Introducing the iMortal Show – Episode 1: Ersatz Geek

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I’m proud to present the first episode of my new podcast, the iMortal Show. Like the iMortal the blog, this show will look at the intersection of culture and technology, an exploration of how we live our finite lives during the tech revolution.

For our first episode, I’ve brought on actor, singer, and science communicator Gia Mora and web designer Matt Licata to discuss what it means to be a geek today. We talk about how geekhood has evolved from something that was explictly non-conformist to a label that can apply to almost everyone.

I’m really delighted with how this turned out. I hope you like it too, and will help me spread the word about it. Give it a listen:

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Download the episode here.

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The iMortal Show, Episode 1: “Ersatz Geek”

Originally recorded August 28, 2014.

Produced and hosted by Paul Fidalgo.

Theme music by Smooth McGroove, used with permission.

Running time: 45 minutes.

Links from the show:

Gia Mora (the “ersatz geek”) on Twitter, her website, and her current show Einstein’s Girl.

Matt Licata (who “likes stuff”) on Twitter, and his websites MiraiMatt.com and Future World.

iMortal: Your Unique Amalgam: On the Fluidity of Geekhood

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Tech Pundit Andy Ihnatko’s Problem with Atheist Arguments

Did Andy Ihnatko know I was starting this tech-and-humanism blog? Almost certainly not, but look, he’s gone and given me some great blog fodder. Ihnatko is a brilliant, funny, and insightful technology pundit and commentator on geek culture that I’ve been a fan of for years. Occasionally he’ll use his personal blog to wade into other areas that spark his intellectual curiosity, and it’s almost always worth one’s time to read.

(Recommendations: His mauling of Family Guy and praising of Bob’s Burgers, and his appraisal of late night hosts in the wake of Letterman’s announced retirement.)

His latest is right in our wheelhouse, as he posts his reaction to a recent Greta Christina piece at AlterNet. I don’t agree with all of Ihnatko’s opinions here, as he’s a little too soft in his nontheism for my tastes, but as always he has some great lines.

For example, his piece principally takes issue with what he sees as a common atheist mischaracterization of how theism is actually conceived of by believers, as we often focus on what he calls the Touched by an Angel-model God, and says:

That’s definitely the iPhone of gods, here in America. But it’s by no means the whole range of Gods available. Even a Christian sect can’t stay in production for more than a hundred years before somebody forks the distro.

Love it.

And what does Andy believe?

I’m an agnostic. If you absolutely must pin me down, I suppose I’m an agnostic theist (I suspect that some kind of god is out there, and if there is, he/she/it is fundamentally unknowable).

Sounds like Montaigne. But I digress.

I absolutely insist that there’s an analog spectrum of belief. It’s more accurate just to say that I find the questions more interesting than the answers. As a nontheist, I (like Christina) don’t know how to justify a belief in an omnipowerful God for whom worldwide genocide is explained by a “You don’t have to be crazy to work here…but it helps!” poster in the Almighty’s breakroom.

Ihnatko says that the atheist vs. theist blog arguments (and I’d add atheist vs. atheist internecine battles) warp themselves from thoughtful discussions about disagreements into a “Monty Python And The Holy Grail-style chain of logic which has the cadence and the shape of rational argument, but is based on a whole series of questionable assumptions and is designed to trap their opponent in a corner.”

Anyway, I’m glad he wrote this. And boy would I love to see him bring it up with Leo Laporte (an atheist) and the guys on MacBreak Weekly.