The Old About Page

Here is the original About page that I posted 2009-06-20 08:04:23:

Welcome to Everyday Freethought. Everyday Freethought is a podcast where ordinary, everyday atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers can share their stories and talk about what is going in their hometowns.

If you refer to yourself (either seriously or facetiously) as an Agnostic, Atheist, Bright, Freethinker, Humanist, Infidel, Irreligious, Non-Theist, Rationalist, Secular, Skeptic, or Unchurched, and you want a place for ordinary, everyday people to talk about the local atheist/skeptic/freethought scene in their communities, then this podcast is for you. Everyday Freethought is a podcast dedicated to providing a place for freethinkers all over the USA to share their stories.

The feed for the podcast can be found at Feedburner here.

I live in Illinois, so I will also talk about events and groups in Illinois. I will divide up the state as follows:

  • Chicago, The City That Matters
  • Chicago Metro: The suburbs surrounding Chicago
  • Northern Illinois: Anything west of Illinois 47 and north of Interstate 80 (although parts of Will County will be included in Chicago Metro)
  • Central Illinois: Anything between Interstate 80 and US Route 50
  • Southern Illinois: Anything south of US Route 50; this will also include the St. Louis Metro Area

I started a podcast in 2009. I wanted to start an atheist/skeptical podcast based in Chicago, since I felt that Chicago was not well-represented in the atheisosphere. I noticed that a lot of other podcasts were by or featured as guests what I call the “Professional Atheist” class: professors, journalists, lawyers, people running national advocacy organizations. I wanted to do a podcast featuring ordinary people with regular day jobs, the sort of people I was meeting at the local meetups.

But over time I decided the podcast was too much work. I called people on Skype, and Skype picked up a lot of noise on my end: breathing, lip and teeth noise. These sounds were never present on the part I would record of myself talking.

I was also going to keep track of meetups and events in Illinois. But that was too much work as well.

Over time I would change it. I am just posting it here for archiving purposes.

Image from Wikipedia

Sites Running Blogger

I have added a new page to the site. I am keeping a list of sites that are running on Google’s Blogger platform, but are using their own domain.

There are plenty of sites that are on Blogger that are not using their own domain. The Immoral Minority is one I check at least once a day. But I like to see if I can find others that are running totally on Blogger.

One hint is that a lot of them use the Blogger logo for their favicon. Sometimes the layout and design just looks like a Blogger site, although I have seen a few sites running WordPress with themes that look like Blogger sites.

Image from Blogger website

Blog Consolidation

I have a few other blogs (that almost nobody reads) in addition to this one. One is about my thoughts on moving to Texas called “Going To Texas”. Another is about dividend investing called “Everyday Dividends”. I am thinking about moving all the posts on those blogs onto this one, and just posting here.

I know that my blogs get very little traffic, and I am okay that. I think that people have an urge for self-expression in addition to actual communication. I have heard a lot of young bands and artists make statements like, “I have something to say”, even though most of them don’t. Plus it’s just a cliche. I think it is more accurate to state, “I want to say something.”

I think that if I put everything in one place that I might post a bit more often. So I will make a few more categories and start bringing some of the content over.

Plans for the site

I have decided to go in a new direction for this site. I may still revive the podcast. If I do, the episodes will be shorter since I have had some technical difficulties and may not be able to record phone calls. I would also like to have a space to talk about other stuff that does not relate to my job/industry, like, say, religion, politics and science. I may have something new in the next few days.

Update to the Blogs Page and Call To Action

I updated the Blogs page here on Everyday Freethought. It is a list of agnostic/atheist/skeptical blogs written by people in the state of Illinois. I became aware of these thanks to Skeptic Money, a blog run by my guest from Episode 2.

Recently there was a debate at UIUC between John Loftus And Dinesh D’sousa. A lot of people in the atheosphere thought D’sousa did better. Loftus seemed sick, and so his speaking voice was not very good. A lot of people also thought that D’sousa made a few whoppers (I think First Cause and the Ontological Argument were his favorites) and Loftus just let them go repeatedly. One of the attendees is a local atheist who recorded it and has a blog called Le Café Witteveen. I left a comment on his blog and gave him a link to my Groups page, and he signed up for a few of the Meetup groups. So far he has only been interacting with other atheists online, but says he may start coming to the groups. I think he “crossed over” recently.

Skeptic Money also had a post about a lawsuit by Rob Sherman against the State Of Illinois because there are appropriations to churches, including some appropriations to churches with connections to lawmakers and/or their relatives. Not only is it unconstitutional, but it is bad budgeting as well as a lot of conflicts of interest.

In case you have not heard, a lot of states are not doing well. Recently, the Pew Center On the States released a report about the finances of all fifty states in the USA. I have not read the actual report, but I have read about it in the media, downloaded their PDF files, and read a few of them. A lot of states have not funded their state employee pensions, in addition to having trouble funding their day to day operations. Illinois is one of the states in the worst condition. The $2 billion that Sherman is challenging is not as large as the budget gap (which may be from $8 billion to $12 billion), but every bit helps.

Rob Sherman was on Dogma Free America recently to talk about his lawsuit.

On a few of his posts Rob Sherman has Paypal links, as well as an address to which you could send checks. If you live in Illinois, I think you should send him some money. He says that even $20 would help. I will send him a few dollars.

Added a link to the Ethical Humanist Society

I added a link on the Groups page to the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago (which is actually in Skokie). According to their site, they are “a democratic fellowship and spiritual home for those who seek a rational, compassionate philosophy of life without regard to belief or nonbelief in a supreme being.” The Chicago Branch of the Center For Inquiry will have their February lecture there on February 28.