|Jerry Andrus - Skeptic's Toolbox 2004 - from my camera|
My current project is to improve/rewrite the faculty pages for the Eugene, Oregon Skeptic's Toolbox pages, as well as to create the Toolbox page. I've discovered during my research on re-writing the Jerry Andrus page that there exists many YouTube videos about or by Andrus in languages other than English. Yet Jerry's current page is only available in English.
What a shame.
I have discussed many times that the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia project is far too important to remain in English only. Yet, I lack the skills necessary to read/write in other languages. You don't know how frustrating that is for me, but it just shows how important it is to find editors who can.
In the call-out linked above where I discuss the need to expand our outreach to controversial topics outside English, I've not received a single email volunteering to help. When I've approached Facebook "friends" who have other languages other than English (I tried a personal message to 30 people) when I got a response (7 people) I was mainly told "sorry, but I don't read/write well enough in that language." (insert deep sigh here) I think they were worried that they lacked the technical knowledge to translate a page on like "evolution" into their native language.
Possibly so. So now I'm trying an easier subject to focus on.
I'm thinking that Jerry Andrus may be a great place to focus our efforts when we do find those editors. For those of you who did not know Jerry, he was a genius. A gentle man, who could not tell a lie and wanted more than anything to show others his amazing optical illusions. These illusions are universal, made with simple household objects, string, cardboard and tape. Something a child anywhere in the world could copy and improve on with little instruction other than that spark to get them started.
And what a spark! Teaching people about optical illusions teaches them how easily the brain can be fooled, which may inspire them to begin to think critically in other areas.
What I'm suggesting is that we find people willing to edit in their language and start with the existing videos. All the articles I'm finding on Andrus would need to be translated into that language as well, possibly they have already been created? The Did You Know? front page of Wikipedia project exists in all languages as well, and it would be a great push to get people who would normally not search out his page, to discover it.
This would be a time consuming effort, but I guarantee an important project in bringing the skeptical message to anywhere an Internet connection exists.
Here are just a few of the videos I've found of Andrus performing...
We have just finished the 6th Skeptic World Congress last week in Berlin. Surely we had attendees wanting to get involved in improving skepticism in their native languages?
So I'm suggesting if you personally don't read/write in a second language can you pass this on to someone you think might want to get involved? Help me find a way to get this project out to skeptic groups outside the English speaking world. And lets get started.
BTW - really could use some help finding sources for the Skeptic's Toolbox page (in English).
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org