I attended the London “celebration” of science and reason. That was a dull, boring and uninspiring show! Sam Harris seemed totally jet lagged and grumbled a few words essentially to repeat his well-known talking points, Richard Dawkins was obviously irritated to be on stage having to repeat things he has said hundreds of times and Matt Dillahunty was such a poor host… At the end of this ordeal Dillahunty asked Dawkins whether he wanted to say a few words to conclude, Dawkins flatly answered “No”. Dillahunty talks more than Harris & Dawkins put together, the topics raised by him were not only uninteresting (Dillahunty even embarked into a monologue about his mum’s incapacity to challenge her own beliefs) the topics were totally disjointed and made the whole discussion an incoherent mess. Don’t embarrass yourselves, don’t publish this on Youtube. The only good thing in this theater was the public eager to support science and reason…It would seem this public urgently needs to diversify its heroes, those who were on stage in London looked exhausted…
My first post but I felt the need to comment on this. Sadly I have to agree with much of what the previous poster said. I am a SH fan and I’ve been following his podcasts for a long time. I had high expectations, too high in hindsight, but the ticket was not cheap and I left feeling confused and disappointed instead of inspired. I thought I would be able to see the stage, I could barely see the screen. I though there would be deep, thought provoking discussions and many AHA moments, there wasn’t. I though Sam would speak a lot, he didn’t, instead it felt like the Matt D-show - why when, as he said himself, most of the audience came to see Harris and Dawkins? I thought I would have at least a chance at having a book signed, I didn’t. When I asked the staff about the book signing no one knew and I was just told that I should speak to “someone else”. Finally, I was told that my ticket wasn’t “expensive enough” to go to the booksigning(!) ehh..ok. I understand why venues need to be big in order to make a tour profitable but this did not work at all. Wish I would have stayed at home and relistened to an episode of the Waking up podcast instead, would have been more interesting.
I was actually glad I attended, there were some interesting points I liked and were new for me despite of the fact that I read pretty much everything of Sam and Richard.
Questions from the audience were more interesting than Matt’s handling the whole conversation. I truly wish he didn’t speak that much.
I agree though that Richard looked uninterested in what was going on and there were no his books for sale which was unfortunate.
I love how Sam cracked jokes from time to time! His style I love:) And seeing and talking to him after the event was worth coming there!
I’m a supporter of Harris. I very much enjoy his writing (albeit not being on board with his Free Will position).
I was there too. I bought myself as a treat a very expensive ticket for this. Rolling Stones type expensive.
I felt fleeced. My wife runs a book festival; always after authors have spoken you can buy a book for at worse face value and get it signed.
Here there were no books on sale apart from paperbacks of ‘Waking Up’. Those were on sale for £35. I can buy that on Amazon for £7. That’s a 500% mark up for the fans. I’m struggling to see that as anything else than a ‘fuck you rubes’ to the people who are most on side here.
I totally agree that there was no atmosphere, no energy and no consideration for the core supporters of these men. I’m certainly not paying to see Harris again.
What really galls me is that Harris and Dawkins seemed irritated to be there, as if we’d barged in on their private conversation. Fucking Mick Jagger prances around giving his all for 3 hours for £150 - for them to sit there monosyllabic in their mock leather armchairs for half that is a bit much.
Then what? Too much time for the predictable crazy questions and the opportunity to stand in line for hours to have these grumpy bastards do what? Sign my hand? I walked in to the meet and greet thing, saw the huge line, understood the deal and immediately walked out and went home.
This has left a very bad taste in my mouth.