Open thread for AETV #801

Apologies to people who tried to tune in to the stream with Matt and Martin yesterday. It turns out that the sound card on the laptop we use for Ustream failed a few minutes into the episode. As a result, the audio output for the stream was completely unlistenable for the entire show, although the Blip upload and the podcast audio are fine. Neither Ustream nor the public access studio are at fault for this, so thanks for your suggestions, but please wait for more information before flooding us with requests to abandon either one.

While we’re on the subject of stuff that you should not email us about, here are just a few reminders. Yes, we are still working on bringing new shows back to YouTube. No, we do not have any immediate plans to produce new Non-Prophets episodes. Yes, the last episode was in October. Thanks for your interest.

Also, for those of you who have recently discovered the show’s chat room for the first time, welcome! There are chat room rules. If you break the rules repeatedly, deliberately annoy the moderators, or complain that the rules are stupid, you will be banned for the week with no apologies. Love you guys. 🙂


  1. says

    First to comment again – I actually had this written up in notepad for a few hours waiting for the thread. So copy and paste I go:

    The first caller was complaining about different scientists contradicting one another about whether there was something “before” the big bang.

    It’s a common layman misunderstanding that just because a particular scientist says something, that doesn’t mean that science has concluded that. We’s complaining about scientists debating and speculating, which is silly.

    What really bugs me is how society treats “studies”. Every time a small team of scientists perform a study, collect data, write up a summary and publish it, if the study is interesting, the media takes it and runs with it, and declares that this is what science has concluded. The problem is, most people don’t get that this is just another step in the whole process. The purpose of publishing the study was so that it gets peer reviewed. The assumptions and context need to be analyzed. The procedures need to be validated. The numbers must be checked. The conclusion must follow from the premises.

    This isn’t a conclusion of science. It’s the next step. The field, for which study is published, will then do a meta-analysis of that study with other similar studies, even the ones that contradict it, and come to a more comprehensive understanding of the topic. There’s no guarantee that each individual study was done right, or all variables were accounted for.

    That’s how science works… and rightly so. But the common citizen doesn’t understand that. All they understand is that one week “scientists” are telling them that coffee is good for you, and the next week it’s bad for you, and oh, the scientists have changed their minds again the following week… not realizing that these were separate independent studies that were doing different experiments.

    When something reaches scientific consensus, after much meta-analysis of many studies, that’s when you can say that science has drawn a conclusion.

    Not before… and certainly not when you have individual scientists debating about speculative ideas.

    I’d point out that the so-called “Global cooling scare” of the 1970s was entirely the fault of the media taking one scientist’s publication, where he argued that the planet may cool eventually, and exploded it into a “scare”. The rest of the scientific community was consistently concerned about global warming since the 1950s.

    … not that the layman can be bothered to enlighten him/her self to that much detail.

  2. jacobfromlost says

    People also have this annoying assumption that reality must be at least as simple as their current layman’s ability to comprehend, and **can’t be** more complex than their current ability to comprehend.

    I think someone should coin an “appeal to personal laziness” fallacy, as these people seem to think if something is too hard for them to understand (while make no effort to understand it at all), then it can’t be true. I think this underlying assumption explains a great many stupid ideas running around loose out there–ideas spawned by people who simply couldn’t conceive the complexity of the reality around them, so imposed on reality a flavor of stupid idea that appealed to them–a flavor based on culture, religion, or just personal taste or psychology (neurotic or psychotic).

    And these stupid ideas have the added benefit of not requiring any work, study, or research. (I guess the “argument by laziness” fallacy would be what I’m getting at, so it’s already coined. Oh well.)

  3. Rob says

    In addition to their dig at the History Channel, I heard today that the aforementioned channel will be airing a 5 part miniseries called, “The Bible”.

    My guess is that it is going to be wedged between “Ancient Aliens” and “UFO Hunters”.

  4. says

    I sent an email about this, but it might help to see if anyone in the comments thread also knows: I’m going to be in Austin on March 10th, and would like if possible to sign up for studio audience that day. I couldn’t find anything on the AXP or ACA website about how to do this. Anyone here know how? >.>

  5. davecampbell says

    Is there any way to rescue this week’s aftershow portion? As much as I love the show – and I’ve been watching faithfully every week for at least 5 years – I’ve grown quite fond of the aftershow and hate to miss it.

  6. Lord Narf says

    While we’re on the subject of stuff that you should not email us about, here are just a few reminders. Yes, we are still working on bringing new shows back to YouTube. No, we do not have any immediate plans to produce new Non-Prophets episodes. Yes, the last episode was in October. Thanks for your interest.

    Heh heh heh heh heh. Persistent little bastards, aren’t we?

    Why would people care so much about posts to YouTube, though? When the entire show is posted to, you’d think that would be good enough.

    Admittedly YouTube’s controls and full-screen are better. The version is a letter-boxed 4×3 video, so when I full-screen it on my widescreen monitor, I don’t actually get full-screen. Still, good enough.

    I really, really, really, really, really miss NPR, too, but I realize that things are all fucked up and up in the air, with the new building. Whining about it in e-mail won’t help any.

  7. Lord Narf says

    Yeah, I brought that up in an earlier comment thread.

    I don’t know how things are set up, technically, and what you guys rip the streams from, but there has often been awesome material in the pre-shows and post shows. Seems a shame to lose it. If it’s not a significant additional hassle, I think you guys should post the whole video and audio streams, not just the 58.5 minutes that go out on the air.

    Like I said, that stuff might not be recorded in the same way that the main show is, which could make it a pain in the ass to get the whole thing together. I have no idea how things are set up, down at the station. But if it’s just an aesthetic choice, I’d say to ditch the formal framing and throw everything up on the web.

  8. Lord Narf says

    Yup. If you’re really not in the mood, you’re likely to churn out shit.

    It’s not like my standup, which I can do even when I’m out of it, since I’m working from a script. The emotion is already built into it, too … and that emotion is mostly exhaustion, bewilderment, or anger, with my material. I can do those, no matter how worn out I am. I’ve got plenty of those emotions stored up.

  9. annabucci says

    I’m gonna listen to it now, since I couldn’t do it live. I’m so glad the audio didn’t affect the upload.

  10. says

    What I find baffling is the tendency for them to be annoyed that science hasn’t given an answer now, for any particular topic. I suppose that’s to be expected from a set of people who think they’ve been giving all the answers all at once.

    So for science to be as valid as their religious beliefs, it must be able to supply the answer to whatever arbitrarily chosen topic now, and it cannot change or converge on an answer over time, and it cant’ be complex, and by simple we mean how few letters it uses… you know, like g-o-d – that’s the simplest answer that “accounts” for all the data.

  11. annabucci says

    Ok so the show was good, the callers were kinda crap. The first guy kept trying to act like an admirer(I can’t tell if it was sincere or not, sounded fake) and then thought he had a good question to trip up the hosts. The response was quite simple and succinct and it seems that he didn’t really have anything else worthwhile to ask after “shouldn’t we be just as skeptical of science claims as religious ones” “we are”. It sounded like he probbaly had a lot of follow ups to that question with the expected answer of “no, we shouldn’t be more skeptic of science than religion”, but when that didn’t go as planned he was more off the cuff so he kept jumping topics and was a bit scatter brained.

    The second caller asking about supernatural phenomena was kind of annoying(not as annoying as the furst guy). When he gave an example of supernatural occurrence – an object moving without obvious reason – and was told this didn’t automatically mean “supernatural” he responded with “I didn’t say supernatural”, well yes he did say it, he said it in his initial question of paranormal activity. It’s in that context that he’s giving an example. The hosts gave a good response, pretty much the same as what I would’ve said.

    the third guy was nice. Thanks to martin for introducing me to the word hermeneutics. I had joined a skeptic meetup group in my area, which was mostly atheists. But I didn’t stick around cause they mostly just bashed christianity and it was kind of boring.

    Currently listening to 4th caller.

  12. thebookofdave says

    It’s a pity we haven’t developed the technology to weigh anonymous users solely by their online comments. Not only are we stuck with Poe’s Law for the foreseeable future, but we’re hopelessly unable to determine who deserves to be burned.

  13. Lord Narf says

    It sounded like he probbaly had a lot of follow ups to that question with the expected answer of “no, we shouldn’t be more skeptic of science than religion”, but when that didn’t go as planned he was more off the cuff so he kept jumping topics and was a bit scatter brained.

    Heh heh heh heh heh. Yeah, that’s why I love screwing with Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s so much fun to get them off script and completely flustered.

    “Well, no, I think the world is probably better than it’s ever been, and it’s likely to get much better in the next hundred years or so, if we can take society away from the religious zealots. Why would you think it’s obviously the End Times?”

  14. Lord Narf says

    I had joined a skeptic meetup group in my area, which was mostly atheists. But I didn’t stick around cause they mostly just bashed christianity and it was kind of boring.

    Hmm, weird. Do you not have local atheist groups, too? My local skeptics group is also full of atheists; there’s a huge amount of overlap with the atheist groups. But there’s a sort of “Science happens here; anti-religion happens here,” sort of thing going on.

  15. Jason Goertzen says

    A quick note about “if you eat of it you shall die.”

    It’s not necessary the original author was too stupid to notice an inconsistency. There’s only an inconsistency if you think the text means that God told them the truth. No fancy interpretation is needed here: God simply lied to keep the humans from becoming “like Gods,” which is exactly what the serpent tells the humans, to his peril:

    “You will not certainly die,” and “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    This is what happens. They do not die, but instead become as God(s!), as he later says: “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

    So they do not die, but God prevents them from being immortal, to prevent them from rivaling the gods. So ridiculous mythological story that it is, the author doesn’t have to have been an idiot who couldn’t see the contradiction in his own story: I think the original author’s intention is that God lied.

  16. Lord Narf says

    Ah, I just saw that you’re not an atheist, over in the other comment thread. It sounds like you don’t want them to discuss religion at all. You’ve got to expect some of that, since religion is one of the most important questions to be addressed by skepticism, given the current political climate in the US and in other countries. I think religion is doing more damage to this country than homeopathy.

    Certainly, though, if it’s all-anti-religion-all-the-time, I can see how that would get tiresome. Tell them to go bash homeopathy for a little while or something. I dunno. My local skepticism group does a whole lot more science-talk than it sounds like yours does.

  17. jacobfromlost says

    The sudden and inexplicable lapse into plural third person also makes me think this entire story was stolen from an earlier polytheistic myth and slightly (barely?) rewritten. We know that’s what happened with the biblical flood story and the Gilgamesh flood story. (It must have been wonderful back in the day to just steal someone else’s story, rewrite it for your culture, and pass it off as your own–or, at least, “new”. Who would know the difference? Most people were illiterate, and even if a few people knew the older version, most would probably love to hear a new version that made the story relate to their own people/beliefs/culture. In any case, anyone who has read the Giglamesh flood story and then read the biblical flood story will have to admit the biblical story was stolen directly from the Gilgamesh story. Only the names of the gods have been changed to protect the innocent…or whatever, lol.)

  18. Muz says

    In tech town again, on a different matter. Since ustream does stuff up for one reason or another now and then, is it possible to get any pre and post show stuff carried over into any of the other versions as well? That’s often good value.
    It may complicate some policy of using these versions as archives of the show proper I suppose, but doesn’t hurt to ask I hope.

  19. Yorkshire_geek says

    I was of the many who suffered ustream problem and watched this after.

    So I was thinking about the god of the gaps argument and that theism will ALWAYS be able to use that argument.
    e.g. we don’t know how big bang happened, therefore god, but supposed we find its spawned from a muliti-verse “bulk” so the argument moves to “we don’t know how the bulk was formed, therefore god”. Therefore science will always be able to allow someone to define a god.

    There is also a need, as discussed in this show of an element of mankind wishing a supernatural something to exist, e.g. ghost stories, love of supernatural fantasy (harmless but it shows the interest), etc. So I was wondering if regardless of the depth of our knowledge of nature, some people will always find a supernatural something.

    So my question is: will the idea of a god always exist regardless of how much knowledge we gain?

  20. Lord Narf says

    The sudden and inexplicable lapse into plural third person also makes me think this entire story was stolen from an earlier polytheistic myth and slightly (barely?) rewritten.

    Perhaps, or perhaps not. Tracie did a fantastic series, several years ago, about the henotheistic origin of Yahweh. He came out of the Ugaritic pantheon, as their war god, apparently, before he was held up as the only god in existence. There’s plenty of textual evidence, in the Old Testament, that the Jews were a bit polytheistic. Yahweh just demanded that he be their primary god, as Athena was the primary goddess of Athens, for example.

  21. Lord Narf says

    I was of the many who suffered ustream problem and watched this after.

    From the statements in the blog post, it apparently wasn’t “many” but “all”.

    So I was thinking about the god of the gaps argument and that theism will ALWAYS be able to use that argument.
    e.g. we don’t know how big bang happened, therefore god, but supposed we find its spawned from a muliti-verse “bulk” so the argument moves to “we don’t know how the bulk was formed, therefore god”. Therefore science will always be able to allow someone to define a god.

    Yeah, it’s an endless game of whack-a-mole. We, or those like us, just have to repeatedly slap them back down and explain that that’s not how logic and reason work. It slowly seems to be having an effect.

  22. anomie-p says

    I used to watch the history channel and court T.V. a fair bit.

    I don’t know that everything the history channel had on was necessarily accurate, but at least it was about history – and a lot of the court T.V. shows would boil down to something like ‘Guy states that guy had to be guilty because he didn’t think anyone who was innocent would act that way’ … but at least it would usually end up with ‘and then they tested the DNA’

    Both those channels have gone *way* downhill since.

  23. annabucci says

    I wouldn’t mind discussing religion, but this group is waaay too focused on the anti-christian crap. they have weekly bible study, just to make fun of the passages and complain about them. Holy shit that was boring. I stopped arguing about the bible when I was a teenager, they need to get over it.

  24. Lord Narf says


    Why the hell would a skeptic group do Bible study? WTF? That’s just weird. Entirely the wrong angle for a skeptic group to approach the subject. I can see why you ditched them.

  25. Yorkshire_geek says

    Atheists studying the bible, it depends what is your purpose?

    If the purpose is to actively reach into Christians and rip that apart using evidence from their holy book, then you need to know the bible better than the Christian. If you’re studying the bible for errors you are simply not an atheist and are trying to make more atheists.

    If though you offering a social support group to recent “probably I’m atheist” to solidify their recent move out of myths, then you are helping to solidify the position with as many angles as possible.

    I’d agree if you’re amongst a group of firm atheists who are just meeting socially, such as if surrounded by theists and simply need some moral support, then its pointless discussing the bible, its more useful to talk about all the horizons opened by not having a god answer to every situation.

    TAE is primarily where theists, mostly Christian come to either defend their position, or attack atheists, and it is helped by knowing their book better than them.

  26. Lord Narf says

    Still, that’s absolutely extra credit. Reading scholarly books about the Bible is more important than reading the Bible itself. Skepticism more appropriately deals with the testability of the religious claims. In addressing the Bible, the historical context (which does deal with tiny bits of the actual Biblical text) , early church history that contributed to the content of the Bible, and the activities of the more magical, fundamentalist nut-job televangelists are more appropriate subjects.

    Even Matt has admitted several times that knowing the whole Bible as well as he does is unnecessary. It’s just occasionally fun and a little bit useful to show Christians that what they believe, even within the context of their holy book, is nonsensical and inconsistent.

    And anyway, like I said earlier, the nonstop religion bashing is more appropriate within a specifically atheist group. In a skepticism group, religion should also be addressed, from time to time, even those new-age beliefs that Anna may hold, since it may help the small number of theists break out of their remaining superstitious beliefs. It shouldn’t soak up anywhere near even half of the time, though. There’s so much more to talk about, in a skepticism group.

    Are you in a particularly religious area or something, Anna? Atheists tend to be a bit more punchy, in that kind of environment.

  27. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Article: Wikipedia – Sumerian paradise

    Samuel Noah Kramer suggested the concept of a human paradise and the Garden of Eden originated from the Sumerians
    These have been suggested to provide the background and origin of the story about the fall of Lucifer from heaven […] In the myths, the intruder enters into the sacred space of the garden and lays hands on God’s tree, […] a sacred place invaded by an arrogant and presumptuous human, trying to take the position of the gods, from where he is banished to hell.

  28. fullyladenswallow says

    I believe the first caller, “Frank from Scranton”, was the same Frank who called Tracie and Jen a while back (show #789) and took a few swings at Matt in his absence and was rather obnoxious. He struck me as nothing more than a troll, out to rattle cages after “making nice” at the start. Matt was right to cut him off.

  29. edmond says

    Was this the same guy from last week who thought that an individual man could evolve gills from swimming back and forth from an island? Is this REALLY the state of science education in America? I understand that the hosts don’t really want to be his (or anyone’s, or everyone’s) educators, but it might be a good opportunity to give a nutshell-version of some of these subjects. It can be done. Their god knows how many OTHERS out there don’t understand these basic concepts, or what other concepts they so badly misunderstand.

  30. Yorkshire_geek says

    Right so this is about education levels.

    The sound of the voice implied an older person so pre-dates any recent decades on education.

    I guess we all remember school with a boring teacher and hard to concentrate, the kids who barely managed to pass any topic. It’s not just ACCESS to knowledge, but it has to be delivered in an interesting way. Ignorance is the default and being knowledgeable is a voluntary process.

    If that individual has managed to maintain a low level of knowledge, statistically it will have wider negative consequences on their health and their wealth with knock-on consequences on their children.

    So really the theism bit is the sympton, the cause is education, its quantity and quality.

    The USA’s education standards are stagnant, growing slower than other countries, that will feed through into a number of limiting effects, of which theism is one. For example if you’re one of those “end of world is nigh” types you’re not planning for the long-term. Whilst the world WILL end and there WILL be some some large scale extinction event at some point, the probability in each individual’s lifetime is extremely small so its not worth thinking about it in life-changing levels, but it is worth thinking about from a technology perspective so we survive the inevitable.

    The USA education system, I’m from UK and my eldest child went through USA state highschool, we were so unimpressed we passed our 2nd child through fee-paying education, with significant family sacrifice.

    I’m an atheist but I do not discuss religion at all with my kids, I focus on their minds and being open and knowledgeable, its up to them then what point of view they from when they apply their brain. I’d be disappointed if they turned theist but I’d rather them educated theist than uneducated atheist.

    Ultimately it is not important if you think a god exists or not, it is knowing god is not what drives mankind’s future and how we look after our species and our planet.

    The end goal is good science and society knowledge, not atheism.

  31. says

    Well, I would say that the former should lead naturally to the latter on its own. But concentrate on critical thinking and a good grounding in science and reason, to be sure.

  32. Yorkshire_geek says

    Martin I agree. Education and critical thinking should lead to either agnostic or atheist.

    My own journey to atheist was done purely internally, zero atheists around me and 100% Catholic. All I did was wrestle with conflict between the teachings and observation. i.e. I cared to be right.

    I didn’t even know of any terminology like the word “atheist”. It came to a head as my school was Catholic and I refused to pray they threatened with expulsion. So I had to then work up an atheist moral code. In the end as my moral code was more moral than the Church, I actually gave the Sunday sermons purely talking at the human level and no mention of god. I then converted a priest and a nun on a religous retreat as they tried to convert me but I gave my rationale. All without books. The issue then was those who left the church were unemployed, so I appreciate Dan Barker’s Clergy Project initiative.

    This was decades ago, pre-Internet and state-limited TV which parents filtered.

    So its possible to be atheist without any education, but much easier with education.

    I guess people like me were cropping up independently, many totally silent, but its only once you could get away without torture or murder (blasphemy) did it allow to be said out loud.

    If I’d have access to a fraction of the knowledge currently available I’d have got to atheist sooner and more confidently, less timid. After all my atheism was initially my own personal opinion without anyone to back me up. Even using pure logic you always wonder if you thought it out correctly.

    I struggle to understand with the current access to knowledge why atheism is like 95% with theists just fringe.

    Great to see TAE out there!

  33. Walter says

    I took my children to Unitarian-Universalist fellowship from a early age for the religious education, and freely discussed religious ideas and situations they ran into. UU religious education is NOT indoctrination, all are encouraged to ask questions and to state their opinions after as much research as necessary. The bible (old and new), the Bhagavad Gita (at least), the Heart Sutra and others, the Tibetan book of the dead, stories of Zeus et alia, the Koran. We always had good Yule, summer solstice, and especially Beltane celebrations. Great place for atheists, if you are accepting. the motto for our current church is ‘A church beyond belief…

    I thought that was better than ignoring it — innoculation, not indoctrination! Otherwise who knows what they could pick up off the street!

  34. Walter says

    Penultimate caller: ‘what if something just moved for no known reason?’

    We saw science handle that one when someone noticed that galaxies were not spinning like they should according to Einstein. So either a) god did it, or b) some heretofore unknown physical process was at work.

    So they postulated the simplest explanation (mass that does not have electromagnetic interactions), went to look for it, and found it by gravitational lensing and other effects.

    Just think of the galaxy as a book on a rather large coffee table….

  35. Yorkshire_geek says

    That’s the uselessness of supernatural. If you assume a cause which is supernatural, you don’t put in the mental and evidence rigor to find a natural cause.

    So seeking a supernatural cause will immediately produce evidence of a supernatural cause.

    Seeking a natural cause may not produce a natural cause initially, or for a long time, but eventually will find a natural cause.

    Assuming a natural cause is useful.
    Assumeing a supenatural cause is useless, been there, done that it was the history of man!

  36. Venoo says

    Regarding string theory called “theory”. In theoretical physics slang “theory” is often used in the sense “mathematical physics model” or “class of models” (but not “hypothesys”). Usually it is “quantum field theory” used in the sense “quantum field model”. So you can easily hear phrases like “quantum field theory sitting on the brane”, “in this limit we obtain some quantum field theory” or even “space of theories”.

  37. Yorkshire_geek says

    I’m going to spend a few minutes talking nonsense.

    My formal training was as mathematician.

    “Proof” is only a logically correct derivation from assumptions. I’m not sure if I remember correctly if a proof only was if the assumptions were valid, but I think that’s too tight so a proof is logically flowed from assumptions.

    Often to make the math simpler, to prove a theory we’d construct the exact opposite theory and then prove it wrong.

    I then later got into the sciences, in my case metallurgy, aerodynamics, electromagnetics (aircraft designer) and there is no such thing as a proof, only theory and then only degrees of evidence and acceptance of theory.

    All theories can be disproved by a single logic error or a single peice of anomalous data sufficient to critically undermine the theory.

    It is quite possible a theory to be proved false but is still “widely accepted” as no better theory is put forward.e.g. Einsten General Relatively theory is widely accepted for space-time mass energy but it is also well known to not account for physics at the small scale. Similarly with quantum field theory not handling warped space-time.

    Arguably, the Standard Model of particle physics is “false” as it is not adequately explaining the dark matter we infer from observation, but it does not mean the Standard Model is rejected, it means we know there is work to be done and a better theory out there to be formulated. Similarly noone thinks singularities as in black holes actually get to infinity but its “good enough” theory for our current knowledge.

    So I’d say theories are the best consensus accepted ideas and its not ever really “proved” but withstood many attempts to disprove and no better theory is available.

    I’ve Wiki looked up “theory” and it aligns with my experience working with scientists, it is a weight of evidence passed many reviews.

    The argument of “its only a theory, therefore god” though is not valid as god theory contains even less wide acceptance and has more holes than the naturalist theory being challenged.

    Overall, wider topic is that those who shoot down widely accepted theories like Evolution are not knowledgeable enough to be qualified to have their opinion. If they’re right they have to gather their evidence and get it peer reviewed, and critically put forward a better theory which has less holes than the current accepted theory.

    Einstein took 15 years to get his theories accepted like special relativity from 1905 to 1920 and he emerged from relative obscurity to highly respected.

  38. Venoo says

    Well, to do physics you should be aware about approximate nature of your models… on the other hand you CAN neglect (and always do) something to make description possible. We don’t call e.g. classical physics “false” rather it’s effective theory that offers good description in some conditions. And we can get these effective theories from more fundamental neglecting processes that are not relevant (produce neglible effect) for phenomena of interest.

    We don’t use and will never use Standard Model or more fundamental theory rather than classical physics to describe movement of billiard balls because this is stupid – this is stupendously hard problem taking into the account all minor features that are completely irrelevant for billiard game.

    That’s actually applicable to the talk about evolution, abiogenesis and other stuff. We are interested in particular processes in particular conditions and how these conditions happen to be or what happens on subatomic or metagalactic level is irrelevant and can be neglected.

  39. Yorkshire_geek says

    We used to use stress calculations and the whole process was based on some maths some physics and a big fudge factor. Due to the inherent random differences in physical things, you can never accurately calculate something physical to safely then throw an aircraft in the sky and know the exact speed it would throw apart. So you’d back off about 2/3rds from what testing shows is the upper limit and that’s the elastic limit, inelastic (bent but flyable) was another safety factor above.

    That’s accepting that nature has some chaos and what’s important is having a good model which applies in as many cases as possible. If we’d tried to get too accurate it forces more confidence in your models.

    So there is the concept of “good enough” models.

    Of course if someone is determined to shoot holes they can “you don’t know exactly what this thing can take” is true and if they wanted they can stretch that to “so you don’t know for sure” to “hence you’re wrong” “hence my method using this magic feather is just as good as yours”.

    Ultimately it is the practical usefulness of a theory which matters.

  40. terrycollins says

    It’s not a technical problem. I once recorded the show’s stream with the aftershow, along with the chat banter. People loved it, and I was willing to do more, but Matt D himself asked me to take it down.

  41. says

    I got a response with information, and it seems that is indeed the case.

    I suppose I modeled my expectations on the studio for Public Access down here, which can barely fit a camera crew (I expected to need to sign up for it, at least >.>).

  42. Lord Narf says

    Yeah, apparently they got moved to a bigger studio, which has room for at least a couple dozen people. Austin has one of the best public access programs in the country.