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Dinner With Dennett
In lieu of a blog item of substance (because I'm flying back from HBES to L.A. today), I'll just name-drop.


Let's just say it was some pretty interesting dinner conversation. After Daniel Dennett's brilliant keynote address on "wild memes" versus "domesticated memes" (more on that after I make my deadine) I went looking for my friends who were saving me a seat at dinner. Just as I found them, Daniel Dennett spied a couple of open seats at the table and asked if he could sit next to me. What was I going to By the way, he's not only smart, he's very witty.

Others at the table were my friends Kaja Perina, (that's her -- editor of Psychology Today, who's the one who made the magazine worth reading -- and worth looking at, too...talking to Daniel Dennett)...and Albert Ellis-trained therapist and Albert Ellis Institute workshop leader/supervisor Nando Pelusi...professor Catherine Salmon, who wrote Warrior Lovers with Don Symons and co-edited Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy, and Personal Decisions...and Catherine's friend, law prof Kingsley Browne, whose book I just bought, Biology At Work: Rethinking Sexual Equality, and linguistics and computer science prof Mark Liberman, and a couple other people I don't know that well. That's Kingsley in the background talking to...Vanderbilt law prof Owen Jones, I think...who spoke eloquently in a panel discussion on teaching evolution at lunch, and joined a few of us in a chat afterward about paternity fraud and the ridiculousness of political correctness.

More, soon, on what all these people actually had to say. And, sorry, boys and girls, I'm even more inspired (and informed) to rail against religious primitism after hearing and sitting next to Daniel Dennett, along with hearing some of the other speakers at HBES.

Posted by aalkon at June 11, 2006 11:01 AM

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It occurs to me you might like the company at an Amaz!ng Meeting. Have you been to one of James Randi's festivals of reason? Do you plan to go?

Posted by: Radwaste at June 11, 2006 8:43 AM

Lucky you! More than 20 years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the German translation of Prof. Dennetts collaboration with Douglas R. Hofstadter, "The Mind's I". A book that really makes you think.

Posted by: Rainer at June 11, 2006 10:35 AM

Actually, I've never been, Rad, but we've e-mailed. I support what he does, and have used his work in a column, which, I believe, he linked to or posted on his site (with permission from me, which I don't grant to just anyone!)

Here's that column:

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 11, 2006 7:03 PM

Sounds wonderful, Amy. Wish I was there! I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the speakers and the event.

Posted by: Norm at June 12, 2006 6:25 AM

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