I can't stop posting pictures of poop, what the fuck is wrong with me?
Why I left The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) By Niels Böge Nothdurft
Why I left The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM).
Thanks for listening to The League of Nerds podcast, I hope you enjoyed it!
Looking back, I don't think that I made my reason for leaving TZM clear enough in the podcast, so I'm writing this letter to clarify it a little bit.
First of all, I do not have any personal problems with people in the movement (except for a dislike of Peter Joseph, which I will clarify in this letter). Many of them are good people who want to make a positive change in the world and I have had some good times with other members of the movement.
My problems with the movement began when I started to train my skepticism about a year ago. I began to feel a bit alienated from the movement, because many of its members promote a lot of pseudoscience. I also began to see problems with the official material, namely the first and the second movies. Before you say "the movies, especially the first one, aren't the movement", think about A) why all three movies officially are a trilogy? (1) and B) why the second and in some cases the first one is used to promote the movement (many chapters still give out all three movies)?
For me the case is clear.
In the beginning I tried to shake it off by saying to myself that "the end justifies the means" and focus more on using science. I made TZM posts, to bring some balance to all the pseudoscience promoted by other members.
Eventually I had enough around the time where a former prominent TZM member, Matt Berkowitz, got his video about scientific literacy (2) removed, because some TZM members didn't like it and Peter Joseph, who controls the movement, cares more about keeping the peace amongst a largely pseudoscience-supporting membership than about scientific accuracy.
So I signed his letter of concern (3) about pseudoscience and conspiracy thinking within TZM and decided to leave TZM for good a few days later.
Instead I began to focus my energy on being an active skeptic, especially on social media and mostly in Danish, due to a lack of Danish skeptics.
As I mentioned before I dislike Peter Joseph (PJ), which is because of his very unscientific views and censorship of Matt Berkowitz. Despite what is claimed, PJ has a lot to say within TZM and he is definitely the most prominent spokesperson for the movement, giving most of movement's interviews and authoring most of its official content. The movement claims to promote "scientific method for social concern", so I find it troubling to see the most prominent spokesperson actively promoting pseudoscience, like the Burzynski alternative (unproven) cancer treatment (4).
That's another reason why I can't promote TZM, as the institutional label of TZM is inextricably linked to pseudoscience in public perception due to all these issues..
Thanks for listening and thanks to Myles and James for having me on.
Niels Böge Nothdurft