Quantcast

«

»

Nov 11 2013

But my chariot team is the Greens!

For those of you going to Skepticon: apparently they’re going to divide us into two teams, the reds and the blues, to compete at who are the better secularists. They should not do this, because now I’m plotting how to subvert the whole thing.

It is my people’s traditional folkway.

34 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Cuttlefish

    Heh. I hear this kind of thing can be fun, but I really can’t stand it. Something about manufacturing conflict where there need be none.

    And it’s not like we aren’t pretty good at that already: http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2011/08/09/good-news-bad-news/

  2. 2
    ChasCPeterson

    Let’s go Purples!!!

    [or, better, let's go people who trash their stupid armbands at the first opportunity!!!]

  3. 3
    Pierce R. Butler

    If I had had any plans to go, this news would have aborted them.

  4. 4
    Richard C.

    “There are also secret shenanigans to be announced at the event.”

    *raises eyebrow*

    According to the write up, I would have already given blood, packed meals for kids in Africa and registered to vote. Maybe I’m getting old, but the packing lunches bit and blood loss sounds like all the shenanigans I can handle.

  5. 5
    chigau (違う)

    fuchsia
    We need a team fuchsia.
    or puce.

  6. 6
    nich

    So…I click the link, and my computer says my organization blocks access to skepticon.org for reason: Gambling?

  7. 7
    Ouabache

    Is it too much to hope for a Team Fortress 2 deathmatch to be part of the competition?

  8. 8
    Zeno

    Will there be cheerleaders and spirit rallies and chants??

    (This is exactly the sort of thing that I refuse to get involved in. I discovered how much I hated it from the first day the high school P.E. coach demanded that we provide “chatter” during baseball and I quietly disobeyed.)

  9. 9
    chigau (違う)

    Zeno #8
    I could do chants.
    Give me a B
    Give me a E
    Give me a E
    Give me a R

  10. 10
  11. 11
    thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing?

    Nika!

  12. 12
    Kagato

    Anyway, bandanas? The whole thing works much better if everyone keeps their team colour a secret.
    Unless you think it’ll get you into the same room as the ‘President’, that is.

  13. 13
    August Berkshire

    The BEST secularists don’t compete with each other. So the contest will be won by the group that disdains the contest the most!

  14. 14
    Gregory in Seattle

    Go Team Rainbow!

  15. 15
    Becca Stareyes

    Kagato @ 10

    I am glad I am not the only one who thought that.

  16. 16
    whheydt

    Re: thunk @ #11…

    That would be a riot.

    (But really…no sense of history. It should be Greens vs. Blues unless they want to go comparatively modern and make Green vs. Orange.)

  17. 17
    Nick Gotts

    Further to whheydt@16:
    By the time of Justinian (6th century CE) the Greens and the Blues in Constantinople had become aligned with different theological factions with regard to the nature(s) of Jesus – I think, the Blues with what became the Orthodox view, the Greens with the Monophysite “heresy”, although the alignment was not quite complete – some of each colour had the “wrong” theology. There’s an interesting fictional treatment in Robert Graves’ Count Belisarius. In 532, the two factions combined in one of the most destructive riots in history, which came close to unseating the Emperor. So whoever is Emperor of Skepticon should beware!

  18. 18
    ludicrous

    This is gives me sad. I’m so fricken sick of competition every where I turn. Winners, losers, top ten, bottom ten, me bad, you bad, her good, they fuckied up. Hey lets rate everybody, lets play ego, lets take it all so serieously. Let’s show how we like to beat the other guy.

    It’s really true folks, it is us against them, us against them, us against them till hell won’t have it. Don’t forget for a moment how important and fun it is that it is always, deep down, us against them.

  19. 19
    Cynickal

    I’m skeptical about this whole color coding system…

  20. 20
    Jadehawk

    I can contribute to winning by committing voter registration fraud? sweet.

    (joking aside: no. no doing any competitions. not happening. social interaction is stressful enough without introducing competitiveness into it :-/ )

  21. 21
    chigau (違う)

    Part of the competition includes:

    At Skepticon, you can give blood, register to vote, even pack meals for Africa.

    So not altogether bad.
    There are probably better ways to encourage these.

  22. 22
    Darka

    it’s a shame that someone has decided to make an “us” and “them” for no good reason.

    I am happy that atheists are indeed hard to herd. To try this and make folks wear colors is really annoying. as others have said, this action would convince me not to bother with the con.

  23. 23
    wondering

    Speaking as someone who organizes fund raising competitions for good causes, I understand what Skepticon’s intent is. Many people are competitive; tapping into that competitive spirit means that your fund drive (or whatever) is more successful, as people compete to give more, or volunteer more, or whatever. Friendly and fun competition is pretty much straight out of our playbook and tends to get more people involved than if it is just someone walking around asking for donations. It’s certainly not meant to engender hostilities.

    I’m not familiar with how this is being organized or presented, but I can certainly understand that some people might not be comfortable with it. For the folks who are experiencing discomfort (if you feel like answering): Is it just the arbitrary “us vs them” that seems distasteful? Is the problem being required to participate (at least by being added to a team)? Is it because of a potentially unsafe environment (ie bunch of strangers)? If you’re interested in explaining, your answers would provide really valuable feedback to me. I’ve never had anyone complain about our workplace-based competitions, but maybe they just didn’t want to talk to me about it.

  24. 24
    magistramarla

    whheydt & Nick,
    I didn’t imagine that PZ was referring any theological factions from the late Roman Empire.
    Instead, I assumed that he was referring to the chariot races of an earlier Roman period.
    The “teams” were sorted according to color, and the Roman people could be quite attached to their particular team, much as football fans of today.

  25. 25
    ludicrous

    Wondering @ 23

    What sads me most is how we indoctrinate our children into the compeitive ‘spirit’ instead of a cooperative spirit. It starts in the cradle, ‘oh, what a beautiful/smart child’, this is especially applied to girls and they soon learn that looks are everything. Then there is the grading system, 16 years of continuous evaluation, the cliques, the in group and out group, nerds ,need I mention ‘dogs’? For the boys, size matters not just their dingalings. For the unsuccessful in school it’s one humiliating day after another.

    TV, give me a break, the marketers have dreamed up an endless supply of pageants, nominations, there is a ‘best’ category for everything; sports; ‘winning isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing’. The Roman Coloseum has nothing on the sports palaces of small town america.

    Maybe the worst is the patriotism, we are special , the greatest, so whatever we do is right.

    Maybe in eons past we had to compete to get enough to eat to survive or to keep the hungry neighbors out of our stash, but can we now let go of some of that ‘spirit’? Not if the marketers have their way, celebration of cooperation doesn’t seem to draw crowds or sell goods. After a community tragedy cooperation bursts forth, barn raising happens, people get together, come out of their isolated boxes, problem is there’s no money in it for the marketers so it is soon forgotten.

  26. 26
    wondering

    Thank you for the feedback, ludicrous. I really appreciate it.

  27. 27
    lsamaknight

    magistramarla @ 24

    So were whheydt & Nick. It’s just in the Eastern Empire the chariot teams were also aligned with the religious tensions that were bubbling away which was why the Nika Riots became so explosive and nearly toppled Justinian from the throne.

  28. 28
    David Marjanović

    For the folks who are experiencing discomfort (if you feel like answering): Is it just the arbitrary “us vs them” that seems distasteful? Is the problem being required to participate (at least by being added to a team)?

    Both, plus the arbitrary, artificial, completely unnecessary competition. I refuse, and won’t be afraid to embarrass dozens of people at once in public if they make me.

  29. 29
    Nick Gotts

    It’s just in the Eastern Empire the chariot teams were also aligned with the religious tensions that were bubbling away – Isamaknight

    The same is true of football (i.e. soccer) teams in the Glasgow of today (although perhaps less than 20 years ago): Catholics support Celtic, Protestants support Rangers.

  30. 30
    shadow

    Team “As a colour, shade of purple-grey.”

  31. 31
    chigau (違う)

    shadow #30
    Have an internet.
    On me.

  32. 32
    Jadehawk

    For the folks who are experiencing discomfort (if you feel like answering): Is it just the arbitrary “us vs them” that seems distasteful? Is the problem being required to participate (at least by being added to a team)? Is it because of a potentially unsafe environment (ie bunch of strangers)?

    it’s simply the competition aspect. Social situations are exhausting enough when people aren’t being encouraged to be more aggressive, which is what competition does (even if it’s friendly competition and “friendly” aggressiveness).

    I’ve never had anyone complain about our workplace-based competitions

    why would you ever hear about this? Being uncomfortable with competition marks you as unsuitable for capitalism. Who would ever admit to that in a work environment (unless they’re ok with never getting promoted), even to someone not directly involved in their work-stuff?

  33. 33
    Rey Fox

    You know folks, you can always just, like, not participate. I mean it sounds goofy to me too, but I doubt anyone’s going to be putting guns to anyone’s heads.

  34. 34
    Jadehawk

    way to miss the point of people’s discomfort, there.

Comments have been disabled.