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UTOPIA and DYSTOPIA Topic by Kat
Utopias and dystopias, lived and imagined. The word utopia comes from the Greek words ou, meaning "no" or "not," and topos, meaning "place." Since its original conception, utopia has come to mean a place that we can only dream about, a true paradise. Dystopia, which is the direct opposite of utopia, is a term used to describe a utopian society in which things have gone wrong. Utopias have existed for thousands of years: think about the biblical Garden of Eden in Genesis, Plato's Republic, a perfect state ruled by philosopher-kings, and Walden 2, a behaviour-engineered perfect society in the 1940s America. People have attempted to create real-life utopias in many countries, including New Zealand. Although the founders of these utopian communities had good intentions, most of the communities haven't flourished as their creators had hoped. Socialism in the Soviet Union was presented to the population as a bright utopian future and children born between[masked] have grown up on stories with characters living in such fantastical socialist utopian worlds. Utopia has long been banished from political theory (possibly due to catastrophic consequences of the Soviet Union, Mao's China, Hitler's Germany etc.) It has been framed as an impossible—and possibly dangerous—political ideal, a flawed social blueprint, or a thought experiment without any practical import. Even the "realistic utopias" of liberal theory strike many as wishful thinking. Dystopias, on the other hand, are a way in which authors share their concerns about society and humanity. They also serve to warn members of a society to pay attention to the society in which they live and to be aware of how things can go from bad to worse without anyone realizing what has happened. Dystopian novels often purport to be—or are assumed to be—set in the future, to suspend disbelief in their fantastical elements. But the reason books like 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale get called “prescient” is not because their authors were practicing predictive futurism, but because they reported accurately on the character of the contemporary world they saw. The same lens used to explore what happens to the dynamics of a family when something bad happens can widen its aperture to explore what happens when some fundamental aspect of the collective family of society is altered—a change in politics, environment, technology—or some latent tendency in our natures is allowed to express. Examples of classical fictional dystopias include Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and George Orwell's Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Many dystopian novels have been made into movies and TV series while some dystopias were written for the screen: The Handmaid's Tale, The Hunger Games, The Divergent, I Robot, Surrogates, The Black Mirror, Minority Report, The Running Man, Terminator, The Matrix, and many more. Are such works of fiction and fantasy useful for more than pure entertainment? What might all the failed attempts to create a utopia have in common with each other? Can dystopian thinking, in the words of Jordan Peterson, 'allow our imaginary selves to die in order for our real selves to survive and thrive'? Do we use Utopian and Dystopian fantasies in our everyday lives and what are the implications of that? What do we learn from imagining the world in such a way and why is dystopia such a popular genre nowadays? And here's a video of a utopian future proposed in the recent decade: interesting watch. https://youtu.be/Yb5ivvcTvRQ­ Please buy some food and/or drink as we get the room upstairs to ourselves. Please change your RSVP in time for others to come if you change your mind about attending.

Little Turkish Cafe

217 Karangahape Road, · Auckland

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    What we're about

    This group is for people who want to talk about the big issues that affect our lives. It is for people who want to take steps, no matter how small, to do something about the issues that concern us.

    How can we live ethically in a society that promotes 'Rich Lists', yet forgets about the poor people in our neighbourhoods ? How can we live sustainable in a world where consumerism is closer to peoples hearts than compassion ?

    Bring to the group what moves you, be it with enthusiasm or anger, sadness, wonder or joy ! There's too much smalltalk around, let's be the change we want to happen.

    Ground rules and information:
    - Please refrain from using your mobile phone during the time of the meeting.
    - Please be on time.
    - We respect each other and listen to each other, trying not to have more than one conversation around the table at once.
    - Some of the topics might trigger things for people. Please be mindful of this.
    - This group is open i.e. it is not focused on one particular belief system, perspective, view, etc.
    - This group is not a forum for people to push personal agendas, such as trying to recruit members into a religious group, trying to market products, etc.
    - If you say yes to attending, please turn up. One "did not arrive" is OK. If it happens more than once, you will be removed from this group.
    - If you need to cancel your spot, please do it in plenty of time so that someone else can take your place. A day before the meeting if possible ! Not everyone lives close enough to get to the meeting at short notice.
    - Each meeting is complete in itself i.e. this is not a series.
    - If you would like to suggest a topic for a future meet up, please do so. Suggestions are very welcome.

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