I was recently invited to join a live stream panel for the Street Epistemology community, reviewing a conversation between prominent Street Epistemologist Anthony Magnabosco and two Mormon Elders.
Anthony is a leading figure in the Street Epistemology community and has been recording conversations and creating videos on the subject of Street Epistemology since 2013. These videos have come to define and evolve the idea of Street Epistemology and are a key reason why the community has been growing steadily in that time.
The fact that the Street Epistemology community engage in these review sessions is, frankly, admirable. It can be a challenging thing to look back at ones past self and reflect on what we could have, or worse yet, should have done better. Painful and somewhat dispiriting exercise it may be, but it is undoubtedly a necessary one if growth and development are to be achieved. The unexamined life may very well not be worth living, and Socrates' famous dictum applies no less to Street Epistemology videos.
"Street Epistemology: Mormon Elders Fuel Atheist (Testability)"
The videos for the two-part review I participated in, along with the original video we reviewed, are below. However, if this is your first time seeing Street Epistemology, I would urge you to look elsewhere. As Anthony himself identifies in part two of this review, this is not a good demonstration of Street Epistemology. I think the video is incredibly useful and valuable nonetheless. In many ways, this video demonstrates the efficacy of the Street Epistemology approach. It is precisely to the extent that Anthony does not adhere to standard forms of Street Epistemology that the conversation losses its effectiveness. A cautionary tale then, and all the more powerful when it comes from someone so highly experienced.
Make no mistake; Anthony is remarkably good at having these conversations. His performance in this video is interesting precisely because it is a rare misstep. I have learned a lot from watching Anthony's talks, noticing how I think I would have responded differently and how less effective I think I would have been as a result. I, like many others, found myself intrigued and impressed by Anthony's content, and inspired to join the community and find out more, something that over a year later, I have not found reason to regret.
You can see a playlist of Anthony's top 10 videos here, and I would encourage you to check them out.
Imposter syndrome and reflections
I was a little surprised to be invited to the join in with the review, but seeing as I was there, and the video was an interesting one, I thought I would volunteer to participate. Imposter syndrome, that feeling that you're not supposed to be there, or more specifically, don't deserve to be there, was in full effect. Everyone else seemed to be a Street Epistemologist or have first-hand experience of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first video started broadcasting at midnight for me and didn't finish until gone 1 am. One might be forgive for not being at ones best at 1am and my clarity was clearly and lucidity was failing me and I was very grateful to Reid for allowing the review to be done in two parts. I was even more surprised when they wanted me to come back for part two.
I sincerely enjoyed my time on the panel for both videos, and it was a lot of fun. I'm incredibly grateful to Anthony, especially for being very charitable in response to my criticism and his courage to openly reflect on his past self. I shudder to imagine how I might feel about my performance in these videos in two years.
Featuring Reid (Cordial Curiosity), Nathan (Abstract Activist), Jacob, Mark (Being Reasonable), Jon (Quality Questions), and Myself
Featuring Reid (Cordial Curiosity), Carah (NuanceHoe), Mark (Being Reasonable), Jon (Quality Questions), Eddie (Deep Discussions), and Myself