My first celebrity debate (sort of): Penn Jillette

Uploaded by anubis2814 on 11.10.2011

So Penn Jillet came to Indianapolis to promote his book “God, No!” It was a fun lecture.
Of course someone brought up the issue of libertarianism and humanism and how could
he be both, and he basically said, “I'm such a pacifist I can't condone the government
to do something I wouldn't do. Let's stop killing people overseas with money we don't
have, get rid of the death penalty and stop giving corporate bailouts and then you will
probably be able to convince me after that.” It was a great answer, and people cheered.
It was something they could all agree on and wouldn't get to the heart of the matter or
anything. That came later. I had already worked a full day and taught
a class and showed up a half hour late to the event so I had used up most of my socializing
juice for the day. I was very awkward when I went to go get my book signed and me and
Archyfantasies got our picture taken with him. You can tell he doesn't really care for
or want to talk to socially awkward people so he was few on words with me, but he was
nice about it as my aspy flag was flying high. After that he invited people to come with
him to steak and shake, which was pretty awesome. We sat at a table across from his table and
spent most of the time in our own conversation. It was cool because the waitresses had no
idea who he was. Then the topics switched to libertarianism, and I tried to stay out
of it for as long as possible because I didn't want that to be the thing he remembered me
for. But at a certain point he got distracted and I began bringing up with people at the
other end of table the issue of charity and the statistic that the lower and middle upper
class on average give less than 1% of their wealth to charity and the upper upper class
like bill gates on average give a little bit more than 1% to charity while the poorest
tend to give 6% and the middle class an average of 4%. He completely ignored that and instead
attacked me for why I was attacking Bill Gates. I see people on youtube pull this shit, but
seeing a master of misdirection pull it was pretty impressive. He was also being nice
about it sort of unlike most of people on youtube. If he had been anyone else and I
could have dominated the conversation I might have pushed the point a bit better, but I
have to stop myself from trying to dominate and let everyone have a go at it, because
that's what aspy's do when they are passionate about something.
So in the debate about why I hated Bill Gates and I had to tell him I didn't, he said that
I wasn't as compassionate as Gates, because he looked into my eyes. Funny George Bush
said the same thing about Putin and found him to be a good man. Plus I hadn't made billions
of dollars and given half of it away and wasn't curing polio. I just went into science because
without people like me, gates couldn't have spent to money to find cures. There has to
be people like us, not all of can be him. In the free market, for every winner there
has to be a lot of losers. I told him a lot of that was luck and he said, oh yes its all
luck. Hard work, knowledge, creativity and a lot of luck which gates himself admits to
being at the right place at the right time. Any study or evidence I tried to show him
about neurology, stress medical effect, health risks, psychology, sociology and economics
was all “Well you can never really know”. He loaths and assumes automatic dishonesty
for anyone who he disagree with, Hilary, Al Gore, Noam Chompsky and writer of The book
outliars Malcolm Gladwell. He is almost post-modernist, and that's why he's an atheist even though
he's using creationist tactics of we can't know and lets ignore the science and data.
I brought up the book slieghts of mind which Teller happened to help work on studying the
neurology of the human brain with the help of illusionists. He said Teller believes in
that shit, and I think the scientists have no way of interpreting the data right. He
pulls the argument from ignorance that because I don't know, no one else does, and therefore
the government shouldn't even try. We went through the old shows and you can
clearly see they only listen to science when they agree with it.
I've begun to see a pattern in most libertarians which is more blame shifting than actual solutions.
He said specifically that he pragmatic arguments would not change his mind just moral ones.
We'll I'm sorry but we are still fucking monkeys and being idealistic doesn't work because
we still have the money brain even though we've evolved a neo-cortex, we've still got
old evolved biases that are counter productive to society and effect us as a whole.
Here's a moral issue, the switch on the track that could prevent killing 5 people by killing
one person. The majority of society agrees that they would do that, because we are evolved
with similar concepts of morality. However, we aren't even doing that. We have data that
if we inconvenienced the one person, the other 5 would not die as early and have a much better
life. The one person has a ton of money and has enjoyed the privilege of his wealth. Whether
he earned it legitimately or not, is not the issue, people are still dying and living miserable
lives if he does nothing. And if he refuses to help after enough trying and pleading or
other means then yes I'll flip the switch and kill him instead of the others.
There are many ways libertarians get around this one. They hold to the ideal that all
life is sacred and its no up to us to decide if one person is less important than 5, even
though its statistically likely that more people will be adversely effected by you don't
nothing. I became a libertarian because Ron Paul convinced me that by doing nothing, the
situation would sort itself out and the one rich person would swoop in and save the 5
poor people, even though studies show that because of their social status they are more
often than not blind to the suffering of the poor and they will not do a damn thing about
it. People like Penn say “well there's not enough evidence that those 5 people are going
to die we can only make that judgment after it actually happens”. So he constantly see's
everything about the economy as a schrodinger's cat experiment so don't bother.
So yeah my first non-official celebrity debate, that I wish hadn't been my first interaction
with the guy. I wish I had been a lot less tired and it would have been on some other
subject instead. I'm glad he wasn't my hero or anything or I would have taken his accusations
a lot harder. I actually expected nothing less from him. As it stands I'm not going
to be arrogant and say he hates me or anything like he does Al Gore but if I ever fleet back
in his mind of the thousands people he's met I wont be in the cool kids category.
Otherwise the other discussions were fun, which I didn't participate in much. I asked
if there were some people that were better at seeing through their illusions, as I has
asperger's and they've found that I we never know where to look and it wouldn't take any
effort to trick me. He said he noticed that I was, and said that on stage, they don't
have that problem because they can't afford to. There were also jokes about bad magician
movies and such. He was a cool guy though, I mean how many celebrities go out to eat
with their fans. Its kind of funny, but after meeting enough mini celebrities, the shock
of seeing them in person goes away. With meeting Roy Zimmerman, getting my book signed by Richard
Dawkins, seeing some singers in concert, and the big youtube gathering, you learn to naturally
adjust for how human they are as opposed to things like lighting, camera angles and makeup
that eliminates their physical extremes or flaws.