Monday, May 7, 2012

A NECSS 2012 NYC Saturday and My Take:

here, I comment upon a science / critical thinking / skepticism / women's rights / government transparency conference I attended a couple of weeks ago:

001. was there:


002. the contents:

I was only there Saturday.  Both John Bohannon and Deborah Feldman were amazing.  And I say that after having attended all NECSS Saturdays and a couple of TAMs. I simply didn't expect their content, and their content was edifying.  It also got me hooked on 'Dance Your PhD'.  The Skeptic's Guide is not something I regularly listen to.  Partly, this is because I'm quite familiar with their contents and it seems to be often 'things I already know', because I read so much.  Though, I have questions like: 'why does Rebecca look like Sigmund the Sea Monster?' and 'why does Evan seem to be giving an oral 6th grade book report?'  Seth Shostak was great. As an medical science educator, I enjoyed the education panel.  I'm constantly torn between basic knowledge type teaching and more advanced critical thinking possibilities: there's what I know the students need to know in terms of basic literacy, and, frankly, there's the animation [and I choose that word quite ironically] I'd like to see like e.g. when Pinocchio is changed from wood to flesh [perhaps a poor analogy, as I'm interested in their MENTAL development more so].  Ethan Brown reminded me that I am merely a mortal.  And it was great to see Randi live again.

Other things interesting: I'd chatted a little bit with the host, Jamie Ian Swiss, about Teller's lawsuit against a magician that is selling Teller's intellectual property without permission.  It was fascinating to hear the 'guild' perspective, though I know nothing about magic and have never seen Penn and Teller live and saw only a couple of their Bullshit episodes.  And also, in the seat next to me, was a guy who makes his living selling a kind of no-feet hackey-sack, at FAO just around the corner from the venue.

It was a great Saturday.

-r.c.
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