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Tags D.J. Grothe , jref

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Old 2nd September 2014, 07:55 PM   #121
Brive1987
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Originally Posted by Stellafane View Post
You're right, actually. I shouldn't have worded it as I did. Instead, what I should have said was "And there is no evidence -- none, nada, bupkis, absolutely positively utterly not one single quark of evidence -- that feminism has anything to do with the recent goings-on at JREF, except perhaps in the minds of those who for some reason need to blame those evil feminists for everything that ever happens anywhere. And to even hint otherwise is indulging in little more than fantasy." Thanks, it's actually more accurate that way.

I've noticed some comments here and there, getting referenced repeatedly by those few who continue to obsess about such things -- while the great majority of skeptics and skeptical activities carry on unaffected, and most likely oblivious, to what amounts to little more to a handful of egotists and their acolytes yipping at each other like so many lapdogs.


Umm...what? Is this some sort of attempt at a "I know you are but what am I" retort?


Too bad, because you missed the whole point. Here, I'll repeat it for your edification: I think Drs. Shermer and Dawkins are both red-letter jerks.

Not sure why you are so energised to conflate feminism with DJ's departure in order to rebut the allegation. Certainly you are passionate and determined to strike down that bale of hay. And man did it raise a puff of dust.

Your observation that "I've noticed some comments here and there" confirms my suspicion that the narrow mindedness you reference is simple projection.

Within those 'here and there' comments did you notice the concerted attacks on traditional leaders of skepticism? Career targeting and unsubstantiated allegations of rape and harassment broadcast via blog-network dog-piles? Maybe not. A lot gets lost in 80% peripheral vision.

You do appear to have read enough odds-and-sods commentary to charitably conclude (not doubt after a careful sifting of evidence) that "Drs. Shermer and Dawkins are both red-letter jerks".

Quite remarkable.

Or was it more a 'noticed' tweet here and there?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:04 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
Not sure why you are so energised to conflate feminism with DJ's departure in order to rebut the allegation. Certainly you are passionate and determined to strike down that bale of hay. And man did it raise a puff of dust.
I seem to recall that you were the one to bring up feminism and SJW stuff earlier...

But if you're going on record that you don't think those issues had anything to do with DJ's sacking, fine by me.

I'm not clear just what the hell you're trying to say anymore. But I'm pretty sure it has something to do with how you hate the Skepchicks, etc.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:06 PM   #123
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And why the heck are people here even talking about PZ Myers, Dawkins, Shermer, etc in this thread? I thought this thread was about DJ Grothe and the JREF.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:18 PM   #124
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Mother of god, does skepticism mean myopia? Situations like this tend to have some backstory and supporting evidence. Pretending the last 2 years of FTB and Skepchick nonsense towards Grothe doesn't exist is just plain dumb. You don't get it, your handwaving eventually becomes too obvious, your sleight of hand distractions become noticed, it's amazing how in your face you have become about it.

We see the blogs and the tweets dude. They happened. Sorry it makes your friends look bad, but I think that is on them.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:23 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Mother of god, does skepticism mean myopia? Situations like this tend to have some backstory and supporting evidence. Pretending the last 2 years of FTB and Skepchick nonsense towards Grothe doesn't exist is just plain dumb. You don't get it, your handwaving eventually becomes too obvious, your sleight of hand distractions become noticed, it's amazing how in your face you have become about it.

We see the blogs and the tweets dude. They happened. Sorry it makes your friends look bad, but I think that is on them.
There's the thing, right there... "supporting evidence".

Got any to share? Specifically, do you have any evidence to show that DJ's sacking had anything to do with this stuff?

Remember: speculation =/= evidence

ETA: I'm going on record as saying that I don't really know what happened with DJ. I don't know if the flap with the feminism stuff got him into hot water, I don't know if the JREF's worsening financials got him into trouble, I don't know if he's being set up as a fall guy so the Board can CYA, I don't know.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:25 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
There you go. Your photo of me with PZ is relevant, whereas my photo of me with DJ is irrelevant.

Have fun moving those goalposts

And, for the record, I feel no need to justify my opinions or feelings to you. Continue your rant...
An observation is that you think DJ broke your TAM but you can't or won't explain the basis for your comment/allegation.

So far the only discernible change I can see under the new regime was that a group of malcontents you used to hang with decamped to loony pastures.

A reasonable conclusion is that you simply want them back in the play pen. I was hoping for more.

............

Re this thread. You owe it to the "record" (say what?) to (?) minute (?) that I made one point only.

That without organisations like JREF (and the stewardship of people like DJ) the playing field would be left to the SJ "entailed" atheism skeptics. True I characterised both the loony landscape and the decline of forces of reason. I even issued a pithy lament taken from Camelot.

Too many points made for one post apparently. Even using bullet points. Someone else conflated SJ feminism with DJs poorly handled execution - in order to rebut this left field point. And you all ran around hands in the air now you knew what was "really" being said.

Incredible.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:32 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
An observation is that you think DJ broke your TAM but you can't or won't explain the basis for your comment/allegation.
"Broke my TAM"? Seriously?

Hell, all I did is say that I thought TAMs pre-DJ were better. Jeez.

It might interest you to know that I worked with JREF in an official capacity on both the Swift blog and on their educational advisory board during DJ's tenure. I also worked with him (and others) to get some very important research on the anti-vaccination movement published. These are things of which I'm extremely proud.

I just didn't enjoy TAM as much when he was president. But you seem to think that one statement on my part equates to a general slap at DJ and the JREF.

Feel free to rant on. It's entertaining.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:33 PM   #128
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What Brive1987 says MattusMaximus said:

Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
An observation is that you think DJ broke your TAM but you can't or won't explain the basis for your comment/allegation.
What MM actually said:

Originally Posted by MattusMaximus
In my opinion, the best TAM years were pre-DJ.
You will note the following:

1. It doesn't assign any responsibility to DJ for "breaking his TAM."
2. It is clearly noted as opinion, and not a statement of fact.

I am going to go out on a limb and posit that MattusMaximus has been to far more TAMs than Brive1987, and is perfectly within his rights to have an opinion on the matter.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:33 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Yes speculation, apparently only you get to do that, everyone else is relegated to only being allowed to talk about what YOU deem prudent. Seems legit.
I'm not making any specific claims. I'm admitting that I'm speculating.

You are making specific claims.

Don't whine when someone on a skeptics forum asks for evidence backing up your specific claims.

ETA: So... evidence?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:42 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Stellafane View Post
Not to read too much into it, but the gist of the message seemed to be "we're dumping DJ as part of our ongoing effort to actually educate people." Whether or not that's the actual intended message, it does seem that whoever wrote that announcement didn't exactly bend over backwards to ensure DJ didn't have any hard feelings.
Yeah, it does come across as kind of an "eff-you DJ" letter.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:45 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
I'm not making any specific claims. I'm admitting that I'm speculating.

You are making specific claims.

Don't whine when someone on a skeptics forum asks for evidence backing up your specific claims.

ETA: So... evidence?
Okay let me just get a baseline here. How many links am I going to have to produce of skepchicks and FTBers doing what they do to constitute evidence?

I really don't feel like wading through all their delightful discussions only to have you say they don't count as evidence they have been conducting a.campaign against Grothe.

Honestly I feel like if you remain so uninformed after every time you are.confronted with their.nonsense you aren't really.interested in the evidence at all.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:50 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Okay let me just get a baseline here. How many links am I going to have to produce of skepchicks and FTBers doing what they do to constitute evidence?
I'm sure you can find links to pissing matches.

What you can't do is show that these pissing matches were the main reason for DJ's termination, unless you have some sort of insight into the BOD that the rest of us lack.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:50 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Okay let me just get a baseline here. How many links am I going to have to produce of skepchicks and FTBers doing what they do to constitute evidence?
I'm not disputing that plenty of Skepchicks and FTBers have said plenty of not-so-pleasant things about DJ Grothe.

What I am disputing is your implication that the JREF Board decided to make their decision to sack him based upon those blog posts. I'm perfectly willing to concede the point, if you can provide evidence.

So... evidence?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:50 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Okay let me just get a baseline here. How many links am I going to have to produce of skepchicks and FTBers doing what they do to constitute evidence?

Can you provide any links to show that the people who matter (e.g. Randi, Adams, Denman) give half a **** about those bloggers?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 08:57 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
I'm sure you can find links to pissing matches.

What you can't do is show that these pissing matches were the main reason for DJ's termination, unless you have some sort of insight into the BOD that the rest of us lack.
Please quote where anyone other than Stellafane said there was a provable - or even likely - link between SJ weirdness and the specifics of DJ's sacking?

That the SJL has been gunning for the heads of DJ and most other (male) skeptic leaders is a self evident but separate point.

The most that's been said is that lack of evidence cannot be the basis for definitively stating that there was definitely no feminist agenda at play. But no one is actually making that case.

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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:00 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Can you provide any links to show that the people who matter (e.g. Randi, Adams, Denman) give half a **** about those bloggers?
This ^
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:00 PM   #137
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Haha so unless I can SPECIFICALLY tie this all together we cannot speculate that this may be linked, but you can speculate that it isn't because you can show otherwise? Cleon, since you are good at reattaching discussions, show me the post where I said the specific reason this occurred was x. I'll even allow x to be anything. Or did Brive say this? Or who?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:02 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
I was about to suggest you remove your fence-sitting plug-in but you beat me to it.
That plugin only works with Firefox.

Speaking of fence sitting, I've seen compelling arguments that the BOD doesn't follow or care about internet drama, and compelling arguments that they really should, given the sustained efforts to scare people off TAM from the usual suspects. What I haven't seen is any way to get a bead on what's going on, short of mind-reading, in which case I'd take the cool million and start my own foundation.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:04 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Haha so unless I can SPECIFICALLY tie this all together we cannot speculate that this may be linked, but you can speculate that it isn't because you can show otherwise? Cleon, since you are good at reattaching discussions, show me the post where I said the specific reason this occurred was x. I'll even allow x to be anything. Or did Brive say this? Or who?
If you are admitting that all you're doing is speculating, fine by me.

I guess we're done here
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:07 PM   #140
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Just... really?

So, the problem is reading comprehension?
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:08 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
Just... really?

So, the problem is reading comprehension?
No problem anymore. You clearly stated that all you're doing is speculating and that you have no evidence to support any claim that the SJW-ism stuff had anything to do with DJ's sacking.

We're done.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:10 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
That plugin only works with Firefox.

Speaking of fence sitting, I've seen compelling arguments that the BOD doesn't follow or care about internet drama, and compelling arguments that they really should, given the sustained efforts to scare people off TAM from the usual suspects. What I haven't seen is any way to get a bead on what's going on, short of mind-reading, in which case I'd take the cool million and start my own foundation.
There's actually plenty of evidence to suggest what's going on.

The steady financial decline since DJ started, for instance.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:12 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
There's actually plenty of evidence to suggest what's going on.

The steady financial decline since DJ started, for instance.
A fair point. But... how much of that decline had to do with the overall economic slump? Let's face it, TAM is expensive, and a lot of people lost a lot of money since 2009. Not to mention, when money is tight people tend to donate less to non-profits.

So I'll go far as to say there is a correlation, but it's a far cry from proving a causal connection.

ETA: It's entirely possible, assuming that the financials were the reason for DJ's sacking, that he just happened to be the poor bastard in charge when the economy went in the crapper.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:13 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
The steady financial decline since DJ started, for instance.

Generally I enjoy disagreeing with you but I'm not seeing an obvious way to do that right now. While I suspect there has been a general membership/participation trend away from national groups and national cons towards more regional and local organising, I've no stats to back that up.

Yet.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:16 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
What Brive1987 says MattusMaximus said:

What MM actually said:

You will note the following:

1. It doesn't assign any responsibility to DJ for "breaking his TAM."
2. It is clearly noted as opinion, and not a statement of fact.

I am going to go out on a limb and posit that MattusMaximus has been to far more TAMs than Brive1987, and is perfectly within his rights to have an opinion on the matter.


Let's be really specific, as it seems we must.




MM clearly asserts that DJ formed a watermark (let's label that point as "pre-DJ" on the graph) between good and not so good TAM.

Equally clearly he prefers the pre DJ event. In fact he is pretty emphatic about this.

Now MM may be a man of august stature unaccustomed to justifying his opinions. Even his critical ones. Let alone on a skeptical forum with participants ignorant of his clout and authority. In a topic where we are discussing DJ's pros and cons.

He may have seen no correlation between using the pre-DJ label and the linking of DJ to the decline of TAMs "bestness"

But excuse me for asking him to provide us lesser MMs (mere mortals) with a modicum of context for his assertions.

..........

/rant
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:20 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by MattusMaximus View Post
A fair point. But... how much of that decline had to do with the overall economic slump? Let's face it, TAM is expensive, and a lot of people lost a lot of money since 2009. Not to mention, when money is tight people tend to donate less to non-profits.

So I'll go far as to say there is a correlation, but it's a far cry from proving a causal connection.
I'm more saying that there is something to look at rather than wild speculation, so why not pick the option that actually has pieces of hard evidence regarding something the organization would necessarily have to be concerned with.

I would be utterly shocked if Randi had ever read any of the blog posts about DJ and sexism.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:21 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Generally I enjoy disagreeing with you but I'm not seeing an obvious way to do that right now. While I suspect there has been a general membership/participation trend away from national groups and national cons towards more regional and local organising, I've no stats to back that up.

Yet.
Good point.

I seem to recall that the entire Skepticamp phenomenon also got started at about the time that DJ became JREF president (our first Chicago Skepticamp was in early 2010, I think, and we were one of the first ones). That combined with the expense of TAM (Vegas ain't cheap) and the general economic downturn seems like it could easily contribute to less money flowing into the JREF's coffers.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:23 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I'm more saying that there is something to look at rather than wild speculation, so why not pick the option that actually has pieces of hard evidence regarding something the organization would necessarily have to be concerned with.
Oh, I agree. That's why I think the financials are the way to go. I think they're the closest we're going to get to hard evidence. Unless someone decides to share internal JREF Board emails or something to that effect.

Quote:
I would be utterly shocked if Randi had ever read any of the blog posts about DJ and sexism.
Me too.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:28 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
There's actually plenty of evidence to suggest what's going on.

The steady financial decline since DJ started, for instance.
Certainly a factor. Doesn't explain the unprofessional, verging on malicious, manner of DJ's dispatch. There is more at play here.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:29 PM   #150
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You guys pretend so hard that this isn't an on going problem in the community. Now that some nasty campaigns look like possible reasons for the firing you just cut off the knowledge of these campaigns by assigning ignorance to everyone. I mean you guys seriously act as though skepchicks and JREF have never crossed paths and that the internet machine is impossible to decipher. It's not like we are dealing with lycos.com guys.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:31 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Brive1987 View Post
Certainly a factor. Doesn't explain the unprofessional, verging on malicious, manner of DJ's dispatch. There is more at play here.
Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
You guys pretend so hard that this isn't an on going problem in the community. Now that some nasty campaigns look like possible reasons for the firing you just cut off the knowledge of these campaigns by assigning ignorance to everyone. I mean you guys seriously act as though skepchicks and JREF have never crossed paths and that the internet machine is impossible to decipher. It's not like we are dealing with lycos.com guys.
I suggest you guys take it up with the JREF Board, seeing as how they were the ones directly responsible for DJ's sacking (and the manner in which it occurred).
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:31 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
There's actually plenty of evidence to suggest what's going on.

The steady financial decline since DJ started, for instance.

While this may seem the most facile explanation, it currently seems the most likely, IMO--the board would surely be very concerned with the numbers.

The strange thing is how abrupt (during a holiday weekend!) and mishandled the announcement seemed to be.

In any case, it's obvious there's more going on behind the scenes than most of us are aware of.

ETA: Brive1987 beat me to it and said pretty much the same thing a couple of posts back.

Last edited by AdMan; 2nd September 2014 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:38 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Generally I enjoy disagreeing with you but I'm not seeing an obvious way to do that right now. While I suspect there has been a general membership/participation trend away from national groups and national cons towards more regional and local organising, I've no stats to back that up.

Yet.
I work in the events industry. I have not seen evidence of this trend. But, I went ahead and picked an event that I know keeps very close track of attendance.

CES 2014: 160,498
CES 2013: 152,759
CES 2012: 156,153
CES 2011: 149,529
CES 2010: 128,949
CES 2009: 113,085
CES 2008: 141,150

Or DragonCon.

DragonCon 2013: 57,000
DragonCon 2012: 52,000
DragonCon 2011: 46,000
DragonCon 2010: 40,000
DragonCon 2009: 35,000
DragonCon 2008: 30,000

Dunno if those count or not, but again, I work in the events industry and have over 100 separate accounts. The numbers seem to be either going up or staying the same from my perspective.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:41 PM   #154
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Why do we have to do all sorts of things because we have the ability to put things together, you just are so totally unaware of? Why don't you admit that there HAS been a campaign against DJ? Why does this have to be treated like something unknown or unknowable? What the heck is wrong with pulling all the pieces together to try and understand something, but you get to leave out parts because they are uncomfortable? What you are trying to do is make this look like a CT. It's not. These things have happened.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:43 PM   #155
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LA JREF office closes, D.J. Grothe no longer with the JREF

I didn't mean quite that general, RemieV.

More like, skepticism, generally. I've noticed a proliferation of new events on Lanyrd. The sort of events that might well compete for butts in seats.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:47 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by SinisterBen View Post
You guys pretend so hard that this isn't an on going problem in the community. Now that some nasty campaigns look like possible reasons for the firing you just cut off the knowledge of these campaigns by assigning ignorance to everyone. I mean you guys seriously act as though skepchicks and JREF have never crossed paths and that the internet machine is impossible to decipher. It's not like we are dealing with lycos.com guys.
How does it look like that? The timing doesn't even fit unless there was some new article over the weekend. Was there? I can't even remember the last time I saw DJ mentioned negatively. A month ago? Two? How does that line up with what you're saying?

Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
While this may seem the most facile explanation, it currently seems the most likely, IMO--the board would surely be very concerned with the numbers.

The strange thing is how abrupt (during a holiday weekend!) and mishandled the announcement seemed to be.

In any case, it's obvious there's more going on behind the scenes than most of us are aware of.

ETA: Brive1987 beat me to it and said pretty much the same thing a couple of posts back.
I was there three years and don't even think there was an announcement about me. Jeff was there for what, five, six? Was there an announcement about him? If there was, I don't recall it. I remember that HE wrote a post for Swift, but I don't remember one ABOUT him (although entirely possible I missed it as I wasn't exactly interested in anything the JREF had to say at the time).

The things we know the JREF is changing (that are more likely to be indicators of the reasoning here):

- The web site is being completely redone
- The forum is being cut away
- Adam Savage has been named a new board member
- Money's down
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Old 2nd September 2014, 09:59 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
I was there three years and don't even think there was an announcement about me. Jeff was there for what, five, six? Was there an announcement about him? If there was, I don't recall it. I remember that HE wrote a post for Swift, but I don't remember one ABOUT him (although entirely possible I missed it as I wasn't exactly interested in anything the JREF had to say at the time).

I know--it's not the first time the JREF has mishandled similar announcements and failed to thank and credit people adequately for their obvious and ample contributions. This time it feels somewhat stranger than usual, though, IMO. This time it's the president leaving.

Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
- Adam Savage has been named a new board member

Just on this particular point, I know it was announced at TAM, but after that I've seen nothing else. Nothing about it on the JREF blog, for example. It seems strange. You would think the JREF would be making a bigger deal out of this. Was the announcement perhaps premature?

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Old 2nd September 2014, 10:25 PM   #158
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Until we see some decent investigative reporting, it's highly unlikely we will get the ins and outs of exactly what happened, here. I'm going with a Gestalt Theory. I'd say that you combine the evidence you have and it may not have been any one thing.

> DJ did not have the loyalty factor that Randi had. DJ's not Randi. But was the Amazing Charisma the reason for the departure of long-term people when Randi handed over? I don't know, but I think that was only a part of it. I think DJ wanted to run his own show and maybe rubbed some people the wrong way.

> He's not the sort of presence you get (in terms of PR and exposure) as releasing something to the press or networks with "James Randi Said....". Not even the kind of PR you get with a Plait or Banacek or Gillette or Savage if any of those folk were proposed as the head. (Not commenting on views or skeptical cred, just the very needed promotional aspects.)

> Certainly he was targeted by the FTB crowd and FTB wannabe crowd. The only way to place yourself above the fray is to place yourself above the fray. It doesn't work if you tweet them and tell them you're above the fray.

> If anyone has a wayback machine, check out the promotions for this year's TAM. DJ was barely mentioned, and in the few weeks right before TAM he was actually not mentioned at all. I understand he was present and was involved in some of the panels, but you'd think the President of the JREF should've been more prominent. I recall speculating at the time (with friends) that there was something up, possibly a parting of the ways in the offing.

Frankly, I think the Foundation missed the boat with the appointment of DJ. Nothing against him or his creds, in fact I think his outing of the rent-a-boy hypocrite was one of my favorite events in guerrilla theater of the past decade. At the time, we were all speculating about a big-name presence - Phil came close enough to that, but then he opted out. I truly think they should've looked for someone else with a higher public relations quotient.

The real question is where (and if) they go from here. TAM has a built-in following if Randi's behind it and promoting it. He can get a Who's Who in the sketpic(k)-atheist community to show up. If they want to include PZ or Rebecca in some side event or on the dais, I have no problem. I want to hear dissenting voices. Maybe they can repatriate the SJ wing? Lord knows they could use the gigs!

But where does the foundation go? Randi is rather senior and can't go on forever. I still think they need a major presence, e.g. someone who can call Anderson Cooper or (OMG) Bill Reilly and get quoted or even interviewed on a topic. Neil dG Tyson would be ideal. Alas, I think he makes eleventy-seven times what they could pay and I'm not sure he could hold down his current job and be the JREF president, also. Absent Dr. Tyson, Banacek or Plait. (My choices - not yours - not the Foundation's)
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Old 2nd September 2014, 10:33 PM   #159
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Tyson would be awesome, and has the added value of being way too popular for the crazies to smear. That would be awesome. Skepticism could possibly be identity politics free. That would be nigh utopian.
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Old 2nd September 2014, 10:39 PM   #160
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What campaign? Oh this one... I wonder if yesterday is recent enough to count?

Carrie Poppy likes the NAMBLA post.

Good people I'm sure.

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