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Vicki will be out of town. Atheer, another group member, has volunteered his home as the alternative space to host our meeting. His Germantown home should be considered as the alternative for our Chevy Chase location for this month only. The meeting will start at 8 pm. People may arrive as early as 7:30 so that we can actually start at 8 pm. Please bring a small contribution of food to be shared with the group. Atheer's address and phone numbers are not posted here to preserve the privacy of his home. Those details will be emailed the week of the meeting to those who are coming (see note below). Affirmative RSVPs should be posted before 8 pm the prior Thursday to allow time to notify all attendees. Note: an occasional problem with Meetup emails is that some spam filters will preclude delivery of Meetup email. If you RSVP Yes and want the email informing you of a meeting held in a private home this can be a problem. To prevent this a member can add [masked] to their personal email addresses. If a member does not receive the directions to a Friday meeting by late Tuesday evening he/she needs to directly contact to the organizer. Use the Meetup option for this. A phone call to[masked] leaving your email address is another option. Posting a comment saying that you did not receive the directions (without including your personal email address) is not helpful since if your spam filter stopped the first email it will also stop subsequent email. We want people to be comfortable in opening up their homes to other meetup members and this technical difficulty is a small price to pay to preserve the privacy of those who host events in their homes.
As our topic for the May meeting of the WASH MDC group, we will discuss the topic of: "The Three Common Features of All Tyrannies." Emeritus NASA/Goddard researcher Stuart Jordan will kick us off with a short presentation largely inspired by three French authors: Tocqueville more recently by Lucien Jaume, who explain "tyranny of the majority," and Jacque Ellul on propaganda. (Ellul learned the unfortunately often successful techniques of Joseph Goebbels during the occupation of France. He also wrote a fine critique of the modern technological society, still relevant today.)The three essential techniques are: 1 Gain support from a group of the wealthy and powerful, by proposing a quid pro quo. 2 Identify a base of often decent but unhappy people whose problems you "will solve." (It helps if they are rather ignorant, i.e., easy to fool.) 3 Learn how to use an effective communication technique to manage your base. (Obviously effective does not always mean dignified.) Stu is prepared to offer other familiar examples such as Julius &Augustus Caesar, Lorenzo de Medici, Mussolini and Hitler, and will end with Donald Trump. Each will be considered from how effectively each implemented the three "common features." Obviously some tyrants are worse than others, and many do a few good things. But a tyrant is still a tyrant. This meeting is open to all but because of its location will be limited to 15 people so sign up if you wish to come and participate. This will also be a pot luck, lunch event and I will post a link to a google doc where we can keep track of who is bringing what. Stuart Jordan a retired NASA astrophysicist who has held leadership positions in several humanist organizations including WASH and ISHV. He is author of: “The Enlightenment Vision: Science, Reason, and the Promise of a Better Future”
Greetings, Friends and Skeptics! Please join me in a night of cocktails and lively discourse. Together we can build a community in the Arlington area one day at a time. Drinking Skeptically is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and like-minded individuals. Drinking Skeptically provides an opportunity for skeptics to talk, share ideas (and yes, drink) in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. We discuss the issues of the day and whatever else is on our minds. But most of all, we have fun while promoting skepticism, science, and rationality. Don't drink? Don't let that stop you from joining us! Some of the world's most famous skeptics are teetotallers, and we are happy to have you! Happy Hour specials run till 8pm. This group used to meet on the third Thursday of the month but will now start meeting on the third Tuesday instead.