Episode 641: Joel Embiid’s Mountain Dew Process, Otherwise Known as Science

On the Overthinking It Podcast, we tackle the trivial irritations which are surely the most important problems of 2020.

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Peter Fenzel and Matthew Wrather address the most important topics of 2020: Incorrect use of timezones, Internet shows that don’t publish on time, and other minor irritations.

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5 Comments on “Episode 641: Joel Embiid’s Mountain Dew Process, Otherwise Known as Science”

  1. Tawsif #

    The time zone discussion reminded me of this great video from Tom Scott about dealing with time zones in code:


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      Can’t believe I never saw that before. That is exactly right.


  2. John C Member #

    The big timezone problem I had (back in the ’90s, when things were slower and we never needed to “meet”) was working with a team in Chile, because their daylight savings is opposite ours. Speaking of that job, the mention of how we expect the lights to turn on when we flip the switch reminds me that it was in telephony, and everybody else’s joke was “how can you spot an American? They’re the ones who pick up the phone and start dialing without waiting for a dial tone,” because that wasn’t a given everywhere.

    The big problem I know about is because of the change of daylight savings that Pete mentioned, but so much worse, because many companies that sold digital timers didn’t make them field-updatable, so millions of little gadgets were recalled.

    The “we believe that science is real” mostly bothers me in that I believe that Zeus-worship is real, but I don’t believe that it’s relevant or accomplishes anything. I believe that capitalism and communism are real, but I don’t believe that they’re beneficial. Better phrasing would probably be “we believe that science works”–that being skeptical and testing prior results against current results produces better information than “going with your gut”–but that isn’t grammatically consistent with the other aphorisms.

    As for my own quibble, it’s podcasts (not Overthinking It; nobody panic!) that believes it’s radio on a fixed real-world schedule. So, half the episodes include the host apologizing for how the previous episode was “late” in some way. It feels like a special waste of time when discovering the podcast years later and listening to the back-catalogue. (Also, podcasters that preach carefully listening to people out of kindness and respect, and then interrupt their guests to talk about themselves at every opportunity…)


      • John C Member #

        OK, but ONLY if it’s an extremely tedious story obviously spun so you look like a hero in the face of mild inconvenience.


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