A few changes to the blog

For all of you who are following my blog, thank you!

As this project has been growing, I’ve been tweaking a few things along the way. And since those changes are starting to pile up, this seems like a good time to point them out.

First, the site is now advertisement free. I didn’t have any control over the ads that popped up on my posts, so with this upgrade, I now give you an ad-free experience. I appreciate it when I read other clean blogs so I hope you do as well. This upgrade was made possible by the generous support of site sponsors.

Second, since everyone benefits from an ad-free blog, I thought it would be nice to do something special for site sponsors. For roughly the price of a single Venti Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks, at the sponsorship level I’m calling “Bronze,” I will now send you a password that unlocks essays for twelve months. Essays are much longer pieces which dig in to far greater detail than any given blog post. This is a pilot experiment so we’ll see how well it works.

Third, for site sponsors at the Silver level or higher, once I reach a sizable number of engaged readers, I plan to do an Ask Me Anything (AMA). The AMA will be public, but the first questions will come from site sponsors at the Silver and Gold levels. For Gold sponsors and since I can’t think of anything else at the moment, I’ll ship you an autographed copy of “There Are No Such Things as Ghosts!”

Fourth, you may have noticed I added a “Must Reads” page. This page includes some of my favorite books on science, free-thinking, and spirituality. A portion of each purchase made by clicking through to Amazon.com from those links, goes to support my projects.

Finally, I’ve cleared out some clutter from the left panel of my blog’s landing page and I also put a link to a “Book of the Month,” at the top. Like the Must Reads page, this link goes to Amazon.com so if you don’t already own the book I’ll be exploring, then buying it via the link, also supports my projects. I plan to devote some blog posts to different ideas in each book of the month. I look forward to having some thought-provoking discussions in the comments about those posts.

Again, I truly appreciate all your support.

Ways to support

People (other than my close family) are starting to ask me how they can support my projects.

I am but one small voice in a very large crowd of tireless supporters of reason and critical thinking, but as I like to say, humanity is not suffering from too much reason! My goal is to continue creating and sharing interesting and though-provoking work that inspires and promotes critical thought. I’m hopeful that your continued support will open up even more avenues to share good epistemology; avenues such as public presentations, public debates, an eventual podcast, more books, articles, and so on.

With that, here are six things you can do to help me out:

  1. Buy “There Are No Such Things as Ghosts: A brief guide to critical thinking” on Amazon.com
  2. Like my Facebook page, R.L. Bays, and share Facebook posts that you like with friends and with groups to which you belong
  3. Follow me on Twitter and retweet interesting tweets to your followers: https://twitter.com/rlbays
  4. Follow my blog and share articles on whatever social media platforms you enjoy: http://www.rlbays.com
  5. Make a $5.00 donation through PayPal via the link on the top right side of my blog’s landing page
  6. Build your critical thinking library buy purchasing your books via the Must Reads page on my blog

Thank you!
R.L.

New resolution, new pricing, new happenings

I have a New Year’s resolution. Like all good resolutions, it’s simple, measurable, and achievable.

My resolution is to give at least 5 talks in 2018 that support critical thinking.

While five is a stretch target for someone operating under a punk rock ethos here with regards to public activism, independent publishing, etc., I still think it’s well within reach. I have delivered a number of “business” presentations over the years at large conferences across the United States so I sort of know the drill. Also, given the number of topics that can fall under the category of “critical thinking,” my hope is that finding audiences, forums, and venues should not be too terribly difficult. My ultimate goal for the year is to be invited to participate on either a panel discussion or to give a standalone talk during the Skeptrack at Dragon Con 2018. That gives me nine months.

I am however, but one small voice in a large and (thankfully) growing crowd of tireless supporters of reason and critical thinking and as I like to say, humanity is not suffering from too much reason. The best single thing I can do if I am going to realize this resolution of mine is to continue creating thought-provoking, entertaining, and relevant content for you all!  I’m hopeful that your continued support will open up even more avenues to share good epistemology and critical thinking; avenues like the presentations I’m targeting in my resolution, plus public debates, an eventual podcast, more books, articles, and so on.

With that, here are 5 things you can do today to support me:

  1. Buy “There Are No Such Things as Ghosts: A brief guide to critical thinking” on Amazon.com and then share it with a friend. My goal with this book was not to make a ton of money, but to put some of the fundamentals of critical thinking into the hands of as many people as possible. To that end and since I’m the one in charge of it, the pricing should reflect that goal. As of Jan 1, 2018, I believe it does. I’ve half-joked in a spell of hubris, that I would like for a copy of “There Are No Such Things as Ghosts” to reside alongside that Gideon’s volume in every hotel night stand, just to give folks an option for where they might draw some inspiration!
  2. Like my Facebook page, R.L. Bays, and share posts from the page with friends and with groups to which you belong.
  3. Follow me on Twitter and retweet interesting tweets to your followers
  4. Follow my blog and share articles on whatever social media platforms you enjoy
  5. Make a $5.00 donation through PayPal via the link on my blog’s home page

If you have already done one or more of those things, then you have my sincerest thanks! Here’s to a great 2018!

Podcast progress and a call to action!

As I mentioned in my housekeeping post of a few days ago, I’m considering adding my voice to the list of podcasts out there for those who enjoy that medium. I’ve never been on a podcast, much less conducted one, so I imagine it’s going to be a bit choppy for a while so bear with me. That said, here are my initial thoughts:

  • I enjoy having conversations with interesting people about a number of topics so I envision that will be the format.
  • The broad topics I have in mind are science, religion, politics, history, and current events so I will be seeking educators, writers, historians, politicians, faith-leaders, and activists from all walks of life.
  • I want to time the podcast such that a person sitting in Atlanta traffic during their average commute can complete an entire episode in their round trip to and from work. That means if the data is to be trusted, I’ll shoot for an hour-long show (with a 10% margin of error)
  • I have no idea how easy or difficult this will be to pull off so until then, I won’t know how many shows I will be able to produce. Stay tuned for the frequency.
  • I need a NAME. I’m Southern – born and raised with family that go back generations in the South. I also think the South needs more representation in, shall we say, public intellectualism (we have quite a reputation to overcome), so I’m thinking something that combines those two ideas.
  • Finally, my ultimate goal is to become just interesting enough to get an invite to the YouTube show Hot Ones, but not so much that I can’t walk around town without getting accosted! I’ll need your help to achieve this goal!

CALL TO ACTION: Please send me your ideas for a podcast name that you would want to listen to! Let me know via Twitter, Facebook, or comment below. Thank you!