Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Frappr group for Equal Time for Freethought listeners



(inspired by Brian Flemming's similar antics with the Church Sign Generator)

Last week, the map I created for listeners of the radio show on scientific naturalism and secular humanism Equal Time for Freethought (for which I am on staff as a researcher/consultant), which airs on WBAI in the metro New York City area, finally went live with a link on the official site.

The map is made via Frappr, a super cool site that uses Google Maps to allow people in a group to post their locations on the planet. (For more examples of ways people are using Google Maps, see Google Maps Mania.) I've also created a couple of other Frappr groups: for Distributed Proofreaders (forum thread) and dorkbotters (that is, people who go to dorkbot, including the local nyc group).

I'm very pleased to see that the first two listeners to add themselves, besides the staff members of the show, are all the way from Grand Rapids, Michigan and Mayer, Arizona! Clearly, the show is being heard via the online WBAI stream and program archives (older, no longer updated archive of some 2003 shows) as well as on the local radio.

It's also cool that Mark Plus has referred to the science fiction movie Stargate, which I also like (and which is unfairly dismissed by some critics as just another dumb shoot-'em-up). Not only does it celebrate the intellectual curiosity of James Spader's unabashedly nerdy linguist, but in its depiction of a basically decent and innocent group of people being lorded over and kept in ignorance by a violent, vindictive, anachronistic god, it parallels the rise of militant Islam and other fundamentalism today, for instance this quote from Sam Harris's The End of Faith:
It is as though a portal in time has opened, and fourteenth-century hordes are pouring into our world. Unfortunately, they are now armed with twenty-first-century weapons. (p. 107)

Feedback is welcome! You can post feedback in the comments section for this post, and tell us about your experience with ETFF. For instance: How did you find the show? (Especially for people outside of the metro-NYC area) What are your favorite episodes? How does the show's worldview fit in with your own?

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