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Providing a forum for those who would like to have some rigorous discussion, debate and exchange on some of the big issues in life.

Age requirement is 40 years +.  Meets roughly once every 2 months in Elwood, usually on a Saturday evening.

Potential topics:

1. The Way We Live

Clive Hamilton (author of "The Freedom Paradox") suggests that one of the main problems of consumerism is the erosion of human values.

Food Inc (documentary at MIFF '09) showed chicken farms in America where the chickens never see the light of day from birth to death. However some of the labels on the egg cartons show bright sunny farm yards.

Technological revolution - computerisation of society is a recent phenomenon. Given the impact of technology in society, discussion on the pros and cons of people engaging in electronic media appears insufficient in mainstream media. Except for news articles on pedestrians getting run over because they were looking at their iPhone instead of watching for cars when crossing the road.

Internet addiction is a growing area of research.

2. Men and women

Some cultures have monogamy, some have polygamy. Some countries have an indulgent view towards extra-marital affairs, others have the death penalty.  Whatever relationship arrangement different cultures have, clearly there is no simple answer to enduring harmony.  In some countries marriage is economic survival, in others it is the hope for complete fulfillment.  How realistic is "till death do us part"?

3. No Man is an Island.

Studies of places that have a disproportionate number of long lived people ( e.g Okinawa) often report high levels of community involvement and social connectedness, respect for the elderly, active lifestyles, healthy diets.

ABC radio national (621 AM dial, 6th August, 2009) aired a study on loneliness which found that the normal pattern for Western cultures is that loneliness peaks in the teenage years and at old age. The researchers were surprised to find in Australia that the peak was in the age range 25-44 yrs and unrelated to the number of friends that someone reported. The key issue was the quality of the connection and the researchers suggested there could be links with people having increased numbers of superficial connections (e.g. Facebook type) but lacking in-depth lasting friendships. They also suggested that this is an age where there is a high frequency of people changing jobs, location and encountering separation and divorce.

Robert Putnam (author of "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community") found that more people watched Friends (popular TV show) than had friends.

4. And God is...

Of the 5,489 religions in the world, there are several different interpretations of God. Western culture appears to have largely gone down the "finding peace through affluence" path (buy a house, get a good job, save enough for retirement). Some eastern cultures place an emphasis on the balance of joy and suffering, overcoming the self in the pursuit of a more enlightened existence. Some religions have a unity model of the earth, others see man as the top dog.

5. I am Conscious

Do you believe that you choose or are you an unwitting agent of your unconscious?

Dr Vilayanur S. Ramachandra (eminent neuroscientist) said,“Our mental life is governed mainly by a cauldron of emotions, motives and desires which we are barely conscious of, and what we call our conscious life is usually an elaborate post hoc rationalization of things we really do for other reasons.”

WHO MAY LIKE TO JOIN THIS GROUP?

Aged 40 years and over.

Open minded, respectful of each other's views, able to have a robust discussion, even in the midst of vehement disagreement.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Hoping that such a group may venture into many topics of mutual interest.

Meetings will have a cover charge of  approx $15 to cover Meetup costs ($144 p.a to host a Meetup) in lieu of a membership fee and room hire costs.

Please feel free to use the group Message Board to organise other social activities/gatherings. I'm planning to schedule a Meetup roughly once per month but some people are getting to know each other now and want to organise additional things - terrific, post it and see who else might like to go.

Also happy to take suggestions on ideas for themes for meetings.

We're 96 Members

New members must be approved by the Organizer

Content of this Meetup Group is only visible to members

 
Founded Aug 17, 2009

Organizer:

Deb
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