Category Archives: 37 Minutes

Channel 37’s roundtable talk show. Commentary, discussion, interviews, in-depth features, and humor (of course) related to all things science fiction.

Audio Invasion – Episode 27: Writing

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Hi Everyone! Our latest episode is now live on Channel 37′ Audio Invasion!

Paul and Gary talk about writing! Writing for science fiction in general and for Channel 37 in particular. We look at past stories and give previews for future series. We also discuss how the framework of the Channel 37 environment influences our writing and style choices.

Listen today! Episode 27

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Why I Showed Up for Science

37 MinutesThis post originally appeared on Sotto Voce. Check out our podcast recap of the march.

I say “showed up” rather than “marched” because we arrived at the Ellipse by the Washington Monument early, around 9 am, and left shortly after noon, as the crowds were really starting to come in. As we joined the thin stream of departing early birds — soaked, cheerful, signs streaked with runny ink — we passed our metaphorical batons to the fresh crowds heading in the opposite direction, heartened by the fact that they outnumbered us many times over.

While we were there, we crossed the street to visit the World War II memorial, the first time Mrs. Sotto Voce and I had been there. As I viewed the bronze bas-relief scenes and read the long lists of battles carved in stone, I couldn’t help think about the role that science played in that war, for good and evil. The perversions of racial “science” triggered it, and the splitting of the atom ended it. And in between, science contributed to the development of countless things — medicine and surgery, ballistics and rocketry, propulsion and fuels, and so much more. Being reminded of that amid the pillars, victory arches, and Roman splendor of the memorial brought home to me the power of science in ways I hadn’t expected.

But science is more than inventions and discoveries that make our lives better (or, in the wrong hands, worse). The greatest, most fundamental contribution of science to our world is the method that makes those inventions and discoveries possible in the first place. Science is a way of asking questions that leads to meaningful answers. It is by far the single most successful technique that we humans have created so far for enabling us to discover how and why things appear to work, in ways that let us build on those insights to improve on what we have.

Scientific inquiry starts from a place of humility, an acknowledgment that we do not know. We come up with theories and hypotheses, we test them, we fail, we learn a little bit more, and use that to fail again better next time. A fundamental precept of science is openness to being wrong.

Of course, being human, we hate to let go of our pet hypotheses because we really, really wanted them to be right. And, being human, all too often we tie the fate of our reputations and our institutions to those outcomes too. But ultimately the preponderance of evidence carries the day and whether we like it or not the facts lead where they will, indifferent to wounded egos and failed grant applications.

A scientific fact is evidence that has prevailed.

And when we find its limits, when a fact no longer prevails, that in turn points us to the new facts that will replace it, on which we can build even further.

The opposite of scientific thought is a certainty born of a belief that one has already found all the answers that matter. The certainty that one’s way of viewing the world is complete, correct, and therefore sufficient not just for oneself but for everyone. The certainty that, because of those things, nothing needs to change — and, by extension, that change is a threat.

This issue cannot be reduced to a simple “conservative religious zealot vs. liberal godless snowflake” debate. Close-mindedness and certainty are absolutely nonpartisan and nondenominational. They affect every one of us, often in ways that we cannot see. Our fundamental mistake is to confuse “factual” with “right.”

Here’s the test: if you find yourself being faced with an empirically validated fact that challenges your worldview and you decide to stick with the worldview and deny the fact, then you’re the problem.

Sure, that fact could actually be wrong. But it’s up to you to prove it. Come up with an alternate hypothesis, test it, and see what happens. If you’re right, then we all have learned something that we didn’t know before. But you can’t be afraid of finding out that you’re wrong.

When Bill Nye debated Ken Ham about whether creationism is a viable model for explaining the origin of life, the last question was (and I’m paraphrasing here), If you were to be provided with sufficient evidence that your opponent’s point of view is actually the correct one, would you change your mind?

Bill Nye answered “Yes,” Ken Ham answered “No,” and that right there is the difference.

I stand with “Yes.”

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Episode 26 – Science Marches On!

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Paul and Gary share highlights from the Science March on April 22, 2017 in Washington DC.

It was a wet, day in DC with lots of white lab coats and signs. Paul and Gary share the day’s highlights and some of the interesting perspectives of the day and event.

Listen here: Episode 26

Don’t forget to subscribe!

We will be uploading images to this page as they become available (or when we get organized)

#marchforscience

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Audio Invasion Episode 25: The Banality of Triumph!

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Paul and Gary (and the grumpy ghost of Marcel Marceau) look at the past of space flight as well as the plans from the past. What happened to the big plans? and more importantly, how will we know when we have arrived as a space faring world?

Find out here: Episode 25

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Episode 24: Piccard’s Smooth Core

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Our first podcast for 2017 is now live!

Paul and Gary discuss the final three Star Trek shows: Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. Piccard actually has very little to do with the podcast, but Paul insisted on the title.

Please excuse the goat references.

Have fun!

Episode 24

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Audio Invasion – Episode 22: Fifty Years of Star Trek!

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Can you believe it’s been FIFTY YEAR since Star Trek appeared on TV?

Paul and Gary discuss Star Treks first few years. We look at The Original Series and offer a perspective on those as well as the Star Trek movies. We had so much to discuss that we’ll have to make Part 2 about The Next Generation.

Enjoy Here

P. S. Subscribe to Audio Invasion via podcast and get them before we even announce them!

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Audio Invasion – Episode 21: Games (Nerd) People Play

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Paul and Gary discuss Video, Arcade, and Computer Games, from “Pong” to the modern era.

Despite what might be heard on this podcast, Paul and Gary have the utmost love and admiration for the people of Texas!

Spoiler Alert! We discuss the final act of “Leather Goddess of Phobos” (an Infocom Game – remember them? A real nerd would)

Enjoy the podcast and don’t forget to subscribe with itunes!

Please feel free to comment on your digital favorites!

Here it is: Episode 21

SHOW NOTES:

Atlantic Fleet: Trailer

Bolo: Gameplay

Castle Wolfenstein: Gameplay

Crossfire: Gameplay

Deimos Rising: Gameplay

Parsec: Gameplay

Warcraft: The Leroy Jenkins Episode

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Audio Invasion! Episode 20 – Tech Happens

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Paul and Gary discuss Great Technological Failures in Science Fiction. Are these merely plot devices, or do they have something to say about humanity?

Also, Paul and Gary uncover the Starfleet Conspiracy. It would be too horrible if you didn’t hear it from us.

As as extra added bonus: Since it’s Summer we have “intentionally” added a drinking game. Grab your favorite Mojito or Margarita (better have a lot) and take a drink every time Gary says, “You know”

Have fun! Episode 20

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Audio Invasion Episode 19 – Artificial Intelligence

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Oh Tay! We hardly Knew Ye!

Paul and Gary discuss Artificial Intelligence in the wake of Microsoft’s Tay debacle. Paul also shares his joy at learning the “F” word, and Gary still remembers the bar of soap from his experience. Paul and Gary share three simple words that could save you from enslavement by the Silicon Overlords.

Don’t miss this episode!

Click here: Episode 19

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Audio Invasion – Episode 17 “The Force Awakens” Part 3

Audio Invasion

Audio Invasion

Join Paul and Gary, in our Season 3 opener, in reviewing “The Force Awakens!” Be warned – SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!

Paul and Gary review the World Record Movie “The Force Awakens.” We also see how well our five, er six predictions for the movie did.

Download the podcast here: Episode 17

Remember – All our subscribers get 10% off of Channel 37 merch at cons!

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