The Skeptics Guide #798 - Oct 24 2020


Or Bob Novella everybody. Santamaria Howdy, Jada Novella guys, and Evan Bernstein. Good evening folks. Unfortunately, we have to start the show with some very sad news. We just heard right before we started reporting pretty much. We heard that James. The Amazing Radi has died. He was ninety two. This was announced by the James Randi. Educational. Foundation they're not releasing details. Just news just hitting us. Haven't had time to find out any more information but you know we knew that Randy Survived Colon cancer he survived heart attacks before and again of course you know he he was ninety two. So you know we we knew this day was coming, but it's still it's still sat. It's you know he was a giant absolute giant skeptical movement. You can't overestimate his influence on the Jew, his inspiration to all of us as activists skeptics you know he he basically. Was Our you know mentor and the sort of iconic skeptic when we were just getting started in all this and my earliest memory of randy. We had him speak at MIT right remember. And you've got to have. Like a dinner with him and Davey and couple of other. And I was pretty of watching this guy. And knowing so much about him and at that point I'm pretty sure. I, had already read one of his books but I you know we got to know randy over you know over the last twenty years. More it's more like thirty years. At this point we you know we we got to know him done dozens of conferences with him and had you know just a lot of time to hang out and you know when I think about I, worried about losing randy because you know he's a he's always much older. You know in in in the sense of like you know he really was a mentor and I felt like he's he's one of the last people from that generation that really remembers exactly what happened I, remember him telling us all of these details about skeptical movement back in the day and all the drama in every twist and turn. And I remember like throughout like Randy sentiment was just like what a waste of time like we just had this job to do and he wanted to do that job which was promote critical thinking and skepticism and and people got in the way and I remember that frustrating randy a lot not just in the books that he did all the in person appearances and all the people that he spent time with him he was so unbelievably generous with his time you went to the amazing meeting you could sit down and talk to him. That's how I met him. I mean I really only knew him the last ten years or less. And I remember being invited to speak at Tam. That's where I met you guys. That's how you know our relationship really started and I've been lucky enough just in this last chapter of his life to have learned from him to have sat on panels with him had conversations with him and I think the thing that resonates with me the most and maybe this is because I have. The perspective. That's probably similar to a lot of our listeners or at least a certain percentage of our listeners of sort of coming to this movement after a lot of that drama right and after a lot of the major players kind of had established themselves is that it was about the magic and yes about the skepticism. But what resonated deeply for me from randy like his human as You know sitting with them and hearing the way that he talked about people and the way that he talked about communicating with people and being empathic and trying to understand where people were coming from that always meant an awful lot to me. Yeah. He definitely ruled the natural eighteen when it comes to charisma. Well. Said I was talking to Bob earlier and I was saying you know like he has been such an amazing ally and then it occurred to me I'm like, yeah, and a and a man were you in trouble if Randy decided to focus his critical eye on you for? He had a legitimate reason. because. Know he he his knife incredibly sharp when it needed to be he what an intellect on him and my God he key held it. He held onto his intellect for the whole ride. Master Deep, bunker. But he didn't like being called the deep bunker, he wanted to be an investigator. Yes. He was concerned that if he had calling it debunking like, no, it's it's. Going in my department investigator I have an open mind. I just haven't found any evidence of the payroll. Year whatever afterlife of Riot Nothing Daddy. and. How cool would it be if we did I mean that's not something that we would like oh boy. This guy swept under the rug. We this goes against our worldview. No we we found credible evidence. We would be right there with it and we will be retested to the nth degree but. She'd but just haven't seen it and the becomes increasingly. Improbable that it's going to anything like that is going to ever exist. You know you could. You could safely conclude? No not there. He preached a lot of different industries. It was obviously the entertainment industry through his skills as a magician early on in his life. Yeah. Certainly the science. The science industry if you want to call it that or the world science? Community. Skepticism. No. No doubt about it being one of the founders of psych up, you know one of the most influential organizations of skepticism that was ever founded and his humanise work. So he brought all of these together in a package that few other can claim that they've that they've had a hand in absolutely and there's a beautiful documentary about him I. Wonder if you can still access sit on net flicks but if if any of you are listening right now and you don't know who he was. which I can't imagine but maybe you're very new to the movement, I do recommend it because it tells his story in a really really kind of meaningful way is that the one? On Air Twenty Dollars Flyer. Honest Liar. Yeah that's what it's called. Well, we certainly gotten got to know Randy and watch him work in different capacity and you'd have seen him do magic hundreds of times you know he's used to do it at dinner you he would be entertaining one person at dinner just for fun like he would just do a quick. Magic. Trick. I'll never forget like the simplest magic trick you know the the dice rolling when you

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