Don’t Be A Dick: The Wish

Our 3rd film features the talented Jon Ronson and his son Joel Ronson, plus BBC presenter Adam Rutherford as “Dick” and my good friend Chris Blohm as Other Dude at the Party!

PS: Don’t forget to get on the waiting list if you’d like to try to get a button for the TAM 8 Skepchick Party! Instructions in this post.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. I can see how saying “Gesundheit” in response to a sneeze is more in keeping with non-belief than “Bless You” and less of a dick than awkward silence in the face of expectation.

    I can see how a non-committal “That means a lot to me” when someone is offering prayer to help an illness is less dicky than a request they do something useful, like curing cancer, and doesn’t actually endorse prayer.

    But how is “And make it a good one” in keeping with the non-belief in wishes?

  2. While I, for one, see no harm in this, I can’t see this going over well here. Isn’t this the website where a number of people were traumatized as children when they found out Santa wasn’t real?

  3. @Rebecca Watson: Yeah…there’s nothing wrong with having imaginary play with kids (or not even with kids…you can have my D&D when you pry it from my cold, dead, but soon-to-be-res’d fingers).

    My four year old is playing with her dinosaurs and dolls and Lego right now in her room. There is serious elaborate drama going on. That’s vitally important development stuff for her, just as much as she and I making her Evolution Journal at the American Museum of Natural History two weeks ago.

    She will readily tell you that magic, fairies, elves, etc. aren’t real but are fun to play. That’s why she loves the TMBG song that includes this wisdom:

    I like the stories
    About angels, unicorns and elves
    Now I like those stories
    As much as anybody else
    But when I’m seeking knowledge
    Either simple or abstract
    The facts are with science

    It’s okay to play with imagination (and actually important to do so) as long as real knowledge comes from science. Adults who stomp on kiddie imaginations are definitely dicks. I loved this video best of the three.

  4. @KeithLM: You can totally play along with Santa stuff as fun with your kid and still tell them that there’s a real-life basis to it all. My 4 year old will tell you Santa is made up but she prefers to play along big time during the holidays. Nothing wrong with that.

  5. One of my long-term great amusements, as a gamer, is dice superstitions. Dice that don’t like you. Dice that are cursed, or someone touching your dice rubbing off their luck. I find them hilarious in part because I know I do them, too… in fact, I’ve been consciously combating them, recently, by using only a single die set at games, so I can’t blame the die for a run of poor numbers.

  6. These are great. I can’t wait for the one that tells you how to deal with the situation where your friend insists on an impromptu ritual goat sacrifice to appease the gods.

    I mean, it’s as if they’ve never seen that kind of thing before. Why else would I have a blood stained altar in my lounge?

  7. @Mark Hall: Have you ever punished one by glaring at it, yelling at it, putting it to the bottom of the bag, etc?

    I heard once about a guy who lined up all his dice on his balcony’s edge and then threw the offending one off into the city as a lesson to the others.

    I figure I can be rational and know that dice don’t have memory, but also take out my frustrations on them as needed, purely for therapeutic reasons.

    Also, it is possible for a badly constructed die to roll certain numbers more often. Yes, you, purple swirly D20, whom I wuv wuv wuv and is a good diceywoo, yes you are, *kisses* for all my crits over the years, that’s a good die now…

  8. The relevant lesson seems to be: harmless play with kids: Ok. This is in contrast to say if they had been talking about homeopathy or becoming born-again in the blood of Jesus, where presumably a slightly more dickish response could actually be justified. However, there’s a tiny complicating element in this particular case used in the video in that we generally give parents extra leeway about how to raise their kids, and interfering with that is dickish in a completely separate way.

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