Cellar Door Skeptics #102: Arbitration Horror Story

Cellar Door Skeptics is back this year with our annual episode giving homage to horror stories. This week the duo have peppered the show with a few different horror stories for your enjoyment. Along with creepy music, they delve into a new AI that is working with folks on twitter to create unique short horror stories. Hanna’s Deep Dive segment will cap off his CRISPR research proving new insight. While not quite a horror story, the team will look VP Pence’s tie breaking vote in a bill that was struck down allowing for large corporations to prevent people from using class action law suits.

#Halloween #HorrorStories #CRISPR #Arbitration #DefendCFPB

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Intro Music: http://aloststateofmind.com/

Links
——
https://www.hauntedrooms.co.uk/5-short-true-ghost-stories
https://youtu.be/p9XMd2eAy_4
——
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/new-ai-s-creepy-mind-turns-tweets-horror-stories-ncna814566
http://stories.shelley.ai/
https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/
http://shelley.ai
——
http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene-editing-tested-in-a-person-for-the-first-time-1.20988
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvv8_S4GZjc
http://www.templehealth.org/News/GeneEditingStrategyEliminatesHIV-1InfectioninLiveAnimalsTempleResearchersShow?showBack=true
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49X9r1QpMNo
https://www.nature.com/news/gene-drive-mosquitoes-engineered-to-fight-malaria-1.18858
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnzcwTyr6cE
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/human-gene-editing-therapies-are-ok-certain-cases-panel-advises
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqWoPCZ8jEE
——
https://creepylittlestories.com/scary-torture-story/
——
http://www.consumeradvocates.org/for-consumers/arbitration
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/10/25/arbitration-vs-class-action-what-consumers-should-know-differearbitration-financial-service-provider/799046001/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfnoAngueY0
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/647
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/10/25/senate-votes-overturn-rule-consumers-suing-banks/797728001/

#23: Astronomy Saves The World

Are the presidential rallies getting too violent and losing sight of what they were supposed to be for? Chris and Christopher weigh in on the hypocrisy rampant on BOTH sides lately. After that Daniel Batcheldor stops by to explain to us how astronomy can save the world and plug his amazing upcoming book! To close out the show, some bunk arguments against GMO foods were crushed and Christopher got Chris a bit ripped, leading to his first rant about teaching the controversy. You have been warned!

http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/astronomy-saves-the-world

Segment
——
00:00 Bernie & Super Pac/Crazy Shit Christopher Used to Believe
35:00 Astronomy Saves The World Interview with PhD Dan Batcheldor
69:00 Answering Anti GMO Apologists
88:00 Teaching the Controversy

Episode: http://www.spreaker.com/user/cellardoorskeptics/astronomy-saves-the-world
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Website: http://cellardoorskeptics.com
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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/cellardoorskeptics
Intro Music: http://aloststateofmind.com/

Links
——
https://www.gofundme.com/exqv3qyc
——
http://www.factcheck.org/2016/03/temperature-at-trump-rallies/
http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/mar/15/obama-criticizes-trump-violence-rallies/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/12/politics/donald-trump-protests/
——
http://danielbatcheldor.com
http://cor.gsfc.nasa.gov/copag/rfi/Extreme_Contrast_Ratio_Technologies.pdf

http://www.fit.edu/faculty/profiles/profile.php?value=553
@DanBatcheldor
——
http://thescientificatheist.com/responses-to-popular-anti-gmo-rhetoric/
——
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/05/creationism_and_evolution_in_school_religious_students_can_t_learn_natural.html

International Women’s Day Episode 21 Notes

International Women’s Day

Theme: Pledge For Parity

Definition: noun

  1. the state or condition of being equal, especially regarding status or pay.

 

#PledgeForParity

 

Links

http://www.internationalwomensday.com/Theme

***All the information has come from the International Women’s Day website.  I have consolidated it for the purpose of my notes on the podcast.  Chris Hanna and Myself felt that it would be a benefit to everyone to have all the links in one place along with the flow.  Please check out the links below and listen to our podcast here.

What is International Women’s Day About

 

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women’s Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for over a century – and is growing annually from strength to strength.

 

2016 and Beyond

 

The world has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation may feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so each year the world inspires women and celebrates their achievements. IWD is an official holiday in many countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations actively support IWD by running their own events and campaigns. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google often changes its Google Doodle on its global search pages to honor IWD. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status.

 

Why it is Needed Still In 2016

 

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. And we have much to celebrate today. But progress towards gender parity has slowed in many places. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.

 

So make a difference, think globally and act locally!

Make everyday International Women’s Day.

Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

 

So how do we want to celebrate International Women’s Day 2016? We say by Pledging For Parity!

 

Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly – whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Each of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence and commit to take pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity.

 

Globally, with individuals pledging to move from talk to purposeful action – and with men and women joining forces – we can collectively help women advance equal to their numbers and realize the limitless potential they offer economies the world over. We have urgent work to do. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity?

 

———

 

Take The Pledge

 

  1. Help women and girls achieve their ambitions.

 

The most important determinant of a country’s competitiveness is it’s human talent via the skills and productivity of its workforce.

Organizations must illuminate the path to leadership, showing women the career and advancement opportunities that match their skills and professional objectives and provide the experiences necessary to fulfil their potential.

Individuals can commit to advocating for themselves, and when appropriate, becoming effective role models and sponsors of women to help them achieve their goals.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s Global Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer, Karyn Twaronite, interviews Deborah Gillis, CEO of Catalyst on accelerating the pace of women’s advancement in the workplace

EY report: Mentoring and sponsorship is an overview of mentoring and sponsorship at EY and why they’re critical to reaching gender parity

Forbes article Beyond The Olympic Flame: How Mentoring Guides Former Athletes discusses the importance of a mentoring program for athletes and how a background in sport can help accelerate a woman’s leadership

 

  1. Challenge conscious and unconscious bias.

 

Studies show that gender-balanced organizations and teams deliver stronger results, and that inclusive societies are more progressive, but ingrained bias slows the progress of equality.

Organizations must build cultures where all people feel valued and included and can contribute fully according to their capabilities.

Individuals can commit to learning about their own biases, adjusting their behaviour as needed and welcoming different experiences and points of view.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

UnderstandingPrejudice.org is a website is for students, teachers and others interested in causes and consequences of prejudice

Projectimplicit.net is a nonprofit organization and international collaboration between researchers interested in implicit social cognition (thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control)

 

  1.  Call for gender-balanced leadership.

 

Companies with women board members outperform in return on equity, net income growth and price-to-book value as well as a host of non-financial measures.

Organizations must ensure women are exposed to strategic operations and functions to gain the experience needed for senior positions and set measurable targets for appointing women to leadership.

Individuals can show potential or current employers that they value and expect gender-balanced leadership. They should seek out leadership, sponsorship and mentoring programs, exposure to strategic and financial roles and integrated networks designed to help women advance.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s The power of many is a global survey on the correlation between teaming, diversity and corporate performance and how critical strong leadership is for high performing teams

EY report: Diversity drives diversity looks at US diversity in boardrooms and C-suite

EY’s Chair, Global Accounts Committee & Global Vice Chair, Markets, Uschi Schreiber, explores methods for increasing female leadership

 

  1.  Value women and men’s contributions equally.

 

Raising the female labour force participation rate to match that of men will have a positive impact on GDP in both developed and developing economies.

Organizations must ensure all their talent processes are equitable, fair and that they further their gender parity and diversity objectives.

Individuals can seek out perspectives different from their own, prioritize building diverse teams and engage in mixed networks that build trusted relationships.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

Forbes report Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce highlights how diversity is a key driver of innovation and critical for success

EY’s short video Differences matter reveals the importance of diversity in organizations

 

  1. Create inclusive, flexible cultures.

 

After competitive pay and benefits, workers in eight countries rank working flexibly and still being on track for promotion as what they value most in a potential job.

Organizations should recognize that lines between career and personal lives are becoming more fluid. They should create progressive policies like flexible working that allow everyone – regardless of age, gender, rank or geography – to manage their personal and professional lives and realize their ambitions.

Individuals can create trusting, team-oriented work environments by encouraging flexible working supporting choice about the times, places and ways work gets done.

 

Examples to Help Accomplish The Goal:

EY’s brochure Inclusive leadership – Accelerating progress in gender equity from the inside out explains how EY is working to lead the way on gender parity

Building inclusion is research by Diversity Council of Australia into an evidence-based model of inclusive leadership

 

Further Resources for Gender Equality

 

EY’s The time for gender parity is now survey documents the economic imperative of gender parity and outlines three accelerators to help achieve it

EY’s Women. Fast forward on ey.com is a digital hub with resources and guidance for women in the workforce, women in leadership, women entrepreneurs and women athletes

McKinsey & Company report Unlocking the full potential of women at work features 60 companies that show how women have fuelled the US economy and its largest corporations

McKinsey & Company study, in partnership with LeanIn Women in the workplace discusses the state of women in America

EY’s Women in the public sector report reveals women are woefully under-represented in the public sector but a significant part of the workforce

EY study: Global generations is a survey of workers in eight countries about what they want from their jobs

Simplicity As Confirmation Bias

For More from David, Click HERE

 

For those philosophically minded, William Ockham will immediately engender various degrees of analytic glee, the name synonymous with logical parsimony or simple explanation. The more user-friendly phrase concerning parsimony is: “Don’t multiply entities beyond necessity.” Then again, perhaps the phrase isn’t as friendly as it may be to some. Thankfully that’s rather the point here, simplicity being, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. Consider a rose possessed of a particular color and a certain number of petals arising out of a stem. To the average person it is a thing of beauty. To a botanist there will be an entire history of breeding involved. To a chemist there will be a litany of compounds and scents included. Which one is more simple? Is that even the right question? For Ockham, the answer to the latter is most certainly not.

 

As human beings, possessed of a surplus of intelligence and imagination, the need to offer explanations is not only a seeming necessity, but the source of a great deal of social fracas. Some of the earliest childhood memories are related to giving explanations for behavior in a manner to deflect guilt, as when explaining a broken window or why there’s chocolate on fingertips despite being told not to eat dessert before dinner. Such stories certainly continue into adulthood, though the ramifications of our explanations become exponentially more. Issues of social policy will take into account explanations for human behavior, the American justice system being predicated on the offering of behavior being intrinsically free. Matters of geopolitics rest on explanations of human interaction and the role force plays in building and maintaining countries. Environmental concerns run through the sieve of explanations concerning biological diversity and origins, including the age of the earth and the cosmos. None of the offered explanations for these matters come without consequences, often beginning during the battle of determining which explanation is better than another.
Continue reading “Simplicity As Confirmation Bias”

Science, Evidence, and Faith

As I connect with other Atheists, I have noticed that many base their non-belief on science or a lack of evidence that God exists.

 

Does one need to state that there is no scientific evidence to justify not believing in God? To quote many climate deniers, “I’m no scientist.” I also believe that science is not necessarily a requisite of Atheism.
Continue reading “Science, Evidence, and Faith”

A Loss of Structure: Is Faith A Valid Epistemic Tool?

Q: I’ve cornered my good friend through reductionist logic before and he’s often ended the discussion with “Well to an extent it is a matter of faith…but I know these things to be true, yada yada.” I would like you to expand on the idea of ‘faith’ being an unreliable rubric for truth. To me it is apparent why faith can be misleading if not wholly incorrect, but why can it not be used to justify an entire theology that seemingly makes sense?

 

My Response: The simplest way of putting it is that I take the believer at his word, i.e. that faith is a means of ascertaining knowledge.

 

The mistake of many is to look at faith as some kind of childish attempt at giving a glib justification for believing anything one wants. While certainly this may be the case for some religious believers of various dogmatic persuasions, it is not the issue for the more learned of religious intellectuals, notably Augustine and Aquinas or more recently Gordon Clark and Carl Henry. For these men, faith is an epistemic tool, a necessary one due to the innate problems that empirical knowledge supposedly has, based on the critical observation that numerous times in history the scientific method has led to wrong conclusions.
Continue reading “A Loss of Structure: Is Faith A Valid Epistemic Tool?”

The Essential Humanity of Cognitive Dissonance

For more from David

We operate with several, if not hundreds, of beliefs merely by getting up in the morning. Believing in our ability to fling off the sheets, will our bodies to move and do so in a proscribed way, the capacity of our feet and legs to carry us forward, lights will turn on when switch is flipped, etc., these are all beliefs that, while unconscious, must exist to go about a morning routine. If any of those come into doubt, whether by experiential evidence or changes in mental paradigm, the entirety of a basic routine comes to a screeching halt. Thankfully this type of belief rarely faces contrary evidence. The world operates, and this is a belief as well, in a static fashion, with effects following perceived causes and experiences falling well inside acceptable levels of deviation from a perceptual norm. Generally, whether one is right or wrong about these types of belief is, by and large, of little consequence. If we were to passively accept every piece of information initially considered as contrary, our lives would be a never-ending whirlpool of changing mental structure and we’d never get anything done. Take, for instance, the belief that one’s feet and legs will operate according to personal will and propel us forward. A contrary experience is a physical stumble, yet it would be considered bizarre indeed were such an experience to be thought of as grounds for disbelieving in the capacity of physical movement.

 

When confronted with a contrary piece of experience, the process that occurs is referred to as ‘cognitive dissonance’. “Cognitive dissonance, a term coined by Leon Festinger in 1957, is the process of self-justification whereby we defend our actions and thoughts when they turn out to be wrong or, as in the case of sour grapes, ineffectual. We interpret our failure to attain a goal as actually turning out to be a good thing because, with hindsight, we reinterpret the goal as not really desirable” (Hood, 2012). Confronted with contrary information, whether by personal experience that doesn’t quite match our view of the world or by being presented with a different opinion, we will invariably seek to defend our mental space. This is not an inherently negative behavior to engage in. Were we to passively change our beliefs every time a contrary piece of information is presented, we’d never get anything done, being as we would be at the mercy of every wind of chance in our lives. It behooves us to live our lives essentially being ok with making what is referred to as Type 2 errors, i.e. believing something is true regardless of evidence to the contrary.
Continue reading “The Essential Humanity of Cognitive Dissonance”

“God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.”

My Anti-theist Friend, Marchal: “God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.”

 

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One of my favorite people to converse with about religion is my good buddy, Marchal. I met Marchal in college, and like me, he was getting a bachelors degree in psychology. We lost touch after Heidelberg, but we recently rekindled our friendship. He contacted me after he read a couple blog posts, he was excited to share with me that he too, is an atheist. Marchal has an interesting story as well, and I would like to share with others, some of the conversation that we recently had.

 

After Heidelberg, Marchal went to Ohio State University, where he received a PHD in psychology. Marchal did not spend any time in the field though, because after he graduated he co-founded a start up company and has been traveling the world ever since. He has spent more time in other countries, than he has in his own, over the last couple of years.

 

“What is the most frustrating thing when it comes to dealing with religious people?” Marchal asked me.

 

“Their ego. They are extremely ignorant, yet so arrogant. They believe they are entitled to whatever they want,” I replied.
Continue reading ““God is just Ego, Misspelled….My Ego has Better Credentials than your Ego.””

Bi Weekly Blasphemy 11: Dont be a D!#%

The return of the Bi-Weekly Blasphemy, after a New Years hiatus, is a call to action against forum trolls and to step up in the necessity for us to act as we wish others would, to lead by example in making a difference in this world.

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Carnivorous Rabbits and the Tasty Skeptical Mind

The story:

Rabbits have gone carnivorous. I saw it with my own eyes.

I was just minding my own business, going for my daily jog, when I saw these two fluffy bunnies chase down a stray mutt, kick it to death with their hind legs, and then tear into its matted hide. Just about scared me to death. I was so stunned I didn’t even think to try and shoo them away before they did the poor mutt in. I just stood there in the early morning sun, my jaw hanging down to my chest, watching them rip off hunks of dog meat and swallow it down like vultures. It wasn’t until one of the damn things looked up at me with its beady red eyes, buck teeth dripping with blood, that I finally shook off the shock of it all and ran home. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. So really, take my word for it, keep away from the bunnies.

 

Monty Python was right!
Monty Python was right!

Anyone out there actually believe that I saw two rabbits kill and eat a stray dog? Hell, anyone out there believe that I went for a morning jog? Probably not.
Continue reading “Carnivorous Rabbits and the Tasty Skeptical Mind”