Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The OTHER Skeptic North

I've been away for a combination of my birthday and Thanksgiving.  I could blame on and off internet, but the fact is that even if I had worked out the internet angle better, I still wouldn't have got much if any posting done on any of my blogs.  Today I catch up with some simple posts to hold the fort while I get to work on some of the more indepth stuff I've thought of to write about.

One of the things I did while in Victoria was meet up with the editor of Jr. Skeptic, Daniel Loxton, at his studio... Skeptic North.  (I also briefly met Jim Smith, who was on his way out the door.)  Daniel and I have exchanged a few emails over the past six months.  I felt a need to congratulate him on his work on his major mandate publications "Where We Go from Here?"  and "What Do I Do Now?"  I also knew we had a mutual skeptical appreciation for cryptozoology.
He and I met briefly in Vegas at TAM7 and have had some connection over the Skeptic North blog project.  When he found out I was going to be in town he invited me to drop by.  We had a good discussion and he showed me the studio where Jr. Skeptic is produced - appropriately called Skeptic North.
I got to see the layout sheets for his upcoming kids book on evolution, and hold a copy of the Portugese version which is already complete.

I'm going to be curious to see how he and I interact as time goes on.  We clearly have a lot in common - both being the relatively rare artists in the skeptical community; both being Canadian skeptics and more specifically BC skeptics who lived on the spoils of the forestry industry, yet ultimately fall into the category of being ecologically progressive; both having a great interest in cryptozoology... and yet, we appear to have different views of skepticism's role in society.  I would say that Daniel is caught between the worlds of the classic skeptic and as he puts it "skepticism 2.0".  I think it would be dishonest for me to not self-identify in the latter group, but he has been inthe movement for a much longer time.  Like many classic skeptics... actually, I'm changing that term.  "Classic" ought to mean at the very least, pre John Stuart Mill (I.E. Pre-scientific method) skeptics - I mean to say er... "20thC skeptics" (at least 'til I identify a better term).  Like many 20thC skeptics, Daniel is also what I think of as an olive branch skeptic.  A serious one.  No secrets here, I am not.  I see and embrace it's value, I just believe heartily in the many pronged tactical approach.  He also has opinions about what skepticism can and cannot tackle - most of which I do believe is on the money, but I haven't given the whole package enough consideration to have made up my mind.  No doubt I will and that I'll muse about it here when I do.

In any case.  It was excellent to meet with him, I feel confident we shall exchange much thought back and forth.  Whether we call that colleagueship or friendship remains to be seen, but I have little doubt that he is going to be an interesting person to know.


  1. Daniel is an awesome guy, truly. He is just not an asshole, and I am glad he is not.

    Daniel can be on tv, and you and I will go kick people's asses!

  2. We can be his hired muscle.

    An easy job as he's not the sort to resort to using the strong-arm intimidation approach.