Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

    November 2019


    Daylight Saving Time 2019 ends Sunday, November 3, at 2 a.m.  Turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday night.


    First Sunday Meeting

    November  3    Sunday        10:30 - 12:30

    Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Building, Cafeteria Annex

    Terri Lyon, author of "What’s On Your Sign? How to focus your passion and change the world." will give this presentation. 

    From the Book's Website:

    Perhaps you want to work for change in the world, but with so much happening it’s hard to know where to start. Do you find yourself asking, What issue should I choose? How can I best help? How do I get started? 

    Or perhaps you are an activist but find yourself asking, Is this work a good fit for me? How do I know if I’m making a difference? How can I feel more motivated? 

    Get the answers you need in What’s On Your Sign? How to focus your passion and change the world. An engaging and entertaining guidebook, What’s On Your Sign? will help you:

    • Find what you’re most passionate about among the myriad of causes.
    • Match your skills with the type of activism work that best suits you.
    • Find an activism opportunity that works for your life.
    • Determine if the activism work you are doing makes a difference.
    • Stay motivated in your activism for the long-term.

    Psychologist, teacher, and activist Terri Lyon merged her training and experience to create What’s On Your Sign? to help you identify your strengths, skills, and interests and use them to bring about effective change through activism—enjoyable, effective activism.

    What’s On Your Sign? is unique among books on activism:

    This book doesn’t tell you to head to the streets. It helps you recognize what you bring to the table that will create positive change on an issue.

    This book helps you focus on your passion. Other books direct you to the author’s cause.

    This book will inspire you to do something other than march. Activist profiles include the painter, singer, musician, children’s book author, playwright, craftivist, serial entrepreneur, and others—all using their talents to further a cause.


    Even if activism is not your thing, this presentation will help you find better focus for your life. 

    We meet in the cafeteria annex at the back of the Goins Administration Building. Come early for coffee and conversation

    The RET Skeptic Book Club

    November 10        Sunday         2:00 – 4:00 pm                         

    Location:    Books-A-Million at 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville

    21 Lessons for the 21st Century

    by Yuval Noah Harari

    How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? 

    Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

    In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?

    Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading


    Please bring your own chair if possible.


    RET Third Sunday Meeting

    November 17     Sunday            10:30 - 12:30

    Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Building Cafeteria Annex

    Encryption: what it is, how it works, why it matters.

    RET member Carl Westman will give this presentation.

    Can you keep a secret? What about your friends, your bank, or your phone?

    Keeping secrets is not just the domain of the military or spies. Modern banking and commerce rely upon encryption for securing financial transactions. Political operatives rely upon encryption to communicate with their allies and keep their plans secret from rivals and adversaries.

    The history of encryption has seen ever-stronger ciphers eventually get decoded by ever-more-clever cryptanalysis. Broken encryption has led to the fall of regimes, while weaponized encryption (e.g., ransomware) has cost individuals, businesses, and governments billions of dollars. In this talk, we will explore what encryption is, how it works, and why it matters.

    We meet in the cafeteria annex at the back of the Goins Administration Building. Come early for coffee and conversation. 

  1. No RET Reflections Meetings in November and December

    November 24 and December 22    No Reflections Meetings  


    Save the date: Saturday, December 21, Winter Solstice Party at the King's!

    RET on Facebook: Discussion and Group

    Rationalists of East Tennessee Discussion is created to benefit people by offering a forum for discussing issues of church/state separation as well as other issues affecting the "nones" of the area.

    This group is a part of the Rationalists of East TN and will be moderated.


    RET/ASK Freethought Forum TV

    November 6, 13, 19, 26,        Wednesdays          6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

    FFTV, presented by the Rationalists of East Tennessee and the Atheist Society of Knoxville, is broadcast each Wednesday, 6:30–7:30 p.m. on Knoxville's Community TV. Calls during the broadcast make it much more lively and interesting. Call in (865-215-2288) with comments or questions.

    The program can be seen live on the internet at ctvknox.org. In the Knoxville area it can be viewed on the following TV channels - Xfinity (Comcast), Channel 12; WOW! (Knology), Channel 6; Charter (Spectrum), Channel 193; AT&T U-verse, Channel 99.


    Homer Clifton Wilkins: May 28,1923 -- September 2, 2019

    A memorial service for Homer  Wilkins will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universal Church.


    Copyright © 2019 {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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