Monday, July 22, 2013

Today's Internets - "I don't disbelieve, either." +SDCC.

Fantastic interview with Joe Rogan over at io9 about his new SyFy - Joe Rogan tells io9 why you should question the !@#$ out of everything
"I think most conspiracy theories are bullshit. Most of these “mysteries” can be solved fairly easily. And most of this shit really starts to depress me, particularly when you get into things like government schemes and efforts to control the population — that shit kind of freaks me out and I’m really not interested in that. But I am interested in the really stupid shit — like UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, and psychics. And I’m also fascinated with the psychology of the believer — and that’s what this show has really turned into being a lot about...

Terence McKenna had a really beautiful thing to say about UFOs. He said that when someone tells you about UFOs, don’t ask them about UFOs. Instead, ask them about how they feel about psychics. Ask them what their opinion is on ghosts. Ask them if they believe in Bigfoot. You’ll find a pattern. And this is one of the things that I’m finding on this show...

You see, they’re not just looking to find out if UFOs are real. What they’re looking for is something magical and something mysterious that hasn’t been discovered yet. They’re looking for some excitement in their boring lives. One of the ways that I describe these people — and it’s really quite unfortunate — is that they’re a bunch of unfuckable white dudes. I haven’t found a single black guy looking for Bigfoot. I’ve look high and large, and it’s all white dudes in their late forties and fifties. It’s all midlife crisis people. They’re not the happiest people in the world — and no disrespect — but they’re looking for things to be real that aren’t necessarily real.

You must be a fan of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit. 
Yeah, I love that show. But the problem with that show was that they were always trying to call bullshit, and that is in my opinion is just as bad as trying to prove that all things are a conspiracy.

For example, one of the things that Penn and Teller tried to disprove was yoga. And they tried to make it out as being nothing more than stretching — and that’s ridiculous. As a longtime practitioner of yoga and a person who’s been involved in physical fitness my whole life, I can tell you, yoga helps you achieve altered states of consciousness. It is not just stretching. The only way you can say that it’s stretching is if you haven’t done it, or that you haven’t done it rigorously for a long period of time. You can achieve a state of calmness and of euphoria when you do yoga — and it’s not unlike a drug. I mean, it’s not like taking an incredibly potent psychedelic. But unquestioningly — without a doubt — yoga can do that to you. And this is based on my personal experience and the personal experience of many people who have done it. So when I saw this episode, I was like, ‘Ah, c’mon, guys.’ I love Penn and Teller, but they missed out on something in that episode.

...what I choose to focus on is how interesting it is. It’s not my job to try to prevent people from becoming dumb. There’s nothing you can do to spark someone’s curiosity or a joy of learning other than to express your own. You’re dealing with a very complex issue in anti-intellectualism. You have to consider the environment these people grew up in, what kind of despair they may have in their community, who their role models are — there are so many different variables when you’re trying to figure out why someone would embrace anti-intellectualism. But in my own experience it’s becoming less and less of a factor than it ever has before. We are experiencing, through all these incredible new channels and tools of exchanging information, an age of enlightenment that has never existed before. the very root of it, when you’re reading the bible or any religious text, you’re reading the work of people who lived thousands of years ago who were simply trying to piece together the universe and life. Some of their ideas are unfounded, some are ridiculous, or require total belief — they reek of human insecurity.

As for those involved in fundamentalist religions, many of them are simply not being exposed to enough alternative information or interesting science. They need to learn and accept that there’s still a lot of mystery to this world. Faith itself is a horrible mechanism that stunts the growth of ideas. It also stunts the act of questioning, and it does this by pushing the idea that you have to have faith — and that nothing has to be proven...

One of the most beautiful things about science is that it doesn’t require faith. What it requires is huge attention to the work that’s been done and to understand all the various aspects to that work. And in that, you can see the very building blocks of matter. You can see the very mechanism in which cells become a person, the very mechanism with which a seed absorbs water and becomes a plant, and how it uses photosynthesis to grow. All this is beautiful and magical. 

And it's scientific."

Baboons know what's up. 

"Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman couldn't attend the Sherlock panel at Comic-Con, but they were able to send a video message in their place. Freeman just gives a pleasant hello, but Cumberbatch decides to reveal the secret of how Sherlock survived his seemingly deadly fall in the season 2 finale... kind of."

"...out came Zack Snyder to take the chairman’s lectern. “Some shit is gonna happen up here,” he said. And then it did. Snyder started by telling us that it’s official that there’s going to be another Superman movie… and then bringing out Harry Lennix, the actor from Man of Steel, to tell us that Batman is in it. Lennix read from The Dark Knight Returns and that sealed it. And there it was, a logo on screen mixing the S shield and Batman logo. And Hall H  lost their minds. People were on their feet and screaming – literally screaming – and the girl next to me was in floods of tears."
"The biggest deal was, Snyder brought out Man of Steel actor Harry Lennix (General Swanwick) to use his cool voice to read the following piece of dialogue:

'I want you to remember, Clark… in all the years to come… in your most private moments… I want you to remember… my hand… at your throat… I want… you to remember… the one man who beat you.'

 Yup. Batman's speech from The Dark Knight Returns. Snyder said the movie won't be an adaptation of this film... but it will be inspired by it. The crowd lost their shit. The rumors that WB would be announcing a Flash movie in 2016 and a Justice League film in 2017 were seemingly unfounded; this was the only DC superhero film mentioned. But a Batman/Superman movie based even slightly on The Dark Knight Returns? That's more than enough to have us excited."

"Several months ago I sat in front of a nurse at my place of work after she received my report on my cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure. I work at a Bank, and it’s pretty cool that they offer free cholesterol screening and all kinds of other nice benefits. Anyways, she looked very puzzled. She was comparing my results from 2 years prior, to my most recent results. She finally blurted out “what did you do to improve this profile so much.” My answer nearly floored her.

Well Nancy, I started: Cooking in virgin coconut oil, and grass-fed butter I also switched out all the store bought grain fed beef I was consuming with grass fed beef I procure from a local farmer. I eat 8 ounces every single day. I switched out my 99-cent a dozen eggs with true organic free range eggs, and eat 6 of these whole every single day. Lastly (and probably most importantly), I reduced refined sugars in my diet and foods that contain excessive levels of Omega 6 Polyunsaturated fats (bye bye Tostitos – dang corn oil), as I believe those things create arterial inflammation resulting in increased cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is an anti-oxidant and repair agent in your body.

 "I knew what her next question would be, “but isn’t all that saturated fat bad?” I said well you tell me, my cholesterol went from 212 down to 167. My HDL went up 11 points (something I struggled with for years), and my LDL and Triglyceride levels were at the bottom end of the range. Even my blood pressure was a startling 104/70. She finally asked if I had any reading material I recommended, as these concepts were not taught to her in her days of studying health and nutrition."

"...when asked about his thoughts on modern super-hero comics, Morrison had a long, thoughtful answer. He pointed out that modern super-hero comics – and pop culture in general – are overwhelmingly dark and preoccupied with death and decay. He believes this reflects Westerners’ feelings that their countries are falling apart, with enemies they can’t deal with, corrupt governments, and bulimic madwomen for stars. (That is almost an exact quote.)  “There’s so much hate and meanness, and misunderstandings, and we’re already having a bit of a mental breakdown,” Morrison said."

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