Categorized | Meetup

FF Meetup 8

FF Meetup 7

I didn’t get to write about meetup no. 7, so I’ll just post a picture of that one and write enough about this meetup (no. 8 ) to make up for it.


Understanding Darwin

We haven’t found a venue for the third forum yet. Nor have we done much planning. So instead of having FFF3 at the end of the month we decided to support Café Scientifique with their event, Understading Darwin. From their website:

The Mind Museum, with the British Council and Fully Booked,


Understanding Darwin

A conversation with

Dr. Steve Jones

(Evolutionary biologist and geneticist)

Two hundred years after Charles Darwin’s birth, his idea of natural selection –that all life belongs to one family – has been widely accepted by the scientific community. So what’s the big deal behind all this?

Join us in a videoconference to ask Dr. Steve Jones:

Why is Darwin’s idea so powerful?

Does life really belong only to the strong?

What does Darwin’s idea mean for us today?

Join us to understand.

Saturday, 25 April 2009, 4:30 – 6:00 PM

The Forum, 3/F Fully Booked, Bonifacio High St.

Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

(This event is free and open to the public. Limited seats. RSVP: [email protected])

Dr. Steve Jones is a Professor of Genetics at University College London and a Trustee of the British Council. He has published several science books for the public including Darwin’s Ghost (2000), Y The Descent of Men (2003) and his latest, Darwin’s Island (2009). He is also the recipient of many awards, including the Royal Society Faraday Medal for the public understanding of science.

Cafe Scientifique is moderated by Mitzi Borromeo.

This event is also supported by Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Because they only have a couple of organizers working on the event, we’ve offered to help. They need 4-5 of us to help with:

  1. Multimedia coverage — take pictures, operate the video camera, operate the laptop for video streaming, etc.
  2. Facilitation — hand out and receive materials for the Q & A.
  3. Food and Drinks — pick up and bring the snacks to the venue.

If you’d like to volunteer, please let me know. If you’d like to watch and haven’t made a reservation, too bad — they’ve run out of seats. Fortunately, there’s still lots of standing room.

FF Publishing Project

Aside from being an outlet for our creative and intellectual talents, publishing can help us in other ways:

  1. Increase member participation.
  2. Raise awareness on freethinking.
  3. Increase traffic to our forum and website.

The last one in particular can be extra helpful, as it will justify monetizing the forum and website. We can use what we earn from this to fund our offline activities, such as the monthly forums and potential offline campagins (more on this later).

It would definitely be nice to publish books or even newsletters right away. But we decided to start small by first focusing on the website. Here are some ideas we’ve brainstormed:

  1. There will be several categories (science, religion, politics, etc.).
  2. Each writer will choose one category for which they will write at least one post per week.
  3. Writers can still submit material for other categories as long as their regular quotas are met.
  4. Essays will be short (500-1000 words) and written within the guidelines of freethinking (not anything-goes thinking).
  5. Each category will be moderated by an editor who will:
    1. Ensure that enough content is published in that category
    2. Work with the writers to revise and edit the writing for that category

This regular writing is different from the essay contest, which we still need to discuss some more.

Reach Out Campaign

This started as a discussion of Wesley’s idea to sell Debaptism Certificates here in the Philippines. But eventually we asked the essential question:

Do we really want to reach out to fellow freethinkers all oven the Philippines?

The answer was yes. Though we all agreed that the campaign would be aimed mainly at freethinkers — fence-sitters are welcome, too. And of course, we didn’t want to offend non-freethinkers on purpose. Which is why something like the Out Campaign and the Debaptism campaign won’t do.

We agreed that the following campaign would do:

Don’t believe in God?
You are not alone.

Or something like that. It’s not as flashy as the Atheist Bus Campaign, nor is it original, as several humanist groups have used it. But it fits the criteria — aimed at freethinkers and non-adversarial to non-freethinkers.

We could have something more creative for the online campaign, but this simple ad could do the job offline, and it’s safe enough (and small enough) to post on newspapers, magazines, or even billboards 😉

Misbehaving Members

We didn’t get to talk much about this last one, but something had to be said about it, and here’s what we’ve come up with:

  1. The following are considered offenses: spamming, personal attacks (below the belt), violence, threats of violence, any form of harassment.
  2. Any member can warn another member publicly about any offense they think is worthy of attention.
  3. If another member seconds the warning, the issue is discussed by the group’s moderators.
  4. If at least two moderators agree that the offense is worthy of suspension, the offending member’s mailing list account is suspended. The two moderators must not be the same people as the two who gave the initial warnings.
  5. If the member repeats the offense a second time, the same process is repeated, only this time instead of being suspended the offending member is banned.

What do you think?

None of what’s written here is final. Please share your wisdom with us via the mailing list, forum, or the comments section below.

Besides, would you trust anything that comes from these guys?


DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this post do not necessarily represent the position of the Filipino Freethinkers.