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Jul 21 2013

Recovering from FtBCON

Hey, this FtBCON thing is fun and all, but it sort of sucked yesterday away from me — I’ve been on this cycle of an hour of moderating, an hour off (a chunk of which is taken up with setting up the next session), and then another hour of moderating. And it continues today, a little more lightly this time. Here’s a reprise of the events I managed.

Our first evening’s introduction:

The Right Way to be Wrong, with Kim Rippere and Monette Richards of Secular Woman:

Science Communication, with Bora Zivkovic:

Creationism, with Aron Ra and Lilandra:

Skepticon, with Lauren Lane, Micah Weiss, and Floyd Zamarippa:

Immigrants’ Rights and Social Justice, with Chris Schmidt, David Neale, Esteleth Squidly, and Jadehawk:

Science, Skepticism, and Environmental Activism with Chris Clarke, Jennifer Campbell-Smith (+bird), and Madhusudan Katti from coyot.es:

Today I’m moderating David Silverman again at 9am Central, the Immortality Debate at 2pm with Eneasz Brodski, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and David Brin, Neurodivergence and Skepticism at 5pm with representatives from Atheism+, and our closing event at 8pm.

I’ve been going back and cleaning up the video comments a bit. I left them on just to give the youtube commentariat another chance, and because I wanted to see if youtubers left useful input during the conversations (yes, I was watching the hangout window, the youtube comments window, and the IRC chat room window during every panel).

They were worthless.

We got a couple of categories of responses. Some were complimentary; thanks very much. There were a lot that were sneering variations of “I can’t comment on your videos, I hate you.” There were mindless eructations: “GAY!” “SHIT!” etc. And then, weirdly, a lot of trolls were obsessed with my hair color, accusing me of dyeing it. Apparently, dyeing it between sessions. Say what?

Anyway, lesson learned: I’ve now made disabling youtube comments the default on all my videos.


And here’s Dave Silverman on blasphemy:

Here’s me, Eneasz Brodski, Eliezer Yudkowsky, and David Brin talking about immortality. This was great fun, and even after we ended the recording we kept talking for another half hour.

The neurodivergence and skepticism panel with Grimalkin and Kassiane:

17 comments

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  1. 1
    tigtog

    Makes me wonder how many of these hair-dye-accusers actually know many older men whom they interact with regularly at all? Because in my experience the beard *always* goes grey before the hair does.

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    What? My hair is going to go gray someday? Now you tell me.

  3. 3
    tigtog

    Do you want to know what’s going to happen to your eyebrows and your nasal hair? Or shall I leave it as a surprise?

  4. 4
    tuibguy

    I like the idea of the CON done this way, through hangouts. It is the firs Con that I have been able to afford to attend; but I guess that the price of being a free and open con is that any asshole can walk in and make comments.

    I have so far managed to avoid going gray, having my nostrils and ears going bushy and my eyebrows are well-behaved. It is not a given, so don’t panic.

  5. 5
    smhll

    I want to thank everyone who took the time to set this up. I’m on the west coast of the US and don’t have money to travel. I really enjoyed being able to participate in the live chat rooms on Friday. (I was away on Saturday.) I’m also looking forward to catching up on the sessions that I missed. So many great topics! So many impressive panelists!

  6. 6
    A Hermit

    I still have long, dark, curly hair hanging halfway down my back.

    It’s a shame none of it grows on my head anymore….

  7. 7
    Randomfactor

    Not looking for top hats and bow ties, but…couldn’t you have done better than that teeshirt in the last video, PZ?

    Like, why isn’t there an Official FTBConscience shirt, crisp and spanky-new?

  8. 8
    Chris Clarke

    Makes me wonder how many of these hair-dye-accusers actually know many older men whom they interact with regularly at all? Because in my experience the beard *always* goes grey before the hair does.

    I started going gray on top before I could grow anything but a little pathetic twenty-something goatee. (Thanks for the genome, Grandpa Clarke!)

  9. 9
    Randomfactor

    I’m kind of salt-and-pepper on the sides, but the ‘stache is pure white (when it’s not stained with something.) On top? Tanned skin, for years.

  10. 10
    NelC

    Well, I went bald before my beard went grey….

  11. 11
    Sili

    Do you want to know what’s going to happen to your eyebrows and your nasal hair? Or shall I leave it as a surprise?

    The day I realised I was old was not when the cashier sir-ed me. No, it was when my hairdresser told me to hold still and then proceeded to trim my eyebrows.

  12. 12
    PZ Myers

    couldn’t you have done better than that teeshirt in the last video, PZ?

    It’s HOT!

    OK, I’m dressing up for the next one at 2.

  13. 13
    Jadehawk

    Not looking for top hats and bow ties,

    don’t tempt me…

  14. 14
    johnwolforth

    You’re a machine PZ. I mean that in the complimentary “you’re a hard worker” way.

  15. 15
    Randomfactor

    The Hawaiian shirt was a GREAT choice, PZ. A decress must be given that all participants henceforth must wear them.

  16. 16
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Dyeing hair:
    They still think you and Chris Clarke are the same person?

  17. 17
    John Phillips, FCD

    Just to echo the thanks to all who helped organise and took part in ftbcon. I only managed to watch a couple of the early ones live but I’m enjoying catching up on the rest on YouTube as time allows.

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