Much like personal habits, behavioral practices and social customs, institutions have a life of their own and become justified by the mere fact of their continuing and, in some cases, perennial existence. This discussion is the opening introductory of what will be a series of periodically scheduled discussions concerning some of our institutions: the good, the bad and the ugly. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of institutions such as the political party, education from grade school to the university, the institution of mainstream medicine, marriage (and divorce), the family, mainstream science, the nation-state, institutionalized religions, economic institutions such as the corporation and the private ownership of real estate…..you get the picture: it’s a big topic to put it mildly.
The broad topic of this discussion will set the stage for future discussions that will focus on specific topics such as, for example, the institutions of marriage or education. This series of discussions is an outgrowth of some issues that I explore in a book that I have been writing for over six years and is now in the process of completion (and that I hope to have completed before the scheduled date of this initial discussion). The topics of some future discussions may concern particular sections of my book.
Do some of these institutions need to be reformed or modified in some way, or do you think that they are fine just as they are? Or should some of them be overhauled or abolished outright? I encourage members to provide institutional issues or reforms that you would like to discuss; I will initiate a discussion thread, or you can post your thoughts here on this page.
FORMAT: When both big round tables are used, a designated half of each will move to the other table at approximately 8:45 pm in order to encourage mixing between the tables (each table accommodates up to 13 people). After all, our events are as social as they are intellectual, and this format encourages the flourishing of both!
FOOD AND BEVERAGES: This restaurant is extremely accommodating and allows us to stay until closing (11:00pm) if we choose. It is not fair if they are not fairly compensated. And we use a large percentage of the total seats in the house! The basic cost is $20 (this covers your entree, 3 or 4 shared appetizers per table, tax and gratuity but not drinks). DRINKS ARE ORDERED AND PAID FOR SEPARATELY BY EACH ATTENDEE. If on a rare occasion you only order a drink or an appetizer, or if you do not order anything, then you will owe a minimum charge of $12 to compensate the restaurant for their service. If there should be a shortfall, which is unlikely, then the group agrees to chip in to cover the difference. By attending this event you hereby agree to this policy.
Sometimes some of us head out for a late night prolongation of the evening at a nearby pub. However, during these occasions please do not carpool to the pub: drive your car down the street and re-park it at the pub because there is TOWING after the little mall area closes for the night.
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When you RSVP for one of our events it is expected that you have every intention of attending. Please refrain from impulse reservations and impulse cancellations!
No Show Policy (PLEASE READ)
NOTE: Those on the Waiting List may attend this discussion. For this meeting the Waiting List functions as a second attendance list. No Show Policy applies.