NECSSCon Day #2

We woke at 9:45 AM for the program that was to start at 10.  I am glad I packed the night before.  Despite these 10 hours of sleep, I still fell asleep during the deathly dull session on logic traps during which many of the presenters seemed to also have their eyes closed.  The preceding session was by John Allen Paulos who has not aged as gracefully as his promo shot suggests.


No Mail

He mostly retold anecdotes from his books and during the Q&A period I asked him why he never emptied his mailbox at Temple University.  He said he did, but as chair of the math department, he sits upon a throne of lies.

The day’s events finished off with an “arts” performance of someone singing the ingredients of a Twinkie, about North American mammals, and the ways we will die.  There are times where the skeptic movement apes the trappings of a traditional church.  There are times when it shouldn’t.

Final Thoughts:

  • Best Presentation – Dan Gardner’s presentation on imperial skepticism and the need for there to be a completion to the analogy of “homeopaths are to medical skeptics as politicians are to”
  • Best Panel – The US Founders and Skepticism.  All the panelists had done their homework, and were will to disagree among the group when one deviated from fact.
  • Best Host Moment – Todd Robbins swallowing swords, he was an able replacement for Jamie Ian Swiss.  Todd Robbins swallowing a sword
  • If I had the option to re-do the weekend, I would have gone strictly for Saturday, saved $190 in hotel fees and gone to the speakers’ cocktail reception.
  • Presentations, except Eugenie Scott’s, required polish.  I would have trouble recommending NECSS to anyone but someone already familiar and interested in the skeptic movement.