Episode 5: Lying

We said it truthfully, this month’s episode is about lying. What is it? What areas of life do we find it in, and how do we think about it when we find it there?

  • Lying: What is it?
    • Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy on lying.
    • Asserting things that we don’t believe with the intention of deceiving someone.
    • Has to be distinct from making a mistake, and can’t actually be connected with truth. Someone can lie about something and have it turn out to be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that they lied about it.
    • Benign untruths, like playing Devil’s Advocate, or teaching the Bohr model of the atom instead of the electron cloud aren’t lying, because the intent isn’t to deceive the listener.
  • From the Desk of Kickass McAwesome
    • This month Kickass McAwesome brings us something that seems like the pinnacle of human achievement: The Large Hadron Collider.
    • Run by CERN, in part to search for the Higgs Boson.
    • Here are the single page explanations of what the Higgs is, and why we want to find it.
    • Doreen Fraser, a philosopher and physicist interested in quantum field theory.
    • For more information about the LHC, check out “Present at the Creation“, by Amir D. Aczel.
  • Those Games We Play: Stealth mechanics
    • Stealth mechanics are a form of deception which are often unbalancing in games, ie. Bioshock and Fallout 3.
    • They can also make the game harder, as in Deus Ex.
    • Often, if a game has certain archetypes, these mechanics are expected, though useless, like stealth in Dragon Age.

Episode 4: Influence

Wishing you a happy leap year, we’re back and talking about influence. What is it? How do we think about it, both in we’re influenced and how we influence others? But first, an update on our goals from last month.

  • Icebreaker: What is the novel which influenced you the most?
    • Jim: Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli. The story of a boy who wasn’t what he seemed.
    • Dan: The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. The story of an architect.
  • A new section, the Games We Play, where we discuss a game which has captured our fancy (and free time) and how it relates to our topic.
  • Ourselves as influencers, in social media (particularly with Klout), as co-workers, parents, teachers, and role models.
  • Influencing in relationships, and what we’re teaching kids…About Santa Claus.
  • Shoutouts! (We each get one dead person)
    • Marcus Aurelius, author of the Meditations.
    • Shannon Dea, half the reason Jim finished his degree.
    • Stephen Hawking, nearly all of the reason Jim gets out of bed.
    • Richard Feynman, physicist extraordinare, the dead guy currently influencing Dan
    • Dan’s mum
    • Mr. Payette, one of Dan’s teachers
    • Jim, who is also the host of a rockin’ podcast.

Remember, influence has no escape velocity.