FtBConscience 2: Mental Illness in Society


It’s that time of year where you don’t know what I’m referencing, but if I keep sounding more excited, suspense will build!

…Which is to say, FtBConscience, our online conference extraordinaire, will be happening this weekend. I’ve been a little behind on announcing anything at all, in part because, see that date range up there? January 31st to February 2nd? Guess when my applications start coming due. Yeah, right in there. So as I dash madly into midterms and What an MSW Would Mean To Me, my fellow bloggers have been organizing and planning and prepping.*

This is the full schedule. 

Each talk (solo or panel) will be held using G+ (I know I’ll be brushing dust off my account), and you can access the link to the live video via the session page. Since videos are live streaming on youtube, they will all be immediately available post-talk.

It’s impossible to attend all of them. Really, don’t even try. Pick your favorites, and save the rest for post-conference. You’ll be able to watch talks for weeks that way. That being said, I was like a child in a candy shop, looking at all the options. Here’s what I’m particularly excited about:

Jewish Atheism: the Hows and Whys: Chana and Miri have been planning to do a version of this discussion for a while, and I’m overjoyed to see it happening. From the description:

“Jewish atheism: what it means, what challenges we face within both our atheist and our Jewish communities, how we deal with cognitive dissonance, how our views of both Judaism and atheism differ from those of others, and so on”

Sexual Harassment Law and You: Ken from Popehat will be giving this talk. I adore his writing: measured and thoughtful and, given his legal background and the topic, likely to be grounded in helpful advice.

Racism and the Zombie Apocalypse: Ian is funny. He is funny and smart and delightful to listen to, and hell, high water, and zombies cannot prevent me from attending this talk. (Bad wifi can, but let’s not talk about that.)

Effective Use of Social Media with Conferences: Some of you…many of you?…know that I work for the Secular Student Alliance, doing their social media. [Shameless plug: Twitter and Facebook] This panel is professional development for me–I’ve only attended a few conferences since taking the position.

Philosophy for Everyone: Julia Galef (of the Center for Applied Rationality), Jess Whittingstone (80,000 Hours and High Impact Ethical Careers), Dr. Richard Carrier, and Dan Fincke talk philosophy.

“This discussion will be aimed at anyone who doesn’t have a Ph.D. in philosophy, and will focus on the real-world benefits and applications of philosophy, not its arcane bits. Learn how you can study philosophy in your spare time and use it in your everyday life, your personal development and life goals, your voting and activism, and more.”

And since I’m making suggestions (and I’m not sure how much my readership knows about the first two participants and their respective organizations) I’ll suggest this piece on social interventions from 80,000 Hours and this experiment from CFAR. Bonus: I got lost in the research recommendation rabbit hole–it is real and it is dangerous–while tracking down the CFAR post, so here’s this bit on giving psychology away from one of my favorite psychologists.

Oh, right.

I’m going to be participating in a panel: Mental Illness and Society, with Stephanie and Miri.

“Last year, a new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was released. Disorders were added and removed for several reasons, but one of those reasons receives very little attention. Too little attention. Join us as we talk about what it means for a person to be able to function in society and what implications that has for what is and what is not classed as a mental disorder.”

Sunday, 11 AM Central!

*Particular thanks to Miri and Jason, who have been endlessly patient and dedicated, setting everything up and badgering the rest of our lazy butts. 



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