Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Archon 36 and a New Quantum Talk

Archon 36 is less than a month away. It's October 12-14 in Collinsville, Illinois.

I gave a few talks there last year and got my telescope out for some public viewing. This year, I'll be back, this time as an invited Guest, and I'll be giving 3 solo talks as well as joining a panel.

My first talk will be my Anime Mythbusters one. I'm still touring the 2012 version (I debut each new version at Naka Kon), but since I was out of town for all of the St Louis anime conventions (with the exception of Kawa Kon which I hadn't planned on attending anyway), I didn't have a chance to do the panel in my home town this year. Archon seems to have been wanting to introduce more anime programming, so they went ahead and asked me to do it. This talk will be Friday night at 6:10pm in the Great Rivers Ballroom A.

My second talk is an entirely new one that I'm quite excited about. This past summer, I went to a meetup with the St. Louis Skeptics Society, to welcome Nicole Gugliucci to the region. While out to dinner, one of the other attendees started going on about mystical resonances that allow us to shape reality because quantum waves and resonance. I'd had a pretty stiff drink and didn't feel like debating quantum mechanics at the time, so I told him that until he learned to normalize a wave function, he really had no clue what he was talking about.

But the encounter was a good reminder that even people who are very interested in science frequently don't have the first clue about quantum physics. So I decided to put together a new talk looking at the use of "quantum" in pop-culture, from sci-fi to Deepak Chopra. I finished putting it together last weekend and will be debuting it at Archon, Saturday at 10am in the Great Rivers Ballroom B. The intro video is below.

My last talk is again an analysis of the anime genre, using it as a lens to explore sexism and feminism. I presented this talk at Naka-Kon this past February which had a fantastic discussion session afterwards, and also at Tokyo in Tulsa, where the audience was somewhat smaller. I'll be doing it again at Archon Saturday at 9:30pm in the Cahokian room.

Not too many people still play, but I'll also be hosting a CCG tournament with the old Star Wars CCG made by Decipher that's been out of print for a decade. That's going to be Saturday from 2:30 - 6:30.

There was some discussion about putting me on a discussion panel regarding the "Impact of Science on Society" but times for that haven't been finalized.

When not occupied otherwise, I'll probably have my telescope out again, although this year I'll need to remember to avoid sunburn.