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d3sj august meeting

From: geoffrey
Sent on: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:42 PM
Open letter to Maria Proctor,
UQ secular freethinkers society
dear maria,
hope you got my last email (see below).
my impression is that thinking individuals tend to go through a few life stages. the first is rejection of religion and superstition for the absurdities that they are. the second is the search for a better philosophical framework with which to guide their lives ie secular freethought or humanism or rationalism or whatever you want to call it. i believe this framework must be based on finding out truth based on evidence and taking action based on rational decision making - the strategies for which i have outlined in my articles.
the third stage is transforming this philosophical framework into a life well lived. to many, this would mean efforts to reduce human suffering and to prevent unnecessary death.
our unsustainable civilisation is a powderkeg poised to explode and cause more war, famine, disease and death. the invasion of iraq for the sake of oil is a prime example. global warming is another example. addressing issues of sustainability are therefore the most important to me, hence our d3sj sessions.
the lessons of cuba are extremely important for the world and i hope you can publicise (and attend) our august meeting:

D3SJ* meeting 20 August 2008:

1. Documentary movie: "The Power of Community - How Cuba survived Peak Oil"

2. Presentation: Scott Elsom?s personal experiences of sustainability projects in Cuba, December 2007

Please note the DVD movie we will be screening is not the same as the computer CD on Peak Oil previously given out. Nevertheless, many of you may already have seen this documentary. It does however bear repeated watching and represents a good opportunity to bring along your friends who may not have seen it.

Scott Elsom is the CEO of the SALA Group of Companies. For the past decade Scott and his wife have been experimenting with more cost effective sustainable home designs and products through SALA homes and other companies within the group. A study tour to Cuba in December last year revealed some unique sustainable, affordable building methods and materials that were developed in response to Cuba?s oil crisis during the 1990?s. Professor Fernando Martirena, winner of the 2007 UN habitat award, will tour Australia in October this year to share details of the unique work being done by him and his team at Santa Clara university in Cuba.

Date & time: Wednesday 20 August 2008

5.30pm - biscuits, coffee/tea

6.00pm - Movie

6.50pm - Scott Elsom: comments & discussion

7.10pm - meeting concludes - enthusiastic participants are encouraged to continue discussion over dinner at another venue

Venue: Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology Boardrooms, 134 Whitmore St (Swann Rd end), Taringa. Go to reception (off upper car park) & signs will direct from there.

Parking is available on site (upper car park- anywhere there is a space or lower car parks in the non reserved spaces).There's also plenty of nearby on-street parking (with no meters/time limit) at that time of day.

Who should attend: Any intelligent person interested in the common good.

Cost: FREE!

* Doctors and Scientists for Sustainability and Social Justice:

We invite participation from all members of the public who agree with the medical and scientific principles that we should use evidence, reason and fairness as the primary means to address the issues facing society

please visit for more information


Dear Maria,
If you agree our beliefs and actions should be determined by evidence, reason and fairness, the next logical questions would be:
1. How do we find out truth based on evidence and reason?
2. How do we plan our course(s) of action to achieve a desirable outcome(s)?
I have adopted medical principles to answer the above questions. These strategies can be extended to how we live our individual lives and - especially important - how governments should determine policy.
Hope you find the following articles useful:
finding out truth:


rational decision making and the probability-outcome graph:

errata: see last page of:

I no longer send stuff to the rationalists* because the new editor has no understanding or appreciation of evidence based policy (nor does he seem capable of reproducing graphics in his magazine clearly or accurately).

my latest article ("Oil wells don't end well") was published in the journal Dissent which can be found at most newstands.


geoff chia


*Dali said: "the difference between myself and the surrealists is that I am a Surrealist"

I say: "the difference between myself and the rationalists is that I am a Rationalist"

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