Pamela Gay does a good job in her talk at TAM 2012 walking the line between telling people to shut up and suggesting that we turn our backs on internet harassment and trolling. By all accounts this talk was the best one given at TAM. That is interesting because the talk is in part an implied indictment of JREF’s and DJ Grothe’s handling of the harassment issue at TAM. But even more importantly, Pamela Gay broadens the focus of the current internet strife to include more inclusive consideration of other real problems, and she highlights a number of excellent examples of people not liking the way something is and going ahead and fixing it. Fortunately, the talk exists as a transcript, which is worth a read, and a careful read. Click here to to get there.
The James Randi Educational Foundation, which does important work on behalf of skepticism and education, has been without a communications director for a while now, but has just announced the appointment of Carrie Poppy to that position. From a blog post by DJ Grothe:
I am pleased to share some exciting news straight from the James Randi Educational Foundation, and to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Carrie Poppy. After months of searching and interviews, we are thrilled to have Carrie join us. She has been involved in the non-profit world for several years, and has worked on many successful campaigns in LGBTQ rights, animal protection, and skepticism, a cause about which she is especially passionate. I asked Carrie a few questions from our brand new offices in the heart of Hollywood, California. (Open house details to be announced in the weeks ahead; stay tuned!)
Everything I’ve heard about Carrie Poppy is pretty positive, often glowing. The PETA link is interesting; if you’ve followed my commentary on “animal rights” you’ll know that I have a very pro-animal rights mixed with anti-animal rights set of views. And in between. Maybe that’s a topic we should bring up again in the near future.
I think the DJ Grothe thing has run its course. DJ issued a lengthy apology to Rebecca Watson on Skepchick. The apology has some good things in it, DJ has said some of the proper, need-to-be-said things. But as has been pointed out by both Rebecca and Stephanie (see also this) with added commentary by Jason, DJ’s comment…what it said, how it was said, what wasn’t said, to whom it was said, and to whom it was not said, among other things…underscored rather than diffused the problem. Now, he should be prepared to take the next needed steps.
Dr Phil tells us that there comes a time in many relationships for one person to be a hero. It is now time for DJ Grothe to be the hero. Pursuant to this, I give you … DJ Grothe, Joining The Avengers for a Trial Period: (more…)
DJ Grothe has done some great things and he’s taken the James Randi Educational Foundation a long way; he’s made an important mark and we should all appreciate him and his prior efforts. Hell, we should create an award named after him and give it to people every year. Thank you DJ Grothe for all you’ve done for the skeptic movement. (more…)