Huge thank yous to everyone who attended Skepticon this weekend, in person or on the livestream! It was so good to see your faces again. Well, your eyes mostly, but they were all lovely. In-person attendance was about 80 people, which we find impressive, given how little advance warning we gave you all.
In the unhappy event that any of you come down with COVID symptoms in the next week or test positive for COVID, please reach out to let us know. We’ll protect your privacy, but we also want to give other attendees enough information to determine their own exposure levels.
We Couldn’t Do It Without You
Thank you to all those who volunteered, who spoke, who gave workshops, who asked questions, who told stories, who helped each other find their way through the hotel complex, who charmed the Union Station employees, and who took time to share our perspectives with the random people who saw us and were curious. Thank you to our sponsors, vendors, and donors. Thank you to White Coat Captioning. Every one of you added to Skepticon in important ways.
We met our match goal during the conference! We raised about $3,500 in cash donations over the weekend, which triggered another $6,000 in matching funds. Together, this will retire roughly half our remaining legal debt. And it’s not too late to donate to help us get rid of that debt altogether or to keep Skepticon going strong. You can also join the Dino Club, our crew of sustaining members. The Dino Club helps us budget the Skepticon fun, and in return, they get our eternal love and occasional swag.
A Note About Con Drop
Do you know about con drop? Con drop is the emotional exhaustion that can follow an event like Skepticon. You show up. You’re surrounded by stimulation. You see so many people you love. You attend programming that brings out all the feels. You push yourself harder than you might if it weren’t all feeding your “soul”.
Then you go home, and you crash. You might just be tired, but you might also feel awful in other ways. You might feel lonely, or like the world is gray because there isn’t color and sound everywhere. And if you’re not familiar with con drop, you might feel like your wonderful experiences at con are being spoiled by this.
This is all normal. It’s usually a very brief experience. Rest and treat yourself well. Do it for us if you have trouble doing it for yourself. We want you back in good shape next year.
And if you’re worried about your social interactions this weekend because it’s been so long since you did this regularly? You’re not alone. Be gentle with yourself.
The Emu Wars
If you watched Skepticon from afar, or even if you attended, you might be wondering why you kept hearing about the Emu Wars. It’s good news.
Emus, as you know, are one form of modern dinosaur. (They’re birds.) As part of ongoing colonialist expansion, Australia moved farmers into emu territory, then tried to destroy the birds when the birds weren’t having any of that. The farmers called for assistance and received military aid, including machine guns.
Long story short, the emus won. Twice. Then the military refused to fight them anymore. (Seriously, the details only get better.)
So what do emus have to do with Skepticon? Well, we love dinosaurs. But more than that, we won.
If you’ve been out of touch with the secular movement for a while, you may not be aware that we—the politically correct, SJWs, Outrage Brigade, the wokist scolds, or whatever other term of derision you might have heard for those of us wanting a more inclusive movement—won the secular culture wars. Movement humanism is working on being actively humanist. Secular activism recognizes issues far beyond public crosses and prayers. New leadership is clear that they’re shaking things up.
There’s still plenty of work to do, but the national secular movement looks more like Skepticon than it ever has. It’s providing us with challenges to step up to, and this weekend was partly a celebration of that. We’re looking forward to building a better emu society, once we get used to the idea that (most) org leaders don’t hate us anymore.
We put together a conference in three months this year. We’re never going to do that again, so we’ve already started planning for an in-person Skepticon 15. We’ve chosen an art theme. We’re planning to return to Union Station, and we’re going to talk to them about some of the painful parts of being there (signage, parking!). We don’t have dates yet, but we’ll get them out as soon as we can so you can plan more easily and we can see more of your lovely faces.
Love you lots,