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Radio Freethinker Episode 182 – Innocence of YouTube Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on September 18, 2012

This week:

– Innocents of Muslims controversy,
– Framing Blasphemy,
– The Lesula monkey,

Parking Richard the 3rd,
– Recast of the bad investment of Fair-gates, and

– Fair-gates impact

Download the episode here!

Innocents of Muslims controversy

We go beyond the hysteria about the violence erupting in the Middle East about the YouTube video and explore the unexpected history behind the video when it was called “The Innocence of Bin Laden”

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Framing Blasphemy

We have talked in the past about the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Recently there was a ‘Christian’ (probably) mentally challenged teenager who was charged with blasphemy. This week we look at how the ‘real’ function of the law is to settle ‘local’ scores. We also discuss how the lingering echoes of the caste system is being exposed by these blasphemy laws.

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The Lesula monkey

Ethan monkeys around as we talk about the latest member to the extended human family…distantly related at least.

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Parking Richard the 3rd

Reports have flooded the internet about the ‘discovery’ of the body of Richard the III in a parking lot in England…well, under the parking lot…and the only evidence its Richard is curved spine body badly beaten to death. We talk about how they plan to ‘firm up’ the identification and the ulterior motives of some to promote this ‘discovery’.

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Bad investment of Fare-gates

We discuss the controversy regarding the soon to be installed fare-gates at SkyTrain stations with the aim of reducing ‘fair evasion’. We discuss how cost effective this tactic is, who is its target and ultimately are there better solutions to the issue of funding public mass transit in the GVRD.

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Fare-gates impact

With the inevitability of Fair-Gates, we discuss some of the risk of the RFID tag system and the impact the gates will have on how we access all aspects of the transit system.

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Skeptical Highlights:

Transhumanism: Enhanced human or diminished humanity?

Transhumanism dreams of using technology to deal with human limits. This includes the drive to defeat death and destroy disabilities and disorders through decoding DNA. Doubters declare these dangerous, dehumanizing, or even demonic endeavours. Is our destiny dandy or disturbing?

When: 7pm, Thursday, September 20, 2012
Where: Faculty & Staff Dining Lounge, Langara Collage, Vancouver
Cost: FREE
Who: Peter McKnight is an award winning columnist of The Vancouver Sun and an adjunct professor in SFU’s School of Criminology.

Fair Vote Canada Dinner and Chat

AS part of Democracy Week, there is going to be a Dinner and chat to explore the idea that bad governmental policies can only be addressed by a real consensus democracy. Sponsored by Fair Vote Canada.

Democracy Week is intended to extend the celebration of the annual United Nations International Day of Democracy, held every year on 15 September.

Fair Vote Canada campaigns for equal effective votes and fair representation at every level of government and throughout civil society by various means including lobbying legislators for electoral law reform, litigation, public education, citizens’ assemblies, and referenda.

When: 5:30-7:30 pm, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012
Where: Surrey Public Library (City Centre), Surrey
Cost: FREE

Café Inquiry: Banned Books

Come along and enjoy morning tea and stimulating discussion with fellow freethinkers on a variety of topics. Our speaker will be talking about banned books, from Catcher in the Rye to the works of Galileo. New and shocking ideas have often been subject to censorship and suppression. Are there ever grounds for such reactionary thinking?

When: 11:00 am, Sunday, September 23rd 2012
Where: Room 2270 SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver
Cost: FREE
Who: Ethan Clow is a co-host of Vancouver best Skeptical radio show Radio Free Thinker. He has a degree from UBC in History.

2 Responses to “Radio Freethinker Episode 182 – Innocence of YouTube Edition”

  1. Zara said

    In all fare-ness ( heh, heh) Ep /182 , my queries about the mass transit improvements(?).Security, if it was late at night , I would appreciate a cop any cop to be near at hand, ‘if’ their topmost duty was my safety, however I get the inference that that may not be so with transit cops , not so comforting. Not being a native Vancouverite when I do venture forth into your lovely city ( I love the connectedness of transit ) I was rather taken aback at one centre for Skytrain. There was in the loading and off- loading area a number of uniformed personnel whose exact purpose I was not privy to, they seemed to be in a monitoring mode, so I wasn’t sure whether to proceed or take off. Next what if I forget to upload the balance on my transit “smart card”? Like you’re riding back and forth and here and there, money comes money goes. Also I will have to keep track of whether I am reimbursed for zones not used if they are going to deduct 3 zones at a time and then credit the unused portion. Lastly but no doubt not the final statement all citizens of the transit area should pay for the service as in a special levy because as you stated all benefit whether they are direct transit users or use their own vehicles to travel. Think of the thousands of fewer vehicles on the road as one example, not to mention the pollution issue, nuff said. And oh yes I think when the transit “aides” first started it was perhaps to assist the transit users but somewhere it corrupted, as in someone decided this could be a great revenue producer and that became it’s main tenet , but it seems they’re spending a dollar to save a penny. Love the podcast!

    • Thanks for the feedback.

      Now, to make sure I understand your questions, I will restate them and answer them. Hopefully i get them right.

      What is the PRIMARY job of the Transit Cops?

      If you check out “The Fare-ness of SkyTrain” article I posted, it seems that of the 28,000 ‘incidences’ 25,000 of them were for fare evasion. So it seems their primary JOB is fare collection while their primary duty is safety. That said, based on my anecdotal evidence the role of the Transit Cops during ‘fare evasion dragnets’ is less now than 6 months ago.

      What if I don’t have a card or its runs out of
      credit?

      Our Compass Card is based on the Oyster Card system (a similar system used in London, UK). So, using London as the example, one can by ‘single-use’ fare cards at stations if you card runs out, your visiting or just forgot your card. That said, it is expected that the ‘cash fare’ user will disappear as people will be actively encourage to ‘pre-pay’ for fare than a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system that currently dominates. In London, ‘cash’ or single fare uses pay twice as much as card holders.

      As the system is still in development, how they will ultimately handle ‘cash fare’ or single use cars will have to wait until the system is rolled out early next year. Based on the Compass Card FAQ buses will still be accepting cash while the rest of the system will be card based (similar to the paper system we now use)

      How do I know if I am being credited back the right amount when I get off

      Well, first I should point out we are talking about a future system so ultimately we have to wait and see what ultimately is deployed to know how it will all work out.

      The short answer is there is no way to know at the bus stop. The card have not ‘digital display’ of value, there are (based on Oyster Card) ‘value readers’ where ever you can by the cards. But the onus is on you to ensure TransLink has not overcharged you.

      Lastly, I think we both agree that public transit need to make the transition from ‘service’ to utility, and as such a necessity we should be weaning TransLink off user fares as a means of financial support and find community based funding. After all it is the community that both benefits from the ‘connectiveness’ of transit and the ‘green-ness’ of mass transit.

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