Question Everything is a new meetup. It uses the old Active Thinking meetup website, but the name has been changed.
Question Everything has evolved from the Active Thinking meetup group (now suspended) but has a different format.
Special rule in this meetup: You yourself have to submit a discussion question each time you wish to come to a Question Everything meetup (see below).
Purpose and format of Question Everything
1. The purpose of the Question Everything meetup is to stimulate lively and quizzical discussion. After 40 years of trying to provoke students, Thor has noticed that nearly everyone is comfortable having a lazy opinion, but that most people are really, really bad at creating interesting questions. They have had no practice at that since they were about 10 years old, so like someone totally out of physical condition, they find the effort of clever questioning horribly hard. They avoid it. Is that you? The idea of Question Everything is to coax you in the gentle art of asking creative questions. Socrates was the first master of this. We hope to follow in his footsteps, look curiously over the horizon, and perhaps in our own small way fashion a more productive community - one that is not sleep walking - and prove that Australia can be more than an echo chamber for borrowed fashions, that you have the energy to ask the cascading questions which will bring us to original action.
2. Question Everything is for people with active and quizzical brains. You don’t have to be a genius (I’m certainly not) but you have to be ready to front with some thoughtful questions about the world around you.
3. What happened to the Active Thinking meetup group? Active Thinking was a nice idea, but too ambitious for what most people are able to put into a meetup. 537 of you signed up in a little over a year, but only a handful ever showed. The core principle of the Active Thinking meetup was that a bunch of people would choose a topic, go away for two weeks to research it, then meet to share and argue about what they had learned. Well all that was too hard for a casual meetup concept; (maybe OK for a new kind of university ^_^).
4. How will Question Everything work?
Part I – submitting your question
a) When you RSVP to a QE meetup, you will HAVE TO also submit a thought provoking question which other people are likely to find interesting to chew over. It can be on any subject. If you don’t submit a question, your RSVP will be cancelled at once.
b) The RSVP button will prompt you to submit your question to the organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org . The organizer will then post your question online if it looks interesting. Both new and old questions will be posted to https://www.meetup.com/Adelaide-Question-Ev...;
c) The questions accepted for each meetup must be original – that is, not previously discussed (unless there is a group wish to probe the issue further). Questions which have already been discussed will be posted to https://www.meetup.com/Adelaide-Question-Ev...
e) Only submit a question IF you intend to RSVP for the coming meetup!
f) You can only come to the meetup if you have submitted and had a question accepted. No casual walk-ins. This is to keep it fair and productive.
Part II – At the meetup
a) When people come to an actual meetup, their questions will be drawn out of a hat to decide the order in which they will be discussed. Questions which don’t get dealt with can be rolled over to the next meetup if the submitter wishes.
b) If enough people come, we will break up into smaller groups of 3 or 4 people to debate, then change groups every half hour or so. That should give everyone lots of interaction.
c) The spirit of Question Everything is not just to bring questions but to question the questioner! The answers you get in life depend upon the questions you ask. That takes imagination and a clear head.
d) You will get greater respect if you can offer more than a simple opinion about your question. In the very least, Google the question before you come to see what others have found.
e) Question Everything is meant to be fun. We can disagree without being aggressive. Questions can be persistent and searching but still friendly. No poison needed. For a lesson from the original genius of wise questions, check out Socrates (470-399 B.C.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method
5. Time and Venue
Suggestions are welcome! Venues work best if they are fairly close to the city centre. At the moment we have no idea how many people will be interested. If we use a pub or café they like to be told in advance, and also expect patrons to at least buy a token drink. Public library meeting rooms have given us problems in the past because they will not allow $2 to be collected to cover meetup.com fees (!!#@&??).
A couple of American websites have recently emerged with a torrent of interesting topics, though typically oriented of course to American culture. Don’t just echo their questions, but they may give you a lead on the kinds of things many people find interesting:
a) Quora http://quora.com (This website can become addictive)
b) Change-my-view https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/
c) A list of sites similar to Quora.com http://alternativeto.net/software/quora/
d) A list of software that might be adapted to something like Quora.com http://alternativeto.net/software/coordino/
The organizer of Question Everything is Thor May; email@example.com; https://independent.academia.edu/ThorMay. If you need to find Thor at a venue, here is a link to his photo: http://thormay.net/image/Thor5january2015b-captioned.jpg