Author Topic: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?  (Read 4658 times)

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2019, 05:58:08 PM »
Previous post was the thing, I was trying to remember recently. Monumentally thick cunt that struggles with basic empaty. Mistakes pendantry for intelligence.

ZoyzaSorris

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2019, 06:10:38 PM »
Quite enjoyed the Cosmos reboot though, semi-guilty pleasure though it may have been (and pretty non-CaB friendly, what with Seth Macfarlane involved too).

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2019, 06:21:36 PM »
For someone whose job is basically PR for science, he doesn't seem to be interested in the slightest in boring things like checking his facts. Also, when he gets things wrong, he rarely admits it, preferring to double-down or pretend he was really talking about something else.

For example:



Where do you even begin with something this wrong?

Popular science writers often mangle history, as Tyson does in Cosmos. That he manages to regularly spread false information about science as well is a major achievement.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2019, 06:23:03 PM »
It's like the church telling people they need to give them money otherwise they're fucked forever.

What point is he even trying to make?

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2019, 06:27:37 PM »
What point is he even trying to make?

The only point that he is ever trying to make: Neil deGrasse Tyson is clever.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2019, 07:27:32 PM »
The number of deaths due to medical errors is a bit dubious, incidentally.

Mistakes pendantry for intelligence.
Oh no.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2019, 07:51:10 PM »
Isn't everyone called Tyson a bit of a cunt?

ZoyzaSorris

  • if you can smell me it's too late
Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2019, 08:45:19 PM »
Popular science writers often mangle history, as Tyson does in Cosmos.

Where, out of interest?

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2019, 10:09:09 PM »
Where, out of interest?

The relationship between the Catholic Church and the history of science in Cosmos is a load of cobblers. To be fair they inherited that from the original Cosmos, but they've had ample time to check their facts, which they're not interested in doing.

ZoyzaSorris

  • if you can smell me it's too late
Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2019, 10:13:49 PM »
Care to elaborate a little? I'm not being a dick, genuinely interested.

alan nagsworth

  • pot of black?
Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2019, 10:17:11 PM »




dunno what youse are on about tbh the man has always been insightful and very funny with it

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2019, 10:38:25 PM »
Care to elaborate a little? I'm not being a dick, genuinely interested.

Cosmos spends some time telling the story of Giordano Bruno, who is portrayed as a martyr to scientific ideas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bruno was a mystic who was executed for his heretical beliefs, beliefs which had nothing to do with science even by the standards of the time. While it's certainly not a good thing to execute people for having different religious beliefs, that just shows that the Church was intolerant, not anti-science, which it clearly wasn't. Bruno believed the sun was the centre of the universe because of his hermetic beliefs, not because of any observations or calculations he or anyone else had done.

See here for more.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2019, 11:00:33 PM »


heh. logic and facts. deal with it.

He really is a complete bellend.  The problem is that in trying to be a smart arse, he’s responding to a question which hasn’t been asked - like that Two Ronnies Mastermind sketch writ large with added smugness & porn ‘tache.  That would be a perfectly reasonable response to someone saying ‘I’m terrified to leave the house in case I’m killed in a spree shooting’. Pointing out the minuscule odds of being caught up in it can reassure someone.  Knowing that the chances of being in a plane crash are vanishingly small reassures nervous fliers like yours truly.

But that’s not what is happening here - he’s just being a massive prick. It’s a ‘what’s all the fuss about’ post more suited to a teenage edgelord.  He’s a scientist who’s mind wanders to irrelevancy.  Not usually a good thing.

He also brought up in the Joe Rogan podcast that Columbus's voyage was the most important moment in human history - then waited for the gasps (rather than the bored look he got in response).  He seems to be of the belief that had Columbus not made his journey, then we’d still be waiting for someone from Eurasia/Africa to ‘discover’ the Americas (and to regard it as more important than the domestication of animals, invention of language or the development of agriculture shows a simple mind when it comes to this stuff).  Seems pretty unlikely to me - and I doubt that even if the Americas had only been ‘discovered’ this year that the extra 500 years would have been enough time to speciate.  It’s muddled-up thinking like that which grates with me.  Dawkins is a colossal wanker at times, but he keeps his edgey sixth form philosophy to religion.

Urinal Cake

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2019, 11:12:52 PM »
People keep expecting 'smart' celebrities to be renaissance men- great at everything. But Dawkins, Musk, Carson, Tyson etc are just guys who studied a lot and cannot apply any sort of meaningful analysis to fields outside their expertise.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2019, 11:17:54 PM »
People keep expecting 'smart' celebrities to be renaissance men- great at everything. But Dawkins, Musk, Carson, Tyson etc are just guys who studied a lot and cannot apply any sort of meaningful analysis to fields outside their expertise.

Not sure the problem is with audience expectations.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2019, 11:26:15 PM »
I'd like to see him box. Bet he can't box for shit, but I'd like to see it.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2019, 11:29:31 PM »
I'd like to see him box. Bet he can't box for shit, but I'd like to see it.

UFC 242.

Brian Cox vs Neil Degrasse Tyson.

They'd need fighting names though. Like the Black Hole or The Quasar.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2019, 11:33:52 PM »
Polymath?  More like a bastard.

Tbf Dawkins & Tyson are irritating & smug.  Musk is a potentially dangerous sociopath.

They do all have cult-like followers mind you.  Very few of them seem to be actual scientists, but are more often people who think posting science memes at the intellectually unfortunate in Jesustown, Kentucky proves to the universe that they’re a superior being.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #48 on: September 09, 2019, 11:38:59 PM »
I'd like to see him box. Bet he can't box for shit, but I'd like to see it.

That’s funny, because I’d love to see Mike Tyson & Tyson Fury present documentaries on space stuff and act like twats on Twitter.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2019, 11:41:08 PM »
Tyson simply isn't comparable to someone like Dawkins when it comes to the area he's supposed to have expertise in.

See here for Tyson confusing the double-slit experiment with Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in a previous Joe Rogan interview (video here). It's clear in the video that he doesn't want to answer the question and tries to avoid it, but can't bring himself to demure.

Urinal Cake

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2019, 11:46:41 PM »
Not sure the problem is with audience expectations.
Not the whole problem but a major part of it is. It's what let's them think they have to say something about everything and expect people to fall on their knees in anticipation. I mean none of these guys seem to take criticism well.

 I know for people like Tyson, Carson etc and some lady scientists the issue lies with being made 'representative' and that complicates matters.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2019, 11:48:22 PM »
Yep, Dawkins has advanced humanity’s understanding of evolutionary biology and is prominent in his field - whereas Tyson is a ‘celebrity’ scientist of whom you couldn’t say the same.

They’re both bellends on Twitter though.

touchingcloth

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2019, 11:52:52 PM »
He really is a complete bellend.  The problem is that in trying to be a smart arse, he’s responding to a question which hasn’t been asked - like that Two Ronnies Mastermind sketch writ large with added smugness & porn ‘tache.  That would be a perfectly reasonable response to someone saying ‘I’m terrified to leave the house in case I’m killed in a spree shooting’. Pointing out the minuscule odds of being caught up in it can reassure someone.  Knowing that the chances of being in a plane crash are vanishingly small reassures nervous fliers like yours truly.

But that’s not what is happening here - he’s just being a massive prick. It’s a ‘what’s all the fuss about’ post more suited to a teenage edgelord.  He’s a scientist who’s mind wanders to irrelevancy.  Not usually a good thing.

He also brought up in the Joe Rogan podcast that Columbus's voyage was the most important moment in human history - then waited for the gasps (rather than the bored look he got in response).  He seems to be of the belief that had Columbus not made his journey, then we’d still be waiting for someone from Eurasia/Africa to ‘discover’ the Americas (and to regard it as more important than the domestication of animals, invention of language or the development of agriculture shows a simple mind when it comes to this stuff).  Seems pretty unlikely to me - and I doubt that even if the Americas had only been ‘discovered’ this year that the extra 500 years would have been enough time to speciate.  It’s muddled-up thinking like that which grates with me.  Dawkins is a colossal wanker at times, but he keeps his edgey sixth form philosophy to religion.

It's not even the edginess which gets me so much as the laziness. A post like his one in response to the shooting just smacks of shooting from the hip.

Like you say there is a good point to be made in putting a shooting in the context of other causes of deaths, but the point isn't that we respond to spectacle more than data, which doesn't really make the way he's framed it, given that flu and medical errors don't really have any analogies to the fact that a mass shooting is in large part a product of a society where access to powerful weapons is relatively easy to come by.

It's really obvious that his tweet was put together after about 5 minutes of googling for daily death stats and picking out some interesting ones. He talks about us not responding to data, but he's done fuck all with his data besides farting out and running away.

I'd quite enjoy seeing someone like Phil Plait properly crunch those numbers and apply more analysis to them than just presenting them in descending order. The kind of thing he does with articles like https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-human-cube-the-volume-of-humanity

Or it would be interesting to see some analysis from someone like Steve Novella, who is pretty relentless in providing context to his thoughts and arguments and doesn't just toss random thoughts out into the air, and is usually pretty open about where his thoughts turn more to speculation than objective facts: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/video-game-violence-2/

I think Tyson is the kind of scientist who is entirely adequate but not a genius on another mental plane. Those people are really fucking valuable in the popularisation of science because it's quite rare for the other plane geniuses to be able to speak with laypeople, but he does seem like a panel show scientist now, happy to talk in a way which will be lapped up by the kind of people who wear I Fucking Love Scients t-shirts but be ignored by just about everyone else.

Tyson simply isn't comparable to someone like Dawkins when it comes to the area he's supposed to have expertise in.

Yep. Something like The Selfish Gene is phenomenal and means that unfortunately it is right and proper that Dawkins is remembered long after his death, but Tyson is a ten-a-penny scientist with a media-friendly demeanour. I don't necessarily think his actual science output is bad - I can't complain that people like him and Brian Cox are proper scientists who laypeople enjoy - but I'd like it if he could at least make it clear which areas he has expertise in as opposed to is just hooting his trap off about.

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2019, 12:02:30 AM »
Tyson isn't really a scientist, is he? He's a science writer and broadcaster.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2019, 12:13:26 AM »
Dawkins is a colossal wanker at times, but he keeps his edgey sixth form philosophy to religion.
This is a little generous, in so far as this spills over into a very narrow perspective on the psychology of religion. (Or at least did back in 2006.)

Possibly also a little generous given things like "Abort it and try again." .

touchingcloth

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2019, 12:22:17 AM »
Tyson isn't really a scientist, is he? He's a science writer and broadcaster.

Given his education and career, I don't think it's inaccurate to call him "a scientist". He is a science writer and broadcaster as well, but he's not like, say, Rory Cellan-Jones who is a broadcaster focusing on technology but not an actual techonolog...ist.

touchingcloth

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2019, 12:22:44 AM »
This is a little generous, in so far as this spills over into a very narrow perspective on the psychology of religion. (Or at least did back in 2006.)

Possibly also a little generous given things like "Abort it and try again." .

Could you expand a little on both of those things?

Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2019, 12:33:25 AM »
Given his education and career, I don't think it's inaccurate to call him "a scientist". He is a science writer and broadcaster as well, but he's not like, say, Rory Cellan-Jones who is a broadcaster focusing on technology but not an actual techonolog...ist.

Given his education, yes, but I think it's fair to say he's changed careers at this point. He doesn't do science as part of his job, he popularises it to a general audience. There's nothing wrong with that - it's highly valuable as you say above - but I think the distinction should be made.

Zetetic

  • Burying isn't the same as killing.
Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #58 on: September 10, 2019, 12:43:28 AM »
Could you expand a little on both of those things?
The second of those was in response to someone on Twitter suggesting that they'd have an ethical dilemma if they discovered that the child they were pregnant with had Downs Syndrome. It's a position, of course, but not one very carefully expressed. I think "edgey sixth form" covers it.

On the first - Dawkins gives an enormous amount of weight to theories that treat religious belief in humans as result of (broadly) faulty low-level perceptual mechanisms, alongside his own view of religious beliefs as "viruses" (i.e. adaptive for their own propagation to detriment of the carrier).

He gives little or poor treatment of approaches that try to make sense of religious belief as adaptive, either for individuals or societies (e.g. as a mechanism for effectively signalling common adherence to a moral code).

That then probably ties into a failure to deal properly with religion in history, or indeed why religion has been so weakened in the last few centuries. (The Dawkinses and Gervaises and so on would like to put the death of religion down to the victory of Science - the sheer potency of the On the Origin of Species driving out the fug from the minds of the common sort, or something like that.)

touchingcloth

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Re: Is Neil Degrasse Tyson a bit of a cunt?
« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2019, 12:50:37 AM »
Given his education, yes, but I think it's fair to say he's changed careers at this point. He doesn't do science as part of his job, he popularises it to a general audience. There's nothing wrong with that - it's highly valuable as you say above - but I think the distinction should be made.

Perhaps, I don't really know what his work as a planetarium director entails.

He's not a research scientist like Stargazing LIVE! presenter Brian Cox, but I've always assumed he's closer to that than Stargazing LIVE! presenter Dara Ó Briain. I've always thought of him as being below Sagan and Cox though probably more than someone with a doctorate, but I honestly don't know if he still contributes to the discipline or literature in a meaningful way any more.