Free Will Is An Illusion (like God) – by Susan Blackmore

Excerpt:

So why do we feel as though we are having a single stream of conscious experiences? Perhaps it was useful for our past survival to have a false model of ourselves, to attribute our body’s actions to an inner self, and to see the world in terms of spiritual forces and non-physical agents, when there are no such things. Perhaps it is possible to give up these illusions by practising watching the mind.

Susan was a guest on G’Day World talking about free will back in May 2008.

Read the rest of her recent article in The Guardian here.

Your Bank Hates You (by Scott Adams)

I’ve been talking about why we hate banks. It might be because they hate us!

Some insight into the way banks work from Dilbert creator Scott Adams (who says he was working at a bank when Dilbert was born):

Banks and credit card companies make a lot of money from late fees. They have a naked interest in keeping their service as inconvenient as possible.

Makes sense, right? Except that it’s another example of good profits vs bad profits (as Jen Storey explained on my last banking podcast). This rational might increase bank profits in the short term, but in the long term it pisses us off. That doesn’t matter too much to the existing bank executives, as their bonuses are based on THIS year’s profits and not the long term future of the bank. They are incented to have a short term outlook. The bank execs also know that we don’t have much choice. Except that we DO. That’s why I set up an account with a credit union last week (CUA). I’ll be shutting down my bank accounts over the next month and moving everything over to CUA – a credit union is owned by its MEMBERS and not SHARE HOLDERS, so it has an incentive to provide good service, not to maximize profits at the expense of service.

Read the rest of Scott’s blog post here.

Michael Jackson – Live, Brisbane 1987

I was at this concert. I’ll never forget this opening number. It was TOTALLY INSANE. This video doesn’t begin to do it justice. Instead of the footage of the audience in the first 30 seconds it should have shown the stage. First thing you heard was the loud thunderous thumping. Then the top of the stage opened up and bright white lights blinded you. Then MJ marched up from inside the stage. Lights dimmed, smoke cleared, he screamed, everything exploded.

I still say it was the most amazing concert I’ve ever been to in my life. He was at his peak and – let’s face it – BAD was his last interesting album. After that he just melted down and become more freak than artist.

I was talking to Chrissy the other day, wondering who taught Michael how to dance – turns out it was a guy called Jeffrey Daniel. Check this video out:

Let’s remember though that the evidence seems to indicate that Michael was a very disturbed human being, a paedophile who only didn’t end up serving 20 years in jail because he could afford to buy his way out of trouble with $22 million of hush money.

And I don’t care that "he had a tough childhood". Yeah sure – being super rich and famous and talented must be a bitch. Guess what? Lots of people who end up committing criminal behaviour had messed up childhoods. And while we should definitely be understanding of that in our legal system, and recognize that emotional and psychological damage need to be treated responsibly, it’s not a ‘get out of jail free card’.

Unless, of course, you are someone who can spend $22 million on out-of-court settlements – like Michael Jackson – or priests in the Catholic Church.

Missing G’Day World Episodes

At the moment I am still missing the following list of G’Day World episodes. This dates back to the server crash we had six months ago when we also discovered our backup system had been misconfigured. If anyone has copies of these podcasts and would be prepared to upload them for me, I would be extremely grateful.

Gdayworld shows missing from ftp:

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68
104
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126
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213
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GDay World 385 – Francis Borchardt on the Historicity of Jesus

In this, the latest show in my series trying to show that the Jesus story is probably a myth or hoax, my guest is a PhD student at the University of Helsinki in the field of biblical study. He chatted with me recently about the evidence to support the theory that there once was a man called Jesus about whom the stories we know of as the Christian bible were constructed around.

Interestingly, Francis doesn’t seem to believe the biblical stories and yet considers himself a Catholic.

Francis Borchardt

If you want to hear my other shows about the historicity of Jesus, check out this page.

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“Sala” (mp3)
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