I finished! So, er, what now?
3 years ago
"The  election gave Labour its first independent majority in the House of Commons and its largest of the post-war era to date - 146 overall. The result came as a profound shock to most of the political world which, having divined public opinion by the old techniques of impressionism and wishful-thinking, was convinced that Churchill's charisma would carry the day. Hence the well-known story of the lady at Claridge's who was heard to exclaim: 'But this is terrible. They have elected a Labour government and the country will never stand for that.'* If one main theme of the home front is the evolution of a new consensus at the top, the other must be the movement of popular opinion below."The only thing that elections tell us for sure is how people voted in that election. The only thing that press coverage tells us for sure is how the press are covering things. Beyond that, people need to show how they have arrived at their predictions and must be prepared to consider new information and different lines of reasoning. Anything else is just white noise.
Welcome to your new skeptic meetup
So you may have noticed a lot of changes to the group lately and have many questions. I hope in satisfy your curiosity and hopefully inspire you back into the skeptic community so lets begin.
Firstly we have acquired this group after the overly bureaucratic leadership team failed to make the small payment fees that are accosted to the organizers. In the several days left to fix the issue no one coffed up the 15£ and just as in real life if you don’t pay your bills your house gets repossessed. Finally to our surprise meetup.com gave us full ownership, this is actually a common occurrence on meetup when groups are failing.
Who is we you say, we are two passionate meetup organizers that already run two fast growing active meetups in Manchester. We live here and support the community via scientifically driven food and mental health groups. We also have been interested in science and the like for many years and have a large collection of materials to share/recommend which to our surprise we notice was totally vacant from the group more on that soon in the pages section.Out with the Old
Briefly here are some clues as to why the group was failing to grow which likely lead to it changing hands.One fact that resonates this point most is the very poor active members rates of the group. If you don't run a meetup you won't know about this hidden feature but it gives clear graphs and insight into how much your members actually care about the kind of group you create.
We also noticed a very large users base hasn't even checked the meetup in over a year (insome cases 6 years!), very poor by our standards. It's often a clear reflection that users aren't happy with the group's direction. Meeting new people especially critical thinkers can be fairly daunting if not handled properly. One worry sign of this was how common a users had attended once and never come back, another statistic that is only viewable by organizers.“Too many cooks spoil the broth” they say and there was a lot we noticed about the overly bureaucratic nature of the organisation. Many leaders and a lengthy list of rules etc seemed very authoritarian by design. We personally prefer conversations in almost all cases whether conflict or nurture. In our previous meetups we have had much success with taking a true liberal attitude. Being down to earth in way that makes members feel they are equal to the organisers seems lacking here and something we really want to change. At the end of the day meetup is a tool that we are part of and nothing more. We want to embolden the group's properties to be the most conducive conduit towards real human connection within the skeptically inclined whether you’re an old member or brand new.
The leadership team has indeed messaged us for a second chance but we feel that it would be doing a disservice to the group's quality to go back to the old ways. Meetup takes a lot of effort and if it’s not there meetups evitable becomes a stagnate contact lists which is mostly what we found. You may have noticed this effect present in a lot of “Top” meetup groups that have over 1000 members but only 10 people at their events.
Last msg sent below by old leader(in our group ther wont really be leaders)
“Hi Sophie, I'm the current elected chair of Greater Manchester Skeptics (and have been for the past three years or so - you can see that I'm the event organiser from the Meetup page). I'm currently on my holidays in Cornwall so have been away from technology for a couple of weeks. I'm sure you have stepped up and taken over our Meetup group with the best of intentions, however could you please step down as organiser so we can carry on using our group. As you can see we are more than a Meetup group, as we also have a website and Facebook page.If you're interested in attending future events you are more than welcome and you can put yourself forward for election at the AGM.”Unfortunate but no accident...In with the New
Overall I hope you are starting understand the fact of the matter that it was high time this group needed to relaunch whether it was us or others. I hope you also see that we make a lot of careful consideration towards any aspect possible that we can tweak in terms of quality. We have already begun to implementing and planning many of our ideas to get the group going with a bang.
We have already and will continue to embolden the ascetic of the meetup which members have already told us has a much fresher look. Notable also was the low quality photography which will be rectified as we have access to high quality DSLRs to make some memorable moments.
We also want to improve the quality of members without compromising on the openness needed to have open skepticism. Obviously anyone should be able to come along and challenge the strength of the groups skeptical nature that said flakes are flakes. I was reminded of this just this week in a recent Tony Robbins video
v=TfDTdKH1GhYThe point being not only logically but in our experience culling members that no show or never attend helps the health of the group. We hate the idea of acting like a group that is big when really we have many faux members.
Last to mention will be the improvement of locations the Church Inn being a perfect example of everything that we don’t want. Old, low quality and it has the word church in it. We like the idea of constantly changing the location as there are many quality places in Manchester to explore. Currently we are looking towards Font Chorlton its basically a brand new contemporary facility with high quality service at a similar price.
Lets get together
I hope this honest message takes a good chunk of your queries away and makes you feel safe in our hands. We also hope this message pumps some much needed excitement into your future social life.
As mentioned we want to be leaders only by administration as we feel members should feel equally valued. Equal in conversation and opportunity to speak their views so tell your friends and join for some exciting conversations and connections at our next social.
We realise there will always be those opposed to change as a counselor I can speak with experience that change is gross to most people. So inevitably we expect some drop off from the hardcore fans of the old group maybe even some flames. Ultimately we took over the group without breaking any laws or even meetup.com policy. So threats etc don’t cause us to have any hard feelings either way so if you want to leave the group and think of other options we still support that and you're still always welcome.Life is too short to be angry.
Good luck in life and everything you aspire to be.
On a talk radio show, I would undoubtedly lose the fight to grab airspace for myself, just as I often lose the fight for airspace in many barroom discussions and bloviating dinner-table talks. So obviously my ideas are invalid.This seems especially relevant with all the UK election TV debate stuff. It could be argued that we need politicians who can make their point effectively while being shouted down and jeered at from all sides, because that's what they have to do in the House of Commons. What would be better all round is if our Parliament resembled an intelligible exchange of facts and opinions, rather than a prison riot.
The way most “debates” happen, on television and otherwise, is like beginning a writing contest by making all the writers physically fight each other for paper. Obviously, writers who don’t get any paper are the worst writers, right?
And in every. freaking. internet discussion, there they are. Fucking boners. Women can be discussing literally any topic, and dudes will come interrupt to tell us how it makes boners feel. Sometimes they want to reassure us, like, when we talk about being fat as a feminist issue, or the constrictions of conventional beauty standards, they chime into say “But I like bigger girls.” Well thanks, Internet Stranger-boner! That totally makes up for every bad thing women have ever experienced at the hands of the patriarchy, which definitely for sure does not include you. Other times women will be talking about particle physics or literature or their very responsible jobs, like, running the world and stuff, and the boners feel left out and confused, so they just say completely inane stuff. As if “I would/would not do her” is the one true standard on earth.
I guess what I’m saying is that I need the boners to shut the hell up for a while. PEOPLE can speak, just, try to go like a month without letting your boner chime in to offer its thoughts on whether someone is sufficiently hot. Please. I beg you.Thing the Third: I was chatting to someone the other day and the topic of feminism came up. The conversation ran for a bit in a very well-worn groove: this person agrees with many of the progressive issues covered by the umbrella of feminism but thinks that that it goes too far sometimes and that the "going too far" is reflected in the name. He'd prefer it to be called "equalicism" or similar, to reflect that it isn't just advocating for women. Well... yes, but no. It would be nice if the names of things conveyed to absolutely everyone, with perfect accuracy, the nature of that thing. But they don't. They can't. And on top of the natural limitations of language, some people are always going to go out of their way to assign other meanings to things, especially to political movements advocating for change to which they are opposed.