Friday, April 22, 2016

The Great Hoagland/Wickramasinghe Disaster 0f 2016

        Kudos to whoever managed to book Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe onto Richard Hoagland's Other Side of Midnight chat-show, which is hanging onto the Dark Matter Digital Radio Network by its metaphorical fingernails, due to move to an as-yet unannounced new net-home at the end of next week. Wickramasinghe is exactly the right kind of guest for RCH: A respected but highly controversial scientist, working in an area (cosmology) that Hoagland has a nodding acquaintance with, and so ought to be able to ask some of the right questions.

        Booking decent guests has been this show's Achilles heel right from the start. Not a lot of interesting people are willing to be interviewed from midnight to 2 a.m. Pacific, or -- even worse -- 3-5 a.m. East. Keith Laney, in the EDT zone, may be always willing, but that kind-of proves my point about "not a lot of interesting people." Of course it greatly helps if, like Wickramasinghe, you're in the UK where it's 8-10 a.m. and you're fully awake. That also applied to another recently successful guest, my former colleague James Burke.

        Note that I did NOT say "my good friend James Burke," although I might have been justified in so doing. Richard Hoagland is, famously, not shy about name-dropping at all, and once he'd got over some connection problems and ascertained that he really was talking to the right cosmologist, he lit right in with (02:02) "Well an old friend of mine and yours, Arthur C. Clarke..."  (04:35) "...In addition to Arthur C. Clarke, who was a very good friend of mine, going back to my days at CBS when I was advising Walter Cronkite during the Apollo missions..." Oh Lordy, it never stops.

        Anyway, as I said, Wickramasinghe was a very promising guest. Such a pity that this turned into an unmitigated, cringe-worthy disaster after only 14 minutes. Wickramasinghe was filling us in on his relationship with Fred Hoyle, and the history of the Steady-State cosmological model, when he just dropped out. Went away. Vanished. Hoagland said "Did I lose you? Dr. Wickramasinghe? Hello? I'm really getting very unhappy with Skype. I think we're going to go to a different system, because Skype is not reliable...So... let me see what I can do here... Sorry, folks, this happens with unfortunate regularity because we're using this technology...We'll obviously have to explore another technology... ummm... in the future, and we will do that. But not tonight. So... let me get rid of this particular... er... item ... I think we might have to go to some music before I can connect up with Dr. Wickramasinghe again... So, Keith, if we can do that? Put a little something on while I'm connecting my switches here... and then we will be back momentarily..." However, he was not back momentarily, or even at all that night. Not having an engineer in his "studio," the simple task of re-connecting was beyond Hoagland's skills.note 1 After eight minutes of music, we were back to the Intro and the October 24th show with Seimion and Matloff re-ran until off-air time. The Wickramasinghe show was simply purged from the show's web-site and Farcebook page. As Khruschev was declared a non-person by the Kremlin in 1964, so this was declared a non-show by Keith Rowland (owner of DMDN) and Richard Hoagland. Oh. My. God.

        Well, what future for Hoagland and his chat-show? He's been dropping hints (at least it makes a change from dropping names) that "some Big Players" are interested in giving the show a home. After this fiasco, I imagine Big Players will be having Big Second Thoughts.

Thanks to Dr. Stuart Robbins for providing the audio. 

Update 3 May
        Well, now we know. The show moved to KCAA, an AM/FM station in the Inland Empire area east of L.A. The station rents its chat-show facilities to anyone who can pay. "Big players" my ass.

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[1] Of course, it's always possible that he actually did reconnect, only to hear the professor say he was tired of this amateur bullshit and wanted no further part in it. That would jive with the purging of the show's online archive. We will never know.

16 comments:

George Benkel said...

Keith killed off Hoagie's show?

expat said...

Either that or this is a flounce-out. Most likely it's just another manifestation of the well-known phenomenon "Richard Hoagland is an arrogant bastard and impossible to work with" (Just ask Mike Bara)

Dee said...

OMG RCH Killed RCH!

...or perhaps "reality killed the midnight radio star". But such perhaps is the fate of all gods, idols and twinkles in the mind's deep sky of night.

Dee

Anonymous said...

my comment is probably a lot off topic but i'm wondering if over the years has this blog and/or it's regular commentors discussed anything with regards to the theory of the moon being an artifical satellite or body deliberatly put in perfect orbit etc? (and i dont mean just blase dismissal, but actual scientific evaluation?). it's an interesitng topic to which i remain open to all ideas, but i'd like to know more if some has either supported or discredited the ideas. thanks.

expat said...

The best I can offer you -- and it's not a good best, or even a decent best -- is this guide to annular eclipses. It's only relevant at all because it bears on the idea that the Sun and Moon having the exact same angular diameter cannot be a coincidence. It seems that the coincidence isn't that exact after all.

Trekker said...

The question may be based on Anonymous' reading of that idiotic book 'Who Built the Moon?', by Knight and Butler, where the conclusion is that time travellers of the distant future went back billions of years and built it.

Chris Lopes said...

I know I'm going to regret asking this, but does the book mention a motive for our time traveling world builders?

Anonymous said...

Maybe one should throw the Bullialdus-Newton inverse square law into the mix of this discussion....just for the fun of it

Adrian

Trekker said...

Chris, take a look at Butler's website on the subject: http://www.whobuiltthemoon.com/the-moon-is-not-a-natural-planet.html

Basically, the moon is too complex to be natural, so someone must have built it! :)

expat said...

"Unfortunately there isn't room in this website to show all the mathematical proofs. To see those you will have to get our book..."

Did anybody NOT see that coming?

Chris Lopes said...

Skimmed through the site, and I'm still not sure what the motive would be. I mean presumably humanity managed quite well(to the point of inventing time travel) without one, so why add it? Of course answering such a question would require logic which would invalidate the entire idea, so never mind.

Captain Novvak said...

If anything from the future were to manage somehow to enter the past, the past would change, and annihilation would result. Therefore, there are no time travelers to the past and probably technology of time travel into the past will never be invented, because we are all still here.

Anonymous said...

@ Ripley

your statement is based on the premise that "our concept" of time is a lineair phenomenon.....It goes entirely above and beyond the fact that "we" invented" such a concept known as time and that somehow it has to be lineair. If your statement turns out to be correct....you have to proof this "figment of [y]our imagination"

Adrian

expat said...

Updated

Anonymous said...

@Ripley - for example

you stated in the previous item "If anything from the future were to manage somehow to enter the past, the past would change, and annihilation would result. Therefore, there are no time travelers to the past and probably technology of time travel into the past will never be invented, because we are all still here."

The question was “your statement is based on the premise that "our concept" of time is a linear phenomenon.....It goes entirely above and beyond the fact that "we" invented" such a concept known as time and that somehow it has to be linear. If your statement turns out to be correct....you have to proof this "figment of [y]our imagination"

the floor is yours....:-)

Adrian

erickson said...

I presume that the time traveling moon builders thought that the moons's tidal influence would make coastal kayaking more interesting (not to mention tide pool exploration). What other motive could there be - and for that I would be grateful if there actually was someone to thank.

The sheer disruption to the time line that such a thing would mean is startling to contemplate. What did Neil Armstrong do in the time line when there was no moon upon which to walk? Did they step on the wrong bug while admiring their handiwork and cause instant annihilation of the world as they knew it?

I always assume that everything we know about the present takes into account the way that time travelers altered our universe. We don't know if there has been annihilation or not because what we take for reality is the time line after the travelers intervened. That could be changing twenty times a day and we would never know it. It explains why I have forgotten more than I now know.