Call in show needs callers June 10, 2008 11:32 AM   Subscribe

We're doing another call-in show for the podcast this week so we need people to call in some questions for us to answer (ideally, in the next 24hours). Click the giant CALL ME button on the podcast sidebar, plop in your number, and grandcentral/google will ring you up and let you leave a message free of charge.

(adblock users may have to disable their extension to see the blue button flash widget thing for making calls)
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 11:32 AM (65 comments total)

How do I do this from outside the US?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:39 AM on June 10, 2008


I guess international people don't get the free call back option then, just ring up +1 (503) 465-4522 and leave a message.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:44 AM on June 10, 2008


or alternately you could just record yourself asking a question, save it as mp3, and email to me or something.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:45 AM on June 10, 2008


Peachy keen, I left a message.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:53 AM on June 10, 2008


I am going to leave a message that says "How do I unsubscribe from Google?"
posted by desjardins at 11:54 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Semi-serious question: why don't you guys do one of these call-in podcasts "live" from a meet-up?

I'd love to hear you three get progressively more drunk/belligerent with the members in attendance as the show wears on. I estimate that after five minutes of "Why'd you delete my post?" cortex flips the table over, Jess smashes a bottle against the bar and lunges for someone's throat, and Matt calls pb for an exit like in The Matrix .

You could get sponsors for that show.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


If we have a friend with a question, can we let them ask by proxy? Or do they need an account?
posted by Eideteker at 12:21 PM on June 10, 2008


Is it the guy that lives upstairs from you, Eide? The one that's TOTALLY NOT YOU?
posted by yhbc at 12:26 PM on June 10, 2008


Non-member questioners should pay more tuition as out of state university students do.
posted by Cranberry at 12:32 PM on June 10, 2008


Eideteker: "If we have a friend with a question, can we let them ask by proxy? Or do they need an account?"

Better yet, can I put someone else's number in, and you can answer whatever question they happen to ask? Something like "Who is this? Do you have ANY IDEA WHAT TIME IT IS?!?"
posted by Plutor at 12:33 PM on June 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


I don't think I need to add that I'm asking for a friend.
posted by Eideteker at 12:45 PM on June 10, 2008


What if I get confused and think I'm telling a tale of shame to Jordon Jesse Go?
posted by drezdn at 12:57 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have a question:

Given the differences between one human eye and another, how can we ever know that the color blue that I'm seeing is the same color that you are seeing?

I have a follow up as well:

Does anyone have any munchies?
posted by quin at 1:02 PM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Quin: How do you know that everyone you know actually looks like a human? What if your brain is just making up the fact that everyone around you has two legs, two arms, three eyes, and one head just to keep you from feeling like you're so horribly alone in the universe?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:20 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


why don't you guys do one of these call-in podcasts "live" from a meet-up?

Asked and answered, your honor!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:37 PM on June 10, 2008


robocop is bleeding: "How do you know that everyone you know actually looks like a human?"

Exactly. Once you start questioning shared experiences as basic as primary colors, all of reality begins to crumble. Are my co-workers sentient, or just finely-tuned simulacra? Is all that I perceive merely errant electronic impulses in an otherwise-incapacitated brain? Is there any way to tell, from the inside?
posted by Plutor at 1:43 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Asked and answered, your honor!

Yes, but I'd like to see where counsel is going, so I'll allow it.
posted by SlyBevel at 1:54 PM on June 10, 2008


It's not the third eye I worry about so much RIB, as the single head. I have an invisible spare.
posted by quin at 1:54 PM on June 10, 2008


only three calls so far, c'mon people!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:14 PM on June 10, 2008


Quin -

You and I are standing in front of a series of color swatches, and I point to one of them and say, "This is blue, right?", you will answer yes. At that point we know the color I'm seeing is the same as the color you're seeing thusly -

1) We know the wavelength of light is the same for both of us. There is only one swatch in question.

2) Thus the light receptors in both our eyes are being stimulated in the same manner. Same energy, same physical reaction, same nerve signal to the brain.

3) We know from statistical studies that the "sensation" and feeling one feels when in a blue room are similar between individuals and even different cultures. This has been shown by many peer reviewed studies.

4) Thus we know that the physical structure of the brain that interprets the effect of "blue" wavelength light on the nerves of our eyes is part of human physiology rather than a random jumble of neurons. And we know that it is measurably the same among individuals.

5) Since the light and the physical structure of the brain in context is the same, we know that, in general, we both see the same inner representation.

Of course abnormal or color blind individuals may see something different, but you already knew that.
posted by Ragma at 2:29 PM on June 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


Ragma: you just blew my mind. BLEW MY MIND!
posted by arcticwoman at 2:35 PM on June 10, 2008


1) We know the wavelength of light is the same for both of us.

True. But, and I think we can both agree on this, it is possible that our entire universe is nothing more than an electron in an atom in a molecular chain in some giant's fingernail.

Woah... that's cool.

Wait, what was I talking about?
posted by quin at 2:42 PM on June 10, 2008




Note to self: next time, write down "talking points" before having the internet call you. Now the world (or MeFi subset thereof) will know how awkwardly off-putting I find answering machines.
posted by not_on_display at 3:01 PM on June 10, 2008


Dorky voice message left.
posted by fijiwriter at 3:04 PM on June 10, 2008


Ahhh, I left a much more concise and less giggly-teenage-girl message than my first one. Please use the second one, pleasepleaseplease. Brand new day and all that.
posted by not_on_display at 3:23 PM on June 10, 2008


Please use the second one, pleasepleaseplease. Brand new day and all that.

This is going to be like that horrible scene from Swingers isn't it?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:01 PM on June 10, 2008


> Please use the second one, pleasepleaseplease. Brand new day and all that.
This is going to be like that horrible scene from Swingers isn't it?


Never saw it. Can you make requests at a drive-in theater? (he giggled, like a French schoolgirl)
posted by not_on_display at 4:22 PM on June 10, 2008


linky
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:41 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why I decided to mention it here, except that it happens to be the thread I'm reading when I remembered this, but the "Everyone needs a hug" note is a lie: my son advised me this morning (in his best 3-going-on-20 voice) that he did not need a hug, thank you.
posted by davejay at 5:24 PM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Damn Jessamyn, you totally could have RickRolled all of MeTa just now.
posted by SlyBevel at 6:33 PM on June 10, 2008


but ragma, how do we know that you're not really seeing green and i'm seeing red but we've both been conditioned to call it blue?
posted by msconduct at 6:48 PM on June 10, 2008


my son advised me this morning that he did not need a hug, thank you.

Your son is not on MetaFilter (if he is, do not tell me, I am afraid of the police). I am sure if he was, he would need a hug.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:48 PM on June 10, 2008


This is going to be like that horrible scene from Swingers isn't it?

Ummm, yes? Yes, it is. So, ahhh, yeah, take the 4th message I left: that's the one where I hit it. Totally. Yeah. It's not you, it's me. This is not_on_display. How about maybe you should you call me, then. OK. So, yeah. Talk to you later. Drive-in.

(dag, that didn't go so well; I think I'll try posting that comment again.)
posted by not_on_display at 6:49 PM on June 10, 2008


Well, I left a question; I hope you can edit out the "uhhs" and stupid pauses that make me sound like more of a dork than I already am.
posted by pjern at 6:51 PM on June 10, 2008


Lord love a duck, I sound like an idiot on the phone! Oh, well, that Grand Central feature is awesome. I love hearing Matt on my iphone. I feel so connected.
posted by misha at 7:48 PM on June 10, 2008


or alternately you could just record yourself asking a question, save it as mp3, and email to me or something.

Cool, that's what I just did.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:58 PM on June 10, 2008


I dunno, something from the internet calling me just kind of feels unsettling.

Ring Ring, it's the INTERNET!
posted by hellojed at 8:14 PM on June 10, 2008


I'm awful about posting two comments in a row because I forgot something.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:16 PM on June 10, 2008


So I feel your pain, not_on_display. :P
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:17 PM on June 10, 2008


Can I use this to prank call people? I can, can't I?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:40 PM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I left my question. FYI, Grand Central does work for us poor Canucks...I guess we're not "international" enough.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:55 PM on June 10, 2008


ugh, don't use mine, I didn't think about it long enough.
posted by hellojed at 10:13 PM on June 10, 2008


Color is as much a construct of the brain as the eye. It seems to me that you could rotate someone's mental color wheel without creating a perceived inconsistency. Opposites would still be opposites. The relationships between colors are perceived varies from person to person and how they react to color combinations also varies. People have colors and color combinations that they like and don't like.
While there is an RGB value that is "absolute red", what people refer to as red is a range of colors seen in a range of lighting conditions off reflective surfaces with particular properties. Even if both people agree red is red, they may disagree on the particular name (blood red, candy apple red, fire engine red).
posted by doctor_negative at 10:06 AM on June 11, 2008


Or "red" is "red" because we are enculturated from an early age with basic uniform color structure (i.e. this is what real red looks like, this is what real blue looks like, this is light blue, this is dark blue). We see this red or this blue reproduced everywhere and we come to accept that red as the real red. If we relied on the color of the sky, well that changes with the time of day and the seasons.

Regardless of what you "see," what you perceive as meaningful is somewhat independent. When I was doing my morphology field course I had a native speaker of one of the ethnically indigenous languages of Nigeria (I can't remember which). We chatted a bit and one of the things he found fascinating about American culture was that there was a color for everything. His language supported clear references for only a dozen or so.
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:12 PM on June 11, 2008


It seems to me that you could rotate someone's mental color wheel without creating a perceived inconsistency.

Yes. With what Ragma said all being true, there are still questions of qualia.

I'm not in the proper frame of mind for this discussion right now though.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:02 AM on June 12, 2008


um. i'm tipsy. should i have the internet call me?

WILL IT BE LIKE THAT SCENE IN "WARGAMES" WHERE THE COMPUTER KEEPS CALLING MATTHEW BRODERICK???!!!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:58 PM on June 12, 2008


Your son is not on MetaFilter (if he is, do not tell me, I am afraid of the police). I am sure if he was, he would need a hug.

Yeah, but I'm a pedant, and "Everyone" is unqualified.

going forward I'll mentally add "here"
posted by davejay at 5:31 PM on June 13, 2008


The internet keeps calling me and then laughing an hanging up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 PM on June 13, 2008


For the philosophy-curious: the question about whether we could flip the colors is the "inverted spectrum problem" and there are lots of interesting complicated things written on it by philosophers.


...3) We know from statistical studies that the "sensation" and feeling one feels when in a blue room are similar between individuals and even different cultures. This has been shown by many peer reviewed studies....
posted by Ragma


This begs the question. How could studies possibly show this?

-I say to you "hey, does this room look blue to you?" and you say "yup" ...
-I say to you "hey, does this room give you a sensation like blue things usually give you?" and you say "yup" ...
-I ask the same questions of a hundred research subjects from different cultures (suitably translated), and they say "yup"...

-- but none of these show that our sensations are similar. You and the hundred others could be having the same subjective sensation I have when I look at a ripe orange. Maybe for me, the kind of brain activity which normally causes orange-experiences instead causes blue-experiences, and vice versa. Assuming my experiences are perfectly inverted from normal, and I've always been this way, I will use the word "blue" to describe the sky, the ocean, Superman's uniform. I will just have a different subjective sensation associated with that word and those things.

How could you design an experiment to rule this scenario out? Not by looking at my brain scans. Not by asking me what my sensations are like.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:30 PM on June 13, 2008


If that were the case, then the subjective experiences of people across various cultures would appear as a scatterchart when plotted. But they don't. Also, it's not a test where you go "Is this blue", because different cultures don't use the same words for describing colors in their language. The colors are empirically the same, but language's use in describing them would vary, so language would not be a valid metric for comparison. Physiological response however, would be a good constant for measuring response, since its not culturally based.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:27 AM on June 16, 2008


Also, sidenote...am I the only person on the planet who dislikes the color blue? C'mon you blue-haters, we need to band together!
posted by iamkimiam at 9:28 AM on June 16, 2008


iamkimiam, I think you are missing the core of my objection.

I accept that:
1. we don't all name colors the same, so we shouldn't run a test that relies on language. (Let's set aside everything having to do with color words.)
2. your brain-activation and mine might be exactly the same, upon looking at a blue thing.

But I deny that we know, from this, that our internal subjective experiences of looking at the blue thing are the same. I know how it feels/seems to me when I look at a blue thing. I don't think I can know for sure that it feels/seems the same to you. For this reason, I don't think we can make a scatterchart of the subjective experiences of people across various cultures. How on earth would we get data to put in the chart? We can't get it by asking verbally, and we can't get it by looking at brain scans.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:07 PM on June 16, 2008


We could get it by exposing people of various cultures to various colors and then interviewing them about their feelings during the various exposures, and cross-correlate the reported subjective states by congruent brain scans regardless of the particular exposures that generated any particular scan.

So if I show Ted unlabled green and blue and yellow cards, and show Kimba the same unlabeled green and blue and yellow cards, and I scan their brains during each, and interview them on their subjective reaction to each card, and Ted and Kimba (a) have statistically similar brain activity for the same card and (b) report congruent subjective experiences regarding the cards, I'm if nothing else at least a couple more level down the rabbit hole and prepared for a brand new round of bong hits and objections.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:22 PM on June 16, 2008


I agree that matching self-reports and matching brain scans give us the best reasons we could have to say that subjective experiences are the same in the two cases. And I agree that for all real-world purposes we don't have any serious reason to doubt that our experiences are the same.

But, the cross correlation you're suggesting would still not rule out the scenario where I am spectrum-inverted relative to you. (When I look at the blue sky, my subjective experience is like the experience you have when you see a ripe orange. And similarly for the other colors, and it's always been like this for me, so all of my color-words and associations are modified appropriately)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:30 PM on June 16, 2008


But at what level of your hardware are you positing an inverted spectrum? Do you have aberrant cones in your retina, that display some paradoxical reaction to physical stimuli, or are those still reporting the same physical data as someone with a normal spectrum? And if not the at the retina, then in the visual, er, cortex? If so, and then why the matching brain scans at given matching stimuli hitting matching retinas? Is there some step along the way in which the neurological wiring would report some difference that reveals the experience of an inverted spectrum, or are you willing to argue down to a mere ghost in the machine, different but undetectable?

*fumbles for lighter*
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:09 PM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude. How high are you guys right now?
posted by dersins at 5:22 PM on June 16, 2008


Also, sidenote...am I the only person on the planet who dislikes the color blue? C'mon you blue-haters, we need to band together!

Perception of blue apparently is bioligically a bit off compared to the other colors. I once read a nice site about this but can't find it anymore. Basically, in evolutionary terms, think about being out in any natural environment. What's blue? The sky and the water. These are two things you as an ape in the wild are not that concerned with looking at. So you see things like those blue Christmas lights looking really odd or blue text being hard to read. The site I saw had examples of identical images done in various colors and the blue ones were just harder to see.

This does make blue a decent background color for a website, I guess.

I am not high, just some beers, so I guess I can't get into the qualia discussion.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:39 PM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


The answer is so high.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:48 PM on June 16, 2008


I am not high, just some beers

Correction: so High Life.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:49 PM on June 16, 2008


Correction: no fucking way I pay for that swill.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:52 PM on June 16, 2008


The possibility of inversion is supposed to survive a hardware check.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:02 PM on June 16, 2008


Here are a few other inversion arguments in other sense modalities.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:03 PM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or I should say, one could hold that it would. I don't think we know enough at this time to know if it does. And probably if physicalism about the mental is true, then the possibility won't survive a hardware check performed with full knowledge of which parts of the hardware matter to creating visual experience.

I don't actually know all that much about the literature on this issue, but it's extremely well-trod ground. SEP on inverted spectrum
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:09 PM on June 16, 2008


Dude... whaaaat?
posted by not_on_display at 9:38 PM on June 16, 2008


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