Welcome To The Skeptics Society Forum!

Introduce yourselves here, get to know everyone else. Kick back and relax.
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Skepchick
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Welcome To The Skeptics Society Forum!

Postby Skepchick » Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:45 am

Welcome to this brand new Skeptic Society message board.

This is a place for reasoned, lively interaction on all matters skeptical. We welcome skeptics and believers of all stripes and encourage critical thinking and intellectual discourse.

Feel free to look around and jump right in. Please take this opportunity to introduce yourself in this thread.

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PixyMisa
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Postby PixyMisa » Wed Mar 09, 2005 9:43 pm

Yay!

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:44 am

PixyMisa wrote:Yay!


Yay! Welcome, Pixy! :D

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Postby Electric Monk » Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:20 am

Aaahhh, I love a new forum. It's all echoey and still inside, like the day before the first day of school. Everything smells fresh and clean, with the supplies of emoticons all stacked in neat little rows, ready for use.

So soon the floodgates will open, and the posters will pour in, hanging up their coats and hats, singing lively little songs, dragging in their baggage, and making comfortable places to sit and chat for a while.

The warm and happy home is yet to come, but just for now there's a time to savor the emptiness and quiet.

Hello to all who are here. I'm the Electric Monk, and I believe you. :wink:

--James

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Stimpson J. Cat
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Postby Stimpson J. Cat » Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:22 pm

Hello everybody. Yet another forum for me to spend time browsing when I should be working. :)

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Postby Skepchick » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:29 pm

Welcome, welcome Electric Monk and Stimpy! Hey, our membership just doubled. We are destined for great things!

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Postby Kookbreaker » Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:47 am

I smell paint.
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PixyMisa
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Postby PixyMisa » Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:44 am

Sorry, that was me. I haven't been well. :oops:

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Luke T.
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Postby Luke T. » Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:00 am

Hoo boy.

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Postby Guy Noir » Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:56 am

Interesting looking place. Where is the bathroom, kitchen, etc.?

No pets? Come on, what is a message board without a small gorilla?

What ever happens, don’t fall into the trap of trying to come up with a completely objective set of rules that allow for no discretion or flexibility. We have all seen how well that works in other places.

A certain amount of flexibility allows the mod team to deal with those that try to test the boundaries. It also allows for dealing with long term behavior patterns rather than just judging based on individual events.

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Postby Skepchick » Sun Mar 13, 2005 3:39 am

Some familiar faces. How did you get in here? :lol:

I am very glad you joined. Any suggestions and advice and hey, just your presence and participation is very much appreciated.

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:58 am

I suppose it is time for a real introduction.

Lets see. I have been involved in various skeptical causes and organizations for the past 5 years or so. I attended several conventions and met fascinating people. For the past two years I have been a regular attendee of Skeptic Lectures at Caltech and dinners at Burger Continental thereafter. If anyone is in LA area, both are highly recommended.

I flirted very briefly with religion in high school, but I never really considered myself religious. For various reasons, mostly having to do with being brought up in a scientific family, I cannot remember a time when I was not a skeptic. My skeptical interests tend to focus around alleged psychics, fraud in medicine, and promotion of acceptance of secularism into mainstream. That means fighting creationism, ten commandments on public properties and otherwise promoting evil atheist agenda.

I work in the insurance industry, and am thus as close to being a professional skeptic as one can get. I am a tenant of two only slightly evil cats. If someone knows how a 3 pound 4 month old kitten can overturn a four story bookshelf loaded with books and magazines, please let me know. I am sure there is a perfectly scientific explanation involving black holes, suspension of gravity and superstrings.

Most of the people who posted above are my friends from elsewhere in the webuniverse, and have supplied invaluable advice and assistance, largely consisting of undoing something I did and gently but firmly removing my access to anything interesting. I assure if anything bad ever happens with this site, it is entirely my fault.

I think that is it for now. Please tell something about yourself in turn.

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PixyMisa
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Postby PixyMisa » Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:18 am

I like chocolate.

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Stimpson J. Cat
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Postby Stimpson J. Cat » Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:52 am

If someone knows how a 3 pound 4 month old kitten can overturn a four story bookshelf loaded with books and magazines, please let me know. I am sure there is a perfectly scientific explanation involving black holes, suspension of gravity and superstrings.

Leverage baby. It's all about the leverage. Cats are born with an innate understanding of classical mechanics which reviles that of the greatest physicists the world has ever known. That and the evil spirits talk to them. Cat's can see into the astral plane, you know. How else do you explain their tendency to track non-existent objects, and bolt across the room for no apparent reason?

I think that is it for now. Please tell something about yourself in turn.

I'm a physicist, originally from St. Louis, and now working in Germany. My field is nonlinear and stochastic dynamics, with an emphasis on statistical data analysis. I work in a neuroscience research group, as part of a multidisciplinary collaboration between physicists, medical doctors, neuroscientists, and psychologists.

I've been a regular poster over on the JREF forums for a few years now. I originally got involved in the whole skeptic thing through the Operation Clambake board. Pseudoscience has always been a particular thorn in my side, as have the abuses of organized religions on both their followers and their critics.


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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:35 pm

Stimpson J. Cat wrote:
If someone knows how a 3 pound 4 month old kitten can overturn a four story bookshelf loaded with books and magazines, please let me know. I am sure there is a perfectly scientific explanation involving black holes, suspension of gravity and superstrings.

Leverage baby. It's all about the leverage. Cats are born with an innate understanding of classical mechanics which reviles that of the greatest physicists the world has ever known. That and the evil spirits talk to them. Cat's can see into the astral plane, you know. How else do you explain their tendency to track non-existent objects, and bolt across the room for no apparent reason?


Now that is an explanation I expect to hear from a physicist! Evil spirits. Yep, that makes perfect sense.

Does superstring multiverse theory allow for evil spirits?


On a more serious note, this forum is about ready to go live, as evidenced by our new member, number 11, Dr. Shermer. Everybody look busy!

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Postby Stimpson J. Cat » Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:44 pm

Does superstring multiverse theory allow for evil spirits?

Of course. Who do you think is plucking the strings, thereby creating the vibrations that constitute the fundamental building blocks of the universe?

Of course, they're not all evil. Some of them are just indifferent.


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A poke in the eye makes Baby Jesus cry.

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Mercutio
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Postby Mercutio » Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:55 pm

Skepchick wrote:On a more serious note, this forum is about ready to go live, as evidenced by our new member, number 11, Dr. Shermer. Everybody look busy!
Ha! I beat him! I'm number 10!

ticks off one more item on "things to do before I die" list

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Postby Kookbreaker » Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:55 am

Skepchick wrote:I suppose it is time for a real introduction.

Lets see. I have been involved in various skeptical causes and organizations for the past 5 years or so. I attended several conventions and met fascinating people. For the past two years I have been a regular attendee of Skeptic Lectures at Caltech and dinners at Burger Continental thereafter. If anyone is in LA area, both are highly recommended.

I flirted very briefly with religion in high school, but I never really considered myself religious. For various reasons, mostly having to do with being brought up in a scientific family, I cannot remember a time when I was not a skeptic. My skeptical interests tend to focus around alleged psychics, fraud in medicine, and promotion of acceptance of secularism into mainstream. That means fighting creationism, ten commandments on public properties and otherwise promoting evil atheist agenda.

I work in the insurance industry, and am thus as close to being a professional skeptic as one can get. I am a tenant of two only slightly evil cats. If someone knows how a 3 pound 4 month old kitten can overturn a four story bookshelf loaded with books and magazines, please let me know. I am sure there is a perfectly scientific explanation involving black holes, suspension of gravity and superstrings.

Most of the people who posted above are my friends from elsewhere in the webuniverse, and have supplied invaluable advice and assistance, largely consisting of undoing something I did and gently but firmly removing my access to anything interesting. I assure if anything bad ever happens with this site, it is entirely my fault.

I think that is it for now. Please tell something about yourself in turn.


OK, I guess I was, like many other, a woowoo as a young person. I was raised in the psuedo-science 70's when pyramids, Kilrian photography, an the threat of the Bermuda Triangle roamed the earth. You couldn't avoid seeing Uri Geller bend spoons on TV unless you just watched the Tonight Show, I couldn't, it was past my bedtime. :D . If you avoided Geller, you would doubtless see a "Bermuda Triangle" episode on your favorite TV show with little skepticism applied. What Roswell was to the 90's TV, that triangle was to 70's TV. It was bad enough at times that I was convinced that BigFoot was waiting for me somewhere in my house, and I lived in downtown Philadelphia.

Some years later, my brother told of a book that destroyed the Bermuda Triangle. I had my doubts but gave the book a try. That book was called The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved I found instead of the usual batch of tales followed by reams of wacky speculation, this author did raw research into the incidents and found that not only were there perfectly good mundane explanations, but that many of the incidents took place nowhere near the Bermuda Triangle. I was offended that I had been toyed with in such a cheap fashion and abandoned my faith in the Triangle. I also weaned away from religion as I saw fundamentalism pervert the small good that could from Christianity. But somehow I never got full answers about Geller, Rhine and all those other woowoo things.

Fast forward a few more years when I pull a book by Randi off my other brothers' bookshelf. I only had a chance to skim through it, and it did not give exact methods, but here was a magician saying that those tricks passed off as psychic powers was actually a low-rent magic trick. It turned out that many other magicians felt the same way, but you would not have known that from the media or the Geller camp. To them, the world was stumped by his powers.

I logged onto the internet and found that there were other skeptics. Even a whole group on USENET. As the web rose and USENET became more of a backwater, I migrated to a few webboards, starting with randi.org.

One thing telling to me was a conversation with a senior (but partially retured) co-worker. At one time my company sold, along with legitimate science products, a large amount of woowoo stuff such as Kirlian photography kits and pyramid kits. While he was somewhat in the realm of woowoo himself, he explained that the reason the company abandoned selling such items was not lack of sales as the world grew more cynical or moved to new newage fads, but rather that the company felt if it was going to be a player in an inustrial market they were coveting, it needed to be taken seriously. Selling legimate science toys alone was already a bit on the odd side, but to sell that woowoo stuff was apparently going to make them a laughingstock. I honestly did not know how to react to such a decision. The right results, but were they for the right reasons?

In person I have three cats, live in an apartment in Philly, and am an avid cyclist, fencer and reader. I could say more, but I'm tired of typing.
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Luke T.
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Postby Luke T. » Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:25 am

I fell here by accident from the ninth dimension during a hyperbubble incident between this universe and my universe. Any rumors that I was behind the hyperbubble thing are LIES!!!

As a result, I am not allowed to play with superstrings any more. Just normal everyday strings. And balloons. Maybe you've seen some of my work.

Because I am from another universe, I am able to predict the future. Unfortunately, I can only predict the future of my original universe and not this one. And only while I'm here. I was not able to predict the future while I was there.

That's about the only difference between my universe and this one. That, and we don't have Kim Bassinger. So all in all, I'm glad to be here.

The winning Powerball lottery numbers for next Wednesday in my home universe are 9-13-27-40-53 and 28. Not that you can do anything about it.

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:14 am

Hi Luke. How is the smoking cessation program going? :)

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Luke T.
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Postby Luke T. » Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:27 pm

Skepchick wrote:Hi Luke. How is the smoking cessation program going? :)


The first day was the worst. I bought some nicotine gum, though, and that is a big help with the headaches. I'm at one cigarette every two hours. In a week or so, I'll move to one every 2.5 hours.

This has to work. I've been trying to quit for over 10 years. Patches, smoking cessation classes, Wellebutrin, cold turkey. I've tried them all.

I have a new doctor who is really good. Actually, she's a FNP. And an ex-smoker. She is a good motivator. So's my wife. I'll be leaning heavily on both of them for a while.

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:39 am

Luke T. wrote:
Skepchick wrote:Hi Luke. How is the smoking cessation program going? :)


The first day was the worst. I bought some nicotine gum, though, and that is a big help with the headaches. I'm at one cigarette every two hours. In a week or so, I'll move to one every 2.5 hours.

This has to work. I've been trying to quit for over 10 years. Patches, smoking cessation classes, Wellebutrin, cold turkey. I've tried them all.

I have a new doctor who is really good. Actually, she's a FNP. And an ex-smoker. She is a good motivator. So's my wife. I'll be leaning heavily on both of them for a while.


Hey, have you tried hypnosis? :P



Kidding, kidding! Sheesh, skeptics.



Good luck, I mean it. Hmm..maybe I should try a sweets cessation program. We can correspond and curse our respective weaknesses. I suppose I can take up smoking to help me stay off sweets, and there will be balance in the world.

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Postby Wyvern » Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:14 am

What? No socks? But my feet get cold :(

Hey, I want to let you peeps know that I appreciate you making this forum available. Especially Skepchick who had the excellent idea and then made it work. And Dr. Shermer for being naive enough OOPS I mean open to the venue. This place is so going to rock.

I brought the wine because I love chemicals :twisted:
How do I know that you're really a skeptic?

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Who am I? Why am I here?

Postby Guy Noir » Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:01 pm

This is one of those “who am I” posts.

Born and raised in the Northern ‘burbs of Detroit. My parents raised me to be both a good Catholic and a person who could think for himself. Those two ideals did not work out so well together.

I currently work as an engineer at a very large industrial facility. I spend a great deal of my time analyzing data to try and figure out why or how things go wrong. I have spent most of my time since graduating college doing this sort of thing.

Previous employers and a couple of stints in the military have given me a chance to see a good chunk of the Northern Hemisphere and none of the Southern half of the planet. (If anybody needs someone who can travel and do troubleshooting of control systems, let me know.)

Three things have made me sharpen my critical thinking skills over the years:

1.) Co-workers who believed junk on the internet that was unlikely to be true.
2.) People who did not want to believe good data when if conflicted with their own ideas.
3.) The occasional case of self-deception or jumping to conclusions. I have found that this wastes my time more per incident than other people’s mistakes or faulty thinking.

I know most of the other moderators and admins here from other parts of the web. Although I am still not sure exactly who two of them are yet.

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Mon Mar 28, 2005 3:46 pm

According to Skeptic Society webmaster we will be announced tonight in e-skeptic. So thanks to all the testers we had help us out, and welcome to all the new members :) Please say hi and jump right in.

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RedShift
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Postby RedShift » Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:27 am

Hell, my name is RedShift and I hate John Edward. Do you need to know more?

Some of you might know me from the Skeptical Community forum, where I just distinguished myself in coming 11th in the forum poker competition. :P

I got here via the eSkeptic so the word is out.

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Postby NoDeity » Tue Mar 29, 2005 8:41 am

I was first introduced to the concept of critical thinking in the Skeptic echo in Fidonet, am FTN-style computer network from long ago and far away. That's where I first encountered the logical fallacies. I committed a few of them and had them pointed out to me, which I did not appreciate at the time. Since then, of course, I've come to value that sort of thing. I'm skeptical, I'm a strong atheist (as if you wouldn't have guessed it by my name), and I live by my sig.

Having noticed the smoking-cessation theme, I'll throw in my two cents. I quit smoking in 2001. I didn't do anything of the things that you're supposed to do when you stop. I didn't make a plan, I didn't seek medical advice, I didn't gradually cut back. One day, I became so disgusted with what I was doing -- how could I respect myself when I permitted myself to be controlled by a craving for something that was ruining my health? -- that I threw away and stomped out a lit cigarette, and that was that. Actually, after about eight weeks of mild insanity, including several nights spent banished to the couch, then that was that.

I had a chronic cough. My wife noticed that my chest was noisy when I slept at night. I play in a band and I found that I could not sing an entire song without needing to take a cough break. Those things provided motivation. Within a few months of my having quit, all those problems went away. For me, I simply had to want to quit more than I wanted to smoke.
People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs.

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Postby Graculus » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:05 pm

Hey, Skepchick, don't I know you from somewhere? :wink:

Although I'm sure you'll be getting lots of other Infidels.

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Postby osiris » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:43 pm

Hi all,

I thought I'd register on this board as I've been diplomatically skeptical for as long as I can remember.

I'm from Scotland, a country well known for its skeptical thinking, and equally well known for its psuedoscience (I'm talking prehistoric monsters that live in Lochs!).

I regularly receive the E-Skeptic newsletter and only wish I lived in California to be able to attend some of the great lectures you guys have.

Cheers,

Jason

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Postby Nex » Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:59 pm

Hello all. It's nice to see some people I know from JREF, IIDB, etc. :D


Introductions, huh? I can do that.

I'm female, 26, married, have 4 cats, and live in western North Carolina. I'm currently competing for entrance into the ADN/RN program for nursing. I am also a fiber artist, and I sometimes sell handspun yarn online to crafters (who pay through the nose for it, muhuwahaha!).

I was a paranormal believer all my life, I was raised Roman Catholic, and my father and his family are all very superstitious and passed that on to me. I left the Catholic church as a young teenager and became a Wiccan (the Catholic version of paganism, really), and after that a general pagan. I have spent around 12 years in the occult and newage communities.

I became a skeptic last year, actually, so it hasn't been all that long. I came across the JREF's website when someone leveled the Randi challenge at me, and even though the JREF made me very angry then, I couldn't ignore the message (I tried to). I ended up learning about critical thinking and a lot of other things I would never have learned about otherwise.

And now I'm here. :P Hi!
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one." -- Voltaire

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Postby ledgraven » Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:13 pm

I've been waiting for Skeptic to put up a forum! Let the games begin.

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Skepchick's cat

Postby ArgFer » Tue Mar 29, 2005 1:55 pm

Hey, I am a veterinarian from Argentina and the explanation aobut the cat is just the same, leverage, and a strong sense of will, plus lots of time to do the evil thing they are intended to do (or SATAN orders to do!!!)

Well, as an introduction, I am a veterinarian who works with small species (cats and dogs). As the majority of the people in this country I was brought up as a Catholic Roman, and went to a religious school (total torture), and then after ten years of catholic superstition at school, I became an atheist, then at a later time, I became a skeptic.

I don't know in the U.S. but here skeptics are a few against an army of newagers, and God fanatics, and horoscope believers. I tell you, being a sketpic and above that, a science defensor, is a full time job arround here.

Bye

F

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:15 pm

This is really something. Go to sleep- 13 users, wake up-74. :D

Welcome!!!

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Hello

Postby mrpessimistic » Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:29 pm

Name is Nick, aka Mr. P.(essimistic)

Got the e-skeptic and saw that a forum was created...so I followed the link and here I am...not that anyone cares...

I run my own website, well...it is walking lately as I have no time to update, where I post my writings and political cartoons and various other bits of information. Check it out: http://www.mrpessimistic.com...but you probably will not...

I also moderate a forum @ http://www.booktalk.org where we discuss non fiction books each quarter. We are a freethinkers community. Now I know the Skeptic forum will occupy you all for most of your discussion needs, but if you want to discuss some cool books, please check us out before our server crashes...

I better go now, before my boss catches me goofing off at work. All I need is to get fired now...

Mr. P.

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Postby Marquis de Carabas » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:23 pm

[stumbles in]
[mutters]
[waves]

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Aaron M
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Postby Aaron M » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:24 pm

Hi all; yet another from the e-Skeptic flood. :)

I'm a computer programmer / system administrator living in Southeast MO, deep in the heart of Jesusland.

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:31 pm

RedShift wrote:Hell, my name is RedShift and I hate John Edward. Do you need to know more?

Some of you might know me from the Skeptical Community forum, where I just distinguished myself in coming 11th in the forum poker competition. :P

I got here via the eSkeptic so the word is out.




Figures an Aussie would be up at midnight, when normal humans sleep! :D

11th! Cool! I don't know how to play poker. Nope, not a bit. What is the card with the girl called?

So...want to take some of my money? :lol:

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:33 pm

NoDeity wrote:I was first introduced to the concept of critical thinking in the Skeptic echo in Fidonet, am FTN-style computer network from long ago and far away. That's where I first encountered the logical fallacies. I committed a few of them and had them pointed out to me, which I did not appreciate at the time. Since then, of course, I've come to value that sort of thing. I'm skeptical, I'm a strong atheist (as if you wouldn't have guessed it by my name), and I live by my sig.


That is a very cute sig :)


Having noticed the smoking-cessation theme, I'll throw in my two cents. I quit smoking in 2001. I didn't do anything of the things that you're supposed to do when you stop. I didn't make a plan, I didn't seek medical advice, I didn't gradually cut back. One day, I became so disgusted with what I was doing -- how could I respect myself when I permitted myself to be controlled by a craving for something that was ruining my health? -- that I threw away and stomped out a lit cigarette, and that was that. Actually, after about eight weeks of mild insanity, including several nights spent banished to the couch, then that was that.

I had a chronic cough. My wife noticed that my chest was noisy when I slept at night. I play in a band and I found that I could not sing an entire song without needing to take a cough break. Those things provided motivation. Within a few months of my having quit, all those problems went away. For me, I simply had to want to quit more than I wanted to smoke.


Cool, a success story. Congratulations on quitting :)

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Skepchick
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Postby Skepchick » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:35 pm

Graculus wrote:Hey, Skepchick, don't I know you from somewhere? :wink:

Although I'm sure you'll be getting lots of other Infidels.


You might rabbit, you might 8)

I suspect we will have quite a bit of overlap with Infidels, JREF, SC, Bad Astronomy and other skeptical type boards. But we also have our own audience and hopefully can get new folks in.

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Dragonrock
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Postby Dragonrock » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:36 pm

Greetings Y'all!!

I have been a skeptic most of my life. I remember trying to believe in things like ghosts and alien visitors but I now can admit that I always carried a bit of doubt with me. Several years ago I found the JREF forum and learned much about the nature of belief, evidence, and Tacos.


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