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Those 6 Times Neil deGrasse Tyson Gave Us Brain Hardons

is that an image of me on your shirt is
Wow cool
Wow and what is it what does it say says
Neil deGrasse Tyson for president Wow
okay yeah so before you ask whatever
your question might be I’d like to
respond to that shirt I’m officially no
no uh the New York Times asked me what I
would do if I were president they asked
me that at one particular time where
there was this impasse in Congress and
they thought maybe some other
professions not traditionally associated
with politics maybe they have a bright
idea because apparently no one else did
in Congress so so but my reply to them I
think was unorthodox I said if I were
president I wouldn’t be President and
because the very question what would you
do if you were president presumes that
the challenges of the nation derive from
who’s president and who isn’t president
when in fact we elect presidents so if
you’re going to take a prize how to swap
it with somebody else there’s still the
matter of the electorate that you need
to deal with and the electorate has
preferences and priorities and so you
can’t just swap leaders out there in a
democracy that’s not how this works
so my reply was as an educator I would
it’s a so here we are as an electorate
electing people into Congress and
Congress is dysfunctional and we blame
Congress but we elected them so who is
ultimately to blame we are so I as an
educator I’d like to educate the
electorate in whatever way can help
serve their decision-making
so that they can elect someone to office
that will not end up in daily impasses
bringing the government to its knees so
I have no interest in such positions and
I’m quite happy being an educator let’s
see I think a neighbor of yours is he’s
a neighbor right as any he’s like you
seem around town I presume not okay I
his well net worth is like fifty billion
dollars plus or minus I don’t know if
you know how much that is I don’t
believe you know you don’t think I’m
certain you don’t because I’m going to I
would tell you I would tell you how rich
this man is first of all it’s I’m I’m
charmed by the fact that the patron
saint of geeks is the richest man in the
world that’s that’s a that’s that’s a
different world than it was when the
richest people were sort of oil barons
and steel barons it’s like a geek is the
richest guy in the world that’s kind of
cool but 50 but I did this math because
I walk along the street you know I I
have a job and owned a home and I’m
walking down the street and I see a coin
in the street my question to myself is
what is the smallest denomination coin
that I’ll bend down and pick up okay
given the fact that I have a job I own a
home so the penny is staying I’m not
getting a penny the nickel no I’m not
getting the dime if I’m not the hurry
I’m picking up the dye
okay a quarter well that’s good for
parking meters and laundry plus it’s a
quarter right so I’m picking up the
quarter so for me the boundary between
picking up the coin and not is between a
dime and a quarter so I figured let me
ratio this up to that wealth and ask how
much money has to be laying in the
street for Bill Gates to be too busy to
pick it up it’s $45,000 okay that’s what
it is 45,000 I sent to busy somebody
else get that I’m I got that’s how rich
the man is in case you didn’t know that
if you’re doing what no one has done
stuff goes wrong and in fact if nothing
ever goes wrong in what you’re doing if
you make no mistakes in your job in your
in whatever tasks you’ve brought upon
yourself then you are not on the
frontier simple mmm-hmm it’s true in
science and I heard it applied to car
racing there’s a quote that I’m told
spoken by Mario Andretti he said if you
are in complete control of your car
you’re not in the race wow there’s
something that you’re just not
completely in control I like that and
only then get and that’s the same thing
I’m describing for when you are on the
frontier and SpaceX is on the frontier
not a space frontier where they’re going
farther than NASA has gone there on
another kind of a frontier a frontier
where they want to make access to space
maximally affordable so that means they
have to design their rockets differently
from how anybody else had done it before
and they’re going to be mistakes so I
see the exploded explosion on the launch
pad I say that is an occurrence that is
rich with learning opportunity it’s not
just a spin its wheel yeah and and it’s
yes it’s a spectacular explosion because
the whole rocket is filled with fuel but
it’s typically one little thing that
went wrong that
had not anticipated they have to design
it differently go back to the early days
of NASA this footage on YouTube yeah
Rockets blowing up all the time because
no one had put Rockets in space before
so now they’re trying to do it in a
whole new way I’m going to expect that
and more of it standing up on earth your
feet are closer to the center of the
earth in your head is you can calculate
that the force of gravity at your feet
is stronger than the force of gravity at
your head because the closer you are to
the center of the gravity of an object
the stronger its gravity is it’s that
simple not more complicated than that
but don’t blame your lightheadedness on
this fact because that difference is
very small because your height is small
compared with the size of the earth but
imagine you’re falling towards an object
where your height becomes significant
compared to the size of the object under
those conditions the difference in
gravity becomes ever so great like as
you descend to the center of a black
hole so you take a feet first dive
you’ll begin to stretch and that will
kind of feel good at first right we all
stretch wake up in the more the first
thing you do stretch and then you
realize it’s not stopping okay and you
begin to stretch more and more and more
and you can calculate when the fort the
difference in the force of gravity
becomes greater than the molecular
bonding forces of human flesh at that
moment your body will snap into two
pieces most likely at the base of your
spine now you’ll be able to watch this
okay because well because all your vital
organs are above your waist you have
important organs below your waist but
they’re not vital okay so you’re so you
just watch that you watch your legs
toward a descent then the upper part
will feel the same effect as you get
closer so will the lower part so they
will then snap into two pieces now you
are four and then eight and then 16 and
then you bifurcate your way down to the
now it gets worse not only did you
become the stream of particles you are
now getting funneled through the fabric
of space because Einstein general
relativity tells us that gravity curves
space and in the vicinity of a black
hole you are funneled down to a point so
you are not only stretched you are
extruded through this structure like
toothpaste through a tube and we have a
word for this
it’s called spaghettification it’s a
real word
I’m telling you let’s start UFO
sightings here you go you ready ready
all right someone says they saw a UFO
remind them what the U stands for okay
unidentified because then they say I saw
a UFO I saw oh what did it look like oh
it was like a spaceship and Nick Elena
from another planet and then and I said
you just said you didn’t know what it
was because you said was unidentified
and so we have this urge this irrational
urge which we all know it’s called
argument from ignorance where you don’t
know something and then you invent
something you go from not knowing
anything to knowing everything about it
just by an invention of a comment or a
thought so what I found when people
claim they’ve seen a UFO you just get
them to describe it and then you get
them to the edge where they then want to
say it’s an alien and then you simply
tell them you started out by saying you
did not know what it was
end of conversation you have no evidence
to say that you know what it is
now here’s where it gets interesting if
you want to get abducted that’s the fun
part so
they get abducted now they tell you that
they were abducted you tell them I’m
sorry your eyewitness testimony is not
worth anything to me because no matter
what I witness testimony is in the court
of law it is the lowest form of evidence
in the court of science and so you need
something better than that so the next
time here’s what you do so you tell the
person it’s what you do you tell them
next time you’re abducted and to do in
the sex experiments right you’re on
little slab because this is what aliens
do when they abduct you and they’re
poking your organs this is what you do
tell the aliens Hey look over there
right and quickly grab some off the
shelf that’s on the spaceship an ashtray
or something I don’t no matter what okay
because I can tell you no matter if they
flew here from another galaxy no matter
what you prove off the shelf it’ll be
some unlike anything we have here on
earth there is stuff we have among us
that was unlike anything else on earth
five years ago three years ago two years
ago okay I pull out my iphone there’s
nothing like I would be burned at the
stake ten years ago for pulling this
thing out okay and this came out of our
own culture so so then you just tell
them gimme just grab something off the
shelf next time and until that happens
please leave me alone okay there now
meanwhile in this the United States the
21st century you can buy this book how
to defend yourself against alien
abduction this is a real book I bought
I read it and I heated its advice I
remain unobjected the things like don’t
drive a loan down a dark road way
there’s that that kind of the book is
all about what not to do
actually I think would be kind of cool
to be abducted by aliens
right I mean Lydia would not want to we
all want it but you all want to meet the
aliens right if they’re out there of
course we’re not anti alien which is
anti your account of the alien that’s
all now what pisses me off
inept aliens okay good yeah you know so
here are aliens from another planet
another galaxy they traverse
interstellar space in their spacecraft
trillions of miles and they get to earth
and they crash meet these aliens look
here they can’t land on Earth forgive me
somebody who knows how to navigate okay
and not they’ll have a conversation with
those aliens until then stay out of my
face okay
I don’t like stupid aliens I want I lose
sleep over this and I’ve always wanted
to be in the company of leading
biologists to to get insight into this
we as an astrophysicist we’ve seen
throughout time the hubris that comes
with any discovery that gets made or the
hubris that prevents the acceptance of a
discovery that might demote your sense
of self from whatever you previously
imagined it to be
among them is where is Earth is at the
center of all things no it’s not even
the significant planet in orbit around
an ordinary star in the corner of a rig
ordinary galaxies one of 100 billion
galaxies in the universe and so here we
are saying let’s search for life in the
universe intelligent life like us
well who are we to say that we’re
intelligent I mean I opposed that not as
a joke question but it’s a very serious
question we define ourselves to be
intelligent in ways that no other
creature can rival okay now what do we
credit that intelligence to so you look
at the genome and let’s take the chimp I
guess that’s a really close relative of
ours and we have what is it 90 high 90s
percent identical indistinguishable DNA
and the chimp does not build the Hubble
telescope and the chimp does not compose
symphonies so we must then declare that
everything we say about us that is
intelligent is found in that
one-and-a-half percent difference in DNA
is that first is that a fair statement
to make okay let me invert that question
if the genetic difference between humans
and chimps is that small maybe the
difference in our intelligence is also
that small maybe the difference between
stacking boxes and reaching a banana
putting up an umbrella when it rains
whatever are these rudimentary things a
chimp does that the primatologist roll
them forward and boasts about which of
course our toddlers can do maybe the
difference between that and the Hubble
telescope is as small as that difference
in DNA because I posed the question
suppose there was another life form on
earth or elsewhere that in that same
sort of vector that one-and-a-half
percent difference we are two chimps
suppose they were one-and-a-half percent
different from us they would then roll
the smartest of us in front of their
humanists and say Hawking there’s
hawking oh this one is slightly smarter
than the rest of them because he can do
astrophysics calculations in his head
like little Timmy over here
so I wonder if we’re just blithering
idiots in the presence of evenness
tribute elise martyr species than us so
therefore who are we to even assert that
number one we are intelligent and we’re
looking for others at least as
intelligent as us out there to talk to
but only is there any other species on
earth that we can talk to can we have a
conversation with a chimp that has a
nearly identical DNA and I don’t think
we can actually say hey what movie do
you want to see tonight but you don’t
have that conversation with the chimp
yet somehow we believe we want to
believe that an alien on another planet
that’s not even based on DNA and even if
it is it’s not nothing like us that we
could communicate with it yeah I’m
screaming at you I’m sorry well
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