Episode 037: Back Seat Philosophy

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve lost a lot of celebrities–Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, even Billy Mays. It’s been tragic, but it got us here at BF thinking… what will happen to our social graphs when we pass on? We decided to answer this pressing question in possibly our most daring setup ever; inside a car going 70 MPH down a freeway. Why? Because, y’know… we could. Intrepid driver Matt Legler, Numero Uno co-pilot Jed Cummins, official iPhone 3G Sexy videographer Aaron Baxter and I were joined by Kevin Saunders via Skype over Jed’s tethered iPhone. Check out Aaron’s short video of the craziness, get your will in order, and enjoy this week’s totally road-trippin’ BF…

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4 Comments on "Episode 037: Back Seat Philosophy"

  1. KevSaund
    04/07/2009 at 3:16 pm Permalink

    I just want to throw in a few extra things (since I missed a large part of the show while it was recording).

    I think you guys did a disservice towards historians in the latter part of the show. AS much as your textbooks may tell you differently, there isn’t a single agreed upon “history” that all the historians got together and decided upon. Becasue of some of the the things mentioned on the show (and others not mentioned) our idea of history is always in flux based on new information and interpretations.

    The oidea of academic freedom supports multiple competing theories and letting reason and evidence suss out what we cna of the truth. Of course some of the stuff we “know” is wrong, but we can’t know what that is. We can keep looking and be open to new ideas as long as there is something to back them up.

    I’m down with all of this interconnectivity and web 2.0 stuff (anybody playing buzzword bingo?) but groupthink and crowdsourcing don’t always come up with the right answer or even the best answer. It may be a little cliche, but Einstein’s thories went against the thought of his contemporaries. His answer was right (or so we think) not because everybody decided it was right, but because it worked. While history isn’t as hard a science as physics, that doesnn’t mean we can just pick what we want to be right based on a group vote (Sorry, Pluto {though to be fair, pluto still exists, the whole thing is just a matter of naming conventions]) and it isn’t done that way.

    There is no conspiracy.

  2. Taz
    08/07/2009 at 2:19 am Permalink

    Hey BF,
    With my acclaims and appreciations implied, let me just dive in.

    On the matter of history, seeing as it’s already forwarded here, I agree whole heartedly with Kevin. History’s a bit of an odd one but, to a certain degree, speaks for itself. Archiving social networking sites would probably be more cumbersome than advantageous as the vast majority of it could easily be considered bunk. It’s not like diaries, which often provide invaluable social and personal information, as there’s no privacy to it. What we put on these sites is what we want the world to see and is not a way for the world to catch a sneaky glimpse into our inner workings. More often than not, Myspace and Facebook pages are tweaked by the user in order to further propagate the ideal self making the majority of the data academically bunk. I honestly think you could just store a random Terabyte of data from these sites every now and then and that would provided a fairly accurate and manageable sample of what was going on in Webland at any given point. More importantly it’ll likely save countless lives as researchers will not be pushed to suicide after slogging through the 4,392,894th profile of a whining, neurotic, self obsessed teen with an inexplicable a self ascribed nickname.

    As for the general topic of the show. Can a family member not just contact hotmail, facebook, twitter or whatever and say “Hey. Son’s dead, here’s proof. Very sad. Can we have their password/ you take down the page/ we do this with their page etc?” I’m sure there must be some sort of protocol in place.
    But I don’t know how important it is. I mean, if you tackle it from a philosophical stand point you’ve got three possibilities. When you die you may “Transcend”, “Fall” or simply just “Stop” [ I’d love to coin the phrase “Obliviate” for the latter option but JK Rowling has already collared] In either case I can’t see your myspace page being much of a concern. If you’re to transcend then it’s likely that some bigger picture will open up and you’ll understand how little the material stuff actually matters. If you fall you’re probably going to be too busy screaming, pleading and having your scrotum filled with wolverines to care about social networking. If simply reach oblivion then… well, losing one’s propensity towards existence is the sort of thing that can snowball quite quickly.
    So if you won’t care about it when you die then that only leaves those left behind, and if it’s the sort of thing that upsets them or inspires them then surely they’ll do something about. In fact the question of what happens to our stuff when we die feels a little moot, all things considered. What we do with that of our loved ones when they die, and why, may bear more fruit.

    Thumbs up for slurpees.

    p.s. a quick note on the previous show. I think it may have been your best to date (and not just because I got a shout out on the interweb – which was awesome). The subject was one I hadn’t ever considered and what you had to say about it I found new and extremely interesting. Moreover the combination of the topic, the panel and the dynamic therein was, if you’ll excuse the Englishicitudeinisticness, bloody perfect. Great work, guys.

  3. StephenTorrence
    08/07/2009 at 7:57 am Permalink

    Another great comment, Taz! I think my favorite line was “If you fall you’re probably going to be too busy screaming, pleading and having your scrotum filled with wolverines to care about social networking.” Brilliant. I still want to get you on Skype soon if possible. Do you think you could have an account set up by next Sunday?

  4. Taz
    09/07/2009 at 1:53 am Permalink

    Unfortunately not. We have Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat in this week (I work as a stage technician in a regional theatre) so I have little in the way of freetime until next week. However, it’s something I might look into when I get a minute or two.


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