Friday, February 26, 2016

This is NOT Episode 45

Recorded: 26 February 2016
Released: 26 February 2016
Duration: 7 minutes, 40 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

A quick audio explanation for the break in our regular rhythm and a plea for more panelists. We hope you will consider joining us, if only for a few times per year.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Episode 44 - Contact with ET Civilizations

Recorded: 19 February 2016
Released: 20 February 2016
Duration: 93 minutes, 16 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr and Panelists Adam Smith, Ciro Villa, Nick Nielsen, and Patrick Festa discuss some scenarios for contacting ET civilizations and what could happen, including some of the protocols that have been defined by the SETI community, and the discovery of a Bracewell Probe.

Note: while we remain an uncensored podcast, we did edit out about 30 seconds of a strange audio glitch that sounded horrible and was of no interest. We left in about 2 seconds of it so you can be glad you didn't hear the whole thing.


Declaration of Principles Concerning Activities Following the Detection of Extraterrestrial Intelligence
Protocols for an ETI Signal Detection
Bracewell Probes
Ben McGee on the Search for Alien Artifacts
The Rio Scale
Almar and Tarter: The discovery of ETI as a high-consequence, low-probability event


Adam Smith: Future in Space Hangout
Nick Nielsen: After Contact by Albert A. Harrison
Ciro Villa: If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel
Patrick Festa: Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Paul Carr: Scary Monsters by David Bowie


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Music: DJ Spooky

The ideal panelist

Most often when we describe an ideal, we are trying to create a standard of measurement, not a requirement of uniformity. So, let me start by saying the ideal panelist is one who is different from the other panelists. There is no one standard that I expect everyone will conform to, and since no one is being paid, it is unrealistic to expect very much in the way of compliance. This fictional panelist is then, not you, or me, but just a yardstick of sorts.

  • The ideal panelist makes a habit of responding to the Call for Panelists, even if that response is "No."
  • The ideal panelist appears on a panel once every month or two on average (about 5-10 times per year), but some times more often and other times less.  We will need a bigger participating pool for more people to get closer to this.
  • The ideal panelist brings burning questions to the topic at hand, and has had a role in shaping that topic in the topic thread for the episode in question. Familiarity with the topic is necessary, but not expertise. 
  • The ideal panelist isn't much concerned with proving they are right, or making a point, but in advancing the discussion and asking questions.
  • The ideal panelist speaks up, but doesn't try to dominate.
  • The ideal panelist helps out promoting episodes she appears in to her friends and followers on social media and elsewhere.
  • The ideal panelist has read the FAQ, the protocols, and visits the G+ community about once a week, or more often if possible, sometimes posting interesting material to the community.
  • The ideal panelist volunteers to host now and again - maybe 1 to 3 times a year, and executes the host responsibilities competently. 

Just so you know.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Episode 43 - Bob Novella, the Universe, and Everything

Recorded: 12 February 2016
Released: 13 February 2016
Duration: 79 minutes 56 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Bob Novella
Special Guest Bob Novella of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe joins host Paul Carr and the Panel to talk about skepticism, critical thinking, jury duty, denialism, blind spots, skeptics movement drama, the media, gravitational waves, and more.

Erratum: It's 2016, not 2012.

We had some technical problems with Google hangouts. The all-knowing Google AI expressed its opinion of the host, and kicked him out 3 times. I, for one...


The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
Observation of Gravitational Waves from a Binary Black Hole Merger
The Pros and Cons of Civil Disagreement
Darwin Day


Adam Smith: Snapshot Serengeti's New Season
Mateusz Macias: Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the Flat Earth
Nick Nielsen: The Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
James Garrison: OCC the Skeptical Caveman
Patrick Festa: The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
Paul Carr: Rationally Speaking Podcast


Producer and Host: Paul Carr
Panelists: Adam Smith, Mateusz Macias, James Garrison, Mike Bohler, Nick Nielsen, and Patrick Festa
Special Guest: Bob Novella
Music: DJ Spooky

Friday, February 5, 2016

Episode 42 - How Do I Know that You're Real, Paul?

Recorded: 5 February 2016
Released: 6 February 2016
Duration:96 minutes, 4 seconds

download the .mp3 audio file

Host Paul Carr welcomes panelists David Grigg, Patrick Festa and Mike Bohler to talk about human relationships with artificial intelligences. Do we have ethical obligations to simulated intelligences?



David Grigg: Railsea by China Mieville
Patrick Festa: The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston
Paul Carr: Aladin Sky Atlas


Host and Producer: Paul Carr
Panelists: David Grigg, Patrick Festa, Mike Bohler
Music: DJ Spooky