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Questions for the Cephalod Emperor

I am seeing He Who Must Not Be Named, Emperor of Sushi, Advisor to the Old Ones, also known variously as PZombie, McGurgle, or My Hairs, on Friday and Saturday in a cultural black hole known as Canberra. No style ever escapes from Canberra, except as evaporative heat. Still, I hope to add to the cultural desert while discussing Matters of Great Import. So, anyone want to raise anything with Himself? I will ask questions for a small donation (see Donations tab at top of page).

There will be other Old Ones there: Ian Musgrave, the Antipodean Astronomer, Chris Nedin, the Ediacaran Explorer, Jim Foley, the Hominid Biographer, and Chris HoStuart, the Small Roman Coin.

I expect that despite having just survived the Great Atheism Hatefest and Black Sabbath, PZ Markle will be immediately converted to my way of thinking once he encounters my sparkling wit and irrefutable logic in person. Oh, wait, that didn’t happen last time… But he can change; I know he can…


  1. John Monfries John Monfries

    While you’re in the Cultural Black Hole, make sure you visit the Post-Impressionist exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. Magnificent paintings from the Musee d’Orsay which you can’t see in any of the Cultural White Holes elsewhere (eg, where you live).

    But don’t go on a Saturday or Sunday, because the CulturalBlackHolers crowd the place out then.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      I never said I lived in a cultural white hole. In fact while the hole part of the term is appropriate, the modifying adjective is rather different…

  2. I’m really curious what PZ thinks of people who are inbetween accomodationists and non-accomodationists. Are they accomodationists to accomodationism?

  3. John Monfries John Monfries

    Alas, in my old age (to my amazement, coming from Sydney) I find myself increasingly chauvinistic about Canberra when anyone rubbishes it, hence my snarky comment. A bad habit to get into.

    Like Joshua, I was expecting some sort of debate about accommodationism at the historic meeting with Pee Zed. Will we get an account, or photos? Will it be cephalopods at dawn?

    My question for PZ – how will the Melbourne conference be seen in – say – five years’ time? As the start of something, or as just another event? It got some coverage in the news here, but not a lot, and my impression was that most coverage generally related to Richard Dawkins, not the conference itself.

    The ABC used their religion correspondents to cover the conference (foxes and chicken coops?) with predictable results, but that probably arose from a difficulty in classifying it. Should they have sent their science people? An obvious wider question is whether there is a necessary connection between atheism and science, but I know that one’s been discussed to death.

  4. Bob O'H Bob O'H

    Hm, perhaps you could ask him if he wants some calamari.

  5. Say “Hi” to PZ for me (especially if he doesn’t like it) and both Chrises. Wish I was there.

  6. Augray Augray

    I’ll second what John Pieret said. I saw PeeZee and you in the same room once before, and it would be much more interesting (and fun) to see it this time.

  7. J. J. Ramsey J. J. Ramsey

    The closest thing I have to a question for Dr. Calamari is something that pertains to the mess at the Intersection involving rape “humor,” but I’m not too sure you really want to get into that.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      No, I suspect I don’t…

  8. Chris' Wills Chris' Wills

    Have a nice time.

  9. “I’m really curious what PZ thinks of people who are inbetween accomodationists and non-accomodationists. Are they accomodationists to accomodationism?”

    Only our own international back-slappathon can give us the answer to such questions, I fear. I’m game if anyone else is. What about Canberra?

  10. jeff jeff

    In contrast to PZ’s more monolithic nature, John is like the evolutionist’s Padre. You read him when you have doubts about a whole panoply of abstract things (anything short of a confession), but you are still reasonably certain of your convictions. He knows a great deal more than you do, and maybe more than you ever will. And yet, you are still left wanting something more. But… I suspect that he understands that, and in the end, it is true for him as well (not to piss in his living room). PZ would have to play to a hardcore fanboy audience to win a serious debate with him. But I’m wondering why should PZ risk that?

  11. Susan Silberstein Susan Silberstein

    PZ’s hardcore fanboys and girls have sharp teeth and claws. John’s have coffee, cookies and books.

    • John Wilkins John Wilkins

      …and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate…

    • Bob O'H Bob O'H

      I can’t imagine John having hardcore fanboys. It just seems wrong.

      • John Wilkins John Wilkins

        Yes. I wouldn’t know what to do with them. I’m an agnostic.

  12. Drenched Drenched

    Hello John,

    If it’s not rather too late, I’d like to hear you and PZ discuss secularism, in a sort of exam-style “compare and contrast” style. Alternately, you could combine your powers and distribute chocolate-covered calimari to the masses, each protecting a relevant quote within…

    • Bob O'H Bob O'H

      Ha! Engrave squid rings with this little ditty:

      Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
      ash nazg thrakatulûk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

      then cover them in chocolate, so the message can only be read when the ring is heated (or the chocolate licked off. But Gandalf never told you about that. Did he?).

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