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Back in the USA at last!

I’m home! I got home around noonish, but I promptly laid down and fell asleep. Man, that was a long trek to get back.

But it was all worth it. I went to Oxford for the World Humanist Congress, an event that occurs every three years and costs a small pile of money, but really, if you want to meet godless folk who walk the walk and represent positive Enlightenment goals, it’s the event to attend to restore your confidence in humanity. This one had excellent representation from mainstream European groups like the International Humanist and Ethical Union, European Humanist Federation, and humanists of Netherlands, Britain, and Norway (the Norwegians were ubiquitous!), as well as humanists from specialist organizations like Defence Humanists and countries where I didn’t find an obvious website, like Croatia, Uganda, and Nigeria. International outreach FTW! In three years, the 2017 World Humanist Congress will be held in São Paulo, Brazil, sponsored by Liga Humanista Secular do Brasil, and I’m going to save my pennies to go — it’d be wonderful to attend one of these where I’m not in a jet-lagged fog half the time.

As long as I had traveled all the way across the Atlantic, I had to make a few more stops; thanks to Maureen Brian for inviting me, and Richard Carter, FCD for ferrying me about, I got to visit Hebden Bridge and get introduced to the lovely Yorkshire countryside, and also had a grand time giving a talk to a good crowd. Also thanks to the Edinburgh Skeptics who gave me the opportunity to get dazzled by the weirdness of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and to babble at yet another talk. Also many thanks to Nick Gotts for giving me the penny tour of the city.

Things were busy at home while I was away, too. My daughter is getting married, and #2 Son learned what he’s going to be doing for the next few years: he’s about to be promoted to captain, and is going to be assigned to a medical support unit in South Korea. All I know about that kind of work is what I learned on M*A*S*H, but I’m happy to see that his job will be all about helping people.

Now I feel like I need a few more naps.

Comments

  1. says

    PZ:

    it’s the event to attend to restore your confidence in humanity.

    I’m glad someone is optimistic about people. Events here in the States aren’t exactly promoting that attitude.

  2. Trebuchet says

    #2 Son learned what he’s going to be doing for the next few years: he’s about to be promoted to captain, and is going to be assigned to a medical support unit in South Korea.

    Do you know where in South Korea? I was there several decades ago at Camp Humphries. Which has changed a lot since those days!

  3. billseymour says

    #2 Son [is] about to be promoted to captain, and is going to be assigned to a medical support unit in South Korea.

    I was stationed at K-2 Air Base outside of Taegu during the Viet Nam era. (I was never in ’Nam and make no claim to being a hero.)

    I imagine that things have changed very much since then; but I would probably still steer clear of the makoli unless I were sure of its source:  when I was there, it was sometimes spiked with methanol rather than ethanol.

  4. blf says

    If you weren’t shot by the police, TSA, NSA, CIA, Mossad, Trilaterial Commission secret agents, and NRA, you aren’t back in USAlien’s Concentration Camp. You are instead in some alternative Universe where the thugs, peas, and reptilians tolerance dissent (probably by not existing), Mr Snowden is President, the Supreme Court is staffed by sentient human beings, and educators are paid more than CEOs, CTOs, MBAs, and lawyers combined.

  5. David Eriksen says

    Damn, PZ. Edinburgh makes at least the third time that I’ve just missed getting a chance to shake your hand and thank you (and the horde) for having such a positive influence on my life.

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