TAM 8 pt 1


This is going to be a very brief post. Tomrrow I’ll start writing more in-depth articles about the wonderfulness that was The Amazing Meeting 8.

First, the highlights.

My favorite personal moment: I got to meet Adam Savage and talk to him for a few minutes. He was a very sweet man and very attentive to what everyone was saying to him. He was engaging and very much present to everyone he spoke with.

My Second mot favorite personal moment: Lt. Col. Hal Bidlack gave me a flying lesson. A bunch of us were hanging out in a little cluster in the Del Mar. He and Brian Dunning were challenging each other with airplane trivia. In a lull I happened to mention that I was toying with the idea of getting my pilot’s license and I REALLY hoped I didn’t have to know all of that to do it. At which point I was treated to the following flying lesson with the following visual of pushing a stick forward while being admonished to remember “Trees get big…”…and pulling the stick back…, “Tress get little”. Voila. Flying lesson.

Third favorite personal moment: Lunch with Derek and Swoopy. Talk about getting to hang with the cool kids, now that was a great time at lunch just hanging out and talking.

Fourth favorite personal moment: Watching Kitty and Suzie deal with Egg and Quasimodo again this year at the Ham Talent Show. I have one of the bunnie babies sitting on my night stand. And if you don’t know about Egg and Quasimodo, just ask. I’ll point you in the direction of the video.

Fifth favorite personal moment: This one just boils down to hanging out and talking to everyone. Between Drinking Skeptically, the Skepchick party and the Del Mar, I got to see so many great people that I only get to see a couple times a year. People like Kitty, Adam and DJ who I love to bits but don’t get to see very often make events like TAM a sort of family reunion.

And finally, a moment that I will be writing about more very soon: Phil Plaitt’s talk. This surpasses a Personal Favorites moment and goes straight to the heart of who we are ask skeptics. If you had not heard, Phil did a serious talk about an attitude he has seen in the skeptical community that really concerns him. I have written about this in respect to theists, but Phil took it a step further.

He talked about an attitude of harshness, intolerance and downright meanness he has witnessed in the skeptical community. He reminded us that not a single one of us was won over by being called names or being made to feel stupid. Those of us, including myself, who have come to skepticism have done so via humor and thought provoking questions.

I can attest to this from personal experience. Even though I called myself a skeptic, I had still not quit pursuing my education in herbalism until Jeff Wagg asked me a question at dinner during the Amazing Adventure 5. That one question was enough to help me finish the mental debated that I had been having for the previous 6 months. Jeff was not unkind. He simply asserted his point and asked a question.

Again, I will write more about Phil Plaitt’s talk soon. In the mean time I would like to thank him. I feel strongly that we as skeptics should maintain the motto “Don’t be a dick”. Being blunt (or even downright mean) doesn’t win people over. It just drives the intended target further away from skepticism.

So, to quote the wonderful Wil Wheaton, “Don’t be a dick”.

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3 Comments

  1. sgerbic said,

    July 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I look forward to reading further about TAM8 through your eyes. Very interesting.

  2. July 14, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    […] TAM 8 pt 1 from Fledgeling Skeptic: “My favorite personal moment: I got to meet Adam Savage and talk to him for a few minutes. He was a very sweet man and very attentive to what everyone was saying to him. He was engaging and very much present to everyone he spoke with.” […]

  3. Susie (aka paperskater) said,

    July 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    It was so good to see you again, Maria! I’m glad you liked our act! ❤


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