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.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

TAM7 Ends With a Case Study in Why a Skeptical Cable Network Would Fail

Don't get me wrong. TAM was a LOT of fun. But it was not without issues – like the one which has prevented me from blogging pretty much throughout.

I have kept a lot of notes and have a wealth of media from it to get around to posting, but it's going to take some time to organize it all.

I will try to start posting immediately. I'll keep it accurate as possible and try to recapture my emotional state along the way. But for now, I'll simply touch on a few highlights.

No doubt it's old news as I post this that Sid Rodriguez and Rebecca Watson had a Vegas wedding yesterday in front of the TAM audience. It was truly surreal.

Naturally I made some new friends in other places. Desiree from Skeptically Speaking and I had a few excellent chats – including one where she recorded me ranting about my thoughts on the previously posted 'Asshole Skepticism.' (More on that in a moment.) And at lunch yesterday a woman sat down beside me and we started chatting. Her name is Tamara. The long story short is that just last week I started reading her blog. More on both in good time.

Last night at the Skepchick party, shortly after my Asshole Skepticism rant, Desiree was being accosted by a fellow who wanted her to take his email and mail her info on her show. He then overheard me talking about Skeptoid and demanded that she add that info to the email. I muttered "Oh for Christsake" and pulled out the sharpie that came as our registration gift. And wrote Skeptoid on his chest. He claimed "Well I can't read that in the mirror." So without dropping a beat I pulled a stupid human trick and wrote it backwards right above the original.

He then suggested that Desiree should write something on his ass. She pondered out loud what she would/should write. "Asshole Skepticism!" I suggested. Long story short – he would have had to scrub hard this morning if he was not going to walk around all day with "Asshole" written on his left buttcheek and "Skepticism" on his right. ....and there's video.

The Million Dollar Challenge today ended with a total failure. And it was terribly boring and fascinating at the same time. It would have made lousy TV. Yesterday at a panel on skepticism in broadcasting it was suggested that there should be a Skeptic cable channel. The MDC was proof positive that it would be a bad idea.

MAJOR kudos to Connie Sonne for having the grace and the jam to stand up in front of 1000 skeptics and put it on the line like that.

I mentioned to Tamara as we were lining up to go in that if she succeeded we would turn from being a 1000 skeptics to just a room full of assholes.

"Asshole" seems to have been my word of the weekend.

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