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Tim Martin
Works at New York State Psychiatric Institute
Attended The College of New Jersey
Lived in Yawata, Japan
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Tim Martin

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I really love Valerie Tarico's articles on abortion.

A choice excerpt:
"All around us, living breathing and loving are the chosen children of mothers who waited—who ended an ill-timed or unhealthy pregnancy and then later chose to carry forward a new life. “I was only going to have two children,” my friend, Jane said as her daughters raced, screeching joyfully, across my lawn. Jane followed them with her eyes. “My abortions let me have these two when the time was right, with someone I loved.”

Those who see abortion as an unmitigated evil often talk about the “millions of missing people” who were not born into this world because a pregnant woman decided, not now. But they never talk about the millions of children and adults who are here today only because their mothers had abortions—real people who exist in this version of the future, people who are living out their lives all around us–loving and laughing and suffering and struggling and dancing and dreaming, and having babies of their own."
Recently, the Daily Kos published an article titled, I Am Pro-Choice, Not Pro-Abortion. “Has anyone ever truly been pro-abortion?” one commenter asked. Uh. Yes. Me. That would be me. I am pro-abort...
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Tim Martin

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This was a great talk and a greater Q&A.

Anthony Pinn became a preacher at the age of 12. He went on to study religion and become a minister, but left the church when he found that none of his religious teachings made a real difference in the difficult lives of the members of his African-American community.

And then we have the Q&A, which Sean Carroll describes nicely in his blog:
"[The Q&A is] often not worth listening to, but in this case it’s the highlight of the presentation. The audience of atheists are looking for yet more self-affirmation, demanding to know why more Blacks haven’t accepted the truth of a secular worldview. Pinn is very frank: naturalism hasn’t yet offered African-Americans a “soft landing.” Too many atheists, he points out, spend a lot of time critiquing religious traditions, and a lot of time patting themselves on the back for being rational and fair-minded, and not nearly enough time constructing something positive, a system of networks and support structures free of the spiritual trappings. It’s a good message for us to hear."
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Tim Martin

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"As TED’s social media editor, I have seen a lot of nasty comments. I’ve seen grown men and women deride a 14-year-old girl for her choice of dress. I’ve seen them say they’re revolted by a beautiful transgender woman. On every talk about race, I’ve seen a slew of racist comments. But none have ever been as bad as the comments we got when we published Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk, The Price of Shame. At least at first."
When TED posted the talk by Monica Lewinsky, the haters came out in force. TED's social media editor, Nadia Goodman, describes what happened -- and how she and her team countered the vitriol, one c...
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Tim Martin

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Here's a great little pdf on how to effectively debunk myths, written by some researchers in Australia. The concrete examples of how to debunk are very helpful for those who want to be better at this sort of thing.

From the abstract:
Debunking myths is problematic. Unless great care is taken, any effort to debunk misinformation can inadvertently reinforce the very myths one seeks to correct. To avoid these “backfire effects”, an effective debunking requires three major elements.

First, the refutation must focus on core facts rather than the myth to avoid the misinformation becoming more familiar. Second, any mention of a myth should be preceded by explicit warnings to notify the reader that the upcoming information is false. Finally, the refutation should include an alternative explanation that accounts for important qualities in the original misinformation.
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Tim Martin

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This article does a great job of showing how cognitive errors that show up in the lab also show up in real life. I was happy after reading it when I realized that the author was Christie Aschwanden​, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a CFAR workshop last year!
Paul Offit likes to tell a story about how his wife, pediatrician Bonnie Offit, was about to give a child a vaccination when the kid was struck by a seizure. Had she given the injection a minute so...
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Tim Martin

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Fascinating piece by a 24-year-old former NY escort.
Escorts make $100 a hand job — but entrepreneurs like me? We make $5,000 a night. How I hacked the new economy of the ol…
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Tim Martin

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This is kind of brilliant.

Scouts for Equality is raising money for the Boy Scouts of America, but they're using a new crowdfunding platform called "Challeng" where the money only goes through if the recipient completes some sort of challenge. In the BSA's case, they have to end their ban on gay adults in scouting by the time of their national meeting in May. If they don't, they'll be saying goodbye to what will probably be tens of thousands of dollars.

I donated. It's not that I would want the BSA to change their policy just for the money - in fact, I don't think they would. But there must be leaders in the organization who want to see the BSA free of discrimination, and making it easier for them to push their case seems like a good idea. The sooner that child and adult gays are allowed in scouting, the sooner the organization becomes a more inclusive place. (And then the atheist scouts can gain acceptance as well!)
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Tim Martin

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D'aaaaaaaaaaaaw.

"If you don't think of spiders as cute and cuddly, then you’ve never met Sparklemuffin, Skeletorus, and the elephant spider. Scientists have identified these three new species of peacock spiders in various parts of eastern Australia."
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Tim Martin

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"The mother of a Scout in San Antonio was recently turned away from participating in her 15-year old son Nick's new troop, because other parents reported to the troop leadership that she might be gay. Adella Freeman did not tell anyone about her sexual orientation, nor did she make it an issue. She was not attempting to become a leader of the troop - she simply wanted to register as a Committee Member so that she could provide help if they ever needed it. She had registered in Nick's previous units, and it had never been an issue. This highlights why a Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy does not work for the Boy Scouts.
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After learning that his mom wasn't going to be welcome at his new troop, Nick made the difficult choice to leave Scouting. It's terribly disappointing to see a 15-year old Scout, who is so close to earning Eagle, leave the program. But the Boy Scouts left him with an impossible choice - stand by his family, and give up on his dreams of being an Eagle Scout, or continue working towards Eagle with the very people that told him his mother wasn't welcome. The mission of the Boy Scouts is to "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes." The Boy Scouts taught Nick well, and he knew that the only moral choice in this situation was to stand by his family. Although the BSA now allows gay youth, this is a clear demonstration of how the adult ban is still keeping youth out of Scouting."
We, the Scouting community of Converse, TX urge Troop 512 and the Alamo Area Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy on adults. Our family was just told that my partner and I could not be members of the new troop 512 because of our sexual orientation but our son could stay. I find this sad since we have been members of scouts for 8 years and all of a sudden it became an issue. In other words we could no longer support our ...
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Tim Martin

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Meet DAR-1. He might not look like much, but robots like him are showing startling new ways that humans can interact with machines
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Tim Martin

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Happy Fry-day!

One day I'd like to be half as articulate as Stephen Fry.
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Tim Martin

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“Surgeons discovered that the man had a womb. He was 70.”

An incredibly informative article on the sex spectrum ("sextrum," obviously).

It outlines all or most of the sex possibilities we know of, from XY people with androgen insensitivity, to XX people with male sex-determining genes, to people with a mix of XX and XY cells.

The piece ends with fantastic advice.
The idea of two sexes is simplistic. Biologists now think there is a wider spectrum than that.
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Have him in circles
608 people
Robin Aleman's profile photo
Michael Quisao's profile photo
Carol Fraser's profile photo
Kevin McLaughlin's profile photo
Meagan Miller-McKeever's profile photo
Angela Baker's profile photo
Hanns-Jörg Rohwedder's profile photo
Jordan Landers's profile photo
Pat Proniewski's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Research Coordinator
Employment
  • New York State Psychiatric Institute
    Research Coordinator, 2009 - present
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Yawata, Japan - Obama, Japan - Katsuyama, Japan - Hamilton Township, NJ - Princeton, NJ - New York City, NY
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Introduction
I'm an atheist and a blogger. I'm a swing and a blues dancer. I'm a nerd. I love learning. I play videogames. I love traveling. I'm a scientist by lifestyle, if not profession. I speak Japanese.

Follow me for posts about atheism and religion, science (including cool stuff that I find), social issues and activism, and things in general that I find stimulating or awe-inspiring. Photos of the amazing world we live in and the amazing people in it included.

I also have a blog specifically about atheism and religion. About living up to the full potential of the human species, and not being held back by the ancient mandates of people who knew nothing about our world. I want human societies to be as happy, healthy, and free as possible.

The Floating Lantern
Bragging rights
I've hitchhiked across the Tohoku and Kyushu regions of Japan.
Education
  • The College of New Jersey
    Psychology, 2002 - 2006
  • Kansai Gaidai University
    One semester study abroad, 2005
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