92: This Debunked Episode Will Fail – Debunked Inventions Feedback

Matt and Sean talk about bold and bad predictions, bias, and how to achieve balance in our own response to the new.

Watch the Undecided with Matt Ferrell episode, “5 Debunked Tech Inventions That Changed The World”: https://youtu.be/d2szo16g0fI
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Hi everybody welcome to the still to be determined podcast. This is the podcast that follows off on topics from the Youtube channel undecided with Matt ferrell I’m not Matt ferrell I’m sean ferrell I’m his older brother I’m a writer I’ll be asking him questions and with the answers. Hopefully. Otherwise this is going to be a lot of dead air is Matt ferrell Matt say hi before we get into the episode just a reminder there are ways to support the podcast you can of course keep doing what you’re doing right now with your ears which is listening to us or you can if you’re on Youtube. Also use your eyes and if you’re on youtube you can pick eyes or ears 1 or the other or both your choice. There’s also still tbd dot fm. There’s a link on that page and when you follow that link it allows you to throw coins at us.
Your choice.
And we appreciate whatever kind of support. You’re able to give even if it’s just listening commenting and sharing with your friends today’s episode we’re going to be looking at Matt’s most recent episode which was five debunked tech inventions that changed the world this episode dropped on october nineteenth 2021 I have to say right out of the gate for me. This was 1 of my favorite episodes of your channel I love looking at stuff like this. There’s something about the marriage of future tech and history.
Always gets me going and I’m always interested in history from the perspective of did they know what was happening as it was happening and you can never fully evaluate the context that you’re living in. You know as we’re pushing forward right now there.
Right? right.
There’s so much going on around us that we can’t evaluate it or truly judge what’s going on until we have some perspective so I love this kind of like oh yeah, back in 1980 3 people thought computers were dumb and like you know, yeah and I and I really.
Yeah, look at us now.
You know for me getting a kick out of the fact that I watched this episode on my phone with wireless earbuds and at the same time had in front of me a video game controller because I had been playing online with people from all over the world. A video game.
This is.
Through a playstation on a color television that is approximately 1 inch thick and watching a video where it’s these incredibly intelligent and highly successful leaders of thinking and technology.
Um, yeah.
Saying we’ll never get in an airplane. We’ll never do that. Why would anybody want a computer in their home set a guy who made computers for a living. Um, so I thought that this episode was fantastic and I think that a lot of your viewers. Also. In the same vein. There was this from Samuel Evela who wrote my favorite debunking comes from the early prototypes of the train where critics said the machine moved so quickly. It would kill passengers as they were forced into their seats. It traveled at speeds of around forty miles per hour. Yeah, there was also there was also a response to that comment pointing out that it was advised at 1 point that women not travel in cars because there were fear.
Ah, that’s great. Ah, that’s awesome. That’s a good 1 for the list.
About their uteruses being pulled out of their body if the car had to stop too quickly.
That that to me I It sounds so believable given how men Yes, yes, that fits.
Given the history of men’s response to women’s bodies. Yeah it it makes perfect sense I also remember not in my own lifetime but knowing that at 1 point it was recommended that women not do jumping jacks otherwise they would never be able to bear children. Yeah things like things like that.
Um, the fragility of the human body is 1 thing but then just full blown misogyny in the form of scientific thought is something else. There was also this from edward rose who wrote Matt is absolutely correct. Balance is the way to go. Never be afraid to ask for the proof but also accept valid evidence when given those who refuse to accept validated evidence are just as big a fool as those who accept everything at face value without evidence and that then drew a response. Which said balances bullshit bold stands to take balances bullshit in Science. It’s as misleading as it can be. For example, the idea of Balan in climatology is to have 1 scientist representing the virtually entire scientific community debating with 1 fossil fuel-sp sponsored actor.
Oh yeah.
That’s balanced for you. Follow the truth follow the evidence stay skeptical but open minded and I shared that second comment because I think it’s important to highlight that that second commenter is not fully. Um, the same page with what you mean by balance you are not talking fair and balanced from a viewpoint of a news channel that’s saying we’re going to bring in 2 people and make them debate an issue. That’s not what you’re looking for at all. Do you want to go a little bit deeper into what you mean by balance in thinking balance and thought.
My my point on the balance of thought is that if you hear a fact something that’s presented as a fact and you just take it at face value and you’re like yeah, never going to work. It’s like that’s what I’m talking about you need to avoid that. It’s more of a keep an open mind if you find yourself saying. Ah, that’s never going to happen or that’s never possible as soon as that. Never word comes into your mind. What I typically do is I fall into this trap myself. So It’s like I typically find myself going well is that true and then I’ll try to do some more research and digging to kind of challenge my own preconception. And to find out if my preconception actually does have a leg to stand on or not.. It’s not about oh there’s a balance in different points of view and the valid truth is in the middle. It’s more of ah our knee-jerk reactions are not the truth. Our knee-jerk reactions can send us down like women can’t do jumping Jacks. I Mean it’s like it’s that kind of line of thinking that it’s like you have to find balance keep an open mind and when you find yourself falling into the trap of saying that is absolutely possible or that’s never possible and you’re making that so making that based on assumptions is when you have to kind of. Pry yourself out of that box.
Right? Yeah and to be sure that the the second commenter’s point is something that is constantly evident right now the entire debate around global warming.
The debate around the pandemic and the pandemic response and everything from masks to vaccines is being those waters are being muddied by the kind of balance that the second commenter is talking about and you’re taking.
Yes, completely.
1 step back from that and saying that’s not the balance I’m talking about I’m not talking to posing viewpoints I’m talking about looking at the evidence and accepting evidence for what it is.
Bingo. Yeah, So it’s like it’s like climate deniers like I’m 1 of my favorite comments I get all the time in my comments is C o 2 is plant food and it’s like yes at face value that is very true C O 2 is plant food but that is ignoring all the other facts that go along with climate change where. The debate about climate change is over. It’s like it is happening. It’s undeniable. The scientific evidence is just overwhelming but but you can fall into the trap of saying oh it’s a hoax.. It’s been debunked because you’re you’re going off of little preconceptions and you’re falling into a box and it’s like. When you’re trying to figure out that you’ve fallen into that box to get yourself out of it to look at the evidence and accept it. So It’s don’t don’t go in with preconceptions.
I also like this comment from phharell mcgovern who wrote this reminds me of arthur c clarke’s first law when a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is Possible. He is almost certainly right when he states that something is impossible. He is all he is very probably wrong I think that that’s a very good and concise like you could put that above the doorway of an entrance into and ah a learned scholarly environment.
This is.
This is.
Ah, reminder that we’re all coming at this from our perspective and especially with somebody who has years decades of experience and looking at these things part of the bias that you point out is not only across the board. A bias that humans Share. It’s a bias that’s built in some cases through experience and knowledge some of the most biased thinking comes from the most learned of us.
Um, yes. Um, Well, it’s it’s it’s have you heard of the dunning Krueger effect. It’s it’s where it’s where you it’s where I don’t call people stupid that fall into this bucket but it’s where you think you know enough about a subject matter.
Once you go into more details.
You believe you’re an expert on it when in fact, you know, basically nothing and so you make assumptions based on the I know what I’m talking about and you are just going in completely out of your element and people who fall into the dunning kruger effect typically are horrible people to fall. And do horrible things. But there’s my my mantra like on this video when we were working on it was you don’t know what you don’t know so at the time even though these people are extremely smart and knew what they were talking about of their given expertise. It’s it’s like people who talk about how the hyperloop will never happen. Chances of hyperloop ever happening I think are slim I’m not going to argue that point. But for anybody to say it’s never going to happen. It’s not Possible. It’s like you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s like you. There are people working to solve this problem that know more about this than you think you do and it’s like why do you assume you know more. And the thousands of people that are working to make this a reality and so for me, that’s a thing that I’m always trying to push myself out of on this is don’t fall into the dun and kruger effect and so it’s like when I’m right when we put these videos together I never claim to be an expert on any of this stuff and it’s just this is the research we found here’s what we found for the pros and cons of this thing.
Um, yeah.
I’m going to present it I came to a conclusion for myself. What do you think? that’s literally what it is I never want to come across as I know more than about other people about this topic. So trust me, it’s like that’s not what I’m doing on any of this. So it’s like I I try my best not to fall into that that trap.
My favorite examples of that happen online through social media when somebody will say here’s evidence of X and somebody else will respond you don’t know what you’re talking about. You should take a look at this this is going to give you that information.
And then the first person comes back and says I wrote that it happens far more often than it should it very often happens to women women in science. There was 1 particular case I remember where a woman shared her a link to an article.
Saying this examines blah blah blah and somebody came back and said you clearly haven’t read the article because you are misrepresenting what it says and then she had to reply I wrote the article and that’s the the. Comments are who shows up and says you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about that lead in is very often spurious. Um, so a couple of questions I had as I was watching this video and I know that the answer for me is a definite. Yes. Was there ever a time in your own life where you thought something wouldn’t fly and you were just absolutely wrong.
Um, the closest I could example I could come up with that is well yes and 1 of the examples that popped in my head was electric vehicles. It’s like I for years. The best electric vehicles and know like the Chevy Bolt when it like you know it was like you know you can drive sixty miles. On a charge and it was like for me I was just like yeah that’s no way. There’s no way I Loved the idea of electric vehicles I wanted it to be a thing but it was like if that’s the best we can do screw that. That’s not never going to fly and then along came tesla and suddenly it was like oh oh.
Um, yeah.
This could work and so so that started to change my mind so it’s like it’s 1 of those I’ve fallen into the trap I Never said it’s never going to happen but I definitely thought well that’s a long shot. This’s a the best we can do yeah so that’s where I failed the trap.
Um, correct.
Yeah, yeah, the early electric vehicles had the air about them that was similar to somebody advertising to you a bicycle that only has 1 pedal. It’s like well yeah I could get 1 good solid pump out of this pedal. And be moving. But then if I can only coast to the corner and then I have to reset my pedal. That’s not super terrific for me I remember very clearly standing in your doorway of your bedroom when you were in high school and seeing you sit at your computer. And your computer was twice as good as my computer because my computer had literally been purchased six months earlier these were our first computers and. Mine didn’t have the ability to go on the internet you were on the internet and I walked into your room I said what are you doing and you said I’m sending emails to my friends and I said to you 1 you’re an idiot 2 that’s a waste of time. There’s a reason why we have a phone.
Ah, ah.
And that is just a silly fad that will go away soon I still stand by every single 1 of those comments.
Ah’m well to add to that I worked I used to work at a company that I think most people that I don’t think people remember this company. There’s a company called glyoss which was a 1 of the biggest search engines in the world before before before google showed up and then google ate everyba lunch.
Ah, yeah I love the lead into that as a description of the company. 1 of the largest search engine companies in the world. You may not have heard of it. Yeah.
But used to work for lios and I remember I was sitting working on a prot. Yeah.
Yes, you may have not heard of it. This is a long time ago early 2000 s and I was sitting at my desk. Yep yep.
You may remember the ads where it was go get it lios and it was a black lab that would go off and find things and then unfortunately it turned out that the search engine was in fact, run by a black lab.
Yes, it was and that kind of ties into what I was about to say because I remember sitting at my desk and a couple of ah vice presidents were walking in front of my desk and 1 of them was going. Yeah, we’re going to create this broadband service. It can be called lahos fat pipe which I thought was. Made me, go wait what that’s the war’s name. You could come up with but they were talking about Broadband and he was saying and he goes what we’re gonna we’re going to create this service. We’ll go right into the home and we’re goingnna give people broadband service which is going be like 1 hundred and twenty eight k or whatever it was at the time that was this mind boggling speed and he said.
Right? Some mind-boggling number.
And at some point he goes smartphones neighbor start talking about smartphones. Go we have to start thinking about products that can be tied into the phone because smartphone’s gonna become a thing and you’re gonna be buying. You’re gonna go up to a soda machine and you’re gonna put your phone up to the soda machine and a so will pop out. You’re not going to use cash anymore and this is like in two thousand and two maybe and I’m sitting at my desk going. You are. So full of it. There’s no way any of that’s going to happen. It’s like and I’m working at an internet company I thought that was complete like bs and where are we now it’s like all the stuff that these 2 guys were talking about all of it has come true and lios is nowhere I thought that was kind of funny.
Right? yeah.
Right? Well I think I think what you’re trying to say is that we are in fact, living the fat pipe dream I’m sorry I couldn’t keep a straight face through that I really wanted to get there who.
Um, yeah, nice. Nice. Try I appreciate it.
Yeah I wish the name of this podcast was fatpipe.
Still to be fat by.
So to bring us back to the actual point of this fat pipe. Um, you talk about Balance. We’ve talked about what you mean by balance. But I’m wondering. Do you have any tips about how to achieve it and I know that you’ve you’ve pointed out that this is a human foible that we can’t help but be biased against I’m fascinated I tend to look at a lot of this stuff from an evolutionary perspective. You know I look at myself and people around me and I say oh that person has zero fear he goes out and does mountain climbing and he and he goes skydiving and he loves roller coasters. There’s no fear there and then this other guy is out there and. He’s neurotic. He’s he’s got some form of agoraphobia and he doesn’t like crowds and he and all he wants to do is stay at home and and read his books and watch tv and and be left alone and I look at both of those and I think well, there’s interesting evolutionary things at work in both of those in ah in a kind of. Primitive setting. You would need a group of people that would have a mix of both of those components. The 1 who’s willing to grab this club and run out of the cave and attack. Whatever’s outside in order to gather food and defend the group. And on the other side. You also do need that person I always joke about our evolutionary you’re in my evolutionary ancestry where in moments of high stress and panic. We get very sleepy and and I think that there is probably an an ancient feral in the history way back in time.
Very sleepy.
Who was the 1 that originated you know if you’re ever attacked by a bear just pretend you’re asleep and they will leave you alone because that’s the only way our ancestors got out of that cave is by a good lord. It’s a saber tooth tiger why is feral asleep. No just leaving there. He’ll be fine.
I’m still lay down.
And I look at this bias issue and I think it’s fascinating to think about like what is the what is the origin of this kind of bias this distrust of the new and I can see how there would be a. Place of okay, a distrust of the new in that kind of primitive social Aspect. You wouldn’t have people just kind of wandering Away. You wouldn’t have people wandering away from the good for the group. You’d have a sense of trust in 1 another’s practices as as. Habits were built up among the members of a community and you’d have those people willing to say like oh I’m not sure about that new thing I’ll just keep doing what the group is doing and reinforcing those practices I can understand where it comes from and then there’s that edge of it which holds you back. So it’s. Finding that balance is very difficult and finding that point where you can say Okay I understand that the newness shouldn’t always be immediately trusted if it’s immediately trusted. It’s not good for the group and then when is the good for the group actually holding you back from something that is the next big good. And it’s hard to recognize but I’m wondering if you have any tips as far as and I think you demonstrated in your videos when you talk about here’s what these things are aspiring to achieve here’s what they’re currently achieving here are the things that they’re holding that are holding them back. But. Essentially is there something you’ve had to to manifest in your own approach to the different subjects that you could share with the listeners as far as a way to enact that kind of balance in our own thinking to be able to recognize oh I’m. I’m kind of responding with a knee-jerk reaction as opposed to taking something in that might be a little disconcerting. Yeah, it might swirl the the it might muddy the waters a little bit for me. But I’m still safe even if I give it that room to be true.
Right? Most of the time for me, it’s the immediacy of my response to whatever the thing is I’m looking at so it’s like when you look at something you have a snap judgment on that I trust that person I don’t trust that person or. Like that thing or don’t like that thing you have an immediate snap Judgment. We all have it when I’m learning about a subject or I’m learning about a company or a thing they’re making if I find myself with a snap judgment of oh that’s amazing. This is the solution for everything or if I have a ah immediate reaction 1 way or the other. I’ve kind of learned that that’s a sign of okay I’m I’m making a snap judgment which is based on assumption pause dig up your vulcan inside put the emotional reaction to the side and then try to challenge that assumption and find.
Go in the opposite direction and see if you can find like a lot of the technologies I talk about are like Wow this thing is amazing then it always comes back to is it amazing. Is it always is it really that good. What is it actually cost. Oh My gosh. This thing’s 3 times the cost of this other thing. So It’s 1 of those it always. That’s what sends me down different paths is I’m always trying to challenge the emotional response that I have and it’s that snap judgment that snap response that you have is the thing that I try to I’ve kind of learned to not ignore. But it’s more of a just challenge. It.
Um, right.
Like you lean in this direction. Suddenly it’s like why am I leaning that direction is there something actually over there instead. Yeah basically challenge your first assumptions.
So challenge First assumptions. That sounds like very wise approach I’m curious to hear from our listeners about places in their life where they’ve been able to either enact that kind of ah response. To be able to shut down their immediate rejection of something I’m also very interested in those places where people haven’t been able to do that have you been in your brother’s room calling him an idiot because he’s using email instead of real mail or a telephone. But us know what you think you can leave that information in the comments section below this video or you can reach out to us through the contact info in the podcast description while you’re doing all that please do remember to subscribe you can do that by hitting the subscribe button.
Yeah, what’s that.
I’ll let that sit there for a moment as people scramble subscribe button what that pipe huh we do have ways to directly support the podcast you can visit still tbd dot fm. And you’ll see the support the podcast link there and then you get to throw quarters at our heads or if you’re watching on Youtube there is a membership button right here on youtube and you can press that make a donation directly to us through youtube just press the join button. And join us. We look forward to you joining us being 1 of us fat pipe join us I’m never going to let go out fat pipe I’m Goingnna get a t-shirt made that just has lios fat pipe. It’s going to saylychos fat pipe I don’t care that lios is no longer with us. It’s with us in spirit.
Ah, no team fat play. But.
With us in fatpipe. Do please give us a rating a review and share us with your friends all of that really does help the podcast. The podcast helps the channel the channel helps Matthew and then Matthew helps fat pipepe. We’ll talk to you next time everybody thanks so much.
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