How to do things, from someone who actually does things:
There is a big difference between writing and talking about doing something, and actually doing something in the Real World. Confuse the two at your own risk.
For instance, while it is fine and dandy to demand on your blog that all skeptic/atheist meetings have child care provided, it is another thing entirely to secure the necessary insurance for child care, find the money to pay for that insurance, find volunteers trained in child care/CPR/basic medicine, train all the volunteers in a variety of emergency procedures, plan and organize activities for the kids, find money to pay for the activities for kids, find money to pay for the kids food/snacks/etc, etc.
There is a difference between demanding things one has never had to organize on ones blog, and making sure that a kid doesnt die choking on a grape at an all-dream/demands-no-planning-make-shift ‘child care’ center (and no one is sued into bankruptcy just for trying to do something nice).
And like we find in the lab all the time, while designing experiments– Something may look easy on paper. When you plan out a series of protocols youre thinking ‘Aw yeah! I can get this done in a week!’ Then reality is smacking you in the face when you are still messing with that ‘easy-on-paper’ strategy two months later.
There is a difference between talking about a strategy, and actually implementing that strategy in the real world.
Likewise, while its all fun and games to make fun of psychics like Sylvia Brown and John Edward and their pathetic followers online… how the hell do you go about protesting these people when they set up shop in your backyard?
While Calebs article focuses on what he and his class did in response to John Edward– His advice is applicable whether you are protesting psychics or anti-vaxers or Creationists.
- Get a permit.
- Tell the venue you are going to protest. Work with them.
- Contact the press.
- Keep it light-hearted, fun (less confrontational = people not on the defensive) but show that you are dead serious (you are a credible resource, not a whack-job yourself).
- BONUS: Keep messages/chants/posters cohesive.
- BONUS: Dress nice. Not like NICE but nice. You want people to take you seriously.
Ive always said, anything is possible if you have no idea what you are doing. And when you are just talking/writing about an activity… anything is possible. Actually doing something requires planning and effort to make sure everyone stays safe and legal, and Calebs experience is a helpful guide for anyone who wants to do something like this in the future!