Philosophy can be fun. I find popular and / or public philosophy to be especially fun, and uniquely rewarding. I think it is possible to do the philosophy of just about anything—including fun stuff from popular culture—so I have occasionally done philosophical work on some of my favorite forms of entertainment and media.
Also, I often learn cool and important new things about scholarly and technical topics when I try to present those topics in fun and accessible ways to novel audiences. So, I have sometimes presented even my traditional academic work in more popular, public venues.
I have done interviews and other forms of press on both kinds of work—the fun stuff, and the technical stuff done in a fun way. For those who are interested, I will survey some of my experience working on / in popular and public philosophy here.
I started doing public philosophy while in graduate school in San Diego. During that time, I regularly attended Comic-Con as a panelist and presenter—discussing issues such as copyright and fair use in comics and education, as well as works like Asterios Polyp and Logicomix. I have attended and presented a poster at the annual Comics Arts Conference several times.
I also wrote a couple of chapters for books on the philosophy of video games in Open Court's Popular Culture and Philosophy series. I have written about Zelda from a feminist perspective, and used Master Chief from Halo as a way of introducing and exploring classic philosophical puzzles about personal identity.
I have been interviewed about my work on comics, video games, and philosophy by outlets like Print Mag and the Official Xbox Magazine (for a special issue on the 10th anniversary of Halo). I have guest-blogged at Comics Forum on the topic of using comics inclusively in the classroom.
During my postdoctoral stint at the Field Museum, I got to see many skilled science communicators in action, and this prompted me to try and develop some philosophy-of-science communication skills of my own.
I have written quite a few posts for Extinct, the philosophy of paleontology blog, which I co-founded with three other wonderful philosophers of paleontology (Adrian Currie, Leonard Finkelman, and Derek Turner). Max Dresow is running the blog now (thanks, Max!).
I have also written for the blog of Oxford University Press on the topic of whether birds are dinosaurs (they are), and how we can tell. And I was a guest on The Brain Scoop with Emily Graslie for an episode called The First Brachiosaurus.
In sum, I enjoy practicing philosophy outside the academy—in addition to doing more typical academic work such as writing technical articles, teaching university students, and serving on endless committees. I like to do serious philosophy about fun things, and I like to make the philosophy of serious things more fun than you might have expected it to be!
Also, in case you cannot already tell, I play a lot of TTRPGs (and other games).
yeah I painted these minis