Are you attending FtBConscience? Do you want some hard proof, the way that other conventions give you a badge when you’re an attendee? Here’s where you get yours!
Here’s a convenient list of the seven panels I’ve got set up as On-Air Events on Google+. All times are GMT -5 (Central).
FtBCON: Atheism Is Not Enough
Sat, Jul 20, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
As proven by the deep rifts that exist within movement atheism, a common acknowledgement that there is no god is often not enough ground on which to build a coherent, lasting community. Social justice movements often encounter tipping points where they either take into account the natural allies that are other movements, or they fail. This panel will discuss how movement atheism should not be the end-point of a journey into social justice, but the beginning.
FtBCON: Atheism, Science and Art
Sat, Jul 20, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Artists within the secular, scientific and skeptical communities online discuss using their art to popularize their preferred field. Hosted by Amy Roth and Glendon Mellow.
FtBCON: Skepticism and the DSM
Sat, Jul 20, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Multiple personalities? Personality disorders? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) contains a list of all recognized mental illnesses. How valid is it? Kate will look at the best and worst mental health diagnoses and talk about what makes for useful skepticism when it comes to mental health.
FtBCON: Video Games, Religion and Morality
Sat, Jul 20, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Religion and morality systems in video games are often grossly oversimplified, to the point where choices are entirely binary and you’re often forced, as a gamer, to do things that you might otherwise find appalling, like working in service of a god or gods. How are these heady topics handled in the slowly-maturing video game industry? Who’s already doing this stuff right? How can these topics’ treatment be improved?
FtBCON: Female Protagonists in Video Games
Sun, Jul 21, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Women make up 45% of the gamer population, a number that’s climbing rapidly toward parity. And yet, female protagonists in games are few and far between — and when games are exclusively fronted by female characters, they get far less marketing budget than their equivalent male-led titles. Why? What can be done about this?
FtBCON: Atheism and Grief
Sun, Jul 21, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Moderated by Rebecca Hensler, founder of Grief Beyond Belief. Featuring Freethought Blogger Greta Christina, Blue-Collar Atheist Hank Fox and Black Skeptics LA’s Nicome Taylor. “I’ll keep you in my prayers,” “Everything happens for a reason.” We’ve heard all the cliches. But what happens when we grieve free of myths and mysticism? How do atheists take care of themselves and of each other in times of profound sorrow? Grief Beyond Belief’s Rebecca Hensler moderates a discussion with panelists Greta Christina, Hank Fox and Nicome Taylor about their personal experiences of grief without God and how the freethought community can help provide rational comfort in times of tragedy and loss.
FtBCON: Where are the Asian Faces of Freethought?
Sun, Jul 21, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
John Xu the new Director of CFI Canada made this observation: “I have often remarked how little interest people of my ethnicity have for secularist and freethought issues. My theory is that this is because they are the product of very complicated and difficult social, political, and intellectual turmoils of the 20th Century. Most Chinese people I know are brought up with a single-minded concern about generating wealth and a general apathy about philosophical matters. This is likely because their parents lived through such hard times.” Although East Asians are the largest group of irreligious adherants in the world, the prominent faces of irreligion are white men like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. The panelists will discuss and dissect assumptions and stereotypes about East and South Asians and their puzzling absence in representative numbers in the freethought and secular microcosm.
I have a busy bunch of days ahead of me! Sorry if the blog goes slightly quieter for a bit.
Tomorrow I’ll be starting the set-up for CONvergence’s Freethought Blogs room (and I might even pitch in on the Skepchick room too… perhaps, if they ask nicely enough). The full convention schedule is ridiculously jam-packed with geekery and science. The Skepchickcon track is where all the skepticism and sciencey goodness is located, and it’s where I’ll be spending most of my weekend.
I made the cut on these panels:
Worldbuilders, you think you have a crackerjack rationale for how zombies work, or how the entire galaxy is populated with humanoids, or how your spaceships can travel faster than light…bounce those ideas off our critical panel of scientists. Panelists: Laura Okagaki, Siouxsie Wiles, PZ Myers, Jason Thibeault (mod)
Thursday July 4, 2013 10:00pm – 11:00pm
The Gods of Geekdom
The Avengers movie had several gods, atheists, agnostics, and Christians all mingled together- we comfortably mix up multiple pantheons and a hard-nosed scientific attitudes in comics and SF literature. How do nerds do that without their heads exploding? Panelists: Jason Thibeault, Ryan Consell, Fionnuala Murphy, Nick Glover
Saturday July 6, 2013 12:30pm – 1:30pm
The Real World vs. the Internet
A line is a blurring and a distinction is fading: social networking and online communities are becoming just as real as face-to-face engagements. Panelists: Jason Thibeault, PZ Myers, Lux Pickel, Stephanie Zvan (mod), Jamie Bernstein
Saturday July 6, 2013 8:30pm – 9:30pm
There were two other panels I was on in the first draft, that I guess got overbooked, and I’m not particularly fighting to get back onto. I’m more than happy with these ones, especially Gods of Geekdom. Though I do sort of wish I could have made Fight the Trolls, I would have been moderator on that — and Stephanie’s therefore a far better choice for that particular panel for two reasons.
I also look forward to having a terrible cold after this weekend as is tradition, and then the week after, I’ll be doing FtBCONscience! The full schedule is not yet finalized, and I expect there will be some fluidity to the panels (as there will be with when you folks decide to watch them), but I’m at least doing a panel on Saturday morning at 9am CT (subject to change), with Desiree Schell, Debbie Goddard, James Croft, and I’m wrangling a fourth guest. The panel is called Atheism Is Not Enough (named after my post), and we’re going to talk about atheism as a gateway into the wider world of social justice activism.
My organizer line is pretty packed, in fact, so it looks like I’ll be getting my fill of moderating panels (read: herding cats) after all.
Look forward to seeing you all! Both in person, and virtually.
Ed got annoyed after one too many letters like this:
Name: kristopher kusch
Comment: I would start off by saying that even though I disagree with your faith, I do respect that you have one. Faith is believing in things that you cant see,so with that thought yes by definition people who believe in Jesus are opperating in faith. The fact that you haven’t seen him and dont believe in him follows that same amount of faith. I would add that my heart isn’t to prove you wrong. What I’m asking you to consider is this, is it possible that you are angry with God.
My only response to this, was “*sigh*”.
So, because of his annoyance, the contact form has been modified to be for technical support only. I included the language he gave me verbatim. (With a slight tweak to retain the “we will do whatever we want with the info you put in this form, be warned” language I inserted the first time around. You know, the language that gives me carte blanche to post this.)
The full rant is below the fold, if you’re interested.
Some folks have complained that when clicking on the FtB logo above the comment forms at any blog where anonymous comments are allowed, they were being redirected to a presently-useless dashboard page and had to manually navigate back to the thread they wanted to post at. This isn’t the behaviour exhibited on blogs that require sign-in — the login links send you back to the post you were at, after logging in via the WordPress login form.
I’ve committed a change on the live site that should fix this, constructing the “log in” link added by the theme, identically to how the Graphene-stock link is constructed. As an added kindness, I’ve also changed the top “Account Dashboard” icon (the WordPress icon) to go to the blog’s dashboard, rather than the whole site’s, just in case you happen to be a subscriber / submitter / author. Regular users shouldn’t be affected, but I’m letting you know regardless.
I’ve tested these changes, but I’m not 100% sure I’ve covered all border cases. If there are issues, let me know here please.
In February 2010, Jodi and I got married. In June, we spent our honeymoon in Minnesota, going to CONvergence in Minneapolis. (My wife is every bit as much a geek as me.)
Little did I know that that visit would plant the seeds for what’s been happening over the past few months in my life.
Something like this, actually.
Only, imagine the cry in panel 2 coming from a third party supposedly on our side. And imagine the evangelist is an antifeminist attacking women and people trying to improve women’s lot in life.
Yeah. I don’t have a lot to say about this nonsense. I agree that we shouldn’t denigrate one another’s status as full human beings, but I damn well don’t think that fighting back against someone doing exactly that is “uncivil”. And I recognize that people can be hideous hatchet-men arguing for terrible things without ever uttering anything but the most flowery and “civil” of language.
I further pledge to do my best to help make this a place where your argument is challenged, but never your humanity or status as a person. I pledge to make this a safe space for people to be insulted about the quality of what they say and how they say it, but not their gender, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, class or mental/physical health state. I pledge to refuse to give ground to anyone for the sake of unity with those who might have one thing in common with me but don’t respect me as a full human being.
That’s MY pledge. Don’t expect your assholish, bigoted or damaging ideas to escape scrutiny and critical analysis. And don’t dare call me uncivil for banning and muttering “asshole” when an antifeminist who calls women cunts regularly comes along and bloviates about how terrible we all are for drawing lines in the sand about sexism.
Hoping this ends the lamentations of people forgetting to sign in before posting a comment, and using an already-registered name. Impostercide should now do something like this:
You are attempting to post a comment with information (i.e. email address or login ID) belonging to a registered user. If you have an account on this site, please login to make your comment. Otherwise, please try again with different information. Copy and paste the comment below into another document before returning to the previous page or you may lose the comment.
Don’t mind me, testing Impostercide updates.
Let me know if this mangles anything else. It shouldn’t; it was a very simple tweak.
I’d been trying to maintain a post-a-day schedule for a few weeks now despite trying to suck the marrow out of a precious oasis of respite from a job that has, as late, challenged me to exceed what even I thought myself capable. I am back home now. My wife and I arrived home at 1:30am to a house with no food, short one bag.
While in Minneapolis, a mouse attacked our luggage and we decided to get new luggage rather than try to force one more trip out of the already haggard container which had to that point lasted almost ten years. All of the clothing was intact, though it all had to be washed; the bag was discarded. The bag we got to replace it attempted to take a diversion to Quebec and was apparently left in Chicago rather than following us all the way back to Halifax. We haven’t gotten it back yet. We’ve been told to call them for updates; the updates via the automated system presently say they’re “searching” for it. The number we were given to talk to a human landed at a voice mail box. Tomorrow, if our bags aren’t returned, we will be quite… put out.
And our car wouldn’t start today. Dead battery. Not just dead, DEAD dead. The money pit of a car had been sputtering during the summer and we’d suspected the alternator; the only piece of good news was that the battery had simply succumbed to the winter, and it wasn’t something more serious.
It was a lovely vacation with food, people, fun, happiness and love. It’s sometimes rough, I suppose, to switch back to home life mode and focus on the good things, ignoring the bad. Might take a few days. Bleh.
Welcome to the End of the World after-show, where we look over the highlights of the year prior to the Mayan calendar’s running out. Of course, we’re all still around after the apocalypse because all the prayer averted Planet Nibiru at the last possible second, but we already had the after-show all planned out, so let’s do the highlights anyway. Highlights of, at least, my favorite blog posts from my favorite blog:
Escher Girls err… mine!