FYI, I will be at the North East Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS). I will have my tablet with me, and assuming the wireless is good, I will be live tweeting the event. I will be using a hashtag of #NECSS. You can also follow me at @LarianLeQuella. If you have any specific things you'd like to see from me at the conference, please let me know, and I will see what I can do to honor your request.

  • 1
    I haven't seen the line up of skeakers, but what about getting some of them to divulge their facebook and twitter accounts so we can follow them?
    – JasonR
    Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 18:20
  • 1
    Jason, I didn't want to bug them in that manner. If they are on those sites publicly, you should be able to find them. Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 2:16
  • Ah, I understand. Looks like you were a total twit, erm, tweeter. :)
    – JasonR
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 12:39
  • Did you meet @Aarthi?
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 8:54
  • 1
    @Sklivvz yes I did. She was wonderful and a lot of fun to hang out with. <3 Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 17:55

3 Answers 3


First day's worth of tweets, these are in reverse order.

At Stimulus Response (A night of improv and science)

DC Comics needs to create Dr. Success as a new super-hero.

Jay Novella's superpower: being an asshole. #NECSS

The abstract connections of the brain are so intertwined that one can't say they're visual or auditory. It's all in there #NECSS

Listening to two awesome neuroscientists talk, and it's just amazing! Wish you were here. #NECSS

Creativity being in a specific part of the brain are totally false - Steven Novella #NECSS

Do you ever think that you see art totally different than the artist intended, and they're okay with that? #NECSS

Sitting here hearing George play, wonder what a George Hrab and Marian Call concert would be like? Awesome! #NECSS

As pattern seeking creatures, even improvisatioanl works makes you see patterns that really aren't there! #NECSS

I think George is using his iPad as an actual instrument. :) #NECSS

For as visual as humans are, it's amazing the effect sound has on us. #NECSS

It's sort of freaky tweeting, and then looking over at someone reading your tweet! #NECSS

I think that sometimes the creation of art is sometimes more moving than the finished product. #NECSS

Hopefully I got thos "live tweeting" thing right. #NECSS

George gets several instruments at once going. Cool effect. #NECSS

Visually I find myself watching the actions of the painter, but George's music totally sets the mood. #NECSS

George Hrab helps make art ant FIT. #NECSS Stimulus and response


Classic Rhetoric for Modern Writers is another recommended reading item. #NECSS

The authority of your character will sometimes carry the argument, so learn the art or rhetoric. #NECSS

While skeptics aren't swayed by appeal to authority or emotion, many people ARE! #NECSS

Ray Hyman's "Proper Criticism" should be required reading for everyone, in particular skeptics. #NECSS

Skepticism is not science. The tools and practices belong to all disciplines. #NECSS

Bob likes the word "lepadoptarology" which I know is misspelled. #NECSS

Silly questions never answered are a common trope of shows such as ancient aliens. #NECSS

Numerous spurious and flawed quotes from apparent authorities are rampant, and even reach popular media. #NECSS

"Don't believe everything you read on the internet." Abraham Lincoln #NECSS

Sensational Skepticism: Bob Blaskiewicz and Marc Barnhill. Even the humanities have critical thinking! #NECSS

Kitty Mervine gets a special mention at a workshop. #NECSS

If a child asks you why, instead of answering it, do an experiment. #NECSS

Raising a critical thinker: be curious, be respectful, be wrong, be available, be an example. #NECSS

Think. Question. Grow. Great motto for Camp Inquiry. #NECSS

Camp Inquiry workshop. Started with a fun game of "change if you ever" #NECSS

Do you send out stuff to the world? Do you have RSS? Without RSS, you may be talking to an empty room. #NECSS

The shittiest thing in the real world is better than the perfect production that only exists in your mind. #NECSS

As with anything in life, the secret to success is CONSISTENCY. Podcasts, blogs, etc. Showing up is half the battle. #NECSS

You can do a subset of a subset of a topic as a niche and be successful. #NECSS

Your social media venture could become like Audrey II in terms of eating time. #NECSS

They are talking about podcasting, but it can apply to any social media in principle. #NECSS

Steven Novella and George Hrab talking about using social media to change the world. #NECSS

Rational inquiry is not debate. Winnow the information towards the facts and evidence. #NECSS

Skeptical inquiry has done more for human advancement than any doctor or philanthropist. #NECSS

Our brains bullshit us all the time. "A bet is a tax on bullshit." Have convictions. #NECSS

Tweeting from a small device, please forgive typos. :) #NECSS

Center for Applied Rationality! Look them up. #NECSS "earn good cognitive habits.

We have associations that tend to over ride the facts for real policy decisions. #NECSS

Sphexishness: automatically following rules even if there is no benefit. #NECSS Do humans do that? Sadly yes.

First workshop at #NECSS starts off with the Sphex! Fascinating evolutionary story!

#NECSS checked in! Workshops for the first day.


Day two (although I may tweet a bit at the Drinking Skeptically event, however beware even worse typing and typos!):

First day wrapped up. Simon was very dynamic recounting the story of the Big Bang theory. Not the show. #NECSS

Alexander Freidman actually came up with the idea of the Big Bang before Lemaitre #NECSS

Even though you lose precision with analogies, you can still bring someone in to your narrative #NECSS

Reassure people that they don't need to give up anything they hold dear to accept a scientific position #NECSS

To evoke emotion get the story to be relateable to the reader/listener. Show things as a journey #NECSS

Ask questions to lead people down a path towards a logical conclusion #NECSS

Theory of mind is the contextual tool for enabling the communication #NECSS

Science is about doubt and not being afraid of not knowing. Need to be comfortable with best approximation #NECSS

To advance skepticism we should use the same language we use at conferences with those we talk to #NECSS

Skeptic gatherings tend to be much more open and intimate when we talk to each other #NECSS

Does the metaphor of going to war hurt the skeptic movement. No tired tropes #NECSS

Use the same tools the charlatans use, the emotional engagement and anecdotal story to capture #NECSS

Storytelling as a tool for skepticism #NECSS

Q&A, always dangerous: sometimes that long rambling story isn't actually a question #NECSS

Really tough fact or fiction. Audience pretty evenly split. #NECSS

Skepticism is in a Catch-22 in debunking woo woo, and not give more life to the woo woo movement #NECSS

Apparently woo woo spreads faster than rationality #NECSS

Scientists are crunching data from twitter. The data is interesting, and depressing #NECSS

Latest batshit insane crazy: vaccines can make you gay... #NECSS

Type 1x supernovas are interesting and entertaining to me (and Bob and Steven) #NECSS

Jay Novella loves memes. And now there are SGU generated memes. #NECSS

Add your own words. Bob picked quantum. I expect energy to be added. #NECSS

Check out the 7 misused terms in Scientific American. Skeptic made the list #NECSS

When did colloquialisms water down scientific ideas? Such as the word theory #NECSS

Steven Novella is the energizer bunny of skepticism. #NECSS

The danger of eating anywhere near the conference: they are all slammed #NECSS

Looking forward to an afternoon of SGU, storytelling, and the Big Bang. #NECSS

This seems to be an argument about degrees and nuances which we are always struggling to refine and changes all the time #NECSS

This discussion would probably make more sense if I had read the online discussion #NECSS

"We can do better than that." Should be a motto for any endeavor #NECSS

Is the transition between science and philosophy smooth, or is the empirical to philosophical transition more abrupt #NECSS

What degree does science play in the establishment of morality #NECSS

Part of the live audience for Rationally Speaking podcast. Get it once posted. #NECSS

Okay this will be fun: a live discussion/debate between Shermer and Pigliucci #NECSS

Democracies are generally the "ask first" principle writ large #NECSS

When gay marriage finally becomes a right, christians will take credit for it, like they have for emancipation #NECSS

Heady presentations on morality in our world. Should lead to interesting conversations at #NECSS

The biocultural evolutionary pyramid looks a lot like Maslow's hierarchy of needs #NECSS

The moral arc of science bends towards justice, freedom, and liberty #NECSS

Reflective equilibrium: bringing more coherence to your beliefs #NECSS

Vampire bats exhibit reciprocal altruism. Human behavior is generally not unique #NECSS

We know how morality evolved, but not always what IS right or wrong #NECSS

Trolley dilemma research is very pervasive, if you push the fat guy, you may be a sociopath #NECSS

Pigliucci goes Mony Python instead of Douglas Adams for the meaning of life #NECSS

Skeptics don't have a lock on the truth, beware of your brain #NECSS

You can have a very clear memory of something, but still be wrong #NECSS

Latenight commercials use "anchoring" to manipulate the perceived value of a product #NECSS

Causes us to act more like an attorney than a scientist in reaching our conclusion, unconsciously #NECSS

Motivated reasoning can influence our views of ourself to be more optimistic than warranted #NECSS

Touch creates a context of trust. It can improve chances of success in many endeavors #NECSS

Despite protestations, there is a significant effect on elections based on looks alone #NECSS

Once context has been established, you can't go back in many illusions #NECSS

Your brain is fascinating for vision, it fills in A LOT of information that can end up tricking us #NECSS

We can now look inside the skull and watch it work without cutting your head open #NECSS

Social neuroscience is a new field as a result of the advances of technology #NECSS

Starting off #NECSS being part of an experiment run by Leonard Mlodinow

Just mention Deepak Chopra and you get a laugh. #NECSS

Jamie Ian Swiss kicks off #NECSS

Not TOO hung over for the next day of #NECSS :)


And day three:

And a final thank you to http://skeptics.stackexchange.com #NECSS

And a special thank you to my twitter followers, old and new #NECSS

Well, that's the end of #NECSS! Wonderful time. Thanks NYC Skeptics and all.

It's not "what are the odds of this specific thing" but "what are the odds of this general thing" #NECSS

The most amazing coincidence of all would be complete absence of all coincidences. #NECSS

Describing the world is an olympic task between simplifiers and complicators. We need both #NECSS

Great mathematically based jokes in this presentation #NECSS

Most people's ability to discuss probability are limited to 50/50 or one in a million #NECSS

Interesting etymology of the terms used in mathematics and statistics #NECSS

John Allen Paulos is next at #NECSS

"Our internet law is based on a 1858 manservant running to London." @SLSingh #NECSS

It's a sign the core of a alt-med association is rotten that they don't actually challenge the claims #NECSS

Jamy gets cheeky about happy endings. "We'll cut that in post." #NECSS

"I know a lot of law for a particle physicist." @SLSingh #NECSS

Damn, screwed that up... Let me try again... #NECSS

"I know a lot of law for. Particle physicist." @SLSingh #NECSS

Make sure to support the Libel Reform movement Simon is leading. #NECSS

Simon Singh interview by Jamy Ian Swiss #NECSS

Oh, that Sean Carroll quote is spot on! #NECSS At heart, science is the quest for awesome -

Skeptical quotes put to music and song! #NECSS

Celebrate and elevate what we have evidence for. #NECSS

A skeptical round. Normal food. Wow, haw do they think of this? #NECSS

Can't tweet, this is just all sorts of awesome! #NECSS

Next slide please. Awesome. #NECSS

Science Fair, an opera singer's lovesong to science http://hai-ting.com #NECSS

A musical interlude with Matthew Schickele and Hai-Ting Chinn #NECSS

Riveting stage presence and great talk by @jamyianswiss about the history of the Skeptic movement & war against irrationality #NECSS

"I'm a philosopher, I have no problem with shameful conjecture." @mpigliucci #NECSS

That was a narrow escape. Kudos to Jim Holt for making sense of that! #NECSS

Uh oh, here comes a speech! #NECSS

These questions are best pursued at 2am, in a dorm room, with a bong. #NECSS

Q&A: good reminder to have a question, not a speech. :) #NECSS

The participatory universe is like a bad acid trip! #NECSS

Reality seems to be an infinite, fuzzy, incomplete mess in effect. #NECSS

Derek Parfit profile in the New Yorker is recommended reading for those interested in the philosophical questions of existence #NECSS

Why should we think that simple things are more probable than complex things? #NECSS

Believers seem to have a very weird idea of what counts as an explanation #NECSS

"God must be puzzled by his own existence." Jim Holt #NECSS

Chaotic inflation (which has ample evidence) actually has implications for the multiverse theory #NECSS

Good, Massimo is addressing the fine tuning fallacy. I frikkin hate that fallacy. Read Victor Stenger #NECSS

The explanation that the universe was created by a physicist hacker explains why this universe is so messy #NECSS

Simulation hypothesis = god for geeks #NECSS

Bust=but... Damn typos

Swinburn has an argument for god, bust it seems based on fine tuning fallacy... #NECSS

Massimo quotes Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Well done sir. #NECSS

Now for a live session of Rationally Speaking #NECSS

Jamy's last words particularly resonated with me: "Have a good time doing it." #NECSS

The job isn't done and it will never be done just because we're tired. #NECSS

What's the harm? It's a loss of opportunity for something real that could be better used to help #NECSS

Jami Ian Swiss: in skepticism, "NO SACRED COWS ALLOWED!" Skepticism is a method of inquiry, not a position. #NECSS

"Anyone can be fooled!" #NECSS Yes, even you! Don't blame the victim.

Scientists aren't trained to detect deliberate deception #NECSS nature is inherently honest (maybe neutral is a better word)

Magicians are honest liars. #NECSS Glad to have so many as part of the skeptical movement

If only Jamy Ian Swiss was passionate about skepticism. ;) #NECSS

Skepticism is actually a branch of consumer protection! Think about that a moment. #NECSS

Scientific skepticism is a way of thinking, not what to think. #NECSS. A common theme

"Why is there a skeptic movement" by Daniel Loxton READ IT. #NECSS

I encourage you to look up Randi's Project Alpha. #NECSS

Righteous Indignation: skepticism is not only about truth, but what is right or morally wrong (causing harm) #NECSS

"When you offer physical evidence of supernatural claims, you tend to get caught." #NECSS

Relationship between magicians, skepticism, and critical thinking #NECSS

Reginald Scott wrote "Discovery of Witchcraft" in Elizabethan England. An early skeptic #NECSS

Jamy's foundational book for skepticism: Demon Haunted World. No surprise :) #NECSS

Next up for #NECSS: Jamy Ian Swiss. Didn't we just see him? Look forward to him introducing himself. :)

"If you thought this stuff was real, you'd be a congregation, not an audience." #NECSS

Inappropriate rationality: humorous stories from Jamy #NECSS

Magic often renders the audience psychologically transparent, and they don't know it #NECSS

Woot, Jamy Ian Swiss is quoting Einstein and doing magic before lunch #NECSS

"We all have a bit of psychopathy." Milgram experiment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8olVHKgIBXc&sns=em … #NECSS” "We all go a little mad sometimes."-Norman Bates

Insults overheard at #NECSS: "You lack sooo much empathy, you would find a way to kill all 6 people in a trolley experiment."

Basically convince population that targets are non-human (i.e. Nazi Germany) #NECSS

Wow, great question from the audience: can the psychopathic behavior transmitable? #NECSS

Uh oh Q&A time: remember to start with a who, what, where, when, why, how... #NECSS

Cartman (South Park) is one of the best representations of a psychopath in media #NECSS

Sociopath and psychopath are the same, just different connotations to the words #NECSS

Are any psychological diagnosis cultural phenomenon? Maybe, depends on how you look for it. #NECSS

Psychopathy isn't a cultural phenomenon, it's a brain phenomenon. #NECSS

If you have symptoms of delusions and you are religious, is that the same diagnosis? #NECSS

DBS is inserted into the white matter of the brain because it seems to be the nexus for communication #NECSS

DBS is replacing the irreversible procedure of making lesions #NECSS

Pharmecalogical manipulation is reaching it's limit with what we can do, because evolutions is sloppy. #NECSS

Currently the Deep Brain Stimulation mechanism isn't fully understood, but they are working on understanding #NECSS

Deep brain stimulation, like a pacemaker for the brain for OCD patients. Novel stuff! #NECSS

For some, it's difficult to unlearn a behavior even when the contingencies change. Frontal lobe stuff #NECSS

Heather's research is the imaging of compulsive and impulsive brains. Compared borderline patients with lesions #NECSS

We need a placeholder for talking about a lot of stuff. Simply semantics still. #NECSS

Psychiatry is in a stage of describing what we see, all fields go through these stages of understanding #NECSS

Heather thinks the DSM may become obsolete in the future #NECSS

Psychopathy isn't generally treatable as a personality disorder. And most think they are fine. #NECSS

Must take data from many and varied sources before making a diagnosis and applying a label #NECSS

White=while dang typos... #NECSS

White 1% of general population is psychopathic, 4-5% of CEOs are! Explains a lot #NECSS

When you infuse your decisions with emotion, you actually tend to make better decisions #NECSS

If you have no psychopathy traits, you are a milquetoast but where on the spectrum are you? #NECSS

Psychopathy may actually be the most pleasant of mental illnesses since there is no remorse #NECSS

There is a test to determine if you are a psychopath! #NECSS

Steven Novella has the most appearances of any presenter at #NECSS :)

Psychopathy panel next: fascinating topic. We all probably know one. #NECSS

Ask "believers" if they want to know more as a strategy to talk to them. Use humor. #NECSS

Skepticism isn't about the facts, but the pleasure of finding things out #NECSS

Look up technovation challenge and support them #NECSS

If the books actually have "the truth" why are there revised editions? #NECSS

Many traditions have positive aspects, but there can be stress from the irrational aspects #NECSS

Authoritarian: that's just the way it is, don't ask about it #NECSS

Revealed truth: they have the ONE TRUE answer #NECSS

Smorgasbord: all viewpoints are valid #NECSS

Three types of people in the non-skeptical community: #NECSS

A lonely skeptic in a believer's world: a talk I can identify with. Deborah Berebichez #NECSS

Now that you know the term of sciencey, I bet you'll see it everywhere! #NECSS

Science in the world. Kids aren't taught how science will solve the problems of the world #NECSS

Outreach & education: after 10 years of trying, they give up on scientifical stuff and go spiritual woo #NECSS

When purveyors of woo present locally, go and ask pre-prepared questions #NECSS

Products, especially in health and beauty, have all sorts of sciencey stuff #NECSS

Did you know that in 2012 the world DIDN'T end? #NECSS

Ghost hunter books: no references or citations! That's a clue! Cargo cult science. #NECSS

Sham inquiry: start with the conclusion and look for confirming results #NECSS

They value science, but they have no idea how it really works. #NECSS

Look up scientifical in the urban dictionary: that's what these ARIG do #NECSS

Not only are they fooling themselves, but they are also fooling the public #NECSS

Sharon stopped counting these ARIG when she got to 1300. Over half think they use science #NECSS

ARIG amateur research and investigation group: not associated with any academic group #NECSS

Putting "sciencey" groups under scrutiny for the first time as a study #NECSS

Sharon talking about people that use "sciencey" ideas and terms #NECSS

Sharon Hill first up as the hangover speaker. And I see her "Thor's Hammer" necklace #NECSS

Exciting line-up for today's #NECSS auditorium filling up and excitement building

Small world moment: met fellow @DAoC players from Sweden at #NECSS

Not too hung over even after drinking skeptically #NECSS

For a city that never sleeps, NYC is quiet on sunday morning #NECSS

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