Meryl and Beau From Campfire Sht Show |375|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    Meryl and Beau From Campfire Sht Show |375|
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    Meryl Klemow and Beau Hufford join me in studio to talk about their new podcast Campfire Sht Show.
    [​IMG]

    photo by: Skeptiko
    (Meryl Klemow and Beau Hufford are heard cutting it up off-mic)…

    That’s Meryl and Beau from the Campfire Shit Show and you’ll hear a lot more about them, you’ll come to understand what that show is all about and maybe even why I decided to do a kind of wacky show on conspiracies.

    I think it came out great, I think these people are extremely talented and are on the edge of where podcasting is really going. They do such a great job and it was so fun having them here in the studio for a little while to talk with me.

    It really doesn’t require a lot of introduction, let’s get right onto the show.

    Alex Tsakiris: Today I have a special, if you will, episode of Skeptiko, special for me at least, because Meryl and Beau from the Campfire Shit Show podcast are actually joining me in my little home studio. So, you guys, welcome. Thanks so much for being here.

    Meryl: Thank you.

    Beau: We’re so excited to be here.

    Meryl: We are trapped in the dungeon if anyone is wondering.

    Alex Tsakiris: If you never hear from Meryl and Beau again…

    Meryl: Just leave us here, it’s really nice. So, we’ll just stay and serve me food like once a week or something, we’re fine.
     
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  2. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Alex's question at the end of the podcast:

    I keep pitching this idea that conspiracies are central to this consciousness-exploration, deep-spirituality thing that we're trying to get at with this show, and I want to know if you agree.

    I think what I laid out here was this idea that conspiracies are somehow the bridge between what we want out of science (in terms of the scientific method and some way of organising, understanding and measuring experience), and the craziness that science has become with the absurdity of biological robots in a meaningless universe: a premise that's completely false and filled with conspiracy. And also that, in some way, understanding conspiracies in general gives us a leg up on sorting that all out -- that's my position anyway.

    What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  3. Silence

    Silence Member

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    For me the conspiracy theme that seems to so dominate the discussion here has detracted from the experience. While I may end up being proven wrong, I just do not see any evidence to believe the truth is somehow being shielded from us by evil elites who have the actual answers. My guess would be the evil elites are less informed, and less interested, in consciousness research and the "big questions" than we are.

    Now is there arrogance, dogma, greed, and other factors at work? Sure, I have no difficulty accepting that. But to roll all that up over some type of grand plan of conspiracy being executed by a small group of controlling elites? That's just a bridge too far. For me at least.
     
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  4. Vortex

    Vortex Member

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    Here I agree - I'm myself a moderate conspiracist, yet I clearly separate myself from the extreme conspiracism. And the ideas that

    1) atheists and materialists, as well as mainstream scientists and scholars, are some kind of covert spiritual / mystical / magickal - and dark / evil / Satanic - initiates,

    and / or

    2) the mainstream academic establishement already knows the truth about consciousness and psychic phenomena, yet it is deliberately and organisedly hiding it from the masses,

    are the classic forms of extreme conspiracism, since they represent just immensely grandiose, wildly speculative and badly convoluted narratives, not the meticulous rational-empirical investigations of moderate conspirasists like David Ray Griffin and other thinkers from 9/11 Truth Movement.

    The much, much, much more plausible and parsimonious explanation of the academic establishment's stubborn rejection of anything immaterial is simple human bias and prejudice, starting at personal level and then greatly empowered and persistently maintained at the communal / collective one. Such socially shared and perpetuated dogma does not need any massive intentional conspiracy - human falliblity and gullibility is more than enough.

    I recommend anyone my long interview with Henry Bauer, where he and I explain it in detail (part 1 and part 2).
     
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  5. I think conspiracies are a good fit for skeptiko because they reveal the same issues relating why we believe what we believe and you find in them the same steadfast beliefs on opposing sides that you see in the debate on psi and the afterlife.

    But to understand why we believe what we believe you have to consider more than the facts of the issue under question. You have to consider the many other factors besides facts and data that influence what people believe. I think that would be a good area for Skeptiko to explore in future podcasts: factors other than logic and reason that influence human belief and behavior.


    "Part of the problem is that groupthink creates an illusion of understanding. People think they believe things because they understand them, but they really believe them only because other people believe them."
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  6. malf

    malf Member

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    I wonder what the real conspiracy is here?

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/amp.ny...gencer/2017/12/new-york-times-ufo-report.html

     
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  7. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Member

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    It's a manufactured threat like the Soviet Union was, to justify squeezing umpteen Trillion tax dollars out of the peasantry and transfering it to Wall Street.
     
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  8. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well, I'm not sure what to make of that interview. Meryl has an interesting sort of voice that kept me listening. At the moment I have a few thoughts:

    Alex, did you realise that they ended up believing that you thought we have no free will, whereas you were trying to explain that that is a position that neuroscience would take!

    I can't remember if you ever did a show devoted to Kundalini, but it might be worth considering something like that.

    They do seem to represent a version of modern thinking, where people believe odd bits and pieces - and even get excited by the effects of various spiritual practices they feel - and yet don't see how that changes the whole meaning of reality.

    David
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    To answer the question at the end of the show, as you know, I think science is going wrong in a lot of areas, but I doubt if we are really talking about conspiracy as such - at least in most cases.

    I could pick something controversial, but let's pick the fact that it is claimed that saturated fat and salt are bad for you. The fact is that there seems to be damn all evidence for either of those assertions, but medical science seems stuck in that position.

    If you get a high blood sugar reading your doctor will send you to a dietician who will tell you that you should eat a low fat, high carb diet, even though the carbohydrates decompose in the body into ... glucose!

    The problem is that evidence comes in gradually, and everyone tries to downplay the new evidence because it is 'obviously wrong' because it doesn't agree with what 'everyone knows' to be the truth! Meanwhile, big business cashes in on the idea of low fat foods, and actually funds the false science! In the end, scientists find themselves supporting a proposition that is obviously false, but they don't know how to make their voice heard because their managers would come down on them like a ton of bricks.

    David
     
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  10. Alex

    Alex New

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    ???
     
  11. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Consider something like modern cosmology. It's a farce. Scientists come up with an idea or two: let's say the big bang, inflation and the primacy of gravitation. They actually don't know what's true, but the ideas offer something to hang one's hat on, and, above all, can be mathematised and provide some sort of predictive framework. For a while, theories may seem to work, but then an anomalous empirical observation arises and is deemed to need to be explained. So far so good: things are still being influenced by empiricism.

    But after a while, there are many things that can't be explained within accepted frameworks, and that's when scientists have to make a choice: go out on a limb and say the emperor has no clothes, or go on tinkering with theories to try to make them fit in with the observations. Eventually, they may even elect to ignore evidence. In the case where the objectors are laymen, the authority card can be wielded, but where the objectors are scientists too, what's to be done?

    Unfortunately, if scientists are to be deemed as such, they have to receive the imprimatur of the societies to which they belong. These are invariably run by a clique of individuals who share certain views, and enjoy the feeling of being right. This has been the case since scientists realised that if they didn't organise into societies that delineated the acceptable, one man's opinion would be as good as the next's.

    To some extent, this is reasonable, even laudable, But at some point, someone (it's usually one or a few individual scientists), can no longer accept the official line in light of their interpretation of the evidence, and won't shut up about it. There may be many other scientists who covertly agree with them, but as individuals, their ability to lend their voices is restrained because they depend on the societies for receiving the imprimatur, i.e. being recognised and funded. Externally, it may look like a conspiracy, but more often than not, imho, I doubt it's really that. No one is, or very few are, knowingly, wholeheartedly, promulgating bullshit with the aim of suppressing the truth.

    No: as the elite members of the ruling clique, most of them actually believe the bullshit, actually believe that they are right: and that's what justifies, in their own minds, the ostracism of dissenters. Because, you see, the dissenters are wrong, and they'll be buggered if they'll let them interfere with "the truth".

    T.H. Huxley observed in 1870: The great tragedy of science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. These days, there are many hypotheses in many different fields that are assailed by many ugly facts. We see it in cosmology, medicine, climate studies, biology (particularly Neo-Darwinism), archaeology, physics... on and on. Some may see conspiracies against truth, but mostly, it probably isn't. I see it as more likely that it's a defence against the onslaught of facts that either aren't accepted as facts, or are ignored as outliers.

    Ironically, often the people best placed to voice their smelling of a rat aren't the experts. Rather, they're intelligent laymen without skin in the game: they don't have to swallow the bullshit in order to earn their living. Then there are the politicians -- intelligent or otherwise -- who consciously don't give a fig for truth, only for what offers them a hand on the levers of power.

    The whole system is FUBAR, and many ordinary people can see that with great clarity: but for the most part, it isn't so much conscious conspiracy, as an it-might-be-funny-if-it-weren't-so-serious cockup. That's not to say there's no such thing as conspiracy, of course, but few are so Machiavellian as to have the bloody-mindedness to fool as many people as possible just for the heck of it. Most people believe in something passionately (apart, perhaps, from some politicians), and that is what drives them to do what they do. Even if they know or at least suspect they're promulgating bullshit, they're doing it for a reason: to them it makes sense. In their own minds, they're heroes of the greater good.

    Your question, Alex, was:

    I think what I laid out here was this idea that conspiracies are somehow the bridge between what we want out of science (in terms of the scientific method and some way of organising, understanding and measuring experience), and the craziness that science has become with the absurdity of biological robots in a meaningless universe: a premise that's completely false and filled with conspiracy. And also that, in some way, understanding conspiracies in general gives us a leg up on sorting that all out...

    If you mean that the presence of a conspiracy theory in a particular area somehow flags that there really is something untoward going on, well, you could be right I suppose: "there's no smoke without fire" so to speak.

    But your use of the word "bridge", taken semi-literally, implies somehow that conspiracies are a useful (perhaps necessary?) thing lying between ideal science and perverted science. However, I'm not quite sure I grasp how understanding conspiracies "gives us a leg up" in sorting things out. Maybe you're just saying that where there's a conspiracy theory, it's a sign that there's something to be looked into seriously, even if it turns out not to be a conspiracy; maybe that just examining the relevant conspiracy theory will shed light on what's actually happening.

    If so, you might be right, but I sense that you're invested in at least some conspiracy theories (9/11, the Roswell cover-up, etc.) and perhaps have a tendency to look for conspiracy as an explanation for most present-day malaises. That there are ubiquitous malaises, I have no doubt: but whether they're all down to active conspiracy as opposed to passive stupidity, I'm much less convinced.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
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  12. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Alex,

    I think it would help if you spelled out what you think counts as a conspiracy. I mean, Michael Larkin's description of cosmology seems pretty accurate to me. Do you think what he outlines, counts as a conspiracy in your eyes? The non-conspiracy aspect is that people started out doing their best. The conspiracy, if you want to call it that, is just that many of those involved gradually get a queasy feeling in their stomach that they are peddling bullshit, but hate to rock the boat.

    In cosmology/theoretical physics, you have the interesting situation in which some prominent scientists are coming out strongly against string theory and multiple universes. What they don't see or want to see, is that the rot probably goes back decades. For example, here is a scientific assessment of the COBE microwave background work:

    http://www.ptep-online.com/2009/PP-19-03.PDF

    It is rather technical, but even skimming through it, you can see how the evidence for this signal from the big bang is much weaker than usually portrayed. There have been other satellites since then, but if one set of data has been reported dishonestly, is it wise to accept subsequent data? Without the big bang, modern cosmology would practically disintegrate because they have poured all their eggs into this basket.

    David
     
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  13. KindaGamey

    KindaGamey Member

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    I really enjoyed this, what lovely people. Which is the campfire episode about his ex-gf? That's honestly the only ep I want to hear before deciding if I'll keep going. (I've got podcast overload. My to-do lists are growing exponentially.)

    Sad Colonics, Rage Moments and Trash Burritos?
    https://player.fm/series/campfire-sht-show/sad-colonics-rage-moments-and-trash-burritos

    That says it was posted 2 days ago. That can't be it.

    AHHH I FOUND IT
    https://player.fm/series/campfire-sht-show/stake-outs-swift-justice-and-all-out-panda-monium
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
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  14. malf

    malf Member

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    It’s entertaining!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  15. KindaGamey

    KindaGamey Member

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    It really is! However, I made a mistake in my initial post -- it's his ex-gf not his ex-wife. Please edit your quotation of me to correct the record! Or don't.
     
  16. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    This was so awesome and hilarious!!!! I'm seriously still cracking up!

    Humor just belongs with all things spiritual including conspirituality in particular. What comes off is rapport and the incredibly difficult and powerful and provocative craft of improve. Bravo, bravo to all three of y'all! :)

    I know just how to cure poor Meryl with her lamentations of Beau's potential
    'bad mood b/c of the cortisol from the pig he ate yesterday' and her own sensitivity that seems so out of place in her reality.
    And Alex reply: "the planet loves you" ROFL!!! And then Beau's: "you speak for the planet?!"

    Great stuff, I will go on more later, I'm sure!
    Thanks for the authenticity and burst of giggles--I needed an endorphin rush to now get back to work!
     
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  17. Mishelle

    Mishelle Member

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    I would contest just the opposite. "Millionaires don't use Tarot, billionaires do." What is happening in Hollywood, and the Hollywood we call politics is the manifestation of their superior knowledge and will to use it. "They" fund EVERYTHING. They are the money, the power, and therefor the will of millions of followers, and growing. Why does the royal family have a homeopathic doctor? Why have the elites of history created 'occulted' knowledge in the first place? How do you explain the 'mystery school teachings' so crucial to these rulers they have libraries burned to protect it, and powerful secret societies formed to keep their knowledge guarded? If they don't care about consciousness how do you explain the Vatican, the Jesuits, the Royal family, keeping these traditions 'hidden in plain sight'?

    The 'evil elites' do not see themselves as evil, You are the profane one, you who have not been initiated into the mystery teachings!

    Consciousness is exactly what they study and always have, they are light years beyond us peasants!
     
  18. Silence

    Silence Member

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    We're not going to get anywhere because neither of us can offer evidence that would convince the other. All I see in these discussions are loosely woven arguments with esoteric 'evidence'. Again, specifically who are these people at the controls of this elite, controlling group? Does someone call the next tech start up's CEO when the private equity guys value his firm at $1b? Is Bezos now the "King" since he has the most billions? Bezos is now into dominating all the world's good, everyday working people? Why? Based on what evidence? I mean the guy was born to a 17 year old woman who was still in high school who ended up marrying a Cuban immigrant. Hardly seems the stuff of a patriarchal/matriarchal line of evil Kings.
     
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  19. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    That doesn't always tell you much, Mrs Thatcher came from humble roots, but that didn't seem to inform her politics!

    If there are occult techniques that work - such as for example remote viewing - then I think it is very likely that some people are exploiting them for their own ends.

    In a way, this is just a debate about whether occult/psychic power actually exists.

    David
     
  20. soulatman

    soulatman Member

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    I haven't yet finished this, but am enjoying the conversation tremendously.

    I found it interesting when you spoke about experience. The Experience is King notion we all to a large and often unconscious degree carry around with us.

    Alex asked Beau whether "he trusts his experience". I wanted to share a good example of how I learned to pull back from trusting without question my experience (or what I think i am experiencing), especially if I am experiencing something unprecedented in my life. I learned instead that it was necessary to start looking for more diverse sources of confirmation or clarification over what I might be experiencing.

    Sept 11th is probably what really began this process for me. It was about four years after that fateful event before I realised that what I thought I had seen, really wasn't what I had actually seen at all. The more I was presented with the details of what unfolded, the anomalies, the impossible contradictions, the more I learned that just because I had seen it, didn't mean it happened in the way I thought I had seen it happen.

    Now, we all know this in principle to be true from magic shows etc, but after we have laughed at our foolishness, or gotten a kick out of the fact that we can't explain it it, we go back to business as usual. When the thing in question is so foundational, like your trust and faith in your protectors and authority figures, business as usual is not an option. This was paradigm shattering for me. I would no longer trust that seeing is believing, whereas previously that was exactly how I lived.

    In truth, this was probably the genesis also to my spiritual digging, coming across shows like Skeptiko, and really beginning to open up to things which previously I had told myself could not be so (or had been told and accepted), or must be impossible, or that only uneducated simpletons believe in etc.

    It ties in to a line Michael Tsarion and Alex discussed which was that "conspiracy work is spiritual work". In a deeply profound way I think this is absolutely true, and is simply an extension of the more concise notion of "the truth will set you free". When one finds out the truth about a thing, especially if that thing is a foundational element of their worldview, and especially if the truth turns out to be 180 degrees in relation to previous belief, I think the wish to never be fooled again firmly takes root, and grows fast and strong. From this also, a need to examine other beliefs which may have slipped under the eye of scrutiny, and the inevitable discovery of more lies and conspiracy.

    For me, I feel fortunate in that this process brought me a burning desire to understand spritual truths, and see if they had validity, and for me at least the payoff has been unimaginably huge. One thing is for sure, it was a conspiracy which broke open my prison of ignorance, and I won't ever be able to step back in. This bird has flown.
     
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