Ioriginally intended to share my thoughts on a podcast, but found it more in keeping with the future of the project to share them in an essay. Reason Revolution began as a podcast devoted to the intersection of secular humanism, politics, and culture. It’s now evolved into a website and an ever-growing social media community. I am very proud of the work that I, along with my co-founder and collaborator Tylor Lovins, have done in this space. Yet, my life has changed a lot since I started this project. In my professional life, I’m working on a chapter for a book of Midwestern intellectual history, starting a YouTube series about Indiana history and its relevance to current issues, and improving my status within the public history community. I love my career and look forward to growing my profile with each passing year.
As for my personal life, it’s had its ups and downs. My health hasn’t been perfect this last year or so. Years and years of poor habits are catching up with me and trying to change them has been more difficult than I imagined. My wife, Kalie, and I are also thinking about the long-term, planning a vacation (we haven’t taken one in years; even our honeymoon was over a weekend), thinking about future job opportunities, and even buying a home. But, our lives are not without struggles. I’ve spent so many years in school and working on atheist-related side ventures that it has put a strain on our relationship. I’m committed to improving this situation so I can live a happier, more fulfilling life with my partner and do the things we’ve always talked about but have never done.
With all this mind, Tylor and I decided to end the weekly podcast. It has been a joy and a privilege to work on this part of our project, but the time it takes to put together a weekly show is just too much of a burden for me right now. But don’t worry: the show won’t go away entirely. I will possibly do an episode once a month or every couple of months, which will either be an “Ask Me Anything,” an interview, or a recorded presentation from my summer speaking engagements. As such, we’re moving away from Soundcloud and iTunes and all past and future episodes will be archived on the Reason Revolution YouTube channel.
Our social media presence is also changing. We will be ending our Twitter account to focus exclusively on our Facebook page and our newly-created Instagram page. The atheism community on Twitter is an incredibly toxic place right now, especially after the Lawrence Krauss revelations, so it’s not a platform presently equipped or interested in the kind of discourse we aim to have within this space. Facebook and Instagram, while not perfect, are better suited for posting engaging and thought-provoking memes and advertising new content from the website. This improved strategy will hopefully result in stronger audience engagement and satisfaction with our content.
So, if the podcast is going away, what will be our primary focus? For that, we’re taking the lead from great organizations like Vox, Quillette, and Areo Magazine and focusing on long-form essays related to the topics of atheism, secular humanism, politics, and culture. Writing has always been my first love, and with the weekly podcast out of the way we’ll be writing more essays tackling these subjects. Our long-term goal is to publish an essay a week, but until we hit that mark, it may be 2-3 a month. I am currently working on three essays: a deep-dive on the “radical atheism” of anarchist philosopher Emma Goldman, a new addition to our free will series covering Dan Barker’s newest book, Free Will Explained, and a book review of Steven Pinker’s newest masterwork, Enlightenment Now. Tylor is working on a bunch of different projects, but his latest focus is a secular humanist guide to the work of clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson. In this line-up, we’re showing our shared love for Canadian psychologists who write about big-picture social and political questions, as well as other topics.
Alongside these essays, I’m bringing back the “Special Comment,” which is more off-the-cuff and topical than our long-form content. These essays will bring Reason Revolution back to its political and news-oriented roots, something missing from recent months. We’re also working on a series of essays called “Humanist Histories,” which will explore the deep legacy of freethought and secular humanism in the United States and around the world. Some of these essays will come from previous history publications I’ve worked on while others will be brand new. Our first essay about Indianapolis freethinker and newspaper publisher W. H. LaMaster will be released to readers very soon.
I’m very excited about the future of Reason Revolution and I hope that our audience will be, too. We felt that this change was for the better, not just for my time but also for the content. Since there’s a glut of atheism-related podcasts and short-form blogs, we thought the time was right to distinguish ourselves by trying something a little different. For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, we thank you and encourage you to stick around. For those of you who are new to Reason Revolution, welcome to our community and we hope you’ll like what we do. As I said from the very beginning, “dedicating ourselves to the success and further implementation of reason in our broader culture” is our goal with this project. With this new approach, I think we will do just that.
Founder, Reason Revolution