Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Welcome Back Andy Weir! – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 4/17/18

We welcome author Andy Weir back on Tested, as we catch up with him in this pop-up podcast recording at Silicon Valley Comic Con. Andy talks about the research behind his most recent book Artemis, the best way to build cities on the moon, and why he prefers post-apocalpyse to dystopia.

Comments (11)

11 thoughts on “Welcome Back Andy Weir! – Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project – 4/17/18

  1. I never miss your podcast and was thoroughly enjoying hearing you guys with Andy Weir again. I was even commiserating thoroughly over your spoiled Diet Coke experience (uck!) As the three of you started debating the speed of the Enterprise and what proportion of C Impulse power was I was thoroughly entertained, and then someone said jokingly, “Ladies, where are you going?” I’m stunned at how quickly I felt excluded, like the fun and fascinating conversation I was hearing was not for me, but was for men only. It was a really sad moment. I think you all are wonderful and know that this was unintentional. Maybe please don’t disinvite people from geek joy because of gender? Thank you for all you do and for many hours of learning and entertainment. I appreciate you.

  2. , I’m unsure how you can feel excluded. Men and women are very different, and as a male, I can certainly agree that all too often the very kind of nerding out these guys were doing would scare off most of the opposite sex. Just as any number of topic women frequently engage in. That doesn’t mean you can’t participate and even be extremely welcome because your continued interest would make you stand out. However its not fair IMO to expect that your unusual interest should be protected.

    I feel personally there’s too much effort to homogenize and immunize all conversations to suite every possibly personality and experience. If these 3 people started talking about some other topic in depth and made a comparable joke about other commonly disinterested parties ‘left the room’ out of imagine boredom be as offensive?

    I’m not suggesting you don’t have the right to be offended by anything. Only suggesting that not everyone would see it that way.

    If I were at a party and walked up to these 3 guys, I’d have set expectations around what conversation I’d be party to, and that they are men, so the conversation would be centered to that. Just as I would have different expectations walking up to a group of women. I wouldn’t expect either to tailor their discussion to suite me, instead as a guest, I’d look to adjust my expectations and participate accordingly, and possibly be informed by their difference.

    I find it comforting that these guys are geeking out as guys do. Its sounds like you in this case were geeking out in the same way and not because your a guy. I feel as though we all have a equal right to enjoy that conversation, even if its not as fully, because we are not all the same. There may be other parts, like the diet coke part, that I’m not as interested. It doesn’t cause me offense, even if they said. “Hey wait, where are all the Diet Pepsi people going.” it has not malicious or exclusionary intent.

    What I do not want is people to avoid what is reasonable discussion and a casual nature that doesn’t require self policing especially from subjects that are not inappropriate, but from things that are homogeneous and easily assumable understood equally.

    There are times and places to police and expect it, but I don’t think it should be ubiquitous. If they are talking to you, then its fair to set expectations, but here, we’re guests.

    Maybe that perspective helps.

  3. Adam, you should try Zevia Cola. It does not have a nasty after taste like most diet sodas, it has zero calories, and is sweetened with stevia instead of nasty things like aspartame.

  4. The part that causes problems for me is the gendering of interests. The phrase you use “geeking out as guys do” indicates that as a non-guy I’m somehow abnormal for wanting to participate. That subjects such as making, soft and hard sci-fi, and quantum physics are somehow inherently “male.” I find this to be exclusionary. What is it that you expect to find a group of women at a con – where this conversation was taking place – talking about that would make you have to adjust your expectations? I appreciate that you see this differently, but I disagree.

  5. i this case ‘gendering’ is not a bad thing. Its not a form of exclusion. Its simply recognizing difference. They are quite precisely geeking out in a way that is more commonly male. That doesn’t’ making it exclusive, only recognizes a cultural difference that is created by a commonality of gender based socialization, culture, and frequency.

    Can women geek out in the same way? Absolutely. Do most? No, not in my opinion. So is it then fair to expect anyone to act differently in a similar situation. It would seem your asking for more consideration than your allowing others.

    Rather than take pride in NOT being one of those imagined ‘lady’s’ leaving the room, you could have taken pride in your own difference and shared collegiality with those on the stage, meaning you were proof of the rule is not absolute. IMO in that moment you were included, and excluded yourself by a factor that wasn’t prescient to the discussion and disavowed a very real condition of human nature. It wasn’t inappropriate because it was true and stated in a humorous self effacing way to make it clear it wasn’t intended to insult but share a natural desire that the opposite sex have more interest in the same things.

    If they had said, ‘Lady’s please leave the room, the guys are going talk man stuff’, that would be considerably different. It would seem your treating it as if that’s what they did, and its just not true.

  6. I’ll make a separate point. It is absolutely true that women have not been well considered or even treated equally in the field of sciences, and in many other ways. That is certainly a factor in your point of view. It is fair to be combative. My point here is to acknowledge another key difference and a factor in our differences in POV. However I’d argue that if your going to battle, it does not help your point or effort to attack innocent situations and inflate them to the same level of very real and dangerous perception problems. They are not the same. Its no different than the divisive ‘them’ that any group has applied to attack and destroy an ‘other’ throughout history.

    As someone who is not treated equal in all situations, I can understand why everything looks like a nail.

    I think Adam is someone who goes out of his way to be inclusive and considerate and by your appreciation think you understand that too. If you consider that, you might see that its your perception, not his action, that made you feel bad about that comment. My point here is that perception is natural and understandable. However I hope too that you can see that it wasn’t fair to him or yourself.

    Your not one of the guys, your better than that, or so I would hope.

  7. You know, the reason for these differences in what is typically ‘a guy thing’ as you identify might just be that women have been excluded, by conscious action as well as the ongoing pointing-out of them as in some way unusual-as-women for pursuing X.

    It eventually gets annoying having to fight just to be included as a person rather than as an anomaly, and the pattern stays unchanged.

    Research shows that diverse workplaces are more creative and productive. It seems reasonable to me that if we want various geeky interests to become more interesting, creative places rather than insular and repetetive, the people in those ‘in-groups’ should actively seek inclusion and diversity rather than continue on with the expectation of the current demographic, and leave it to perceived outsiders to spend time and energy fighting to be included. They are much more likely to not bother, then everyone loses.

    As for the comment made in the video, I took it to be a joke about the stereotype made in a context where it is obviously inaccurate, in front of a highly diverse audience. But that might be a generous assumption. :p

  8. you beat me to the point. and in much nicer words than i would’ve chosen. thanks, man.

    i share your interpretation of the joke, too – joking about the stereotype seems like an adam thing, and making anyone feel unwelcome or excluded strikes me as the most non-adam thing. (cracking a joke about a stereotype we take as absurd and nonsensical without realising in that moment that it still describes the realities and attitudes some of us are regularly confronted with, also strikes me as an adam kind of occasional clumsiness)

    i’m with you.

  9. Interesting responses. I’m glad there are different perceptions, I learn a lot from it.

    I still see it differently. I would consider this over sensitivity and a trend to micro test every aspect of public presence to a negative effect. I guess I don’t see the point.

    I’m opposed to any number of injustices and problems and am careful to dedicate my time to making a clear difference. I look at someone like Adam Savage as the opposite of the problem, if anything he’s a model of much of the potential of what we’d like our idols and hero’s to act like. I don’t expect him to be perfect, and probably would think a more ‘perfect’ by these standards here, be less of what makes him unique and important.

    Adam’s understanding and considerate and if exposed to these complaints will certainly address. Sure you get action. But IMO, unless you have the courage and put the actual effort and energy to do the same thing to people who are not receptive, and might retaliate, then perhaps the effort isn’t to change, but to support the delusion of effort against a safe target.

    I’m not suggesting that’s the case here, only that its a possibility, and how sad that is to tear down the good things, because maybe its too hard to take on the real hard things. Those things, in my opinion, and the point I tried to make originally, are the things really worth effort, and ultimately need every ounce of effort a person can manage. Its as if a firefighter turned their hose from a flaming home to spray out the lantern lighting the glass on the water tank. They’ve lost sight of how much ammo in the fight is left, and at the cost of allowing the real fire to gain ground.

    Everyone here seems to agree it was a joke. Not malicious. Maybe I have more empathy for the problem of public existence and the difficulty of it. Expecting inhuman effort to include every imaginable potential to every interaction would be impossible to manage IMO and could realistically turn a love of sharing into a prison of fear of misstep. Adam cares, so why add burden, especially if your not taking any of that to help meet his right to be human.

    Again, IMO its setting a standard of consideration to Adam that he isn’t receiving from some in return.

  10. – We’ll have to agree to disagree. My comments were actually directed towards Adam, which I felt safe in making precisely because I know that exclusion is not his thing, and that absolutely nothing of the kind was intended in his joke. There’s a separation between intent and effect at times, and the only way we can learn is by knowing this. I know I’ve said and done hurtful things unintentionally and the only way for me to do it less is to know how it can land on someone with a different perspective.

  11. I agree with you completely. I was really surprised to hear such a joke come out of Adam’s mouth since it was really uncharacteristic of him. We are still very much embedded in out old ways, and it will take a lot of more work to free us from our old presumptions, and we will probably trip and fall a lot along the way.

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