Genius Podcasting

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Genius Podcasting

Postby David Quinn » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:23 am

Hi all,

We're thinking of getting into podcasting this year, via the audio conferencing facility within Skype. In effect, it means recording Skypecasts of philosophical discussions involving 3 or 4 participants - along the lines of the Hour Of Judgment radio series we did a few years ago - and then making them available as podcasts on the web. The main differences this time will be more flexibility in structuring the discussions and the ability to talk to people from all over the world.

The technology now seems to be ripe for this sort of thing. The appropriate software has only come out in the past few months, and Skype in particular is becoming quite popular. Dan and I have already done a couple of test runs and the results in terms of sound-quality are promising. You get the occasional drop-out, but the clarity of the recording overall is very good.

I'm looking to compile a list of potential candidates for the show, which is where I need some help from you guys. If you could throw a bunch of names my way, it would be appreciated. Anyone who you believe would make an interesting guest on the show - no matter how fanciful. They don't have to be well-known to the public. It might be someone you know personally. Philosophers, scientists, gurus, religious authorities, feminists, comedians, whatever. You could even nominate yourself, if you wanted to.

As far as I can tell, no one on the web has yet made podcasts of philosophical discussions involving people from different locations. But I could be wrong about this. If anyone has found comparable recordings, can you please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

David

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Last edited by David Quinn on Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Trevor Salyzyn » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:11 am

I would suggest you get an authority on postmodernism, and interview them on the place of truth in the world, since this topic comes up so frequently. Also, a neoconservative might be interesting, since those theories are starting to gain prominence in American politics (particularly the idea that only the elite should have access to truth, and that fictions should be used to control the masses).

I don't know any specific big-shots from either camp who are still alive. The people who initially forwarded the theories (such as Foucault and Strauss) all seem to have died in the last couple decades. But a second-generation scholar would certainly have a broader view, and would probably be more enlightening than the big-shots anyway.
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Postby Jamesh » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:25 am

I'd approach the Edge Magazine, to try a get them to send out an email to its contributors asking for expressions of interest (I doubt they'd supply the email addresses ) - they might be reluctant to help as they could view you as competition.

The beauty of trying to work with The Edge is that you might be able to get links put up on there fairly busy site.

http://www.edge.org/

They ask questions such as:
"WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"
(117 contributors; 60,000 words:) Howard Gardner • Nicholas Humphrey • Marc D. Hauser • Daniel Gilbert • George Dyson • Daniel C. Dennett • William Calvin • Lawrence Krauss • Neil Gershenfeld • Joseph LeDoux • Stephen Kosslyn • Philip W. Anderson • Kevin Kelly • Paul Davies • Haim Harari • Janna Levin • Steven Pinker • Alison Gopnik • Martin E. P. Seligman • John McWhorter • Freeman Dyson • Robert Sapolsky • Leonard Susskind • Keith Devlin • Susan Blackmore • Clifford Pickover • Piet Hut • Gino Segre • Roger Schank • Alan Kay • Bruce Sterling • Judith Rich Harris • Arnold Trehub • Gregory Benford • Lynn Margulis • Sam Harris • Elizabeth Spelke • Kai Krause • Todd Feinberg • Nassim Nicholas Taleb • Irene Pepperberg • Jesse Bering • Scott Atran • Karl Sabbagh • Gary Marcus • Stewart Kauffman • Ray Kurzweil • John Barrow • Jaron Lanier • Alex Pentland • Richard Dawkins • Jean Paul Schmetz • Thomas Metzinger • John R. Skoyles • John Horgan • David Gelernter • Jordan Pollack • Lee Smolin • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi • Jeffrey Epstein • Michael Shermer • Leon Lederman • Tom Standage • Simon Baron-Cohen • Stephen Petranek • J. Craig Venter • Maria Spiropulu • David Buss • Esther Dyson • David Myers • Denis Dutton • Donald Hoffman • Kenneth Ford • Margaret Wertheim • Alun Anderson • Philip Zimbardo • Paul Bloom • Robert Provine • W. Daniel Hillis • Martin Nowak • Seth Lloyd • Donald I. Williamson • Jonathan Haidt • Rebecca Goldstein • Ned Block • Christine Finn • Rupert Sheldrake • Rudy Rucker • Douglas Rushkoff • Verena Huber-Dyson • Chris W. Anderson • Charles Simonyi • Carolyn Porco • Martin Rees • Pamela McCorduck • James O'Donnell • John McCarthy • Carlo Rovelli • Leo Chalupa • Howard Rheingold • Steve Giddings • Tor Nørretranders • Stanislas Deheane • Benoit Mandelbrot • Ellen Winner • Paul Steinhardt • Oliver Morton • Alexander Vilenkin • Terrence Sejnowski • Brian Goodwin • Stephen H. Schneider • Randolph Nesse • Timothy Taylor • Marti Hearst •

http://www.edge.org/documents/archive/edge152.html
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Postby ExpectantlyIronic » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:44 am

I'm entirely fascinated by the philosophy of consciousness, so it's kind of cool to see how Dan Dennett and Ned Block responded to that Edge question. Thanks for posting that.

Edit: Although I do find Dennett's answer to be rather crazy. Language as a precondition for consciousness? That just goes to show what an incredible leap of faith is required to accept type-A materialism these days. Wow.
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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:14 pm

I'll go if the topic is peace and if I can resolve some technical difficulties on my end.
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Postby David Quinn » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:19 pm

I think he means it is a precondition for the more highly-developed consciousness that we see in adult humans. He concedes that infants and very young children are conscious in many different way - just not in that highly-structured, sophisticated, self-aware mode that older humans partake in, largely as a result of acquiring language.

Anyway, that's a good resource, James. Thanks for that.

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Postby ExpectantlyIronic » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:37 pm

I think he means it is a precondition for the more highly-developed consciousness that we see in adult humans. He concedes that infants and very young children are conscious in many different way - just not in that highly-structured, sophisticated, self-aware mode that older humans partake in, largely as a result of acquiring language.


Yeah, you're probably right. That makes more sense. I just like to take random snipes at Dennett, despite the fact he's a pretty sharp fella.

Edit: I still think he's confused on the issue of phenomenal consciousness. What he seems to be referring to as the aspect of consciousness characterized as "something it's like to be" isn't the same as what almost any other philosopher means when they say that. I just don't think he gets what Chalmers, Block, and others are talking about when they discuss what we call the explanatory gap. Nevertheless, taking what he said independent of that criticism, I imagine that he's right about the fundamental role the language plays in intelligence. I just wish he'd differentiate between talk of intelligence, those functions of the brain that are represented in consciousness, and phenomenal consciousness itself.
Last edited by ExpectantlyIronic on Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BMcGilly07 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:26 pm

Great idea, if I think anything up I'll be sure to post here.
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Postby BMcGilly07 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:42 pm

I just sent this e-mail to "Feminists for Life", and will alert you to any reply. If I have misrepresented the idea or if anyone has any advice regarding what to write elsewhere, please reply below:

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Bryan McGilly, and currently I occasionally engage in discussion on a web forum known as Genius Forums. Some of the founders would like to engage in discussion regarding their many topics of interest, one of which is feminism and the feminine. At first glance, you may find their thoughts contrary and possibly misogynistic, but I assure you whoever would engage them would be treated with the same respect and courtesy they treat all guests with. If anyone would like to take on and defend the basis of feminism on a recorded live debate, please contact me at this e-mail address.

I think it would do well for someone from your organization to come forward and enlighten an audience on the finer and larger points of feminism. If you would like to visit this forum and the associated website in order to garner an idea of those whith whom you would debate, please visit here:

http://www.theabsolute.net

Thanking you for your reply in advance,

Bryan McGilly
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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:16 pm

It would have been better to mention in the opening line that it was a podcast, rather than burying in the middle of the page that it would be recorded (and there are many ways of recording). Especially since you emphasized the message board aspect, it isn't really clear enough.

You came off defensive in the first paragraph, and followed up by sounding offensive in your second paragraph ("I think it would do well for someone from your organization..."). Also, sometimes people will want to know how many listeners, or at least something about the expected audience before they will decide if it is worth their time to participate.

**************

edit to add the following:

I would also be willing to discuss psychology and the ethics of the psychological profession.
Last edited by Elizabeth Isabelle on Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Aaron Mathis » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:26 pm

David Quinn wrote:I'm looking to compile a list of potential candidates for the show, which is where I need some help from you guys. If you could throw a bunch of names my way, it would be appreciated.


I know someone who would be a great candidate for the show:

*Aaron Mathis*

My schedule is busy, but I think we can find the time to do this.

My email is: mailto:dissent4truth@hotmail.com

or you can just PM me.


- Aaron Mathis
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Postby Aaron Mathis » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:29 pm

Seriously, are you open to having any Gforum members participate on your podcast show?

I really think I could take the show in an interesting direction.

One episode is all I'm interested in being in, and we'll play it by ear from there.


- Mathis
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Postby BMcGilly07 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:37 pm

And that's me being cordial. I thought I was being open and honest, but your criticism is noted, thank you. As to the number of listeners, I have no more an idea than yourself. Regarding being defensive, I was trying to bypass any shock that might have otherwise dissuaded them. As for being offensive, I think that if anyone is sincerely interested in an issue, they would do well to enlighten their audience as to what they believe in and why.

Edit: added last 3 sentences
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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:46 pm

Here's a form - type letter I just pulled together, but it would need the QRS to fill in some blanks with details I don't have. Maybe the guys would like to tweak it some more, but here's a decent approach anyway.

__________________________________________

Dear (insert name) ,

(insert presenters) would like to invite you to participate as a guest speaker on our podcast to be recorded on (insert recording date) and aired (insert broadcast date) reaching a target audience of (insert estimation)
.
Your hosts have previously done (optional, insert number) radio shows (insert time frame [ i.e. “over the past x years” or whatever time period]) and are using newly available technology to increase their target audience to include reaching people through the world wide web.

If you choose to participate, you will be provided with an opportunity to (insert why they might want to do this) . Thank you for considering this opportunity. We hope to hear from you before (insert deadline)


Sincerely,

.
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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:58 pm

Bryan,

Instead of
I think it would do well for someone from your organization to come forward and enlighten an audience on the finer and larger points of feminism.


consider putting in the blank marked " (insert why they might want to do this)" something like
explain why women deserve the rights your website outlines.

(may also add opposing viewpoint of hosts to spark an interest in correcting the host's possible misunderstandings).



edit to add: Bryan, you can bypass the shock later - the first contact is to reel them in. They probably never heard of the place before, and if you start off on the defensive, they probably won't even look at the website, and the email just gets deleted.
.
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Postby Katy » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:11 pm

Elizabeth Isabelle wrote:edit to add: Bryan, you can bypass the shock later - the first contact is to reel them in. They probably never heard of the place before, and if you start off on the defensive, they probably won't even look at the website, and the email just gets deleted.
.


Well, I'm not sure this is true. I mean having "Masculinity" at the top of the forum could drive them away faster than a mention in an email with assurance they'll be treated with respect.

At any rate, I did my thesis research on gender and communication which could potentially be interesting, however I'm not certain how much of that I can reaccess since my current university's library is less complete on the topic than was my previous one and this was several years ago.

My mother is doing her doctorate dissertation on gender and math abilities in gifted elementary school children. I haven't spoken to her much about it, but the general question she was trying to answer is that the gender gap in mathematics is closing amongst the majority of children, however amongst those children identified as gifted, boys are still far ahead of girls in the subject.

I also have a bunch of friends who are into neo-pagan traditions and reclaiming the Goddess/es of pre-christian europe. Someone might be willing to talk to you but I don't really have anyone specific in mind here.

Edit: Also, know a guy who has decided to go through with a sex change (female --> male) and been sorta exploring some of the smaller details of what that change means. One of the more recent ones being decorating his house. I guess it depends on whether you want more academics or more experience.



Skype seems to not like me - however I have received an email from them with several suggestions and may ask someone to test it with me again within the next several days when I get around to trying them. Or it could just be my connection speed which would be easily fixed by doing the recording on my spring break when I am at my parents' house and have a high speed connection.
-Katy
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Postby David Quinn » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:25 am

Aaron Mathis wrote:

Seriously, are you open to having any Gforum members participate on your podcast show?

I really think I could take the show in an interesting direction.

At this stage, all possibilities are on the table. We are still mulling over the nature of the show, how it will be structured, etc. So yes, it's certainly possible that forum members could be on the show.

What about religious preachers or spiritual gurus? Leaving aside the Dalai Lama or the Pope, does anyone know of any suitable candidates? I suppose Andrew Cohen, or some of his cronies, might fit the bill. I also wouldn't mind getting some monks and priests.

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Postby Matt Gregory » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:43 am

How about the author of The End of Faith, Sam Harris? That would be interesting as he's at the cutting edge of popular spiritual thought. There's a video of him here.
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Postby Jamesh » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:13 am

I simply don't know anyone of import. I personally only vaguely know one genius who might be able to give you a run for your money, and not sure if he is available. Might try and email him if something gets off the ground.

Love to see you fellows destroy someone like Tony Abbott.

What about the dude that runs the Hillsong church?

This is Hillsong Church, one of the most conspicuous of the contemporary pentecostal and evangelical churches whose collective growth is fast outstripping that of the more traditional denominations. The music is loud and catchy. The band members young and good-looking. The senior pastor conducting the service, Brian Houston, is charismatic and commanding. And the congregation is collectively lapping it up.

Be nice to see someone deeply involved in one of the Indian religions interviewed. Or perhaps that Sheik Hilaly nutter.

Someone you might actually be able to get is one of the dudes that created the Actual Freedom website, that I was impressed with a while ago. http://www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/actualfreedom.htm or you might be able to get Sam over in Common Ascent to approach Adya

Getting off the generalist track, I'd also like to see you talk to a someone at the top level in regards the lack of teaching of basic philosophy in junior educational institutions. Maybe someone from one of the state Boards of Studies could be approached - probably have websites where the Board reps are listed.

Also like to see someone deeply involved in economic issues interviewed, someone who thinks for themselves, Ross Gittins maybe.
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Postby Trevor Salyzyn » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:49 am

Why not Richard Dawkins? We were just talking about him a couple months ago....
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Postby Katy » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:21 pm

Hillary Clinton?

There's these guys Irwin, Conard and Skoble who write basic philosophy books using popular culture to try to convince more people to develop an interest in philosophy, which could be interesting (I'm currently reading The Simpsons and Philosophy)

The guy who wrote SuperSize Me spoke at my graduation and was quite interesting about the negative effects of globalization and homoginization.

I have no idea who, but it could be interesting to talk to religious leaders outside of the christian tradition. I know a kid who is converting to orthodox judaism and studying their mysticism tradition. Or Islam or some of the Eastern religions?

The problem is that a lot of these people get large sums of money to speak and would likely not be willing to speak for free.

How about Victor Danilchenko? One of the smartest people I know so far as retaining facts.
-Katy
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Postby Elizabeth Isabelle » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:30 pm

Katy wrote:The problem is that a lot of these people get large sums of money to speak and would likely not be willing to speak for free.


The people who are more often willing to speak for free are authors who recently published a new book. They are willing to speak in exchange for a chance to promote their book.
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Postby AlyOshA » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:15 pm

I once worked with a company called Beyond Belief Media and I was supposed to help develop podcasts. I came up with an idea for a podcast but it was never developed. It might be too grandiose or out of your subject range but I will pitch it anyway. It's called Test your Faith, and essentially it's a more structured version of Politically Incorrect but dealing with belief systems as opposed to politics. It consists of several different representatives from varying belief systems, say an Atheist, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim, a Taoist, a multi-spiritualist, a Darwinist, Agnostic, a Q.R.S.ist, or whatever. And if you wanted a more specific topic by a highly regarded rep. you could use someone from this category who has recently published a book (and they would probably want to be on your show to promote the book). But anyway, each podcast features a different belief system or aspect of that belief system, so lets say that the first podcast features a liberal Christian who just wrote a book called “I pick and choose the things I like out of the Bible and base all of my beliefs on them for some reason” and so that liberal Christian has say 10 min. to lay forth his belief system to the other panelists, then each panelist has an opportunity to ask him a question (in an attempt to show the fallacies of that belief system) and the liberal Christian answers them, this is followed by an open panel discussion (like politically incorrect) and is concluded by a brief end statement by each panelist leaving the featured panelist with the last word. What do you think? No likey? If you no likey my idea I can recommend some guests.

Richard Carrier
Brian Flemming
Richard Dawkins
(who I can put you in touch with)


I would like to hear from Eckharte Tolle just because I heard he was good with open discussions

Very Cool Idea By The Way!
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Postby AlyOshA » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:21 pm

Oh I think I might be able to help with Sam Harris as well.
I helped Brian Flemming in the past (He made a documentary called The God Who Wasn't There) and he interviewed Robert Price, Sam Harris, Richard Carrier, Earl Doherty, and The Raving Atheist. I'm sure he knows how to get in touch with them.
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Postby AlyOshA » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:23 pm

He also interviewed Richard Dawkins.
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