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Join Skeptics for "Premiere Trivia" at Babe's in Madison! Everyone is invited, new and old! The game starts at 7:00pm sharp, but we'll start to arrive by 6:00pm. Feel free to show up early for skeptical conversation. Game runs until about 9:00pm. Babe's has very large tables. Plenty of room. Feel free to attend if you're on the waiting list.
CHANGE OF VENUE — The discussion will occur in the front alcove of Martin O'Grady's Pub and Grille, not in the organizers' living room as first announced. The book is Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect, by Mick West. Here’s a blurb from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/Escaping_the_Rabbit_Hole.html The Earth is flat, the World Trade Center collapse was a controlled demolition, planes are spraying poison to control the weather, and actors faked the Sandy Hook massacre…. All these claims are bunk: falsehoods, mistakes, and in some cases, outright lies. But many people passionately believe one or more of these conspiracy theories. They consume countless books and videos, join like-minded online communities, try to convert those around them, and even, on occasion, alienate their own friends and family. Why is this, and how can you help people, especially those closest to you, break free from the downward spiral of conspiracy thinking? In Escaping the Rabbit Hole, author Mick West shares over a decade’s worth of knowledge and experience investigating and debunking false conspiracy theories through his forum, MetaBunk.org, and sets forth a practical guide to helping friends and loved ones recognize these theories for what they really are. Perhaps counter-intuitively, the most successful approaches to helping individuals escape a rabbit hole aren’t comprised of simply explaining why they are wrong; rather, West’s tried-and-tested approach emphasizes clear communication based on mutual respect, honesty, openness, and patience. West puts his debunking techniques and best practices to the test with four of the most popular false conspiracy theories today (Chemtrails, 9/11 Controlled Demolition, False Flags, and Flat Earth) — providing road maps to help you to understand your friend and help them escape the rabbit hole. These are accompanied by real-life case studies of individuals who, with help, were able to break free from conspiracism. With sections on: • the wide spectrum of conspiracy theories • avoiding the “shill” label • psychological factors and other complications • (and concluding with) a look at the future of debunking Mick West has put forth a conclusive, well-researched, practical reference on why people fall down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole and how you can help them escape.
Join Skeptics for "Premiere Trivia" at Rockhound Brewing in Madison! Everyone is invited, new and old! The game starts at 7:30pm sharp, but I'll be there by 6:30pm with a Madison Skeptics sign. Feel free to show up early for skeptical conversation. Rockhound serves good beer and decent food.
A presentation by Susan Pfeiffer: Who Is Bill Browder and What Is the Magnitsky Act? On 2018 July 16, following a private meeting with Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin made an extraordinary statement in response to a reporter’s question about Russian meddling in our election: Putin offered to facilitate an interrogation of the 12 newly indicted Russians by US authorities if, in return, US authorities would facilitate Russia’s interrogation of Bill Browder. Putin alleges that Browder is implicated in crimes in Russia, including a scam involving a $230 million fraudulent refund in taxes due to the Russian Federation. Because I am a skeptic, as well as a Russia/news junkie, I had to investigate. My research took me on a fascinating journey about greed, crime, corruption, and a massive hoax that led to the passage of the US Magnitsky Act. The Magnitsky Act was undisputedly the main topic of discussion at the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting initiated by the Russians in June 2016. I would like to share my findings and offer internet pathways to a film and a book which have been effectively suppressed in the US and elsewhere. The Atheist Lounge will tackle this subject on, as usual, the last Thursday of the month. Order food and drink at 7 PM, with short presentation starting about 30-45 minutes thereafter, and plenty of open discussion after that.