Additional videos from The Amaz!ng Meeting 2013 have been posted in recent weeks by the James Randi Educational Foundation. Just in the last few days the two workshops I was involved in at #TAM2013, on the topics of skeptic history and crowdsourcing, have been added!
The crowdsourcing workshop featured Shane Greenup of RBUTR, Susan Gerbic of the Guerrilla Skepticism project and myself, discussing how the new technique of crowdsourcing can be applied to skeptical projects. If you follow this blog you know some of the tools and topics we discussed.
The new video from this workshop has a few issues, and thus only includes the parts of the workshop presented by Shane and myself. But Susan had previously posted audience-shot video of her portions of the workshop and the Q&A, so I have compiled all four of these videos into a playlist you can watch right here. The audio isn’t fantastic but it covers most of the workshop.
I previously captured the live reaction to the workshop on Storify here. There is more information about this workshop including coverage (including an interview with Susan) at the Lanyrd page for the session here.
I participated in two other pieces of programming at TAM2013, both concerning the history of skepticism. The first was a workshop called Preserving Skeptic History organized by Daniel Loxton. Along with the video he posted some of his thoughts on the workshop and a great excerpt of the comments made by Ray Hyman.
The other programming was the 2013 In Memoriam presentation, which was previously posted on this website.
As of this writing JREF has posted over 50 videos from TAM 2013, they can be accessed via a YouTube playlist here or via the conference directory Lanyrd here. I recommend the latter link because it can be filtered by topic using the blue buttons on the right hand side. It also includes videos (such as interviews, podcasts and so on) posted by others, for a total of 106 videos!
Four weeks from right now, the annual Amazing Meeting will be in full swing. This year is the 16th such event put on by the James Randi Educational Foundation, and it is being held in Las Vegas from July 10th to 13th.
Long time readers of this blog are probably expecting one or more posts from me about now with various tips and advice about attending the show, using the wireless at the hotel and so on.
However this year is a bit different. My position as a JREF Fellow ended this past February. I’ve decided (for various reasons) not to attend TAM this year – the first time since I first attended in 2007. As a result, I don’t have a ton of new information to share with you about attending, as I haven’t been preparing a trip myself.
That’s the bad news. The good news is TAM is being held in the same hotel and in virtually identical format that it has has for several years. This means that almost all of the great tips from past years from myself and others still apply.
With that in mind, here’s a set of links that will get you to the posts that will help you out the most.
- Last year I collected TAM Tips from Twitter on Storify – they include travel and entertainment advice about the show itself, Vegas in general and more. Most contain links to other useful content, and come from several long-time attendees including myself.
- A critical tip from that list is to visit the Amazing Meeting section of the JREF Forum, where you can meet other attendees, arrange room sharing or ride sharing, side trips and so on.
- If you plan to post on the Internet while at the show be sure to read my post from last year about my conference gadget kit and familiarize yourself with the wireless situation at TAM via my 2012 post. One update since then – WiFi in your room at SouthPoint Hotel, Casino & Spa is now bundled into the room fees, there’s no longer an optional daily charge.
- Smartphone users should install the Lanyrd app then find the TAM2014 page and mark yourself as attending. Once the schedule is up, you should be able to track events, find your favorite speakers in the schedule and so on.
- The late Eric Broze (who lived in Las Vegas) wrote this great guide to TAM last year containing lots of great local information.
- I also recommend you visit the TAM category of Kitty Mervine’s blog Yankee Skeptic, where you will find many interesting posts.
That’s all I have for you. I hope everyone has fun at this year’s TAM, and maybe I’ll see some of you at Dragon*Con Skeptrack later this summer!
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.
The James Randi Educational Foundation has now posted the official video of my Amazing Meeting 2012 talk online, here it is:
There are several resources here on this blog to go with this talk, you may want to open them in another window while you watch:
Thanks again to James Randi and the JREF for giving me this opportunity. And thanks Geo for a fantastic intro!
I’ve gotten a fantastic reaction to my presentations at The Amazing Meeting 2012 (TAM2012) this year. Part of that reaction took place on Twitter during my talks and in the weeks since.
Twitter has a notoriously short memory, its search only goes a few days back. So comments on a live event can slip into Twitter’s memory hole alarmingly quickly. They’re actually all still there, but just inaccessible unless you know the URLs.
So I thought I would capture the live comments on my TAM2012 Plenary talk: You are the Future of Skepticism on the Internet. They give you an idea of what live-tweeting on a speech is like, and show what the initial reaction to the talk was.
I’ve included both positive and negative comments, as many as I could find. These are presented in mostly chronological order, though I’ve reordered a few comments when it helps to follow the flow of conversation. And as you’ll see, I pulled out one sub-conversation so it can be read on its own.
Update (August 24): The video of this talk is now available.
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.
Update: You can read the speech itself now here on the blog and the video of this talk is now available as well.
The Amaz!ng Meeting in Las Vegas has just ended. In my talk on Sunday I exhorted the attendees to become online digital activists by applying the techniques I’ve been writing about on this blog for four years now.
I see already on Twitter that many are taking up my challenge. I plan to post the script of my speech as soon as I can prepare it as a blog post, but until then I know some folks may be looking for links or tips to get started. This post is intended to gather some key points and links in one place where they can easily be found.
Read on for some starting points.