> Nerd Nite No. 9, December 7, 2011

Nerd Nite No. 9, December 7, 2011

Nerds.  The December Nerd Nite is upon us:

Wednesday, December 7th

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue

doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 pm

$5 cover

For your edification, we present:

“Free Will: How there isn’t any (at least, not the way you think)” by Brett CohenFree will concerns individuals’ ability to choose what they want to do.  When we decide something, whether it’s what we’re going to eat for dinner, who we’re going to go out on a date with, or what we’re going to do with our life, we have the unmistakable sensation that it is freely chosen.  If we don’t like our decision, we can change our minds — and we often do.  How can we square this apparent freedom with the constraints of brain — which is, after all, a physical system, governed by laws of nature?  One possibility is that we may have to abandon our old positions on the subject — and in doing so, consider an alternative view of free will — and of ourselves.

Brett Cohen majored in philosophy at Brown University, where he took over 14 classes in topics such as metaphysics and philosophy of mind.  Realizing that he was headed toward the philosophy of unemployment, he learned software development, and currently creates websites, user interfaces, and mobile applications.

“Why it pays to slice up body parts: bone histology and dinosaur biology” by Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian

We can learn a lot about extinct animals from the overall anatomy of their skeletons, but even more information is contained in their bone microstructure.  Bone tissue records a detailed record of an individual’s life history, and thin-sections of fossil bone provide windows into understanding the biology of critters long dead.  Age, growth rate, stress, and sex—it’s all in there if you know what to look for, and can stand a little sawing and grinding.

Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian is a vertebrate paleontologist in the Temple University Department of Earth and Environmental Science, where she pontificates about rocks and fossils and delights in making her students’ heads explode.  She also moonlights as an actress with various community theatre groups in Montgomery and Bucks Counties.  This basically means she spends her days with dead things and nights with people that don’t really exist, which may explain a lot.

“When You Have Nowhere To Go Except Everywhere” by Scott Beibin

‘Groucho Fractal’s Nearly Amazing Quantum Transdimensional Survival Guide at the End (and Beginning) of Everything’ is a touring live performance and webcast exploring the intersection of science, consciousness, art and nature hosted by Scott Beibin. The show features the delightful pairing of eco-engineering, open source philosophies, and emerging technologies with silly dance moves and tasty raw vegan treats.  Come enjoy a short preview of the Groucho Fractal show before the official(ish) launch in 2012 at this installment of Nerd Nite Philly.

Scott Beibin is a Philadelphia based artist, theorist, problem-solver, and vortex engineer connecting the sacred, profane, and the absurd. Beibin has toured internationally as host, curator, and media-archaeologist for the Lost Film Festival which combines activist filmmaking with live storytelling. He is also co-founder of the Evil Twin Booking Agency (along with author Elizabeth-Jane Cole), organizing tours and outreach campaigns for people who think and act.

And rock music by Ben Riesman of Le Fits.

Food and drink specials: $6 beer + pretzel and $8 beer + sausage to enjoy in a veritable sea of tables and chairs.


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