What we're about

The founders of this group believe that (1) social connectedness is essential to human flourishing and even to basic survival, and (2) modern America is disastrously lonely and isolated – quite possibly the loneliest and most isolated time and place in world history. We thus believe that the "clean-up operation" needs to start now, and we are committed to exploring how we can help to (in the words of David Brooks) "reweave the social fabric."

'Reinventing' might be a better word than 'reweaving'. The purpose is not to rejuvenate bridge clubs or Elks clubs or other such 1950s institutions, but rather to find new ways that people can meaningfully connect (in-person) in the Age of Digital Distractions.

As fodder for discussion, we'll use any articles, talks, books, movies, etc. that are relevant and insightful – recommendations are always welcome. We’ll sometimes have guest speakers/hosts and we’ll sometimes do field trips to learn about relevant efforts.

We hope that thoughtful and curious people will join us for these discussions. We do not expect everyone to agree with our views; thoughtful dissent is valued and encouraged. All that will be required of you should you choose to attend is to be willing to engage with "others" and intend to make this a valuable experience.

Upcoming events (3)

The Crisis of the Lonely Atoms

The Frontier

I revisited a blog post recently that really stuck with me: https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2017/08/08/the-crisis-of-the-lonely-atoms/ The lonely atoms are "a generation of unskilled 20-something men, largely unemployed, largely unconnected, largely irresponsible for a want of anything to be responsible for." The post mentions that several thinkpieces have come out in the last 5 years or so on this topic. You're welcome/encouraged to find them, read them, and share any insights with us. I connected with someone last year who has a Lonely Atom brother. I'm curious to hear from anyone else with Lonely Atoms in their lives. We'll meet in the Canyon Room at the Frontier, which has limited seating, hence the cap. Keep those RSVP's updated!

A pill for loneliness?

Durham County Library - South Regional Library

I'd like to discuss this recent article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/26/pill-for-loneliness-psychology-science-medicine Here's a quote from it: "Unlike depression and anxiety, loneliness has no recognized clinical form; there is no available diagnosis or treatment for feeling chronically isolated. She has also found relief in her work and in continuing her husband’s legacy: “If you have a sense of worth and life with a purpose, you will feel less lonely,” Stephanie says. Today, that means continuing a body of research that she and her late husband were beginning to explore: a pill for loneliness. It’s less science fiction than it sounds. A number of clinical trials are already under way, targeting the ways in which chronic loneliness changes the brain, as well as the havoc it unleashes on the nervous system. If there are pharmacological treatments for other social pains like depression and anxiety, why not loneliness?" We'll meet in Study Room #2 of Durham's South Regional Library, which seats up to 8, hence the cap. I'll send my cell to those who RSVP in case you have any trouble finding us.

"The Church of the Spiritual But Not Religious" - a profile of Krista Tippett

North Carolina Botanical Garden

I only started reading this profile of Krista Tippett (host of the popular public radio show, On Being) and I already know it will be over the place for what this group is about and that I'd like to discuss it with others: https://www.thecut.com/2019/01/npr-on-being-host-krista-tippet.html We'll meet at the Chapel Hill Botanical Gardens, in the gazebo next to the parking lot near the front entrance. I'll send my cell to those who RSVP in case you have any trouble finding us.

Past events (80)

On the "Social Credit System" in China

Durham County Library - South Regional Library

Photos (56)