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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why am I going to TAM?

I've been aware of TAM for about a year and a half now – roughly as long as I've been aware that there is a (semi-orgainized) skeptical movement in the world.

I considered going last year, though I can't recall exactly why I didn't... I think (ironically) because I thought I was too busy with my movie.

So here is it a year later and I'm in the final weeks of post-production on the film and I'm going to TAM. It's almost stupid.

However, it kinda makes sense. The film is about the Ogopogo – Canada's equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster – which, skeptically speaking is low-hanging fruit. But who cares if it's one of the more ridiculous, relatively harmless and easily debunked targets of the skeptical community – cryptozoology is a cornerstone of classic skeptical inquiry.

Back in February my friend Paul – who started to get into the organized skeptical community somewhere around the same time I did, but I'm not sure exactly when - suggested that we should go. He actually started pushing for it rather hard. I definitely thought it was a great idea, but I hedged for a bit. Then finally one day in March he called while I was in the editing suite. I had been thinking about it. I wanted to go. I was concerned about the finances – the costs of the film are mounting up and though we did get a reasonable amount of investment percentage-wise, but the remainder is self-invested and it's mounting up. But that also led me to the reasoning that allowed me to justify the expense. TAM is only once a year, the skeptical community is definitely a demographic we want to hit... this is our best chance to get out and talk about the film to that segment of people. I may even be able to write it off in the end – not against the film's expenses, but in my taxes.

But who am I kidding? Really I just want to go to TAM.

So Paul (who is also going for reasons hedging on professional, but I'll need to check with him before I detail that in any fashion – it's his business not mine) are going to be roommates, and just today we got an upgraded deal on our room that'll save us almost a third of our hotel expenses... things must be hurting in Vegas due to the economic crisis, deals abound.

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