2012 talk next week

If you’re in Melbourne, feel free to come along next week to a talk I’m giving at The Atheist Society.

A Critical Look at the 2012 Phenomenon

Tuesday 09 March 2010 at 8:00pm

Unitarian Church Hall

110 Grey Street

East Melbourne (Opposite the old Mercy Hospital)

I’ll be giving an overview of 2012, an outline of some of the key players in the movement, and my own “prophetic” take on how 2012 is going to play out in Australia and New Zealand. All viewed through a suitably critical lens, of course (especially as Melbourne will be on FULL DEBUNKING ALERT with the 2010 Global Atheist Convention in town just a couple of days later).

6 thoughts on “2012 talk next week

  1. doh! wish i was in melbourne next week…but only flying down as far as sydney.

    the good new is i am going to a “talk”..discussion tonight in byron bay called “2012 from several perspectives” with darpan and pratima (it IS byron bay!)…and i look forward to including in the discussion the reference to “2012: decoding the countercultural apocalypse”…just to balance the celebrity, prophetic following in my local pop-counterculture?

    thanks for keeping culture counter…

    1. No doubt followed by all the groovy people gathering for an ayahuasca ceremony…

      I haven’t been to Byron Bay in nearly a decade. I have a good friend in Mullumbimby, and should get up the way again sometime.

  2. Despite being called a parasite by one attendee, there was some nice feedback on Meetup.com about this talk:

    “Found the topic informative provided by a good speaker. The questions from the floor were very provocative encouraging debate and critical thinking.”

    “I learnt a lot about the 2012 Lecture by Dr. Joseph Gelfer of Monash. It was interesting the fairey stories these people believe in this New Age Mysticism was just amazing in this modern age. No link to anything substantial, just dreams and psychedelic drug induced visions. Fascinating. My congratulations to Joseph Gelfer and his efforts to bring Light and Reason on these beliefs. ”

  3. i object !…”dreams and psychedelic drug induced visions” have a place ! in the debate around apocalyptic predictions… and i remember, they were fun too…see i remember the seventies and i WAS there.

    i just cringe when we fall back into that old dualistic “reason” paradigm…and have to scoff at other ways of knowing.

    new age mysticism is just a natural reaction to scientific reductionism.

    sure we need some balance in the visions…AND the thinking…that’s why we have the joseph gelfers of academia.

    just keep talking to each other…not polarising the differences?
    the “new age” is just that….and really, an instinctual hanging on to life and inspiration… via nature, the spiritual..

    difference is good…evolution is great…revolution even better.

    in my opinion we need both instinct/intuition/mysticism AND yes, rigorous critique… as long as we remember to be inclusive..

    what can we LEARN from “fairy stories”?
    what can we LEARN from “reason”?

    just when you think you know…there arises another question.

    1. Indeed. My patter in these situations is “bringing academic rigour to visionary thinking, and visionary thinking to academic rigour”: gimmicky, I know, but why not?

      Interesting that the person accusing me of being a parasite questioned whether academic inquiry of 2012 was even valid: the only appropriate response for him was blanket dismissal as a cult. How’s that for the precious critical thinking of the New Atheism?

      The following week at my Sea of Faith Christian masculinities talk, someone asked whether the subject (described as “theology”, really suggesting something akin to “witchcraft”) was well received at Monash University.

      That’s a lot of Thought Policing for two small crowds. Those guys were disproportionately noisy though: the majority were very engaging.

Comments are closed.