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105 Good Podcasts : Freakonomics Rules

Being catching up on Radiolab & Freakonomics pods

- In an excellent edition of Radiolab about sudden changes in POV

Yes challenging stuff can seem impolite, but it is the right thing to do.
- In an excellent edition of Radiolab about sudden changes in POV, a girl pissed off with her friends attitude of not accepting things changed her mind when she saw how it changed someones life (Also features a science analysis of Jasper Carrot's TV gameshow)

...features fun-fact most other animals are randomly left or right handed, except humans and liguistic parrots who are 90% left handed.

Why Bad Environmentalism Is Such an Easy Sell

A counter to the Ecopropaganda podcast, Freakonomics Radio (labelled as deniers) made a prog ": based around a paper by Ed Glaeser He highlights 3 Eco ideals
1. That bamboo products reduce CO2. Not true he says
2. Electric cars : Jevons Paradox means people will drive more e.g. feel it's OK to commute further even though they are really coal powered so pushup CO2. He offered no evidence this happens. I met someone who commutes 84miles/day
3. Campaigning against construction of new San Francisco housing. - He argues that means housing construction is displaced to higher CO2 lifestyle areas like Houston
.. that to me is an obvious fallacy of oversimplication and is oen to dispute in many ways.. However the eco-commenters on the blog don't pick up on that.
- A much stronger prog questioning magic solutions could have been made, but given today's censorship it's interesting this made it to public radio.

housing supply isn't driven by demand
- people might move to SF eco develop etc.
- if uneco , people might cram in same space

Freakonomics podcasts - Impressive quality stuff

pick a theme and then a lot of fascinating facts emerge
Prog about jerks - A lot of people described Steve Jobs as a jerk. He was not a nice person to work with. Stubborn, bad tempered dogmatic, but did get things done. ugly

- drug costs - Looking at drugs from an economic point of view said that for hard drugs the biggest cists is the shootings and policing, so he supports legalising them, but for marijuana thats's not the same.

Learning a foreign language - not good value - seems to no net financial gain for English speakers, but does work for non-English speakers. I think the analysis maybe flawed they probably only looked at the US so missed the americans who are working abroad and earning higher salaries. But I do see some logic, if you learn the language of a richer country then you can move up. But on average Spanish speaking countries earn less, so rather than employ me to do spanish & English a company would find it cheaper to hire a latino worker.

third of worlds population is below 15, only 60% of adults are online

Nassom Talib identified a double fallacy with big data predictions
1. They think their predictions are accurate, when they aren't.
2. They are massively certain.
... rather than accept they have no idea, people have an illusion of certainty in the furure predictions.
e.g. 1. Google Flu trends did seem to work, but made no accurate predictions in the last 2 years.
- Do we know any other fields withthe same fallacy ..Yes Climate predictions

5 Live Investigates.. been very good recently ..in exposing consumer scams

16/3/2014 How laser Eye correction surgery has much higher problem/failure rate than people think. t goes wrong for 1 in 200 people compared to 1 in 2000 for normal surgery. and the companies use a non disclosure agreement trick to keep people quiet "shutup or we won't do anything to rectify your problems"
-Adrian Goldberg has a good challenging style

23/03/2014 Charities are risking alienating supporters with aggressive telephone fundraising. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/5linvestigates

Bollox science

Why are science presenters so crap at being skeptical and challenging things which seem BS

Naked Scientists if you pass a fast food on way home from work it correlates with making you fat and die earlier .. guarantee that doesn't bear close analsysis

something in SCIA right after apologising for getting it wrong on Jap stem cell breakthru they were toting ONE study as proof that elehants can understand different languages ..rubbish

Tech podss

The other progs I recommend are the Computer Radio on CFRA Canada, DownLoad This Show on ABC Australia, but normal

Spectrum on DW English , bit good, bit bad

10th March edition was very good

Spectrum is very good at Science and Tech Like 10t March show was very good.
- The problem with most science shows is that they apply no criticism and do not challenge the ideas , but that March 10 show did challenge the new malaria detection technique ..turns out existing techniques are quicker and easîer , but do yield false negatives sometimes.

2. and also it's item on Kenyan young farmers contradicted the dogma that "industrial farming is bad and green organic is a magic solution"

Back Down to crap

Just last week was good. The March 17th was bad
1. There is this new magic answer to Indian Electricity Blackouts this UDC device ..em you idiot journalist "what's the difference from the car battery solution villagers have always used ?

2. and that is not the only flawed item in that edition as the item about bladeless windscreen wipers is not actual news, but flawed speculation in what might be news .. The should just wait for McLaren to announce it instead of speculating..and one of their solutions ; ultrasonics is not so easy cos it would disturb animals who can hear it.

And their sister prog was crap about green tourism in Dominica, "Yes if we get less tourists we have success, cos that is good for environment"

Bad Science Reporting problems/fallacies

Summary of that story is "It's just a battery" but setting the context takes time.

- Yes long Gowri, Well that is the first fallacy of media news , that complex issues can be explained in short 3 minute media slot.

- But media keep doing this of sending an unprepared non-expert to do the interview.. when they wouldn't send their cookery journalist to do an item about a new car ! The journalists job is to get the truth for the public by challenging the assertion of the interviewee and if he/she cannot do that then should bring a second expert like Bill ! but all too often with science the journalist fails us and just accepts.. so 20-30% of the time I sit listening saying "what that guy just said is rubbish"

- Indeed there was one other important point, now what was it ? Ah yes, the UDC device is only the same as a UPS Uniterruptable Power Supply box that you need to avoid losing your computer work cos the power suddenly cuts and they'll be millions of them already in India.

Your issue of reducing the demand No actually UDC still does do that ..if people have electricity 24 hours they use the big fans etc. ..but when it is restricted to DC they can only use small.

Minsky the man predicted home market would go ponzi

and crash the banks ..Just recently I equate the home market to a ponzi scheme, as it perpetuates itself on everyone believing the people coming in after them will pay more for the same home

"Stability is destabilising", causes bank crashes said Minsky
This weeks edition of Analysis explained how Hyman Minsky the one economist who predicted the banking crash explained the market has 3 stages
1. Where customer can pay both interest and the loan off.
2. Where banks lend to customers who have enough to pay of the interest, as they assume they are covered by property prices going up.
Ponzi, where banks lend to anyone cos they assume that prices go up enough to cover payment of loan and interest.
He argued the ponzi stage happens when gov lets the market get too stable, if it is unstable it won't happen as risk will keep banks sane.
..hmmm its not just banks, but the property market, lending would be controlled in a falling market Minsky on BBC radio

Skeptically Speaking podcast

had dropped the skepticsm label and is called Science_for_the_People

- Robert Burton psychologist & author of The Certaintu Fallacy who I know is a climate skeptic was on at one point he mentioned climate in an example about how you can only hold 4 thoughts in your working memory at one time, and in conjunction with the brains built in self deception ..i.e the way we know how playing sport your brain moves your arm and them makes up a false backstory saying it was following info from the eyes. So we think sometimes we have made a rational call, when in fact we are relying on prejudices.

- I think there was some tricky editing going on, cos right after that you hear the interviewer say "but..", but then it goes onto the next item,
... then at the end Burton reals off a list of things including "climate denial" yet it's strange to think he used that term.

Perv "On perversion is normal"

This book is covered in many pods is about how all of us have strange sexual drives
...there was some fascinating fact.
- A lot of old sexual research is not valid as they relied on people self reporting ..and of course they often lied. These days the standard technique is to measure physical body response. And there is strange result. Whereas as most research shows that there is little overall difference between women and men here it is significant difference Women respond phsycally to all depictions of sex whatever sex, species etc. Whereas men only respond to women if they are straight or men if they are gay.
Women respond even to rape .. an inbuilt survival technique the experts suggest.
... hmm I'm not entirely sure .. there are some quite strong cultural factors, like men might be much more desensitized than women thru porn etc.

RNZ TWU has some good stuff, like animals have different click rates eg. elephant slow, but fly really fast so it can get out of way quickly before other animals pounce.
- but still CC brainwashing - like the guy hyping up the Northern sea route - actually not much has changed and it s not likely to

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a Stew Green opinion
Out of the box thinking
- from someone who was never in the box in the first place
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