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Podcast > Saturday, 17 March 2012 22:49:04 EST

Dumbass Podcast 11: I'm Stupid, You're Stupid, Everybody's Stupid!

Keywords: aliens, ancient alien theory, conspiracy, historical


A short episode devoted to answering visitor comments

Timeline
End Of Segment 1 (Comments & Emails): 21:32

Links/Topics Mentioned In The Show
Stuart Robbins' Exposing Pseudoastronomy Podcast
Gold Human Headed Winged Cobra
Yourestupid's First Comment
Yourestupid's Second And Third Comments
Theme Music By Jonathan Coulton
Other Music By Danosongs.com

Images Referenced
The Gold Human Headed Winged Cobra From King Tut's Tomb


Can You See What's Odd About These Random Images?

Enjoy the show!  Here's the transcript:
Welcome to the eleventh episode of the Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge!  This is going to be an intentionally short episode today.  As those of you who listened to my last episode will know, I'm trying out new ways of doing things to bring out some shorter episodes more frequently.  So far it's looking good for getting more episodes out, I've actually got another episode written and partially recorded, but in the midst of that I had some ideas for an episode that I wanted to get out there so I'm recording that first and I'll finish the other one some time in the near future.

This episode will be mostly dealing with some emails and comments I received.  I got some particularly interesting ones since last episode and I thought it would be interesting to make one episode devoted to just looking at them.  The first is an iTunes review for my other podcast, the Invisible Sky Monster podcast over at invisibleskymonster.com.  A user by the name of siaknimike gives me five stars and writes:

For some reason i cant download this podcast. I still gave it five stars because ive heard that it is great and im sure that the problem will soon be fixed.

I love this! I didn't know that was a thing people did! You can rate a podcast and give a glowing review just because you heard it was good - you don't have to listen to it at all!  Hear that AstroStu? Yet more evidence that your dedication to actually listening and trying to prepare a thoughtful, constructively critical review was totally misguided!  

On that note, I have a message for anybody listening to this podcast for the first time: I know you haven't really heard enough of me yet to get an idea about whether you like the podcast or not.  And perhaps an experimental episode like this one isn't the most representative of the podcast as a whole.  But just ignore all that.  Put it out of your mind! I assure you the podcast is solid gold, you don't need to even listen to another word I say, just turn off your MP3 player right now, log into iTunes, and give both of my podcasts a 5 star rating.  And make sure to write a glowing review as part of that. It doesn't matter if you haven't heard enough to comment on anything, just make stuff up about how awesome I am!

And when you're recommending either of my podcasts to a friend, just make sure to tell them that they really don't have to listen to it if they don't want to.  Why waste the bandwidth? They can just take your word for it and write me a 5 star review on the spot. I mean, they trust you to know what's good, right? There's no reason they should doubt your word, and if they do I think that's a sign that you probably shouldn't be their friend anymore. And if it's your spouse I think that's completely reasonable grounds for getting a divorce. Nobody could blame you, I mean, relationships are supposed to be based on trust for goodness sake!

Anyway, I'm assuming that siaknimike's problem is the same as the one I've been told about before - for some reason iTunes doesn't want to download my podcasts on an iPhone or iPad.  See last episode for my rant about Apple and iTunes.  If anybody knows siaknimike, please tell him to try downloading the podcast from a desktop computer, or go to the website and open up the RSS Feed.  If you just click on the link for XML in Feedburner you get a link to the file that should download to your device without any hassle.

I also got a comment from a user named Charles InSanDiego.  Charles writes:
   
Hey, Dumbass: Thanks for the latest 'cast. I've caught up with your back-catalog, and await more episodes with eager anticipation. Re: Issues of style: I enjoy your manner of speaking and the way you arrange your podcast. I advise you to trust your own sense of style and ignore those who would have you "improve" your podcast. Improvement may happen, but, please let it be YOUR improvement. Love 'n' hugs, Charles InSanDiego PS: Tell Dr. Stewart I said "Hi".

By "Dr. Stewart", Charles means my good frenemy Stuart Robbins - the "AstroStu" who I mentioned earlier.  Apparently Charles likes to post comments on Stu's blog.  I'm not sure what was stopping him from greeting the man himself, but I passed along the message. And by the way, if you haven't yet, take a listen to Stu's "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" podcast.

.... After you've finished listening to this podcast, of course... this will be a quick episode, I promise!

Anyway, Charles, thank you very much for your concern.  I assure you that any changes I make will be completely my decision.  If I take any advice it's because I think it might have some merit.  I have no intention of just mindlessly letting others dictate what I do with my podcast, so please have no concern about that!

I also received three comments recently that I'm pretty sure were written by the same author.  The first was written under a different username, but the IP Address appears to be in the same general range, and this author seems to enjoy writing extremely long rants without bothering to form them into paragraphs.  That should be illegal, by the way.  Don't just make somebody read something that long without breaking it up!  I mean, I felt duty bound to actually read it all, but there's no way I'm responding in the comments section and encouraging this person to post more! I mean, Holy crap, paragraphs exist for a reason! Nobody likes to read a huge block of text that's not broken up properly.  Even the most exciting book in the world would be difficult to actually read if the author didn't use paragraphs!

Anyway, this author first posts under the name "bbsays", and the next two times posts under the username "yourestupid". The most recent post is entitled, in all one word, "Yourenotonlystupidbutatotalidiot".

.... Hard to tell so far what this person thinks of me.  They're being so ambiguous.... I hope this person is writing in to tell me how great I am! I love getting those comments!  I'm sure that's what this is, but let's have a look and see... the second of the comments is kind of short and sweet:
   
That is real stuff, and the fact that you laugh about it instead of even questioning it for a second shows what a poor person you are. And the fact that you have a blog, says even more. Death to all idiots. So, die.

..... well that... wasn't... complimentary.... *shaky breath*

Pull yourself together Dumbass! Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you! Sticks and stones! Sticks and stones! *deep breath*  I am a kind and wonderful podcaster.  People value my opinions, and I am worthy of respect *deep breath*

Okay, I'm centered again, sorry you had to witness that. Anyway, Yourestupid's comments seem to consist mostly of attempts to gish gallop me by challenging me to answer other aspects of Ancient Alien theory that I haven't covered.  It's an incredibly easy tactic to put into play, because there are just so many Ancient Alien claims out there.  Just covering the stuff from one episode has taken a lot of effort so far, there's no way I can cover all the stuff that Yourestupid just threw at me.  So I'm not going to read most of it.  The comments are on the website if you want to look for yourself, though I wouldn't recommend it. (have I mentioned that there are no paragraphs? UGH! Just looking through them again right now is giving me a headache!)

Anyway, I will highlight my favourite parts of these messages, and briefly go over some of the arguments made.  Some of it is stuff that I've already dealt with before in past episodes, like the straw man argument implying that I somehow believe that humans are the only intelligent beings in the universe. And then there's the always present implication that I have a bad attitude and am just dismissing these people out of hand and mindlessly throwing insults.  And, of course, there's the idea that I'm right, buuut... (Oh I just love those big butts!).  Yourestupid falls right in line and says:
   
As far as the Ancient Aliens program, it's definitely a stretch, most definitely. But how does one account for...

Like I said before, even if YoureStupid is right, and all this other evidence is absolutely undeniable, I'd still feel absolutely justified in criticizing the Ancient Aliens show for putting out these poor arguments.  I'm not the person Yourstupid should be angry at! Instead, this anger should be directed towards the Ancient Aliens show for being such a poor representation of these arguments!

Now take a listen to this little gem:
   
Really? People of this time builty these monuments to this precision, and they weren't "smart" enough to have a wheel or pulley system, and we're supposed to believe they had ramps to transport these stones?

This sentence almost made me wonder whether I was falling for Poe's Law.  It's entirely possible that Yourestupid could be just pulling my leg here.  It sounds almost like this could be said in a sarcastic way so that it actually agrees with what I'm saying.  I'm very confused... but from reading all the rest of the comments I tentatively believe that this person is in earnest about disagreeing with me.  A few things nag at me in the other direction, but I figure it's probably best to take what people say at face value.

But anyway, just for the record, we know that the ancient Egyptians actually did have pulleys, and that they built ramps in order to build the pyramids.  We have the remnants of both, so there's really no question on the matter.

Yourestupid apparently also read my fifth article on Ancient Aliens, the one I covered in the very last episode of this podcast, so it should be fresh on everybody's minds.  Yourestupid commented on the story I told about Li Bing:
   
Also, I liked the example used about the Chinese man who built the irrigation system by heating rocks and then applying cold water. That's great, good idea. I just wanna know how that factors into the pyramids and what not. So they may have heated very large sections of rock and just used some cold water to pop them out, to help form the stone. Right, so they had fires constantly burning at a quarry somewhere, and I do mean fires, because they'd apparently have to heat a mountain side or something to have done this to so much rock. How were they heating this? Was there a huge expanse of trees and burnable material to do so?, Coal maybe? Right.... So now we're reduced to thinking up the most illogical means to how these ancient structures were built.

Yourestupid obviously completely missed the point of that story, which is strange because I don't know how that's possible.  I thought I spelled out my point pretty clearly, I don't understand how it's possible to get confused about what I was trying to say.  But let me spell it out one more time: my point was that ancient people had the ingenuity to figure out ways of doing things that would not necessarily occur to modern people looking at what they did thousands of years later.

I was *not* advancing the rock heating solution as any sort of theory about how the pyramids were built.  I didn't even mention the pyramids in that article. There seems to be some sort of communication barrier between me and Yourestupid here that I just don't know how to overcome.  Anything I say, no matter how clear and concise I try to be, is liable to be misunderstood and straw manned.  I don't think I could actually have a meaningful back and forth conversation with this person.

But I'll continue trying to answer the most relevant parts:
   
I find it extremely odd as well, that through ALL of this, people have neglected the accounts that were left behind by the people. We find it very, very hard to imagine that they might have been telling the truth. The gods, or aliens; though were written as have influenced their life, we don't believe it... at all. We don't even take their word for it, because we haven't seen gods, or aliens.

I think this point of view completely ignores the fact that we know that people make up stories, and that they do it quite often, and that they have done so throughout history.  We also know that very many of these stories are spiritual or supernatural in nature.  If you want to accept all these stories from the ancient world at face value as actual eyewitness accounts, then you have to believe that ancient people never just made up these kinds of stories.  Which is ridiculous.  But perhaps you don't believe that, perhaps you believe that many of the stories *were* made up, but that there are *some* stories that were actually based on true life events.

Okay, let's assume that might be the case.  Now the question is "how do you tell the difference"?  Do you have some sort of logical criteria to distinguish between the stories that actually happened and the ones that were just made up?  If not, then what business do you think you have interpreting any of these stories as being some sort of true eyewitness account? If you don't have any way to tell the difference between a fictional supernatural story and one that actually happened, then you can't use *any* story as evidence of anything.

Moving on, I like how Yourestupid starts the last comment:
   
I just read the whole thing, to know how stupid you actually were, and you even surprised me

This was regarding my first Ancient Alien article.  You know what, I have no complaints about this sentence.  I actually appreciate it when people take the time to actually read what I wrote, even if they're only doing it in order to rate my stupidity.  Thanks Yourestupid, I really appreciate it!

Yourestupid goes on to criticize me about the Golden Flyer, which I've been over countless times before.  But Yourestupid at least has a little bit of a new angle on it:
   
About the golden figurine being mythical creatures???? Lol, not the publisher, but what are you smoking? And if they were mythical, why carve them in gold to be preserved when they just imagined them?

Okay... so according to this logic nobody would ever fashion figures out of gold that represent purely mythical creatures?  How do I even answer something like that except to say "go to a museum" "watch a documentary", or "talk to an archaeologist".  People throughout history fashioned mythical creatures out of gold all the time!  I just spent one minute on Google and found a gold figure of a human headed winged cobra from King Tut's tomb.  If you're going to argue with me that this was somehow a depiction of a real thing, then you can pretty much write off any depiction of a mythical creature as being real and there's no point in even having a conversation about it.

Next is the inevitable argument that because they got the "golden flyer" to fly that proves an advanced understanding of aerodynamics. But Yourestupid takes it one step farther:
   
the aerodynamics of the object actually work and it can fly and they are even more developed than the aerodynamical knowledge we have nowadays

Really, they had better aerodynamics than we do? Where is *this* argument coming from?  I've already been over the fact several times that the golden flyer *wasn't* aerodynamic.  The only way they got it to fly was by cheating, pure and simple.  They redesigned everything that wasn't aerodynamic and made it aerodynamic.  So this is nonsense, but even if the argument was somehow valid, how would that lead to the conclusion that these ancient people had *more* sophisticated aerodynamics than we do today?

Anyway, Yourestupid is eager to let me know that he or she isn't some crazy religious person"
   
i'm not a crazy religious person, i have actually always been very sceptic, also being a very scientific person and a ucla physics graduate, but this is just all proof that no one can deny, not even a scientist, and the fact that you do it so casually without any background knowledge, shows really how much credits you deserve.

Hear that?  I'm dealing with a UCLA physics graduate here!  At UCLA they're so elite that they teach you not to do anything as common and pedestrian as forming your sentences into paragraphs.  You also don't have to pay attention to the common people's way of spelling things, dictionaries are for the mindless masses.  If you're a student at UCLA you have to make all your homework just one big blob of text with no formatting whatsoever, and make sure to use plenty of non-standard spellings.  They're not mistakes, they're features!

And it seems at UCLA it's perfectly permissible, when writing an article disagreeing with somebody, to call them an idiot, or remark on how stupid they are.  It's only natural that you'd expect this kind of high quality intellectual criticism from the graduates of such an esteemed institution! Their epic flame wars fill the pages of the best scientific journals!

Yourestupid is also concerned that writing such long posts on my blog may be giving me more attention and credit than I deserve:
   
At the same time though i find myself writing here and giving you a little importance, which is exactly what a sad guy insulting so casually people's believes like this is looking for, a little attention, so i guess you achieved your goal. I'll let you go back to your mom's basement now. But still, thank you for this blog, cause i was just looking for the pictures of the jets and sadly this is the first one that popped out. I still hope all idiots die though, so die.

Oh geez, I really hope this wish doesn't come true.  I don't want to die right now, all alone here in my mom's basement. "Hey Dumbass, when are you going to get off that infernal computer and get a job?" "Shuttup Ma! I'm busy here! People are waiting on me to put out this podcast, it's important!" *SIGH* mothers!

Anyway, I'm glad I could help out Yourestupid at least in some little way.  And I'm glad that my articles and the images within are ranking highly in Google searches.  And it's true, I *am* an attention whore, so I really am glad that Yourestupid decided to post these comments.

Yourestupid continues:
   
And i'll see you on december 21th, which is obviously bullshit too, because of course the Maya didn't have a way better astronomical knowledge and an extremely more exact and specific calendar than ours...

Oh, actually I'm down with that one Yourestupid!  Obviously the world is going to end of December Twenty Firth. Twenty-One Tee-Aitch - it's not a mistake.  Any UCLA graduate will tell you that that's obviously the way it should be spelled.

But yeah, I'm completely on board!  I know Stuart Robbins will disagree with me, but screw him! What does he know?  Sure he's an expert and actually makes a lot of sense, but on the other hand, they made a movie about 2012!  You can't argue with that! But if you want to hear his feeble attempts using silly things like "knowledge" and "reason", check out his Exposing Pseudoastronomy podcast.  I'll put a link in the show notes.

Anyway, Yourestupid ends the whole long comment wonderfully:
   
Thank you all, bye. :)

Well that was a really nice touch, the thank you and the smiley face at the end.  Gives me the warm fuzzies it does!  I feel good about the way this all ended.  We hashed things out and I think Yourestupid and I are friends now.  I'm all about making new friends, and I hope that you - yes you, the person sitting at your computer or going for a nice walk, or doing some spring cleaning while you're listening to this podcast.  I hope that you will also be my friend, and maybe one day the whole world will all become friends and we can all join hands around the globe, united in a brotherhood of humanity.  I would like that very much, and I look forward to that day.




Before I wrap up this episode I want to announce that I've come up with an idea to reinvigorate my giveaway plan.  As you know, my attempt to solicit nonsense quotes for a prize didn't generate much attention.  But I'd still like to give away prizes, and I've figures out how I'm going to do it.

As I see it, I don't have to have just one thing that I'd give a prize for.  New nonsense quotes are always welcome, but in addition to that I'll add new options for things you can do to receive something.  Little contests or other ongoing challenges.  I think it will be fun!

This episode I want to put out a little challenge to all my sceptically minded listeners.  I came across this booklet in a dollar store called the Cambridge ESP Test.  It's from Cambridge so it must be good, right?

Anyway, the booklet contains 9 tests, each made up of 20 blank boxes, which you are expected to fill in with guesses from a selection of 4 images, which are different for each test.  The object is to try to get your guesses to match as closely as possible to the answer key in the back of the booklet.  Here's how the booklet explains the task for test number one:
   
Below, you will find pictures of four different types of vehicles.  These same pictures will appear, at random, in twenty frames on page 23.

I looked ahead at page 23, and I noticed something a little odd about these randomly selected images.  There's something not quite right about the way they did this.  I looked ahead to the answers to the other tests, and this odd thing holds up for all of them.

I'm posting an image of page 23 on the show page.  What I want you to do is go to dumbassguide.info and look at this image.  See if you can figure out what I noticed about these random images. It's not something that would affect the validity of the test, but it's something that's worthwhile talking about.  The first person to answer correctly by commenting on the blog or sending an email to *EMAIL* will win a prize.

And that brings us to the end of this episode of the Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge!  Follow me on twitter, my handle is @DumbassMedia.  And check out my other Dumbass Media Empire production, the Invisible Sky Monster Podcast at invisibleskymonster.com.  My theme music is My Monkey by Jonathan Coulton.  Write me a 5 star review on iTunes, comment on the blog at dumbassguide.info, and send me email at *EMAIL*. I appreciate all of it, and I'll see you next time on the Dumbasses Guide To Knowledge!



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