Anti-Science

The New Boston Skeptics: Already Pissing People Off

I’ve been running Boston Skeptics for the past 18 months or so as a casual group of like-minded people who hang out to drink, learn, socialize, and brunch. Recently, though, we’ve really started growing in number and in enthusiasm, as fellow Skeptics-in-the-Pub attendees began stepping up and asking to do more.

Our A/V mavens, Maggie and Sarah, will be beefing up BostonSkeptics.com with a more professional redesign and better organization pointing to speaker lists and videos. We’ll also be working on more events, more audio and video content, and more content on the blog. To that end, you’ll notice a few Skepchick commenters now posting over there with content focused on local science and skeptical activism, which I think will be interesting to those of you in the New England area as well as around the world.

Thus far, we’ve had posts from Jared (known here as Expatria), Liz (aka kitty), and Josh (aka furtim). Josh, bless him, has already managed to piss off a Libertarian with his post: Abortion, Skepticism, and the Importance of Standing Firm. In it, he addresses a ridiculous bid by some locals to stop the building of a new Planned Parenthood on the grounds that the center will attract anti-choice protesters with their bloody fetus signs.

His post is excellent, as are Jared’s and Liz’s. Check them out, and if you’re interested, sign up to the RSS feed as there will be a lot more coming in the next few weeks.

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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17 Comments

  1. NICE! So now when do you have a really slow month (without snow) so that I can come talk? I mean if you have Niel DeGrasse Tyson talking I can wait…and drool…but I’m going to the Exeter UFO festival and taking photos! That might be worth laughing about (I mean having an intelligent dialogue about)

  2. Thanks for pointing people in our direction, Rebecca!

    While our focus is mostly going to be on topics of interest to folks in the Boston area, we’re hopeful that much of the content we’re planning will be enjoyable and informative for everyone.

    Feel free to drop by, post comments, and make suggestions about content or potential topics. We’re pretty psyched about some of our ideas and we hope that you will all share our enthusiasm! :)

  3. The very word “abortion” brings with it a host of knee-jerk reactions that often have little to do
    with the original discussion. No surprise that it happened to Joshua. The fact that he was able to direct it into a discussion, instead of a barrage of bullet points is amazing. Nicely done!

  4. I read the post and comments and I just can’t see where the commenter is “pissed off”. He seemed pretty calm and rational actually, limiting his remarks to the realm of mild sarcasm, compared to the original post (and blog poster’s subsequent comments) which were overtly ranty, with screamy caps and pointed cursing (even though I agreed with his points and really have nothing against ranty-arguments in general). It seemed to be the commenter wasn’t saying “you’re wrong” but “you’re insensitive”. Now it’s devolved into quotemining and using Holland (lol?) as a proxy for W Europe, so that’s done I suppose.

    I guess I just wanted to pipe up, because it seemed out of place for that sort of (unfairly) loaded language here. The intent seemed to me to paint him out as some right-wing nutjob, but in fact, he supported abortion. So in actuality, he was neither a right-wing nutjob, nor “pissed off”. (I know libs aren’t right-wing, but not everyone does, and the context in which it was used struck me.) He was himself wrong on several points, but that is what should have been emphasized – the details of the discussion – rather than the loaded words designed to provoke political knee-jerkery.

    That’s my take anyway. I now return to my lurking and silent cheer-leading, equipped with a shiny new login and password. :)

  5. @Tsabhira: Thanks for the feedback, but I do disagree. “Pissed off” is used here as a tongue-in-cheek way to introduce the new site, and if you read the first comment on the thread mentioned I think most would agree that he’s a bit hot under the collar (to put it lightly).

    Also, Libertarian was the correct word to use as it is what he labels himself. I won’t be held responsible for people who don’t understand the meaning of the word. I never even implied the commenter was right-wing or a nut-job.

  6. This is so weird. I’m used to wallowing in obscurity, and suddenly people are talking about a thing that I wrote!

    I’m going to take my blog offline and just write my thoughts in a journal from now on. A pink journal with a unicorn on the cover. Who do I find dreamy? You’ll never know, ’cause it’s private! Nyah!

  7. @Tsabhira: I think Rebecca’s explained the “pissed off” in the title well enough, but for what it’s worth I do agree that the commenter on Boston Skeptics was being relatively level-headed. Although the “Western Europe” part was a bit bizzare. (Europe is much leftier than America economically, but it’s always been somewhat more socially conservative. Not to mention that, seriously, who gives a rat’s ass what Europeans think about abortion? I have no idea what that had to do with the price of tea in China.)

    I haven’t checked in since my last comment where I inserted a forgotten link, though.

  8. I love (and by that I mean hate) how many “libertarians” are all about freedom and personal choice and rights and such, until some one brings up abortion. Then he starts mentioning what societ should or should not permit.

  9. The majority of libertarians that I know are pro-choice (fwiw), but then again, the majority of libertarians I know are atheists. But I’m talking about people I have know for awhile and have used the term for many years.

    “Libertarian” has become a term that many conservatives are trying to adopt for themselves over the last few years since the Republican party’s popularity has fallen and they want to distance themselves from the word “conservative”. Anytime I see or meet someone now that uses the word, I look at it skeptically (of course, since I am a skeptic) since it seems more and more that people are trying to redefine the word to mean the same as “conservative” with the added benefit of not having to use the word “conservative”.

  10. Man, I don’t think my post is going to piss anyone off…unless the sports teacher manages to find it :-o!

    Hello everyone! You probably don’t recognize my name, since I rarely comment here, but I hope you enjoy what we are doing with Boston Skeptics!

  11. In it, he addresses a ridiculous bid by some locals to stop the building of a new Planned Parenthood on the grounds that the center will attract anti-choice protesters with their bloody fetus signs.

    ROFLMAO

    Anyway, the whole debate with the Libertarian was rather semantical. I propose we get in the habit of singing an Atheistic version of kumbaya.

    Anyway… *adds Boston Skeptics to Google Reader*

    Also, are the Boston skeptics gonna start tying gravatars with the posts? That may be helpful if there are to be multiple authors.

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