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You asked for it! A Discussion Group 2 - in the South Hills area. This month's topic: The Electoral College—Time for a Change? The 2000 and 2016 presidential elections resulted in the victories of candidates who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. It could happen again—perhaps as soon as 2020. The American people, along with their political and intellectual leaders, are sharply divided on this issue. There are three main competing positions: (1) a constitutional amendment abolishing the Electoral College and instituting direct popular vote, (2) achieving direct popular election of the president without a constitutional amendment via the pending National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, and (3) retaining the status quo. What are the pros and cons of each position? Suggested reading: Alan E. Johnson, "The Electoral College—Time for a Change?" 7/6/2018, https://www.academia.edu/36794027/The_Electoral_College_Time_for_a_Change Alan E. Johnson, The Electoral College: Failures of Original Intent and a Proposed Constitutional Amendment for Direct Popular Vote (2018), https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692078320/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520456240&sr=1-1. "Hardball" video debate (7 minutes) on National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, 3/20/2019, https://www.makingeveryvotecount.com/mevc-press-hardball Tara Ross, The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders' Plan Saves Our Country from Mob Rule (2017), https://www.amazon.com/Indispensable-Electoral-College-Founders-Country-ebook/dp/B072FK8W7X/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1556673884&sr=1-2 General discussion group info: PFC Monthly discussion groups are open to all - if the topic interests you, you'll be welcome! Casual dress. Discussion is moderated but informal - speak up as much or little as you wish. If you have any suggestions/ideas for a topic or category to discuss, please feel free to submit them to: [masked]
Freethought in the Pub is an informal community building event offering the chance for participants to engage in informal discussions and to socialize with like minded people. It is also an excellent way for “newbies” to dip their toe in the water, so to speak, and meet other freethinkers for the first time to confirm that they are not crazy or alone. Or maybe they were already part of the freethought movement in another city and have recently moved into the area. But regardless of what brings you, you are welcome to join us for an evening of camaraderie. Join us in helping to promote science, reason, critical thinking and humanist values in the Greater Pittsburgh area. More information can be found at www.pittsburghfreethoughtcommunity.com
Okay, we’re back in the saddle after a hiatus. Our second floor venue at Biddle’s has disappeared: no longer for customers. This is a new venue (see elsewhere in the announcement). We can see how it works out and adjust in the future. We’re just repeating the book that was last scheduled. Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler. (I also read, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions. I liked that, too.) Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke, delves in the truly illogical world of personal finance. Emotions shape our financial behavior, often making us our own worst enemies. We don’t think objectively and are easily manipulated. Most of the book is dedicated to uncovering the behaviors around our spending habits – showing people how to recognize those behaviors and instincts. The last part of the book is focused on possible solutions we can use to override our instincts to make better financial choices. Ariely was featured in Netflix streaming documentary “Out for Blood in Silicon Valley”, the story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. I found his explanation of the lying interesting. Our library system has about 23 copies. Available as Book books on tape. Paperback at Amazon $12. +25 in library for Predictably Irrational and also available as e-book.
PFC fields a "Bar trivia" team! Do you want to test your knowledge of useless or unimportant facts and figures? Come on out and help our own "Team Third Place" as they compete for bragging rights and gift certificates from Social, the venue. Or bring some friends and form your own team and give Team Third Place (and everybody else) some friendly competition. But however you decide to participate, come and commune with like-minded people - it's sure to be a good time.