Marking the March Equinox!

  • March 20, 2013 · 7:30 PM
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Lets celebrate the March Equinox together this year. You'll still get about 10 days to get sober by the time the Easter bunnies arrive, so no excuses!

Lets also take this opportunity to discuss stuff like:

Temples, rituals and festivities, for everyone.

People have approached this topic differently, mainly rejecting it for all the dogma that comes with elaborate structures, ceremonies, and the dark side of the "festivities" (, remember the brilliant Mayans?). On the other hand, the one good that does come out of such organized stuff, is the sense of community, or affirmation of shared beliefs.

-I'll see if I can find a documentary or discussion online, to help kickstart the conversation.

Bring your own drinks, and food too. I'll try to cook something, and unless your dish requires exotic pots, you maybe be able to prepare something here as well, just let me know.

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  • Marios R.

    Food was awesome (should have eaten more/talked less) - nice cosy place you have!

    I think I referred briefly to these two ultra-concise presentations of individualism vs agglomeration in Economics:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTQnarzmTOc

    (both signed off by professional economists *and* rappers)

    1 · March 27, 2013

  • Reto T.

    Balach, thanks for the idea and bringing us again together. Food was great, great hospitality!

    March 21, 2013

  • Balach

    Thank you all for coming out in the cold, and making it quite a cosy evening! It's always great to see you, so I'll skip the stupid "Good to see you button" this time. Thank you also for bringing many interesting topics, thoughts, opinions (and other words of such sort). I guess it would be ok to say that the food for thought closely matched the food for the tummy.. i.e. yummy, satiating, and stimulating... Till next time!

    March 21, 2013

  • Nicole

    Quite a nice TED talk on "The Worldwide Web of Belief and Ritual": http://www.ted.com/talks/wade_davis_on_the_worldwide_web_of_belief_and_ritual.html

    March 20, 2013

    • Marios R.

      I support the cultural relativism (what in the natural sciences we call 'objectivity')­ he's espousing ... but the way he's doing it rubs me the wrong way (perhaps I'm not representative of a modal TED audience member though).

      March 20, 2013

  • Marios R.

    Pertinent to the topic (and potentially useful for the Death Sociologist), albeit somewhat fuzzy (psychology tendency to elide differences between observables and imaginables):

    http://www.bps-research-digest.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/rituals-bring-comfort-even-for-non.html?m=1

    {Berlin is an interesting place to talk about festivities having a dark side - and then counterposing it against a sense of community and an affirmation of shared beliefs as unequivocally positive!}

    I'm not 100% clear about the topic, but it *sounds* a little like Auguste Comte's idea that humans needed a replacement religious framework (there's a nice picture of a Temple of Positivism in Brazil):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_of_humanity

    March 19, 2013

    • Marios R.

      There's also a lot of Cognitive Science of Religion stuff that might be relevant (warning - the field has a distinctly callow atheist feel to it - like turning up a conference about the African-American experience and noticing that everyone is (i) white and (ii) quaintly racist - to the best of my knowledge there's only actually one religious person publishing in the field, counterintuitively his stuff is probably the most objective).

      March 19, 2013

    • Rae

      Ah, brilliant! Cheers for sharing!

      March 20, 2013

  • Nicole

    An ancient ritual that seems to have had positive effects on the environment: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ancient-ritual-has-positive-impact-on-environment-scientists/803474/1

    March 19, 2013

    • Marios R.

      The sort of thing which would Malinowski and any present day functionalists very happy. Or even Hayek-type cultural group selectionists.

      March 19, 2013

    • Balach

      interesting, also because they stopped killing the goats :)

      March 19, 2013

  • Walter P.

    As interesting as this subject sounds, I'm afraid that I'll have to pass due to another engagment. Spring is supposed to be a time of rebirth...but it looks like the only thing getting reborn at the moment is winter. Oh well!

    March 19, 2013

  • Balach

    If anyone has any special dietary requirements, please do say so here. We might be kind enough to tweak the stuff :P

    March 18, 2013

  • Nicole

    I'm in as long as there'll be no ritualistic sacrificing of any lambs and I can bring some chocolate eggs :)

    March 12, 2013

    • Balach

      chocolate eggs will be cool! no lambs have offered themselves so far, maybe they're orthodox.. hmm :S

      1 · March 13, 2013

    • Nicole

      Glad to hear it! I for one don't see the need to test out just how far the "cats having 9 lives" theory goes

      March 16, 2013

  • Reto T.

    "Temples, rituals and festivities, for non-religious people"
    Does this exclude religious people? Can clarify me this point in your invitation?

    March 11, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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