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"Everything I EVER need to know? Really?" Topic


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338 hits since 6 Feb 2017
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Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

link
Is Tyson being a deliberate dweeb? His rep is so good that he can get away with the subtitle? "Everything You Ever Need to Know About Space Travel, Sci-Fi, the Human Race, the Universe, and Beyond"

Uh, huh. Okay, technically I don't NEED to know anything about space travel or the universe or "beyond" (Buzz Lightyear can take care of that last for me). But the human race, really? Tyson has "it all" in one book? Impressive chutzpah! Or he's just poking fun at all of us, himself included.

Has anyone read this book yet?

JSchutt06 Feb 2017 2:23 p.m. PST

No….Not a big fan of Tyson. If his Ego gets any bigger it will exert it's own gravitational pull.

It appears from the title he has been inspired by Douglas Adams. I have read Douglas Adams…and he is not him….

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

Not to get between you both and your amateur psychoanalysis but a title is usually picked by the publisher and not the author. But I'll agree, the title is stupid. It's all about selling the book and it seems it's on the New York bestseller list. Provocative titles sell.

Charlie 1206 Feb 2017 9:29 p.m. PST

I'd suggest the title has good dose of "tough firmly in cheek". As for Tyson's ego: Well, he DOES know more than you (or I) about some of those subjects (particularly the science ones). As they say, it ain't bragging if its true…

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 4:52 a.m. PST

Could be Charlie. Difficult to determine the intent just from the book cover.

As for NDT being a dweeb or "socially inept person", I think you picked the wrong insult, GWA.

Personal logo Martian Root Canal Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 7:23 a.m. PST

Not a Tyson fan in the slightest. I thought the IAU demoting Pluto (a planetary body and thereby a matter for the Planetary Society or the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers) while he was president of the organization was crass. There have also been occasions when Mr. Tyson has 'made up' things, and when called on it, continues to insist otherwise:

link

He seems more concerned with his image and stature than science. Sagan did some real scientific work, in addition to his popularization of science. It's a pity that Tyson hasn't followed in his mentor's footsteps.

KTravlos Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 7:38 a.m. PST

GWA, one would think with the changes borught about by the new US administration on science, you would be happy. But alas, people are hard to pleace ;p

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

@KT: What changes? All I have heard is rumor, mostly intended to paint a certain person in as bad a light as possible.

Not coincidentally, the latest issue of the Nat Geo magazine has a little back and forth between Tyson and Whoopi Goldberg. These two almost need to get a room. "We belong to a mutual admiration society". That's okay. But that isn't science either.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

I thought the IAU demoting Pluto (a planetary body and thereby a matter for the Planetary Society or the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers) while he was president of the organization was crass.

I don't believe he ever was the head of the organization. After getting his PhD in 1991 he did post-grad at Princeton. Then he went to the Hayden Planetarium in 1996. He worked his way up to Director and has been there ever since.

At the 2006 General Assembly of the IAU where Pluto was "demoted", Ron Ekers was the outgoing President and Catherine Cesarsky was the incoming one.

link

He seems more concerned with his image and stature than science.

In your eyes. I don't share that view.

Sagan did some real scientific work, in addition to his popularization of science. It's a pity that Tyson hasn't followed in his mentor's footsteps.

His job as a Planetarium Director is an administrative and educational one. All science teaching isn't just done by lab guys.

As for Sagan (someone who I also like) some of his peers were not kind to him either.

While Sagan was widely adored by the general public, his reputation in the scientific community was more polarized. Critics sometimes characterized his work as fanciful, non-rigorous, and self-aggrandizing, and others complained in his later years that he neglected his role as a faculty member to foster his celebrity status.

From Wiki, via Davidson, Keay (1999). Carl Sagan: A life. John Wiley & Sons. p. 213.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

All I have heard is rumor, mostly intended to paint a certain person in as bad a light as possible.

Oh let's see: you haven't been following who is the new head of the EPA or Education? No need to paint in a bad light.

Personal logo Martian Root Canal Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 12:22 p.m. PST

Wow, we have Tyson fan here! You are correct and I did not check my facts on the IAU presidency. He did lead the charge at the IAU to demote Pluto, however.

Some of Sagan's work was consumerish. Some wasn't. His early work with Shklovsky in 1966 (Intelligent Life in the Universe) was quite influential.

I am well aware what a planetarium director does.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2017 5:31 p.m. PST

Wow, we have Tyson fan here!

Guilty

He did lead the charge at the IAU to demote Pluto, however.

He seemed to be in favour of it, like a thousand other astronomers. That's hardly leading a charge. Do you mean to say that 10 years out of grad school Neil influenced the decision of the largest international association of astronomers? By the way, the IAU has had a decade to reconsider their classification and has not done so. Seems like it only bothers the lay public.

Some of Sagan's work was consumerish. Some wasn't. His early work with Shklovsky in 1966 (Intelligent Life in the Universe) was quite influential.

I don't doubt it. But the comments are from Sagan's colleagues.

I am well aware what a planetarium director does.

But you clearly don't think it is "real science", unless I'm misreading your quote. At the Hayden Planetarium website you can see his publications in refereed journals. There are only 13, but that's not bad for not being in academia.

Personal logo Martian Root Canal Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2017 8:09 a.m. PST

He was more than 'in favor of it.' And again, the IAU probably wasn't the right body to make the determination. Only 424 out of 10,000 professional astronomers voted.

link

I've also seen television interviews with members of the Planetary Society who have stated that the IAU should not be the adjudicator in the matter.

And Tyson is still the most outspoken person on the decision, using it to garner additional air time for himself (e.g., The Big Bang Theory).

Education is an important aspect of science. But being a publicist for science does not make you an 'expert'or necessarily a good educator. Your view may vary. I regard Tyson as a self-appointed spokesperson for science, whose publicity talents exceed his scientific contributions.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

Interesting.

From the link given:

Stern called it "absurd" that only 424 astronomers were allowed to vote, out of some 10,000 professional astronomers around the globe.

"It won't stand," he said. "It's a farce."

I can't comment on the first part of Dr. Stern's comment but he was clearly wrong about the last part (so far, 10 years along at least). Personally I don't care. I do find it odd that the classification of Pluto is used as a reason to hate Tyson. And if anyone person should be singled out for "leading the charge" to have Pluto demoted then it should be Mike Brown from Caltech, don't you agree?

We'll just have to disagree on Tyson's alleged shortcomings.

Back to the OP, I'm inclined to agree with Charlie 12.

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