John Siracusa and Merlin Mann try to figure out exactly how they got this way.

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#37: A Useless Angle for Swordfighting

October 18th, 2016 · 105 minutes

This week, John and Merlin reminisce about the Flowbee, sea monkeys, and the alternately disappointing and satisfying quality of the action figures in their youth. Merlin briefly impersonates Dan Moren and shares that his iPhone activation problems were not unique. John conclusively demonstrates the mini ways that Merlin can’t hear himself pronouncing everything wrong and bemoans the travails of jumbled Contacts syncing.

The main topic this week is whether we’re living in a simulation (and how we’d know it). This leads to a spirited tour of scientific methodology and why it so often turns out that some things don’t…turn out.

Is coffee killing us, saving us, or what exactly is the deal here? Your hosts consider the times when it’s useful to question reality, and John still has concerns about smoking.

They read and discuss Sylvester Stallone’s mail.

(Recorded on Tuesday, October 11, 2016)

This episode of Reconcilable Differences is sponsored by:

  • Squarespace: Enter offer code DIFFS at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • HelpSpot: The most comprehensive and flexible help desk software around. Get 10% off with the code DIFFS.
  • The Nuisance Committee: Please stay tuned after the show for a special message about the 2016 election.

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Download: MP3 (72.99 MB)


Links and Show Notes

Flowbee - Wikipedia
Kenner Luke Skywalker Action Figure
Kenner Toys - Boba Fett Large Size Action Figure
The Vintage Vault: Death Star Playset
Users Report Some iPhone 7 and 6s Models Activation Locked With Wrong Apple IDs - Mac Rumors

An increasing number of iPhone users are experiencing an Activation Lock issue in which the device is linked to an Apple ID email address that does not belong to them, according to crowdsourced information from MacRumors and Twitter.

Odds are we're living in a simulation, says Elon Musk - The Verge

"There's a billion to one chance we're living in base reality," Elon Musk said tonight on stage at Recode's Code Conference, meaning that one of the most influential and powerful figures in tech thinks that it's overwhelmingly likely we're just characters living inside a simulation.

I Don’t Want to Be Right - The New Yorker
This is Not a Conspiracy Theory
Fermi paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dr. John Ioannidis Exposes the Bad Science of Colleagues - The Atlantic
Truth Tobacco Industry Documents
fqnx0045 - [Re: Stallone Tobacco Use Agreement] - Truth Tobacco Industry Documents
F***ing Magnets, How Do They Work? | Know Your Meme
MMR vaccine controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Power Poses Co-author: I Don't Think Power Poses Are Real -- Science of Us
The Filedrawer Problem - PsychFileDrawer.org
1977 Dannon Yogurt Commercials "Georgians Over 100" - YouTube
Lincoln–Kennedy coincidences urban legend - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Spurious Correlations
Fixed points: antipodes on the globe with the same temperature and pressure
Monty Hall problem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Longitudinal study - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Data dredging - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Post hoc analysis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brattoo Propaganda Software - Products
Backfire effect - RationalWiki
The Backfire Effect – You Are Not So Smart
Maladroite Cheval. on Vimeo

AKA "Humanity Horse"

There are always two opposite points on the Earth with the same temperature - YouTube
Intermediate value theorem - Wikipedia

In mathematical analysis, the intermediate value theorem states that if a continuous function, f, with an interval, [a, b], as its domain, takes values f(a) and f(b) at each end of the interval, then it also takes any value between f(a) and f(b) at some point within the interval.