Tuesday conversation: looking back at Skepticon 5.

Alright, back to the blogging grind (or, as I like to call it, what I do for fun).

Skepticon has sadly come to a close.  The feelings of sadness are thankfully somewhat canceled out by the feelings of “Holy shit if I don’t get some sleep I’m going to die.”  So that’s good.

It seems a fitting topic for our Tuesday conversation: what were your impressions?  What were the highlights for you?  What could be improved?  Do you have any post-con resolutions?  What will bring you back for another Skepticon?  What will keep you away?  What did you learn?  Did you make any new friends?

As for my end, you all know I gave Michaelyn a shmancy Doctor Who ring.  That is, of course, my highlight.  That includes the outpouring of well-wishes on the blog and a torrent of them on facebook.  I wish I could thank everybody individually, but a shout out to all of you here will have to suffice.  :)

The best one came from my brother, who broke up the homogenous makeup of my changed relationship status on facebook.

My brother wrote "I fapped to this."

Michaelyn about had to call the paramedics because I was laughing so hard.

Another highlight was how much time I got to spend with people.  It’s unfortunate that I never get to spend as much time with people as I want, but because I gave my talk on the opening night this year that freed me up the rest of the time to be social.  I got to get shit-faced with Amy, Liz, and Kevin from Texas; I got to eat with the SOMA group from the University of Kansas; I bumped into Canadian attendees Zach and Ryan while they weren’t doing anything and invited them to run errands with me; I finally got to meet Bob Seidensticker, who writes the Cross Examined blog here at Patheos; I got to play nerf war with Kayla and the crew from OKC; I got to grab sushi and run errands with Hannah; and I got to shake hands and meet/hug a bunch of readers.  Hugging is the best, and I wish I had whole days to spend with everybody.

And it’s always a highlight for me to get to see old friends again.  I miss everybody from back in the day.

For me, the speaker highlights was Matt Dillahunty.  I thought he had the best talk of the con (and not just because he was complimentary to me).  Behind him were extremely strong performances by Jessica Ahlquist and Richard Carrier.  I really didn’t think there were any weak speakers this year.  I was skeptical about Deborah Hyde’s werewolf talk, but that one turned out to be awesome too.

Another great moment was a post-operation skype call from Greta Christina.  As she always does, Greta used all the right words combined with a perfect sincerity.  The crowd teared up and gave her a well-earned standing ovation.

Overall, Skepticon remains the best conference in the biz to me.  Despite being an ardent skeptic, to me, it’s just…magic.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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