Newsletter February 2012

In this issue: 

When, Where and How


Yes, this went out in the first newsletter.  We are reposting for those that might be new to our newsletter.  

Are you ready for BIL2012!  Register here now!

Once you've registered, add yourself to the attendee page!  (we have many more attendees than have signed up on this page)

We have booked the Queen Mary in Long Beach for March 3rd-4th, 2012 (Saturday - Sunday) for our annual Unconference of Boisterous, Illustrious, and somewhat Ludicrous denizens. There may be some pre-conference events on Friday, like a BILder meet & greet, stay tuned.

Saturday night, we've got some special musical guests Ancient Lasers and Max Lugavere will be performing.  This will be a lot of fun.   

Register on the BIL page on EventBrite. There is a $50 BILder micro-sponsorhip as well as a BILder + additional Donation micro-sponsorship, if you choose to donate an amount greater than $50. With your microsponsorship, we are able to hold BIL on the fabulous venue of the Queen Mary!  If you feel that you will be volunteering your time at BIL to large extent, we have also created a Volunteer option for a free BIL ticket - please email for more information on this option!

BIL 2012 is still looking for Sponsors! Please spread the word to individuals or companies that might be willing to give between $250 - $10k, contact simonesyed/gmail for more information. Thanks to the kindness of the The Seasteading Institute as our supporting organization, we are able to accept tax deductible donations via EventBrite. To find out more about how to deduct it, please visit that section in our  BIL 2012 Sponsor Packet.  

Want to check out some of our Media Coverage? BIL has been featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to the Huffington Post!  If you are from the press, and want to know more, please contact Alexis Bright (lexbright/gmail) or Michael (michaeldcummings/gmail).  

Meet A Sponsor: The Being Human Conference

Being Human 2012

The Science of Human Experience

March 24, 2012 --
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Everyday, fresh insights from all fields of science shed new light on the processes of human experience - the how of feeling, thinking, and believing - and invite us to redefine who we are as human beings. If you're interested in exploring new territories around human processes such as how we perceive and ‘make sense’ of the world and how we relate to others and ourselves, join us for this landmark gathering. Pioneers on the frontier of human understanding will guide us on this exciting exploration: David Eagleman, Paul Ekman, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jane Hirshfield, and more . . .

The Being Human Conference is not only a sponsor of BIL2012, but has kindly given BILders a discount code to register at their conference: bh10  

Join BILders, Gayle Young, Alexis Bright and others at the Being Human Conference!

What is an Unconference?

This year BIL will be 85% unconference and 15% curated conference.   That means that most of BIL is done in a traditional unconference style, with one or two areas that are organized in advance.  You can look up an unconference on Wikipedia, but that still doesn't exactly tell you what BIL is, as every unconference is a little different.  

So, what is THIS unconference exactly?  

BIL is most similar to BARcamp, one of the major difference being, that BIL is not limited to tech discussions only.  BIL is to TED, what BARcamp is to FOOcamp.  Meaning, BIL is open to anyone that wants to go, no credientials required.  If you want to read more about BIL's origins, find them here.  


You may have noticed that there is some confusion about whether or not BIL is also on Friday.  That depends on funding.  Right now, we don't have enough to add a third day, so we are just planning a meet & greet reception that night.   If we get enough funding, we will add the third day.  


BIL is volunteer run and driven event.  No one gets paid to make it happen, people step forward and dedicate their time and ability to making it happen on all levels, from creating the basic structure: securing the venue, a/v, securing sponsorships, putting the word out, interacting with media; to day of event help-- signing up as a speaker, helping with registration, managing the flow of the rooms, helping with set-up, clean-up, blogging, photo sharing, spreading the word via the web, and anything else that needs to be done.

Even though none of the BIL volunteers get paid, BIL costs money to run, which is why we need every level of sponsorship.   Renting chairs costs money, renting space costs money, renting equipment costs money, internet costs money, meeting insurance and security requirements for the venue costs money.  The more sponsorships we get, the more we can do for BIL.  For example, it would be nice to have a 'pipe and drape' sound wall for each talk are and it would be nice to have internet, however paying for the venue, insurance and security comes first, without those, there would not be an event at all.  

A similar group of people have been working on BIL for several years now because no one else has stepped forward to spear head the movement.  Simone is the prime mover and positive agitator here.  To make sure we have enough to cover costs, as the cost of the venue to us went up a lot this year, we are requesting that all BILders that are not doing at least 6 hours of volunteering become microsponsors.  


The content at BIL has always been attendee driven.  Attendees provide content, or bring with them interesting people to provide content.  In years past, BIL has predominantly been organized by same day sign up on a sheet of paper or a white board.  This year we are doing things differently.  See the Speaker Information section for how.  

Speaker Information

This year we are doing things a little bit differently.  The main room will be pre-curated, one room will be Space themed, another sex themed and two other rooms will be unconference style.  

The Main Room is located on the bottom deck of the Queen Mary, Exhibit Hall F.  The main room is 15 talks, and will be curated by Benevolent Dictatorship.  We are doing this as an experiment this year.  We really want to make BIL something for everyone.   

The Space themed room is an unconference room with a Space theme.   The Sex Positive Geek Suite is curated by Reid Mihalko.

There will still be two pure unconference rooms-- these rooms are on the middle of the ship, Exhibit Hall E.   They will 2 25 minute rooms.  If your talk is only 15 minutes, and you haven't been included on the Benevolent Dictator schedule, you are welcome to use the other rooms, and do not have to fill the full time alloted.  However, be sure when you write in your time, that it is clear there is still time for others to step in.  

Sign-Up And Locations

  1. Main Stage- 15 minute talks, curated by the Benevolent Dictatorship, you will be informed if you are a Main Stage Speaker some time before BIL. Exhibit Hall F.  

  2. Space Stage- 20 minute space industry talks, side stage- You can sign up for either day, the morning of.
  3. Side Stage- 25 minute talks, you can sign up the morning of, either day.  Exhibit Hall E  (only got 10 minutes? share a slot!)

  4. Side Stage- 25 minute talks, you can sign up the morning of, either day.  Exhibit Hall E  (Great for panels)

  5. Sex Positive Boiler Room- Sex Geeks Unite! A few curated talks and workshops with speaker slots available on first come basis, the day of. 

Want to increase your odds that you'll be on the Main Room schedule?  Post your name, bio, talk title and description here. Don't forget to read the speaker guidelines.  

Why are we doing it differently this year?  We really want to make BIL something for everyone-- those that like to know what they're going to get in advance, those that like to be suprised, those that like to sign up for talks day of, those that just like to listen and those that like a little of each.  We are also having a lot more interactive stuff this year.   Everyone is welcome.  

Some of our Speakers

Some inspiring people have already signed up on the speaker WIKI.

Sex Positive Geek Suite - Boiler Room

Cuddle Party's Reid Mihalko will be curating a space for sex positive discussion and workshops during BIL 2012. If you would like to participate by giving a talk, or sponsoring the area, please send us an email (simonesyed/gmail) and sign yourself up as a speaker on our speaker pages!

BIL Interactive

Saturday night music provided by Ancient Lasers and Max Lugavere!    

XCOR models and interactive displays from Syyn Labs

A workshop by the College of Lock Picking!

An interactive aerodynamic game by Gamedesk!

Call for artists and displays- we would love to have more!  E-mail 
Simone (simonesyed/gmail) with your ideas!    

Embodied Minds: Moves & Interactions

Embodied Minds: Moves & Interactions at BIL 2012 -

We are not just brains - we are brains with bodies!  So let's use those bodies!  

BIL isn't just about sitting back and listening to talks; BIL is all about interacting and participating, so this year, we are organizing a Movement & Interaction area on the Queen Mary where people (aka you!) can lead/teach participatory activities, such as yoga, martial arts, CrossFit, dancing, meditation, improv games, parkour, massage, and more!  Find more information about the different 'moves' and sign up to lead an interaction on the BIL wiki link to the activities page.

You can already look forward to Crossfit Moves lead by Kirez from Hammer Crossfit, AZ.  

Got questions?  Direct questions to Teresa Gonczy at teresag/gmail


About the College of Lockpicking Workshop


They say: College of Lockpicking is a travelling workshop, bringing the love of locksport to hackerspaces, community workshops and other educational places.  We like to think that opening up locks without keys unlocks the world in more ways than one. :)

The way a Lockpicking Village is usually done is that we have a table or two set up with some lockpicks and locks for people to practice on.  Participants can bring their own locks and lockpicks to share in the fun if they want to as well.  The Lockpicking Village is more like a social gathering for lockpicking than like a workshop.

Depending on whether we can gather additional resources like a projector/display setup, we can also give mini-lessons multiple times throughout the event, like 15 minutes at the top of every hour or two, and/or we could have some small competitions. 

We also have lockpicks available for sale, and hand-pinned practice locks, and possibly other related stuff too.  Besides allowing participants to take their new hobby home with them, the sales will help us recoup the cost of the locks and lockpicks which are bound to wander off during a Lockpicking Village (We know we're not getting the shared lockpicks back intact, if at all, and will probably lose some locks too. We expect that to cost us about $500).

You can purchase the lock pick sets at the conference, or in advance, details here.   
On-site, we'll offer the pick sets for $30 and the lock sets for $50.  We may also have class vouchers available, or any new things we come up with between now and then. :)

Follow them on Twitter @lockpickcollege, like them on Facebook or direct any question to them directly info[at]collegeoflockpicking[dot]com.



So as many of you may have noticed, the newsletter says to sign up to be a volunteer, add your name to ride or room share, organize a BIL event, all on the wiki.  Some of you already know how to do this and have an account with PBWiki.  Some of you don't.  

For those that don't know, go to a PB Wiki page that you wish to edit and do the following:

  1. Toward the upper right hand corner of most of the PB Wiki pages is a button that says "To join this workspace, create an account." press it.
  2. Fill in the information to create an account with PBworks and click the "Create Account" button.
  3. You should be taken to a page that indicates you have succeeded. 
  4. Click "Return to Login Page"
  5. Enter your username and password and sign in. 
  6. Then go to the " workspace" or go back to the page you wanted to edit.

Once you are logged in, how to edit the page you want to edit:

  1. Get to that page.
  2. Near the upper left corner is a tab that says "View" and another that says "Edit," click the one that says "Edit"
  3. Then use the WYSIWYG editor to add what you are signing up for or helping coordinate
  4. When you are done, at the bottom left is the "Save" button.  Click it. 
  5. Enjoy your changes.

Call For Volunteers!

We are excited to announce our day of Volunteer Coordinator, Dune Harman!

We still need volunteers!  In years past, volunteers on every level have made BIL possible.  If you see something you want to criticize, then please find a way to make it better, and DO IT.  If you think things are great and see something that could make them even better, DO IT.  Not sure if you should do something?  Ask Reichart, Simone, Cody, Mark, Dune or Alexis .  Want to know in advance what you could do?  Here are some suggestions that can help us get the ball rolling!

  • We desperately need an A/V lead!!  (we lost ours due to unforseen events in their personal life preventing their attendence at BIL)

  • Organize hotels and roomshare on the BIL wiki

  • Come up with activities for BILders to participate in

  • Bring art and interactive pieces!

  • Bring couches and other living room or burner type furniture so we can create community spaces! 

  • Help us find more sponsors! 




- Contact Simone if you would like to sponsor BIL or know of someone to ask. Here is a link to our BIL 2012 Sponsor Packet to get the ball rolling!

Thank You Sponsors!

BIL 2012 will continue to look for Sponsors until the end of the event. If you would like to help Set Minds Free this year, please contact Simonesyed/gmail.

Your commitment to helping our community is sincerely appreciated.  We would like to thank the many individuals that make BIL possible.  

We would like to give a special thanks to the Queen Mary,  we deeply appreciate how amazing the venue is, and how cool the Queen Mary staff has been in making our event awesome!

We would also like to thank this year's sponsors:

We would really like to thank everyone that has sponsored us thus far…


The Seasteading Institute

Being Human




Queen Mary (Venue), 3SCan (Sponsor), The Seasteading Institute (Supporting Organization), 

The Being Human Conference (Sponsor), Alcor (Sponsor), SpaceX (Sponsor), 

SENS (Sponsor) and Motorphilia (Sponsor)

Want in on the sponsor action? Contact Simone- (simonesyed/gmail) or Michael Cummings (michaeldcummings/gmail).

Exciting Fundraising Proposals!

This year we've come up with some more creative ways to help fund this amazing conference. 

Last year, we had a lot of fun auctioning Simone Syed off to help raise funds to cover the costs.  So much fun in fact that, we will again be auctioning off time with the co-founders this year. That's right, not only are we going to auction off Simone for another date this year (who is so amazing, she needs no intro), we will also be auctioning off time with The Baron (bring a lot of Kleenex if you win, he's been known to bring tears). More on the Baron and Simone here.  We could be convinced to auction off time with other BIL co-founders, submit requests to: a bright human [at] gmail [dot] com, (all one word that e-mail). All genders and orientations welcome to bid, the most mula wins. (You are not allowed to bid if you are already dating, or have dated any of them.)  

In the non-human realm of cool stuff which we will trade for money to donate to BIL, co-founder Todd Huffman will be going through his cool artifacts from The 'Stan (Afghanistan, that is) and figuring out what he is willing to part with for the benefit of the event.  

We'd like to raise some money in advance of BIL so we don't have to pay the Queen Mary as money is coming in. What we've got for you in order to do that is a suggested donation price for a few items. The first person to commit the cash, gets the price!    

  • Stay for a weekend where The History Channel filmed the really cool show-- "Invention USA".  Why can we do this?  Because we are awesomely well connected (ahem, I mean, we share a host). We've valued this as priceless, however the owner decided that whomever was willing to donate $1,000 to BIL would get a chance to stay at the compound for a weekend that he was also in town. If you win, you agree to follow the house rules. You probably would want to do it when they have one of their famous "Ranch" parties. Date TBD, within a year, coordinate with Simone. You'll get to see the lab.  

Got something really cool you want to donate to help us raise funds? Send us a note (lexbright/gmail)! Include a picture and description of the item, market value is (we need this for giving you receipts), and anything else you want to tell us about the item.  


Special thanks to Teresa Gonczy for help editing this Newsletter.