For the last four years, I’ve researched obituaries of people relevant to skepticism, and compiled them into a memorial presentation at The Amazing Meeting in July. I think it is important that we take note of the passages in our community, just as other communities do. I was inspired by the annual memorial presentation at the Academy Awards, which serves the same purpose for the motion picture industry.
The presentation for TAM 2013 consisted of 60 people who died between July 2012 and July 2013. It is just about exactly 5 minutes long, and at TAM it ran during the morning coffee breaks in the main room. If you missed it at TAM (or want a second look) you can watch the presentation here. Scroll down below the video for a list of the people included and links to further information about each.
Last week I gave a presentation at Skep-Tech in Minneapolis. It was a first-year conference put on by the student groups from three different universities in the area. They chose to focus it on technology and skepticism – which is right up my alley. So of course I was excited to speak.
I chose to focus on how skeptics need to cultivate specialized skills and learn new tools in our battle against irrationality on the world wide web. I decided to use the concept of a ninja as my metaphor. The video has already been posted and you can watch below.
After the jump you can see the slides that I presented and a list of links to tools and websites that I mentioned in the talk.
This is the script I used for my TAM2012 speech on Sunday, July 15, 2012. When I speak I do not read word-for-word, so I guarantee you this is different from what I actually said, sometimes substantially. (For one thing I was running close on time so I skipped one example near the end, but I’ve left it in here)
But this is very close to what I said and accurately represents the points I was making.
There were 42 slides, most of which were graphics of some kind and a few of which were section titles or the like. I will reproduce the key graphics that were referenced in the text, the rest of the slides will be replaced by block quotes or hyperlinks to keep things flowing. I’ve also added hyperlinks to a few things I reference so if you are curious you can find out what I am talking about.
The people in the room and those who came up after were very positive, and I hope you enjoy my thoughts as much as they did.
For the The Amazing Meeting 9 (TAM9) being held by the James Randi Educational Foundation in Las Vegas this weekend, I prepared two presentations to run during the breaks, between the main speakers. These slides commemorated the folks related to the skeptic movement whom we have lost in 2010 and 2011. (Between TAM8 and TAM9).
The thought was to have something akin to the “In Memoriam” reel run on The Oscars and other similar awards shows. We first did this last year at TAM8, after I suggested it to the organizers and volunteered to put it together.
Unfortunately the A/V guy let me down and never ran one set, and the other one ran during lunch on Saturday when few people were in the room. Also, of course, many other skeptics were unable to attend the event. So here they are. There are two separate presentations, one for skeptics and scientists and one for proponents of pseudoscience and the paranormal. You can view them after the break…
My presentation at SkeptiCamp Atlanta 2011 this past weekend was titled “Please Don’t Start Another Blog or Podcast!” I chose that title deliberately to to be a little controversial, of course. It verges on ridiculous for someone who both blogs and podcasts to tell others not to do either.
My real point is to highlight the many other online activities skeptics can engage in that are important and make a difference. Regular readers of this blog (all three of you) will find some familiar topics in this. See below for links to the slides, an audio version and other supplemental information.
The video includes some introductory material from SkeptiCamp, the main presentation starts at 6:26. If you prefer to listen on the go, you can hear the audio for this presentation on the Skepticality podcast #158 “Return to Lake Skepticamp.” The audio of the presentation itself starts at about 20 minutes in to the episode. You will hear in both the video and audio that I originally miscounted my subtopics, I say seven and the audience corrects me. This has been corrected in the slides seen after the break.
Continue reading after the break for my slides and a list of links that to more information (mostly prior posts on this blog) that expand on each of the topics I cover in the presentation.
This talk was part of the Paper Presentations given on Sunday at each TAM. Anyone can submit a proposal for one. Seeing some ordinary skeptics give presentations at TAM5 as part of this is what sparked my interest in getting involved in skepticism. If you have an idea for a presentation like this, submit a proposal for one to JREF. The deadline is May 15.
If you attended The Amazing Meeting 8 (TAM8) held by the James Randi Educational Foundation in Las Vegas this past July, you may have noticed two presentations that ran during the breaks, between the main speakers. These slides commemorated the folks related to the skeptic movement whom we have lost in 2009 and 2010.
The thought was to have something akin to the “In Memoriam” reel run on The Oscars and other similar awards shows. I had suggested this to Jeff Wagg a few months ago, and when he told me he thought it was a good idea, I started collecting names for the list. I put the slides together and gave them to Jeff, who ran them.
Many people probably missed them, so I thought I would post them here. There are two separate presentations, one for skeptics and one for “believers”. You can view them after the break…
Instead of a transcript, I’m posting the actual slides. There are notes on many of the slides which the widget below doesn’t show, so you may want to view it on slideshare. Make sure you click the “notes” tab below the slides so you can see them as you proceed. (Or if you prefer, download the original PowerPoint file from there).