Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shameless self-promotion

The exceptionally intelligent and discerning students that comprise the Penn State Non-Theists have, as a demonstration of their great wisdom, arranged to fly me to their fine University to address an audience of however-many-show-up.

They've setup a Facebook page for the event and I've decided that I'd rather not speak to an empty room when there are hundreds of seats that we could fill with people of varying beliefs. So, if you're in the area, or can be in the area, you're invited as well. If you want to invite some theist friends, feel free.

When: Tuesday, March 31st, 6:30pm-9:00pm.
Where: 101 Chambers, State College, PA

Not coincidentally, March 31st will be my 40th birthday. On the list of 'Great Ways To Spend My 40th Birthday'...this was very near the top. It'll be much better, though, if we fill the room and I get to spend nearly the entire time answering questions and having interesting discussions.

Since mentioning this on my Facebook page, the two questions I've been asked most often are:

1. Will this be recorded?
2. When will you come to [insert city/university here]?

The answer to #1 is: I don't know, but I hope so.
The answer to #2 is: As soon as someone makes the arrangements.

I'll speak pretty much anywhere I'm invited, as long as there's no out-of-pocket expense to me and as long as we can work it around my schedule (I actually have a real job with limited vacation). Several other university groups have asked and I haven't turned anyone down...but so far, only Penn State has managed to follow through.

You're not really going to let your group be shown up by Penn State, are you? Is Penn State really the best university in the world? Are universities in the United States really superior to universities in Tahiti, Greece, Australia, Great Britain and Japan?(I've got a passport and I'm not afraid to use it!) Has Penn State managed to out-do the Atheist Longhorns at UT Austin? It seems they might have...

In all seriousness, if you're able to come to the event, we'd love to have you there. The bigger the turnout, the less actual 'lecture' work I'll be doing in order to accommodate as many questions as possible. I'm much better 'under the gun' (just don't bring a real gun), so let's put me to the test.

It's one week from today. Start planning.


  1. I can't do anything about speaking arrangements, but if you do come over my way (Greece) let me know and I'll buy ya a beer or twelve.

  2. Dang, Matt, I can't make it out to State College that day (too far to drive when I have to work). But, happy birthday to you on 3/31. You are in good company: my dad and my aunt (his sister-in-law, not a sibling) (both pretty awesome people) have birthdays that day too.

  3. Congrats, Matt! We're secular as buggery here in New Zealand so we don't really need Atheist Speakers, per se, but you should come sometime just to bum around =)

    As for the "Did Jeff go too far with that Christian Caller?" debate on the last NPR, let me put it this way...

    Although I already subscribe to both shows, if you could promise me that Jeff would make someone cry every week, now that's something I'd pay good money for! I just about pissed my pants when he made the 'candy land' quote... pure hilarity!

  4. This is completely unrelated but the story (and the comments) pissed me off and thought I'd share http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-03/science-and-religion-bridging-divide

    And I can't go 'cause I'm too far away still. Maybe if you get booked at UNC-CH or NC State.

  5. I hope it's recorded; I'd love to see it.

  6. Good for you, maybe you can meet up with the Rational Response Squad while you are up there.

  7. My good friend studies at Penn State. If I'm not mistaken you'll be coming in at the tail end of Pride Week

  8. That's my b-day too! Happy less than a week from your birthday from one almost april fool to another.

  9. Very exciting! I hope it gets recorded as I would love to see it. Oh, and happy hatch day!

  10. I live 45 minutes from State College, so I'll definitely be there. Can't wait!

  11. Awww...too far away.

    Perhaps in a year or two some friends and I can arrange for you to come to Old Dominion...

    Happy birthday! Though, I have to say, my birthday is a little cooler than yours, Matt. March 15= "ahhh beware the ides of March!"

    My mom, apparently, was a little worried that night.

  12. Cooler than the day before April Fools Day? Surely you're joking.

  13. I'll be driving from out of town to see you too. By coincidence, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is speaking that night at my University. You better not suck, Matt ;).

    Look forward to seeing you.

  14. Yeah, I've already beat up on the Penn State folks. Ayaan is in town on the 31st, Behe will be there on the 30th...we could have scheduled this for April 1st, I could have come in early and gone to the other two before doing the 'atheist's day' event.

    I'm going to warn you now...I'll try to make it worth your time, but given the choice, I'd rather go see Ayaan. (Who knows, maybe she'd rather come to see me than do her own lecture!...I can dream.)

  15. Damn, Matt. If you'd given us a bit more of a heads-up, we might've had a chance to have you come down to the DC area while you're out east. I'm sure between the Beltway Atheists, CFI-DC, and the Rational Response Squad, something could've been arranged.

    I'm trying to decide whether you and the Pennsylvania countryside are worth taking a day off work and driving 3-4 hours each way.


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