Monday, August 27, 2012

Brief downer on TWiT

On the latest episode of This Week in Tech one of Leo LaPorte's guests was Adam Curry.  Curry is a former MTV VJ from the late 1980's, but currently he is a tech entrepreneur and co-host of the No Agenda podcast.  Curry, who is known for his crank alternative viewpoints and is a big proponent of various conspiracy theories.  He is sort of the anit-Karl Mamer.

Unfortunately, Curry was a guest shortly after the passing of icon and hero to many, Astronaut Neil Armstrong, who as almost everyone is aware was the first man to walk on the moon.  Except that Curry when asked about Armstrong shared that he did not believe Armstrong landed on the moon and the truth, at least as concerned to Armstrong, died with him.  Now, the episode was not slatted to be a debate on the alleged moon hoax, but it at least seemed to me that any appropriate tribute to Armstrong was derailed by Curry's ideas.  What I found worse is that nobody challenged him other than to agree to disagree.  A long winded debate need not ensue, but at least some appropriate indignation would have been nice.  I cannot help but wonder if friend of skepticism and occasional TWiT guest Brian Brushwood would have been on the panel that he would have taken a bit more of a stand against conspiratorial nonsense.

The episode overall was fine, but this bit of a wet noodle beginning regarding the moon landing was disappointing.


-cross posted on The Underground Teapot.

12 comments:

  1. You're actually being way too kind to Leo Lapprte. He actually elicited Curry's nonsense. When Armstrong's death came up, Laporte made some lame statement deferring to people with different (ie conspiracy) views of the moon landings. Apparently he already knew that Curry is an idiot.

    Laporte is an a**.

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  2. Leo has a tendency to agree with his guests which often serves him well. I understand why Leo brought it up since Curry's world view is well known. I do not understand at least making a crystal clear stand that Curry is wrong, and he dishonors the memory of Armstrong and all those who worked to put him on the moon. It was disgrace.

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    1. disgrace, or finally someone points across a different view, adam obviously didnt want to talk about it, but leo kept pushing,

      its a tech show Leo ! , lets get back to

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  3. >>>"Leo has a tendency to agree with his guests which often serves him well."

    But it's much worse than that here.

    Leo doesn't *agree* with something Curry has said. In fact, * Leo* is the one who brings up the conspiracy- he actually elicits Curry's nonsense! You can hear it here:

    http://aolradio.podcast.aol.com/twit/twit0368.mp3

    At 4:20 in the mp3, he asks, "Adam, do you actually believe that he (Armstrong) walked on the moon?" -- Leo's line is the first mention of conspiracy.

    I've been listening to TWiT since the beginning, listened to countless of his podcasts, and been a fan, but this really goes too far, considering that it's the opening segment -- about Armstrong's death.

    It's bizarre and inexcusable. Leo is an a**, and I won't be listening to him anymore.

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  4. I interpreted Leo's question as a joking "let's poke fun at the conspiracy nut" and he was surprised when Curry responded as he did. It's possible that Leo is not versed enough in skepticism to be able to argue so he just let it go. I agree, too bad Brushwood wasn't there.

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  5. I'd like to see more of an uproar over this. Disgusting.

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  6. Lets not forget that you don't KNOW that he walked on the moon, most people don't - most people chose to BELIEVE, but you weren't there so you can't know. And most people who report it to you weren't there, they pass on what others have heard.
    I'm no saying it didn't happen, but objectively and logically 99.9% of the people on the planet don't KNOW - they chose to believe. That a few people chose to believe something else is their right, and they shouldn't be persecuted because of it.

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  7. I'd already abandoned TWiT (as seemingly more apt name, now) after Leo cancelled all their science programming (Futures in Biotech, Dr Kiki's Science Hour, and This Week in Science), but if I hadn't I'd be even more disgusted by this abominable promotion of conspiracy nonsense. TWiT is seeming to go to shit, and I'm glad I don't waste time on it any more, good riddance.

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  8. >>>"you weren't there so you can't know. "

    That's utterly lame & irrelevant.

    If it's now a defense of any claim that, "you weren't there so you can't know" -- well, you can probably figure out for yourself where this rationalization ends.

    It's puzzling and discouraging that this rhetorical non-entity is trotted out so often.

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  9. People need to lighten the hell up. Armstrong's passing was sad, but it wasn't tragic. He lived a long life and is a hero to most. I've met Aldrin, though not Armstrong, and am inspired by space exploration. I also enjoy listening to Addam Curry, even though I find most of his conspiracy theory stuff merely amusing entertainment.

    Laporte instigated the whole discussion and Adam was merely being honest about his views. I disagree with his views, but it didn't ruin my day or "hurt" me. I thought it was slightly awkward, amusing, and moved on from it without giving it another thought until a bunch of people got all butt-hurt over it and Laporte felt the need to refuse to have Curry on ever again and apologize on his show.

    No apology was needed and banning Curry (who was otherwise extremely interesting and intelligent on the show - more than any of the other guests were) is ridiculous.

    As an Atheist, I would be ripped apart if I went around treating every person who holds religious beliefs the way Laporte and audience treated Curry. EVEN MORE if I went around DRAGGING IT OUT OF THEM - and you can't argue that believing in a magic sky man and a zombie son of magical sky man is even remotely less crazy than "we didn't really land on the moon".

    By the way, if you actually paid attention to what Curry said on the show, he NEVER SAID WE NEVER LANDED ON THE MOON. He simply said he felt that particular event was not legitimate. I looked into his thoughts on the whole Moon landing more and it turns out that he believes (well, as much as he may really believe any of this and not just saying it for amusement) that we probably landed on the moon earlier or later than portrayed AND that we have hidden bases on the moon - possibly military.

    Yes, kind of nuts, but not QUITE the same as being a moon-landing-denier.

    Oh, and he frequently has a PRIEST on his shows who also has his own IT tech show on the network. If we can have someone on who represents some whacky beliefs about religion (note that I find Father Robert to be a VERY nice, friendly, intelligent person and I mean no unnecessary disrespect to him, here) then we can allow room for someone like Curry. Especially since Curry didn't VOLUNTEER his views. They were pulled out of him by Laporte.

    IN short (or long), can we all just grow the hell up? Nobody's feelings were hurt because of adam's statement and it doesn't negate his intelligent contributions to the rest of the show when talking about media, communication, technology, cell phones, and advertising, and startups.

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  10. Leo had an unknown axe to grind with Curry...he set him up right away as an excuse to ban him.

    I'm done with TWIT - just found out he allowed another racy email to be seen on his monitor screen last weekend from his CEO/former mistress/current girlfriend. After cheating on his wife with her and then claiming they had been separated for a year anyway (not true), the man has no moral character.

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  11. Laporte is an arrogant ahole douchebag, pshlease.

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