This blog is a focussed experiment. I wanted to test my ability to publish and produce a taut multi-media blog on something. I attended TAM7 in July. It struck me as the perfect 4-day crash course. The "course" didn't go as well as I hoped, but I learned a lot. I'm continuting to update as I have the opportunity to - eventually I'll have covered the entirety of my experience at the conference.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Confessions of an Asshole Skeptic" finds a life of it's own

Previously in this blog I did an entry about my thoughts on "Asshole Skepticism" and when I was at TAM I found myself in a number of conversations about the idea. It was an interesting mix of views. Some of my thoughts were echoed, some were expanded upon, some were recieved with caution and others were refuted - occassionally with a vehemence that was an ironic display of, you guessed it, Asshole Skepticism.

It was a very interesting experience and I continue to roll the ideas around in my head. Developing the ideas on my own and hopefully with some well needed 'peer review' from others in the skeptical community.

Asshole Skepticism is definitely alive in the world. It presents itself in many ways and it's not a notion that will allow itself to be summed up with concision. It's hardly my sole domain - not even close - but I do intend to take it on as mine for exploration. To ask myself the questions of "how is it defined?", "who are it's biggest practitioners?", "what is it's place in the movement?", "how is it best wielded?", "when is it best set to the side?", "who is best equipped to practice it?" These questions hardly exhaust the possibilities. The term itself is deliberately provocative, but don't mistake - it's not my intention to set out to be an asshole, it's merely an acceptance of the condition that many of us find ourselves in - we are better suited for broad and brash provocation than a universally gentler version of activism. I'm even going to go so far as to say that the gentler version is almost certainly more effective in most circumstances - and there are definitely many situations where the asshole approach is a VERY bad idea - such as when dealing with friends.

I have created a new blog Confessions of an Asshole Skeptic as my working document on the concepts. I could have simply continued using this blog for that purpose, but it seems to me that it's a specific enough subject that it needs it's own intellectual playground. I will be retiring this blog once I've finished talking about TAM (an effort that may still take months at my current rate). I will post occassionally in the Asshole Skeptic blog as reasons arise, and then once my work is finished here I'll focus my skeptical blogging over there.

No comments:

Post a Comment