I went to TAM Australia
Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 10:35 pm
For many years I have been a skeptic. That doesn’t mean I maintain a doubting attitude, it means that I don’t take things for granted, instead I will look for the evidence.
For some time I have been aware of local skeptic groups such as the Australian Skeptics and the Victorian Skeptics I had not become actively involved. Instead of was content to follow the science from a distance via blogs and the books that I read.
That changed when I found out that an Amazing Meeting! would be held in Australia for the first time. I had to go, but while waiting to see if it would conflict with OSDC2010 I missed out on a ticket. But when I heard that a lottery would be held for the final few tickets I entered and was lucky enough to be offered a ticket. I jumped at it, even though I would have to miss the final day of OSDC2010.
So how was it? It’s in the title: Amazing.
Although I struggled a bit, I did manage to make my 8AM Friday flight to Sydney which got me there in plenty of time for the 1PM start. From then on it was a rush. I am not attempt to detail everything that happened, but the obvious highlights included meeting and hearing speak: James Randi, Dr Karl, Dick Smith, Simon Singh and Rob Morrison.
I also met many other people, some of who I expect to see again as next year I intend to go along to some of the local skeptic events. Of course that may even include a Melbourne based TAM.
While most of the talks were great, they had the issue of repeating things I had already read. The discussion panels were more interesting as they depended on the questions people asked. But the largest surprise of the entire event was a talk on management pseudoscience.
It had never occurred to me that management was a psuedoscience, but now that I think about there are plenty of management theories, but very little evidence to back them up. Think about it, businesses are wasting money and time on unverified theories, often on theories that in practice fall down.
Seven years ago I did start to write about work processes and I have been meaning to get back into it. Realising that much of management training is pseudoscience if hopefully the trigger I need. (we are also undergoing major organisational change which was the first trigger)
Instead of writing more here about the event, I will simply link to my messages from during the event. When I do get around to sorting through the photos (mostly from the dinner cruise) I will try to provide some more detail.