SIO183: The Killing of #StephonClark

It’s been a year since Stephon Clark was gunned down in his grandmother’s backyard while holding a cell phone. Last weekend it was announced that the two officers would face no charges. I talk about the news, why it’s outrageous, and why something needs to change.

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SIO182: A Conversation with Russell Glasser

If you’ve been an atheist any time in the last 15 years, it’s highly likely you’ve enjoyed the contributions of Russell Glasser on The Atheist Experience. Over the years, he’s answered countless calls from theists and atheists of all kinds. But in the last year or so, he has taken a firm step back from atheism and hasn’t appeared on TAE. He’s agreed to come on to talk about why, and about many related issues.

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SIO181: The Jussie Smollett Story

Jussie Smollett told the world he was the victim of a hate crime. What happened next, according to the right, is a bunch of insectional libtards believed his obviously false story because of the oppression olympics, or something. For example, check out this SJW’s reaction to the news. In the midst of my research on this story, Smollett has been officially charged with making a false statement. It was initially reported that a grand jury indicted him so that’s what I said in the episode, but that was corrected to say he was charged by the prosecutor. There is a lot to talk about regarding the reaction to this. I want to argue that the message to believe victims is perfectly compatible with believing someone like Dr. Ford and not believing Smollett.

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SIO180: Liam Neeson and White Fragility

After a brief wade into the (I think mistaken) uproar over tax refunds not being as high as last year, I go on to tackle the story of an old white actor telling about the time he was George Zimmerman and then expecting it to be totally cool. And furthermore, how on Earth could ANYONE not accept his semi-pology? We must be living in the Salem Witch Trials era! In all seriousness though, I want to explore the issue and where I think people are going right, wrong, and possibly missing good points. I reference the excellent book White Fragility by Robin DeAngelo, which I highly recommend. Here is the Vox article I mention. Here’s Trevor Noah’s take. Liam Neeson’s second interview.

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SIO179: Phil Torres on X-Risks and Pinker’s Sloppy Scholarship

Returning to the show is everyone’s favorite scholar of global catastrophic risks, Phil Torres! In the first half of the show, we discuss how global risk has changed and evolved in the years since Trump was elected. I also ask Phil if climate change has gotten so dire that it overshadows other existential risks. In the second half, we discuss the recent article Phil wrote for Salon, in which he was very critical of some of Steven Pinker’s scholarship in his book Enlightenment Now. Pinker responded in a roundabout way on Jerry Coyne’s blog. I also highly recommend you check out this thread by Mangy Jay on Twitter in which she breaks down some other problems with Pinker’s book. Check out Phil’s latest book!

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SIO178: Listener Voicemail!

Today’s show starts with an observation about how we talk about the primary candidates and how we tell the history of 2016. Then I’ve got lots of voicemail! Topics include: Trump being a Russian mole, technology improving quality of life while taking jobs from us, a few on whether Kristi and I unfairly lumped Sam Harris in with Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin in our episode on Louis CK, further insight into the IRB process, and finally how exactly do we define the term ‘racism’? Lots of great stuff, thank you so much for the messages and keep them coming for next month!

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SIO177: Covington Catholic and the Monument Showdown

Lots of people have asked me for an episode about this, and it turns out I was working on one anyway! Happy coincidence. Lots and lots to talk about here, and since it’s me, I have to start by getting all meta on you. Very curious to hear the response on this one, make sure to leave a voicemail for next week’s show!

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SIO176: Eli Bosnick on the Trial of Peter Boghossian

There has been another chapter in the ongoing saga of classical liberal types seeking to prove that entire fields of academia are bogus. They allegedly do so by publishing a handful of fake studies and papers in a few different academic journals, mostly in the field of gender studies. Due to the fact that these hoaxes have utilized fake data, wasted tons of innocent people’s time, and possibly constituted human experimentation, Peter Boghossian has come under a totally reasonable investigation. This hasn’t stopped the usual IDW types from reacting as though Boghossian is awaiting public execution. Eli, who broke down the original hoax expertly in SIO44, is back to provide an informed and hilarious breakdown of the whole thing!

Twitter thread on datasets; letter from PSU faculty; excellent Slate article.

Here are Eli’s notes and links that I am publishing in a clear violation of his copyright:

Singal article; hey wait don’t I remember that Jesse Signal Guy from somewhere; Turning points USA is terrifying; here’s their professor watchlist; Go down the rabbit hole of highly funded crazy; They are coming for Peter’s Vital Fluids Video Source; Digilante; hey speaking of crazy shit boghossian has said; Hey look more people with brains

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SIO175: Andrew Torrez on the FGM Court Decision

Andrew Torrez, of the hit legal pod Opening Arguments, was kind enough to hop onto the ol’ SIO to break down the recent Michigan FGM law court decision. This is one of those times the law wasn’t covered very well by some media outlets. It’s great to have a genius lawyer we can trust to tell us what is actually going on! Along the way we get to learn about plenary powers, the commerce clause, and all kinds of other legal goodies!
Here’s the NYT coverage (which was more or less correct, but Andrew still gives us way more context!)

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SIO174: With Kristi Winters on Louis CK

Recently, some audio leaked of a new Louis CK standup set and…. it wasn’t good. It was so bad it led to Dennis Miller trending on Twitter. Lazy, unfunny, punching down using anti-trans punchlines that are at least a decade old. I wanted to do some solo commentary on this and so many of the thoughts I’m having and bad arguments and borderline harassment on Twitter I’ve seen over this, but then I remembered that Kristi also used to be a huge Louis CK fan and she was kind enough to join me! Kind of using each other as sounding boards, we share our thoughts and ideas and talk about the collateral damage to fans that can happen in the wake of #metoo. Maybe Louis wasn’t your thing necessarily, but I think these same ideas and principles might be helpful when/if your fave goes down in a Ronan Farrow article or something.
Later on, Kristi gives us a bit of an update on Carl and how Sam Harris and Jordan B. Peterson are shutting off their Patreon accounts in protest of Carl not being able to use the n-word however he wants (yeah, really….)
Here’s the full video of the standup.

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