Well, this is great! While I am pretty enthusiastic about skepticism, I've always felt a little defunct as an activist. Well, I suppose I have this niche-within-a-niche blog called--you may have heard of it--Skeptic's Play. Item 86 of the guide suggests starting a blog which focuses on a very specialized part of skepticism. The problem is that though this blog is a niche-within-a-niche, it is not, and never will be focused or specialized. I am skeptical about the effectiveness of my blog as a tool for skeptical activism.
I'm also the secretary of the campus' skeptical/atheist club, BASS, and I've made the meeting minutes public online. I also use my written rhetoric to carry out my sinister plans in the background (you know, picking out discussion topics and stuff). But I wield no real power. I note that our group breaks one of the rules stated in item number 26: "Clubs should have a clear mandate for either skepticism or atheism but not both." Daniel says that groups which advocate both skepticism and atheism frequently go into conflict and "flame out." For what it's worth, our group strikes a good balance, and is fairly successful.
But if you ignore everything that I do, you'll find that I don't do anything to promote skepticism. How can we fix that?
One of the easiest things on the list is to write letters to editors, reporters, and politicians either approving or disapproving of their stories and actions. I write a whole lot anyways, so why not write letters, where people might actually read what I say? But what to write? Next time something comes along, I promise to write some sort of letter. Not because a single letter will change the world, but because all patterns and habits need to start somewhere.
The internet better hold me to my promise, or I'll never follow through.
There was one suggestion that I found vaguely intriguing, but also decidedly vague:
98. If you are a student, use your technological networking talents for skeptical activism — but get credit for it!What's that?! How? I do not understand.
Online activity has the reputation of detracting from schoolwork.Well, luckily, I have the advantage that I already know everything and therefore do not need to study.
Rather than pouring effort into undirected work at less-coordinated “social” blogging networks with no mission statements, some students find ways to reap academic rewards for their work online.I'm not really sure what that means, but it sounds like I would have to work or something? For some reason, my initial reaction is, "I don't have time for that!" And yet, here I am, wasting all my time blogging. Curse my internal double standards!
Students who are interested in this type of work should get in touch with science youth groups, education support, and monitored message boards so they are not only safe but also reaching an audience that needs to be reached.