It's National Science Week! We're celebrating by having a good old beer and a chin wag with the most enthusiastic, happy, playful scientists around - the Scientists Who Bloody Love Their Jobs!
Q: What’s the difference between Donald Trump and phlogiston?
A: Phlogiston was dismissed when the evidence piled up against it
Is it true that we are now truly post-truth? And if we are, what influence do alternative facts in fact have on us compared to facty facts?
Are we on a one-way, turbo-boosted, death-ride to heck because Donald Trump thinks Fox News is the best source of policy advice?
Maybe we are.
If it's true we are living in a post-truth world, what does that mean? What are the results beyond doom-splattered headlines and apoplectic op-eds?
But then, what in the hell are we supposed to do about it? What do you do when chunks of the world are being run by people who literally deny things that are right in front of them because they don't like what they see?
How do you grapple with opponents so intellectually slippery they are basically frictionless? Well honestly, we don't know. But we reckon we know so people who might.
That's why for the next Wholesome Show, we’ve assembled a posse of wildly clever and experienced people to help us make sense of world in which relying on the truth is almost a career-limiting move.
Join us at the Wig and Pen on Thursday**, April 20 at 7:30
**yes, we’re playing on Thursday this month
If you're reading this before November the 8th, then the entertainment mega-franchise that is the US election is still thundering towards climax.
But by the time The Wholesome Show next hits the stage, we will know if we’re heading towards Trumpocalypse or Clintopia in 2017.
After the dust settles, we reckon all you sentient, thinking humans will appreciate a gentle*, hype-free**, and 100% Wholesome*** US election debrief. Cos whatever the result, there’s going to be a lot to talk about, so we’re going to talk about a lot of it. With experts. And fortifying ales.
In our last live show of the year, we’ll probe, summarise and rummage around in the wonder that was the US election. We’ll muse innerlektshully about how the world is going to look with Hillary Trump in charge. We’ll be asking clever and experienced people to tell us how Donald Clinton’s reign will affect out tiny island continent downunder.
We’ll probably have a wee chat about social values, fact-free politics and how anyone could possibly identify with that Hillnald Trumpton person. And by the end of the night, everything will make sense.
So why no pop along to the Wig & Pen fine ale emporium on Wednesday, November 16 and join us for a nice relaxing post-election autopsy. It’s gonna be yuge – BENGHAZI!
Nice warm hugs, Rod’n’Will
*with hints of mania
**Ok maybe some hype
*** if “100%” means “not at all”
Good music is just the best, right? But bad music is simply evil, wrong and terrible.
If you’re feeling low, you just pop on a little Enya and suddenly the world’s a beautiful place. But if you accidently play that Justin Beiber song that someone else must have put on your phone, life gets weird and confusing and irritating.
What is this mystical power music has over us? How can a simple pattern of rhythmic sounds be so mind-blowingly potent?
Like what about earworms. You know how it is. One minute you’re driving along and pondering the solution to global poverty and then for no apparent reason BAM!, you’re whistling Shake it Off and wondering if your new sunglasses make you look fat. What happened to solving poverty? Can't remember now. But goddamn, doesn’t Tay-Tay make you feel simply fabulous about forgetting?
Music may be the closest thing to actual magic that we have. In fact, music appears to have a universally strong influence on all living things. For example, did you know scientists have discovered* that if you play Bob Marley to this one species of flatworm they become insatiable cannibals?
OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration… But still, it’s clear that tunes are important and influential to pretty much all of humanity and have been throughout recorded history. So in this episode, we’re having a bit of a look at music and the many we ways we play with it, and it plays with us.
Why not come along and see if the rhythm gets you, too?
*no they haven’t. They really, really haven’t (ed.)
You’ve probably already worked out that we at Team Wholesome have a lot of time to wonder about things. As independently mega-wealthy gentlefolk-of-learning, we often spend weeks lying around the Wholesome Luxury Resort and Day Spa® just wondering.
But what do we wonder about?
Well recently we’ve been wondering if there was any knowledge that humanity doesn't need. Or shouldn't have. Or does need but is too risky to find out about. Or that some people should have but others shouldn’t. And also, we mused, if there should be any restrictions on research and knowledge, just how the hell should we decide who does what and who gets to know about it?
It all started when we talked with a medical doctor who thinks prohibiting recreational drugs is a bad idea, and actively researches and lobbies for different approaches. Turns out some people are not at all happy about that. At all.
So we wondered further…
If he’s right, what else that people currently consider to be evil, bad and wrong might need a re-think? Should we actually be looking for the best and most wonderful recreational drugs we can imagine? Do we need to focus less on nice, safe things like kittens and cakes, and more on ‘nasty’ things, like how a psychopath’s mind works, or why ear wax tastes so bad?
Of course if we do the danger is that the facts we find about our world could be a wee bit confronting. They could suggest we should go in directions we really don't like.
Could all get a bit awkward, eh? That’s why in this episode we’re going to see if we actually can handle the truth.
In the 70s we were all waiting for the oil to run out. And nuclear holocaust.
In the 80s we were all waiting for, well, nuclear holocaust.
In the 90s AIDS was 100% going to wipe out 80 billion people (even more than a nuclear holocaust).
Then along came the naughties and it was all about climate catastrophe (not quite nuclear, but very, very holocausty).
Now it seems global economic meltdown is the new big bad (no so much a holocaust as a dollarcaust <badoom tish>)
And of course alongside these horrors there’s biological weapons, terrorists, asteroids, antibiotic resistance, gay marriage, refugees, wind turbines and the music of Nickelback all poised to tip us into a dystopian nightmare so awful that even imagining it will kill you and literally all of your relatives.
These are just the things we thought of over our first sip of coffee this morning. And we ain’t even experts. Imagine what other bladder-emptying stuff might be waiting to pounce that only those really in the know, know.
At The Wholesome Show, we refuse to just sit around and not find out everything we can about how bad things can get. We’re going to talk to the clued-up people who can tell us things that will properly and thoroughly liquefy our bowels. But that’s not enough is it? It can’t all be doom and gloom. Luckily we’re also the kind of plucky investigative journalists* who want to uncover what the world is doing to prepare for all the pending icks. We don't just want to know about worst case scenarios, we want to see what smart folks are doing about it.
Scared enough to be intrigued? Come join us as we discover what’s the worst that can happen.
(*we are not even remotely journalists in fact we’re barely even investigative)
If you were asked to describe yourself, where would you begin? Would you start with your hair colour, your age or your height? Would you mention your job, or that you have children? Maybe you’d talk about things you enjoy (like flowers or hugs) or things you don’t (like Nazis or hemorrhoids). With very little prompting, you’d have plenty to say. And people who knew you would probably agree…probably.
But what if you were asked to describe your society, or your culture? What if you had to explain to an alien what’s normal for the people around you: to define what’s mainstream?
Could you do it? And even if you could, do you think other people would agree?
At the Wholesome Show, we hate* this kind of speculation. We want to know how to measure mainstream, to assess average. We want facts, and proof, and evidence and also facts. We want to find out if it’s true that the average family has 2.4 kids (and if so, does the 0.4 kid have two arms and no legs, or one leg and one arm?). We need to know if all Australian citizens eat meat pies and think Hugh Jackman should be Prime Minister. We also yearn to learn if this sort of information is of any real value. To anyone. Anywhere.
That’s why in our spellbinding first episode, the vaguely good drs lamberts and grant unpack the question that has plagued all of humanity everywhere since before the Big Bang – how do we know if someone is normal: how can we tell if they are truly one of us?
(*we love this kind of speculation)