1x08: We Don't Need Roads

Jeremy Garcia, Stuart Langridge, Bryan Lunduke, and Jono Bacon present an hour of talk about leafblowers, dust-resistant paper, fruitflies, and:

  • Back to the Future II, the 1989 film, predicted a raft of technology for 2015. With only a year to go, is anything they suggested even close to achieveable?
  • We speak to Matthew Garrett, notable Linux kernel hacker and commenter on security, UEFI, and hardware about the NSA in your firmware, why computers are more compelling than fruitflies, and his work at Nebula on providing trust to the cloud
  • Guns. As a followup to our previous discussion about 3d-printing of guns, we talk about the issue of whether guns are a good idea, the arguments for and against gun control, and how this differs internationally
  • The second half of our predictions for 2014: Bryan and Stuart give theirs

Download the show now!

1 Like

Really enjoyed doing this show. It is feeling like things are really starting to gel. :slight_smile:

I’m very curious about the statement that Brian makes about gun ownership in Canada vs the US. You state that Canada has more guns then the US but I can’t find that statistics.

The best source I can find is from the “Small Arms Survey” (http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/A-Yearbook/2007/en/Small-Arms-Survey-2007-Chapter-02-annexe-4-EN.pdf) where Canada ranks 13 with ~30 guns per 100 persons (~4 people per gun) and the US ranks 1 with ~80 guns per 100 persons (~2 people per gun).

OK folks, as we mentioned previously we would like to encourage our community to help spread the word about each episode. Please post it to your blog, reddit, social media and elsewhere, and put links here in this thread. Thanks!

Submitted it as news to http://www.bttf.com/

Great show. I was a bit nervous when I saw you guys were going to discuss guns, but I think you did very well on that debate. I’m very happy that you touched on the mental illness side of things. Something most people don’t realize is that suicide kills more Americans than guns do.

Also, the media in the United States won’t talk about mental illness being one of the underlying causes of gun related violence. If that became part of the discussion, you would have to talk about mental illness drugs which have been linked to many of these mass shooters and gun related violence. CNN, FOX and the NBCs are sponsored by “Big Pharma” drug companies and thus are essentially paid to not talk about such things.

In honest fact, I think the media is everything that is wrong with this world. The medias business model is thriving on chaos, so it would really be to their detriment if everything was utopian. If they actually did honest and real reporting, I believe many of our greatest problems would be solved. Scary ass chart of the day: http://cdn.front.moveon.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/media-5001.jpg (slightly outdated)

1 Like

Thanks! I am pretty happy with how the segment came out…it is a big topic, but I think we covered a reasonable amount of ground. Keen to hear everyone’s views. :slight_smile:

One thing we didn’t get to cover (as we ran out of time) was the second part of the issue, which relates to gun violence in a non-mass event context. If this is something you’d like to see us cover in a future segment let us know.


1 Like

This topic is now pinned. It will appear at the top of its category until it is either unpinned by a moderator, or the Clear Pin button is pressed.

If you think there’s a point of view about firearms that we didn’t cover, speak now, and we can pick up in a future episode if it’s a big deal!

The whole “how do we progress & prevent future mass shootings” is a tricky area. One quite nebulous thought I’ve had is to wonder if the Columbine tragedy would have happened if the boys involved in that had an outlet like the open source community? I know from personal experience that High School can be a disaster for forming a positive mental image of yourself as an individual and as part of a community.

I don’t know how we take that thought and turn it into action. Maybe outreach into High Schools via LUGs?

In regards to the prediction that some reasonable western country will have electric vehicles as a top 10 seller this year, I can tell you that (as long as you count Norway as a reasonable western country), you’ve been predicting the past! The last three months of 2013, electric cars actually occupied the top placement on the best-seller list.


Ooh, I did not know the Norway thing. That’s cool. I’ll consider that that doesn’t count and to win it has to happen in another place as well :slight_smile:

I think the rest of us would all agree that Norway doesn’t count, but is an encouraging start. :slight_smile:

Loved the show fellas… it’s really coming together!! For the record… a prediction you had with the 3D printers is already happening! http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/velleman-k8200-3d-printer-kit-n82qg


I always enjoy listening to you guys. Your energy and imagination have given me a great deal of entertainment. That said, I humbly offer the following criticism. Out of love.

I think you try to do too many things in a finite time. One segment of one show is just not enough to do justice to a topic like gun violence. A couple of you alluded to research you had done in preparation for the podcast. I would have liked to learn more about that research, as some of your conclusions run against my personal opinions on the matter. This is more than OK - challenge my assumptions and teach me something along the way.

If you wish to tackle the major issues of our day - and I sincerely hope you do - please consider giving the matter(s) the time they deserve. This may require breaking from your usual format… which is OK. Maybe your interview could relate to that topic?

In summary, thank you for your show; please continue to challenge yourselves and your audience and allow yourselves the flexibility in time and format to try new things. Please and thank you. That is all.

@cmgbeyer thanks so much for sharing the feedback…we aren’y joking when we really ask for our listeners to provide suggestions. We all want BV to be the best it can be.

I think you make a good point about how in-depth we can into a segment. When putting together a segment we have a few considerations we put in place:

  1. do our homework so we can base our views on practical evidence.
  2. strive to make it entertaining.
  3. touch the key topics and areas.
  4. try to ensure the segment keeps the listener engaged so they don’t get bored and either stop listening or skip the segment.

The challenge here is with (3) and (4).

With a topic like gun control, we could record an hour-long show dedicated to it and still not cover enough ground. We could record an entire series of shows and not cover it in detail.

While I agree that a 10/15 min segment is not enough, I don’t know what the middle-ground is without dedicating an entire show to it. My inclination here is that instead of trying to cover everything, with provide more focus on a specific part of the debate (e.g. for gun control, we could have focused more on mental health).

I also have some resevations about making a topic a theme through the entire show (such as your interviews idea). The reason is that if our listeners are not interested in the topic, the entire show is going to be less interesting. With out current format a listener uninterested in a topic can skip it and still have other topics of interest in the show for them.

So, in a nutshell, I entirely agree, but I am not sure what the answer is. Ideas and discussion welcome!

1 Like

I would submit you are already exploring how to do that. By “mutating” your original schedule and watching the results (feedback) and adjusting accordingly, your show evolves into something better. You keep an open mind and keep trying new things. Please keep doing that!

1 Like

If you want to take a look at proper gun control you should look into the aftermath of the Port Arthur Massacre in Australia. Too often the debate is boiled down to an overly simplistic “ban all guns vs i have the right to own any gun i please”. In Australia the government took the opportunity to ban semi automatic rifles and make it a requirement that you obtain a license to own a firearm.

Since the changes their have been zero mass shootings and the rate of firearms deaths have been reduced. People no longer have granddad’s shotgun in the cupboard that they never use except for the one time they get pissed off and shoot their wife. People who really want a gun for hunting and sport shooting can still have one as long as they can pass a background check.

Currently their is a spate of criminals shooting criminals in some of the major cities which are by and large being carried out with handguns that are bought in the United States over the counter and smuggled in to the country.

So, the answer, if any, is compromise. The government can’t ban all guns and the citizens should suck it up and realise that the greater civic good isn’t being served by unrestricted access to firearms. Sadly guns are a multi billion dollar industry in the US so compromise will be impossible.

What you’re describing is precisely the situation in the UK, pre-1996 (in '96 it got tighter still and handguns were basically banned), and I think that was reasonable (I prefer how it is today, but I can see that the art of compromise here is a good step).

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.