Episode 97 – 12th August 2011

This week we smash open the window of analysis and loot all of the best commentary on the London riots – as well as argue about Morrissey (again), electric cars and propose free beer for all!

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Technology and Riots (2:10) by Martin Robbins
Crowd Control (8:08) by Dean Burnett
Reading and Riots (15:20) by Frank Key
Pandemrix and Narcolepsy (20:21) by Simon Howard
Lords Reform (29:32) by Cory Hazelhurst
Morrissey Response (35:32) by Dan Swindlehurst
Electric Cars & Top Gear (40:22) by Tom Hodden
Maperton Trust (48:25) by Adam Cuerden
Free Beer (55:48) by Adam Jacobs
The sketches are by David Lovesy and Brian Two

Follow-Up Stuff:

  • Adam’s Maperton Trust report in full:

16 thoughts on “Episode 97 – 12th August 2011

  1. I thought the baby/2 mice analogy was flawed because even if you place all life equally, 2 mice are unlikely to live even 10 years, combined. One baby is likely to live around 70 years, so with the baby you get at least 7 times more life than two mice put together.

    Nevertheless the argument still works if you replace the mice with giant turtles, I just mean to indicate that life has a time dimension to it to. And also a sustainability dimension. What it was 1 baby or 2 endangered tigers, the last of their species. Save a baby and make a species extinct or allow that species a chance to continue? Probably most would save the baby, but it’s a harder decision now – and I bet not *all* would save the baby.

    If I had a point, I think I lost it.

  2. Hi Peter

    I never even considered the time dimension, nice idea

    I’d save the baby though, purely because I prefer babies to mice, most of the time

  3. @DeanBurnett

    Please slow down! Pause between sentences and paragraphs. Take a breath occasionally!

    Once again I’ve found your contribution unintelligible.

  4. Wait a second, I am on a show and somebody thinks its Dean who was unintelligible? But he even used real words and remembered not to mumble…

  5. Hey Thomas,

    That’s my fault – sorry! I did think about talking a bit about narcolepsy, but kinda thought that it would be understood because of all the “weird lives” type documentaries about it… and the Ben Folds song, of course 😉

    Obviously, I judged it wrongly, probably because of my medically skewed view of the world.

    Sorry about that, I’ll try hard not to do it again!


  6. @Peter has, I think, grasped an important point.

    If I had to choose between saving a baby and a person with a terminal illness from the fire, I’d choose the baby because if has more life to live, more “potential” if you like. These two are both from the same species.

    If I had to choose between saving a cat or a mouse from the fire, I’d probably pick the cat. Again, it will live longer.

    Although, it is not just about how long the mice/baby/cat can live, but more abut their “potential” (for want of a better word). Human beings can generally plan for the future, undertake projects and responsibilities, etc, in a way that animals cannot. Do these mean that most humans can live a more fulfilled life than animals? Not sure, but it is arguable.

    Harder cases are where I have to choose between saving a comatose human with little life expectancy and a newly born pair of chimpanzees. Get over the species bias and you may conclude the chimps should be saved.

    In short, human lives are generally more valuable than animal lives because of what most humans are like – not by virtue of them being human.

    Finally, I am a vegetarian, but I think Morrisey is an arse.

  7. I thought Adam’s piece on ‘Free Beer’ was brilliant. You start with a ‘daft’ idea, work the numbers, brainstorm some of the obvious problems and end with something actually quite sensible. Politicians fear ridicule over anything else other than failure. Which is a shame, most new ideas sound silly to start with. Those that don’t aren’t really new.

  8. Not that I disagree with the notion that there should be free and open communications, but it seems to me that Martin Robbins isn’t offering much evidence (beyond anecdotes) that social networking sites were critical in the Arab Spring.

  9. @Adam Jacobs

    Listening to your segment on free beer, I was amazed at your comment that you almost couldn’t believe anyone didn’t like beer. I’ve always been equally amazed that anyone actually DOES like beer, let alone a majority of people. I think it’s an acquired taste, but considering it’s as bitter as all hell when you first try it, I can’t believe there are so many people that manage to acquire a taste for it. Obviously it doesn’t taste like the disgusting swill to most people as it does to me! I’ve never had a whole one. I got through most of one once and felt sick. I have too much of a sweet tooth I guess.

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