Resolutions: Self Improvement Inspired by Ben Franklin

As many of you probably know, the former name of the Greater Philadelphia Thinking Society was the Ben Franklin Thinking Society. And you may also know Ben was a big proponent of self improvement. As we enter the new year, inspired by Ben's methods of self improvement this meetup will address how we may become more resolute about achieving our goals in 2013. Please come prepared with not only your goals, but your suggestions that may help us all with this challenge. Note, unlike most other meetups this meeting will not only be about discussing the issue, but more importantly we will take a workshop approach to put our individual plans into action.

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  • Lee D.

    This was what I joined this meetup to find.

    1 · January 6, 2013

  • Dmytry V. Bova-Property M.

    And why in the world would the new organizers suddenly not want to be closely associated with Ben's name?? I think this is the point exactly. I wonder if it deep seeded religious reasons.. As reasons usually are.. We all know I hope Ben was hardly a supporter..

    January 5, 2013

    • CJ F.

      Dmytry, all of the current co-organizers like Ben Franklin and the ideas of philosophy, thinking, and social organization that he represents. Meetup requires an Organizer (or several co-organizers). When the previous organizer stood down, four (4) co-organizers stood up. In that context we were required to change the name. The four new organizers soul-searched and you know the result. Could we have done better? Possibly. Could we have done better given the time constraints of the old organizer stepping down and wanting to keep the group going? Maybe, but I'm not going to lose any sleep over spilled milk.

      January 6, 2013

  • Jean S.

    CJ is right (if that is a truth) that voting can be a no-thing. I may have to accept the name change but I don't have to like it. Bah humbug!

    1 · January 5, 2013

  • GenePoz

    I don't recall receiving any notice of a name change. Why was the name changed? Who made the decision? Did people not know that Ben Franklin was from Philadelphia? Did they think the meetups might be in New Jersey? Seriously though; I thought it was a great name, and people have long associated his name with a quality group.

    December 19, 2012

    • Mike H

      Clearly every member signed up for a group called the "Benjamin Franklin Thinking Society". The name seems fairly unambiguous - a group devoted to issues of thought and philosophy that honors the memory of Benjamin Franklin, one of the history's best known public intellectuals who is closely associated with Philadelphia. Has any one ever approached one of the organizers and said "That's a confusing name"? (And if so, do you really want that guy as a member?)

      January 5, 2013

    • CJ F.

      Mike, as you must know, the way in which a poll is worded is critical. It it is easy to skew the result. Only when done very carefully can a vote elicit meaningful data from a group. I think the deliberative, pre-voting, phase of voting (to answer the question "what are we voting on") is arguably more important that the vote itself. Wouldn't someone have to prepare a list of options (at least)? So saying "Meetup's poll feature make this very easy" ignores the deep difficulties of democracy (look at California's propositions to see how crazy democracy becomes when it is carelessly given "to the people").

      I was an enthusiastic lowercase "d" democrat until I started thinking about it recently. Frankly, I now worry that voting is a tyranny of the majority and subject to vexing paradoxes (Condorcet's paradox is particularly troubling). But now we are on to a different subject. One which deserves a meetup of its own ...

      January 5, 2013

  • Jean S.

    I am very disappointed in the name change, too. It is the ordinary things in life that are boring. The "Greater Philadelphia Thinking Society" sounds boring... Ben Franklin was an exciting man - giving up our connection to this exciting man is disappointing to say the least.

    January 5, 2013

  • Jean S.

    What is the train of thought that changed the name of the group? Ben Franklin was one of the most enterprising people in all of history. I thought that using his name in our group gave us a special "zip." But who an I to wonder why? I never get enough of Franklin history!

    January 1, 2013

  • Mike H

    I've been reading Franklin's Autobiography. I'm surprised how fascinating, inspiring, and fresh it is. Not only does it lay out his achievements (the PA militia, the library, UPenn, and so many other scientific and civic innovations), it also spells out his self-improvement techniques, even how to speak with more humility.

    December 24, 2012

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