• Having My Doubts: A TAM 2014 Diary (Saturday)

    Over in Free Society my blogmate Jacques Rousseau noted his energy was beginning to flag, and I’ve been feeling that too. Although I haven’t left the casino, I’ve been walking all over it between my room and the Conference Center, and the simple act of absorbing and thinking about so much information is exhausting. I’ll sleep well Monday night when I’m back in Georgia.

    Saturday morning I got to the Conference Center just in time for breakfast, and had a nice chat with fellow late risers Shane P. Brady and Mark Patrick White.

    At 11, Jessica Bluemke interviewed Rebecca Bradley, Beth Erickson, and I for the Friendly Atheist blog’s podcast. We talked about skeptical blogging and what motivates our skeptical writing. I think it went well, and I’ll post a link when it goes live.

    Elizabeth Loftus spoke in the late morning. She spoke about memory, as always, and specifically about how poor ours are. She told us about the horrible case of Ronald Cotton, who was IDed for a rape he couldn’t have committed and spent years in prison for it. If Loftus’s ideas become better known and more widely accepted, it could mean the end of eyewitness testimony as valid evidence in a courtroom.

    The Saturday Evening Keynote was delivered by Bill Nye. It was great, as always, but I was disappointed that Bill seemed to have been helicoptered in: I never saw him before or after he spoke, all weekend. Most presenters feel more like part of the community of TAM.

    After the day’s speakers (and again, you can get much more detail in my live-Tweets via @RedVelvetCakes, #TAM2014) I went to the presenters’ reception. We were entertained there by world-class closeup magician¬†Jon Armstrong, who did things with a deck of cards that brought me close to believing in the paranormal.

    After the reception I went on to the regular evening entertainment, which was another magic show called Dark Stories, introduced by Max Maven and starring Eugene Burger and Michael Carbonaro. It was very funny, and Carbonaro did things with a can of shaving cream that brought me close to believing in the paranormal. 

    Category: Uncategorized

    Article by: Vandy Beth Glenn

    I'm a writer, editor, runner, and bon vivant in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.