The most logical logical fallacy of them all, the existential fallacy

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Hypothetical situations involving dragons, robots, spaceships, and vampires have all been used to prove and disprove arguments.

Statements about things that do not exist can still be true, and can be useful thinking tools for exploring philosophical, logical, sociological, and scientific concepts.

The problem is that sometimes those same arguments accidentally require those fictional concepts to be real in order to support their conclusions, and that’s when you commit the existential fallacy.

In this episode we explore the most logical logical fallacy of them all, the existential fallacy. No need to get out your pens and paper, we will do that for you, as we make sense of one the most break-breaking thinking mistakes we’ve ever discovered.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the tenth in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.

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This episode is sponsored by Bombas – game-changing socks. Bombas decided to take socks seriously, by designing the most highly engineered, best-fitting, comfortable socks humans have ever imagined – and they look cool too. Go to Bombas.com/SOSMART for 20% off your first order.

This episode is also sponsored by Casper Mattresses. Buying a Casper mattress is completely risk free. Casper offers free delivery and free returns with a 100-night home trial. If you don’t love it, they’ll pick it up and refund you everything. Casper understands the importance of truly sleeping on a mattress before you commit, especially considering you’re going to spend a third of your life on it. Read the rest

How you can avoid committing the "conjunction fallacy"

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Here is a logic puzzle created by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

“Linda is single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with the issue of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in demonstrations. Which of the following is more probable: Linda is a bank teller or Linda is a bank teller AND is active in the feminist movement?”

In studies, when asked this question, more than 80 percent of people chose number two. Most people said it was more probably that Linda is a bank teller AND active in the feminist movement, but that’s wrong. Can you tell why?

This thinking mistake is an example of the subject of this episode – the conjunction fallacy. Listen as three experts in logic and reasoning explain why people get this question wrong, why it is wrong, and how you can avoid committing the conjunction fallacy in other situations.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the ninth in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

This episode is sponsored by Bombas – game-changing socks. Bombas decided to take socks seriously, by designing the most highly engineered, best-fitting, comfortable socks humans have ever imagined – and they look cool too. Go to Bombas.com/SOSMARTfor 20% off your first order.

This episode is also sponsored by Squarespace. Creating your website with Squarespace is a simple, intuitive process. Read the rest

Dancers in the house

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This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.

A roving. shifting company of dance and performance artists is nudging its audiences to think about home differently -- by bringing one-off, site-specific performances to houses, live-work spaces and tiny apartments all over the Los Angeles area. Meet homeLA.

HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network. If you like what you hear, please rate/review the show on iTunes. NEW: Subscribe to the newsletter.

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Podcast: How we'll kill all the DRM in the world, forever

I'm keynoting the O'Reilly Security Conference in New York in Oct/Nov, so I stopped by the O'Reilly Security Podcast (MP3) to explain EFF's Apollo 1201 project, which aims to kill all the DRM in the world within a decade. Read the rest

What Would Happen if We Stopped Eating Meat?

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Today we go to a future where animal products are banned. It’s one that lots of listeners have asked for so here you go. We talk about what happens to the land, the animals and the humans in this equation.

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In this episode we discuss the arguments in favor and against banning meat. How does that impact culture? Why should we do it? Does it help or hurt the environment? Can you really grow meat in a lab? And is that meat vegan?

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TV Dreamland

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This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.:

When TV producer Phil Savenick started collecting vintage TVs and TV memorabilia, he didn’t anticipate that he’d end up with what he now calls a “dreamland of televisions” in the living room of his West Los Angeles home — or that he’d end up helping the family of the man who invented TV heal some old wounds.

HOME is a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network. If you like the show, take a minute to drop by the iTunes Store and give it a rating and/or review. 

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Mexico-US illegal migration has been at zero for 8 years, and other eye-opening facts

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NPR's On the Media have released a new installment in their indispensable Breaking News Consumer's Handbook (previously), this one about migration -- legal and illegal -- and it's a doozy. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast's A Song of Ice and Fire book club continues

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The Boars, Gore, and Swords book club continues with the Boiled Leather chapter order combining George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. On this week's "Holes Want Filling," Ivan and Red cover Cersei I (AFFC), Tyrion I (ADWD), and Daenarys I (ADWD), and discuss ceremonial robes that didn't make it to television, Cersei's continued fall down the priorities ladder, and which actors are too dignified to be stuck in a wine cask.

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To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter@boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Kevin "Kids in the Hall" McDonald has a podcast

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Tavie writes, "Kevin McDonald of the classic Canadian sketch comedy troupe Kids in the Hall has just launched a brand-new podcast, 'Kevin McDonald's Kevin McDonald Show.'" It's an old-fashioned variety show with interviews, sketches, and musical guests." Read the rest

Could a dead Gettysburg soldier be identified by the photograph he held?

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After the Battle of Gettysburg, a dead Union soldier was found near the center of town. He bore no identification, but in his hands he held a photograph of three children. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll follow the efforts of one Philadelphia physician to track down the lost man's family using only the image of his children.

We'll also sample a 9-year-old's comedy of manners and puzzle over a letter that copies itself.

Show notes

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast continues the A Song of Ice and Fire book club

Ash-and-Iron Wife

The Boars, Gore, and Swords book club forges on with the Boiled Leather chapter order combining George R.R. Martin's A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. In this week's "Ghost of Sand Snakes Yet to Come," Ivan and Red cover the chapters "The Prophet" and "The Captain of the Guards." They discuss the religious importance of drowning, weapon-based objectophilia, and which European landmarks found their way to Dorne.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

The story of Donald Crowhurst, who tried to fake sailing around the world in 1968.

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In 1968 British engineer Donald Crowhurst entered a round-the-world yacht race, hoping to use the prize money to save his failing electronics business. Woefully unprepared and falling behind, he resorted to falsifying a journey around the world. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe the desperate measures that Crowhurst turned to as events spiraled out of his control.

We'll also get some updates on Japanese fire balloons and puzzle over a computer that turns on the radio.

Show notes

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More Perfect: Radiolab's genius podcast about the Supreme Court

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When I first heard that Radiolab (previously), the wonderful podcast that combines deep dives into technical subjects with masterful storytelling, was going to start a new podcast about the Supreme Court, it sounded like a weird fit. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast begins the A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons combined chapter order

Orell Warg'ing

Instead of individually covering the fourth and fifth books in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, the  Boars, Gore, and Swords book club is reading the Boiled Leather chapter order organized by Sean T. Collins. The new order combines the concurrently occurring events of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons into one massive undertaking. In this week's "World of Wargcraft," Ivan and Red get into the books' respective prologues. Catch up on previous book club episodes, going over the previous novels as well as the Dunk and Egg stories.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

Rose, Mercedes and The Days Of The Dead

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How do you encourage a dead woman to leave your house? It helps if you have a hammer, balloons and confetti.

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., the story of actress/writer/artist Rose Portillo, and of the Los Angeles house she was born into. It was the scene of her family's ascent, assimilation and culture clash, and of the long process, spanning life and death, of Rose coming to terms with the contentious spirit of her grandmother. 

HOME is part of the Boing Boing Podcast Network.

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"Security is what happens to people, not machines"

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Eleanor Saitta (previously) -- a security researcher who's done extensive work training vulnerable groups in information security and now security architect for Etsy -- appears on the most recent O'Reilly Security podcast (MP3), discussing a human-centered approach to security, design and usability that I found to be an accessible and concise critique of mainstream security thinking and an inspiring direction for security practitioners. Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast resumes ASOIAF book club

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Now that the sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones has ended, Boars, Gore, and Swords returns to the book club format to finish off the last few chapters of A Storm of Swords. In this week's "Songs for the Deaf Dick," Ivan and Red cover chapters Samwell IV and Jon XI, skip the previously covered Tyrion XI, and go on to Samwell V and Jon XII. Catch up on previous book club episodes, then join the boys next week as they start on A Feast for Crows.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon. Read the rest

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