Is "Adam Ruins Everything" right?

There is an interesting show on Netflix called “Adam Ruins Everything”. It was formerly on Trutv. I’ve only seen 2 episodes but he really proves his points well.

He tackles many important issues. For example on the one on restaurants he goes into things like how tipping is wrong and needs to be replaced, how restaurants fake or lie about the fish they serve, and proves how wine “experts” are merely guessing.

On the one on housing he makes the case that renting makes much more sense than buying.

Has anyone else seen the show? What do you think?

I’ve seen a couple. He has cites for all his assertions, so the facts are backed up.

Thread relocated from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Absent a specific mathematical case, the “renting is better than buying” thing isn’t even clear enough to be true or false.

His argument against paying a landlord rent is, for instance, “you’re just paying a bank.” Uh, well, sure. But how much am I paying them? Isn’t that kind of an important point? How does that differ from rent in my market? (Note: Around here, a huge, huge amount.) What about tax implications, equity, etc.?

Specific episodes are wrong about specific things. For example, as regards animal testing:

(… the actual cite is to a German-language YouTube video.)

There’s also a lot he gets wrong about the Cuban Missile Crisis which really points up the limitations in the format: He’s trying to “ruin” stuff by pointing out flaws in the mainstream knowledge, which falls on its face when the mainstream knowledge isn’t that far off and, hey, maybe there isn’t a Massive Embarrassing Secret At The Bottom. Maybe Kennedy wasn’t History’s Greatest Monster. Maybe second-option bias isn’t how real history is done.

Adam knows his audience wants a take-down, so he makes a strawman version of the Official Consensus and takes that sucker down. Aside from whatever factual errors the process contains, it’s dishonest in spirit because that isn’t what history is. It’s a process of discovery, not a gladiatorial combat. That goes for the rest of science, too.

That honor, of course, goes to Jimmy Carter.

I figure if you randomly fact-checked half the stuff, you would probably find some wrong shit, but it’s not PBS, so I just take it as superficial entertainment. I think his shows are kinda amusing, and one of the very few I watched. It was always fun to watch the growing frustration and irritation of his “mark” as the episode progressed. I noticed the later shows used animation, and I figure that cost a fraction of the earlier, highly produced ones.

He is completely wrong, in my opinion, about rent. Rent is for suckers. (Yes, I know. Not everyone can buy, but if you can, I think you should.)

No, from an economics perspective he has at least part of a point. American economics requires mobility in the workforce. We have 50 states competing for employers and displacement is part of that process. People who rent have a greater capability of relocating for better jobs than those who own and can take advantage of offers that others may not be able to.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Anyone can (and many do) select statistics to prove their point. Adam Conover is no different.

He’s also not funny. The show may be produced by College Humor, but I think the show should be called Adam Ruins Humor.

That link doesn’t go where you thought it did.

I liked the first season even though I realized it was superficial cherrypicking of data. Getting information out that wasn’t conventional wisdom was all to the good.

I liked the second season less and the third season was unwatchable. I don’t know if he changed or I did. IMO, the show morphed into something barely different from fake news. It tells people not to believe what the mainstream media say but to believe his alternate reality. Maybe his facts are good and maybe not but they’re presented with the depth of thought of a tenth grade book report and are totally one-sided on issues that are deep and complex. And he never gives a hint of how we should get from today’s world to the better world he advocates. Rise up and click likes, I suppose.

For all the crap that lands on the Dope, we do a thousand times better on these questions and issues. We have the luxury of multiple minds and infinite space and time, of course, but if we did a thread on it (the one I assume JC meant to link to) we’d discuss the various pros and cons of renting vs. buying and who benefits from each when in a way that would destroy the notion that one single answer exists.

I never watched the TV show, but I know some of the original YouTube segments had some faults, usually due to his bias towards a takedown. Basically, he has the same veracity as Cracked articles did.

I’d say that’s an insult towards Adam because Cracked has some of the worst fact checking I’ve ever seen. At least Adam kind of is accurate as opposed to literally making stuff up for certain Cracked articles.

I caught an error that I posted a thread about, but the thread died without a single response.

Adam claimed the Hays Code for movies prohibited showing white people as slaves but permitted showing black people as slaves. Oh my, how racist, right?

Actually, white slavery was the old term for sex trafficking. The Hays Code prohibited movies from making salacious stories about prostitution.

Just a moment’s thought would’ve shown this. How on earth would’ve all those sword and sandals movies from the Fifties been made if white people as slaves couldn’t be shown? Ben-Hur for instance. Cripes, for a supposedly smarter than anyone show, that was a real obvious screw-up.

There was an episode of “How Stuff Works” about the MPAA that claimed that no movie has ever been rated X for violence only for explicit sex. Except Evil Dead was rated X precisely for it’s gorey violence, and many films such as RoboCop were threatened with the X rating for their sheer violence and had to recut themselves to accommodate an R.

People love to think up their position before actually looking at the facts.

I’m skeptical in the extreme that Evil Dead was rated X for violence. I’d bet money it was because of the violent, graphic tree rape.

If you’re going to be in that house a short time, renting makes more sense. If you’re going to be there as long as my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles… have been in the houses they bought, it can make sense to buy. It also depends on whether you have a decent landlord or not: I’ve had landlords who were a pleasure to rent from but also many who didn’t understand that renting doesn’t equal “getting paid for sitting on your butt while the houses you’ve rented break down”.

And some people buy - to rent.

That said, if he gets people to understand that a starter house is in the short-term side and therefore it makes sense to rent, kudos to him.

Here’s a “Defense of Columbus” video that takes Adam to task for his cartoonish “Columbus was evil” video. You be the judge.

That said, I haven’t watched much of “Adam Ruins Everything” so I can’t speak to the rest of his content.

Mind you, you can selectively cite things and create fallacious or disingenuous arguments out of legitimate facts. Add in strawman arguments and inflating the importance of select material and just having cites might not mean as much as you’d think.

I’ve mainly watched bits of the show that wind up getting shared on Facebook and agree that some of it is good and some seems to be aimed at “we need a total take-down to make this video worth it” over being completely accurate. Maybe not as bad as Cracked but certainly worth taking with a grain of salt and realization that you’re watching a product designed for entertainment first and education a distant second, if that.

At 1:37 he shows a clip from the show where Adam says Columbus couldn’t have discovered the Earth was round because in his time it was already common knowledge. He then says “the way Adam phrases this makes it seem like Columbus thought he was the first person to conclude the Earth was round.”

It didn’t at all seem like Adam was making a point regarding what Columbus thought, just that Adam was correcting a common misconception.

The next mistake he claims Adam made is that Columbus thought the Earth was pear shaped. However:

I stopped there.

More intended to entertain than to enlighten. Doesn’t present nuanced facts about anything, just says what we all know is wrong and theoretically has a cite that no one bothers to check. Just as likely to create misinformation than cure ignorance.