Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skepticon & Activism

My posts on Skepticon will pretty much all be on a time delay.  It's difficult to get stuff posted with so much going on.  Fun now.  Posts later.

Skepticon 5 is barely started and has already been a blast.  Oddly enough, it has a lot to do with JT Eberhard.  Well, it's not all that odd, since he is one of the people responsible for the creation of Skepticon.  Today, it was his workshop on activism.

Some of the takeaways from it are:
  • This year has a lot of newcomers.  When JT asked how many there were at Skepticon for the first time, and most of the hands went up (including mine).  The same thing happened after lunch, at Todd Stiefel's workshop on Strategy & Leadership.
  • Make activism entertaining.  That's how you get people to be involved.  For instance, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster adopted a highway under the name "The Flying Spaghetti Monster".
  • Everyone is a confrontationalist when they are being an activist.
  • Activism: if you're doing it, you're doing it right
To illustrate the point about making it fun, he had us leave the cramped room we were in, make signs, and go out and show them to the Christian visitors we had outside.  They left almost as soon as we got out there.  Maybe we had more people than their god could handle.  More did come back

After the sign fun was finished, people started chalking.  This was all done in about 15 minutes.

Although, the convention center staff didn't let it stay long.

I was initially annoyed, but that passed after I though about it and realized we're not the only convention in here today.  So, I don't really blame them.  But I do still think it was worth it to do it.  It's always worth it if you had fun doing it (within reason, of course).

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