• Forum: Saudi Arabia: Kingdom of Contradictions?- Dr. Sharat G. Lin

    Mountain View Community Center

    Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter, has one of the most repressive regimes, is a cornerstone in stabilizing the U.S. dollar, has one of the most oppressive labor systems, is the biggest funder of Islamic institutions worldwide, and plays a pivotal role in the genesis of and fight against jihadi movements. Sharat G. Lin takes a look inside the Kingdom of contradictions and extremes. ​ Dr. Lin is a research fellow at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center. He writes and lectures on global political economy, labor migration, the Middle East, and public health. He has lived for several years in Saudi Arabia. After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanistcommsv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HumanistCommSV/ Website: http://www.humanists.org/blog/ Videos of previous forums: https://vimeo.com/hcsv/ To help our Forum series continue, please consider making a donation or becoming a member (http://www.humanists.org/blog/membership/) of the Humanist Community. Do your online shopping at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-6173979, and Amazon donates to the Humanist Community every time you do. Note: If you would like to speak at a Forum, or know of someone who you think might be willing to speak at a Forum, please send an email about your idea to the HCSV Program Committee ([masked]). DIRECTIONS TO RENGSTORFF PARK AND THE CEDAR ROOM Head south (away from the Bay) on Rengstorff Ave. (in Mountain View) from 101 or Central Expressway until you cross the train tracks. Then turn left at the intersection (with a traffic light) that says "Stanford Ave.-->" and "<--Community Center". That puts you into the Community Center's parking lot. In the parking lot, veer to the right, and then turn left, and park alongside the right-hand side of the Community Center. Enter where you see the Humanist Community sign.

  • Academic Video Group - Cancelled!

    Mountain View

    THIS MEETING IS NORMALLY HELD EACH THURSDAY EVENING, BUT IS NOW MEETING 4X PER MONTH. We are formally scheduled to have meetings on the first through fourth Thursdays of each month, in Sunnyvale and Palo Alto. We're looking for new venues in or near Mountain View. Check back each week for changes in status. If we find more locations, they will be added. If you know of a possible venue with the ability to play videos, please contact Carl at '[masked]', or[masked]. The below listing will apply when we are holding a meeting. ========================================= We are currently watching “The Great Ideas of Philosophy” presented by Daniel N. Robinson. This is a 60 DVD course that covers a wide range of topics Here is the Introduction: Humanity left childhood and entered the troubled but productive world when it started to criticize its own certainties and weigh the worthiness of its most secure beliefs. Thus began that “Long Debate” on the nature of truth, the scale of real values, the life one should aspire to live, the character of justice, the sources of law, the terms of civic and political life—the good, the better, the best. The debate continues, and one remains aloof to it at a very heavy price, for “the unexamined life is not worth living.” This course of 60 lectures gives the student a sure guide and interpreter as the major themes within the Long Debate are presented and considered. The persistent themes are understood as problems: The problem of knowledge, arising from concerns as to how or whether we come to know anything, and are justified in our belief that this knowledge is valid and sound The problem of conduct, arising from the recognition that our actions, too, require some sort of justification in light of our moral and ethical sensibilities—or lack of them The problem of governance, which includes an understanding of sources of law and its binding nature. The great speculators of history have exhausted themselves on these problems and have bequeathed to us a storehouse of insights, some so utterly persuasive as to have shaped thought itself. In these coherent and beautifully articulated lectures you will hear Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics and Epicureans, the Scholastic philosophers and the leaders of Renaissance thought. In addition, you will learn about the architects of the Age of Newton and the Enlightenment that followed in its wake—all this, as well as Romanticism and Continental thought, Nietzsche and Darwin, Freud and William James. This course is a veritable banquet of enriching reflection on mental life and the acts of humanity that proceed from it: the plans and purposes, the values and beliefs, the possibilities and vulnerabilities. See more at https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/great-ideas-of-philosophy-2nd-edition.html There are 60 episodes, so we will be watching it for 30 Weeks. ================ Dr. Robinson is a long time favorite in the Video Group, and this promises to be a truly worthwhile watch and follow-up discussion For more information and to see more info on the current video please see: http://www.humanists.org/blog/academic-videos/

  • Inquiring Minds

    Needs a location

    INQUIRING MINDS is a discussion group sponsored by the Social Action Committee of the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley. Each meeting has a facilitator, who has chosen a topic. For better discussion, each of the attendees should prepare by reading the article(s) ahead of time and bringing thoughts and questions to the meeting. (See Articles, below) Just before the end of the meeting the group will discuss who will be the next leader and potential subjects. ****************************************************************************** Topic for this meeting: Corruption Facilitator: Kakoli Articles (Please read BEFORE the meeting): Please go to this link for article links https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B2rsOUuGBETsDJ1RdkpwcQpnl7pbGZfqXVZfddRLgio/edit?usp=sharing Location: Fran and Jim's home near Valley Fair Mall, San Jose Max Attendees: 20 Email Fran at [masked] to get location details ******************************************************************************

  • Free Thought Discussion Group

    Mitchell Park Library

    This meeting is held at two locations the second and fourth Wednesdays at the Midtown Room at the Mitchell Park Library at 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto CA 94303 (see map). On the alternate weeks, it meets at private homes. Please contact [masked] for directions. Please check the listings for each Wednesday to confirm what the schedule is for that Wednesday. "Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression — and the Unexpected Solutions”. By Johann Hari’s, 2019, 255 pages. For much more information and to see more about this book see: http://www.humanists.org/blog/free-thought-discussion Learn more about the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley here: Website: http://www.humanists.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanistcommsv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HumanistCommSV

  • Forum: It’s Getting Hotter and We are Causing It - Dr. Michael Mallary

    Mountain View Community Center

    This talk on Climate Change will discuss the science and politics of how we got here, where we are, and where we are going. Suggestions for how we can mitigate what is very likely to be a climatic disaster in this century and for many centuries beyond will be presented. Dr. Mallary received his PhD in High Energy Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1972. He did research in H.E.P. as a professor at Northeastern University until 1978 (20 publications) when he went into industry. Since then, he has been awarded 165 issued patents (and authored 37 publications) while working for almost all of the major disk drive manufacturers. All of your magnetic disk drives utilize some of these inventions. After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanistcommsv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HumanistCommSV/ Website: http://www.humanists.org/blog/ Videos of previous forums: https://vimeo.com/hcsv/ To help our Forum series continue, please consider making a donation or becoming a member (http://www.humanists.org/blog/membership/) of the Humanist Community. Do your online shopping at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-6173979, and Amazon donates to the Humanist Community every time you do. Note: If you would like to speak at a Forum, or know of someone who you think might be willing to speak at a Forum, please send an email about your idea to the HCSV Program Committee ([masked]). DIRECTIONS TO RENGSTORFF PARK AND THE CEDAR ROOM Head south (away from the Bay) on Rengstorff Ave. (in Mountain View) from 101 or Central Expressway until you cross the train tracks. Then turn left at the intersection (with a traffic light) that says "Stanford Ave.-->" and "<--Community Center". That puts you into the Community Center's parking lot. In the parking lot, veer to the right, and then turn left, and park alongside the right-hand side of the Community Center. Enter where you see the Humanist Community sign.

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  • Silicon Valley Eats Exhibit

    Los Altos History Museum

    From our agricultural roots to today’s cutting-edge sustainability efforts, the way we grow, eat, and share food has been shaped by innovation. Gather around the table with the Los Altos History Museum this summer as we remember the orchards and canneries of the Valley of Heart’s Delight, celebrate today’s diversity of cuisine, and learn about the new food technologies being developed in Silicon Valley.

  • Academic Video Group - Mtg this Week!

    Mountain View

    WE ARE RESTARTING AGAIN. THIS MEETING IS NORMALLY HELD EACH THURSDAY EVENING, BUT IS NOW MEETING A FEW PER MONTH. We are formally scheduled to have meetings on the first through fourth Thursdays of each month, in Sunnyvale and Palo Alto. We're looking for one new venue in or near Mountain View. Check back each week for changes in status. If we find more locations, they will be added. If you know of a possible venue with the ability to play videos, please contact Carl at '[masked]', or[masked]. The below listing will apply when we are holding a meeting. ========================================= We are currently watching “The Great Ideas of Philosophy” presented by Daniel N. Robinson. This is a 60 DVD course that covers a wide range of topics Here is the Introduction: Humanity left childhood and entered the troubled but productive world when it started to criticize its own certainties and weigh the worthiness of its most secure beliefs. Thus began that “Long Debate” on the nature of truth, the scale of real values, the life one should aspire to live, the character of justice, the sources of law, the terms of civic and political life—the good, the better, the best. The debate continues, and one remains aloof to it at a very heavy price, for “the unexamined life is not worth living.” This course of 60 lectures gives the student a sure guide and interpreter as the major themes within the Long Debate are presented and considered. The persistent themes are understood as problems: The problem of knowledge, arising from concerns as to how or whether we come to know anything, and are justified in our belief that this knowledge is valid and sound The problem of conduct, arising from the recognition that our actions, too, require some sort of justification in light of our moral and ethical sensibilities—or lack of them The problem of governance, which includes an understanding of sources of law and its binding nature. The great speculators of history have exhausted themselves on these problems and have bequeathed to us a storehouse of insights, some so utterly persuasive as to have shaped thought itself. In these coherent and beautifully articulated lectures you will hear Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics and Epicureans, the Scholastic philosophers and the leaders of Renaissance thought. In addition, you will learn about the architects of the Age of Newton and the Enlightenment that followed in its wake—all this, as well as Romanticism and Continental thought, Nietzsche and Darwin, Freud and William James. This course is a veritable banquet of enriching reflection on mental life and the acts of humanity that proceed from it: the plans and purposes, the values and beliefs, the possibilities and vulnerabilities. See more at https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/great-ideas-of-philosophy-2nd-edition.html There are 60 episodes, so we will be watching it for 30 Weeks. ================ Dr. Robinson is a long time favorite in the Video Group, and this promises to be a truly worthwhile watch and follow-up discussion For more information and to see more info on the current video please see: http://www.humanists.org/blog/academic-videos/

  • Conspiracy Theories - hosted by South Bay Philosophy & Critical Thinking

    In conjunction with the Humanist Community, South Bay Philosophy & Critical Thinking is proud to announce a new topic for the 2nd Thursday in June. This month, they'll be discussing Conspiracy Theories. Topic Questions: - What are some example of common conspiracy theories (CT)? Which ones are more ridiculous than others and how might we compare them? - What are the common elements across all CTs? How does one detect them accurately? - What are the different kinds of CTs? - What kinds of motives might exist to propagate CTs? personal? social? other? - What traits makes one more susceptible to fall for a conspiracy theory? - What causes CTs? what kinds of biases or fallacies can be observed with people who believe in conspiracies? - What is the proper response to someone exposing a CT? how can we be prepared for this? Well known conspiracy theories: - Flat Earth - Moon Landing Hoax - John F. Kennedy's Assassination - 9/11 truthers - Diego Garcia Island Conspiracy - Flight 370 landed there in Indian Ocean. - Hitler faked death, lived in Argentina until 1962 - Pearl Harbor was known in advance, FDR decided not to act - Obama Birth Certificate Reason Magazine editor Jesse Walker has identified five kinds of conspiracy theories: - The "Enemy Outside" refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without. - The "Enemy Within" finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens. - The "Enemy Above" involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain. - The "Enemy Below" features the lower classes working to overturn the social order. - The "Benevolent Conspiracies" are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people Author Michael Barkun has identified three classifications of conspiracy theory: - Event conspiracy theories. This refers to limited and well-defined events. Examples may include such conspiracies theories as those concerning the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, and the spread of AIDS. - Systemic conspiracy theories. The conspiracy is believed to have broad goals, usually conceived as securing control of a country, a region, or even the entire world. The goals are sweeping, whilst the conspiratorial machinery is generally simple: a single, evil organization implements a plan to infiltrate and subvert existing institutions. This is a common scenario in conspiracy theories that focus on the alleged machinations of Jews, Freemasons, Communism, or the Catholic Church. - Super conspiracy theories. For Barkun, such theories link multiple alleged conspiracies together hierarchically. At the summit is a distant but all-powerful evil force. His cited examples are the ideas of David Icke and Milton William Cooper. Video resources Conspiracy Theories and the Problem of Disappearing Knowledge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-eQ2bR1HFk The Appeal of Conspiracy Theories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmyPssH549c Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcL9YHJVV8M The psychology of conspiracy theories with Karen Douglas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ugOaDZxfhI Top 10 Modern Conspiracy Theories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dyr1Je6aI8 The origin of countless conspiracy theories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88_C-fogY40 Other resources Top Ten Conspiracy Theories https://www.livescience.com/11375-top-ten-conspiracy-theories.html What's really behind conspiracy theories https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-conspiracy-theories/ So get your thinking caps on, and plan to exercise your thinking skills with other critical thinkers. We look forward to seeing you on the 13th! Note: This meetup can also be found on the South Bay Philosophy & Critical Thinking meetup page at https://www.meetup.com/philosophynow-105/events/262026684/

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  • Free Thought Discussion Group

    Mitchell Park Library

    This meeting is held at two locations the second and fourth Wednesdays at the Midtown Room at the Mitchell Park Library at 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto CA 94303 (see map). On the alternate weeks, it meets at private homes. Please contact [masked] for directions. Please check the listings for each Wednesday to confirm what the schedule is for that Wednesday. The current book being discussed is: “The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe: How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake”, by Steven Novella, 2018, 445 pages. Greg A. For much more information and to see more about this book see: http://www.humanists.org/blog/free-thought-discussion Learn more about the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley here: Website: http://www.humanists.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanistcommsv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HumanistCommSV

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  • Forum - A Selected Talk from the 2019 AHA Annual Conference

    Mountain View Community Center

    A video of a selected talk from the 2019 American Humanist Association Annual Conference will be shown, and then discussed by the attendees. As soon as it's determined which talk will be shown, that information will be added to this listing. After the Forum, please join us for a lunch at 12:30pm. The lunch is complimentary for first-time visitors and students. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/humanistcommsv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HumanistCommSV/ Website: http://www.humanists.org/blog/ Videos of previous forums: https://vimeo.com/hcsv/ To help our Forum series continue, please consider making a donation or becoming a member (http://www.humanists.org/blog/membership/) of the Humanist Community. Do your online shopping at https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-6173979, and Amazon donates to the Humanist Community every time you do. Note: If you would like to speak at a Forum, or know of someone who you think might be willing to speak at a Forum, please send an email about your idea to the HCSV Program Committee ([masked]). DIRECTIONS TO RENGSTORFF PARK AND THE CEDAR ROOM Head south (away from the Bay) on Rengstorff Ave. (in Mountain View) from 101 or Central Expressway until you cross the train tracks. Then turn left at the intersection (with a traffic light) that says "Stanford Ave.-->" and "<--Community Center". That puts you into the Community Center's parking lot. In the parking lot, veer to the right, and then turn left, and park alongside the right-hand side of the Community Center. Enter where you see the Humanist Community sign.