Merry Old Christmas Day + Reflections on Modern Christmases

in the arena screenshot

Merry Christmas to any readers who may belong to Orthodox churches whose liturgy follows the Julian calendar!  My friends and I in DC are taking advantage of the occasion by getting to celebrate a little with each other (since we're all scattered back with our families on the Christmas day that our church follows).And, in the meantime, I figured I'd post the video from a Christmas radio appearance I did on In the Arena with Monsignor Harrington.  We talked about the parallel, secular c … [Read more...]

Come Pick a Useful Fight with me in NYC

Oh, were we speaking of piercing rhetorical armor?  My mistake

This weekend, I'm in New York City for the alumni debate of my college group, and while I'm in town, I'll be giving a talk on productive ways to have arguments this Saturday (August 10th)  at an event cohosted by the NYC Less Wrong meetup group and Ergo (a rationalist group).Now, if by productive arguments, you mean quick and dirty ways to win, I think you may be a bit more interested in Words that Work or The Strategy of Conflict.  But when there's a difference of opinion, at least one of yo … [Read more...]

Watch me discuss the Ideological Turing Test at Chicago Ideas Week!

Chicago Ideas headshot

In October, I was one of the religion panelists at the Chicago Ideas Week conference. My co-panelists included Eboo Patel (interfaith activist), Lauren Drain (fled the Westboro Baptist Church), Theodore Ross (his family hid their Judaism) and Julia Sweeney (atheist and comic).Since we were a diverse group of people, my talk was on having better arguments about religious disagreements, instead of just agreeing to disagree.  My talk was based on some of the principles of curious, charitable … [Read more...]

Post-Chicago Update + Radio Interview

up yours illustration

I had a lovely time at Chicago Ideas Week, and my 15 minute talk on the Ideological Turing Test and how to have better fights should be online in about a month. For a preview of what my co-panelists and I talked about, you can check out the image above. Chicago Ideas Week contracted with Ink Factory to have posters drawn during each of the talks that highlighted key ideas.  I'm standing in front of the illustration they generated during Religion: Exploring the Unexpected.  I'm trying to point at … [Read more...]

I’m speaking at Chicago Ideas Week today!

I'm on the Religion panel, and I think my talk on the Ideological Turing Test and fostering productive fights will go up online.  I'll keep you posted.  Oh, and in honor of the talk, I've finally overhauled my pre-conversion "About Me" tab above.  Want to take a look and give me any notes in the comments of this post?  I'll have time for a few revisions after my plane touches down.  Older versions of the "About" description are archived here, for comparison purposes.And while I'm aloft, chec … [Read more...]

I’m speaking in Maryland tomorrow

Just a quick housekeeping note.  If you're in the DC/Maryland area, I'm going to be chatting at an Ellicott City Theology on Tap tomorrow night.  You can find the logistical details at the facebook event page.I should note that this speaking engagement has already been a learning experience, as I've found out that, when asked for a title, I shouldn't say "I don't know.  I like puns and math."  Because now I think part of the discussion is going to have to be on epistemology and why I think "M … [Read more...]

Caution! Philosophy in Progress.

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.Last year, Theatre J sold out its run of New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza, so if you're in the DC area and I didn't successfully drag you to the show this past Wednesday, you had best get your tickets soon. The play is inspired by the excommunication of Baruch Spinoza by his synagogue and spins out a confrontation between him, a Chris … [Read more...]


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