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December 11, 2021
BDA Studios, 265 West 37th street, Suite 206, New York, NY
www.SkeptiCampNYC.org

SkeptiCamp is an Open Conference on science and skepticism, where any of the attendees can also be presenters! It is based on the "BarCamp" event model that was once popular among technology communities. In the past, people have camped out overnight at those types of events. But, today, the "camp" suffix doesn't really mean anything, anymore.

We have some rules and things to keep in mind, during the event:

        SkeptiCamp lectures are not to be passively accepted. We encourage the asking of challenging questions! But, always please try to argue the argument, without insulting or disrespecting the people, themselves.

        Every speaker is required to endure at least 5 minutes of live Q&A, divided between those who arrived in person, and those attending on-line. Some presenters won't even mind if you interject with a question in the middle of their presentation. But, be respectful of those who choose to wait until the end for answers.

        Behavior that is abusive to anyone, or disruptive of the event will get you ejected.

        Everything in front of a camera is going to be recorded, unless otherwise specified.

        No unauthorized videotaping or audio recording of your own, please.

        Everyone in the web conference will be muted while speakers will be speaking.

        Up to 100 people will be allowed into the web conference at once. We apologize to those who can't get in.

        Only those who show proof of vaccination will be allowed to attend in person.

        Always feel free to come and go into and out of the event, as you please. No one is forced to be here. Please do not be disruptive if you do decide to leave in the middle of a session.

        If you make a mess, you will be responsible for cleaning it up.

        The opinions of SkeptiCamp presenters do not necessarily reflect those of its organizers.

        Have fun! And we hope you learn something awesome!

 

Visit the Dashboard page, for any important status updates about the meeting: https://skepticampnyc.org/webcasthome.aspx. If anything goes wrong, contact: admin@skepticampnyc.org

 

If you would like to speak at SkeptiCamp NYC, either next year, or to fill a gap this year, please read the Session Leader's Guide on our web site: http://skepticampnyc.org/SessionGuide.aspx

 

Sponsorship

New York City Skeptics: http://www.nycskeptics.org

New York City Skeptics is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 nonprofit that promotes critical thinking and science education. nycslogoadConsider donating so that we can run fabulous, thought-provoking events!

 

Mitchell Scott Lampert

Mitchell is just some guy, you know. But, he puts a lot of time and resources into this. So, we think he ought to be listed here, as well.

 

Organizers

Lead Organizer: Mitchell Scott Lampert: MitchLampert42@gmail.com

Assistant Organizers and Volunteers: Craig Sachs, Benny Pollak, Russ Dobler, Spyridon Condos

Other Consultants (from previous years): Michael Feldman and Reed Esau

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88404235568?pwd=Nm9TVFcrbjduV0dKZzVWTzk4VU1mUT09

share the apple of knowledge

 

SkeptiCamp NYC 2021

The Intended Schedule

 

This schedule, of course, is subject to change throughout the day.

 

Starts

Ends

Session Host

Title

Category

9:30 AM

10:00 AM

Pre-Con Meet-and-Greet!

Doing the Right Things

Schmooze with your fellow attendees, while we get things ready.

10:00 AM

10:10 AM

Opening Ceremonies and Other Obligatory Stuff

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

Steen Svanholm and 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

11:50 AM

12:20 PM

Rob Palmer

Critical Thinking 101: Inoculating Yourself Against False Beliefs

Skeptical Values

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

Greek vs. Italian Food: An (il)Logical Presentation

Seeing, Hearing and Tasting Things

Samples will be provided.

3:00 PM

3:20 PM

Short Break #2

3:20 PM

3:50 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.

3:50 PM

4:20 PM

Steve Lundquist

Am I a Reliable Witness?

Just because someone has the expertise and knowledge to understand what they are seeing doesn't mean they can't make a mistake.

4:20 PM

4:30 PM

Short Break #3

4:30 PM

5:00 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.)

5:00 PM

5:30 PM

Open Sessions!

We have room for one or two more things, in 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 categories don't really mean anything, and aren't really very important.