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Old 2nd September 2014, 12:59 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
While not privy to any inside information, there's been enough rumblings for it not to be a complete surprise that DJ and the JREF have parted company. What is surprising is the wording of the announcement. Not a word of thanks for the years of service from the outgoing President? How classless can you get?
I was mildly shocked when I read that terse one liner regarding DJ. Then I mildly wasn't.

This whole month smacks of estate planning. Sensible, but kinda sad.

Ah well, on to bigger and better things for all one hopes.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 01:34 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by malicus View Post
This whole month smacks of estate planning.
Indeed. Of not going quietly into the night.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 01:35 AM   #43
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DJ's necking was inevitable once Phil's TV career tanked. The sooner DJ is back at POI where he was brilliant and the plaitster is back in his seat the sooner the world ceases to be upside down.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 02:05 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
While not privy to any inside information, there's been enough rumblings for it not to be a complete surprise that DJ and the JREF have parted company. What is surprising is the wording of the announcement. Not a word of thanks for the years of service from the outgoing President? How classless can you get?

I agree. Not a word of thanks to DJ's efforts over the past few years seems surprising and not well thought out.

The JREF seems to be falling apart. How sad. Who's in charge now, if anyone is? James Randi is president, but I doubt he can manage day-to-day operations.

Seems to me now that the forum is probably best on its own, as it is going to be.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 02:18 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
I agree. Not a word of thanks to DJ's efforts over the past few years seems surprising and not well thought out.

The JREF seems to be falling apart. How sad. Who's in charge now, if anyone is?

Seems to me now that the forum is probably best on its own, as it is going to be.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 04:16 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
While not privy to any inside information, there's been enough rumblings for it not to be a complete surprise that DJ and the JREF have parted company. What is surprising is the wording of the announcement. Not a word of thanks for the years of service from the outgoing President? How classless can you get?
It amuses me that the biggest outrage from all this is the brusque wording in the press release. "My god, couldn't they have added some extra meaningless traditional verbiage?" Says a lot about the previous regime.

I think the JREF has little chance of outliving Randi. This might be as good a time as any to let it go. (Not that I think they will.)
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Old 2nd September 2014, 04:28 AM   #47
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Here's the thing. This should be the age of skepticism extant. Young people, at least in Western societies are far more questioning. Atheism is increasing.

Yet the JREF, which has been and should continue to be, a uniting voice of skepticism, is floundering. The enemies of skepticism will soon be dancing on Randi's grave. What happened? What will happen next?

This forum could have been part of the JREF resurgence. It's been tossed into the trash can. Very sad.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 04:42 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Yet the JREF, which has been and should continue to be, a uniting voice of skepticism, is floundering. The enemies of skepticism will soon be dancing on Randi's grave. What happened? What will happen next?
Maybe the time for large national or international skeptic organizations is over? At least in the sense that we've come to know them. It is so easy now to make groups online or find local groups to focus on things meaningful to a specific community. Maybe the only role left for the big groups is to facilitate information sharing among small groups.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 04:49 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
Maybe the time for large national or international skeptic organizations is over? At least in the sense that we've come to know them. It is so easy now to make groups online or find local groups to focus on things meaningful to a specific community. Maybe the only role left for the big groups is to facilitate information sharing among small groups.
You may be right, but I have learnt so much from this forum. I think I'm a better person because of it. Despite the gallant efforts to keep it alive, cutting the forum loose from what was a skepticism powerhouse is sad.

And more on topic, that the JREF looks like not being a powerhouse is tragic.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 04:54 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
Maybe the time for large national or international skeptic organizations is over? At least in the sense that we've come to know them. It is so easy now to make groups online or find local groups to focus on things meaningful to a specific community. Maybe the only role left for the big groups is to facilitate information sharing among small groups.
While the large national organizations may go away, an opportunity still exists for a TAM-like conference. All industries have at least one big conference.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:03 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
While the large national organizations may go away, an opportunity still exists for a TAM-like conference. All industries have at least one big conference.
So the goal of the JREF would be to put on TAM to raise money so the JREF can afford to plan the next TAM? That seems to have been the model for the past couple of years.

But I'm talking about the day-to-day work of skeptical organizations. I suspect we may be at a point where the work is done more effectively at a local level. If so, is there a better role for the JREF than networking and supporting those local groups? (Two months ago I would have said "common information repository" as well, but since they seem disinterested in maintaining this forum, we need to find another place for the JREF to fit.)

I think that would be more important than TAM, as fun as previous TAMs have been.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:05 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
So the goal of the JREF would be to put on TAM to raise money so the JREF can afford to plan the next TAM? That seems to have been the model for the past couple of years.
I'd be fine with that. Seems to work well for DragonCon, etc.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:15 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
I'd be fine with that. Seems to work well for DragonCon, etc.
I never equated the goals of sci-fi conventions and TAM. But if that's what the JREF wants to do, it's their call. I didn't get into skepticism so I had an excuse to go to Vegas, but that's just me.

If the big concern about the JREF is what will happen to TAM, then I suspect the JREF's time is already over.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:25 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
I never equated the goals of sci-fi conventions and TAM. But if that's what the JREF wants to do, it's their call. I didn't get into skepticism so I had an excuse to go to Vegas, but that's just me.

If the big concern about the JREF is what will happen to TAM, then I suspect the JREF's time is already over.
Maybe.

If JREF doesn't keep TAM going, I think there is a business opportunity for someone. Skeptic Society has some experience running conferences, as does NECSS. Or maybe a private individual will pick it up as a money making business.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:28 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
I never equated the goals of sci-fi conventions and TAM. But if that's what the JREF wants to do, it's their call. I didn't get into skepticism so I had an excuse to go to Vegas, but that's just me.

If the big concern about the JREF is what will happen to TAM, then I suspect the JREF's time is already over.


I think Scrut's point is, there are already lots of organizations who exist solely to co-ordinate large conferences that lots of members of various communities all attend. The point is not to attend a conference put on by JREF, the point is to attend a conference where all members of CFI, Skeptics Society, Skepticamp, and X Skeptics of Location Y attend.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:30 AM   #56
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So apparently the narrative has been set in place by the SJ wing:

Shermer is a rapist
Radford is a harasser and abuser
Krauss is just weird
DJ is a misogenistic cad
Dawkins is a privilaged fool
TAM is a refuge for MRAs and chill girls
PZ and Watson are the voice of reason


What's clearly fact is that:

Hitch is dead
Stenger is dead
Hrab has mostly withdrawn into music because of the drama
Swoopy has simply given up

Oh the madness.

Meanwhile the JREF forums are to be cut loose as surplus to needs.


Quote:
“Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:30 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
Maybe.

If JREF doesn't keep TAM going, I think there is a business opportunity for someone. Skeptic Society has some experience running conferences, as does NECSS. Or maybe a private individual will pick it up as a money making business.
Or maybe the International Skeptics Forum will organize one.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:32 AM   #58
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We'll see soon enough. I don't really care much, personally. If the actual work of promoting critical thinking in some useful ways isn't behind it, then it'll seem hollow. We don't need JREF to be party planners -- there are plenty out there already.

But to all of you for whom TAM is the #1 concern -- good luck in this trying time.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:34 AM   #59
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It's not like there's a lack of skeptic/atheist conferences these days.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:34 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
I think Scrut's point is, there are already lots of organizations who exist solely to co-ordinate large conferences that lots of members of various communities all attend. The point is not to attend a conference put on by JREF, the point is to attend a conference where all members of CFI, Skeptics Society, Skepticamp, and X Skeptics of Location Y attend.
Sure, but if the JREF's only mission becomes organizing a conference for everyone else, then I don't see much of a point in the JREF continuing. CFI and whomever else can contact one of the existing event-planning organizations themselves to set it up.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:36 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
Sure, but if the JREF's only mission becomes organizing a conference for everyone else, then I don't see much of a point in the JREF continuing. CFI and whomever else can contact one of the existing event-planning organizations themselves to set it up.
Perhaps they could call it "CSICon" or some such.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:40 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
TAM is a refuge for MRAs and chill girls
I'm not a chill girl (at least I don't think I am) so I must be an MRA. Whatever that is. Do I get a membership card?

Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
Swoopy has simply given up
Who (or what) is "Swoopy"?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:42 AM   #63
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Isn't it a bit soon to be picking over the bones when the body is still alive?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:51 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post

Who (or what) is "Swoopy"?
Skepticality
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:52 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Reno View Post
Skepticality
I had to google that. I don't subscribe to Skeptic, which is why I never heard of it.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 05:59 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
I had to google that. I don't subscribe to Skeptic, which is why I never heard of it.
One of the first podcasts lauded by Jobs. Now pretty much flotsam.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:01 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by malicus View Post
This whole month smacks of estate planning. Sensible, but kinda sad.
I thought so too...
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:03 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
It's not like there's a lack of skeptic/atheist conferences these days.
Maybe that's because I do not know many young atheist (practically beside a few youtuber like AaronRa and thinkingAtheist) but it feels as the old guard is passing away, and whereas there seems to be more young atheist (as watching the conference keynote), they are as a whole less known.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:08 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Isn't it a bit soon to be picking over the bones when the body is still alive?
Whether the body is still alive (or should be put out of its misery) is really what we're talking about.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:11 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Perhaps they could call it "CSICon" or some such.
Apparently the existing CSICon doesn't qualify as a national skeptics conference, for reasons I expect to remain unclear.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:13 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
I should clarify that TAM was great before DJ and continued to be while he was there. In fact, TAM XII (2014) was among the best.

What makes you confident there will be a TAM XIII?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:17 AM   #72
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Looking at the 990 for 2013, revenue dropped from around $1.25 million in 2012 to just under $900,000, and they ran a $150,000 loss for the year. That's not sustainable for any length of time when you're a small nonprofit and your major asset (the million dollars) is locked up.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:23 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
So apparently the narrative has been set in place by the SJ wing:

Shermer is a rapist
Radford is a harasser and abuser
Krauss is just weird
DJ is a misogenistic cad
Dawkins is a privilaged fool
TAM is a refuge for MRAs and chill girls
PZ and Watson are the voice of reason


What's clearly fact is that:

Hitch is dead
Stenger is dead
Hrab has mostly withdrawn into music because of the drama
Swoopy has simply given up

Oh the madness.

Meanwhile the JREF forums are to be cut loose as surplus to needs.
From what I can see George Hrab is still active in the skeptical community. He's been on SGU podcast and has been an MC at (I think) TAM in the past year.

My understanding from listening to Skepticality (co-hosted by Derek and Swoopy) is that Swoopy is studying full-time at university and simply does not have the time assist in the production of the podcast.

If you have different information, you're welcome to present it.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:27 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Blue Mountain View Post
From what I can see George Hrab is still active in the skeptical community. He's been on SGU podcast and has been an MC at (I think) TAM in the past year.
He was MC this year. Two months ago.

Quote:
My understanding from listening to Skepticality (co-hosted by Derek and Swoopy) is that Swoopy is studying full-time at university and simply does not have the time assist in the production of the podcast.

If you have different information, you're welcome to present it.
Swoopy is very involved in the Skeptrack at DragonCon, even if she's scaled back the podcasting.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:32 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Phlebas View Post
Apparently the existing CSICon doesn't qualify as a national skeptics conference, for reasons I expect to remain unclear.
It's hard to qualify as a national skeptics conference when you don't exist.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:33 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
What makes you confident there will be a TAM XIII?
The JREF has switched presidents before, and TAM has continued.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:35 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
Looking at the 990 for 2013, revenue dropped from around $1.25 million in 2012 to just under $900,000, and they ran a $150,000 loss for the year. That's not sustainable for any length of time when you're a small nonprofit and your major asset (the million dollars) is locked up.
I'm not sure that the million is technically an asset of the JREF. Doesn't it belong to Rick Adams, but it's under a bond or some such instrument that says it will be paid if someone passed the MDC?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:35 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
The JREF has switched presidents before, and TAM has continued.

Back when they had a staff, sure. Who is left to make TAM happen now?

Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
It's not like there's a lack of skeptic/atheist conferences these days.

State and regional cons abound. Possibly, this cuts into the ability of national groups with big name speakers to attract sustainable numbers.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:37 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Back when they had a staff, sure. Who is left to make TAM happen now?
They haven't had "staff" for years now.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 06:40 AM   #80
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LA JREF office closes, D.J. Grothe no longer with the JREF

Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
They haven't had "staff" for years now.

That doesn't answer my question. Without the expertise of DJ and Thomas, who is left that knows how to line everything up to make a major conference happen?

For that matter, why believe that the board still wants TAM to happen? It's difficult to see how it supports training young students.
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