Out There Radio, Podcasts, Season 3 — August 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Episode 51: The Return of Out There Radio

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After four long years, the Out There Radio crew has re-united, and will be producing a new season of weekly podcast episodes.  In this much anticipated episode, Austin Gandy and Raymond Wiley re-introduce themselves, reflect on their experiences during the past four years, and discuss how their views about conspiracy theories, the occult, and counterculture have evolved.

In Out There news, we discuss the recent Aurora shooting, and how rapidly conspiracy narratives can be formed in a web 2.0 environment.

We also talk briefly about Raymond’s two recent projects, a book release (The Georgia Guidestones: America’s Most Mysterious Monumentand three upcoming weekend festivals in the woods of west Georgia (Infusion Festivals).

In our “phone a friend” segment, we talk to fellow podcaster and rock critic Nicholas Pell.  Nick’s articles for L.A. Weekly have often landed him in hot water with rock fans, and in this segment you’ll find out why.  We also get the skinny on Coincidence Control Network, one of our UK-based sister shows.

P.S. – Joe McFall will be appearing in future episodes.  He’s got a baby to take care of, but he’s going to try to be in the show whenever he can.

20 Comments

  • Great stuff well done

  • Thanks, John. I encourage our listeners to let us know what they liked, what they hated, what they’d like to hear more of!

  • Four years!? Four years. I’m writing this while I’m listening to the show…

    You know guys, I’ve learned skeptical critical thinking skills since then, and perhaps you have too? That kinda burst my bubble for conspiracy theories.

    Woah! Evidently you have too. Because of my interest in CTs, I listened to The Conspiracy Skeptic podcast (http://www.yrad.com/cs/), then got around to listen to the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, and Cognitive Dissonance.

    So, I have to ask you. If you guys are now skeptical, do you think it’s because of the lack of the critical thinking skills, and understanding critical skepticism is the ‘missing link’ when it comes to the conspiracy theory community?

    There is little doubt in my mind that those who subscribe to conspiracy theories see a rational disconnect when it comes to reality. These people see the irrational and contrary things that religious leaders do. Televangelists covet money. Governments like America bailing out the banks and making the rich richer, and the poor poorer. As well, Pro-lifers have no empathy or care for the lives of doctors they murder.

    However, without critical thinking, and knowing what cognitive dissonance is (the syndrome, not the podcast), it’s easy to imagine that there is an evil cabal behind controlling the government. People can easily fall into paranoia.

    Glad to hear you guys again.

  • I enjoyed the show! Thanks! Looking forward to future episodes.

    I certainly appreciate healthy skepticism in approaching conspiracy theory. I was re-introduced to the paranormal/occult/conspiracy world (following an adolescence informed by Stephen King and The X-Files) by Art Bell’s Coast to Coast AM twelve or thirteen years ago. Since his various and eventually final retirement(s) from radio, I have greatly missed his ability to fuse a sort of micro-credulity while interviewing frequently off-the-rails guests with a macro-skepticism about how these sorts of ideas could possibly fit into a greater narrative about the ‘real’ world. (George Noory, his replacement, is unable to maintain the standard. They may as well have Jay Leno hosting. But that’s beside the point.)

    Anyway, like I said, I appreciate my conspiracy theory presented with a rational and skeptical and respectful eye (ear? voice?). It sounds like that’s the sort of approach you’re aiming for, and I look forward to hearing more. I did not listen to the previous seasons of Out There–though I will peruse the archives moving forward–so my question is based only on the things you said in this episode, not how things might have been before.

    You mentioned that your approach to conspiracy theory has evolved in your four years away. Surely you guys didn’t lack critical thinking skills four to seven years ago–not these two highly-educated and well-spoken gentlemen-scholars! I wonder: do you think any of your evolution of approach is a response to the presidency of Barack Obama?

    I don’t know your politics, but that would be sort of beside the point, anyway. Regardless of political leaning, I think it’s fair to say that the popular conspiracy theories swirling around Barack Obama for the last four years have been of a decidedly petty and often hateful and, weirdly, occasionally jingoistic nature. Is he a secret Muslim? A secret fag? A secret Marxist? A secret Kenyan or Indonesian? Where’s the birth certificate? What’s with the ring he wore in the 80s? All very silly and easily written off as white folk being afraid of the black-ish guy.

    Meanwhile, he’s got all the CIA ties of our previous “asset” presidents, but that more interesting and substantive stuff gets lost beneath the shrieking about his being a muslim-queermo-kenyan-commie.

    What I’m trying to say is, it was cool (you know what I mean) to be anti-W and anti-establishment a decade ago. There’s an aspect of Obama that makes it not quite as socially acceptable among that crowd to continue on that path–in part because of how distasteful the most prominent of the conspiracies around him have always been. I find this unfortunate because of how clearly, in my view, he has continued the most abominable policies of the previous administration, which would make him at least as deserving of our suspicion about his motives and masters as so many rightfully were about his predecessor.

    Anyway, I know this isn’t a show about politics, and I don’t want to be that asshole that brings politics into the apolitical. Just wondering if you could expand on your change in approach, and what external forces played a role in that evolution (my political hypothesis or otherwise) beyond an embrace of critical thought–a justification you proposed in the show that I wager is only a small part of the story.

    Again, thanks for the show!

    Later,
    -Bob.

  • It occurs to me that I may have unnecessarily complicated the question. Simplified:

    How much did the mainstreaming of particularly dumb conspiracy theory in dumb ways over the last four years contribute to your reevaluation of approach?

    • Bob, Thanks for the comments, they were in no way TLDR. I think it will be my challenge to answer these kinds of questions in the podcast itself, as we discuss conspiracy narratives in greater depth. Our third episode will feature my buddy Bob from Skeptical Humanities, and I am sure we will get into this. The short answer to the short version of your question is this: The mainstreaming of conspiracy theories represents a subculture or counterculture that grasps and exploits digital media with a success that others do not. It adds a whole new field to this, it isn’t just history and psychology, now it’s communications as well.

  • Welcome back guys, has it been 4 years? Really?

    It was a pleasure discovering Out There Radio the first time around and listening to it grow and evolve over 50 episodes.

    After a break I came back to it and listened to them all again and they were just as entertaining second time round. Waco & Jonestown were especially poignant and dark episodes that lingered long in the memory.

    I wish you every success with the new episodes and the premium content which I will be happy to buy into.

    Slainte

    Matt
    Scotland

    • Matt – It’s great to be back! We’re half a decade older than we were when we recorded the first two seasons, so it was hard to tell how well they had aged. Thanks so much for you kind words, we’ll have the first two premium episodes out later this week.

  • Great introductory show but I have one request. Please don’t do the left right panning on the interviews. Keep up the good work!

    • Greg, thanks for the feedback on the audio editing, I was having some second thoughts about that choice of panning. I will not use that effect when editing future shows.

  • Welcome back Ray and Austin! Been working through the first 50 episodes and stoked you have come back with more great content! Thanks guys!

  • Great to have you guys back! I found you guys halfway through season 1 and never looked back. The wife (girlfriend at the time) at first suffered the shows but eventually looked forward to them too. I always loved Austin’s segments for the Invisible College so it’s cool that he’s a co-host now. Although not hearing Joe does make me a little sad. Oh well.

    In light of the new direction and greater skepticism, are there any shows you would take back? It wasn’t often that you guys actually took a stance but I am thinking specifically of the “Making Manifest…” episode. I have become a lot more skeptical as I have grown up but my views on that topic have held fairly steady.

    • Thanks for listening! Joe will be around from time to time, don’t worry. Actually yes, I would take back quite a bit of what I said in Episode 33, I think MIHOP is a giant load of horse shit. I was not accurate or studied enough for that episode, if I had been it would have read something like this: https://sites.google.com/site/911guide/ryanmackey

      I do not believe that there were bombs or anything of the sort in WTC 1, 2, or 7.

  • I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear your lovely voices again! I started listening several years ago as a skeptic with a particular interest in conspiracy theories and was bereft when you left the intertubes. I am so glad that you’ve evolved in your approach as your intelligence was never in question. My friends don’t always understand my fascination with CT, so it’s nice to hear some voices that speak my language. I do hope you’ll cover some of the Saturn Death Cult stuff–I believe it seeks to be the Higgs Boson of conspiracy theories–the last theoretical particle of the standard theory of THEM.

  • Im glad this podcast is back, after so many years.

  • Great to see you guys are back! No one in the meantime has come anywhere close to being as informative and ultimately curious as Out There.
    I’ll be tuning in again.
    Thank you.

  • i found you guys about two years ago and listened to all the episodes and it killed me when i found out no more episodes! i used to do my running while listening. yall are the best! i cant wait to start yalls show up again! please keep it up! i love yalls variety! nothing compares to out there radio!
    troy from mississippi

  • I began listening to Out There Radio podcast about four years ago and quickly devoured all of the episodes. Lately I have taken to re-listening to old episodes to satiate my longing for new content. I am so very pleased to see the return of Out There Radio. You guys are witty, skeptical, intelligent, and inquisitive. Love the show, keep up the awesome work!

  • Clicked on your site in case there were some episodes I’d missed and was stoked to see you guys are back up and running! Congratulations on a great show and I look forward to downloading your new episodes. All the best from Australia!

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