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PZ Meyers at Drinking Liberally - Elf M. Sternberg
PZ Meyers at Drinking Liberally
Professor PZ Meyers of Pharyngula fame, was in Seattle last night and attended Drinking Liberally, the left's attempt at a free-wheeling, open discussion where alcohol is consumed and Scooter Libby is griped about.

The Seattle branch of DL seems to consist of four factions: old political hands who haven't adopted new media, who sit around at a table and gripe about all the new technology that's making their lives more confusing; political campaigners looking for fresh bodies and contributions to their various causes, who move from table to table; political bloggers who sit around at another table with their laptops open discussing ways of making political blogging more effective, and finally political blog readers who form a penumbra around that table and pick up its emanations.

(The thing I've always found remarkable about the liberal vs. conservative thing is that conservatives, in my experience, read more and think more deeply than liberals, but because of their discipline they tend to be think along narrow channels and are frequently wrong about the problem they address; on the other hand, liberals by dint of their inherent messiness tend to have a better picture of the problem and will come up with better short-term solutions, but those solutions will inevitably have to be revisited in the future precisely because they're short-term.)

PZ Meyers & Skatje
PZ Meyers created a new table: the Science bloggers (and his fans). I was the token "science fiction" blogger. The conversation was long and typically free-wheeling; we did a lot of griping about the fact that the Discovery Institute was just about a mile away, and wondered if we could entice Casey Luskin or Jonathan Wells, or any of their cronies to come on doubt. They'd probably be afraid that PZ was ten feet tall and breathed fire. There was a lot of conversation about science blogging in general, and whether or not the "conservative" science blog, Scientific Blogging, was in any way a threat to Seed's Science Blogs, which was somehow perceived as being "too liberal," apparently because there are non-Christians blogging there. (The "conservative" site is remarkable mostly because it really does have to swallow its pride and admit, yeah, no science actually comes out of the DI, and all of the biology done today relies on evolutionary theory.)

PZ is a suprisingly calm guy (I'm pretty sure that's Coke he's guzzling there), although he can get animated when talking about the frustrations he feels with the encroaching alternative reality of the DI and like institutions. His daughter, Skatje, who will probably never live down the "Oh, the Huge Manatee" post she made last year, is the young woman hiding behind the dark "no paparazzi" glasses. She kept peeking over them.

Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet him and the other Seattle-based science bloggers and their fans.

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1 comment or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 6th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

"deep" conservatives

I guess that you must have a better sample in the NW. Or perhaps not being completely dominant keeps them a bit more honest. My own experience is that I have met a vanishingly small percentage of local (that would be central Texas) conservatives who could, for example, recognize the name Burke or have the slightest idea (much less have read) what the Federalist Papers are. I have yet to meet one who has any familiarity with the "intellectual" foundations of the neo-con con. Among these I include several lawyers, one judge, and a number of university educated professionals. I knew more about the U.S. Constitution and the original of our system of government as a high school student with only a civics class than most of them do to this day.

I'd have to think more about what makes my objections to republican authoritarianism and attacks on constitutional government "messy".

Sounds like a good time was had by all.
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