A Thousand Indian Freethinkers event: Ideas needed
#1
We are nearing 1000 members on the Nirmukta facebook group, and will likely hit that figure by the end of this month. To mark this milestone and to use it to increase our visibility, we would like to organize a fun online event. There are many possible ways we can celebrate, and we should have an open and lively discussion on how to go about doing this. Possible media options include use of video, audio, chat, virtual environments, polls and surveys.

Please share your ideas with us. Remember that this will be an online event, and keep bandwidth limits in mind.

Thanks,
Ajita
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#2
Nirmukta, without a doubt has been 'THE' place where i have gained loads of ideas and made lots of friends, took part in many discussions and stewed my brain in many possible ways. It is indeed an honour to be a part of this team and to have known you all freethinkers. You are the most intelligent lot of people i have ever known and hopefully we all will continue to show our togetherness in achieving our goals.

Something that i wish to addon is, we all are people working in different fields, involved in various activities how can we utilize our expertize in the best possible way to promote freethinking in India. I am really impressed with the activities of people like Narendra Nayak. on the day of reaching 1000 mark, can we focus on our goals of promotong critical thinking and science in the rural parts of India, especially for the youngones.

Keeping the time differences and work will all are engaged in - Chats, Polls and surveys would be ideal.
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#3
One of the hilarious things about the caste system or Hinduism is its contradictions. Frankly, sometimes I get ashamed of it when I read about equally wrong but at least consistent Abrahmic religions. I wonder if we can have a game where we list out a certain practice in the religion for a certain goal but which can be nullified by certain other aspect. Couple of things that I came across in the recent past.

1. One of my relatives removed the picture of a goddess, holding weapons and riding a tiger, that they hung for many years after an astrologer told them that a goddess with weapon was inauspicious for a house. House requires peace and prosperity and the weapons are anathema to it. My relatives were still confused as they thought the goddess was the protector of the house.

2. Another relative of mine, an old lady, was asking my wife whether old people should worship Vishnu instead of Shiva. It appears a Namboodiri (Malayali Brahmin) told her people at the twilight of their life should worship Vishnu instead of Shiva as Vishnu would take care of life in the old age. The lady (who considers herself a Saiva) was puzzled by it. She felt, since Shiva was the destroyer(thus responsible for the end part of life) among trinity she should be worshipping Shiva instead of Vishnu but now the Namboodiri has confused her.

Of course, there must be too many contradictions about Vastu if we consider practices in different regions of India.
Manju Vadiarillat
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#4
Tried and tested idea, but I guess, effective:

How about a common display photo, designed by Bala... commemorating 1000 Indian freethinkers on Nirmukta (on the lines of A for Atheists) for each nirmukta member? Show of solidarity on Facebook.
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#5
Thanks for all the good ideas, everyone, both here and on facebook.

Quote:"on the day of reaching 1000 mark, can we focus on our goals of promotong critical thinking and science in the rural parts of India, especially for the youngones."

Azad, that's more like a long-term goal than a celebration, don't you think? Good idea, though, but it will help if we have concrete ideas for what we can do towards that.

Quote:How about a common display photo, designed by Bala... commemorating 1000 Indian freethinkers on Nirmukta (on the lines of A for Atheists) for each nirmukta member? Show of solidarity on Facebook."

I really do like this idea, although I'm having some trouble conceptualizing it. Let's ask Bala what he can do with it.

Meanwhile, another idea that was brought up on facebook is to have a famous skeptic/atheist as a guest on a live radio show hosted by us, and have a Q&A session with Nirmukta members asking questions through chat, facebook and twitter. This sort of publicity mongering can actually work well for us. We can have our own Prof. Nayak and Dr. Kamath on, and can include someone who is known a bit more on the international stage as well. I really like this idea, and I think we can make this the main event with other additions to it as time and resources will permit. Here's a list of well-known people we can invite for an online Q&A session/:

1. Massimo Pigliucci
2. Steven Novella
3. Bob Novella
4. Jay Novella
5. Rebecca Watson
6. Evan Bernstein
7. Michael Shermer
8. James Randi (yeah, right)
9. D.J. Grothe
10. Phil Plait
11. Ben Goldstein
12. Simon Singh

There are a lot of really cool people we can invite, so if you want to add to this list please do so below. Most of these people will be impossible to bring on board, especially since they will have to basically volunteer their time for free, but its worth the shot.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#6
Richard Carrier, Dan Barker, the texas AAI guys (don't remember the names).
Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#7
Also we can have a cool spot the logical Fallacy questions posted everyday leading upto a certain day.
Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#8
(10-Jun-2010, 10:01 AM)murthymail Wrote: Also we can have a cool spot the logical Fallacy questions posted everyday leading upto a certain day.

This is an awesome idea. Siddharth and I were in fact thinking of the same thing. Let's do this in the Freethought section, what do you say?
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#9
Quote:This is an awesome idea. Siddharth and I were in fact thinking of the same thing. Let's do this in the Freethought section, what do you say?


I was looking up if there are any quizzes already available and I took one of them on some obscure site. Most of the questions are very straightforward and are NOT thought provoking, i guess most of them framed by Americans tongue (kidding!). I can frame a few questions but by when exactly? As in I need a little time to make up interesting stuff.
Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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#10
I was looking up if there are any quizzes already available and I took one of them on some obscure site. Most of the questions are very straightforward and are NOT thought provoking, i guess most of them framed by Americans tongue (kidding!). I can frame a few questions but by when exactly? As in I need a little time to make up interesting stuff.
[/quote]

I was thinking a less rigid way of doing this. Simply creating a sticky thready for Logical Fallacies and one of us posting one video or passage from an article every week, and asking people to discuss any logical fallacies that they could find in them. No need for the person posting to do any more than just post the passage/video.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#11
(07-Jun-2010, 11:09 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: I really do like this idea, although I'm having some trouble conceptualizing it. Let's ask Bala what he can do with it.

Ajita, We can keep it as simple as possible, just like the "A" of RD's Out Campaign did.

The Nirmukta logo (as on the facebook group) with maybe a simple statement such as "I'm an Indian Freethinker!" or " मैं निरमुक्त हूँ !" (Translation: "I am nirmukt/freed" ) below it should do the trick. An event can be created and everyone could be invited. A photo can be posted on the event page which people can save and upload it as their profile picture, for say 3-4 days.

Sid.
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#12
(07-Jun-2010, 11:09 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Thanks for all the good ideas, everyone, both here and on facebook.

Quote:"on the day of reaching 1000 mark, can we focus on our goals of promotong critical thinking and science in the rural parts of India, especially for the youngones."

Azad, that's more like a long-term goal than a celebration, don't you think? Good idea, though, but it will help if we have concrete ideas for what we can do towards that.

Quote:How about a common display photo, designed by Bala... commemorating 1000 Indian freethinkers on Nirmukta (on the lines of A for Atheists) for each nirmukta member? Show of solidarity on Facebook."

I really do like this idea, although I'm having some trouble conceptualizing it. Let's ask Bala what he can do with it.

Meanwhile, another idea that was brought up on facebook is to have a famous skeptic/atheist as a guest on a live radio show hosted by us, and have a Q&A session with Nirmukta members asking questions through chat, facebook and twitter. This sort of publicity mongering can actually work well for us. We can have our own Prof. Nayak and Dr. Kamath on, and can include someone who is known a bit more on the international stage as well. I really like this idea, and I think we can make this the main event with other additions to it as time and resources will permit. Here's a list of well-known people we can invite for an online Q&A session/:

1. Massimo Pigliucci
2. Steven Novella
3. Bob Novella
4. Jay Novella
5. Rebecca Watson
6. Evan Bernstein
7. Michael Shermer
8. James Randi (yeah, right)
9. D.J. Grothe
10. Phil Plait
11. Ben Goldstein
12. Simon Singh

There are a lot of really cool people we can invite, so if you want to add to this list please do so below. Most of these people will be impossible to bring on board, especially since they will have to basically volunteer their time for free, but its worth the shot.

The Q&A session looks like an awesome idea.
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