What we're about

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

Group for people who
• actively follow and like to discuss current events: society, culture, politics, economy
• are (or work on being) open-minded
• prefer long form, in-depth conversations to sound bites
• consider issues in terms of common humanity rather than common enemy
• think that ideas are best tested against the strongest opposing arguments
• believe it is crucial to steelman rather than strawman those with whom they disagree
• are the (exhausted) middle, whether left-ish, right-ish or smack in the centre.

No sacred cows - only black sheep, running wild and free.

Upcoming events (5)

(External) Enlightenment Under Attack: Defending Secular Values with A. Navabi

Sala San Marco Event & Conference Centre

A public presentation by Armin Navabi In today’s polarized climate of discourse in the public square, a consistent target of attack has emerged: enlightenment values of free speech, reason, scientific inquiry, and the separation of church and state. Government-backed suppression and execution of non-believers — particularly in Muslim-majority countries — is at the nexus of attention by human rights organizations around the world. Meanwhile, hardliners from both the regressive left and alt-right political extremes have pursued aggressive stances, advocating violence, bigotry and censorship. Beyond voicing outrage about this overall situation, what can be done? Armin Navabi is author of Why There Is No God, a secular Muslim from Iran and the founder of Atheist Republic, the world’s largest atheist network — a non-profit organization with over 200 consulates worldwide. Atheist Republic is dedicated to offering a safe community for atheists around the world to share their ideas and meet like-minded individuals. This is an external event. For more information and tickets, visit eventbrite.com/e/enlightenment-under-attack-defending-secular-values-against-religious-and-political-extremism-tickets[masked]

Has liberalism failed (democracy)?

Second Cup

How do we define liberal democracy and its constituent parts, and how is it/are they faring these days? Sources (more TBA) below. Other suggestions welcome. • Patrick Deneen says liberalism has failed. Is he right? | The Ezra Klein Show https://youtu.be/7tuG4kqKCd8 • Yascha Mounk: "The People vs. Democracy" | Talks at Google https://youtu.be/fNjsPjqzl3k • Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick J. Deneen https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34746473-why-liberalism-failed • If Liberalism Is Dead, What Comes Next? https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/books/review-why-liberalism-failed-patrick-deneen.amp.html • Has Liberalism Failed? https://quillette.com/2018/02/12/has-liberalism-failed/ • What makes for a truly liberal State? https://unherd.com/2018/08/religious-voices-essential-truly-liberal-state/ • Liberalism: the other God that failed https://unherd.com/2019/04/liberalism-the-other-god-that-failed/ • Our illiberal empire of rights https://unherd.com/2019/06/our-illiberal-empire-of-rights/

Privacy and Freedom (and Social Credit)

Needs a location

Sources (suggestions welcome): * Social Credit System: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System * The complicated truth about China's social credit system https://www.wired.co.uk/article/china-social-credit-system-explained * China’s "Social Credit System" Has Caused More Than Just Public Shaming (HBO) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dkw15LkZ_Kw * A Look Inside China’s Social Credit System | NBC News Now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cGB8dCDf3c * China has started ranking citizens with a creepy 'social credit' system — here's what you can do wrong, and the embarrassing, demeaning ways they can punish you https://www.businessinsider.com/china-social-credit-system-punishments-and-rewards-explained-2018-4 * Why Big Brother Doesn’t Bother Most Chinese https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-24/why-china-s-social-credit-systems-are-surprisingly-popular * (book) We Have Been Harmonised: Life in China’s Surveillance State by Kai Strittmatter: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46025320-we-have-been-harmonised (review: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/30/we-have-been-harmonised-life-china-surveillance-state-kai-strittmatter-review)

Monopoly: Socialism (Winning is for Capitalists)

Needs a location

Hasbro's New Monopoly: https://time.com/5658872/hasbro-monopoly-socialism/

Photos (20)