Dragon*Con 2008 Wrap-Up  

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!

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6 comments: to “ Dragon*Con 2008 Wrap-Up

  • the chaplain
    Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 12:02:00 PM CDT  

    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 true skepticism, once it is turned toward examining religious beliefs, eventually leads to either agnosticism or atheism. Some skeptics may start out by being skeptical about other stuff, like astrology or something, first. If they ever get around to examining religion with a truly skeptical attitude, however, it's hard to see how they would not reject religion as the bullshit it is.

  • Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D.
    Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 11:12:00 PM CDT  

    Jesus, that foot. That must have been pure agony.

    Yeah I find it hard to understand how a skeptic can not see the idiocy behind religion

  • PBS
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 11:57:00 AM CDT  

    Sounds like a super weekend but what happened to your foot?

  • John Evo
    Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 5:24:00 PM CDT  

    Fuck. I have had a few sprains as an adult, but I was in my teens the last time I had one that bad. You made it sound more minor before, but that is one major sprain.

  • Ordinary Girl
    Monday, September 15, 2008 at 10:39:00 PM CDT  

    Chappy: I agree, of course, but I don't have a problem with someone having personal beliefs, as long as some out-dated mythology isn't being imposed on me. (Or even newly-dated mythology...)

    Sean: The ankle was bad for a couple of days, especially on the plane as you see there. I still owe a letter to the airline that made me hobble to two separate concourses because I wasn't considered "handicapped".

    PBS: I thought I was at the bottom of the stairs, but still had one left. Since I was preoccupied reading something as I was walking I fell and twisted my foot under me... in front of about 50 people. Yep, that was worse than falling. It was fine for a few hours, but I ended up leaving the film festival at about 2 AM to hobble back to my hotel and spent that night in throbbing pain.

    But it's much, much better now. In only about 2 weeks it's almost completely healed. I haven't braved anything like heels, but I have started running just a little again. I ran 2 miles this morning. :)

    Evo: It was actually pretty mild compared to other sprains I've had. There wasn't any bruising and it's much better. Wrapping it and resting helped more than anything. I hated hobbling around, but it really was worth it. Now I think people doubt it ever was sprained. In fact, it could be counted a miracle healing. Hallelujah!

  • Mamacita Chilena
    Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 12:45:00 PM CDT  

    oh my gosh, that foot looks horrendously painful. But, I'm glad to hear that you healed fast!


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