I know, I know. I keep saying “This was one of my favorite things from Skepticon 4.” That’s just how it is. Skepticon 4 was loaded with awesome. And Julia Galef’s talk on “The Straw Vulcan” was one of the awesomer pieces of awesome. She talks about pop- culture depictions of skepticism and rationality, especially in movies and TV — and how the form of rationality that’s depicted by Hollywood as hyper-rational is actually not rational at all. It’s a caricature, a straw-man version of rationality.
Galef’s talk is funny, smart, informed, informative, and highly engaging. It’s an excellent exposition of common myths about rationality — myths that even many rationalists and skeptics sometimes hold. It gives us excellent ammunition in debates and conflicts about the value of rationality with people who want to dismiss it. And it has lots of funny clips from “Star Trek.” How can you go wrong? You totally want to check it out. Enjoy!