My talk to Sydney Atheists: Online Activism 101

I've just published the talk I delivered to the Sydney Atheists on Online Activism to Slideshare. It doesn't work perfectly, since some of the slides were animated, but the overview looks something like this: 


If all goes to plan, this will also be presented as a podcast from Sydney Atheists, so you can listen to me ramble as you read the slides.

If you'd like a talk like this delivered at your skeptical, atheist, humanist or freethinkers group, please let me know. I'm also working up a more specific "Skeptical Social Media" talk and can present more specific case studies on some of the campaigns I've been around, including Stop The AVN, #VoteRachie and Chanology. Also, if you've done something interesting online around the skeptical activism subject, please drop me some info and I can mention you in the talks. If you're off on the other side of the world and would like to deliver something based on these slides, likewise let me know and I can help out.

I'll be delivering version 2.0 of this presentation at the Western Sydney Freethinkers September meeting in Penrith, NSW (Sunday 19th at 2pm, Penrith School of Arts*), so please pop in and give me some feedback. It'll be a variation of this one as I incorporate more of the interesting, solid stuff and less of the boring, rambling inaccurate stuff.

I'm hoping to get a few other groups to invite me along in the coming months, if they can stand the sight of my scruffy, stubble-laden countenance and put up with my disorganised, inebriated ways, so watch this space.

*the web calendar says Penrith RSL, please check the blog for the final venue

Happily Promotes Bogus Treatments. Avoid

Every so often I walk from my house to the local shopping strip, and when I do I usually go past the local chiropractic centre. And they have posters in their windows which make grandiose claims for chiroquacktic chiropractic manipulation that are just not borne out by any valid science. They claim to cure asthma, childhood colic, bedwetting and allergies... just by mangling your neck around the place. There is just no evidence for these claims. None.

They also claim that chiropractic is "250 times safer than anti-inflamatories". Whatever the fuck that's meant to mean, I can say this: staying in your house is safer than crossing the street, but it won't get your ass to the supermarket. And of course, chiropractic is not safe at all. Look up "cervical artery dissection" on pubmed one day. You'll be surprised. You might also want to check for amebiasis outbreaks, since many chiropractors question germ theory and fail to apply good sterile technique. Or clean the graffiti off their buildings.

Anyway, this fucking annoys me.

So, inspired by the awesome Bastard Sheep, I'm starting a small but fun campaign on FourSquare. Just to get warmed up.

Please, if you're on FourSquare, join me. Tip your local chiropractor with the text "Happily promotes bogus treatments. Avoid", and tag them with the word "quackery". Rinse, repeat. Later, we'll move on to the homeopaths, the naturopaths, the tarot card readers, the 'psychics' the reiki practitioners, the ayurvedic loons, the antivaccination nuts, the 'natural health' colleges that pump them into the community and your local Gloria Jeans.

Good luck, and feel free to friend me up on Foursquare.

Now, go forth and start tagging. Remember: "Happily promotes bogus treatments. Avoid" and "quackery"


Quick update 10-Aug-2010: need ammunition against chiropractors? Start with the skepticator search for "chiropractic"

Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program