[Thunderdome] »« Deep thinkers, they aren’t

Now that’s good skepticism!

It’s a forlorn hope, though. Isn’t that what daytime television does all day long, promote frauds and phonies like Theresa Caputo, the “Long Island Medium”?

Comments

  1. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Theresa Caputo, the “Long Island Medium”

    Didn’t she live next door to Ray Barone? I thought she was dead.

  2. mikeyb says

    Is Ellen trying to compete with Oprah & become the new queen of new age woo? At least we know Sylvia Browne is dead so that fraud can regurgitate any nonsense anymore in these daytime shows.

  3. says

    Rebecca, you so rock. I agree, Ellen looks like she’s trying to fill that woo void Oprah left when she quit the talk show racket. I always thought she was better than that.

  4. atheistblog says

    Ellen is another Opera. And her Oscar was the one of the stupidest oscar presentation I have seen recently, and surprise surprise, other than money throwers PZ liked Ellen stupidest boring lazy oscar. What the heck she brought to the presentation, may be I shouldn’t expect her to be at the level of hugh jackman, but at least she should have tried. Why I am telling this here, because PZ was all over her during that day.
    Ellen is another Opera, live with it PZ. She is an another Huff Post, live with it PZ. That’s why you connived Ellen stupidity so far. Now you didn’t do it, that skepticism, still only adoring how good this video skepticism is. Ellen is another Opera, live with it PZ. Come out and say it.

  5. Abdul Alhazred says

    I notice a bit of snark about the Nobel Prize in Economics.

    Economics is ti the religious left what Evolution is to the religious right.

  6. Rey Fox says

    atheistblog: Could you please tell me where your atheist blog is so I could drink more deeply of your verbal diarrhea?

  7. chrislawson says

    Seize@11:

    I’m pretty sure Racist Lovecraft Reference is one of those bozos who thinks evidence-based economics supports right-wing political goals.

  8. says

    Caputo can talk to the dead? Well, so can I, and so can anyone. The trick is getting them to talk back, of course.

  9. Seize says

    @ chrislawson at 12

    Ah. I guess “religious left” wasn’t referring to Universalist Unitarians then.

  10. hoosierx says

    @chrislawson

    I’m pretty sure Racist Lovecraft Reference is one of those bozos who thinks evidence-based economics supports right-wing political goals.

    Does anything evidence-based support any right-wing goals? I’m genuinely curious.

  11. Seize says

    @ hoosierx @ 17

    That’s an interesting question. Mostly I think it’s challenging me because first we would have to nail down a set containing all right wing “goals.” Then we’d have to decided if evidence-based “anything” would be a set containing good-faith errors of people using evidence-based methods.

  12. nyarlathotep says

    The video was great, and I’m glad to see that signal boosted. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one befuddled by Atheistblog’s shit.

    Abdul Alhazred @7

    Economics is ti the religious left what Evolution is to the religious right.

    I’ve tried for a bit to come up with a sufficiently snarky response to this and have failed. I suppose I’ll have to settle for a simple: what the fuck are you on about?

    Mostly off topic: I sincerely hope drunkenness doesn’t become a banning offense.

  13. rorschach says

    On ya, Bec!

    As for Ellen, I have had the misfortune to sit through about 1000 of her shows during my lunch breaks in the last 10 years when people watched it in our tearoom, and she is exactly like Oprah(or trying), the woo, the cheap tears extracted from the gullible, and the parading of quacks like Caputo. Between her, Dr Phil and The Doctors, lunch was always an unpleasant experience.

  14. Snoof says

    Does anything evidence-based support any right-wing goals? I’m genuinely curious.

    It depends what those right-wing goals are. For example, if your goals are to punish the poor for being poor, to fight for inequality and injustice and to amass incomprehensibly huge amounts of personal wealth, then there’s bountiful evidence to guide you to your goal.

  15. tbtabby says

    Speaking of skepticism and TV, did anyone catch the newest MLP, Leap of Faith? It answers the question “What’s the harm in just letting us believe?” nicely, and it’s aimed at children to boot! Always nice to see critical thinking promoted to the younger generation.

  16. Tualha says

    Abdul Alhazred@7:

    I notice a bit of snark about the Nobel Prize in Economics.

    Are you aware that the so-called “Nobel Prize in Economics” is nothing of the sort? The Nobel Prizes were established by Alfred Nobel’s will. The Economics prize was established by the Swedish central bank several decades later, and is only related insofar as its name (“Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”) seeks to ride on the reputation of the Nobel Prizes; the prizewinners are selected by the same Royal Academy that selects some of the science prizewinners; and the medal features an image of Nobel.

    John Templeton could have established a “Prize in Memory of Alfred Nobel” for religious research, but that would not create a “Nobel Prize in Religion.” Of course, Templeton not being a well-known and long-lasting Swedish institution, such an attempt would not have gone over as well as what the Riksbank did.

    Economics is ti [sic] the religious left what Evolution is to the religious right.

    Citation needed, after you clarify what you mean by this rather loose analogy.

  17. Moggie says

    From the Pfft:

    On December 3, 2011, DeGeneres opened the show at the David Lynch Foundation’s 3rd annual “Change Begins Within” gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to raise funds to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations suffering from epidemic levels of chronic stress and stress-related disorders. She says: “TM is the only time I have that stillness… it gives me this peaceful feeling, and I love it so much. I can’t say enough good things about it. All the benefits that you can achieve from sitting still and going within—it really is a beautiful experience. David Lynch is such a wonderful man to start this foundation to help people.”

    If she’s a TM aficionado, don’t expect her to critical of woo anytime soon.

  18. Michael Fine says

    @7 — Doesn’t take much to get ‘em to shift gears to full commie smear tactic mode, does it?

  19. spacejunkie says

    “By the way, why do we think it’s OK for people to pretend they can talk to the dead?
    Isn’t that just fucked in the head?
    Lying to some crying woman whose child has died and pretending they’re in touch with the other side.
    I think that is fundamentally sick.
    Do we have to clarify here that there is no such thing as a psychic?”

    Tim Minchin “Storm”

    Says it all.

  20. nich says

    @atheistblog:

    Ellen is another Opera

    Assuming opera is some new internet slang for ignorance, your comment was fucking Wagnerian.

  21. Sastra says

    Rebecca Watson is spot on right here but I suspect she’s whistling into the wind. In the culture which Ellen Degeneres is trying to please — a mainstream America which also includes herself — the virtue of “Faith” is worshiped far more than the concern for whether the faith rests in something true or not. Believe in the impossible: it’s good for you. Believe in the supernatural: it provides comfort.

    There are far too many people who believe in the crap Caputo is selling. There are far too many people who WANT to believe in the crap Caputo is selling. And there are far too many people who believe that grieving people deserve anything that resembles the crap that Caputo is selling. Why? Because Little People can’t handle the truth. It’s no more wrong to lie to them than it is to tell a sniffling toddler that the vet took their sick old dog to a farm where he can run and play with the other animals. If the Long Island Medium is lying (or, just as likely, has more or less come to believe in her own crap), then it is a benevolent lie.

    Selling skepticism of people who talk to the dead is like selling being skeptical that God exists. There’s a ton of baggage cluttering up even the possibility of asking the simple question “but is it really true?” Daniel Dennett used to illustrate this problem by using the scene in the movie Dumbo where the mouse convinces Dumbo that he can fly because he has a “magic feather” (even though it’s really the aerodynamics of his huge ears.) If one of the crows in the movie had tried to tell Dumbo that the feather wasn’t really magic, the audience would have immediately cried out (verbally or mentally) “Stop that crow!” Dumbo NEEDS the ‘benevolent lie.’

    It’s a prop, but a necessary one. Rebecca is fighting a Little People argument: “they” can’t handle the truth. Even the disappointed faces of those in the audience who are neglected are presumed to be accompanied by HOPE. And FAITH. Which is good. If Ellen were to try to follow Rebecca’s wise advice there would be a lot of people who would think she caved to the forces of darkness. “Stop, Ellen, stop! Won’t somebody stop that crow!!!”

    That said, I’m still a strong advocate of whistling into the wind. Crows should be uppity. You never know when public approbation will turn. Given that Rebecca Watson is right and Caputo IS selling crap, the winds can shift. It’s hard to stifle dissent when we can argue not only truth but compassion. So maybe Watson’s open letter will have some small impact on Ellen and at least temper some of the enthusiasm towards mediums towards the medium. Would be something to crow about.

  22. says

    @ Tualha #25

    Are you aware that the so-called “Nobel Prize in Economics” is nothing of the sort? The Nobel Prizes were established by Alfred Nobel’s will. The Economics prize was established by the Swedish central bank several decades later, and is only related insofar as its name (“Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel”) seeks to ride on the reputation of the Nobel Prizes; the prizewinners are selected by the same Royal Academy that selects some of the science prizewinners; and the medal features an image of Nobel.

    Sorry to go so far OT but the “Nobel” prize in Economics is a skeptic’s nightmare. The game has always been rigged, to wit:

    To ensure the prize would be awarded to the right economists, the bank managed to install a rightwing Swedish economist named Assar Lindbeck, who had ties to University of Chicago, to oversee the awards committee and keep him there for more than three decades.

    http://exiledonline.com/the-nobel-prize-in-economics-there-is-no-nobel-prize-in-economics/

    And Nobel’s descendants blasted the Economics prize in 2005:
    http://www.thelocal.se/20120102/2173

  23. Tualha says

    http://exiledonline.com/the-nobel-prize-in-economics-there-is-no-nobel-prize-in-economics/

    Interesting article. I wish some more established and credible journalist had written about this, with a more objective tone, and published it in a journal without the rampant left-wing bias of AlterNet. Unfortunately, this particular take on the topic reads like a standard left-wing rant, making it far too easy to dismiss by those who disagree with its thesis.

    I wish the author knew the difference between a “pretense” and a “pretext,” too. Ick.

  24. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I’m pretty sure Racist Lovecraft Reference is one of those bozos who thinks evidence-based economics supports right-wing political goals.

    My recollection from seeing him on Ed’s blog is that he’s more of a “BOTH SIDES” muppet with the occasional moment of lucidity…but I could be misremembering.

  25. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I wish some more established and credible journalist had written about this, with a more objective tone, and published it in a journal without the rampant left-wing bias of AlterNet. Unfortunately, this particular take on the topic reads like a standard left-wing rant, making it far too easy to dismiss by those who disagree with its thesis.

    Oh, speaking of which…

    “Left wing bias” is another name for “accuracy and actually giving a shit.”

  26. witlesschum says

    “Interesting article. I wish some more established and credible journalist had written about this, with a more objective tone, and published it in a journal without the rampant left-wing bias of AlterNet. Unfortunately, this particular take on the topic reads like a standard left-wing rant, making it far too easy to dismiss by those who disagree with its thesis.”

    Eh, I think asking for unbiased journalism is beside the point and it’s just not going to happen. About the best you can expect is honest journalism, that declares its biases up front so you can correct for that and draw your own conclusions one way or the other. Unless you think there are facts not mentioned in said rant, or have a critique of why it’s accurate, but misleading, this doesn’t seem like a fair criticism. Objectivity in media, as usually practiced seems to me to usually inhabit a sort of centrism that pretends objectivity but actually has a fairly well-defined ideology in favor of official sources, the powerful and the status quo that is more pernicious, because it isn’t stated.

  27. says

    Seize, I’m unaware of operas about successful lesbians — sure there’s the lesbian Countess Geschwitz who’s fixated on the eponymous heroine of Alban Berg’s Lulu, but given the overall trajectory of the opera I’d refrain from employing the word ‘successful’ as a descriptor.