The Official Welcome Thread!

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The Official Welcome Thread!
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JohnLombard
Site Admin
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:18 am
As the founder and owner of Wrest In Peace, let me be the first to welcome you! You can feel free to use this thread to introduce yourself...or you can start a new topic to introduce yourself, if you wish! I will kick things off with my own quick self-introduction.

My name is John Lombard. I'm Canadian, but have lived and worked in China since 1993 (more than 20 years now). I was born and raised in an evangelical Christian home, and my father was the minister of a small church, so it is not terribly surprising that I grew up a devout and passionate Christian, including attending Bible College, doing street evangelism, and ultimately coming to China as a missionary.

But now, I am a Secular Humanist, the result of a gradual change which came to its conclusion in 1998. I won't go into the reasons here (I'm sure there will be more than adequate opportunity to do that in other threads).

While in China, I've been a teacher, a businessman, and a philanthropist. As a teacher, I taught in some of China's top universities, including Beijing University and Qingdao Ocean University. As a businessman, I've started two companies -- New Leaders International, and Absolute Executive -- which both focused on providing corporate training and consulting for large international companies. As a philanthropist, I've not only supported various charitable organizations, but co-founded a non-profit organization in China that works with a Chinese ethnic minority group, the Mosuo (http://www.mosuoproject.org).

I like to describe myself as a pragmatic idealist -- I'm very much an idealist in that I believe individuals can change the world; but I'm pragmatic in regards to identifying how best to actually accomplish those goals.

Wrest In Peace is my latest effort to make a difference...and I thank you for coming here, and hope that you will want to get involved in the Wrest In Peace community, too!
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Chaos
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:44 pm
Hi there!

I´m Chaos - or at least that´s what I call myself on the internet. I don´t have quite the illustrious background as John does, but I do have a degree in Intermediate Smartassery (although for administrative reasons it says "Economics" on the certificate). I´m also a former human rights activist, or at least "former" in the sense that I no longer work full-time at the NGO; this has been a major influence in my outlook on a large number of issues, even outside the sphere of human rights as such.

Okay, enough said. Let´s see what is going to happen here...
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

scarlet_35
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:24 am
Hello Chaos :D

I've always gone by Scarlet_35, some will know me, most probably won't, in any case HELLO all
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Beleth
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:30 am
Hi all!

So I'm Beleth on boards. I was an active member of the JREF board from 2002-2007. I was Head Moderator of the SGU forum from 2008-2012. Now I'm just a curmudgeon.

I think that this is a great idea for a forum, and one that any intellectual freethinker would embrace wholeheartedly.

PS - scarlet_35 is a doll (in the good sense). Be nice to her!
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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arthwollipot
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:14 am
I'm arthwollipot. Most people here already know me. I've been active on the JREF Forums (now the internationalskeptics forums) since 2005, and I also post on the SGUForums and I'm a Moderator at australasianskeptics.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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JohnLombard
Site Admin
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:18 am
Just a quick note here...right now, pretty much everyone who's coming here are past JREF members, partially to help me with a soft-launch of the site, and make sure everything's working. But soon, we'll (hopefully) have a lot more people joining us from other places, so they won't know who you are. So it might be nice to give a bit more of an intro of your actual background and interests ;)
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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arthwollipot
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:14 am
Hi, I'm me, I do stuff.

Honestly, I prefer visitors to come to know me by my deeds (by which I mean my posts) than spend a lot of time spruiking myself.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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JohnLombard
Site Admin
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:18 am
arthwollipot wrote:Hi, I'm me, I do stuff.

Much better! :D
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Beleth
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:30 am
arthwollipot wrote:Honestly, I prefer visitors to come to know me by my deeds (by which I mean my posts) than spend a lot of time spruiking myself.


^^^ this.

I'm also not a big fan of leaving too much personally identifiable information all around the internet. No offense to you, John; it's just that I don't know who else might be reading this.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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arthwollipot
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:14 am
Beleth wrote:I'm also not a big fan of leaving too much personally identifiable information all around the internet. No offense to you, John; it's just that I don't know who else might be reading this.
While I understand this, it is not my reason. I just hate introductions. You should see me flounder in job interviews.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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MattusMaximus
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:01 am
Greetings all. My online moniker is MattusMaximus, and some of you may know me from the old JREF Forum. I'm a high school and college physics professor, and my primary skeptical interests include issues related to education. I am also a student of philosophy (current pursuing my B.A. in the subject) and have started to bring those insights into my discussions of skepticism and science. If you'd like to know more, check out my blog at http://skepticalteacher.org

Cheers - MM
Check out my blog: The Skeptical Teacher
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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arthwollipot
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:14 am
MattusMaximus! My favourite person to hit with a sledgehammer!
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Sideroxylon
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:51 am
A poster from JREF who has admired John's approach and is  drawn by the concept here. I enjoy reading history of science and philosophy. 
'The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.' - Richard Feynman
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
This is wonderful.
I'm looking forward to posting in an environment where I'm not a skeptic nor a believer, but can practice critical learning without an agenda.

I'm a member of the International Skeptics Forum where I post as Apathia.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Hokulele
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:56 pm
Aloooooooooooha!

I am known as Hokulele most places on the internet, even though I (sadly) no longer live in Hawai'i.  I enjoy long walks on the beach, romantic candleli-

No?

Well, I enjoy intelligent discussion on interesting subjects where not everyone can agree.  I also enjoy bacon.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Great to see you here. I hope this place grows. Not into a monster. But I hope we get lots of thinking friends.
Let's give it a spin.
Hokulele wrote:Aloooooooooooha!

I am known as Hokulele most places on the internet, even though I (sadly) no longer live in Hawai'i.  I enjoy long walks on the beach, romantic candleli-

No?

Well, I enjoy intelligent discussion on interesting subjects where not everyone can agree.  I also enjoy bacon.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Horatius
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:43 pm
Seems like most of the people in this thread I already know.

For anyone else, I'm another of the JREF/ISF forum crowd. I've got a background in physics, and have worked in the area of patents for almost 18 years now. I've given talks at the Amazing Meeting twice on patent related topics. I've also given talks to our local Ottawa Skeptics group on conspiracy theories and the "freeman on the land" movements. I've also given talks as part of a couple College of Curiosity cruises organized by Jeff Wagg.

And I do a few comics every now and then.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Childlike Empress
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:12 pm
Location: Ivory Tower
Hi, I'm Childlike Empress and have been told that I'm a conspiracy theorist.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Welcome to more brave souls!

Horatius!
Childlike Empress!

Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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skydancer
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:01 pm
Location: Australia
Hi all. I too like the evidence of knowledge.
overunity is possible
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Loki
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:51 am
You may know me as MetalPig on the JREF/ISF.
My post count isn't very high there, and probably wont be here either, since I spend most of my time reading posts that are written by people who know more than I do.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

magpie
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:50 am
Hi, I have an magpie as an avatar in the other place, hence my name. Do not care for my user name there so I thought I would start off with another one here. Saw your thread there.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Welcome to more brave souls!

Magpie

Loki

Skydancer, You were brave enough to start a thread!
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Night Owl
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:55 am
Jref guy here. Post as PS13 over there... hardly post though. Mostly lurk. I'll probably be more active here. Mayyyybeeee... ;)

The place looks good... (Thumbs up)
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Sideroxylon
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:51 am
I think it would be good for me to have to change my posting behaviour. It's very easy to go into full combat mode at the other place.
'The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.' - Richard Feynman
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Sideroxylon wrote:I think it would be good for me to have to change my posting behaviour. It's very easy to go into full combat mode at the other place.
I'm happy for a fresh start. I'm not sure yet how my posting behavior will change here. I tend to post the same way I converse in real life. To use a stereotype, I'm practically Canadian.
Oh, but James Randi and William Shatner are Canadians, aren't they? So much for the polite stereotype. Anyway, I don't feel I have to win an argument or be right. 
But there's supposed to be some some wresting here. Perhaps more wresting with one's self.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Untalkative Bunny
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:24 pm
Location: North of Reality
I too am a member of JREF.ISF.  Over there I am known as Lrrr but changed it here to better match more more "lurking" nature.  On these boards, I live by the motto "it's better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open my mouth and remove all doubt" but will try to chime in once in a while.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Untalkative Bunny wrote:I too am a member of JREF.ISF.  Over there I am known as Lrrr but changed it here to better match more more "lurking" nature.  On these boards, I live by the motto "it's better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to open my mouth and remove all doubt" but will try to chime in once in a while.
Welcome Untalkitive! It's easy to be a fool on a forum. Just risk it sometimes. 
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Harry Black
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:18 pm
Hi, Im Harry (mostly)  I found that travel narrowed my mind (which it needed a wee bit I think) and since finding out about skepticism/free thought/what have you I have enjoyed the community and started to gravitate more towards feminism for some reason.  Im really interested in how we can get more diversity into these kinds of spaces and this seems like it might be good for that. 
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Foolmewunz
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 1:50 pm
For those who may not have come from the ISF(nee JREFF) or ASF, I'm Foolmewunz.   I'm a retired American living in Thailand.  Casual atheist, abject progressive and general smart alec.  There are several people here who have my personal information and anyone really willing to some detective work could surely track me easily enough, but I don't publicize my details as I often post stuff which in the political reality that is Thailand, could get me busted or expelled.  (Obligatory greeting for the Thai version of the NSA: Have I mentioned, though, that our King is a real sweetheart?  A real prince among men.  And not just him... the entire Royal Family.  Just about the swellest people in the entire world.  Nay, ... universe.)
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Harry Black wrote:Hi, Im Harry (mostly)  I found that travel narrowed my mind (which it needed a wee bit I think) and since finding out about skepticism/free thought/what have you I have enjoyed the community and started to gravitate more towards feminism for some reason.  Im really interested in how we can get more diversity into these kinds of spaces and this seems like it might be good for that. 
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Foolmewunz wrote:For those who may not have come from the ISF(nee JREFF) or ASF, I'm Foolmewunz.   I'm a retired American living in Thailand.  Casual atheist, abject progressive and general smart alec.  There are several people here who have my personal information and anyone really willing to some detective work could surely track me easily enough, but I don't publicize my details as I often post stuff which in the political reality that is Thailand, could get me busted or expelled.  (Obligatory greeting for the Thai version of the NSA: Have I mentioned, though, that our King is a real sweetheart?  A real prince among men.  And not just him... the entire Royal Family.  Just about the swellest people in the entire world.  Nay, ... universe.)
It's great to see you here!
I never got up as far as Thailand. I taught three years in Singapore. Some of my students were Thai. Mostly sweet kids. Having travelled around and lived in the Far East for a decade, I'm a big advocate of the benefits of getting outside ones home culture.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Francesca R
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 5:04 pm
Location: London
For the record my join date should be 7 December but due to registration glitches, in turn, no doubt due to this site being set up by a rank amateur, it probably shows as today.  Hate being a newbie.

Age: 40, Born in NZ, Nationality: Dual Kiwi/British, Live: London
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Asterion
Francesca R wrote:For the record my join date should be 7 December but due to registration glitches, in turn, no doubt due to this site being set up by a rank amateur, it probably shows as today.  Hate being a newbie.

Age: 40, Born in NZ, Nationality: Dual Kiwi/British, Live: London
Welcome to this amateur site!
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Chaos
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:44 pm
Francesca R wrote:For the record my join date should be 7 December but due to registration glitches, in turn, no doubt due to this site being set up by a rank amateur, it probably shows as today.  Hate being a newbie.

Age: 40, Born in NZ, Nationality: Dual Kiwi/British, Live: London

We´re all of us amateur debaters, so debating on an amateur site seems fitting enough.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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JohnLombard
Site Admin
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:18 am
Francesca R wrote:...no doubt due to this site being set up by a rank amateur...
I'm actually ranked!?!  Cool!  What's my ranking?!
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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Hokulele
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:56 pm
JohnLombard wrote:
Francesca R wrote:...no doubt due to this site being set up by a rank amateur...
I'm actually ranked!?!  Cool!  What's my ranking?!
Unwashed.

Oh, I thought you meant "why"...
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!

Meg
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:05 pm
Hello I'm Meg.  I have cleverly disguised my username so that no one will know that I'm meg on the JREF/ISF forum.  I've had several major career changes through my life; air traffic controller, IT consultant, farmer.  In my retirement I tend to keep myself busy gardening with native plants, working on prairie restoration projects and studying bugs.

I've long held the view that people should be able to actively discuss, debate and argue while maintaining respect for each other as human beings, avoiding any personal attacks, name calling, or other rude and generally ineffective argumentative techniques.  I have high hopes for this site, and I wish you great success JohnLombard.
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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grayman
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:11 am
Hello, 

Some of you may recall me from other forums. 

Someone I'm stalking...er...I mean...know from elsewhere happened to be here, so I thought I'd stop in.

By the way, have you seen...eh...never mind...I'll just grab a cup of coffee and go wander the halls for a bit...
Re: The Official Welcome Thread!
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JohnLombard
Site Admin
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:18 am
Hey, grayman!  Thanks for joining...things are a little quite right now, but am planning a larger publicity initiative soon to get more people here, please continue to check in!
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