Inspired by the 50's and 60's Paris café culture where bohemians - philosophers, writers, and artists would gather together to exercise their minds and share ideas.
We may not be any of the above characters but we are curious about things and enjoy pawing over: politics, moral dilemmas, social values, music, art, books, movies, the occasional lecture and/or talk. Naturally our group digresses to allow discussion to flow where it wants - the price of bread, Ducati motor bikes and hem lengths are always welcome. Thought crimes . . . even better!
Overall, the aim is to bring people together, openly sharing and listening to each other's point of view - just as importantly to ‘shake the dust’ off our thinking. To help you decide if we’re right for you and vice a versa, below has some more info about us. Hopefully you find many aspects that resonate with your values.
What we are about and how we work
Shake the Dust is a group of open-minded individuals who enjoy coming together to discuss issues of interest. We meet fortnightly and alternate between hosted topic and ‘shoot the breeze’ evenings.
Importantly, we favour discussion over argument.
Our key focuses are on respectful listening, exploring ideas, change for betterment and finding solutions. In way of contrast, our aim is not to persuade each other towards a particular ideology, set of beliefs or viewpoint. On a personal level the discussions are an opportunity to reflect privately on our own biases and any entrenched views we might hold.
What we each choose to take from the group is up to the individual.
Our ethos – what we stand for
At Shake we stand for egalitarianism, democracy and fair play. We note this so you can determine if this is the right group for you and vice a versa. Shake's ethos is expanded on after the membership section; please take the time to read it and consider if it fits with yours.
Membership is free however please note we are a private group that you are asking to join - membership is not a given.
Note: you need to be at least 18 years of age.
Members Agree to:
• practice critical thinking and to make best efforts to share with the group data from credible and reputable sources, which is not to say no to new or emerging research. No evidence neither proves nor disproves a theory, if this is the case for data being presented then acknowledge the raw nature of it up front.
• listen openly to each other and to take care in how we present our views
• not promote a political party, religion, business, product or service to the group
• contribute to the ongoing goodwill and well-being of the group
Shake's ethos expanded, here are some of our views:
• Government, and that the heart of government is us - the common people - so if we don’t like what we are seeing, take a stand and look for ways to improve our government.
• Democracy - while recognising it needs continual strengthening and protection from outside and/or malign forces.
• Taxation - as a means of efficiently and fairly pooling our collective contributions, to provide the cohesive social systems we value e.g. healthcare; education; legislation; humanitarian rights; employment; science; culture & heritage; infrastructure; conservation; justice; R&D; etc. We do not however condone wastage of tax derived revenue.
• Egalitarian values for all and the fair distribution of gains.
• The upholding of the community – we rely and depend on each other.
• The right of the individual – to choose their path, be true to themselves, to receive fair and proper recognition of their value and contribution to society.
• Climate change is occurring and that human activities are accelerating it.
We believe in ‘freedom of opinion and expression’.
Free speech is vitally important in a healthy society, however it is not an inherent human right – the right to free speech was drafted and agreed to by people, for people (Article 19, Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
We also hold that 'free speech' comes with boundaries and responsibilities (caveats). That is, one freedom should not come at the expense of another, not without due and balanced consideration. We will not tolerate hate speech of any kind.