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the power of suggestion

Oh, no, this is a good thing tonight. My fellow atheist Mensans are, well, trying to stage a small coup of the Annual Gathering next summer. The problem is that many of the speakers are in what the Program Chair is calling a "metaphysical track". I'm sure you have an image of what this is right away... astrology, new-agey crap, UFOs, ghosts and other nonsense. There is also a "science track", but the intrepid leader of our Special Interest Group has apparently been rebuffed on at least one occasion by the powers that be that a person who was supposed to come speak about science was actually an atheist in disguise, or some other similar nonsense. Clearly, a coup of some sort is necessary. I mean, if my choice is a lecture on ghosts or board games, why should I bother driving two days there and another two back? So she was asking for suggestions for folks to invite to speak about reality rather than fantasy.

Several suggestions were made. Personally, I'd love to get Phil Plait(bad_astro), 'cause, well, I like astronomy best of all. But in discussing this, I also mentioned a certain PZ Myers (pharyngula)... It seems that PZ has agreed to come! Now, biology isn't really my thing, but how cool is that!? Somehow, we have to defend ourselves against the tarnishing that Scott Adams is doing to Mensa's good name with pieces like this.

I claim none of the credit for this success, of course, since it was our great, fearless leader Linda who got the "yes" out of PZ. She wasn't quite as successful with Phil, but she sent the powers that be after him... and maybe PZ will be a little enticement? ...or maybe not.

But now it looks like I have to plan a drive to Denver for next summer since, obviously, I can't suggest such a cool speaker, get him to go, and then not go myself. Anyone know of any good routes to get there from Columbus, in say, less than 26 hours, without taking the horribly dull I-70 corridor through Kansas? Been there, done that before; don't need to do it again. If you've seen Kansan wheat fields once, ya know... I'm sure I can come up with something if I look on my big map, or talk to AAA, but I don't have that in front of me right now. 6 days next summer... could this maybe even be called a vacation?!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2007 12:36 pm (UTC)
When I saw that in my email this morning, I decided that Denver isn't that far from Texas after all. I've never been to an RG or an AG, so this will be an historic event.

Heck, my local group hasn't had a meeting within two counties of my location in a decade. I miss the Borderline folks in AZ - they rocked.

Oh, and....PZ Meyers! Squeee!
Aug. 8th, 2007 12:39 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I misspelled Myers.

/me hangs head in shame
Aug. 8th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
I know! I have renewed faith in the goddess that is Linda!! :)

Hey, and maybe M-Atheists will warrant a mention in Pharyngula one day!

I've been to two RGs, and they were okay. The one in Columbus last weekend could have used a better advertised program, but the speaker on ADHD that spoke after dinner Saturday was interesting, and I got certified to administer CPR, so that was good too. Most people in Columbus, though, I gathered went for the food and games, and I don't play hearts. The one I was at in Cleveland was so long ago, I didn't stay long, but from what I remember they had a video game room set up for the kids, and they had more speakers (they usually do in Cleveland, which is why I liked that area's Mensa so much more than other places I've been). But I've never gone to an AG. They usually occur when I am too poor... Summers and grad school, ya know.

But I have a while to plan now. So cool!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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