Celebrating Freethought "Traditions" on the Forum
#1
Brick 
I know it does seem a bit contradictory- 'Freethought Traditions'.

But it doesn't have to be smile

I believe that we can have fun with traditions and even myths and fantasies, as long as we understand them for what they are. Reason and science are what bring us together as a community, but laughter and great connections with people are what will make this a happy place to be.

So, I have a couple of ideas. I'll list them below. If you have an opinion about them, or if you have an idea of your own, share as a reply in this thread. Also, I know you all have tons of ideas, so just one or two will suffice.

1. I suggest that we urge new members to watch a clip of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot. Of course, no one is obligated to watch anything. But, it would be a great way to introduce newbies into the community.

2. We could have a weekly contest of some sort. There are many possibilities here. Any ideas?

Once we decide on these "traditions", one of the moderators of the Nirmukta Lounge can start separate threads for each "tradition" and make the threads 'sticky' so that they stay on top over the other threads, as 'Important Treads'.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#2
I can't think much in the way of traditions. But as to contests, how about one to spot logical fallacies?
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#3
I have also always believed that everyone must watch "Pale Blue Dot". Of course, no force because that kind of defeats the purpose.

The weekly contest could be a "witty freethought one liner" contest. The winning entry could be converted into a wallpaper or comic, giving credit to the winner. It could be posted around the web. Maybe one of them would catch on.

I think a bi weekly or monthly one for now would be better. When we have more members, it could go weekly. smile
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#4
(14-May-2010, 11:27 PM)Lije Wrote: I can't think much in the way of traditions. But as to contests, how about one to spot logical fallacies?

Awesome idea, Lije! I second it Thumbup

We will have a few different ways to go about this. To promote the contest, we can announce it on the blog and also on facebook every week, and either have people vote on a poll with multiple options or simply figure out the fallacy with no options to choose from. Also, we can have a panel of judges (from us mods) to play objective referees.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#5
Sid, that's two for the Pale Blue Dot thread.

The one-liner that can be developed into a comic or something else sounds like it might be a good idea, especially if we had the resources, but we don't. I will bring it up at the meeting, but I do not support it at this time. We should add it to the list of ideas for the future.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#6
I third the Pale Blue Dot recommendation thread. It might not coalesce skepticism or naturalism, but it's really the "working philosophy" for most of us here and almost everywhere in skepticdom.

On another note, we can just have an archive of skeptical TV shows/movies.

Traditions can really only evolve with user participation on this site. People talking about things they did in the general, off-topic threads. I make it a point to tell all my friends about the new awesome BBC documentary on wildlife, evolution or physics, and then there's surely some discussion regarding it even on Facebook. Pale Blue Dot got circulated amongst alot of people, including the ones I barely met at a gig and a concert and didn't really know.

(15-May-2010, 04:19 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Sid, that's two for the Pale Blue Dot thread.

The one-liner that can be developed into a comic or something else sounds like it might be a good idea, especially if we had the resources, but we don't. I will bring it up at the meeting, but I do not support it at this time. We should add it to the list of ideas for the future.

Having a comic would definitely be a good idea, but not on here, on the main-site. Almost like the small satirical ones (not the strips) we see in newspapers. I agree we don't have the resources now, but we don't really have the need either. We're an isolated, starting-off bunch for now and obviously, the only audience. We should work more on exposure, than to how we should entertain whatever exposure we get.
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#7
Ajita,

I agree with you that we might not have the resources at the moment to have this formally. This can be one of the many things that we can consider for the future when we have the resources.

However, let me put this another way, as a temporary and informal activity. If we start an informal thread of freethought one liners, without any time line or promised outcome, we could have a nice collection of one liners. I am not a good artist at all, but I don't mind sketching something up using those ideas (giving them full credit for the idea) once a fortnight or so ( an example of my comic http://unintelligentlife.wordpress.com/2...wn-people/ ). I can do so without compromising on other core Nirmukta activities expected of me (once I am back fully). These can be posted on the facebook group if they are witty enough.

It can be something very informal and hopefully amusing to the community. No real resources would be necessary under such an informal setting. Of course, it still isn't necessary.
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#8
Sid, I propose that we actually hold a meeting and discuss all the work that we have ahead of us, because there are a few dozen more essential things that we have not been able to get to.

The ideas that I was trying to get from folks in this thread are the kind that would increase social cohesion on the forums. I was talking about small, silly things, like a catch-phrase to identify ourselves with, or a thread that will run itself without any input form anyone. A thread to post one-liners is OK. They can be judged using a poll on the site, without any of us actually spending time on it. While the rest of your proposal might be a good idea, it is in the category of things that must take a back seat to other more essential organizational work, not in the category of things that will work for us with no input from us.

If you feel that you will have time for more work, I have a bunch of things for you that are much more important and time-sensitive. As you know, we have already come up with and discarded many ideas, precisely because we have no time/man-power and resources. Going forward, let's keep the focus on getting some of the essential organizational work that we have planned (in the meetings) done, before we take on more work. What do you say?

Edit: I've reconsidered, and since you are sure that this is not going to affect the other work, I cannot have any objection. Please go ahead and start a thread for one-liners if you want to.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#9
I think I'll hold it off until I get started with the core work and have some progress there. Let me assuage your concern before that thread is started smile
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