S1_E17: The Minnesota Misanthrope A Tribute

In this episode of Ear Seduction we pay tribute to my co host and friend The Midwest Misanthrope AKA The Minnesota Misanthrope AKA M. What I’m sure many of you don’t know is that M, while being my zany co host, is also a musician. Over the years he’s produced a few albums, some serious and others not so serious, but all fun to listen to and entertaining. So strap in as I take us through his greatest hits in my final episode of season 1. You’ll laugh and you’ll discover a new sound that you didn’t even know you were missing. Enjoy!

S1_E16: The Destruction of Reality

In this episode of Ear Seduction we take you further down the rabbit hole and discuss how one of our friends lost his mind to the QAnon cult, lizard people, 911 truth and the like. We express some of our frustrations in dealing with this friend and how challenging it can be to maintain friendships with people that have lost their minds. This marks the 2nd episode dealing with this issue in season 1. There will be many more as I tackle the topic head on in seasons 2 and 3. In the mean time listen in and enjoy.

S1_E15: Bible Review

In this episode of Ear Seduction I bring on an extra special guest; my mother. We discuss the first 5 books of the Hebrew bible. Our conversation covers my indoctrination as a child, our interpretation of the first five books, some commentary on my mother’s deconversion and more. By the end of the episode perhaps you will have something to say about your experience with religion. Thanks.

S1_E13: Grand Tetons Trip

In this episode of Ear Seduction I recount my trip to view the solar eclipse at Grand Tetons Wyoming. The story tells like one long joke and hopefully you find yourself laughing uncontrollably. As a writer and a media producer one of my goals is to write and produce material that will make you laugh. This is my first attempt on the show to do so and I hope it works. Here’s to you.

S1_E11: Free Will Part 1

In this episode of Ear Seduction the Midwest Misanthrope and I attempt to navigate the dark waters of Free Will and Determinism. This is a topic I’ve researched extensively and have a lot of interest in discussing. This is a topic that M could care less about. It’s a good thing we are such good friends because we get into the thick of it and beyond. Join us please.

S1_E10: Losing a Friend

In this episode of Ear Seduction I talk with the Midwest Misanthrope about a mutual friend of ours. Specifically how this friend completely lost his mind as he was self indoctrinated into the QAnon cult. He accomplished this in a very convoluted way over the course of 6 years. He has literally believed in every conspiracy theory known to man from big foot to 911 truth to holocaust denial to flat earth and finally to young earth creationism. Going through this process with him took a toll on me personally and our friendship. There is a lot to say about this topic and I’ll be expanding on it thoroughly in future episodes. In the meantime please join us in our lamentation of our lost friend. Enjoy!

S1_E9: Very Ape

In this episode of Ear Seduction I try a new format for the show. This episode was my first attempt at a project that I’m calling Very Ape. Very Ape will be a series of episodes that will debut in season three of Ear Seduction and will focus on expressing my emotions without worrying about what my words imply. This is not an exercise in logic or reason; it’s an exercise in getting out my frustrations during a conversation with someone else that can then push back on what I say in order to reel me back in and start to identify where the truths of the situation I’m raging about actually lie. The benefit of this format will be two fold. One, I’ll be identifying a topic that causes lots of emotional response from me and others. Two, these rants will be a starting place from which I can launch potential solutions. So to take you through the evolution of thought; it goes something like this.

I hate something about the world –> I rage about it out loud to someone as a form of catharsis –> I stop raging and start listening to my guest in order to refocus my thoughts on an actual real world solution (that doesn’t have anything to do with the rage I am feeling) –> I earmark the topic for elaboration on future episodes of Ear Seduction after I’ve had time to do research and figure out the science behind a real world solution.

In this episode I do try to reel myself in and get to a place that makes moral and ethical sense. As this was my first attempt at this type of show, I felt it necessary to explore the format in its entirety. In future episodes I’ll likely break it up into two sections. Section 1: I freak out and vent my frustrations about the world with an introduction that explicitly explains that the thoughts and feelings expressed in this section are not what I want for the world and will likely not be included in my solution. They are merely an extreme position taken just to satisfy my ape brain’s blood lust. Once I’ve reached an emotional climax, I can breathe deeply and start the healing process. Section 2: will consist of a separate episode where I expand on the topic, incorporating the relevant research, in order to understand it. This will be my launching off point from where I will then look to solve the problem. I’d like to take that even further by having a guest on the show to assist me in the solution process and to offer expertise.

Why would I do this you ask? Because I’d like to engage with my ape-like emotions, feel them, and then discard them having been spent. Then I’d like to actually engage with the injustice rationally and try to find a solution. Finally, I’d like to have a guest on the show assist in this to build friendship and trust and understanding. Sounds crazy right? Enjoy!

S1_E8: Indoctrination

In this episode of Ear Seduction we discuss the unfortunate reality of indoctrination. During the conversation we discuss religion, human rights, the first amendment and other related topics. Can anything be done to stop people from indoctrinating their children to believe such falsehoods as: flat earth, Christianity in all of its forms, young earth, creationism, man’s superiority to women, male chauvinism, female repression, original sin, Muslim and Islamic lore, gender norms, sexuality as an abomination and the so many others. People seem to think that it’s perfectly fine to teach their children such falsehoods and I don’t hear anyone standing up for the children. Perhaps by the end of this episode we’ll have some reasonable position to start from as it is my intention to discuss this topic in great detail in future seasons of Ear Seduction. Thanks for listening and please leave a comment and rate this show.

S1_E7: Ted Debiassi

In this episode of Ear Seduction we discuss more wrestlers from the 80’s. This time it’s the Million Dollar Man Ted Debiassi. As a kid he was one of my least favorite wrestlers but as an adult I’ve grown to appreciate his style a bit more. Especially how easy it was for him to play the villain. He was known for his despicable behavior and that reputation has followed him into retirement as he is now an online preacher and swindler. Join us as we discuss one of the greatest assholes of all time!

S1_E6: Big John Studd: A Tribute

In this episode of Ear Seduction we take a walk down memory lane to remember one of our favorite TV personalities from the 80’s Big John Studd. Both M, AKA the Midwest Misanthrope AKA Minnesota Misanthrope, loved wrestling growing up and both of us have fun talking about one of our favorite personalities in the sport. Please join us and make sure to tell us who you think is the greatest wrestler of all time.

S1_E5: Scientists March on the Capitol!

In this episode of Ear Seduction I try my hand at journalism; the first of many attempts. I walk with other scientifically minded people to Denver’s capitol. While I’m there I talk with folks and take notes of what I hear and see. I report my findings to the Midwest Misanthrope and we discuss the utility of protesting, and our thoughts on the 1st amendment. If you haven’t already please leave comments and rate this show. I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

S1_E4: Arm Chair Capitalists

In this episode of Ear Seduction we discuss capitalism in all of its glory. I make it a point to differentiate myself from those that I call ‘arm chair capitalists’.  Meaning those that would like to espouse the benefits of free markets and privatization and the ‘invisible hand’, as Adam Smith postulated, but without educating themselves on any of the information we’ve collected regarding the economy since the publishing of Wealth of Nations in 1776. Of which there are many. I touch on the last episode S1_E3: Gay Rights and how my guest from that discussion also has failed to update his education. Mostly, I explain the difference between being a capitalist and being heartless.

S1_E3: Gay Rights

In this episode I engage in a long form discussion with a right ‘wing nut.’ Steeped in Ayn Randian ethics, the illusion of free will and free market delirium, my guest crashes and burns in his attempt to make sense of an Oregonian baker’s choice to discriminate against a gay couple. His conclusions are truly astonishing and frightening and speak volumes for a logical truth I’ve always been a proponent of; you never know how wrong you can be when you start with false premises. My guest demonstrates just how poorly one can think when they really put their mind to it. The good news is that it sparked something within me; a fire that still burns today. Please pour yourself a drink, follow along and try not to scream at the Bluetooth speaker as my guest gets everything dead wrong.

My guest represents a fairly common American demographic. One that has abandoned god and forgot to learn how to think. Instead he puts his faith in the Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’. Without being an outright racist he manages to prop up the views white supremacists, neo Nazis, the El Paso shooter and other right wing undesirables all while believing that his ‘solutions’ are best for everyone. His logical and ethical depravity knows no bounds as he sells off his humanity in the name of fighting slavery. In his case the slavery of his mind to Laissez Faire economics, Objectivist ethics and the gross miscalculation that homo sapiens are rational animals.

As a capitalist I can see the errors he is making and do my best to course correct but in the end my guest just digs in further and further into what inevitably becomes a dystopian nightmare. Join us won’t you?

S1_E2: We Are Legion

In this episode the Minnesota Misanthrope reviews the book series We Are Legion We Are Bob written by Dennis E. Taylor. Well he sort of reviews it. We start off discussing free will which doesn’t get very deep due to the fact that this is M’s episode and I wanted him to get to his presentation. I’ll be discussing free will in depth in episodes 11 and 12 of season 1 and again in seasons 2 and 3. So M initiates his discussion by bringing up very basic elements of the plot and story (no spoilers) and then focusses on one passage that stuck with him. Here is the quote in its entirety –

“At one time, we thought that the way life came together was almost completely random, only needing an energy gradient to get going. But as we’ve moved into the information age, we’ve come to realize that life is more about information than energy. Fire has most of the characteristics of life. It eats, it grows, it reproduces. But fire retains no information. It doesn’t learn; it doesn’t adapt. The five millionth fire started by lightning will behave just like the first. But the five hundredth bacterial division will not be like the first one, especially if there is environmental pressure. That’s DNA. And RNA. That’s life. …”

This is the opening of chapter 16. Bob – September 2144 – Epsilon Eridani. The Minnesota Misanthrope attempts to make sense of this passage; I’ll let you decide if he succeeds. For my part, having not been able to read the book in time for the show, due to M telling me incorrect information I ended up reading a comic book called I Am Legion because that is the title M gave me when I asked for his reference material. I can say that I think this passage very loosely attempts to equate fire to life. With just a brief moment of research one can find that this is an analogy only and an imperfect one for sure. Fire is actually not very similar to life and M’s explanation; that both fire and life have molecules in common is incorrect.

In later episodes I’ll be discussing evolution in great detail as I create a companion series to AronRa’s epic YouTube series: The Systematic Classification of Life. In this companion series I’ll break down the dense nomenclature and expand on cladistics. Cladistics, and a firm understanding of it, allows one to answer the big question: what are we? Of if you prefer: who are we? This will happen only after I’ve conducted extensive research on the topic so that I make sure that I get it right. This series will be a part of a larger series where I answer the biggest and most perplexing questions of our time like: who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Etc. This audio/video series will be my first attempt at such an endeavor and will end by me publishing a book on the topic.

Later in the episode we discuss how people misspeak and fail to communicate effectively. This part of our discussion starts out making fun of creationists like Ray Comfort and develops into my personal experience with people in my everyday life. Along the way we touch on an episode of the Atheist Experience. AE is a call in show where two atheists answer questions from theists. We talk about this briefly before exploring other topics brought up by M. As we move through the topics of faith and religion and morality I attempt to make some clear points in hopes of providing you, the listener, with some meat on what ended up being a pretty bare bones episode. The discussion finally ends on us discussing how hard it can be for people to communicate when you engage with people that rarely tether their world view to evidence and reality. I’ve developed my morality and ethics and reason over the years and one of the biproducts of this development is that I’ve noticed how detached from reality most people seem to be. People contradict themselves with every other sentence and instead of changing their minds they dig in and attempt to make sense of their position by rationalizing it after the fact. I point out that it can also be problematic to point out people’s contradictions because they don’t care. They don’t want to hear that it’s possible that they could be wrong and instead of reflecting back on their thought process, they take offense and manipulate the conversation by getting their feelings hurt or engaging in ad hominem attacks on me and my character. M interjects his own views on the matter while we end with a warm goodbye. Enjoy!

S1_E1: Right to Life

Welcome to the first season of Ear Seduction. In this episode we will be discussing whether or not humans have a right to life. My cohost the Minnesota Misanthrope has a very unique take on this subject and we butt heads a bit working out the details. My position is that homo sapiens can claim a right to life as part of a suite of human rights. This right to life is based on evidence or, if you don’t recognize evidence for a right to life, can be defined into existence through modern myth. That’s a lot to unpack so let’s start with evidence.

Much of the of the science we have that is based on society, human evolution and economics shows us that when humans are killed by other humans needlessly, they are worse off than when they are allowed to live and pursue their life’s goals. Societies that restrict murder and have a system in place to contain murderers tend to flourish. This is due to people’s sense of safety and security. Luckily, the vast majority of humans don’t utilize murder to solve their problems and so we have evolved to have a basic trust in each other. This trust, coupled with the fact that very few people murder, adds stability to society and allows for more freedom of interaction between individuals. When societies enforce this trust by identifying who the murderers are and restricting their right to freely move within a society, they tend to flourish more than societies that fail to restrict their murdering citizens. This is the foundational evidence we have collected that helps support a right to life.

Additionally we value our lives; this value could be referred to as a modern myth. Those that view values as subjective and therefore separate from the kind of evidence referenced above, sociological and economical evidence, might classify the value we place on our own lives as mythical. In his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari describes human rights as a myth. A myth that we all happen to agree with, except when we don’t. Harari goes to great lengths to describe how fortuitous it is that sapiens do agree to these rights because it’s this agreement that perpetuates the myth of human rights and it’s our ability to agree upon common myths that has propelled our development and success as a species. I partially agree with Harari but would add one further point. That each individual, whose subjective mind values things like life, and report this value when surveyed, compile into a body of data points that can be utilized just like evidence. These data points can be objectively verified by anyone that cares to peer review the data. This bridges the gap between subjective and objective. The objective fact that a very high percentage of people value their lives and life in general support the right to life ‘myth’ that Harari establishes and also elevates it past the status of just a convenient myth to a fact about humanity. It’s a fact that the vast majority of humans value life. It’s a fact that the vast majority of humans report to have this value. It’s a fact that the vast majority of humans fear death. It’s a fact that the vast majority of humans experience suffering when they are fearful. And it’s a fact that suffering is an element of immorality. Thus, when we take all these facts into account the ‘myth’ starts to look a lot more like scientific theory and a lot less like religious dogma.  But if you prefer myth, I’m perfectly willing to concede that to you just to keep the discussion moving along. So in conclusion, however you want to think about human rights and specifically the right to life, it’s very hard to outright deny that we have it. Especially if you’d like your own life to continue and you’d like to argue that it ought to continue.

The Minnesota Misanthrope doesn’t seem to share my views regarding the right to life, but unfortunately doesn’t offer an intelligible alternative. Clearly, I also failed to fully explain my position on humanity’s right to life which prompted me to write this description and to explore the topic further in later episodes. I encourage you to follow along with this episode to see if you can figure out exactly where M goes wrong, the logical mistakes he makes and if you can elaborate on his logical fallacies. It’s good practice. Enjoy!