My DragonCon Schedule (Including a Talk on Ancient Technology!)

Dragon Con logo, a yellow dragon outline on a blue ball, with the title arced across the front, photo of crowds behind.I’ll be on some panels. I’ll be in the parade. I’ll be selling and signing my books (briefly). But above all, I’ll be speaking on the topic of ancient Roman technology, and why the scientific and industrial revolutions did not occur then. The full DragonCon schedule is now available here. There’s an amazingly huge amount of cool stuff. Competing with which is my sad little self at four points this weekend:

Friday September 4

Skeptrack Kick-off 2015 : “A panel of some of our skeptic guests discussing who skeptics are & some of their passions” will include James Randi, Margaret Downey, Nick Eftimiades, Ian Harris, Steve Hill, Leighann Lord, and me. Friday at 10am (204–207 Hilton).

More About…Richard Carrier : A professional life dedicated to researching the history of religion & antiquity. Friday at 11:30am (204–207 Hilton). So, right after the first panel, it’s more about me, and a chance to buy my books and get them signed or inscribed or what have you. I’ll have some supply of On the Historicity of Jesus and Hitler Homer Bible Christ.

Saturday September 5

The DragonCon Parade : From 10am until 11 or 11:30 or something is the big parade through town. There will be many far more fabulously costumed folks than me. But I will be representing the Syrian skeptic and wit Lucian of Samosata, alongside people representing many other famous skeptics throughout history. We will be in the tenth slot this year, so pretty close to the front. After that, we’ll be talking about who we represented on a podcast.

Real Steampunk: How Ancient Roman Tech [Can Inspire] Writers & Designers : Then at 2:30pm (204–207 Hilton), “The Greco-Roman world had computers, vending machines, steam-powered automation…But why no industrial revolution?” I’ll discuss their achievements, how scholarship has radically changed our understanding of ancient tech in the last twenty or so years, and what I think is the most likely explanations for why the scientific and industrial revolutions didn’t take place then, even though they had everything in place, and were very close to it. I have a new slideshow built just for the purpose!

(Somewhere during the weekend I might also be in one of the autograph tracks for an hour. Check the schedule Friday to find out.)

Lots more is going on not just throughout DragonCon, but even just in the Skeptics Fan Track (Skeptrack). For just that line-up alone, see here.

Anyone who wants to buy a book from me but misses the Friday morning window, just email me or message me on Facebook (my settings are public, so anyone can) before 5pm on any day of the con. I’ll check all messages by 6pm, and get back to coordinate with anyone who asks (if you leave your cell number for texting, I’ll use that).

-:-

P.S. And for those who are in or near Pennsylvania, don’t forget, I’ll also be at PASTAHCon in Harrisburg the following weekend! That’s just two weeks away.

Appearing in Raleigh…to Talk about Hitler!

I’ll be in town for two events at least. First, on Monday, September 21, I’ll be discussing my field-changing work on the fabricated and distorted Hitler quotes from the English edition of the infamous Table Talk. I will also be speaking at UNC Greensboro before that on Friday the 18th, but that event is still in development.

First Details Here ] [ Second Details TBA ]

The Monday event starts at 6:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh (and is sponsored by the Triangle Freethought Society) on 3313 Wade Ave in Raleigh (North Carolina, 27607).

I will be selling and signing my books afterward, particularly Hitler Homer Bible Christ, which contains the peer reviewed paper in question as well as updated notes on what is happening now because of my article.

Talk description:

Hitler Was No Atheist: From Dr. Carrier’s peer reviewed article in German Studies Review exposing the only existing English translation of the infamous Table Talk as largely a fraud which resulted in this alleged eyewitness source to the statements of Adolf Hitler, often used by Christians to prove Hitler is an atheist, to be used with greater caution. And now this article has inspired a professor in Sweden to go on a quest for the truth behind the whole document that is starting to sound like a fiction novel. Learn about all of this, and the distortions in the Christian quotes you find everywhere on the Internet that make Hitler seem like the atheist he was not, in this exciting talk!

Looking for Place to Stay in Georgia and Pennsylvania

Photo of hotel capsules outdoors, single concrete pipe segments, the circular cap on either end a hinged door, simple bed and lamp inside. From Austria. Google wacky concrete pipe hotel to learn more.Anyone who wants to host me, with bed or couch, for a night or two this September, please let me know! Here’s the skinny…

Georgia:

I’ll be speaking at DragonCon in Atlanta this year (I’ll be there from the 3rd of September through the 7th), and then at PAstahCon in Harrisburg the following weekend. No efficient reason to fly home in between and then all the way back out. So to help them save money for their conference, I had the PA coordinators just fly me from Atlanta to Harrisburg the following Friday (the 11th of September). But that leaves me homeless in Georgia from the night of the 8th (Tuesday) to the night of the 10th (Thursday).

So I’m looking to piece together places to crash those three nights. It doesn’t have to be in Atlanta, if you are willing to come get me (and bring me back). I’m fine even with long drives. If you want to host me, and can anytime in that window, please email me (or message me on FaceBook). And yes, if you want to throw dinner parties with me as your guest, or anything akin, you can do that. As long as it’s informal.

Pennsylvania:

To make my life easier I’m also staying an extra night after PAstahCon, which is in Harrisburg (September 11th through 13th). I have no place yet to crash on the 13th (Sunday night). I fly home later the next day.

So I’m looking for any place to crash that one night. It doesn’t have to be in Harrisburg, if you are willing to come get me (and bring me back). Again, I’m fine even with long drives. If you want to host me, and can that night, please email me (or message me on FaceBook). And yes, if you want to throw a dinner party with me as your guest, or anything akin, you can do that, too.

Please get in touch!

You will be helping me and the PAstahCon coordinators a bunch.

Dinner for Patronage? At Skepticon This November!

Photo of Richard Carrier in white shirt, red and grey striped tie, and silver vest, speaking at the podium of Wonderfest.Want to secure a dinner conversation with me? Here’s how. Not only will I be at Skepticon this November 13th-15th (not to speak but just for fun!), but I’m helping Bo Bennett & Kile Jones launch their Secular Backstage service by offering up an opportunity to join me for dinner when I’m there! We are auctioning the opportunity, minimum bid $100. Closes in six days (or until we have a bidder), so spread the word, and let everyone know whom you think might be interested. Or put in a bid yourself! The money goes to support my ongoing independent scholarship and activism. So this is a worthwhile way to offer me your patronage, as well as bend my ear or pick my brain for at least an hour.

The occasion will be Friday the 13th (Day of Evil!) at or around 7pm. In Springfield, Missouri. And Skepticon is free, so this is all the more reason to go. Their website has all the info you need to plan.

Things we can talk about include… [Read more…]

Speaking at DragonCon. Need a Costumer!

Dragon Con logo, a yellow dragon outline on a blue ball, with the title arced across the front, photo of crowds behind.This is a call for someone to hire! I will be a featured guest speaker for Skeptrack at DragonCon in Atlanta, GA this September (4th-7th, 2015). I’ll give a new and fancier-than-ever talk on ancient technology (“Real Steam Punk”), possibly also be on a panel of some kind, have an hour table & signing slot somewhere on the schedule, and be in the parade dressed with other Famous Skeptics.  I’ll have fuller details in early August and blog then about all that. But it’s the parade I want to get a jump on now: I need a costume!

[Read more…]

Appearing in Cary, North Carolina

Banner for the Triangle Freethought Society, showing a thinking human head in profile with an atom symbol in the brain area against a triangle background, as if the head is protruding from the triangle like a ship's hatch, all on a soft bluish grey background.I will be a special guest for the Triangle Freethought Society in Cary, NC this Friday night, July 17th, at RallyPoint Sport Grill, 6pm until late. I won’t be giving a formal presentation. I’ll just be hanging out and circulating and open to chatting with anyone about anything. And I’ll have some books to sell and sign (probably On the Historicity of Jesus).

You must be a member of TFS to attend. But guess what? You can join TFS at the door! Their annual dues are super low, and even lower for students and seniors. Their website is being rebuilt, but they have a Facebook page and most usefully a Meetup page. And there is a bit more about them at the Carolinas Secular Association. They have engagements from time to time in Raleigh and beyond, serving the whole Research Triangle area.

Speaking at American Atheists in Puerto Rico!

Photo of the hotel the convention is at, the Sheraton hotel and casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with the statement Aug 21, American Atheist Regional Convention 2015 at Puerto Rico.American Atheists is putting on an excellent conference in Puerto Rico this August (21st-23rd, 2015). And I’m one of the honored speakers. Atheists in Puerto Rico wanted me to speak on my work on the historicity of Jesus, and so I will. I’ll also be attending the whole convention and happy to converse with anyone there, so feel free to say hi! (Although, alas, I don’t speak Spanish, I’m pretty sure plenty of folks will speak English well enough to chat or translate.)

I will also be staying in PR after the conference for about a week to do more events locally (whether casual or formal), but for news on that, keep your eye on the Facebook wall that week of Humanistas Seculares de Puerto Rico.

American Atheists may or may not be selling some of my books that weekend. I haven’t gotten confirmation on that, but I’m sure they are making an effort. But no matter what I’ll happily sign anything you buy or bring.

And it’s not just me there. There’s an awesome lineup!

Read on…

[Read more…]

Sex and Sexism in Ancient Rome (Columbus, Ohio)

Photograph of an ancient 79 AD painting recovered from a brothel in Pompeii, which had visual menus on the wall for ordering services, this one depicts a bisexual MMF, a man having sex with a man having sex with a woman in doggystyle position on the courtesan's bed..In two weeks I’ll be speaking in Columbus, Ohio. On what you ask? Sex and Sexism in Ancient Rome: Crossroads of Sexual Freedom & State Oppression. Co-hosted by PolyColumbus and the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. This will be Tuesday, July 14 (2015), at 7pm until 9pm EDT. Location: Kafe Kerouac (2250 N High, Columbus, Ohio 43202). It will be both naughty & entertaining and illuminating & disturbing (when you realize what life was really like back then for the would-be sexually liberated). With Q&A. But probably no visuals (so the talk can be posted to the internet without incident, copyright or otherwise).

Description… [Read more…]

I’ll Be at the St. Louis Skeptics in the Pub Next Week! (UPDATED)

Artsy photo of a bottle of nondescript gin at a bar.Next Friday, June the 19th, in St. Louis, at Heavy Riff Brewing on 6413 Clayton Avenue (unless the venue is changed due to higher than expected attendance), starting at 6:30pm. I’ll just be there to hang out, answer questions, have conversations, drink. I may have some of my books on hand to sell and sign (I do take credit cards). Bob Blaskiewicz will also be hanging out with us. Details here. See you there!

Update: The venue has changed . It’s now at Pat’s Bar and Grill
on 6400 Oakland Avenue (St. Louis). Upstairs. I’ll give a brief talk on something. The venue is expensive unless we attendees buy enough food and drink, so come hungry and thirsty and run up your tabs! Unfortunately my talk in Mid Rivers was so well received I nearly sold out of the books I brought with me. I only have two copies left each of OHJ and WNC. And those will likely go fast. But if you already own one of my books and want it signed, bring it!