Hey Phil! I wasn’t a dick!

On Friday I did something that was fairly new for me.  I’ve been online writing about my opinions for… years.  I’ve been getting into random arguments with strangers for… years.  What I’d never done before was get up in front of a room full of Christians and try to represent an atheistic and highly skeptical viewpoint.  And now I have!  The people that ran the event say they’ll have it up online by the end of the week, when it is I’ll give everybody the link and if you want to see me with my ratty blond beard being told that I’m representing the New York City Skeptics (I told them that I wasn’t a representative of NYCS, but just a member, but they didn’t always listen) and saying why I don’t believe in God, you can check it out to your hearts content.  For today, I’m going to do what I can to tell you about the event, say what I took from it, where I think I could have done better.  Basically, I’m going to use this blog that I hope you tend to enjoy as my diary.  Aren’t you lucky? … continue reading this entry.

A Personal Lesson in Reacting to Uncertainty

I got a phone call last night that may ask me to act against one of my few real sacred cows.  It is a concept, so deeply ingrained in my psyche, I have trouble even imagining that it’s not true.  Soon I may have to take up arms and move past something all New Yorkers know [...]

Expectations and Reality

I missed my post on Monday, mostly because I’ve been spending time producing a web series I wrote up and to be frank, I was too damn exhausted on Sunday night to write.  That said, just because filming kept me from being able to write, that doesn’t mean it didn’t give me something to write about.  Part of my goal of the year is to see skepticism in more of the things I do, to bring that into my life.  With that in mind, here’s what happened this weekend and how I think it informs my skepticism.

Holidays, Miracles, and Describing God as a Non-Theist

I think I deserve to be at this table

I think I deserve to be at this table

Author’s note: This post is probably about two weeks later than it should have been.  It took me a little while to get to write it.  What can I say?  I’m a busy man.  In the article, I mention God a lot, and when I use pronouns to describe that particular deity, I capitalize them.  Please don’t have a cow over it, it’s what I’m used to and I think it helps make the pronouns distinct from others.

Passover is, without a doubt, my favorite Jewish Holiday.  Well… let’s clarify that.  Since I started keeping Kosher to feel a cultural connection to the only roots I really have, the first two days of Passover are my favorite Jewish Holiday, the lack of beer in the following six days is annoying.  But going back to the original point, Passover is my favorite Jewish Holiday, bar none.  Chanukah, to be frank, is a bit of a bullshit holiday.  It’s only gotten as big as it has due to its proximity to Christmas.  There are interesting things about it, what most people don’t know is that it’s actually the celebration of a military victory, the Maccabees over the remnants of the Greek Empire in the second or first century BCE, but because Jews didn’t like celebrating a military victory, we decided to go for oil burning longer than it was supposed to.  The big Jewish gift giving/party holiday is Purim, but my family never celebrated that.  Rosh Hashanah was never a big family affair for us.  It was a day when we’d go to Shul, listen to Torah and the Shofar (big smelly rams horn hollowed out into a crude brass instrument – well, it’s not brass, but it is played the same way).  Sometimes, we’d get together with another family afterward, but it was never the affair that Passover is.  And Yom Kipor?  The whole holiday I spend waiting for the holiday to be over, and though I do generally enjoy the meal that follows, I don’t think I can give Yom Kipor the credit that as soon as the day is done I have a good time.  Passover, on the other hand, is pretty fun.  It’s like a big Jewish Thanksgiving.  It’s a ceremonial meal where you sit around, get tipsy, tell a big story, and then have a good dinner.  You ask me, it’s everything a holiday should be. … continue reading this entry.

Why David Kirby? A treatise on the Huffington Post

David Kirby: Evidence of Douchbaggery

David Kirby: Evidence of Lazy Editors

There are two reasons why I write for this blog.  The first is from that part of me that’s altruistic.  From the minute I knew the New York City Skeptics existed, I wanted to do what I could to help the organization out, and when all is said and done, writing is sort of my most marketable skill.  I went to a drinking skeptically, barged into a conversation between Michael Feldman and Matt Sekedat and forced them to agree to let me write for them.  I wrote for this blog before this blog existed because in the end, I figured this was what I could do best to help the organization.  The second reason is… not quite so altruistic.  Though I have other jobs as well, at my core, I’m a writer.  It’s what I want to do with my life, it’s the only thing I’ve ever really been able to imagine doing forever.  I write for pretty much anyone who will have me as their writer.  I rarely do it for money, I do it because I hope it’ll give me a resume I can eventually turn into a real job, for the experience of doing it, and because if I don’t write regularly, my head gets full of clutter and eventually explodes.  It was for a few of these reasons that I started writing for the Huffington Post. … continue reading this entry.

A Skeptic Gets Squeamish


Photo from NASA

Yes ladies and gentleman, it’s that that we all love, time for Jake to dazzle you all with an anecdote where something uncomfortable happens to me and I do my best to twist it into something more universal about all us skeptics in general.  Admit it, you’re excited. … continue reading this entry.

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