Tag Archives: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

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Week in Geek Episode 4

Week in Geek, episode 4, recorded 9/14/17. News since last recording, including: a Die Hard children’s Christmas book; Last Week Tonight with John Oliver being renewed for 3 seasons; Patty Jenkins signs on for Wonder Woman 2; JJ Abrams returns for Star Wars Episode IXGuardians of the Galaxy vol. 3; and the writing credits situation with Thor Ragnarok.

Here’s a link to the Die Hard book: https://www.amazon.com/Die-Hard-Christmas-Illustrated-Holiday/dp/1608879763/

Our other podcast is Comparative Opinions, find it and old Week in Geek episodes on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes!

Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

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End of the World – Meme Monday

Just in general, this video was seeming like the right Meme Monday for today. This feeling was confirmed after watching last night’s excellent Last Week Tonight.

 

This was one of my original favorite Internet videos from way back on Albino Black Sheep, and one that my friends and I quoted a lot and that I still quote – and can recite – to this day. Enjoy!

Just When You Think We’re Done With It… Net Neutrality Is Back

Net Neutrality is a big deal to Holly and I, Internet people that we are. I think that it’s like that you, dear readers, are in a similar boat. If so, you’ve probably seen that John Oliver did a new segment on the topic… but if you’re new to the topic, well, here’s a few posts we wrote about it before:

Yes, it was John Oliver’s first take on Net Neutrality that made us into solid watchers of his show: we’ve not missed an episode since (and watched the ones before… this was the 5th episode I want to say!).

And it’s back. Sadly, no dingos this time.

There’s a call to action at the end, and the news I’m seeing is that, of course, this seems to have wrecked the FCC website again. gofccyourself.com

I’m not sure that I have much more to add to the discussion right now… except I guess on the personal side. If you’ve been reading here a while, you know we made a switch in our ISP – because we actually have choice where we live (and it’s not between any of the big carriers, so, yay Alaska?). I appreciate that we are living in the exception, and not the rule, when it comes to Internet access in America. So just because this doesn’t immediately affect us doesn’t mean we don’t care a lot about it. Hopefully you care too!

Last Week Tonight is back!

After a hiatus since shortly after the election – and after spending basically all of last season talking about the now-president throughout the presidential race – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is back! Holly and I have been anxiously awaiting this show returning, because once you get past an obvious bias, the topics covered and presentation are great.

As more and more news items have been hitting, as a new administration swings into gear, as more and more Americans are getting politically engaged and motivated, we had to wonder: what on earth was John Oliver going to start with in a show that’s only 30 minutes long?

Oh. Okay then. That makes sense. The place to start: reality. What is it anymore, in our increasingly post-modern times (my words, not his)? Well, here’s a good start at answering that question.

And where it ends? John Oliver’s current plan for action? This one had us laughing hysterically… and then had us really sad that something like this would seem necessary.

Enjoy?

Science Fiction Today – Scientific Knowledge

On Sunday, I got two chances to be thinking about scientific knowledge. About the things we’ve learned, the things that are true, the things that might be. My thoughts on this subject tend to go back to Foundation by Isaac Asimov. The era of change in those novels is all based on a period in the future when we stop advancing, stop exploring, stop innovating. Stop learning for ourselves, and instead rely on the collective knowledge of the past, the great experts of the past. Because everything worth knowing had already been discovered.

The end of science.

And every once in a while I run into situations where I feel like our collective knowledge is already flagging. Like with food. We have been cooking even more dishes that are combinations of the food groups, combining them all, feeding them to the Geek Baby and to ourselves. But often I think people just make or buy foods because we like them and not for other reasons. I’ve heard just about every kind of food defined as “comfort food” by someone…

But on Sunday, it was lawn care that got me thinking. Why do we even have lawns? Sure would be easier without all this grass, and the related mowing. And if the grass was already going to be there, why do I need to mow it? And if the grass is transplanted, why keep it? Why not kill it and replace it with more indigenous growth? And why deal with the weeds instead of just letting them go?

I can imagine reasons. Something with soil erosion. Wanting to have a yard for the Geek Baby one day (although we literally live next to a park). Having it all just in case we want it later… Because we’re not doing anything with it now. And that’s here, in a rainforest. What about somewhere in a drought? California???

Through the vagaries of my past, I didn’t grow up with a lawn or doing lawn care. It’s not like it’s particularly a school topic. It’s just kind of known… or not. Or else, it’s just kind of done… or not. And I was thinking of how it’s a small look at the sorts of knowledge that we can lose to time, to assuming it’s true or everyone knows it.

Then we watched this.

And that’s almost the exact opposite problem. New studies and new findings, constantly, always. Always innovating, always trying to carve out some new, interesting, click-bait worthy results. And not doing the secondary testing – the third and fourth. The repeatability that makes science what it is.

What’s scary with having too much scientific innovation without enough grounding like he’s talking about, is exactly the Al Roker quote. The post-modern moment of just taking a look at a bunch of studies, and finding the one that feels right to you. Holly and I didn’t even know what to say at that point. That’s just so not at all even a little bit what science is.

So what does the future look like? Do we have the old findings that we’re leaning on, and we don’t question them? Lawns, lawns as far as the eye can see… Or will we have a glut of information, contradictory, and providing no helpful guidance in life? Discredited and useless?