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Tags gurubusters , indian skeptics , tam

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Old 5th February 2008, 02:59 PM   #1
ottle
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Bring the Indian rationalists to TAM

Hey, everybody!

I am trying to get Basava Premanad, one of india's rationalists and 'guru busters' to TAM. Premanand founded the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, which tours the villages of India to educate people by debunking gurus and fakirs.

http://www.indiansceptic.in/index.htm

I think it would be fascinating to hear from this man who has spent his life working directly against woo and pseudoscience in a very real sense.
Unfortunately, at this time, the JREF cannot financially support him coming to the U.S. from India.

So. I am totally copying RemieV's idea and am holding a Bring the Indian skeptics to TAM Fundraiser.

We are not taking donations for the fund at this time - only pledges, which are due by March. The goal is $7,000 - not an easy target, i know.

If you can donate to this worthy cause, please send a PM, or post here, or both!

For more information about Premanand's work, see "Guru Busters." It's a three-part documentary (see them all here, here and here).

Also, see my post about them, specific to the work they do against Sai Baba here.

Look for at least one (maybe more) cool auctions I'll be holding to try to fund this as well.

Thanks!
ottle
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Old 5th February 2008, 03:51 PM   #2
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As long as there are no plans to outsource/offshore our skepticism...
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Old 5th February 2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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wow! Have you checked with Jeff Wagg about perhaps a scholarship donation? You know a partial donation since it is so much money.
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Old 5th February 2008, 07:13 PM   #4
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That's a great idea, ottle. It would be a shame not to have an official venue where many people could hear him speak, though (if not at this TAM then perhaps another). Is that what you're thinking of? Can you give a general idea of how the $7,000 breaks down?

An alternative if he can't be brought here could be an address to TAM by video. A pale substitute, sure, but better than nothing.
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Old 5th February 2008, 08:29 PM   #5
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Since $7,000 is quite a hefty sum, it'd be best if we maximize his stay here. Will he be giving a talk? If not, maybe we should bring him in next year instead of this. But yeah, I'd really like to hear his experiences since I feel most of us haven't had that much first hand exposure at debunking.

I hope I don't sound like an ass...
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Old 6th February 2008, 02:17 AM   #6
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I'm in for $50 Ottle. I, for one, would love to have more diversity amonst our non-American attendees. (Not that I don't love our LAs, Euros and Antipodians.)
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Old 6th February 2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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I got the number from Jeff - I will work with him on a breakout of expenses. Yes, the plan would be for him not to just attend but to be a speaker at TAM as well.

Thanks for your support, all! We are at $600 already!
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Last edited by ottle; 6th February 2008 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 6th February 2008, 09:33 AM   #8
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With layoffs I'm not sure if North Texas Skeptics Prasad Golla is still an employee at my workplace or not, but I'm going to contact him and see if he'll try and attend and perhaps contribute to Basava's attendance.
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Old 6th February 2008, 01:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by UnrepentantSinner View Post
With layoffs I'm not sure if North Texas Skeptics Prasad Golla is still an employee at my workplace or not, but I'm going to contact him and see if he'll try and attend and perhaps contribute to Basava's attendance.
I had traded emails with him at one point - very cool person. I'd love to meet him in person.
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Old 6th February 2008, 01:49 PM   #10
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wow, is this the man that has been on television? Because he would make a great speaker.
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Old 6th February 2008, 01:53 PM   #11
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I can probably chip in a bit.
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Old 6th February 2008, 04:54 PM   #12
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Maybe a PayPal donation link would make it convenient for people to donate to this cause. Does anyone know what's involved in setting one up?
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Old 6th February 2008, 11:41 PM   #13
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I'm in for $100
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Old 7th February 2008, 09:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by nowoo View Post
Maybe a PayPal donation link would make it convenient for people to donate to this cause. Does anyone know what's involved in setting one up?
Yes, once we have enough pledges (maybe 50% of the way), we'll set this up 'for real' through the JREF paypal. Right now, I'm just trying to solicit pledges to show that there's enough interest to make it happen.

Thanks all - we're at $850 so far!
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Old 7th February 2008, 09:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gravy View Post

An alternative if he can't be brought here could be an address to TAM by video. A pale substitute, sure, but better than nothing.
Gravy, thanks for the idea - I'm going to see if we can get some sort of a video at TAM, if we can't get him here in person - maybe it will drum up enough interest to get him here for the next one!
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Old 7th February 2008, 02:33 PM   #16
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http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2...-get-to-tam-6/

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Old 7th February 2008, 06:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Bad Astronomer View Post
Thanks, Phil! You rock
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Old 7th February 2008, 06:48 PM   #18
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Put me down for 50 bucks.

Not 50 robust Canadian bucks, mind you, but 50 puny US bucks ('cause US bucks are what I'm taking to Vegas, baby).
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Old 8th February 2008, 11:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brown View Post
Put me down for 50 bucks.

Not 50 robust Canadian bucks, mind you, but 50 puny US bucks ('cause US bucks are what I'm taking to Vegas, baby).
We'll take the bucks, puny or not.

Thanks!!
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Old 8th February 2008, 11:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ottle View Post
I had traded emails with him at one point - very cool person. I'd love to meet him in person.
Shoot. Looks like he's no longer with the company. I'll try and contact him through North Texas Skeptics.
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Old 11th February 2008, 11:18 AM   #21
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We're at $1020 so far. Thanks all. I should have details on at least one auction in support of this cause soon.
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Old 17th February 2008, 09:32 AM   #22
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bump!
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"There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist."
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Old 20th February 2008, 10:25 AM   #23
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Just an update... TAM 6's schedule is full to the bursting point. If you guys can somehow pull this off, we WILL find a place for him.. somewhere.

Why $7000? We have to fly him business class. We can't fly the guy literally from the other side of world in coach and expect him to speak for us.

So.. if it doesn't work this year, consider it for next year.

One other thing.. the reason we don't have a PayPal link is because we don't want to collect any money until we're sure it will happen. We did a similar thing for Derren Brown, and he couldn't attend after we enough pledges for it. If we had collected money, it would have been a nightmare.
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Old 20th February 2008, 10:06 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wagg View Post
If we had collected money, it would have been a nightmare.
A caveat that should the attemp fall through, the money would go for getting another speaker would probably mitigate the refund issue.
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