Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

November 2022 

Daylight Savings Time Ends Sunday, November 6

Turn clocks BACK one hour before you go to sleep on Saturday.  You'll have an extra hour to rest!

First Sunday Meeting 

November 6    Sunday   10:30 -12:30 EST

In Person at Pellissippi State!

We meet in the cafeteria annex at the back of the Goins Administration Building on the Hardin Valley campus. 

Bring Your Own Topic

There is much to discuss with the up-coming midterm elections, current events, and change of seasons. 

Bring a snack to share. Warm drinks will be available.

We will try to share this meeting on Zoom, as well.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 817 4512 9936

Passcode: 113078

RET Skeptic Book Club

November 13  Sunday         4:00 – 6:00 pm EST

Video conference meeting using Zoom


What It Is

Why It Seems Scarce

Why It Matters

by Steven Pinker

Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding--and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing? Pinker rejects the cynical cliché that humans are simply irrational--cavemen out of time saddled with biases, fallacies, and illusions. After all, we discovered the laws of nature, lengthened and enriched our lives, and set out the benchmarks for rationality itself. We actually think in ways that are sensible in the low-tech contexts in which we spend most of our lives but fail to take advantage of the powerful tools of reasoning we’ve discovered over the millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability, correlation and causation, and optimal ways to update beliefs and commit to choices individually and with others. These tools are not a standard part of our education and have never been presented clearly and entertainingly in a single book--until now. Rationality also explores its opposite: how the rational pursuit of self-interest, sectarian solidarity, and uplifting mythology can add up to crippling irrationality in a society. Collective rationality depends on norms that are explicitly designed to promote objectivity and truth. Rationality matters. It leads to better choices in our lives and in the public sphere and is the ultimate driver of social justice and moral progress. Brimming with Pinker’s customary insight and humor, Rationality will enlighten, inspire, and empower. 432 pages.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 869 4224 8618

Passcode: 497482

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,86942248618#,,,,*497482# US (Chicago)

+16469313860,,86942248618#,,,,*497482# US

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 646 931 3860 US

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

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        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

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        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kbZv28FicE

Third Sunday Meeting

November 20 Sunday 10:30 am - 12:30 pm EST

Video conference meeting using Zoom

This will be a video presentation of "The Story of Calculus" by Steven Strogatz. 

Do not be put off by the topic. Dr. Strogatz is an entertaining speaker, and brings the joy of this topic to the lay person. 

Bring your own snacks and coffee. 

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 860 0812 7498

Passcode: 134926

Reflections Sunday Zoom Meeting

November 27 Sunday 4:30-6 pm EST

How did the year turn out?

Well, we are on the last lap of 2022.  We started with COVID, went to a war, then to inflation, and are ending on an election.  Are you still on your medication?  Double the dose?  Prepare yourself for a summary chat of the year and some speculation on what might be in store for us next year.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 872 2385 3735

Passcode: 860467

One tap mobile

+13017158592,,87223853735#,,,,*860467# US (Washington DC)

+13092053325,,87223853735#,,,,*860467# US

With heavy hearts, we announce the death of longtime RET member, Patrick Joseph Cannon.  He passed away on October 22, 2022 at the age of 68. Pat played a major role in setting up our current web page and membership record management software. 

Friends are encouraged to leave their condolences on his memorial page:  https://www.echovita.com/us/obituaries/tn/knoxville/patrick-joseph-cannon-15402958



RET members who were active in 2005-2010 will remember Clarabelle McCaffrey, daughter of Patty and John McCaffrey.  She now goes by "Clare" McCaffrey and is entering college later this year.  She has written a book, If the Sky Had Faces, which is available on amazon.com.

Save the Dates!

Saturday, December 17: Winter Solstice Party at the King's

Sunday, February 5: RET's Annual Business Meeting

There is now an official nomination committee, so members who are interested in serving on the board (or on the nominations committee) should contact  bod@rationalists.org.

There is now an official nomination committee, so members who are interested in serving on the board (or on the nominations committee) should contact  bod@rationalists.org.


Copyright © 2020 {Rationalists of East Tennessee, Inc.}. All rights reserved. Please request use of any material at contact below.
Contact email: info@rationalists.org
Edited by Sharron King: newsletter@rationalists.org.
Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors and are not necessarily the opinions of RET.

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