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What do you think would constitute the perfect or ideal society? Is utopian political thought a harmful distraction from theorizing the problems of “real life”? Or perhaps you think utopian thinking is vital to helping us exercise the political imagination needed to create a better future? If you could pick just one wish for humanity, that would help us realize a substantively better future, what would that wish be? Think BIG, the sky is the limit! Come along and share your thoughts on the pros and cons of utopian thinking! Please bring a lawn chair and we will meet at the usual place in Lake Ontario Park, by the picnic tables in the protected area near the bathrooms.
Those interested in participating in a new reading group on the provocatively titled book "Love Drugs: The Chemical Future of Relationship" (which I plan to start in January 2021 if there is sufficient interest) can you please tick "attending" so I can get a sense of numbers and interest. If we get at least 4 people signing up then we will do it, so you can order the book. The venue will depend on where things stand with Kingston's COVID status. Details of the book are here: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=27130 This is the book blurb: "Is there a pill for love? What about an "anti-love drug", to help us get over an ex? This book argues that certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA—the active ingredient in Ecstasy—may help ordinary couples work through relationship difficulties and strengthen their connection. Others may help sever an emotional connection during a breakup. These substances already exist, and they have transformative implications for how we think about love. This book builds a case for conducting research into "love drugs" and "anti-love drugs" and explores their ethical implications for individuals and society. Scandalously, Western medicine tends to ignore the interpersonal effects of drug-based interventions. Why are we still in the dark about the effects of these drugs on romantic partnerships? And how can we overhaul scientific research norms to take relationships more fully into account? Ethicists Brian D. Earp and Julian Savulescu say that the time to think through such questions is now. Biochemical interventions into love and relationships are not some far-off speculation. Our most intimate connections are already being influenced by drugs we ingest for other purposes. Controlled studies are underway to see whether artificial brain chemicals can enhance couples therapy. And conservative religious groups are experimenting with certain medications to quash romantic desires—and even the urge to masturbate—among children and vulnerable sexual minorities. Simply put, the horse has bolted. Where it runs is up to us. Love Drugs arms us with the latest scientific knowledge and a set of ethical tools that we can use to decide if these sorts of medications should be a part of our society. Or whether a chemical romance will be right for us." Cheers Colin