Tuesday, June 02, 2009

My AHA workshop session on Thursday

I'll be giving a talk during the pre-conference workshop sessions at this week's American Humanist Association conference, which is being held June 5-7 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.

My talk is on Thursday, June 4, from 4-5 p.m. in the Palm F room. While there is ordinarily a $20 charge for the pre-conference workshops, readers of this blog may attend for free (but donations to the AHA are appreciated).

My talk is entitled "Lessons learned from 25 years of battling creationists, Scientologists, and fundamentalists online."

I'll also be representing the Arizona Coalition of Reason at a press conference on Friday morning about a new billboard campaign.

More about that on Friday.

UPDATE (June 4, 2009): My presentation (Keynote format) is here, published with a Creative Commons license (noncommercial, attribution, no derivative works).

UPDATE (June 8, 2009): Friday's press conference was held by the American Humanist Association, the United Coalition of Reason, and the Arizona Coalition of Reason. Roy Speckhardt of the AHA introduced the press conference, Fred Edwords of United COR announced his new group and that it plans to start up about 20 COR groups throughout the country by the end of the year, and I spoke on behalf of ArizonaCOR. We have a billboard up at 44th St. and Washington, on the southbound route into Sky Harbor airport.

We got press coverage from ABC Ch. 15, Fox Ch. 10, and independent Ch. 3, from the Arizona Republic and New Times, and from KTAR radio. ASU's State Press will also be running a story.

Most spun the issue as a big controversy, but that seems outlandish to me. Fox's "man on the street" interviews ended up with two atheists out of five interviewed, and most didn't seem to think it was a big deal. The owner of the business near the billboard made some strange argument about how the billboard should have required special regulatory approval, since he needed to get approval for his own business's signs--but apparently didn't recognize that such approval would only be needed for the billboard itself (unless it was grandfathered), not for its content.

UPDATE (June 21, 2009): Here's my presentation, embedded via SlideShare:



UPDATE (June 29, 2009): Leslie Zukor of the Reed Secular Alliance at Reed College gives a recap of the AHA conference.

13 comments:

Schtacky said...

Jim,

I would be happy to donate and will likely attend your talk. Thanks for posting this! Will there be any sort of Q&A?

Joe

Jim Lippard said...

There will be Q&A.

Ktisophilos said...

Will one of these lessons be "how NOT to argue with creationists"? ;)

Jim Lippard said...

Ktisophilos: A big chunk of the talk addressed that topic, yes.

Ktisophilos said...

Cool. Any Plimer devotees there? Dawkins is a big fan:

... Telling Lies for God (the book title of the splendidly pugnacious Australian geologist Ian Plimer) ...

Jim Lippard said...

Nobody identified themselves as such. I had my copy of that book with me and read the first paragraph of his attack on me, as an illustration of the lesson that sometimes being honest, correcting errors by people on your own side, and being civil to your opposition can lead to personal attacks from people on your own side.

I've put up a link to my presentation, which is in Keynote format.

Reed said...

Looks like it was a great presentation.

Coincidentally I actually attended the Kitcher/Gish debate in 1985.

I don't remember much, except that Gish had many supporters in the audience -- at least a third. At the end both sides were convinced they had trounced the opposition.

Schtacky said...

Anyone know of a good Keynote converter or Windows plug-in?

Ktisophilos said...

Obviously this humanist talkfest is needed. After all, President "Head Automaker" Obama, who Jim campaigned for, is now considered "sort of God" by the Newsweek editor Evan Thomas. And he says I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. If we're not careful, it will be like the UK monarch's title of "Defender of the Faith". And he even gave the same bigoted answer on gay marriage that Carrie Prejean gave, that it was for one man and one woman!

Jim Lippard said...

Ktisophilos: I'd appreciate it if you try to make comments that are a bit more on-topic than that.

Anti-Obama remarks should really go on posts about Obama.

Perhaps you should start your own blog.

Jim Lippard said...

Schtacky: My presentation is now embedded in the post, thanks to SlideShare, which now supports Keynote.

Jim Lippard said...

Schtacky: There's now an audio track for that presentation...

Schtacky said...

Thanks, Jim!