UPDATE The consensus is that Nietzsche's 44 "Maxims and Arrows" (the prolog to his Twilight of the Idols) will provide the food for our thought. Obviously we will consume only a very few of them, and people will have favorites, if they've looked through them (but that is strictly optional). A tentative idea for a randomization procedure is:
1. Generate the noun cards (and we should make more than the minimum we need)
2. Put the numbers of nominated maxims, plus randomly-selected ones, up to the number of rounds we expect to play, into a hat.
I'm keenly interested to see how this works, hoping that it feels like a regular philosophical salon, but with an 'edge' encouraged by the gaming aspect.
"In our own wild nature we find the best recreation from our un-nature, from our spirituality." Maxim 6
I was going to skip the November 5 meeting because I'm signed up for multiple philosophy discussions already this coming week, but yesterday I had an idea that I'm burning to try.
The last Salon was the first glimmer of realization of a long-held dream of infusing games into the salon format, even though I didn't think of this twist until the day before we met. We managed to discuss 3 unusual/obscure themes whose only pre-existing connection was that they were pre-selected by me. For this Arcade, we will substitute as the centerpiece one or two very short works, a poem or a list of aphorisms, as the source of the themes. Use of an external source would make this a Library meeting, except that it's NOT REQUIRED that you read the "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" or the 44 "Maxims and Arrows" (yet they are so short, so why not?) Further reducing my editorial control, I am asking you to select one of these works in your RSVP. To maximize the chaos, we MAY determine our topic at any moment, among the 13 or 44 choices, either randomly or by other means agreed to at the meeting.
The other, tiny embellishment to our still-unnamed game format (based on Apples To Apples) attempts to emphasize the discussion over the game: we will not reveal the "noun" card that serves as our candidate as the best match to the "adjective" card (here, either a stanza of a poem or an aphorism) until AFTER we have had a salon-style discussion. Part of the fun may be trying to influence the discussion toward the cards you have to play; I expect some dramatic tension to emerge in choosing among one's own cards; and all the other game elements are still in play. Determination of the best match should be swifter, more clearcut, as one's "arguments" will have been put forward in advance. We'll see if knowing the range of "adjectives" in advance affects the generation of "nouns"--remember the nouns are shuffled before being dealt!
Okay, I know few people read this far, but please trust me that it will be really easy to DO once it's in front of you, as we demonstrated on prior occasions. Preparation will be futile, though perhaps fun!
I can hardly wait for our first Salon/Arcade/Library meeting. (A funny thing, categories: once they are recognized, the first thing one wants to do is to undermine them!)
Can you come out to play?
p.s.: Don't forget to choose Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (poem) or Maxims and Arrows (aphorisms) in your RSVP!