What we're about

Imagine…

Hundreds of New Yorkers coming together in small groups of neighbors

and fellow citizens to discuss topics of intensive interest…

Hosted at no cost and at convenient locations and times…

Aided by simple guiding principles…

Inspired by the city’s grand tradition of robust conversation…

Our vision is to inspire, organize, publicize, facilitate and celebrate a renaissance of healthy dialogue in New York City.

Our Mission:

1. Encourage and support interesting and important conversations among New Yorkers at the grass-roots level,

2. Establish simple, affordable, and sustainable infrastructure to foster such conversations throughout the city year-round.

3. Add to the worldwide image of New York as a metropolis where culture and intellect thrive among the people.

4. Organize the plethora of conversations happening in the city and have them listed in one central and easily-accessible spot.

5. Maintain conversations with a human face by discussing topics in-person, while also allowing for further discussion online.

Note: For access to all CNY-sponsored events, go to http://www.conversationsnewyork.com and subscribe to our blog,

and "Like" our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/conversationsnewyor... (http://www.facebook.com/conversationsnewyork).

Upcoming events (5+)

Jonathan Haidt's Solutions to 'Our Contentious Culture' - Watch & Discuss Video

(Special thanks to WeWork for providing Rm 15B.) "We are all born to be hypocrites...The only cure for the confirmation bias is other people." (Haidt) The Moral Psychology of Liberals and Conservatives: https://youtu.be/yto5DkbumYw (9 min) "How do the fundamental moral instincts of liberals and conservatives differ, and what leads a country to become polarized along these lines?" Purpose: Understand each other better. 'Our country is more politically polarized than ever. Is it possible to agree to disagree and still move on to solve our massive problems? Or are the blind leading the blind -- over the cliff? Bill and moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt talk about the psychological underpinnings of our contentious culture, why we can’t trust our own opinions, and the demonizing of our adversaries. “When it gets so that your opponents are not just people you disagree with, but… the mental state in which I am fighting for good, and you are fighting for evil, it's very difficult to compromise,” Haidt tells Moyers. “Compromise becomes a dirty word.”' https://billmoyers.com/segment/jonathan-haidt-explains-our-contentious-culture/ https://vimeo.com/36128360 Suggestions: • Listen to understand. You don't have to agree. • Make one point at a time and allow others to respond. Speak from personal experience. • Identify the underlying values, priorities, and assumptions. Look for new insights. Note – Manhattan Lectures & Conversations (MLC) neither screens participants, nor supervises or controls MLC meetings, and we have no special relationship with the individuals who participate in programs listed in our calendars. Therefore, please exercise good judgment when attending events. Note particularly that MLC events are NOT a forum for dating, for employees or independent contractors to introduce, promote, or sell goods and/or services, for organizing social/political action such as demonstrations, rallies, or partisan political campaigns, or for any unlawful activity. MLC meeting calendars are for posting events located in public areas only. MLC hosts, partners, and members are responsible for their own content. They cannot use MlC‘s platform to email (or solicit) members on matters outside of their own specific conversation meetup without prior approval from the Director, Ronald Gross, (of course, logistical details such venue change or date change do not require prior approval). MLC hosts, partners, and members cannot speak for MLC or commit MLC to any obligations. Participants are: – expected to honor other people’s stated boundaries and respect their privacy. – not obligated to provide information or answer any questions against their will. – encouraged to share only information they feel comfortable with sharing. – expected to maintain confidentiality and not reshare personal information without permission from the owner. – responsible for resolving their own disputes and conflicts as private individuals. About the Moderator: Yen is a parent and a manager returning to the NYC area. Organizing meetups make him happy. : ) (Please RE-CONFIRM your plan to attend by registering on the NIGHT BEFORE this event and registering will also help me compile the guest list the building security. Thanks. Eventbrite link will be provided on the night before.)

Why do we text and email rather than talk?

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Some say this preference is a millennial predisposition, but it seems to extend far beyond those born between 1981 and 1996. So, why do we shy away from each other’s spoken voices, and favor our written words? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this custom? And if we ever decided to change, how would that look? We Meetup members, brave enough to engage in conversation with perfect strangers on a regular basis, are likely to have valuable insights about all of this. While texting is often discouraged at conversational events, because it might be useful to our better answering our questions, it’ll be totally allowed at this meeting.

Let's have a conversation - About The Need to Belong

Sebastian Junger, the author of Tribe, recently gave a talk at Columbia about the human need to gather, associate with others and form solid bonds with one another. Let's continue this conversation to understand our need to belong and discuss solutions to adapt our nature to the demands of modern society. Suggested questions and starting points -- What in our psychology and physiology creates that need to belong? -- What importance belonging or identifying to a group has in forming our own identity? -- How do we balance the need of personal survival and the commitment to the group -- Do we need a war or a disaster to become selfless and generous or can we create this state of mind on a regular basis? -- How can we maintain strong bonds within a group/tribe while avoiding discrimination toward those who do not belong to our group or tribe? In this 2-hour discussion, we will explore this topic, sharing points of views. Looking forward to a rewarding conversation with you all. Bring guests and friends. Great thanks to WeWork, who generously lend us the room for our informal gathering

After all, what is DEMOCRACY

575 5th Ave

Most of us appear to take the meaning of democracy for granted, and consequently we tend to end-up in a confused state (of talking past each other) when deeply embedded in our political discussions. At this our latest of many other political-philosophical meet-ups, a short eight and a half (8-1/2) minute video from 1988 entitled Noam Chomsky on Democracy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljaXy1t0I44 will be shown to provocatively generate a deep, but lively discussion on the subject. In addition, a series of proposed democracy assumptions (to be questioned/challenged of course) has been provided below in an effort to help us anchor our common understanding of democracy. Although we may not come to full agreement as to what democracy is and means, we should at least be clear on what we, as individuals, mean by the use of the term. In any case, let us honestly do our best to come closer on our meaning of democracy, in the name of Platonic truth seeking. Looking forward to seeing you there! SOME DEMOCRACY ASSUMPTIONS Democracy assumes the right of all social members to equally participate in determining the community’s future. Democracy assumes a higher degree of cooperation among community members (consensus building) over a competitive, winner-take-all approach to decision making. Democracy assumes a full set of rights that protects the minority from the majority. Democracy assumes equal opportunity for all members of the community. Democracy assumes the individual and social equality of all members of the community. Democracy assumes rule-of-law based on the above assumptions.

Past events (1,120)

'YOU, THE ETHICIST!' - Rescheduled to 3/20 (Host: Ron Gross, Socrates Salon)

Hunter College Faculty Dining Room

Photos (1,449)