We’re back with another news chat episode. The news is weird, as usual. Strange days indeed…
Mothman reappears close to the 50th anniversary. Howard suspects pecuniary interests might be involved in the promotion of these local legends. The same can be suggested for the many YouTubers and websites that promote “weird news” like anomalies, natural disasters, and UFO sightings as something to panic over. But not all these use ads or appear to make money off their notoriety. Is there something more basic involved? Are they just high on the attention they get? Addicted to “going viral”? It’s a new world out there since the Internet totally blew the National Enquirer and Weekly World News out of the air.
- Mothman “reappears” coincidentally close to the 50th anniversary date
- Mothman Statue, Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Is it fair to judge kids on their lack of critical thinking about news stories when we never teach them how to do that? What would it take to increase the value of critical thinking skills in our society? Should the US Skeptical organizations make this a focus? We mull over these questions. Here is my post about it: American society ignores learning how to think critically – it’s hardly surprising where we ended up. Howard mentions Steven Novella also holds this view: NeuroLogica Blog » Civic Online Reasoning
A not insignificant number of people subscribe to and actively promote the idea that aliens are visiting earth. When anyone speaks out against these views, they attack those people. It didn’t matter that DN produced a story about an admitted HOAX about UFOs attacking Turkey, the particular point of the story was lost in the storm of outrage that anyone could be so stupid as to not believe the earth is already taken over by nefarious forces, like Google. According to Scott (UFOofInterest), the followers of SecureTeam and those that are deeply invested in this belief and all the conspiratorial threads used to support it, regularly attack the messenger. From either side of this issue, it appears to be cognitive dissonance at its finest. From my personal blog: Response to UFO stories are predictably rude and ironic.
Make sure to read the comments for my pieces, they contain some worthwhile contributions to understanding the bigger picture.
We also touch on the formation of sinkholes. This event in Fukuoku Japan looks horrendous but through the eyes of a geologist or geotechnical engineer, it looks a bit different.
Japanese road reopens one week after vast sinkhole appeared | World news | The Guardian
We did discuss if anyone was hurt. The event was reported at 5AM on November 8. In our discussion, we touch a bit on the problem of language barriers preventing us from obtaining details on the story, but I did translate this page that suggests that initial subsidence was noticed, traffic was blocked, and people were evacuated before the mass collapse occurred.
It’s not surprising at all that the sinkhole repair area is subsiding, they are very difficult to fix entirely and maintenance and observation will be required for a while as settling and any further movement occurs.
Howard recommends episode 152 of the Exposing Pseudoastronomy that discusses Young Earth Creationists versus flat-earthers.
Is there any redeeming value in Drunk History on Comedy Central? Maybe, we’re still divided on this one. They cover the Fox Sisters in the episode called “Siblings”. It’s sorta, kinda skeptical…
You may be able to get the episode through signing in with your TV provider service on the CC website or view it on Hulu with a subscription. I’m not finding it publicly available to link to the clip here, sorry.
Please subscribe and share this. If you value rational discussion about these zany topics, you must spread the word. Listener means everything and what we want most is to add more listeners, to bring people in to see what we have to say. If you don’t like it, send a respectful, civil email outlining your points of contention (preferably with references to support your claims) to credibilitypodcast(at)gmail.com. And if you do like it, say so on social media. If that blasted worldwide network can promote a wave of nonexistent UFOs, it can also demonstrate that there is some down-to-earth people speaking out too!
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