Episode 452: Seeking A Friend

Pre-pod Patreon only: The world only exists for us as long as we’re alive. Ben’s favorite epitaph: “Anyway, it’s only other people who die.”

This episode contains: Devon’s been a skeptic as long as he remembers. Spoiler alert about Santa this week. If something doesn’t exist, would it be PC to say they’re a non-corporeal being? Ben can’t remember when he discovered the truth about Santa, maybe because he wasn’t traumatized. If anybody deserves presents more than anybody else, it’s orphans. Ben got his son a drum set. The kid gets the heart of a musician. If you’re starting drumming, get a used set on Craigslist, don’t spend more than $300. Did you know you can use Youtube videos of Rock Band to learn songs on drums? Makes sense.

Mind Reader: Reading The Mind with fMRI and AI. Researchers have been able to decode words subjects were thinking by reading their fMRI scan. If someone is looking at a giant letter E, it physically maps to the cortex, and the E appears there too. AI has been trained on fMRI scans to help decode and reconstruct language. Everyone’s brain is unique: AI can’t decode your fMRI based on other’s training. Mind reading won’t work, probably ever, since everyone’s brain is unique.


Old white guys can shut the hell up: Former head of Roscosmos now thinks NASA did not land on the Moon. Why is an angry old man who is a moon-landing denier at all newsworthy? BECAUSE HE’S WRONG. NASA really did land us on the moon. Denialism should be recognized and shamed. The Soviet’s Luna 15 mission was in orbit around the moon during Apollo 11. So many people spent so much effort to land humans on the moon. A win for humanity! Ben recommends the “Apollo 11” documentary from 2019. It’s 99% fresh on RT.


Big Question: What would you do if the world was ending tomorrow? Would that change if it was ending next year? Steven joins us for the back half of the show… the fun half? Let’s talk about death. Remember Steve Carrell’s movie “Seeking A Friend for the End of the World”? Also a Chris Cornell quote.  If the world was ending soon, society would collapse. At a longer timeframe, society would adapt. Would you let your children know if the world was ending soon? Ben hopes to approach the end of the world with a little apocaloptimism. If the end of the world was coming, Ben would try cooking tiramisu. What’s the worst that could happen? Steven suggests the darkest possible thing to do if the world was ending tomorrow. With the end of the world coming in a year, would you Bill and Frank it? If the end of the world was in 100 years… wait, are we talking about climate change?! If it’s 100 years to the end of the world, let’s all build rockets! Work together! Steven doesn’t have a bucket list. Should he?

Recommendations: Ben talks about the SO MANY Firefly comics out there on Comixology Unlimited. It’s really tricky to write the dialog right in Firefly comics. Devon’s been watching Daisy Jones and the Six on Amazon, really cool rock n’ roll drama. Daisy Jones and the Six seems like it’s based loosely on Fleetwood Mac. NOFX has got some real great albums recently. So cool they’ve been around for 40 years. Steven is digging season 2 of Star Wars Visions. The present, past and the future walked into a bar. Things got real tense.


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