Two weeks, two geeks: Mythbusters edition

By Phil Plait | August 13, 2010 12:00 pm

geekaweek_adamsavageI’ve told you about Geek A Week before: artist Len Peralta is interviewing one Alpha Nerd ever week, and drawing a cool trading card for each. I was honored to be included, and I also mentioned my friend Brea Grant was one as well.

Len recently interviewed two other friends of mine: Adam Savage, and Grant Imahara. Yeah, two of the Mythbusters! You can grab Adam’s interview here, and Grant’s here.

Grant’s interview was interesting to me because I didn’t know his history. Well, I do now after hearing him talk about it, and he’s done a lot of very cool stuff. I really enjoyed his interview; he has an attitude about a lot of things he’s done (and still doing) that I find simpatico. It was fun to listen to.

geekaweek_grantimaharaAdam’s interview may surprise you. Most people know him through the TV show, of course, but you only get a glimpse of who he is there. If you’ve seen him talk at Dragon*Con or TAM, you know he is a man of deep intelligence, and dare I say wisdom. He is passionate, and — largely self-taught — has depth to his musings.

While I found myself laughing as I listened to Adam, I also found myself thinking about what he was saying. For example, when asked what quality he values most in other people, he said, "the ability to adapt to change". That’s an excellent answer, I must say. If everyone could adapt to change willingly and rapidly, how much better would the world be? Creationism would disappear over night, as would most forms of denialism.

His other answers are similarly thoughtful and interesting. When it was over, I was really goofily proud of him. If you’re a Mythbusters fan, I strongly urge you to listen to both those interviews. You’ll like ‘em.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Geekery

Comments (20)

  1. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    Phil Plait:

    If everyone could adapt to change willingly and rapidly, how much better would the world be? Creationism would disappear over night, as would most forms of denialism.

    If evolution was allowed to take its natural coarse, nature would take of that problem…

  2. Denialists do adapt to change.

    They move the goalposts.

    They return to less recently used, but faulty arguments.

    Furthermore, they are always right on top of the latest advances in capitalization, spelling, and the Caps Lock key.

  3. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    CORRECTION: If evolution was allowed to take its natural coarse, nature would take care of that problem…

    (Damn it, I need some strong coffee!)

    P.S. Hey, Phil, please tell Amos Zeeberg that we need an extension to the editing time limit!

  4. I saw Adam and Jamie give a coule of EXCELLENT speeches at the Harvard Student Humanist Association Awards. TV only shows the side of them that is commercially acceptable. They are much too intelligent, insightful, and logical for the average viewer.

    I look forward to having a listen to Adam’s and Grant’s interview.

  5. If they do Jamie maybe they should make him look like an Ood, he kinda already looks that way.

  6. Len

    Thanks greatly for the love, Phil! Your interview, Grant’s and Adam’s are still among my faves of the project so far.

  7. Dr.Sid

    Adapt ? Yeah .. jump for every hoax appearing every nanosecond on the web ? Bad idea.
    One of the problem of the internet is that it supports both true and stupid memes equally. But there is much more stupid ones.

  8. Brian Schlosser

    Jeez… i’m not sure if Jack Lint is exactly a flattering portrayal. Cheerful torturer and family man? Couldn’t he have been Harry Tuttle, dashing, rogue cooling-system repairman, instead?

  9. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    For example, when asked what quality he values most in other people, he said, “the ability to adapt to change”. That’s an excellent answer, I must say.

    It _is_ excellent, though I note that the human ability to change the changes (leadership, development) and adapt the adaptations (breeding) are also worthwhile and commonly lauded.

  10. Chris A.

    @4: IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    “CORRECTION: If evolution was allowed to take its natural coarse, nature would take care of that problem…”

    CORRECTION^2: “If evolution was allowed to take its natural _course_…”

  11. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    @Chris A.,

    Thanks! That error, of course, was due to a damn leprechaun dancing on my keyboard! ;-)

  12. Josh Reiter

    “If everyone could adapt to change willingly and rapidly, how much better would the world be?”

    But really this is just but one component of the entire OODA loop. If you purely put emphasis on just the merits of doing something different than your on the path to irrationally acting out. I think the meaning, or the one that is being interpreted here, is more the aspect of, “It takes courage to admit your wrong sometimes.” In fact this often used inspirational quote is often said on many Mythbuster’s episodes. Economists would refer to it as a concept of, “Don’t throw good money after bad”; a la NASA or the majority of gov’t for that matter.

  13. Messier Tidy Upper

    Neat – but where’s Jamie Hyneman’s card & Kari Byron’s one? :-)

    I would’ve thought Jamie at least would have a card as well .. perhaps even a joint The Mythbusters one with Adam.

    @ 6. Davidlpf : LOL. I never thought of that – & now I’ll struggle *NOT* to see it. ;-)

  14. the value of the fight of the 50’s & 60’s it was/is founded in their trust in democracy (however imperfect she is), their faith was in trusting the promise it represents, their hopewas/is knowing that with time things change, because change is freedom.
    http://www.salejacket.com
    winter coats ,where can i buy without step out, there is a good online shop for you http://www.salejacket.com

  15. Charles Sullivan

    Sorry to change the subject, but I heard you and Bad Astronomy mentioned on Science Friday (NPR, Ira Flato). Woo-hoo!!!

  16. Tribeca Mike

    Len Peralta’s work just keeps getting better and better. Speaking of “Mythbusters,” the NY Times has an informative article about how Adam Savage inadvertently gave away his home address when he recently and innocently posted a photo of his Toyota Land Cruiser on Twitter. Ahh, the wonders of the intertubes. Informative, because it could happen to anyone.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/12/technology/personaltech/12basics.html?src=me&ref=general

  17. Damon

    Mythbusters is bogus, though I’m not entirely surprised considering the state of science lately. Still, good interview.

  18. Charlie Rocker

    Excellent “Brazil” reference!

  19. QuietDesperation

    Mythbusters is bogus

    It does have the occasional wonderfully unexpected result. The “Bull in a china shop” test was a prime example. They set up fake china shop shelving in a small pen, and let a bull loose, and the bull bounded around the shelves missing every one until it lightly clipped the corner of one shelf near the end of the test. Everyone and his mother was expecting totally trampled shelves.

    One of the problem of the internet is that it supports both true and stupid memes equally.

    True and stupid are not exclusive concepts. ;-)

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