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Old 4th August 2007, 06:54 PM   #1
TsarBomba
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First Ever Skepticamp A Sucess

Having just gotten back from the first ever Skepticamp, held in Denver Colorado on August 4, 2007, I would like to report a roaring success. The idea was taken from the Bar Camp concept of an open source technology conference, where participants show up and provide the content.

Skepticamp actually began in the evening hours of August 3 with an exellent presentation debunking moon landing conspiracy hoax claims. We met in the basement of the Tivoli, a former brewery that now serves as the student union building for Metro State University and CU-Denver. We gathered again this morning and various participants wrote summaries of their proposed presentations on small pieces of paper, which were posted on a board. The orginizers then created a schedule and away we went. Roughly 30 people participated, and we had about 8 seperate presentations. Surprisingly, the most interesting feature (to me) was the presentation by a local "ghost hunting" group, the rocky mountain paranormal research group. They turned out to be very skeptical, rational, and clear minded. They freely admitted (without shame) that in 20 years of research, they have found no hard evidence of paranormal activity.

We also had a skeptical trivia challenge, and discussions of naturopathy, geology, libraries, attachment theropy, rhetoric, and a very interesting study on the personality traits of conspiracy theory believers.

I think that the organizers showed that an open-source informal skeptical "convention" can work anywhere. I would highly recomend that anyone interested contact the organizers (which you should be able to reach through the first embeded link above) and hold their own Skepticamp.

Here are some photographs of the fun

Here, the rocky Mountain Paranormal Group gives its presentation.



An interested listener




Anyone that's been to TAM should recognize the guy in the yellow shirt.




Reed, one of the ograinizers, gives his lecture.



Reed kept them interested.



Winding down

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Old 4th August 2007, 09:55 PM   #2
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Perhaps the finest of the presentations was delivered by this forum's Dumb All Over where he exposed the evil forces headquartered at the Denver International Airport. More photos: at flickr
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File Type: jpg Dumb All Over (Nazis at the Airport).jpg (96.2 KB, 12 views)
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Last edited by Reed; 4th August 2007 at 10:07 PM. Reason: reword, format and more photos link
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Old 5th August 2007, 01:45 PM   #3
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One of the participants provides her roundup here: http://katsudon.livejournal.com/615347.html
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Old 6th August 2007, 06:09 AM   #4
Dumb All Over
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Originally Posted by Reed View Post
Perhaps the finest of the presentations was delivered by this forum's Dumb All Over where he exposed the evil forces headquartered at the Denver International Airport. More photos: at flickr
What? You're joking, right? Dumb All Over's presentation was just...well...DUMB!

The others, though, were very informative. I learned something new during each of them.

I concur with Rich that the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Group was particularly interesting. I remember when I first noticed that Bryan (founder of RMPRG) had signed up as a member of our local group. I thought, "Oh, geez! You've got to be kidding. We already have a 9/11 conspiracy theorist in the group. Now this? We're going to hell in a hand basket." So, I was happily surprised when these very skeptical ghost hunters made their presentation. IMHO, with a little polish, these guys could be TAM material.

Linda Rosa's talk on attachment therapy was another standout. It was emotionally difficult to sit through this presentation, as she showed video tape of actual therapy sessions. Really folks, attachment therapy is nothing more than sanctioned child abuse.

The Skepticamp model is a wonderful way to bring skeptics together. Thanks to Reed, RichL, Crystal, Misty, and all others who made this happen.
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Old 6th August 2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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I concur with all of the above, except where DAO, says his presentation was Dumb. It was awesome!

Dumb? You need to do more presentations. You're great!

And thanks Rich, for the great Skeptic Quiz Show. I see a great future for you in this!

And I agree with the assessment of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Society. I hope to have more interaction with them.

Reed, Rich and Crystal? Thank you for this! And Misty, great job on the venue!

As we know, skeptics tend to have a lot to say and a lot to offer, Skepticamp is a great way to share information and network.

--elaine
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Old 12th August 2007, 11:23 PM   #6
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All the photos should now be posted at flickr tagged with skepticamp.
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