British Airways jet landing at LCY by Senseiich, distributed under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.
My “Wishlist Wednesday” posts are all about finding interesting new ideas on which to base a skeptic project. But sometimes it isn’t the idea you need, it’s the means to execute on it. Many impediments can arise including access to people or places, lack of materials or equipment, or simply lack of time.
Starting today Neil Denny (host of the excellent Little Atoms skeptic podcast) is beginning a month-long road trip across America. His goal is to discover (as he explains in his excellent Guardian article introducting the project) how rational is America? My question is: how can he afford to take a month off and do this?
The answer to that is something other skeptics can learn from, a great example of cleverly figuring out a way to execute on an ambitious skeptic idea.
Novelty UFO in Moonbeam, Ontario, Canada by P199 released into the public domain.
Continuing my effort to give a boost to the long tail of skepticism, it is time once again for Wishlist Wednesday. The idea with these posts is to kick around an idea for a skeptical project that someone could launch, that fills a niche in skepticism. I still believe there are many opportunities for online skeptic projects like this that have not yet been built. I hope to encourage skeptics to build them. Last week I proposed a podcast, this week it’s a website.
This week the idea is something I’ve personally wanted for a while. My previous job was teaching computer security training classes, and so I was travelling around the country regularly. Whenever I travel to a new place on business, I try to figure out if there are interesting sights to see or other things to visit while in the area. It can be a fun way to kill some down-time while on a business trip, and can often be quite educational.
Every once in a while I was able to visit a place that was related to skepticism while doing this. But some of these places are fairly obscure, and not easily found. And some you wouldn’t know to look for unless you were already from the area.
But what if skeptics made an effort to collect these locations and document them? Not only would casual travelers benefit, but skeptics wanting to learn or investigate something could use it to find convenient places to do so. Let’s think a bit of how we would build this.