September 30, 2012
When worlds collide

Interesting to me is Matt Dillahunty opining on why I chose to answer a tweet at a non atheist event I co-organized that had zero to do with atheism - on his USTREAM show. I’m not giving him free advertising by posting a link to it but those who saw it will know what I am talking about. 

If he would have asked me why I did it I would have told him the reason. However, I was given no such opportunity. The problem with new media is the same as the benefit - anyone is able to say anything, no matter the value, truth, validity, etc..

For Matt’s edification, I did understand the point being made. To say I didn’t simply shows he didn’t understand the context of what was going on when the tweet was made. 

I used TweetChat to livestream hashtagged tweets on the screen behind a presenter who did not bring a visual presentation. As the presenter was half way through his excellent talk on how to monetize a blog, the audience was exposed to the following tweet on the screen behind him:

Can you imagine the confusion and even horror experienced by attendees of a blogger / social media conference seeing this on the screen behind an internationally respected presenter at the conference they were attending? The looks on their faces were quite telling. How would they know the tweet by @ElevatorGATE was a joke? 

I knew what was going on, what the reference was to but no one else in the room did except Justin Vacula. I couldn’t allow attendees to feel uncomfortable and so I didn’t hesitate to reply:

As you can see Matt, attendees did not understand the context of @ElevatorGATE’s remark - because they have no idea whatsoever about the drama of the paranoid, sick and dysfunctional element of the online atheist ‘community’.

But I did, and I felt rather fortunate that I was in the room at that moment to provide the response I did to calm rather than incite. It’s called damage mitigation. If it would have been one of the other organizers in the room instead of me, I can only imagine they would have felt the event was being hijacked and assaulted for no apparent reason. 

I’m not happy at all that any of the content filtered to this event, completely removed from the freakish sideshow that occurs on a daily basis on the Internet by people proselytising in ways harmful to one another about the viscosity of mud.

Now do you get it Matt?

P.S. I have no reason to back down on my opinion that informational and networking conferences do not need conduct policies. You asked can they hurt? The answer is yes. Professionals feel demeaned and belittled when you feel the need to state the obvious and spell out in black and white that they should act like adults. I spoke at length about it here on a NEPA Freethought Society Podcast.

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