Email listservs can be useful for disseminating information and calling for volunteers, but they can also devolve into banter and many of the same tired arguments.
This clip comes from something that bordered on the latter, while starting from the former. I’ll let you judge whether there’s any merit to this argument or if we should just dismiss it.
How about this subject then? And to add some flair I am going to attempt my argument I an a repelling tone just to prove a point.
I don’t believe the Skeptic "movement" has made any significant impact anywhere. If you believe it has I would love to hear about it.
If there was a contest between critical thinking and nonsense, critical thinking has failed miserably! I am being brutal because this movement needs a kick in the balls.
The largest meeting of prominent skeptics (TAM) has an attendance of less than or just around two thousand people that come from all around the globe. This is our BIG event? What the hell, there are more people attending the flea market in Cloverdale every weekend. There was a Lego convention in Seattle a couple weeks ago they have attendance over 10,000 people for a three day event – in the basement of some unimpressive building – near the Space Needle – mostly locals! Plastic blocks kick our ass almost 10 to 1! I know this is a false dichotomy, save your breath but TAM does not impress me with their attendance, not by a long shot when you consider the population that it is drawing from. I am willing to bet that if I hosted a model train convention in Surrey in two weeks I could get more people there than TAM 9.
This movement needs some real marketing, it needs some rock and roll – the churches have even figured that out. What do we do? We keep bringing some old white geezer into town and throw them up on stage to talk about the same old crap and it is attended by the same 20 – 30 people trying to give this dead horse of a movement some life. If you want to see some new faces this shit ain’t going to get the kids away from their Xboxes, why would it? I think even the regulars are bored to tears.
One of the only successful things to happen to our movement in recent history is Mythbusters. Why? Cause that is Rock n’ Roll! Blowing shit up is way better than watching some old white guy talk about his dick for an hour on stage. There has to be a better way. Have a concert. Have robot smashing competition. Have a real science fair with real prizes and a real celebrities to promote it. Blow some shit up in the name of science woo hoo! Start another Boobquake! Caustic Soda gets it!
Skepticamp? We must have had at least 25 people the last one WTF? The first few that we had were fun and well attended what happened? We turned it into some rigid conference style presentation with restricted time slots, theatre seating, PA gear no food or drinks and on and on. Hey we can make some t-shirts that will give us some credibility ZZZzzzzz….. We need to get back to an unconference format again like in a pub, a classroom, a campsite drunk somewhere. Fuck the t-shirts and get someone to bring Band Hero and a projector with some beers put on a dance after and you might see people coming out of their moms basement to learn some cool stuff about science. Let’s stop preaching to the choir.
I used to play in lots of bands and the one thing that used to piss me off when I started any band was the usual discussion about what songs to play and as always the majority of the band members would agree to something like "I don’t want to play cover tunes man let’s do B’ sides and more obscure songs". Hey you might be cool because you look like you know some obscure music but this is a recipe for empty dance floors. What is the point of playing a dance with that has no dancers. My philosophy? Give the people what they want even if you loathe playing "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison for the millionth time but that song gets that dance floor packed no matter how badly you play it or what language you play it in – just do it!
You might want to go to a church sometime, not some Catholic Church but check out them holy roller types and take some notes they have the music and a the charisma and the seats are filled up – why is that?
So here I am asking myself why I stay up late nights after work, sometimes several days in a row, volunteering my free time for the same twenty people, seems retarded. Let’s blow some shit up! (metaphorically speaking)
Convince me that we are actually getting somewhere or I should I just go promote Lego?