The Amazing Meeting 2014

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Welcome to the new Swift blog! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Phil Plait   

If you'll pardon the expression, the weekly Swift post has evolved over the years. It wasn't created divinely, or even *ex nihilo*. Instead, it's gone through various incarnations over time, having been a Hotline, an Info List, and a newsletter.

Then Swift became a weekly publication, posted at midnight Thursday, and there it's been for many years. And even though things have changed over that time, we at the JREF know one thing that has not: the unending torrent of pseudoscience -- what Randi calls woo-woo. Irrationality waits for no man, even for someone as Amazing as Randi (irrationality can be very rude that way). Debunking bunkum is a game of logical whack-a-mole, and there are a lot more of them than there are us. Even though Swift may put the mallet down on a wide variety of nonsense every week, during the next six days the woo-woo keeps popping up.

So we've decided to make Swift a daily blog. If nonsense doesn't rest, then neither should we. And I do mean *we*. The many voices of skepticism are out there, and they'll find a home here on Swift. We have contributing bloggers lined up from every discipline where critical thinking is needed: science, medicine, the paranormal, magic, and more. We've also found skeptical writers from around the world, because even though the United States is fertile ground for the woo-woo, sadly we're not alone in that regard.

And even though we cover different regions and have different accents, we all have some things in common: we love reality, we're passionate about critical thinking, and we know how desperately it's needed because we know how loud our opponents are.

We also all have a deep affection and respect for Randi. He has cleared a wide path for skepticism, and there are many of us who will stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this fight. And now you can join us every day here on the daily Swift.

 Oh, one more thing. While looking up the history of Swift, it was natural to look for the earliest online entry. If you go to the Archives, and look at the earliest version (an April 13, 1992 repost from a Time magazine article), you'll find Randi ended it with this:

At the risk of being unbearably realistic, I must tell you that Elvis Presley is really dead, the sky is not falling, perpetual motion is a chimera, cold fusion is a dead duck, the earth is not flat, and the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Let me tell you from personal experience, after reading that I can assure you that Randi's attitude hasn't changed in the past 16 years. Neither will Swift's.

 
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