The Reason Rally is on Saturday! I know many of you are going and preparing to leave right now — a contingent of students from UMM are leaving today, although I have to teach tomorrow, so Mary and I are not getting on a plane until late Friday. I have a few words for those of you who will be spending a few days traveling and sleeping on couches at friends’ apartments and such.
I have complaints about a few of the speakers, but that’s to be expected: in a large and diverse and growing movement like this, there are bound to be differences of opinion. Don’t worry about it. The one thing most of us are united in is agreement that reason and evidence and rational policy making must rule our country — celebrate that in common with your fellow godless folk. But don’t be shy about arguing, because that’s what we do.
I know there are plans floating about for meetups and lunches and dinners with groups of people, and I’ve told people that I’ll try to make them. However, the current estimates are for 30-50,000 to show up! I suspect that all plans are going to disintegrate in the confrontation with channeled chaos. I recommend that everyone embrace the unpredictability, enjoy the company of the people you find yourself with, and go with the flow. Abandon all preconceptions that you have to be at some particular place at some particular time, and if you are, great, if you aren’t, don’t be stressed.
One possible downer: rain is predicted for Washington DC, with thunderstorms in the afternoon, which may reduce attendance. Come prepared. In large crowds, ponchos or raincoats are better than umbrellas. Cultivate the right attitude, and savor the weather — I’m a Seattle native, so I plan to see any rain as a blessing. And if there’s any thunder during my talk, all the better: obviously, that will be Thor shouting his approbation.
I may be a little bit out of touch for a while. I have to give a speech to 30,000+ people? I don’t think I should just wing this one. If I sound a little nervous up there, be gentle.