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Dec 09 2013

Skepticon video: Greta Christina – Avoiding Activist Burnout

I absolutely loved the shorter version of this speech that she did at another con a while back, and was pleased to get to see it live. Unfortunately for me, though, Dave Muscato of American Atheists had put out a call to the intertubes asking whether or not anyone had a flash card reader and the ability to transfer a movie file to him by email. I happened to be on my laptop with a flash card reader and an internet connection, so I swept out to be the big damn hero and ended up missing a significant chunk of this speech. I’m happy this video exists so I can fill in the missing bits.

At the moment, I am actively attempting to control my activist burnout by learning Java programming, learning LibGDX, and generally pursuing my pipe dream of building a rogue-like Castlevania-alike platform game with retraversal and RPG stats*. It seems like a more immediately attainable goal, to me, than expunging sexist sentiment from a community whose members often prioritize getting along in a big-tent fashion rather than actually fixing the systematic empathy failures entrenched in some quarters.

* If you don’t get this, and care, ask me. I’ll explain. At length.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Lenard Lindstrom

    That is a very good talk. Thank’s for posting it. Self care is important.

    As for JVM programming, may I suggest Scala as an alternative to Java. Scala has native support for generic classes and mixins. Scala code can import Java libraries. And it comes with an interactive interpreter.

  2. 2
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Jason:
    This is OT, but as a gamer, I thought you might be interested (if you hadn’t heard of it already that is):

    A hollow, lonely silence is one of the first things that strikes you in the indie sci-fi puzzle game .

    In the game, you guide a crashed astronaut as he journeys through the seemingly abandoned Theseus space station and research facility to find out what happened, and to find a way home. The eerie atmosphere of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Finland-based developer Facepalm Games says inspired The Swapper, permeates the setting.

    The game is so named because of your main means of solving puzzles and uncovering the mystery of the space station: a cloning tool you find early in your adventure. With it, you create clones of yourself, across a chasm or high up on a ledge, for instance, and then “swap” your consciousness into the clone.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/11/13/245080686/in-space-no-one-can-hear-you-swap

  3. 3
    stfuneckbeards

    Wow, your comments have really opened my eyes. I mean, this is mind blowing stuff! You make some powerful points, except … let’s put the Hitchens-Dawkins Kool-Aid down for a while and look at reality: Kalaam Cosmological Argument, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality…. Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and critical thinking half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life. Indeed, why are you even bothering to comment at all? No atheistic position can be taken seriously until two threshold questions can coherently be answered. 1. Why is the atheist even engaging in the debate. On atheism, there is no objective basis for even ascertaining truth; there is no immaterial aspect to consciousness and all mental states are material. Therefore, everyone who ever lived and ever will live could be wrong about a thing. By what standard would that ever be ascertained on atheism? Also if atheism is true, there is no objective meaning to existence and no objective standard by which the ‘rational’ world view of atheism is more desirable, morally or otherwise, to the ‘irrational’ beliefs of religion. Ridding the world of the scourge of religion, so that humanity can ‘progress’ or outgrow it, is not a legitimate response to this because on atheism, there is no reason to expect humanity to progress or grow. We are a historical accident that should fully expect to be destroyed by the next asteriod, pandemic, or fascist atheist with a nuke. In short, if atheism is correct, there is no benefit, either on an individual or societal level, to knowing this or to spreading such ‘knowledge.’ 2. Related to this, why is the atheist debater even alive to participate. If there is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all, only an incredibly window of blind pitiless indifference, then the agony of struggling to exist, seeing loved ones die, and then dying yourself can never be outweighed by any benefit to existing. As rude as it way sound (and I AM NOT advocating suicide) the atheist should have a coherent explanation for why they chose to continue existing. Failure to adequately address these threshold questions should result in summary rejection of the neckbeard’s position. In the end, we all know you can’t answer these questions because yours is a petty, trivial, localized, earth bound philosophy, unworthy of the universe. Finally, is there a basement dwelling troll left in the multiverse who doesn’t drag themselves out of the primordial ooze and logged onto this site in order to announce our collective atheism towards Thor, that gardens can be beautiful without fairies (a powerful rebuttal to fairy apologetics, by the way, but it leaves a lot unanswered about the Gardener), and that we cling to Bronze Age skymen due to our fear of the dark? Let me translate that to neckbeard: you are unoriginal, you are wrong, and you are a clown. Also, FTW atheism is incoherent: http://communities. washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/higher-things/2011/nov/19/atheism-why-it-logically-incoherent http://www.catholicthinker.net/the-incoherence-of-atheism/http://www. peterkreeft.com/topics-more/4-arguments-transcendence.htm http://www.reasonsforgod.org/the-best-reasons/the-argument-from-reason/

  4. 4
    Jason Thibeault

    Into the bin you go, spammer. Anyone want to gut this nonsense, feel free. Spammers just get the rubbish heap.

    (How do I know he’s spamming? Other than posting the identical comment twice, check out these Google results. )

  5. 5
    Lenard Lindstrom

    Well, you know how it is. Some people have an irrational attachment to a particular programming paradigm. I could go on about a Prof I had who thought lisp was the answer to everything. And I gather the spammer doesn’t like anything directed by Kubrick, or puzzle games…

    Oh wait, none of that was mentioned in the rant. Never mind.

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