What we're about

Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar (ALS)

1. Introduction

• ALS is a meetup where we explore questions around a topic, then have a friendly discussion. Topics themselves vary, depending upon our imagination and what seems interesting at the time. Topics may range from social to political, to technical, to scientific, to historical … and so on. Generally each particular meeting will be fairly focused in the form of a seminar among equals. Sometimes the discussion might be more free-wheeling. This group also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1668079356593059/

•The general rules of the game are that whoever turns up works together on a given topic.

•A topic and about 10 focus questions will be published before the meetup. Feel free to contribute other focus questions around the topic too. Focus questions are not intended to push one viewpoint! You can adopt any position you wish. We actually like friendly disagreement - it can lead to deeper understanding. Note: clearly not all of these questions can be properly covered in a meetup, but they give us a conscious choice about what to talk about while making the background context clearer. It is up to the people who come on the day to choose what aspects they would like to deal with.

•Seminar groups like this work best if people can add more than casual prejudice and opinion. Expertise is especially welcome. If you at least do a Google search on the topic before you turn up, then everyone gains.

•If you want to suggest a future Lunchtime Seminar topic, try to think of some focus questions to go with it too. Inventing focus questions clears the mind wonderfully.

2. Time and Venue

At the moment the Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar meets in The Cafe Delores, Charles St Plaza, 20 Charles St, Adelaide CBD. Recognize me from my black cap on the table or check a photo at http://thormay.net/image/Thor5january2015b-...; . This cafe is quiet, has lots of seats and is never crowded. A cup of tea will cost you about $3.

Meetups happen every second Monday from 12:15 pm to about 1:30 pm depending on demand (the timing is flexible).

3. History

For earlier members a little confused by name changes, Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar has gone through a series of formats and names in search of the most workable approach to thoughtful discussion. It began in Brisbane as 'Active Thinking'. In 2015 it moved to Adelaide with the same name. After a year successive changes were made to call it 'Question Everything!', then 'Eh, Why Do You Think Like That?', then 'Adelaide Question & Answer'. Meetup times tried have been Sunday afternoon in a pub, Monday evening in a pub, and now at lunchtime in The Cafe Delores, Charles St Plaza, 20 Charles St, Adelaide CBD.

4. Resources

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/

5. Contact:

The organizer of Adelaide Lunchtime Seminar is Thor May; thormay@yahoo.com.

He has published a lot of essays and papers at 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 (http://thormay.net/image/Thor5january2015b-captioned.jpg%C2%A0)

Thor has run other meetups built around questions and discussions. An index of all the topics covered by these is online at http://thormay.net/unwiseideas/DiscussionTopics/DiscussionIndex.htm

Upcoming events (5)

Topic - A Life of Unintended Consequences

The Rose cafe

A$2.00

Venue: The Rose - 31 East Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000 (Upstairs. Please buy a drink or something. We are ‘renting’ the seats in this small business) => THE ROSE WILL ONLY ALLOW 5 PEOPLE TO MEET IN THE CAFE UNTIL THE LAW CHANGES (as at 6 June 2020). You MUST click 'Attend' to come. Cancel quickly if you change your mind to give others a chance. ---------------------------- Focus Questions 1. Are There Only Good Guys and Bad Guys? Look at your life experience - how often have good things come through for all the "wrong reasons" or from the "wrong people"? Look at history - how often have the best intentions led to catastrophe? Examples? 2. There are probably some decisions you have made in the past which had unintended consequences for your life. Examples? 3. What have been some unintended consequences from the upheaval caused by the convid-19 virus? 4. Human attempts to control Nature almost always have unintended consequences. What are some major examples of this, past and present? 5. "Streisand effect - The Streisand effect is a social phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of further publicizing that information, often via the Internet" [Wikipedia]. What are some examples of this phenomenon? 6. Core religious texts in most of the world's religions embrace wise values, especially for the societies in which they emerged historically, and in many cases for all time in all societies. Yet the very authority of these texts has seen them weaponized and willfully misinterpreted for political ends, again and again over the centuries. The same thing happens with documents like the United States Constitution. How can we protect against iconic texts like this having unintended consequences? 7. The Australian government is proposing some cash give-aways to stimulate the economy. For example - a) $25,000 for home renovations; b) the early release of superannuation savings. From past experience, what are some unintended consequences of this sort of cash stimulus? 8. Our lives and cultures have been turned upside down in the last 30 years by the emergence of personal computers, smart phones and the Internet. What have been some unintended consequences of this revolution? [This will be a harder question for digital natives than digital immigrants]. 9. Not only success, but also apparent failure can have unintended consequences (for both individuals and institutions). What is a "failure" from your earlier life that a younger version of yourself might have had trouble understanding or predicting? [For example, losing a particular job might be the best thing that ever happened to you]. 10. The actions taken by political leaders often have unintended consequences. That is, the outcome may have been unintended by the institution they represent, or unintended by the individual politician. [e.g. Trump had a peaceful demonstration cleared by tear gas in order to walk across Lafayette Square in Washington and pose with a bible in a photo op. No doubt he thought he was appealing to a key constituency. Instead he earned instant, nationwide condemnation. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-05/donald-trumps-photo-op-during-george-floyd-protests-backfires/12320944 ] Can you think of other examples of politically unintended consequences?

ALS is TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED - re COVID-19

The Rose cafe

A$2.00

Focus questions - Announced two weeks before the meetup

ALS is TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED - re COVID-19

The Rose cafe

A$2.00

Focus questions - Announced two weeks before the meetup

ALS is TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED - re COVID-19

The Rose cafe

A$2.00

Focus questions - Announced two weeks before the meetup

Past events (122)

Everything Online? - How Wide and Deep Can We Go?

The Rose cafe

A$2.00

Photos (98)