Adam have some secret blog I was supposed to be reading? What all have you been listening to and watching that has lead you to believe that Adam regularly engages with conservatives to have meaningful discussions on politics, morality, philosophy, religion . . .etc.?

    Or are you just assuming that’s the way it must be because you think Adam is such a swell guy?

  36. “Each city is cleaner than the city south of it…” Guys, you do know that there’s a big fight right now between Washington and Canada over DECADES of Canadian cities dumping raw sewage into the Straits of Juan de Fuca? Washington is discussing a travel ban for state officials in formal protest.

  37. When do the Ted talks go up on the Ted website? Do they have a specific schedule? Will tested be reminding people when it does go up?

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