Nov 14 2013

In counterfactual land

Skepticon is this weekend. Half the people I know are there or on their way there.

So there must be outrage, right? Of course.


In chronological order, so bottom to top:

Sara E. Mayhew @saramayhew

@LaurenPants @Funkmon @RealSkepticon You do a disservice to skepticism by giving a platform to bullies and pseudo-skeptics. #sk6

@LaurenPants Seriously, there are tons of skeptics who do good work, Tim Farley, Doubtful News, Drescher, Susan Gerbic, Reality Check…


 …Bob Blaskiewicz, David Gorski, Hariett Hall, Daniel Loxton—why go for cheap drama bloggers like Watson Myers Benson? #sk6

 What??? How did I get in there? I’m not at Skepticon. I’ve never been at Skepticon. I’ve never been asked or approached. I’m not on their radar even a little bit. Why ask one of the organizers (Lauren Lane) why go for cheap drama bloggers like me when she doesn’t and they don’t?

Strange, isn’t it. Even not being there and not being on the radar is no protection from being reported to organizers as someone who shouldn’t be there. “Ok you didn’t ask her and weren’t planning to and have no clue who she is but Ima ask you anyway: Y U INVITE PEOPLE LIKE HER??!”

Update. She’s still at it, facts be damned.


Sara E. Mayhew @saramayhew

Skepticon schedule: 2pm – Copypasta Workshop, Ophelia Benson, 3pm – The Fine Art of Googling Your Talk Last Night, Rebecca Watson. #sk6

I’m not there. I’m not at Skepticon. I’m not doing a workshop at Skepticon. I’ve never been to Skepticon.


Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Once again Sara tastes foot courtesy of skipping the fact-checking step. What a wonderful ‘skeptic’ she is.

  2. 2

    Does anyone know what this about?

    From @andytehnerd

    Here’s your chance to use your #SkepticalToolkit. Always check the original source of RTs before RTing them: https://twitter.com/saramayhew/status/401087061551116288 … #SK6

    Which leads to this from Mayhew:

    WTF @realskepticon?! MT @emilyhasbooks: Nope, it’s not sexist. @CarbonKyle: is my comic sexist? My #Skepticon workshop was just cancelled.

    I couldn’t find anything on Emily Dietle’s timeline or CarbonKyle’s to indicate what this is about.

  3. 3
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Sara Mayhew is going to do some serious and lasting harm to her spine if she doesn’t take her head out of her arse occasionally.

  4. 4
    Anthony K

    How did I get in there?

    You should ask Pitchguest. He just hates the guilt-by-association fallacy. I’m sure he’ll have all sorts of things to say to Sara for her irrational pseudo-skepticism.

  5. 5
    Ophelia Benson

    Hahaha – oh I get that in Mayhew’s mind I’m guilty by association – but that doesn’t explain her shouting at people for inviting me to Skepticon WHEN THEY NEVER DID.

  6. 6
    Al Dente

    Mayhew was doing some preemptive whining just in case someone might have possibly been thinking of maybe inviting you to be at Skepticon. Better safe than sorry and cliches like that. :b

  7. 7

    And it will be a lovely weekend of hashtag camping. All the favourites are there already.

  8. 8
    Aratina Cage

    She won’t stop it seems. She’ll probably go on and on about it throughout the entire conference. (And I’m a creep for documenting her creepy behavior, just so you know.)

    One of her tweets did lead me to this gem: https://twitter.com/ARATlNA/status/401156244095778816 One day his memory is crystal clear about an event he witnessed, the next, he posts a talk by Elizabeth Loftus on how eye-witness testimony is extremely unreliable.

  9. 9
    Aratina Cage

    Felix @2, I copied what all that was about onto our storify of that account (in case you or anyone else is interested): http://storify.com/The_Block_Bot/1355893424

  10. 10
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    There’s another.


    I wonder how she’ll try to spin it when it finally gets through that you aren’t there.

  11. 11

    Thanks, Aratina. Turns out Sara is retweeting an exchange from Aug 7 of this year, when CarbonKyle was uninvited from SK6 because part of the materials he submitted for a workshop on aviation included his comic that featured a bunch of stereotypically silly women. “After reading through some of your comics, it appears that a lot of them have sexist undertones that are not congruent with the tone of our event.” (from the organizer, not named in CarbonKyle’s Reddit posting on what happened.)


    Seems Sara is storing up old grievances in time to tweet them on the SK6 hashtag. Charming.

  12. 12

    Maybe someone will remotely stage another one of those devastatingly successful walkouts. Wheeee!

  13. 13

    I think it’s obvious. Skepticon is evil. Ophelia Benson is evil. Therefore, Ophelia Benson is associated with Skepticon. If you people had better skeptical minds, you’d understand logic like this.

  14. 14
    John Morales


    I wonder how she’ll try to spin it when it finally gets through that you aren’t there.

    The obvious spin is that in Ophelia’s case, it’s a rhetorical question in the subjunctive mood rather than straight-forward interrogative as are the others, and that they’re grouped thus due to the constraint of the medium.

    (I hope you’re familiar enough with my techniques to realise that I realise your own question was rhetorical :) )

  15. 15

    Obviously, when Ophelia doesn’t show up it will be because of the efforts of Brave Heroes like Sara!

  16. 16

    Maybe she thinks people there are talking about you and you’re like Jesus: “Where two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I shall be also”.

  17. 17

    (which also applies to Beetlejuice…)

  18. 18

    But to a True Skeptic, the fact that you happen not to be at this year’s Skepticon or at any of the previous Skepticons is irrelevant, because the plural of anecdotes is not data.

  19. 19
    Claire Ramsey

    This is very peculiar. Again.

  20. 20

    @jenBPhillips #12
    If they organise a walkout of a talk Ophelia isn’t giving is that the same as everyone having to go to a talk Ophelia is giving?

  21. 21

    Oh, it’s far more ominous that that, I think. They’ve managed to stage a walkout so effective that it’s like the talk never even happened. Ophelia herself wasn’t even there! What a humiliating defeat for the FTBullies, eh?

  22. 22
    Bjarte Foshaug

    All you pseudo-”skeptics” with your uncritical commitment to “factual accuracy” and “critical thinking” and “intellectual honesty” and all that crap. Every True Skeptic™ knows that the only real criterion for deciding what counts as true is the degree to which it puts the #FTBullies in a bad light.

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