"Conversations around timeless articles from weeklies and dailies and search for intelligent life among neighbors" is for people who read serious journalism in search for “the best, which has been thought and said”, and want to discuss their finds with likeminded readers.
This is an article discussion meetup for people whose main interest are books. Why article rather than book discussion group then? A book discussion group is not for people who take books seriously, i.e. “have a sense of purpose for reading” (Daniel Bell). They cannot take a detour from the reading path defined by their own questions and interests even for sake of finding people they speak the same language with. An article discussion group allows finding people of the same quality as a book group while making much lesser demand on your reading time.
A serious magazine or newspaper seems to be the only place where you can find intelligent life in public space. Good periodicals might be the only link between people who think. This is the reason for creating the meetup.
This group is for readers who from time to time come across a fascinating article and want to discuss it with others both for better understanding of things and for pleasure of being with people who share your interests.
I am talking about an occasional outstanding article with eye-opening analysis or a review of a great book (just published or classic), not about daily reporting.
For sake of describing this group I’d like to restate the obvious - a few of many things that one may get from a good newspaper if he goes past news:
1. Understanding political world we live in - insightful analysis of major issues of politics – both domestic and foreign;
2. Opportunity to hear people with greater wisdom and knowledge than your own (in our interactions in person we are usually limited to people of our own level);
3. Invaluable tips for continuing study of Humanities on your own;
4. Knowledge for dealing with earthly problems of our lives.
It is easy to miss and never discover articles and tips about books that would be of most interest to you or even “change your life” because there are too many worthy newspapers and magazines for one person to keep up with. It is another reason for this meetup.
Articles will not be limited to current ones. Selection criteria are topic and quality - publication date does not matter – we will be discussing pieces that are “timeless”.
A sample list of articles that follows this description will give you an idea of what kind of things we may discuss. People with a different range of interests who like the idea of this group may want to create meetups that reflect their interests.
Technically this group is limited to discussion of articles, but in reality it should allow discussing any topic that may interest you because over years your favorite newspapers and magazines most likely have had an article on anything you can ever think of.
Periodicals do have online forums, but they are a poor ersatz for a conversation in person and a poor tool for selecting people to talk to (before joining this meetup you will be offered a few questions to determine if the group matches your interests). Unfortunately there are no gathering places for those who want to meet people to discuss works of journalism. This group is designed to serve a role of such place.
Basics on how the group will operate
1. The leader will select an article (or a few) for a discussion using recommendations of the group and his own findings and post the selection approximately two weeks before a meeting. In addition to discussing articles we may want to share tips about articles and books that we find interesting.
2. We will restrict freedom of speech by a 2-3 min. limit per person per comment except instances when the group wants to hear more. Taking numbers might be another good idea.
3. Initial plan is to meet once a month – most likely we will be meeting on Mondays.
4. Meetings will be held in Manhattan.
List of abbreviations:
NYT - New Your Times
WSJ – Wall Street Journal
FT – Financial Times
0. The Truth About Our Libertarian Age By Mark Lilla - newrepublic.com June 17, 2014
1. The Slow Lane - It really is good to talk By Harry Eyres - FT, June 08, 2013
2. The Slow Lane - Peaks and Promenades By Harry Eyres - FT, September 05, 2014
3. The Slow Lane - Lessons in love from the ancients By Harry Eyres - FT, January 10, 2014
4. Daniel Bell (1919–2011) APRIL 7, 2011 Mark Lilla at nybooks.com
5. No Faith in Progress - Jonathan Franzen’s ‘Kraus Project’ - NYT Book Review, October 11, 2013
6. The Story Of a Lifetime; An ordinary German--and compulsive diarist--lives through Weimar, the Nazi era and the Cold War - WSJ, March 17, 2011
7. The Dangers of Certainty - A Lesson From Auschwitz By SIMON CRITCHLEY NYT (The Stone opinion series) February 2, 2014
8. I'm With Stupide - 'Bouvard and Pécuchet,' by Gustave Flaubert - NYT Book Review, January 22, 2006
9. The Examined Life By JONATHAN LEAR - NYT, October 25, 1998
10. Net wisdom - FT, February, 16, 2013
11. Lost and Found - Left in Nepal at 3, Daja Takes Decades To Find Out Why; After Being Raised by Monks, He Makes His Way to U.S.; 'Mother Where Are You'; A Leap From a Window Ledge - WSJ, March 15, 2005
12. Leo Strauss: The European By Mark Lilla, The New York Review of Books, Oct 21, 2004
13. Neocon or Not – Review of 'Reading Leo Strauss,' by Steven Smith – NYT Book review, June 25, 2006
14. “Salvation at the Forum” (The first Robert Bresson’s retrospective in this country in 14 years) – WSJ, January 5, 2012
15. The Crisis of American Self-Government; Harvey Mansfield on the 2012 election, and the real cost of entitlements - WSJ, December 1, 2012
16. Stoppard in Moscow - moreintelligentlife.com, November 26, 2007
17. Don't be an idiot. Read newspapers. BY TUNKU VARADARAJAN - OpinionJournal.com, April 30, 2002
18. Bad News - By RICHARD A. POSNER – NYT, July 31, 2007
19. "The Meaningfulness of Lives" – NYT (The Stone opinion series) September 11, 2011
20. Happiness, Beyond the Data By Gary Gutting - NYT (The Stone opinion series) April 10, 2013
21. When Socrates Met Phaedrus/ Eros in Philosophy - NYT (The Stone opinion series) November 3, 2013
22. "The Education of an Iranian Revolutionary" - Interview with Shirin Ebadi (Borrowing language from The Good Soldier Švejk this is another evidence that all great revolutions in history of humankind are worth shit) – WSJ, April 4, 2011
23. An Iranian Storyteller’s Personal Revolution – NYT, July 1, 2012
24. Prole Models by Charles Murray – WSJ, February 6, 2001
25. Bookshelf - The Imperialists and Their Attributes - THE RULING CASTE By David Gilmour – WSJ, February 23, 2006
26. Ian Smith, Defiant Symbol of White Rule in Africa, Is Dead at 88 – NYT, November 21
27. Merely Departed - Obits at This School Aren't to Die For; Dead King's College Alumni Can Expect a Roasting; 'Smut for its Own Sake' – WSJ, October 31, 2005
28. Notable & Quotable - Joseph Schumpeter writing about ‘the intellectual's righteous indignation about the wrongs of capitalism’ (‘Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy’) – WSJ, October 29, 2012
29. Herta Muller’s Literature, Born of Isolation – NYT, May 18, 2012
30. Why Won't They Listen? – review of The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt - NYT, March 3, 2012
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