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I'm getting pretty frustrated with popular science talks and books lately. At the risk of coming across as elitist (probably now guaranteed...) it seems that they always assume zero knowledge and zero prior thought into the issue. Now if I'm going to the trouble of hauling ass to see them, they really should assume I might have given some thought to the issues...at least on the ride to the venue.

If others haven't and get left behind...well thats what the post talk cigarette is for, right?

By zero knowledge, I presume that you mean that the presenter assumes that no one did their pre-talk homework?

If so, I understand your complaint, and would mildly agree with you, although not out of experience. More out of a general sense of superiority. Be careful what you wish for though. Went to a talk on quantum mechanics a while back and was very grateful that the speaker brought it down to my level. I had to concentrate the whole time just to keep up. Mostly due to the lack of pretty pictures, and his reliance on equations with letters in it. I don't think my concentration dropped for a minute, mostly out of fear of failing everything the second that I did.

I'm a bit sketchy on the hippy/Anni Defranco one, but I think it was along the lines of:

Conservative:

Human Nature
+
Free Markets
=
21st Century Consumer Capitalism

Hippy/Anni Defranco:

Ignorance
+
Oppressive Institutions
=
21st Century Consumer Capitalism

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