No Praying, No Doughnuts: Celebrity Panel at the Mini-Con

June 5, 2016

George Hrab moderated a surprisingly insightful conversation at the Reason Rally mini-con “celebrity panel,” using really quite pointed zingers to elicit some deep, personal reflections from the panelists.

Hrab kicked things off by asking the panelists what they think is overrated about themselves, which you have to hope is going to be asked in the fall presidential debates. Anyway, there were some pretty good answers (Dave Rubin said listening to guests is actually not hard, Lawrence Krauss said it was his looks), but the majority of the discussion in this section centered around Kelly Carlin and the connection she has in the public mind, and to herself, as the daughter of George Carlin, which proves both blessing and burden. With so many of the panelists (and attendees) having been so deeply influenced by George, hearing Kelly’s perspective was really eye-opening.

Krauss, I should point out, also noted that people overestimate how much he understands about his own field of theoretical physics. “I can confuse people easily, and they think of it as brilliance.” And Paul Provenza more or less said that he couldn’t think of anything that was overrated about himself because he doesn’t rate himself, like, at all.

A lot more territory was covered, including how the panelists found their way to nonbelief. Carlin noted how atheism was not really a conversation in her household, despite the fiery comedy of her dad, who she described as a “seeker.” John de Lancie recalled his experience in cub scouts, when a den mother refused to allow him doughnuts.

“No praying, no doughnuts,” de Lancie recalled, and that was that.

The God made a quick cameo by making an ominous rumbling sound, mostly to scare Dave Rubin.