Episode 231 of The Reality Check has it all: science, sex, celebrities, technology… you name it, this episode’s got it! The show starts off with Darren looking into various comparisons of sex drives between men and women. Pat then introduces a story of successful skeptical activism in Ottawa and interviews Ottawa Skeptics big wig Chris Hebbern to tell us about it. Elan closes out the show by looking into whether Al Gore invented the internet.
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Skeptical Activism: #dropjenny
A quarter of parents trust celebrities
Ottawa citizen- Jenny McCarthy at bust a move
Wikipedia: Jenny McCarthy
Al Gore Invented Internet
Snopes – Al Gore Invented the Intenet
Great episode, gents. I noticed that Pat seemed pretty upset that Elan didn’t mention Tim Berners-Lee when he talked about the invention of the Internet—but that’s perfectly appropriate. As the person who created HTML, Tim Berners-Lee is well known (or should be, at any rate) as the inventor of the World Wide Web, not the Internet. Although these days the terms are used interchangeably, they are really quite different things. The Web is the series of sites and pages that you see in your browser, and it’s “on” the Internet. The Internet itself is the “network of networks” that Elan described; you’re using it when you surf the Web, but you’re also using it when you play Diablo III or when you send an email from your phone or when you SSH into a remote computer—none of which use the Web. Just thought I’d clarify!
I’m a long time listener and I’m always pleased how right you usually get things. However, I was disappointed that you repeated an old urban legend about the Internet without correction. It was never meant as a robust defense against nuclear attack. The relevant article is cited on DARPA’s website:
“Net was born of economic necessity, not fear,” by John Till Johnson, Network World, June 7, 2004. [Outlines why ARPANET being designed to withstand nuclear war is an “urban legend.”]
Thanks for the show!
Thanks very much to you both for your comments. I am currently planning a segment on an upcoming episode to address them.
If this was corrected in one if the few episodes I haven’t listened to between this one and now, I apologize. Elan made a common mistake of non-math majors in his question asking why the study used “averages and not medians”. Ahhh math geek pet peeve. An average is a measure of central tendency of a data set. Three commonly used averages are mean, median, and mode.
Think of the statement “Think of the average house in your neighborhood,” what is the word average referring to? In this situation the word “average” isn’t even referring to a numerical value, making the common belief that average exclusively being arithmetic mean even more silly.
There’s a common George Carlin line that someone put on a graphic (at least I think it’s his line) saying “Think about how stupid the average person is. Now think how half of all people are even more stupid” with a picture of Carlin in the center. Whenever this is posted online, inevitably at least 50% of comments will be something along the lines of saying “Haha how stupid is he, that is only true for the median not the average!”
… And thus GC continues to make his point from beyond the grave.
Blame my iPad for any typos contained above.
Regarding sex drive. Even if men have a higher sex drive than women, I think we have to be careful about spreading this information. It was mentioned that there is a part cultural and biological… But thinking that something is biological validates certain behavior for some people. The veil in Muslim communities is not worn because it is written in the Qu’ran, but to avoid the temptation of adultery (which is in the Qu’ran) by men (not for men, women not tempted!?) (source : my Islamic law professor). As well, men legitimate the fact that they are cheating by saying : ‘men have needs’ (men also can have self-control).
It is important to say when saying that something is mainly biological, that we can do something to counterbalance, not to indulge oneself in that behavior.
On another hand, I think it can perfectly be true that women have a lower sex drive… Women with higher sex drive were more likely to be banned, killed or to stay single for thousands of years… So maybe men have ‘breaded’ women to have lower sex drive. Nowadays, we hear that there is ‘dating material, and sleeping material girls’. Girls that have slept with plenty of guys (so more likely to have a higher sex drive) are seen as less respectable (it applies less for men). So my message is this one : Men, stop complaining that your sex life sucks, you have contributed to it by choosing ‘the respectable’ girl…
This being said, the topic was well covered.
I was googeling for hydrokinetic and came across your TRC #231: Sex Drive + Skeptical Activism #dropjenny + Al Gore Invented Internet | The Reality Check page. My greatest worry is clean energy, unless we end using polluting fossil fuels the world is going to be in bad trouble.
We are surprised people are not looking at using more clean energy like Ocean Currents like Crowd Energy. If we dont fix this problem today its going to get bad.
Have a nice day, Tulloch