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-   -   Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2071)

Bloggingheads 08-30-2008 09:33 AM

Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Afterthought

[Updated] A few minutes of this diavlog have been edited out; we promise viewers aren't missing anything important.

--BhTV staff

Abdicate 08-30-2008 10:12 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Dweeb!

ed fielding 08-30-2008 11:24 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Simply: Prolonged applause.

Markos 08-30-2008 02:34 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
A wonderful, fascinating and frightening discussion.
One thing though: I don't see why Richard calls it a "mistake" when a virus moves beyond its original host and expands into other species and multiplies at greater velocity. It seems to me that that would be considered success for a virus, as well as most any organism. That's why we celebrate Columbus Day and the moon landing.

Tao Jones 08-30-2008 03:07 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bloggingheads (Post 89121)
Afterthought

Technical complications have made it surprisingly difficult to remove this, despite Carl's reasonable expectations to the contrary. We hope not too many viewers are disturbed.

--BhTV staff

Ha, I thought it was just some running gag where a blogging head would say "They'll edit it out" and it never gets edited out.

bjkeefe 08-30-2008 04:17 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Carl and Richard:

If you're looking for pieces of constructive criticism. you won't find any here. Your conversation was flawless, a delight and a privilege to hear.

Okay, maybe one. I don't see where you get off bragging about your endless intrusions in your subjects' lives, and then feel entitled to leave your audience wanting so much more.

I'll make you a deal. I'll buy one more of your books for every return visit.

Ahhh, who am I kidding. I already own some of them, and I know I'm going to get the rest. So I'll just ask politely: Please come again.

Ocean 08-30-2008 08:47 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Well, not that anybody would necessarily care about how I feel after watching this diavlog, but I wonder if others had a similar reaction.

First, I did find it very interesting, although what seemed most fascinating was the psychology of the discussants. Both Carl and Richard did a great job exploring the different topics and presenting their views. I found myself identifying very strongly with Carl's state of mind, revealed by his facial expression of aversion, as he listened to Richard's description of the Lesch-Nyhan's patients. Carl's reaction were so down to earth, so to speak, that I felt relieved to see him making faces, while I was privately experiencing the same degree of revulsion. Now, this is not the first time that I hear about this terrible syndrome. But it is the first time that I hear such degree of detail. And most importantly, Richard's tone of voice and affect were a total disconnect with my internal experience of the story. Now, I can imagine that Richard has worked hard to be able to tell this story in the way he does. I will speculate that he has searched for every shred of compassion he could find to be able to reach out to these patients and spend time with them as he did and to find their dimension of "humanness". Most likely not an easy task. When Richard described the L-N patient having the gloves removed and whatever expression came onto his face, it felt (to me) quite surreal. I can only praise Richard's ability to communicate so effectively. I haven't read his books and I don't know how he interprets the phenomenon he describes. I'd like to hear from other commenters if they know about this. I've encountered similar experiences working with some (few) psychiatric patients. I have always been perplexed by it. There's something "non-human" that comes through. I've always interpreted this as our own inability (and fortunately so) to relate to extraordinarily pathological manifestations of these illnesses. Perhaps someone else will want to add to this.

And then Carl and Richard move on to talk about the scientists having sex on a tree? I was barely recovering from the unavoidable mental images about those people eating their fingers, when I'm thrown into silvicultural sexual imagery? Not fun! Maybe someone else got a kick out of this, but not me. Total turn off. No way. Nil.

And then they moved on to "normal" stuff. Sigh of relief...

After I finished watching, I was in a state of stupefaction for... what? Maybe ten minutes. Ten minutes! Blank. Slight nausea. Perplexity! I finally recovered and gathered my thoughts. I looked at what was going on in the forum: nothing, deserted. I had the fantasy that everybody else was equally perplexed in front of their screens. Motionless, listless. Unable to react.

I went for a walk and upon my return I started to write this, after having a delicious serving of my favorite dark chocolate ice cream...

That's all folks! :)

bjkeefe 08-30-2008 09:26 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 89150)
Well, not that anybody would necessarily care about how I feel after watching this diavlog, but ...

Shameless begging for validation. Lose ten points. ;^)

Quote:

... I wonder if others had a similar reaction.
I shared your instinctive revulsion to the L-N syndrome and Richard's stories. However, it was good exercise to try to overcome this instinct.

I found the sex in a tree part a non-jarring, even welcome, change. (Not to mention enticing in its own right.)

Quote:

After I finished watching, I was in a state of stupefaction for... what? Maybe ten minutes. Ten minutes! Blank. Slight nausea. Perplexity! I finally recovered and gathered my thoughts. I looked at what was going on in the forum: nothing, deserted. I had the fantasy that everybody else was equally perplexed in front of their screens. Motionless, listless. Unable to react.
That wasn't me, although I did feel as though I had just expended effort or something like that. In a good way.

Quote:

I went for a walk and upon my return I started to write this, after having a delicious serving of my favorite dark chocolate ice cream...
I had more coffee and another cigarette. The only walking involved was out to the kitchen and back.

Ocean 08-30-2008 09:44 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 89153)
Shameless begging for validation. Lose ten points. ;^)

Women shall be women...

Quote:

I shared your instinctive revulsion to the L-N syndrome and Richard's stories. However, it was good exercise to try to overcome this instinct.
That's true. But the first step of "overcoming" is to acknowledge, experience and accept. :)

Quote:

I found the sex in a tree part a non-jarring, even welcome, change. (Not to mention enticing in its own right.)
No comments. Forbidden.

Quote:

I did feel as though I had just expended effort or something like that. In a good way.
Yes, that's right. You captured it!

Quote:

I had more coffee
Good.

Quote:

and another cigarette.
I can't give my approval...

Baltimoron 08-31-2008 03:12 AM

Thank You, Carl and Robert!
 
Hands down , one of the best diavlogs I've watched in over a year. This was a loss LEADER. I could endure AA and CC, and all the other hacks, for the promise of watching this.

Welcome back, Zimmer!

I read Preston's The Hot Zone when I was enduring MI training. I had nothing I could do but watch TV, run until my knees unhinged, or read for 16 hours every day, because I couldn't study the material outside of the security facility. I was so bored, and my roommate was already using the room for fucking his GF There were only so many rooms for everyone. Training knocked out my will to read for a year. Then I read Preston's book-in 15 hours straight, right up until I had to take my daily quiz. And then, I just crashed, I had three months to endure. What could I do for another 89 days!

Please, write longer books!

No, I was freaked out, and I did develop an interest in nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons (NBC) that endures to this day. I volunteered for the NBC team in every unit I was assigned, even though it meant I would have to expose myself in warfare to NBC weapons even more than other soldiers whom it was my job to warn and protect. I was crazy for the stuff.

On L-N, it illustrates just how much of what we call fate, or agencies beyond our control, might be biological and ultimately changeable, even given the slow rate of mutations.

When Preston discussed his science/math studies, which I can empathize with, it reminded me about science education. What about a Prestonian science curriculum?

I get very downcast when people like AA and CC come on here and recycle talking points. They are third-rate thinkers who prosper in spite of their inferiority. But, Preston takes his strengths and weaknesses and creates something compelling and original. How many profs make any sense of Joyce, let alone something others can appreciate? Inspirational!

Wow!

Baltimoron 08-31-2008 03:24 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
If I recall from The Hot Zone, the virus becomes so potent after such a short period of time, it very quickly kills its carriers before it can jump to another. Humans are just not strong enough to live long enough to be effective transmitters. Plus, some people do have natural immunities. If people and other possible victims sat next to another, splattered in each others' blood and other infected fluids, like an assembly line, epidemics might last. But, there are gaps in transmission, either because of geography, quarantine, and just people taking precautions out of fear, like running away immediately. Ebola and other really nasty bug outbreaks always terminate as mysteriously as they break out for this reason.

bjkeefe 08-31-2008 06:37 AM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Good observation, Balt. I think Markos is right to object to the notion that that virus is making a "mistake," but there is a failure aspect to a virus that kills off its host, especially that quickly.

bjkeefe 08-31-2008 06:40 AM

Re: Thank You, Carl and Robert!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Baltimoron (Post 89162)
On L-N, it illustrates just how much of what we call fate, or agencies beyond our control, might be biological and ultimately changeable, even given the slow rate of mutations.

The thing that fascinated me (and scared the hell out of me) about L-N was the idea that just one tiny glitch caused such a massive problem. Man, talk about life being balanced on a razor's edge.

Ocean 08-31-2008 09:53 AM

Re: Thank You, Carl and Robert!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 89171)
The thing that fascinated me (and scared the hell out of me) about L-N was the idea that just one tiny glitch caused such a massive problem. Man, talk about life being balanced on a razor's edge.

And so much for the idea of free will!

bjkeefe 08-31-2008 04:27 PM

Re: Thank You, Carl and Robert!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 89175)
And so much for the idea of free will!

Huh. Yeah. I never thought of that.

(*Flees before endless philosophical discussion flares up.*)

Ocean 08-31-2008 05:03 PM

Re: Thank You, Carl and Robert!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 89191)
(*Flees before endless philosophical discussion flares up.*)

You are looking for trouble... Bored today? :)

uncle ebeneezer 09-02-2008 09:02 PM

Re: Science Saturday: The Mysterious Depths of the Universe
 
Yeah, these guys were awesome. One of the best Sci Sat's in a while. Richard's stories were truly compelling and both of them have such a talent for finding the humanity element in their subjects. I also really enjoyed the discussion of science writing. Thanks guys.

I'm headed out to buy some of Richard's books.


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