Are you going to Skepticon?

All the cool kids are going to Skepticon, so if you’re not, you’re not cool. If you’re waffling, the organizers are having an IAmA on Reddit right now, for a few hours. Go pester them with questions, requests, and demands.

They’ve already answered a question about whether they’re wearing pants with photographic evidence. I think it’s safe to say you really can ask them anything.


  1. JohnnieCanuck says

    wearing pants with photographic evidence

    I didn’t parse that sentence correctly the first time around.

  2. says

    I’m “NOT COOL???” I live in ABJECT POVERTY in rural New Mexico! Half my $700/mo income goes to live in a PARKING LOT in a 30 foot travel trailer, without running water IN THE DESERT! I’m NOT COOL????? What kind of elitist, snobbish bullshit is this??? You are offering full scholarships? Not to young, middle class people whose parents can afford to send them to college, but to disinfranchised & under-represented people like me?? NOT COOL??? Class snobbery is not cool! We’re not all affluent white dudes.

  3. smhll says

    I think PZ was just trying to give a playful poke in the arm, not a punch to the gut. :)

  4. Happiestsadist says

    Rogi, I see your cluelessness covers a variety of fields. The joke went whistling over your head.

  5. says

    @rogiriverstone: please let me know how much it would take to sponsor your attendance at Skepticon. The conference itself is free, so I think PZ meant that you’re “not cool” if you can go and you don’t.

    Theoretically I can go to Skepticon but I’m not, which I suppose makes me “not cool” in the eyes of my beloved Tentacled Overlord™. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Maybe you can be, too?

    Seriously: if you want to go to Skepticon, let me know what it would take. I have, um, “friends” in the 1% — and I can be very, very persuasive.

  6. says

    …but obviously not that afraid. I clicked:

    This content is currently unavailable
    The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.

  7. Happiestsadist says

    iris: Just getting tired of Rogi complaining everywhere over FTB about how atheist men threaten rape with impunity and the rest of us do nothing, that the solution to harassment is not feeding the trolls, and that they’re horrified to read anything about sexism. Oh, and that gymnasts dress like child prostitutes. And they love sex, unlike gross manhating feminists out there who don’t even shave.

  8. Sunday Afternoon says

    Skepticon is a free event, though it does cost money to get there if you aren’t local.

  9. says

    Yeah, sure Happiestsadist, but we’ve got this new guideline thingy about carrying grudges across threads. It was a fair point actually, if a bit frothy. Sure, PZ’s “cool kids” line was joking, but that can rub people up the wrong way. There’s time enough to abuse him if he does say dumb shit.

  10. Happiestsadist says

    I know, Alethea, but this is more trolling every FTBlog and throwing a little tantrum in ever single thread. But fine. I have simply noted their history, and will leave it to the powers that be.

  11. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    if you’re not, you’re not cool.

    Or, you know, poor.

  12. Happiestsadist says

    Huh, I’m broke, in another country, and far away at that. And yet, somehow, I am not turning a joke into a whine about my plight.

  13. MG Myers says

    On the Skepticon website, I noticed it said that Secular Woman is helping with travel grants this year. Great idea.

    I was fortunate to go to Skepticon last year. Fantastic speakers! Lots of smiles and laughs! And I got to visit my relatives that I hadn’t seen for many years.

  14. says

    I’m “NOT COOL???”

    First of all, being cool does not equal having money. I don’t know if you’re cool or not, but you are new here. The few comments I’ve read from you have left a bad taste in my brain, however, in deference to the whole 3 posts business, here’s a protip: put your sense of humour on high when here. If you don’t have a sense of humour, you may wish to lurk more. Less grief that way.

    Now, for a gentle tap with the cluebat: a whole lot of people here are poor. Genuine poor people, that’s right! Imagine that. Being poor does not make you a special snowflake, there are a lot of people here who cannot afford cons or meet-ups and they are the reason why a lot of help is offered in sponsoring said people.

    Instead of screaming, you might have simply tried asking more about skepticon, then you would have found out about sponsoring and the fact that skepticon itself is free.

  15. says


    I definitely want to go to Skepticon sometime, when everything permits. :)

    I would *love* to go, but this has been the year of “everything in the house is falling apart and requires repair immediately” along with the unexpected pet increase. Maybe next year.

  16. smef says

    But the gun was nowhere to be found.

    Obama!” you screech, the nightmare you thought so far away had finally become a reality.

  17. imthegenieicandoanything says

    I’ve spent my life not being cool. I’ll continue that policy, not that this event might not be fun and informative.

  18. schweinhundt says

    I’m confused about PZ’s Skepticon cool kid status. He’s not listed under the Lineup: Week1/2 links.

    But, he is listed under the Schedule/Speakers dropdown menu.

    Is “Skepticon’s PZ” the new “Schrödinger’s Cat?”

  19. John Morales says

    I find the framing problematic: if it were indeed the “cool” thing to do, then I wouldn’t, because not doing the cool thing is even cooler than doing it and I dislike being one of the herd.

    (Not that it matters, cons are for other people)

  20. dgrasett says

    I would love to go to Skepticon. But Guelph to Springfield Missouri is just a little complicated for an old lady who already did Kamloops and TAM this year and who really wants to go to Eschaton in November (I can drive to Ottawa). I am heavily considering helping others to go, though.

  21. 'Tis Himself says

    I’m not cool. I’ve spent my entire life not being cool. I’ll probably die uncool. C’est la vie et mort.

  22. says

    Rogi (comment #2) already knows Skepticon is free because as soon as registration was open, I let the entire Genderqueer Atheist facebook group know. I also mentioned that it is free admission, and we discussed hotel/transportation/food costs. I can go because I only live 4 hours away and my partner gets a hotel employee discount. I also mentioned that it’s much better in person, but will also be uploaded on youtube for those who can’t attend.

    So no, it’s not that Rogi doesn’t know these things. It’s that it’s really difficult when somebody turns poverty into a joke. And before anyone says “oh well she should have known not to take it seriously”, try imagining waking up every single day knowing you have no running water, among other things. Spend a good 5 minutes of your life really vividly imagining that lifestyle in your head. Then really feel what it would be like to have someone treat attending Skepticon like it was some sort of flippant decision. Empathy – brought to you by advanced natural selection.

  23. says

    The Nerd, as it has been stated in this thread, many people here besides Rogi actually are poor. One person lives in a dwelling without running water at least part of the year. Another two have received funds from the rest of the Horde because they were on the verge of eviction. Others have gotten help with medical bills.

    Please don’t bring the overly earnest and humorless SJ attitude from Tumblr over here, kthx.

  24. says


    Yes, Rogi is the “one person” who lives without running water.
    She’s also my friend and a real person (the link on #2 leads to her FB page), not some tumblr charity case.

    Next time you time attempt to publicly give someone the e-smackdown, at least make sure you have the correct premise.

  25. says

    What, precisely, does your most recent comment have to do with anything I said to you above?

    Plenty of people here are poor. They don’t throw a social-justice-warrior hissy fit over a relatively harmless line like “All the cool kids are going,” which is kind of a meme or a saying rather than some kind of definitive assertion on PZ’s part.

    I don’t go to conventions because I have social anxiety. I don’t piss my pants at the “cool kids” line and scream about it being “ableist.” That’s because, while I’m cognizant of the damage that actual slurs and bigoted assumptions do, I think there’s a difference between calling them out and policing how people speak.

  26. says

    “What, precisely, does your most recent comment have to do with anything I said to you above?”

    I could ask you the same thing.
    My point, for the record, is that when I come in here and see people treat my friend like a joke, I’m going to make an appeal to empathy.
    That’s not “activism”, that’s friendship and humanity.
    Perhaps I set the bar too high.

  27. says

    When I promote a convention, I will say things like “you should go”. I’m not going to imply you shouldn’t.

    The “not cool” remark was a joke. A 100,000 people will read that; only a few hundred will actually attend. The majority who know of the event will not attend for reasons of poverty, scheduling conflicts, or because they just aren’t interested. It does not imply that I think 99.9% of the readers here are uncool, or that I’ve singled out any one reader as not cool. Also, if you follow the link to the Reddit thread, it’s a bunch of nerds posting sans pants. I thought it would be obvious that this is a joking version of “cool”.

  28. says

    PZ: My partner was an organizer for Skepticon 1, and I’ve never had a bad time there. Of course I’m encouraging anyone who can attend to attend. You’ll definitely see me there this year. :)

    Ms. Being: Considering that several people above did make jokes at her expense, and that she does have mental disabilities as your totally-not-a-joke implied (and has vlogged about said disabilities on her YT channel rriverstone1, since I know how we skeptics like evidence), I’m concluding my portion of this conversation by letting your comment above stand in all its glorious self-contradiction.

  29. says

    Ms. Being

    Is your cut and paste key not working?

    I’d just said privately to someone in email that next you’d be accusing me of “ableism.” Lo and behold, you did! I don’t see that anybody here has mocked Rogi for their disabilities. That wouldn’t fly here, since a plurality of us (including myself) have psychiatric and/or ASD diagnoses. Somehow, though, we understand jokes, or at least don’t expect other people to eliminate them entirely from the discourse.

    A good number of us also don’t think that caustic remarks about other people’s intelligence, when not applied to (for example) those with obvious developmental disabilities, are oppressive. We consider that assertion to be stupid, moronic, imbecilic, and idiotic.

    (If I am told Rogi actually has a developmental disability, I will be more careful about making remarks about their intelligence. However, I don’t know Rogi’s backstory other than what has been said here, because I don’t like vblogs, and it’s not my job to go over to YouTube to learn Rogi’s backstory.)

    Finally, “self-contradiction” is a rather amusing accusation from someone whose writing is as convoluted as yours and who seems to excel at point-missing.

  30. Happiestsadist says

    Seriously, The Nerd. I don’t know your friend from anyone else, aside from being a username who exists to plaintively whine in every thread they find about how awful the OP is. I’m unemployed for disability reasons, not counting my several mental illnesses, and can’t so much do the cross-country travel. somehow, I don’t decide to shriek and howl about how MEAN it is to promote an event that looks awesome.

    Caine: I hope to get my passport all in order maybe next year, so hopefully, I’ll get to meet some more of The Horde.

  31. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    Since Skepticon is one month after Rhinebeck, I doubt I’m going to be able to swing it financially–Rhinebeck’s going to be tight as it is. But if I’m able to, I will; it sounds like an absolutely wonderful event.

    If not, I can’t wait to watch the videos! :)

  32. says

    Aw, how cute, The Nerd has gone back to Tumblr, Land of Lolz, and accused me of “us[ing] the power of hipsterism” to “shut down conversation”!

    Make no mistake: this is about control. This is not about mutual understanding or error correcting. Empathy and communication skills have no place here.

    There’s no more engaging with the substance of what I actually said over there than there was over here. It’s all UR BEIN OPPRESSIVE CUZ I SED SO!!