Guest Co-Host

I Origins movie backdrop

I Origins: rationality, eyeballs, and biometric ID w/ Daniel Barker

Featuring guest co-host
Daniel Barker headshotDaniel James Barker of Uncertainty Principle the Podcast

Eyeball anatomy

All the important parts, wherever they are! Who really cares anyway we’re only here for two in particular: the iris and the retina. The retinal blind spot.

Creationism

And intelligent design. Are wrong. Reaching conclusions and working backwards for fun and profit. Young Earth creationism. Dan’s religious upbringing. Irreducible complexity. Faulty reasoning.

The evolution of the modern vertebrate eyeball

Fish and their goofy eyeball arrangements. The crazy Charlie eyeball progress chart. Light sensitive flat patches, pits, enclosures, open pinhole eyeballs, lenses, and flexing your sphincters. Dan’s episode on Three-D Vision.

conspiracy charlie eyeball evolution

Comparative eyeball studies

Human eyes are pretty sweet! But there other ones that do other things (at their own local summits on Mount Improbable) and are also really good at stuff! Goats, sharks, snakes (sorta), bees. Removing your lenses for fun and profit. Monet’s lens removal and ultraviolet perception.

Eyeball shortcomings

Common “colorblindness” is a misnomer, but “color discernment syndrome” doesn’t flow as well. Retinal wiring and the “blind spot.” Saccades. “Chronostasis” or “the stopped clock illusion” and the tight coupling of our eyes and our brains.

Bio-identification

Selecting scanning sites for statistical uniqueness and natural resistance to hacking. The insufficiency of fingerprints. Iris scans. Retinal scans. Bio-identification security. Ease of use.

Rationality

Rationalism/spiritualism/etc. The rational scientific worldview and self-correction. The absolution of new knowledge.

Links

Richard Dawkins demonstrates the evolution of the eye: YouTube
Uncertainty Principle the Podcast Daniel James Barker: The Show | The Marty McFly episode

The Meg movie backdrop sharks

The Meg: claspers, megalodon teeth, and shark proponency w/ Melissa Marquez

Featuring guest co-host
Melissa Márquez headshotMelissa Márquez Website | Twitter

Sharks

A sharky public service message/pro-shark propaganda. Sharks get a bad wrap in the media. Eating weird stuff. The importance of sharks in the ocean and their roles in their particular ecosystems.

Shark behaviour

Biting the internet. Alternative shark species name suggestions. “Exploratory” biting. Claspers! The Megalodon’s likely “biiiiiiiiiig” penis. Shark skin with dermal denticles, aka “teeth paper.” Shark intelligence and how you might measure it.

The Megalodon

Irl best estimates of megalodon size vs the creatures of the film. Limited fossil data and cartilaginous skeletons. Learning from paleoarchaeological study of ancient shark relatives with more calcified skeletal material. Working backward from the modern shark bodyform. Ancient buzzsaw-mouthed monsters. The importance of teeth.

Helicoprion illustration

Helicoprion by ДиБгд via Wikimedia

The Marianas Trench

Pressure and darkness at depth. Adaptations to pressure and darkness. Odd, squishy creatures. Blob fish as the gudetama of the sea.

Blob fish

Blog fish by U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wikimedia

Conservation

Shark public image management. Sharks with eyebrows.

Links

Melissa’s Chondrichthyan-promotion organization: The Fins United Initiative
Melissa’s podcast: ConCiencia Azul

Sorry to Bother You movie backdrop

Sorry to Bother You: code switching, indie media, and the power of scifi w/ Eliot Peper

Featuring guest co-host
Eliot Peper headshot with puppyEliot Peper, author of Borderless

This movie

It gets a bit weird! And we have a bit of a time summarizing it.

Storytelling

Adventure stories. Social allegory. The power of science fiction in particular to force you to reframe your perception by believably breaking your assumptions. HG Wells and Moreau. Science fiction tropes and the subversion thereof. Christopher is bad at human things.

Code Switching

Languages, dialect, and speaking to your audience. “Not having to think about it.”

Media

Mass media vs indie communities. The lowest common denominator. Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans.

Milk stuff

A lament for the concentration on cow’s milk. Mare milk. Fermented milk products from cows and horses.

Links

Eliot Peper: Bandwidth | Borderless | Amazon Author Page
Key & Peele Obama Meet & Greet: YouTube
Key & Peele on Code Switching: YouTube

Doom 2005 movie poster

Doom: moons of Mars, space marines, and telefragging w/ Josh Effengee of LSG Media

Featuring guest co-host
Josh from LSG Media headshotJosh from LSG Media

Doom

Doom! Nostalgia.

The Martian moons

Crappy moons that can barely form a potato. Phobos and Deimos. Delineating between moons, planets, and all the other stuff. The likely origin of the Martian moons.

Space marines

Corporate space settlement and operations. Space Force. Josh reviews space marines; again. Martian weaponry.

Settling mars

Where to build? The cost of scratch settlement construction. Caves and lava tubes. Teleporting resources changes the game.

Ancient aliens

The Prometheus Problem, again. Doom humans-on-mars hypotheses: aliens developed humans on Mars vs humans originated on Mars. Species resurrection. Gene therapy. Chromosomal addition and subtraction.

Martian miscellany

Nano walls! Water on Mars! Telefragging!

Links:

Decipher RPG Mirror Pilot #3

Decipher RPG – Mirror Pilot #3 (the finale!)

Our heroes make a real mess of an airship or two, and FINALLY Bodyguard Chris manages to turn the tables and make something of his repeated failures. Emperor Colbert tries not to die before the end.

(This podcast is the finale of our pilot series for Decipher RPG where we play Mirror by Sandy Pug Games with Liam Ginty. Previously: Part 1 | Part 2)

Decipher RPG Mirror Pilot #2

Decipher RPG – Mirror Pilot #2

Emperor Colbert dresses down and bodyguard Chris rediscovers the joy of the bidet and the German shelf toilet. Then: daring aerial maneuvers!

(This podcast is the second part of our pilot series for Decipher RPG where we play Mirror by Sandy Pug Games with Liam Ginty. Previously: Part 1)

Decipher RPG Mirror Test #1

Decipher RPG – Mirror Pilot #1

This podcast is the first of three episodes of our pilot series for Decipher RPG where we play Mirror by Sandy Pug Games with Liam Ginty. Here is part 2!

After some particular fun with character creation, Emperor Colbert’s coronation is interrupted by a sudden attack. With RPG-Colbert still entranced in his ceremonial mask, his bodyguard Chris rushes him to safety, but… airships!

Aliens 1986 movie backdrop

Aliens: hyperlseep, how to terraform, and Blade Runner reconciliation w/ Josh from LSG media

Featuring guest co-host
Josh from LSG Media headshotJosh from LSG Media

Love

Love! For James Cameron and Aliens. And the great utilitarian design of the spaceship interiors. Great world-building.

Hypersleep

Cryosleep? Ice sublimation and mummified Sigourney Weaver. Hibernation. How to shove pine cones up your butt, chug some Nyquil, and turn into a bear. Cryogenic specimen preservations: sperm! DIY fecal plugs for hibernation.

Private space industry

The rise of private space industry. Going dystopian.

Planetary operations

Planet? Moon? The delineation between planets and moons and looking forward to the future when we get confused again. Demoting Pluto to planetoid. Terraforming Mars. Sad news on Martian CO2 supplies for atmosphere creation. Crater settlements and whether or not you need a roof. Atmospheric density limits for human comfort and thriving.

Xenomorphs

But are they really called Xenomorphs? The throwaway line in Aliens that spawned decades of confusion.

Send the robots

Always send the robots. Unless you are an evil corporation with shady goals. Milk robots…?

Blade Runner connection

Blade Runner and Aliens are the same universe. The separate lines of technological development that yielded replicants and Aliens’ “synthetics.” Blade Runner 2049’s anime prequel and how that informs the universe crossover.

Links

Aliens: iTunes | Amazon
Josh’s shows on LSG Media: Science Fiction Film Podcast | The X-Files Podcast
Josh’s escape room in Massachusetts: Mass Escape
Jurassic World, Jurassic Values by Mike Hill: YouTube

Ready Player One movie backdrop

Ready Player One: virtual reality haptics, digital economies, and optical trickery w/ Jolene Creighton

Featuring guest co-host
Jolene Creighton headshotJolene Creighton

Fandom

Identity according to interests. Fiction as personal and social mirror. Cultures and subcultures and super-niches.

The “Stacks”

Ad-hoc city large-scale construction. Kowloon Walled City.

Virtual Reality immersion technology

VR treadmills vs slippy-feet (Virtuix Omni). Looking silly. Scaling and translation from real-world input to virtual worlds. Manual and body haptics. Simulating moistness. Nard-stimulation for good and ill.

VR spatial awareness

Directional trickery in virtual reality. Tricking people into experiencing smaller real-world spaces as much larger in virtual reality. Saccade-driven Redirected Walking for VR.

Resolution of virtual worlds

Pixel densities and optical foci. Continuity of experience and detection of the difference between virtual and simulated worlds. Finding the clever “hacks” that will enable us to more deeply immerse ourselves in VR experiences.

Sharding

Virtual world scale and sharding vs mon-worlds.Virtu

Value systems

Real virtual economies and responsibility.

Links

Ready Player One iTunes | Amazon
Ready Player One (book) by Ernest Cline iTunes | Amazon
Saccade-driven Redirected Walking for VR YouTube
A Real Life Haptic Glove (Ready Player One Technology Today) by Smarter Every Day YouTube
The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill by Smarter Every Day YouTube
Kowloon Walled City interactive feature WSJ
The Brookhaven Experiment Steam

Man From Earth Holocene: hunter gatherer nostalgia and trading intestines for brains w/ Adrian Falcone

Featuring guest co-host
adrian falcone headshotAdrian Falcone

The Man From Earth

Our love for the original. Considering the sequel. People talking in a room.

Nostalgia

The coming-on of the bronze age. Grocking the rate of progress w/ Dominick Perry. “Free time” in hunter-gatherer societies. Nostalgia as a way to bridge from what was old and comfortable to what is new and scary.

Cro-magnon

Anatomically modern humans vs socially modern humans. The evolutionary advantage of controlled fire and beginning to cook food. Getting away from all-day mastication and looooooooong intestines in favor of the big brain on Brad.

Primitive Technology

Getting boy without modern technology. The earliest evidence for humans cooking with fire. Differentiating human-controlled fire from millennia ago from other sources (like iguanas, or wildfires).

Growing old

Life expectancies over time. Appreciation for antibiotics. Life expectancy vs lifespan. Evolving into a centauranarian.

Jesus

Less-than-generous portrayals of religious characters. Third-act surprises. Jesus vs the antichrist.

Resolutions

Resolutions?

Links

The Man From Earth: Holocene: iTunes | Amazon
Primitive Technology: YouTube
The Man From Earth: iTunes | Amazon | Decipher SciFi