The Proposed Schedule for SkeptiCamp NYC 2015
The actual sequence of events at any SkeptiCamp is subject to change based on the needs and interests of its
attendees. The following is the schedule we will start with. But, be aware that it could change around a lot.
The opinions of SkeptiCamp presenters do not necessarily reflect those of its organizers.
This schedule was last updated on 12/03/2015.
||Doors Open! Schmooze with your fellow attendees while we set up the place.
||Opening Ceremonies and Other Important Stuff
||Andre de Zanger
||GAMMA-WAVE HYPOTHESIS – Increase Creativity and Consciousness
||We will explore the possibility of increasing your Creativity and Consciousness by experiencing Gamma-Waves. Gamma-Waves are the highest brain waves (25 - 100 Hz) and have been shown to "Spike" at the moment of Creative Insights, Solving Problems or getting a "Joke". You will experience various ways to access your Gamma via the
NECKER CUBE, AWE and GOOSE BUMPS, HUMOR and JOKES, and BRAINWAVE ENTRAINMENT
||The Arts and Creativity
||Shrinks at the Cinema: Hollywood's View of Psychiatry
||Movies have typically shunned realistic but undramatic portrayals of psychiatry and mental illness in favor of glamorized or romanticized versions; unfortunately, most people form lasting impressions of psychiatric illness and treatment based on these often unflattering images, which perpetuate stigma and hamper understanding.
||Short Break #1
||Why Art? The Purpose of Art for a Materialist
||Secularists are often asked "How can you experience spirituality?".
Do we have any means of grasping the transcendent? Yes! Art is one, and not only is it important from a self fulfillment perspective, it is necessary if we are to function effectively in the world. It can combine volumes of philosophic theory into one image, or plot twist, or piece of music. Art's importance for the most dedicated secularist will be explored.
||The Return of ART FOR SKEPTICS
||New York is an "Art Town," but all too often we feel left out of the party: Is this stuff a joke? My kid could do that! Here, a skeptical toolbox with which to approach any work of art, anywhere, anytime. We can't promise you'll "like" what you see, just that you'll have a few good questions to keep in mind while you wander through the galleries.
||Lunch Break! Eat with us in the room, if you'd like! We will have meal options for sale, and a cooler for brown-baggers. Or, you could go out to some of the nearby restaurants.
||One day, a woman is diagnosed by her doctor with an irreversible, degenerative eye disorder. That Sunday, everyone at her 1700-person church prays for her to be healed. The following Tuesday, she goes back to the doctor and there is no sign that there had ever been anything wrong with her eye. Was she cured? Is this a miracle? What do you do when you hear a first-person account of a seemingly impossible situation that goes against your fundamental beliefs about how the world works? Well, if you're Tim Minchin, you write a song about it.
||Medical Marijuana: New Frontier of Medicine or Herbal Snake Oil?
||Since 1996, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical use in defiance of the federal government and traditional drug approval methods. Is it safe and is it effective? Does it have it place within science based medicine or is it just a modern day form of folk herbalism?
||Skepticism's Image Problem and Preaching Past the Choir
||How can we get skeptical media to reach the people who need it most? What can be done about skepticism's image problem, and who will be the ones to fix it? Spoiler: I don't have answers. But I do have thoughts, cultivated from a few years of promoting skepticism where it doesn't usually belong.
||Short Break #2
||The sudden and surprising success of driverless vehicles portends a new era of convenience and much greater transportation safety - until they are programmed to mow down innocent bystanders at high speed, or to kill their own helpless occupants in fiery crashes. Far-fetched? These may be features, not bugs, in the eyes of our new computerized car overlords. And that may be a good thing. We'll consider whether death programs in driverless cars might or might not be necessary, or even beneficial.
Moderated/group discussion session
||A Rational Guide to Investing in the Stock Market
||Why you should not invest in individual stocks.
||Short Break #3
||Veering Off the Intersection of Science and Consumer Protection?
||Let's discuss examples of when consumer protection seems to veer off of what science seems to say about something, and what we can do about it.
||Last Minute Stuff
||If no one has anything better to fill the time with, Mitch Lampert will cook up a few more options. But, he will not be discussing his crackpot ideas about how the mind works, at this event.
||Closing Ceremonies and Leaving No Trace Behind
||After Party! Location to be announced.
Note: The categories on the side, as usual, aren't really very important.
Contact us with questions or comments: Mitch@MitchLampert.net