12 steps

I have been annoyed by 12 step programs since high school when I first read the steps after hearing about how many people are sentenced to take them and their success rate (bad). Obvious breach of separation of church and state.

This post has two purposes. One is to make more known what the 12 steps are, since most people don’t realize how faith based, nonsensical, and redundant they are. The second is to promote skepticism, which I’m always about. The most recent Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast contained this gem. I didn’t find it written down on the web anywhere, though, so figured I’d go to the trouble. The skeptics don’t really need 12 steps, so we use some of the extra ones to be cheeky, so it’s not all seriousness.

Original Skeptic
1. We admitted we are powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable. 1. We admitted that our cognition, perception, and memory are flawed and pseudoscience and gullibility are rampant.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 2. We came to accept that the process of thinking critically is more important than any belief.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood him. 3. Acknowledged the utility of methodological naturalism as a way of empirically understanding the world.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 4. Made a thorough study of the various mechanisms of self deception, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies.
5. Admitted to God, ourselves, and to other human beings the exact nature of our wrongs. 5. Acknowledged to ourselves, others, and on the internet, that we are skeptics.
6. We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 6. We vow to listen to the SGU every week without fail.
7. Humbly ask God to remove our shortcoming. 7. Listen to Geologic, too.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 8. Endeavor to examine our premises and logic and correct any misinformation or misconceptions we may have spread.
9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 9. Correct errors and false statements on blog posts and within forums unless doing so would make you a dickish troll.
10. Continue to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. 10. Continue to keep all opinions and conclusions tentative and revise them in the face of new ideas or information.
11. Sought through prayer and medition to improve our concious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out. 11. Sought through study and research to improve our critical thinking skills and keep up to date on basic scientific literacy.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs. 12. Having become more skeptical ourselves we will engage in skeptical activism and outreach to make the world a more skeptical place.

PAX and stuff

Tomorrow is PAX! Big times ahead. Pat’s coming down today, and tomorrow morning we’re gonna head over the mountains and enjoy the nerdfest. The show is completely sold out in all it’s forms, and they bought the whole convention center and increased hours this year, so it should be crazy. I’m probably most excited to see Jonathan Coulton and the CO-OP and TRS shows, plus all the demos of video games to come.

In preparation I’ve already purchased many snacks while at Costco last with my parents, so I’ve gotta figure out how I’m going to carry all of that w/o smashing/melting it. I got PuzzleQuest Galactrix so I’ll have something to play while I wait in lines. I also want to buy ear plugs, cause I’m not into hearing loss. I’ve gotta get our sleeping arrangement figured out a bit better still, too. And possibly see if I can meet up with the folks and get the GPS and stuff like that.

Now that I’ve written all of that down I’ll probably remember to do it. What else? Pat and I might camp after PAX w/ his folks for a day, although I don’t know the odds of that since I haven’t talked to Pat in a bit. He’s always sleeping, or working. He apparently doesn’t get chances to chat much at work. /shrug

K, so in work related news, all the other interns left last week, so for this whole week I’ve had the biggest office in the building. People are circling, though, so I think others might be moving in soon. I’ve been told I’ll be moved out at the beginning of October, though. I’m getting an office with a window, and an officemate, but just one. Her name’s Cara. She seems acceptable.

I got my picture taken to be put in the records. I’ll be up on the wall and in the memory game soon, apparently. I also have to write up goals for the next FY soon, as the current one is ending. Not sure how I like the non-coding aspects of work, but it seems like they’re unavoidable.

Last post I mentioned I didn’t think I’d get to see Lauren again before she left, but I did. Mother was kind enough to find and excuse to drive me over there for the weekend so I got a good couple days to say goodbye right before she left. It was all good. I think she’s got herself aligned properly and she’ll be fine over there.

Also saw my cousin’s new baby. Mother and Aunt took many pictures with it stuck in my arms like a prop, so they might show up on the internet soon. I’ll stick in a link maybe.

Home life stuff… Aaron mowed the lawn, which is nice. (I’ll mow the lawn if you guys keep it clear of dog feces, ffr roomies) He also bought an aerator for the faucet in the kitchen so it doesn’t spray water everywhere. Kim and Kelsey paid rent early, so that’s going well. We still haven’t gotten a utility bill, so that’s a bit concerning. I think I’ve done all I can to try and get things set up, except possibly the check-up nagging. I really don’t see how society developed to require such nonsense, though. Seems like we should try and evolve past the need to nag.

Oh, also last post I said the aquatic ape theory discussed on that TEDTalk was probably bogus and to let me do research. Well, I didn’t have to, cause the Skeptical Rogues did it for me. Here‘s the episode of interest. The specific chunk is from about 29:30 to 46:10, but you should listen to the whole thing. 😛

Thesis: Ignorance is inversely proportional to cognitive dissonance among anti-vaccinationists

I’ve taken an excerpt from the most recent episode of Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe.  It’s only about 1.5 minutes or something, but it was humorous to me.  There are much funnier things in the podcast if you listen regularly, but they’re not as compact and stand-alone as this.  Enjoy.  Sorry no embed, kinda tired and busy these days.