Wednesday, 6 September 2006

All the 'Bullshit' you can handle

Damn. Despite a timely reminder from Libertarian Sus, I missed last night's episode of 'Bullshit' (in my defence I was out catching one last film at the Architecture Film Festival) but she tells me I missed another cracker. Bugger.

Fortunately MikeE has done all of us who just can't get themselves in front of a TV regularly a favour: he has a complete list on his blog of all of Penn & Teller's 'Bullshit' episodes available on Google Video, with links to very one. That's every episode from every season of Penn & Teller's 'Bullshit' that you can possibly find online, and all conveniently linked from MikeE's blog.

Go and thank him.

LINKS: Penn & Teller: Bullshit - The Home of MikeE

Libertarianism, Films, Nonsense


  1. I almost fell off the couch I was laughing so much. Ventriloquism with a soft-toy vagina was hilarious. You missed a great episode.

  2. Just watched the first part of the abstinence episode. What a bullshit I must say. If this passes for reasoned and scientific debate in libertarian circles, it could explain a couple of things. The misuse of stats and facts is just astounding.

    Let me highlight three things.

    1. As every family planning organisation under the sun can tell you, condoms are not reliable for preventing pregnancies. The doctor in the show was absolutely right about that. Every such organisation can hand out a flyer listing the effectiveness of various methods. I think condoms feature fairly low at 95%, even the pill gets just 98%. Let me tell you another secret: when even sterilisation fails 1 in 5000 cases, can we honestly believe the ridiculous claims made by the bullshitters on this show?

    2. We get to see a lady that tells us that "we have tried ignorance for thousands of years. That hasn't worked."

    Dear lady, we're all here, so what hasn't worked? She doesn't say. Is it teen pregnancies? We had pregnancies out of wedlock at about 5% for hundreds of years. Of course that changed after the cursed revolution of the 60s. So is teen pregnancies the problem?

    Or is it STDs? In the past they were not widely spread in the community, and only composers of classical music succumbed to it.

    Even in countries with the most widely sex education possible (it can't get any worse than in the Netherlands), STDs are rampant.

    3. Supposedly we should teach teenagers about safe sex, because everyone is doing it. At least that's the implication of saying "the average person has 5 partners in his whole fucking life" (or whatever the number was).

    Yeah. We get an average of 1 in 5 partners if 99 people are monogamous and one person has 401 partners.

    I'm looking forward to the next episode where they will proclaim that the big bang isn't bull shit, but the solemn holy truth.

  3. Thanks PC, if it wasn't for your blog I wouldn't have found out about Bullshit!

  4. Berend, you watched 'the first part' ... did you watch the rest of it?

    P&T are outspoken atheists & libertarians. They're also well-known Vegas entertainers (magicians), so their programme format reflects all that.

    I'm a libertarian, but I'm no atheist, so I certainly don't blanketly agree with everything they say. But I'm bloody glad that they get to say it, and as politically incorrectly as they do! It's a refreshing change from the dripping wet, socialist claptrap mainstream TV clamours to serve up - so thank God for them! :)

    The episode on recycling a few weeks ago was a beaut, as were those mercilessly ridiculing the 'second-hand smoke will kill you' lobby and the environmentalist movement.

    As diehard libs they get tagged by the right, (religious right in particular), as pariahs for their liberal views on social issues such as prostitution and drugs .. and the left are quick to vilify them for their overtly capitalist, pro-freedom beliefs concerning wealth (the more, the merrier!) and the right to bear arms, etc.

    You might not agree with their views, as is your right, but it's downright refreshing to see somebody have the guts to say what they think.

    Particularly when it dares to slaughter sacred cows!

  5. P&T are outspoken atheists & libertarians. They're also well-known Vegas entertainers

    Aren't you all? Never heard of them - they sound like Jackass - and just as intelligent.

    Hey, you can call yourself Reformed Maoist Log Cabin Liberals for all I care.

    Apart from this sort of atheistic/ pro-narcotic posturing your agenda is neocon.

    Hook, line & sinker

  6. Gee, thanks for that Ruth, that was really, uh, helpful.

  7. Just like your drooling admiration of these fools my love.

    But hey - did I not read somewhere that you have superior intelligence and breeding?

    It has taken people this long to find out you work at a higher level than us mere mortals?

    Thank the Good Lord Hisself that people are finally recognising it.

  8. Ruth - do you actually understand what a NeoCon is?

    Its usually someone who is pro increasing the power of the state through military, tax and spend - they claim small govt but are not interested in it.

    Believe it or not - not everyone who advocates lowering tax is a neocon (the operative part of the term is "conservative" - which I can assure you that many of us are not).

    Not lib at all.

    Get your facts right first, use a dictionary.

  9. Ruth, you say "neocon" like it's a bad thing.

    de Boering, I have always found condoms to be a hundred percent effective. That fundamentalist line that condoms are so ineffective that you might as well not use them is pure bullshit. It's a ploy by fundies to scare the bejeezus out of the young ones in the hope they dont indulge in any hanky panky. Why, you say even sterilization isn't effective! LOL.

  10. The Bullshit program on Recycling should be compulsory viewing for every council. Does anyone know if this series is available on DVD?

    Great Blog Peter

  11. Ruth, I see you're still spouting about the Libz being neo-Conservatives, when you never got around to replying to me when I asked:

    The floor's yours. Care to explain to us all how you think Israel should deal with Hezbollah incursions into their territory from Lebanon? Since you're so sure their current strategy is wrong, I'm sure you've already come up with an alternative.

    Oh yes, and while we're at it: what's your strategy to combat the spread of Islamism into the West? You know, "honour killings" in the U.K., the attempted coup in Canada, Saudi-funded Wahabbi Islam propaganda in the U.S.A.? Again, I'm sure that since you're so strongly opposed to the theme of Death to Islam, that you'll have some fascinating, enlightening suggestions to make in that area as well.

    We're still waiting, you know. As I posted later on that thread, after you declined to respond:

    ... it is up to the author to clearly communicate his, or her, ideas. What Ruth posted is entirely devoid of proposed alternatives to the policies she has criticised.

    In fact, this attitude is very common amongst the philosophically confused who litter our country. Such people are quick to criticise proposals, but have nothing to offer of their own.

    I lose track of the number of conversations that I've had which run a little like this ...

    "I hate Israel for what they're doing in Lebanon."
    "Really, why?"
    "Well, there must be another way to defeat the terrorists."
    "Such as?"
    "I don't know. Some way."
    "Well, can you suggest such a way?"
    "No, but there must be."

  12. Duncan Payne said ...

    ["I hate Israel for what they're doing in Lebanon."
    "Really, why?"
    "Well, there must be another way to defeat the terrorists."
    "Such as?"
    "I don't know. Some way."
    "Well, can you suggest such a way?"
    "No, but there must be."]

    Excellent Duncan, I love that dialogue. This is exactly synonymous with some religious followers who are trying to deny Big Bang with overwhelming evidence available, because their religion have taught them that God created the universe and that is final, no questions asked, no evidence is needed, or anything else.

    Here is what I would rephrase the dialogue with an Intelligent Designer believer.

    "I don't like the Big Bang , because, it is impossible."
    "Really, why?"
    "Well, there must be another way to explain of how we all come to exist."
    "Such as?"
    "I don't know. Perhaps a creator or an Intelligent Designer."
    "Well, can you suggest such a way?"
    "No, but there must be a God somewhere."

    This is the kind of answers that my dad (a retired church minister of the Methodist church) always says to me, every time I visit him. I respect what he believes and I don't make an argument with him about religious subjects, because he does not understand scientific evidence, but I am amazed at some who take scientific evidence for granted on one hand and praised it but on the other hand criticize it and point out they are wrong, when it doesn't suit their belief.

    An example:
    Some religious followers will use computers and enjoy surfing on the internet. If it is explained to them how such technology was invented, they would be amazed. Computers use lasers read & write data, which it (lasing process) was predicted by Einstein in 1916, till the first one built in late 1950s. There is no quarrel there with the prediction. However, if it is said that Einstein had formulated the General Theory of Relativity and one consequence of this theory predicted there was a Big Bang and the evidence so far is overwhelming, they will jump & down and say, no, it can't be. Pressed for a reason, the answer is just, "We're created by God". So one type of prediction is endorsed because of its every day direct benefits and the other one is completely denied, since there must be a creator out there.

  13. sus, I just reacted on the use of facts and statistics on a show called bullshit.

    Their show is bullshit as I have demonstrated. Just stupid nonsense.

    And no after having watched this I don't think I'm gonna watch more of this. If you can't get the facts right, you have earned your place on television, that's sure.

  14. Falafulu,

    A while ago, I actually came up with a one-question test of whether or not the person with whom you are conversing is acting in a rational fashion:

    Ask the Question

  15. Updated with Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" and the "Libertarian Alternative"

  16. Duncan Bayne said...
    [A while ago, I actually came up with a one-question test of whether or not the person with whom you are conversing is acting in a rational fashion: "Ask the Question"]

    Duncan, Great article.

    I just happened to debate with such a person (Bob) last Saturday. He blames the US for everything in the world. He blames capitalism for poverty in other countries. I 'll send him the link to read and perhaps re-evaluate the way he sees the external world facts.


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