Happy New Year to all Plato?s Cave philosophers,
And good riddance to ol? 2008, a year than many of us may remember as very forgettable.
But one thing that I don?t want to forget is the many enjoyable discussions in which I have participated with you, my fellow philosophers. It has been a great pleasure.
According to the Meetup data keepers, Plato?s Cave has 163 registered member-philosophers on our rolls. Wow ? what a surprise! Where are you? My guess is that there are about 20 core members who attend our discussions fairly regularly. While it is true that the limited space provided at our chosen venue only allows for accommodation of about 15 participants at any one meeting, most of the time that limit has been adequate. Furthermore, fifteen is a good upper limit for participatory dialogue. The vast majority of the you are apparently curious lurkers who are as mysterious as ?dark matter?. We never hear from you and for reasons that are not exactly clear, you do not RSVP or join in our discussions. Yet, you remain on our member list.
An important point to keep in mind is that the meeting notices only go out to those who have been ?active? during the previous six months. It is easy to remain in active status even if you are unable or choose not to attend Plato?s Cave meetings. You can do this by simply RSVPing every few months, even if your RSVP is ?no?.
So, if you are one of the mysterious lurkers, I am curious to know why? Some of you may be unable to participate in our discussions due to the day or time that we meet. But, I have looked up membership data on many of you who are registered to 20, 30, 40 or more groups! ? probably far more Meetups than you could ever hope to attend. I guess that it makes an awesome Meetup resume if you are trying to impress someone. However, if you are no longer interested in Plato?s Cave, you won?t hurt our feelings if you decide to drop out. But, if you do still have an interest in philosophy, why not come out of the closet and join us? We would really like to meet you.
For the first meeting of the new year we are going to start our discussion series with something fun and light ? ?Finding philosophy in science fiction?.
Science fiction has always held up a metaphorical mirror to the multi-varied world of possible futures. Probably much of sci-fi?s "legitimacy" results from the fact that what was science fiction yesterday is turning into reality today. The implications of future technology can be amazing, and at the same time, quite scary. Science fiction explores these implications and offers a philosophical glimpse at ourselves living in a world with different rules or advanced technology, but still facing the same perennial human dilemmas. I found a zillion web sites that are devoted to this subject. I will be sharing some of them in my meeting notice and file postings. And did you know that many colleges offer a course on ?Philosophy in Science Fiction?? So, be on the look out for a notice of this meeting and reserve your place by RSVP at:http://www.meetup.com/PlatosCave/
Here?s an advance notice for February: the selected topic for February?s discussion will ?the philosophy of science?.