SkeptiCamp NYC 2021 - Share the Apple of Knowledge
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The Proposed Schedule For SkeptiCamp NYC 2021

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.

Visit our new Dashboard page, for the latest status updates on the event: https://skepticampnyc.org/WebcastHome.aspx.
The official Program Guide can be found here: https://skepticampnyc.org/ProgramGuide.aspx

9:30 AM 10:00 AM Pre-Con Meet-and-Greet!
Schmooze with your fellow attendees, while we get things ready.
10:00 AM 10:10 AM Opening Ceremonies and Other Obligatory Stuff
Category: Doing the Right Things
10:10 AM 10:40 AM Olga Ast Reaching for the Sky
The human desire to create a perfect environment through the fabrication of artificial realities has altered entire landscapes and has even disrupted our relationship to the night sky. Stars have always dominated our natural surroundings, connecting us to the Universe and Eternity. Most of us, however, can no longer see them outside of a planetarium due to urban light pollution. The sky, like nature's last bastion, has fallen prey to our desire for the artificial. Our ambition to reach for the sky has concealed it from our view. What kind of psychological impact does this have, and can a re-connection with the night sky help us make our relationship to the natural environment more emotional, caring, and attentive? (Most of this session was pre-recorded.)
10:40 AM 11:10 AM Terri Karp Ethics For Digital Minds
Brain-to-computer implants, self-driving cars, and autonomous weapons already exist. How should skeptics view the social challenges expected as technologies advance? Terri Karp has been programming computers professionally for decades, and in this non-technical discussion, she'll explore the kinds of questions that computer scientists are considering: Can consciousness be duplicated? Does intelligence have boundaries? Could a digital mind suffer?
11:10 AM 11:20 AM Short Break #1
11:20 AM 11:50 AM Claus Larsen The Harrit Syndrome - Why a Normal Dialogue with Conspiracy Theorists is Not Possible
This presentation will include:
- Harrit syndrome
- Manipulation techniques
- Normal dialogue/Focused dialogue
- Extremism
- Conclusion
Category: Skeptical Values
11:50 AM 12:20 PM Rob Palmer Critical Thinking 101: Inoculating Yourself Against False Beliefs
Our brains evolved on the African savannah well enough to allow survival in that unforgiving environment. But our thinking is far from perfect. We are primed to trust the opinions and anecdotes of people we know. We conclude that something is true based on inadequate personal experience, less-than-perfect memory, faulty logic, and a host of cognitive biases. All of this can lead us to believe in things which do not comport with reality, and often results in bad decisions and even harm.

In this talk, Rob Palmer will discuss these topics from a skeptical perspective, because understanding our innate cognitive shortcomings can help us think more rationally, better avoid errors, and live better lives.
12:20 PM 1:30 PM Lunch Break
1:30 PM 2:00 PM Russ Dobler #SkepComm -- Fulfilling the Promise of Organized Skepticism
What's now called the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry was founded 45 years ago, with part of its mission statement calling for "the critical investigation of controversial or extraordinary claims from a responsible, scientific point of view," and the dissemination of "factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community, the media, and the public."

We've been really good at the first part ... so why are we so TERRIBLY AWFUL at the second?

In what amounts to the culmination of 7 previous SkeptiCamp talks, I'll make the argument that as a community, we need to face facts about what kind of public communication actually works and what doesn't, with the immensely popular #SciComm movement as a model. Get your Hard-To-Swallow Pills ready; you're not gonna want to hear this.

I'll also briefly introduce SCAN -- the Skeptical Communication and Activism Network -- which is a brand new way for dedicated individuals to connect with like-minded, differently-skilled individuals to work on outreach projects and get shit done.
2:00 PM 2:30 PM Dr. Jonathan Howard Why Skepticism is Worth it
A defense of skepticism and the sad fate of doctors who dismissed it.
2:30 PM 3:00 PM Spiro Condos (TBA)
(TBA)
3:00 PM 3:20 PM Short Break #2
Category: The Media
3:20 PM 3:50 PM Mitchell Scott Lampert Fun with Fake Subs
The human mind will often pick up words it thinks are spoken in its native language, but in fact are not. To demonstrate this, I will showcase some foreign language music videos, and have the audience share what they hear. Then, I will present my own interpretation with my own fake subtitles.

(NOTE: Mitchell will NOT be discussing his crackpot ideas for how the mind works, during this conference.)
3:50 PM 4:20 PM JD Sword Satanic Panic and It's Relevancy to Today
Satanic Panic and it's relevancy to today through QAnon and TV shows like Fall River and Sons of Sam: Descent Into Darkness. I would naturally talk about my work covering these topics on my podcast, The Devil in the Details, and for AIPT Comics.
4:20 PM 5:30 PM Open Sessions!
We have room for one or two more sessions, here, if anyone wants to do anything.
5:30 PM 6:00 PM Closing Ceremonies and Cleaning Up After Ourselves
6:00 PM Until Whenever After Party - Russ Dobler is picking a nearby place.

Note: The category names don't really mean anything important.


  Contact the Lead Organizer with your questions or comments: admin@skepticampnyc.org