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Feb 21 2013

Kate’s Travels and Other People’s Writing

I’m traveling a great deal in the coming months. With respect to conferences, this is where I’ll be. Please comment if we’ll overlap!

Skepticamp Chicago - Website

Where: Fifth Province Pub at the Irish American Heritage Center
Address: 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago, IL

When: March 2nd, 11am-6pm

I’ll be talking about Myths & Misinformation in Mental Illness at 4pm. I’ve got my talk outlined, but if you have any myths you want to make sure I haven’t forgotten, comment below!

SkepTech - Website

Where: University of Minnesota

When: April 5-7

I’m really excited for this one. It’s organized by many of my friends, and the lineup is wonderful. Especially exciting to me? Stephanie Zvan is talking about psychometrics–the ways we use statistics and measures in psychology. Going to be there? Comment! And come say hi :)

Women in SecularismWebsite

Along with Miri at Brute Reason and several other FtB frequenters, I’m the recipient of a grant from Marcus Ranum to go to Women in Secularism this May. I’m over the moon. I really don’t have words to explain how amazing this is. So, if you’re going…I can’t wait to see you there.

Now, links!

Digital Cuttlefish hates the brain (but not really, go read it):

The brain does not see patterns. The brain is a major part of how we see patterns. The brain does not do so without the eyes, and it does not do so without two very important sets of environmental histories–the individual’s interaction with the environment (literally beginning with the environment in the womb, in development), and the interaction with the environment over millennia that is reflected in the genes. The brain is not magic (which Descartes’s concept of “mind” was, technically); it is part of how we gather information from the environment and act upon that environment. Other parts include our eyes & ears, our bones and muscles, our teachers and histories, our communities and our cultures.

Stunning sun photography.

I got to see Cliff Pervocracy at UChicago’s Sex Week! This is the talk she gave.  It’s knee-slappingly funny. Like, really. Knees were slapped.

I really, really recommend every couple or group figure out a working definition of “cheating.” For my partner and me, that’s having sex without telling each other. He lets me know what he’s planning, he can have sex with the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers, and I might have opinions about that (those opinions might be “fistbump,”) but that fundamental feeling of broken trust that comes with cheating won’t be there. Then again, for you, that might be a hard limit. You might be a Bears fan. Or you might feel like your partner kissing another person is too much and gives you that sad feeling in your stomach. Either way, if you both know where the line is—and you have enough fundamental trust that nobody’s going to rules-lawyer it with “we said hugging was okay, so I hugged his penis!” – it’s a lot easier to avoid accidentally hurting each other and a lot more clear what happened if someone does break that trust.

Alain de Botton is getting things dangerously wrong.

What could have decreased the pertussis epidemic.

As per usual, do add your own links and conferences you’re attending below!

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