Online atheist forums

The Atheist Experience gets a lot of email. Way more email than we can possibly respond to. In some cases, one person will write to us many times, seeing us as a sort of atheist pen pal. Although I enjoy filling that role sometimes, most of the time we’re stretched too thin to be a personal atheist mentor. In those cases, we often advise people to find a message board or a Facebook group to join instead. There are lots of people willing to talk there.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it is a good way to get started if you’re not able to meet atheist friends in person, and you’d like some online contact.

Message boards

Facebook groups

Other groups

General sites of interest

There will undoubtedly be lots more suggestions in the comments.

Free speech and free attention

This post is going to cover two different themes: social media and the attention it brings people, and Christian privilege in the public square. They’re related, I promise I’ll get to that point.

I grew up in a time that was right on the front end of the Internet age. As a freshman computer science undergraduate student in 1992, the Internet was still a weird buzzword that social rejects and highly specialized academics used.

The host of the local morning show that I used to listen to once told a funny story where he didn’t want to be pestered by the guy sitting next to him on an airplane. “So what do you do?” asked the guy in the story. “Computers,” lied the professional radio host. “That shut him right up!” he bragged. You can imagine how much that story cheered up a guy like me as I wrangled with projects in UNIX and struggled through classes on data structures and algorithms, and got scorned by the frat guys in my dorm suite.

People didn’t really get what was going on with the internet yet.  This cartoon was considered very amusing at the time.

On Facebook, a select group of 57 people know you're a dog.

The New Yorker mentions the Internet in 1993. How erudite of them.

[…]

[Read more…]