John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings: Episode 7

by on Oct.22, 2009, under Rum Doings, The Rest

In episode 7 of Rum Doings the topic not under discussion is how we can fix Broken Britain.

More readily discussed are John’s inability to sing and Nick’s desperate need to hear it, the scandalous gossip regarding John’s sexual impropriety with Nick’s wife, and the terrifying contents of some Super-8 film. And that’s in the first five minutes.

Loyal listeners will be relieved to learn that the episode contains the results of our experiments performed on all 3.5bn women in the world, and the resulting contention for the Noble Prize 100p prize. Then things descend into the usual arguing about hat doffing, the awfulness of the word “used”, and moist ladygardens. And the controversy controversy. And very much more, including a frenzied debate over the title “artist”.

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25 Comments for this entry

  • MrsTrellis

    I agree with Nicky, the only people who object to “moist” are those who dislike women (and women who dislike themselves).

  • Laura

    After listening to my first ever Rum Doings, I would like to offer my services as Scientific Adviser for the next studies. I feel a randomised control trial would have better suited the population study…

  • NM

    Hi Laura,

    There would have been no point in doing a randomised control trial, as we were testing every single live woman on the planet, which leaves no one left for the control.

  • ScalyWg

    marvellous -again, thankyou…
    but,but,butwhy did you cut the link betwixt “contro-vers-ee” and the Artist formally etc (surley it was there!).
    or did you just let me think it was there like the scary bits in Roman theatre?

  • NM

    Hi Scaly,

    There was no cut – what you hear is what happened, taped live before no studio audience. We generally don’t cut or edit – once or twice, in previous episodes, John has cut out a naughty word he said. And in the first episode, we paused as I sought some rum, but we have not repeated such an action.

    What you heard was just an old fashioned non sequitur. Or was it?

  • John Walker

    Yup, no cuts.

    I did once cut out something astonishingly libellous that Nick said, because it was right by the bit where I swore, but that’s it. And Nick didn’t approve.

  • Laura

    But without a control group, you have no comparison for whether the act of “sushing” in itself actually produced the observed response, or if it was due to wind direction at the time…

  • EthZee

    I just looked up that guy who stole Damien Hirst’s pencils.

    Seriously, Damien Hirst is such a bint. Nice podcast as usual!

  • NM

    Laura, that’s why we only won the 100p Noble Prize, and not the Nobel.

  • James

    John, if you can’t tell what’s in tune and what isn’t, did you also find yourself totally stumped by the musical puzzles in both Dreamfall and Machinarium? I found both to be rather unfair on the genuinely tone deaf.

  • Quercus

    I would just like to say excellent podcast, although I disagree with Nick’s assertions about selfless acts.
    While I agree that the vast majority of selfless acts have an element of selfishness in them by making the protagonist feel good about themselves*, we know from life that often there are split second decisions we need to make. If those decisions are life or death ones involving a loved one, friend or even a fellow soldier, the thought process is likely to be simply to save the other person irrespective of the possible consequences, rather than to avoid feelings of guilt. This has been recounted many times by survivors of selfless acts, namely that they were not thinking about themselves when that split second decision is needed.

  • Quercus

    *Damn I forgot the post-script.
    I wonder if acts of altruism are evolutionary constructs to secure the advancement of our species through social cooperation? Certain things that make us feel good (such as eating fatty foods or procreation) have an evolutionary foundation, so if perform acts that help others make us feel good as well, is that significant?

  • bodnotbod

    Excellent podcast. Really cheered up a dull Saturday afternoon.

    I find that paintings don’t really have much emotional impact on me either. I do recall seeing a Salvador Dali that I’d previously only seen in books. And I was completely engaged with it but it was just a very intense admiration for the technical skill rather than something appealing to more sensitive emotions.

    If I were asked to rate my emotional response to my favourite 100 paintings and favourite 100 films and then asked to merge one list into the other, I doubt many paintings would make it into the top half.

  • John Walker

    James, sort of. I am not amusical. I can hear tunes and recognise them fine. But I found the Machinarium puzzle stupendously hard – it took me many goes, and I realised I was not able to tell whether notes were higher or lower than each other when trying to reproduce them. Which is interesting. My mother has amusia, and cannot understand or interpret music at all. For me it’s about not being able to produce it – I can’t tell if I’m singing a note that matches the one in the tune.

  • Roland

    Great podcast again guys.
    Only one thing to point out to Nick. The child would in fact not touch the white-hot orange bit of the sparkler, rather it would touch the white-hot white part. The clue is in the name.

    Looking forward to the next one.

  • NM

    Roland, I was encapsulating a gradient within a linguistic set ;-)

  • James

    Same here. I got the Machinarium one eventually, but it took me many, many goes. Very frustrating when you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, but just can’t tell why it’s wrong. The Dreamfall one I could barely make out the source notes at all, and I ended up using a walkthrough.

  • Erik

    Just got around to listening to this today and just wanted to leave a comment about the discussion on whether all choices are selfish or not. I’ve had the same argument many times with friends and it’s always surprised me that they’re so appalled by the idea.

    That a choices is selfish doesn’t have to mean that it only benefits yourself or is in other ways bad. That’s just confusing the negative image of the word with the actual choice and it’s effects.

    Quercus, isn’t that just acting on instinct, following the immediate impulse rather than making a considered choice? I’m no biologist, but the instinct to protect your family unit isn’t fairly uncommon in mammals, I think, and humans seem to be able to include other people into our “family” very easily.

  • Luke

    My podcast organizer recently messed up and I now have to resubscribe to all my usual podcasts, but your host (jellycast) won’t let me sub. to your show because apparently it is too popular. Everyone else seems to use libsyn but I know nothing about these things.

  • Adam


    Just heard about Rum Doings, as I have just started listening to your RPS podcasts.
    However Jellycast is reporting that you have reached your limit for this month.
    Just though I’d give you a heads up.


  • John Walker

    Yeah – sadly Nick is in control of such things, and he is claiming that his wife giving birth is somehow more important. Which is sickening.

  • Adam

    Definite lack of commitment. Congratulations to him though.

  • Urthman

    Tell Nick to finish up parenting that kid and hurry back ASAP. I always enjoy Rum Doings.

  • Nick C

    ‘one does not choose something that one does not wish to do’

    It’s quite cute that Nick seems to be hanging onto the idea of free will and materialism.

  • Nick C

    Sorry, reading that back I realise that’s actually quite incomprehensible. What I mean is ‘free will in a resolutely material world’. Unless you hold with the idea quantum consciousness (or religion), I’m not sure what’s left of altruism, selfishness and the whole range of chosen behaviour in between.