Cosmos, Slack, and Etc.

This will be kind of a disjointed post. I just yesterday returned from a librarian conference in Indianapolis.

I am schedule for Jury Duty tomorrow, but seem to be coming down with a cold, probably from spending several hours sealed into the filthy disease-infested metal tube that is an airplane. I tried to used the “defer” option on the county jury duty website, but it wouldn’t let me, so I will show up sick and snotty in the morning. Perhaps it will help me to not have to serve. That’s what they say.

Anyway, as I said, a disjointed post from a weary mind and tired body. Too tired to proof this. You’ll just have to live with the typos.

Last night was episode 2 of the new Cosmos series. My new main man head honcho of science, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, threw down the gauntlet last night on national TV by simply stating that evolution is fact

I’m not sure why creationism annoys me so much. I think it’s because the creationist thought process usually feeds a lot of other ideas. Climate change denial. Homophobia. The list goes on. I think I’m right about this. Oh, maybe not in every single instance, but in most. I don’t feel the same way about all religion. Really. I don’t. I don’t believe in any religion, but I certainly don’t hold in disdain reasonable  religious believers. It’s the crazy ones I can’t stand. In the end, everyone is just trying to make sense of the world, and questions of life’s origins are, for most of us, not operationally all that important on a day to day basis.

Anyhooo…Cosmos 2 was great. I think episode 2 was even better than the first episode. They are using the nice computer graphics to really enhance the science-telling, and not letting them take over.

And with regard to the evolution issue, Neil was really just masterful in the way he explains it all without making anyone feel stupid. Sure, the really heavy duty creationists will be pissed off, but overall Neil really does a great job of leading people to the light without brow-beating them. That’s the way you have to do these things. No one likes to be told they are stupid.

Good stuff.

As I write this, I’m listening to the Subgenius Hour of Slack. Rev. Ivan Stang has been producing the Hour of Slack for many years. He and his fellow Subgenius are really fantastic at producing audio collages. As a podcaster, I really appreciate their skill. You gotta put some time into it and really put some energy into collecting sounds to do this kind of thing.

The Church of the Subgenius. DEVO. A few other things like that. These things — I just find them so wonderfully correct. In their subversive craziness they just totally it it right. DEAD ON RIGHT.  Where Jello Biafra (who I dig) beats you over the head with the truth, DEVO and the Subgenius sneak it into a suppository …

OK, now for the ETC. part of this post.

Whilst the librarian conference was going on at the gigantic Indianapolis Convention Center, the Indiana Comic Con was also in the building, and it was the most joyful event I’ve ever seen. I have not been to a Con since the whole cosplay thing became so popular. The Con was sold out, but people were holding their own out in the halls of the convention center. They were totally stoked. It was their time, they would not be robbed of it, and I love it that these folks get to do what they like and be themselves.

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2 thoughts on “Cosmos, Slack, and Etc.

  1. zeppomanx

    I don’t set out to be contrarian but it seems more often than not that is where I end up. I definitely thought the second episode was better than the first but for me the graphics, music, and animation distract more than inform. The music sound (to my ear) way too manipulative, but then again I know by the growing swells from the orchestra which are supposed to be the really dramatic parts. I have not re-watched the old series but I remember it being more about science than presentation.

    It kind of bugged me when he refers to evolution as a person, “evolution sculpted the eye” or evolution made these choices. Almost God like the guy named Evolution.

    And episode 1’s Bruno segment took up almost a third of the show and he wasn’t a scientist. I always found the really interesting thing about the change of view from geocentric to heliocentric was not that the idea wasn’t out there (by more than just Bruno) but that it was rejected because the math didn’t work. In essence it could not be proved using the knowledge of the day. For me, that is the cool part, it isn’t accepted until you can prove it, and from my Google education it seems none of Bruno’s ideas could be proved.

    So I agree with everything the new Cosmos says, so I should be singing its praises, yet I keep seeing things that cause me to pause. Like I said, don’t start out looking to disagree, maybe it happens because of some psychological flaw deep inside me.

    1. admin Post author

      I don’t disagree with you Dave. I think that’s just the way television is now, and also this is not airing on PBS — it is on a major commercial network, so perhaps that has something to do with the somewhat different approach. I do think that the graphics enhance it a lot. There are parts of the original series that I really loved, like the trip to the great library at Alexandria, which I don’t know if he will do in this series. On the one hand, why do it again when Sagan already did it. On the other, how many people will go back and watch the original?


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