Friday, September 12, 2008
Dragon*Con was a lot of fun, as it always is. With it being the first official year of Skeptrack, I immersed myself into one track rather than visiting many several different tracks and missed a lot of other things going on at the convention. I kind of regret it, but at the same time I really enjoyed that panels I attended. Maybe next year I'll balance it a little more and spend more time on science fiction. The Independent Film track was great, as always.
Skeptrack had two overriding themes this year. The first was what it means to be skeptical, including keeping an open mind about everything. It's easy to dismiss claims that seem radical like Big Foot (a big joke due to the recent Big Foot hoax) or psychic powers, but rejecting all claims out of hand that don't meet your world view doesn't make you a skeptic. It makes you dogmatic.
The other major theme was skepticism and atheism. There were requests to keep them separate from some people and requests to not draw the line of skepticism at religious belief. I think having both groups there made a good balance. I was especially happy to hear Lori Lipman Brown and DJ Grothe speaking as atheists.
I, of course, think that people should be skeptical of their beliefs as much as anything else in their lives.
High points of the weekend
* Meeting podblack (Kylie) and seeing how passionate she is about education and just life in general.
* Meeting Evan from the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe.
* Having A. compliment me on my hair. I got the hair cut from hell just before I left for Dragon Con and I was freaking out about how short it is. And A. made me feel much, much better.
* Meeting Dale and Meg.
* Attending the Skeptics 101 and Future of Skepticism panels.
* Admiring all the time and effort people put into some incredible costumes.
* Attending to the The Other White Meat panel in the Independent Film track.
Low point of the weekend
Man, that's a fat foot!