I’m working on finishing out an incredibly busy fall right now. Promoting Atheist Voices of Minnesota and starting to speak at more events has kept me on the run.
Yesterday afternoon, I spoke at the Minnesota Atheists meeting about the challenges of working for justice in a world many people would prefer to think is already just. It went well, judging by the questions and the fact that people continued to discuss the topic for another half hour after the meeting officially ended. I have some tweaks to make based on the questions and feedback, then I’ll work on getting a copy online in video and text.
In the meantime, though, I’m running around even more.
I’ve already mentioned this Wednesday’s discussion at Mayday Books:
Join us at Mayday Books in Minneapolis at 7pm, Wednesday Oct 24 for a discussion on how our atheism informs our political views and activism. A panel of authors from the recently published book Atheist Voices of Minnesota will start off the discussion by sharing their own views on the subject, and then the audience will be invited to join the discussion.
The discussion will be moderated by George Kane, and the panelists include Ryan Bolin, Greg Laden, M.A. Melby, Kim Socha, and Stephanie Zvan, all Atheist Voices of Minnesota authors. The book will be for sale at the event, and is also available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other booksellers, and directly through the Minnesota Atheists online store. It’s also available for Kindle and Nook.
Mayday Books is a unique and fascinating little bookstore. Located in the West Bank community in Minneapolis, it’s a volunteer collective dedicated to selling radical and left-wing literature, and providing a space for political education and camaraderie.
After the discussion, which should end around 8pm or shortly after, those who want can hang out at Mayday Books for some social time and further discussion. Some refreshments will be on hand.
The next morning, far, far too early, I’m off to Nashville for CSICon. No duties there, just having a good time, learning some things, and trying not to squee over Elizabeth Loftus. It will be like a vacation, if I remember how to do one of those. (Vacations involve live-tweeting of talks and panels, right?) If you’re there, say , “Hi.” If you’re not attending but are in the area, there are open social times in the schedule. Check it out.
Less than a week after getting back, I will be taking part in another public discussion, this one over lunch on Friday, November 2, on atheism and morality:
As part of Normandale Community College’s colloquium series, three authors from the new book Atheist Voices of Minnesota: An Anthology of Personal Stories will be discussing a common question that nonbelievers face: How do you develop a moral code of conduct without belief in a higher power?
August Berkshire, Kim Socha, and Stephanie Zvan will share their personal stories in response to this question. Berkshire is president of Minnesota Atheists, Socha is a professor of English at Normandale, and Zvan’s Almost Diamonds blog is part of the Freethought Blogs network. Please join this presentation and dialogue that we hope will help usher in a new cultural perception of atheism, showing that morality can indeed exist even without the premise of a God or the promise of reward. Anthology editor Bill Lehto will provide a brief introduction to the talk.
This event is free and open to the public.
Then I think I will sleep solidly through the weekend, because the weekend after that is Skepticon. James Croft and I will be doing a workshop at 10 a.m. on Friday called “The Ethical Use of Irrationality”. We focus on rationality so much as a movement that our response to irrationality is often just “Don’t”. Given the time and energy costs of being rational and the ubiquity of irrationality in our lives, “Don’t” isn’t necessarily…well, rational. Nor is it always necessary. If you show up this early on Friday, you can come help us explore when and how irrationality is cool.
FtB will have a table at Skepticon. I’ll help hold that down at least part of the time. Then there will be the FtB party Saturday night. Come introduce yourself. I’ll be the one blinking in that eternal confusion of the introvert who has been spending far too much time around people but who is still surrounded by more interesting ones she hasn’t met yet. It’ll be a good time. Just don’t expect me to say anything smart.