To begin with, I'm extremely disappointed and humiliated as to how the night unfolded. All I can do is apologize and try to figure out ways to see that this doesn't happen again.
and Katala Au added:
I was very seriously considering not bothering with an author chat again after last night.
My mind is simply boggled. I thought it was a wonderful chat. Whether an author is there or not, chat is casual by nature: it is NOT an interview, and it is NOT a university class. We have had the good fortune to have guests who get paid large sums of money for their time, who can command auditorium sized audiences, come and talk to us just because we asked them to. Richard Dawkins is (about) 73 years old; Michael Shermer is (about) 47. He's younger than several of the members! So we asked him to come out and play, and he came out and played.
If you want serious, considered, intellectual analysis of relevant issues then, well, read their books. If you want my opinion of a chat that was a disaster it was Howard Bloom: the man had no idea what a "chat" is, made no attempt to interact, and simply lectured.
When Michael came to the chat he had no idea who we are. Again, it was simply a gesture of goodwill for him to show up at all. So we chatted about the things we chat about and one of us
, a newcomer, got to see who we are. I enjoyed the chat, laughed at the Lakers and the
thingys, had a great time, and went away looking forward to Michael's (we're on a first name basis now) next book.
One more thing: suppose Dr. Shermer (ok, maybe we're NOT on a first name basis) was impressed with our little group, and pokes in to read these little screeds? Now who is insulting whom?
Miller's Law of Strange Behavior- To understand any apparently baffling behavior by another human, ask: what status game is this individual playing, to show off which heritable traits, in which mating market?