Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Ways and means of promoting skepticism
Daniel Loxton
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Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Daniel Loxton » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:19 pm

Skeptic.com is pleased to announce the exclusive web release of "What Do I Do Next?" (PDF).

Bringing together 13 leading skeptics from several organizations, this large-scale collaborative project attempts to answer the question, “Alright, I’m ready to become a skeptical activist. Now what?”

Inside, you will discover 105 things you can do to promote science and advance skeptical thinking. In a conversation of unprecedented breadth and detail, the panelists share 30,000 words of wisdom and advice about those 105 points. (Download the full discussion, or survey a point-form, html version of the entire list.)

Their comments comprise a fair cross-section of skeptical thought.

——————
THE PANEL:

Daniel Loxton (Junior Skeptic magazine)
Benjamin Radford (Skeptical Inquirer magazine)
Dr. Eugenie Scott (National Center for Science Education)
Jeff Wagg (James Randi Educational Foundation)
D.J. Grothe (Point of Inquiry podcast)
Brian Dunning (Skeptoid podcast)
Dr. Karen Stollznow (The Skeptic magazine)
Robynn "Swoopy" McCarthy (Skepticality podcast)
Kylie Sturgess (Skeptic Zone podcast)
Tim Farley (What's the Harm? website)
Dr. Randy Olson (Flock of Dodos documentary)
Pat Linse (Skeptic magazine)
Jay Novella (The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast)

——————
DISCUSS AND CONTRIBUTE:

Please do share your thoughts about this project. This list of 105 ideas for skeptical activism is meant as a beginning, a meeting place, a keystone for conversation. We hope you will bring your own ideas and creativity to the table — and that you find this topic as inspiring as we have.

Debate, discuss, or expand. Comment below, or start a new thread to focus conversation on a point that stood out for you. And, invite others to contribute: www.skepticforum.com/activism

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Re: "What Do I Do Next?" "Well, show me the money!"

Postby vanderpoel » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:11 am

Problem:
All of the suggestions for activism have one thing in common,
they depend on volunteerism. Hardly a motivation.
Where is the incentive? Where is my reward?

Solution:
Advertising agencies compete for ideas professionally.
Instead of targeting amateurs with this myriad of ideas,
focus on professional advertisers with one simple request:
come up with a campaign to say one thing and say it well.

Where is their incentive?
Ad agencies are known to promote non profit causes,
primarily in order to have the freedom to create collateral
for submission to award shows.

Where is my reward?
They spend big bucks on entry fees for award shows in
order to promote their expertise (a volunteer effort),
in the hope that they win awards.

Show me the money?
Many rewards translate in new business for ad agencies,
promotions and new jobs for creatives.

Strategy:
Invite agencies to compete for the combined account of all
these skeptic entities, a Skeptic Advisory Board, if you will.
Ad agencies are routinely requesting free ad space, TV time
and free billboards from their suppliers, which is routinely
granted, therefore occurring no expenses for the SAB.

General observation:
Promote the ideas, e.g. evolution vs creationism, instead
of the name of any one skeptic entity, or the messenger will
get shot.

Hereʻs a start:
Volunteer Advertising Agencies

The people of these agencies donate their ideas, expertise, and time to help create each one of our ads. We recognize them here and celebrate their contributions at http://www.AdCouncilCreative.org. Check it out to watch and comment on our latest PSAs and take a peek behind the scenes.
ArnoldNY
BBDO, New York
Campbell-Ewald
Casanova Pendrill
Deutsch
Digitas
Draftfcb, Chicago, Orange County
Elevacion Ltd.
G&G
Goodby, Silverstein and Partners
Grey Worldwide
Grupo Gallegos
GSD&M Idea City
Home Front
Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners
Leo Burnett, Detroit
Lowe Worldwide
McCann Erickson, New York
mcgarrybowen
Merkley + Partners
Mullen
Muse
The Neiman Group
Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Publicis, New York
Publicis, Hal Riney
R/GA
Revolución, NY
The Richards Group
Saatchi & Saatchi
TBWA/Chiat/Day
Target Smarts
Turbine
Vidal Partners
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Y & R, New York
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

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Re: "What Do I Do Next?" "Well, show me the money!"

Postby reedes » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:15 pm

vanderpoel wrote:Problem:
All of the suggestions for activism have one thing in common,
they depend on volunteerism. Hardly a motivation.
Where is the incentive? Where is my reward?


Understanding what motivates people to get involved is an important topic. I can't imagine someone doing so merely to 'volunteer'.

The motivations may be simple, such as to extend one's circle of friends by starting a local skeptics group.

They can be noble, such as to fight the good fight to shut down a local fraudster.

They can be perverse, such as by taking over leadership of a group to as a power trip to feed your ego.

I wouldn't be surprised if each of the 105 has their own unique rewards and incentives. Add to that each individual having their own motivations and goals.

In my "Raising Our Game" essay linked from Daniel's document, I attempt to outline the many factors that will motivate one to participate in the Skepticamp user-driven events. Speaking for myself, I love having eclectic and fun events.

Pursuing ad agencies as you suggest is a great idea that can complement these other efforts.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Daniel Loxton » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:09 pm

Ad people have done great work with messages central to the skeptical enterprise (as in this wonderful ad, which still makes me smile), and I think skeptics should seek and welcome their help.

But skepticism is really a topic best addressed in a more distributed way by many people, for two reasons:

1) "Skepticism" is an umbrella term that encompasses hundreds of different topics, each of which has its own central message (or series of messages: "chiropractic can't cure cancer," or "chiropractic can't cure asthma" or "chiropractic can injure your child"). And it subdivides further on country-by-country and region-by-region terms ("Preacher Bob also cannot cure your cancer"). It's a broad web of problems, so it seems to me to cry out for a broad network of people to work on them.

2) Skepticism is an ongoing, eternal maintenance effort. Those hundreds of topics are never resolved, and must be monitored continually. That again calls for many eyes — it's just too big a job for a focussed effort like an ad campaign to fully address.

But, again, I definitely agree that advertising and marketing people can be key allies. I'm very open to collaborations that draw upon those professional skills.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby vanderpoel » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:59 pm

Point well taken Daniel and yes, everyone should have a house hippo.
Yet, the problem is analogous to the myriad of cigarette brands out there,
each with their own agenda and supported marketing campaign.
Same as with the numerous brands of alcohol.

There obviously is nothing wrong with fighting Joe Camel or Jack Daniels,
but you need to have one central message, say one thing and say it well.

The general "smoking can kill you" campaign is a good example.
The "think when you drink" campaign is a bad example because it actually
presupposes and encourages drinking.

I suggest contacting http://www.AdCouncilCreative.org. and ask for their help.
Remain skeptical of their efforts as well, because frankly, that cute hippo will
win an agency all sorts of awards, but it will not change minds.
Kids will want that hippo for Christmas instead of a pony.

You need a harder hitting national campaign slogan and since I am a
Clio award winning advertising copywriter, hereʻs my donation:

...............................Whereʻs the proof?...........................
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby teacherninja » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:29 am

What a great resource! Thank you so much for putting it together. I'll link to it on my blog soon.
"What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable."
-Roger Ebert

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:17 pm

I'm very impressed with the "What Do I Next?" panel's coherent guide for Skeptics. It is a great example of the use of critical thinking, logic and reason! After reading many of the points.....I put on my Skeptic tee shirt and went to work smiling!

Thanks....

TryUsingLogic

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:46 pm

Michael Jackson has been everything from a Jehovah's Witness to a Muslim and none of it has worked out for him. He also hasn't had a gig in a while.

Maybe he could be persuaded to join us good guys? He'd get plenty of publicity out of it, and so would The MovementTM.

Right? 8-)
Scientists don't know everything, therefore my favorite flavor of stoopidz is true.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby landrew » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:55 pm

I'm skeptical about any sort of activism, in that I'm not sure it's anything more than a way to foment change without general consensus.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby landrew » Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:59 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Michael Jackson has been everything from a Jehovah's Witness to a Muslim and none of it has worked out for him. He also hasn't had a gig in a while.

Maybe he could be persuaded to join us good guys? He'd get plenty of publicity out of it, and so would The MovementTM.

Right? 8-)

He's back, he's bad.
http://community.michaeljackson.com/us/home
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Daniel Loxton » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:07 pm

landrew wrote:I'm skeptical about any sort of activism, in that I'm not sure it's anything more than a way to foment change without general consensus.


I'm aware that some people feel a sort of distaste with the concept of "activism" (or discomfort with the word itself). When "What Do I Do Next?" was in the editing stage, at least one reviewer thought I should drop the word entirely for that reason.

But, really, what's the alternative? "Activism" is the appropriate word for what I propose, and I can't see these topics as anything but a choice: try to do something, or choose to stand by. (I make my pitch that doing something is better, here.)

For many topics skeptics tackle, it's a pretty stark choice. Say you see a for-profit enterprise knowingly selling fake medicine to seriously sick people. What's the appropriate response?

Still, there are many ways to "be a skeptic," and there always will be. You'll see that reality acknowledged in my introduction to the new activism section of Skeptic.com. Those who see themselves as "activists" will only ever comprise a voluntarily defined subset of the larger skeptical community.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby landrew » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:37 pm

Daniel Loxton wrote:
landrew wrote:I'm skeptical about any sort of activism, in that I'm not sure it's anything more than a way to foment change without general consensus.


I'm aware that some people feel a sort of distaste with the concept of "activism" (or discomfort with the word itself). When "What Do I Do Next?" was in the editing stage, at least one reviewer thought I should drop the word entirely for that reason.

But, really, what's the alternative? "Activism" is the appropriate word for what I propose, and I can't see these topics as anything but a choice: try to do something, or choose to stand by. (I make my pitch that doing something is better, here.)

For many topics skeptics tackle, it's a pretty stark choice. Say you see a for-profit enterprise knowingly selling fake medicine to seriously sick people. What's the appropriate response?

Still, there are many ways to "be a skeptic," and there always will be. You'll see that reality acknowledged in my introduction to the new activism section of Skeptic.com. Those who see themselves as "activists" will only ever comprise a voluntarily defined subset of the larger skeptical community.

Well, that's always the risk of forcing your point of view; it could turn out to be right and good or it can be wrong. Simply feeling strongly about an issue is no guarantee that its right.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby vanderpoel » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:55 pm

Daniel Loxton wrote:...But, really, what's the alternative? "Activism" is the appropriate word for what I propose, and I can't see these topics as anything but a choice: try to do something, or choose to stand by. (I make my pitch that doing something is better, here.).

Daniel, with all due respect for your well written and detailed description
of all the problems Skeptic Activism faces, you exhibit the typical
inside out view of business leaders I have seen for the last 30 years.

The paradigm has shifted from what business leaders want the consumers
to do, to what consumers want the business leaders to do.


Donʻt tell us what all the problems are and then say, we must do something.
Listen to what consumers care about and then you do something with that.
Thatʻs the outside in view.


As an organization you care about a myriad of problems, all 105 of them.
Consumers donʻt care about all your problems, they care about 1 problem.
Themselves.

The best example I can give you is the recent election.
Did people rally around 105 different messages of government? No.
They rallied around 1 simple message: "Change we can believe in."

Your premise: “Alright, I’m ready to become a skeptical activist. Now what?”,
is a typical inside out view of your organization, assuming that the people
are already in your store. Theyʻre not. You first have to get them in there.

As you yourself have pointed out, there are religious and non religious
skeptics, scientists and non scientists, amateurs and professionals and
what we want, what we need, is a simple battle cry to rally the troops,
something that can be translated and heard internationally.

A "Better Business Request" that speaks for us, demands for us,
puts the pressure on the chiropractor, the E-Bay seller, the faith healer,
the creationist, the editor, the educator, the propagandist, the government:

"Where is the proof?" "Show me the proof!" "Give me the proof!" "Proof it"
"When you put a toucan on a monkey’s ass, don’t be fooled by the brightly colored plumage, beware of the enormous bill!"

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Daniel Loxton » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:33 pm

vanderpoel wrote:…you exhibit the typical
inside out view of business leaders I have seen for the last 30 years. … Donʻt tell us what all the problems are and then say, we must do something.


Please don't think that I think there is only one appropriate kind of skepticism, or one approach to accomplishing skeptical goals. Neither is the case.

This project is literally something people told us they wanted. I enjoyed working on it, because it happens to be the kind of skepticism I care most about, but I'm hardly imposing a unique strategy. Many people already do the sorts of things on this list, and some people have an existing desire to do more such things (or do such things better). Great! I want to help them do it, and to interest more such people.

But again, there are many ways to "be a skeptic." There are also many plausible approaches to communicating skeptical messages — and again, no question, advertising pros are potentially valuable allies.

Yet I think you may overestimate the ability of "the skeptical movement" to get on message or coordinate anything. This project came about because I decided doing it was more important than having weekends off — and for no other reason. Almost everything that gets done in skepticism is like that: someone digs in their heels and does whatever is within their reach.

That's one key reason why I advocate the kind of distributed, personal efforts suggested in "What Do I Do Next?": it's the kind that actually happens. My agenda is to promote a difference of degree, to advocate more such efforts. Suggesting that is within my reach.

Is it possible to get all skeptics (or even just the largest skeptical organizations) to unite under a single banner or commit to a single campaign? In my opinion? Not in a million years. Is it possible for somebody to create that campaign on their own or with a few allies, and then gather support for it as it unfolds? Yes — if you do it.

————
It's interesting that a copywriter would suggest better slogans as the solution skepticism needs! As an illustrator, I must disagree: what we really need are better pictures. :)

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:27 pm

I used to be a Jehovahs Witness and spent 10 years knocking on doors to convert. Of course my enthusiasm was motivated by believing in the "last days", Jehovah and that the end was imminent!
Skeptics do not have a brainwashing "Watchtower" organisation the demands 5 hours of inculcation and only JW associates speaking 'spiritual' speak. We (skeptics)are never going to get to that state. But if we believe in the dangers of paranormal and corrosive effects of religion we can be enthused to do our individual actions to make a difference. I applaud this initiative and the personal time sacrifice of the panel. I will certainly do my bit.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Daniel Loxton » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:53 pm

gossamer wrote:We (skeptics)are never going to get to that state. But if we believe in the dangers of paranormal and corrosive effects of religion we can be enthused to do our individual actions to make a difference.


Thanks, gossamer! Responses to this project are very positive overall, but there is a small (and predictable, I think) thread of negative reaction based on just this issue. A handful of bloggers and posters on other forums (some of whom, I note with interest, haven't read the document) assume that the project represents a new skeptical dogma. Their impression of "What Do I do Next?" (again, sometimes based on naked guessing) is that it echoes religious practices they find distasteful.

I think this (uncommon) reaction is mistaken. As you note, skeptics are never going to come together under any unified doctrine — it's just not possible to persuade all skeptics of anything, let alone impose some set of approaches or mandatory beliefs. The idea is really sort of preposterous. There are a million ways to "be a skeptic," and individual skeptics have many individual expectations from skepticism. Those who wish to pursue or support skeptical activism will only ever comprise a voluntary subset of the skeptical community. (I do personally argue that this subset should be larger.)

But still, we're left with choices. Given that skeptics groups exist, how should they behave? What should their goals be? How can they be made more effective?

More to the point of "What Do I do Next?", given that you personally wish to pursue or support skeptical activism, how can you do that? The new project attempts to assist or inspire those people who already wish to be activists — but, as you say, there will never be any mandatory doctrine for skeptics.

How could there be?

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby vanderpoel » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:07 pm

Daniel Loxton wrote:Is it possible to get all skeptics (or even just the largest skeptical organizations) to unite under a single banner or commit to a single campaign? In my opinion? Not in a million years.

Agree!
Daniel Loxton wrote:Is it possible for somebody to create that campaign on their own or with a few allies, and then gather support for it as it unfolds? Yes — if you do it.

Iʻll make some calls to see if I can get an agency to help.
Daniel Loxton wrote:It's interesting that a copywriter would suggest better slogans as the solution skepticism needs! As an illustrator, I must disagree: what we really need are better pictures. :)

Here you go: viewtopic.php?viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1370&p=152127#p152127
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Guest » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:41 pm

I'm impressed with the positive - dare I say, friendly - approach to many of the suggestions. It's so easy to be tempted into the loudest, not the smartest, being right.

And yes, it is true, some backlash must be expected. The likes of those who would spread half truths and pseudoscience have organizational skills and near universal participation from their followers as their greatest strengths. A little collaboration and grassroots action from the skeptics' side, and they do tend to get jumpy.

I find this a practical guide, and I'm grateful to those who took the time to craft it. Thanks guys.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby landrew » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:26 am

gossamer wrote:I used to be a Jehovahs Witness and spent 10 years knocking on doors to convert. Of course my enthusiasm was motivated by believing in the "last days", Jehovah and that the end was imminent!
Skeptics do not have a brainwashing "Watchtower" organisation the demands 5 hours of inculcation and only JW associates speaking 'spiritual' speak. We (skeptics)are never going to get to that state.

That would be an about face, reverse course away from skepticism. Religion is based on certitudes and front-loaded conclusions. Skepticism is based on questioning those conclusions.

At least I thought it was.
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link: thread for criticisms of WDIDN

Postby Daniel Loxton » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:47 am

landrew wrote:Skepticism is based on questioning… At least I thought it was.


Absolutely it is. I don't see any shift away from that.

For anyone who feels uncomfortable with specific comments or items within "What Do I Do Next?", or who would like some aspect of the project clarified, you're very much welcomed to raise those concerns.

To that end, I've started a thread for criticisms of the project.

I ask only that posters to that thread A) offer constructive feedback, and B) read the full discussion version PDF before sharing their critiques.

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Re: link: thread for criticisms of WDIDN

Postby landrew » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:31 pm

Daniel Loxton wrote:
landrew wrote:Skepticism is based on questioning… At least I thought it was.


Absolutely it is. I don't see any shift away from that.

For anyone who feels uncomfortable with specific comments or items within "What Do I Do Next?", or who would like some aspect of the project clarified, you're very much welcomed to raise those concerns.

To that end, I've started a thread for criticisms of the project.

I ask only that posters to that thread A) offer constructive feedback, and B) read the full discussion version PDF before sharing their critiques.

I only wish that people would read my posts before tearing them to shreds.
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby landrew » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:46 pm

"Activist Skepticism" is a great service for protecting us from frauds, hoaxes, cults, bad government, bad philosophies and you name it, but like the Spanish Inquisition and an overzealous police force, a few innocent victims can get caught in the net.

People who have their research dismissed as fraudulent because it doesn't "fit" the paradigms, naturopathic remedies which may have real benefits are prosecuted as frauds, and scores of otherwise credible witnesses to a strange event are muted by the possible repercussions by "skeptics" who can harm their reputations and careers. These are the ones I think are unprotected from the potential harm of this type of skepticism.

I see little introspection by skeptics organizations towards the possible inner flaws to this type of skepticism. Perhaps there are dangers in forming negative conclusions too quickly under the guise of being a skeptic.
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Daniel Loxton » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:07 pm

landrew wrote:Perhaps there are dangers in forming negative conclusions too quickly under the guise of being a skeptic.


Agreed: absolutely there are dangers to knee-jerk skepticism. This is a repeated theme within "What Do I Do Next?": bad, sloppy, closed-minded investigations are bad for skepticism, and also serve the public poorly.

(Of course, failure to investigate or to share the results of skeptical research also does not serve the public well.)

landrew wrote:…naturopathic remedies which may have real benefits are prosecuted as frauds…


If you mean "prosecuted as frauds" literally, this is vanishingly rare — even in cases of truly pitiless exploitation of the sick and defenseless.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby landrew » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:32 am

Daniel Loxton wrote:
landrew wrote:Perhaps there are dangers in forming negative conclusions too quickly under the guise of being a skeptic.


Agreed: absolutely there are dangers to knee-jerk skepticism. This is a repeated theme within "What Do I Do Next?": bad, sloppy, closed-minded investigations are bad for skepticism, and also serve the public poorly.

(Of course, failure to investigate or to share the results of skeptical research also does not serve the public well.)

landrew wrote:…naturopathic remedies which may have real benefits are prosecuted as frauds…


If you mean "prosecuted as frauds" literally, this is vanishingly rare — even in cases of truly pitiless exploitation of the sick and defenseless.

I wish Pyrrho had said a few of these things you have, and I'd have agreed with him much more than I've challenged him. Instead he seems focused on trying to prove to me that there's nothing worth looking at in certain subjects because all the unknowns have been ruled out and it would be an unacceptable waste of time to look at the supposed "evidence." He claims there is no evidence, because he hasn't seen it. Neither have I, but I'd rather not be complicit in promoting my own ignorance by having a closed mind about everything which doesn't have a ready explanation.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:46 pm

Kudos to Daniel and the panelists for compiling this valuable resource! I've only skimmed it so far but am eager to dig deeper.

The WDIDN ties in with something I've thought about quite a bit for the past couple years: an approach I'll call evidence-based freethought advocacy (EBFA; the 'Freethought' or 'Advocacy' could be changed). The idea -- in the spirit of evidence-based medicine and similar "movements" in other areas of policy and practice -- is to use systematic, empirical research to identify the most effective ways individuals and organizations can promote skepticism, secularism, rationalism, naturalism, atheism, and related worldviews. In short, EBFA would use science and critical thinking to promote science and critical thinking.

It seems to me (based mainly on following some podcasts and blogs) that lots of people have countless intuitively appealing ideas for how to promote freethinking, etc. WDIDN is an excellent example. For a group of people who put such a high premium on evidence, however, we have precious little sound evidence about whether or how well any of these ideas actually work. (Of course, evidence may exist of which I'm unaware; I'd appreciate pointers toward this.)

If we're concerned about scant resources, it seems to me we could really help our cause(s) by scrutinizing carefully how we -- both individually and collectively -- allocate those resources and assessing whether those strategies are actually effective in important ways. As I see it, one natural way to do this is to take a scientific approach based on methods used in areas of psychology, marketing, sociology, communication, public health, and related social-/behavorial-science disciplines. I'm afraid many skeptics and science enthusiasts don't consider applying science to problems such as encouraging people to change attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors (e.g., research on social influence), perhaps because these don't fall under the "hard" or "natural" sciences they revere. But if these problems are important, don't they warrant scientific treatment? How else can we know with some degree of certainty what works and avoid what doesn't?

Do the Skeptics Society, the Center for Inquiry, and related inter-/transnational, regional, or local groups already incorporate (something like) EBFA to decide how to allocate resources? If so, I'm curious what's been done and found. If not, perhaps they could learn valuable techniques from experts in program evaluation (see, e.g., the American Evaluation Association) and groups like the Campbell Collaboration, Cochrane Collaboration, and What Works Clearinghouse. Daniel's and others' work to identify potential strategies, combined with serious thought about concrete short- and long-term desiderata (i.e., outcomes and aims), could serve as a foundation for designing empirical studies to assess some of the more promising strategies.


Cheers,

Adam

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby [SS]Invictus » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:22 am

Well how about I dont promote science and only advance scepticism?

I didnt know that scepticism belonged or had to be in hands with science nor that stating that I am a sceptic, somehow, rationally incites science in there.

No, scepticism or being sceptic has absoluely no social group emboddied and neither does its promotion.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby flower » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:03 am

I want to travel around the world.
best Replica Watches
best Replica Watches

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Gord » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:12 am

flower wrote:I want to travel around the world.

I recommend getting yourself transplanted into a flower pot first, then.
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby RizoliTV » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:14 pm

What you have to do is get off your ass and be vocal.
I find very few people get involved in any kind of activism today.
Of course if you are still working then time would be an issue but if you are retired and have all the time in the world then whats stopping you.
I spend most of my days researching my favorite topic and making videos about the topic so I have my hands full.
I also am not afraid to show my face, many people like to stay behind the scenes for whatever reason.
But if you really believe in the topic then you really shouldn't let anything stop you.
If you need help with video production that is my specialty let me know, happy to help.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:30 pm

That face you're showing sure got some attention.

Has that issue been investigated again recently? And if so, what's the outcome?



Edit: A small case of Gord prevention. Nothing, really. Really!
Last edited by scrmbldggs on Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby RizoliTV » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:35 pm

Old news......
But thanks for the link I love when people can follow what we've been doing.
Do a search for my name it goes on forever....LOL
Shows that we don't just sit back in our easy chairs we go after those that abuse, lie and coverup their illegal activities.
And of course my favorite now Lie about ww2 history.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:01 pm

RizoliTV wrote:Old news......
But thanks for the link I love when people can follow what we've been doing.
Do a search for my name it goes on forever....LOL
Shows that we don't just sit back in our easy chairs we go after those that abuse, lie and coverup their illegal activities.
And of course my favorite now Lie about ww2 history.

Jim Rizoli
CCFIILE.COM



And what's really funny is that you're now avoiding the well-stocked subforum for your "new" favorite obsession - lying about WWII history, lol. I bet it's because you can't cope with the fact that it is glaringly obvious you also have no handle on that subject and are merely blowing the rank smoke of a publicity hound.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby RizoliTV » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:00 pm

Actually I'm a little surprised that most of the people on the skepticforum believe in the HoloHoax which is very odd considering that most of the topics discussed in the world you question but not the Holohoax.
So according to what I see that's the one that you believe out of all the other ones and it's the one that's actually the most riddled with inaccuracies and lies.

JR

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:02 pm

It was such a good idea, but poor little Mikey is dead now. :cry:
Scientists don't know everything, therefore my favorite flavor of stoopidz is true.

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Gord » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:28 am

RizoliTV wrote:Actually I'm a little surprised that most of the people on the skepticforum believe in the HoloHoax which is very odd considering that most of the topics discussed in the world you question but not the Holohoax.

Your surprise baffles me.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby RizoliTV » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:34 pm

Gord wrote:
RizoliTV wrote:Actually I'm a little surprised that most of the people on the skepticforum believe in the HoloHoax which is very odd considering that most of the topics discussed in the world you question but not the Holohoax.

Your surprise baffles me.



Actually it just shows the people that you think would be "thinking" aren't.....

JR

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Gord » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:18 am

RizoliTV wrote:
Gord wrote:
RizoliTV wrote:Actually I'm a little surprised that most of the people on the skepticforum believe in the HoloHoax which is very odd considering that most of the topics discussed in the world you question but not the Holohoax.

Your surprise baffles me.

Actually it just shows the people that you think would be "thinking" aren't.....

JR

No, it shows how badly you portray your critical thinking failures.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Denying-History » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:24 am

RizoliTV wrote:If you need help with video production that is my specialty let me know, happy to help.

Jim Rizoli
CCFIILE.COM


:lol: Jim, just stop humoring people like this.
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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby RizoliTV » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:37 pm

Denying-History wrote:
RizoliTV wrote:If you need help with video production that is my specialty let me know, happy to help.

Jim Rizoli
CCFIILE.COM


:lol: Jim, just stop humoring people like this.


So what fine skill do you have to offer?

JR

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Re: Announcing "What Do I Do Next?" Skeptical Activism Panel

Postby Denying-History » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:03 pm

RizoliTV wrote:
Denying-History wrote:
RizoliTV wrote:If you need help with video production that is my specialty let me know, happy to help.

Jim Rizoli
CCFIILE.COM


:lol: Jim, just stop humoring people like this.


So what fine skill do you have to offer?

JR


Videos that don't have shabby editing. Most of my early work was rather bad but its improved a lot, but yours sort of stay around the same area.
"I have visited [Auschwitz]. I saw everything with my own eyes. I love you even more now. Please be calm: this will not happen again, mother. We, soldiers, will take care of it."
- Vladimir Brylev


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