Wat we doen

I'd like to bring people together whose worldview does not contain any of the following:

- Global warming is not real. (And if it's real, it's not because of us, and/or it's not something to worry about. Science can't know. Nature decides. The sun is to blame. Etc.)
- Guns should not be as restricted as they are now in e.g. European countries. Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
- 9/11 might have been an inside job, who knows?
- Vaccines are dangerous / full of damaging chemicals / cause autism. I fear it’s not safe. It’s probably best for my kids to not have them vaccinated.
- One or more powerfull people and/or companies are hiding the cure for cancer, so big pharma can make more money.
- Homeopathy works as proclaimed. Science just doesn’t understand, it’s different from science. It’s not just placebo!
- A manufacturer of an "alternative medicine" doesn't have to prove that it works, because it's different than “science”.
- The pyramids might be made by an alien race. Who knows, right?
- I have some doubts about evolution. I don’t believe humans and great apes have a common ancestor, I don’t believe mankind evolved through evolutionary processes as specified in the latest scienfic consensus about it.
- I believe one or more of the following ideas are real phenomena: astrology, karma, chakras, telekinesis, telepathy, premonition.
- Deepak Chopra does not speak jibberish, he is the man that speaks many of mankinds greatest truths.
- The moonlanding was fake / a secret elite rules the world / the earth is flat
- If I walk underneath a ladder I get bad luck
- The religion I believe in (out of the thousands upon thousands we've cooked up over the millenia) is the one true religion. It's not filled with contradictions that I rationalize away.
- If I just pray hard enough, I can make things come through / The Law of Attraction will provide, if I want it hard enough / The universe gives me what I need.
- Homosexuality is not natural, it's a disease that should be adressed. We should try to prevent our kids from choosing that lifestyle.
- "The government" should be abolished, "anarchy" gives us the ultimate freedom and makes the best life possible
- Donald Trump is not doing a bad job. He was the lesser of two evils. He's a businessman and knows what he is doing. At least he's a man of action! Right?
- Brexit is a good thing. More countries should leave the EU. The EU is the way backwards!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In summary, this meetup is for people who are not just “realists” (a.k.a. skeptics), but also have a progressive outlook on the world. From this starting point, we can have meaningfull talks about anything, without having to waste time on the above things. And without having to find out the other person believes the moonlanding was fake – after having talked about space exploration for twenty minutes. Or finding out the other person believes 9/11 was an inside job - after having talked about international politics for twenty minutes. Etc.

Anyway, if that get's you excited, come and have a chat!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHAT DOES A MEETUP LOOK LIKE?

In the event calender, you’ll find a number of meetus planned around subjects or books. I usually start off with a short intro about the subject/book at hand, which naturally leads to people picking in, and the conversation picks up, often goign well beyond the planned topic of the night.

WHATS THE PURPOSE?

To get to know other people "with a realistic world view". To engage your mind into a respectfull exploration of all kinds of topics. To test your social and debating skills. To learn a thing or two about that subject and perspectives other than your own.

WHO COMES TO THESE MEETUPS?

Usually expats living in Belgium, or people visiting Belgium for a short or longer period of time. Some Belgians attend, but they are usually a minority in meetups in Belgium.

WHAT IF YOU DO BELIEVE IN SOME OF THE THINGS IN THE LIST ABOVE (OR DON'T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE)
Inevitably some of these subjects will come up while discussing other topics. Nuanced talking about them is welcome, but please keep it factual, bring proper arguments to the table, and listen to other peoples arguments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I know for some people it's politically incorrect to state facts as facts (and not as beliefs/opinions/ideology). Somebody told me the title of this meetup is misleading. So I will unapologetically clarify it even more: the more things of that list you believe in, the less realistic your view on our world is - you are missing some cornerstone facts. Accuse me of arrogance all you want, I'm sick of being apologetic about reality. But while you do that, also ask yourself: is it arrogance to say the emperor has no clothes, when he indeed HAS - NO - CLOTHES?!

Q&A (based on some initial feedback)

“You put these points as presenting statements rather than open questions”

Indeed, that is entirely the point. If you think the things in the above list are opinions or open questions, then – respectfully – this meetup is not for you. There’s no shortage of people that - no matter how old they get or how much information is available - keep talking & thinking about the things in that list, and cannot draw conclusions. That is fine, it is what it is. But I'm not looking for those people and those discussions in this particular meetup.

“This is so dogmatic”

That’s one way of putting it. Reality does indeed have a way of being quite unescapable.

"So I believe your focus is to discuss the nuances of these issues rather than having to argue about the basics"

Nein. The goal is precicely to NOT discuss these issues. E.g. plenty of people still want to debate homeopathy after thousands upon thousands of studies that did not find any evidence for it. If you can’t make up your mind after the facts are clear, and want to get lost in nuances, then... All the other statements in the list are – for me – in the same category. I’m quite done with them, there is no point for me in debating them further. Or at least, the effort necessary to honestly engage in these talks – all too often very one-directional and emotional – does not bring enough added value (for me). If I wanted to create a meetup about these issues, I would have done so. If you think I should change the purpose of the meetup, then I – respectfully – think you should think again, take action, and organize a meetup according to your own wishes.

"When this 'Brexit is a good thing. More countries should leave the EU.' then it feels dogmatic. Can't join in such discussions."

Like the Trump bullet point, the Brexit phenomena is too broad to be an actual "fact” fact. But that does not mean it's out of mans ability to reach valid conclusions about complex issues. Of course, it’s also not out of mans ability to keep rationalizing the most idiotic, dishonest, populist and destructive backwardness as is portrayed by the leading forces of Brexit & Trump. If you cannot draw the correct conclusions in these cases, if you keep being an apologetic, then a possible explanation is that maybe “The Spindoctor” has you trapped in His labyrinth, leading you through corridors constructed out of cherrypicked and mangled pieces of reality. A reality which is by it’s nature complex enough to provide The Spindoctor with neverending opportunities to spin, to expand the maze around you, to keep you walking about, never reaching an exit, never reaching… a proper conclusion, and thus rending you harmless as a possible adversary. The “weaker” your world view is, the more easy pickings you are, and even though it’s clear as day, The Spindoctor has you walking with your eyes glued to His walls. The result: egotistical, insensitive, narrow-minded, powerhungry, corrupt, cunning, crude, damaged human beings that are completely incompetent for the actual purpose of the job, get in positions of power and stay there long enoough to do some serious damage. They make all of our circumstances worse, inscrease suffering, and waste valuable years and resources that should have been used to move us forward to a better world for all.

"Other comments"

If you want to debate topics from my "filter-list" above, this is not the place. I can only advise you to maybe find your topic of interest on https://rationalwiki.org , take a listen to this podcast https://youarenotsosmart.com/2014/01/16/yan... (https://youarenotsosmart.com/2014/01/16/yanss-podcast-016-steven-novella-and-jesse-walker-discuss-the-history-and-psychology-of-conspiracy-theories/), read this excellent quick headshot of realism https://tinyurl.com/y2v9aocy,...

Geplande evenementen (4)

[BOOK DISCUSSION] China's New Normal (Pascal Coppens)

People that voted for anti-European parties, have no idea what is going on in the world, and how China will walk all over us if we do not get our shit together better and faster. This very recent book will open some eyes at least. WHAT HAPPENS ON MEETUP: - Someone reads one of their chosen passages, and we talk about it over drinks in a nice pub. Even if you don't come to the meetup, this is a book you wont regret reading if you want to enrich/solidify your view of the world (and make corrections were needed). ------------------------------ PLEASE read the group description to know what this group is (not) about: https://www.meetup.com/nl-NL/discussion-based-on-realistic-worldview/ For optimal group talk, places are limited to 8 spots. Because of that: - PLEASE set yourself to ATTEND if you plan to attend (if no-one sets themselves to attend, I will cancel it last minute. If at least one person sets themselves to attend, I’ll be there and we’ll make it a night to remember, whololooo). - PLEASE do attend if you have set yourself to attend. - If something comes up and you can’t make it, please set yourself to NOT attend. If last minute, I appreciate an sms[masked] I have planned a bunch of subjects that interest me, each about two weeks apart. Choose the subjects that interest you. I’ll start each subject with a little intro, which will serve as the conversation starter. Purposes are to get to know random people, while sharing stories around interesting subjects, and learning a thing or two about that subject and perspectives other than your own.

Global Warming - Overview, frustrations, actions

The Duke of Antwerp

Let's rant a little bit. Share your frustrations, fears, feeling of helplessness. But also your drive to have an impact somehow. I'll share a few ways companies and countries are making a difference, and how they can have a huge impact. But mainly: let's talk about the most efficient ways to tackle climate change, and creative ways an individual can make a difference. This will basicly be based upon the latest IPCC report, and upon the book/website "Drawdown.org: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming". This project quantifies all solutions, and ranks them from most efficient (Co2 reduction per € spent) to least efficient. Preparation for the meetup: just come. Or if you wanna spent some moments researching: google some "climate" keywords, and bring some interesting facts or ways companies/countries/individuals are tackling their carbon footprint. Or brainstorm on creative ways an individual can have an impact. Some example of how some companies are having an impact: 1) Pornhub plants a tree for every 100 views in the category BIG DICK. Go watch :p 2) Alaskan Airways launched #FillBeforeYouFly, a campaign designed to reduce single-use plastic bottles by asking passengers to bring their own reusable water bottles and fill them prior to the flight. This saves over 700,000 plastic water bottles and 4 million plastic cups per year. 3) Cambridge University dramatically reduces food-related carbon emissions by removing beef and lamb from menu. Instead they promoted promoting plant-based food options. Result: increase in profit by 2% despite increases in food costs. --------------------- NOTE: please read the group description. In this particular meetup, we will spend NO time debating the reality of: - man-made climate change - the impact of greenhouse gasses - the danger of tipping points and feedback loops - the speed at which this is occuring and how little time we have left to act boldly ---------------------------- PLEASE use the RSVP correctly, it really helps me out. Don't set yourself to attend if you are not planning to actually show up. Also, if u are very prone to last minute cancelations, set yourself NOT to attend please, just decide last minute to go or not.

BOOK DISCUSSION - Shoe dog - A very highly rated memoir by the creator of NIKE

Very highly rated on Goodreads (4.5), warmly recommended by several people to me, as one of their favorite books. "In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands." Some excerpts from reviews: "the best memoir I’ve ever read by a business person." "Shoe Dog could have been titled, "Buck Naked", because of the way Phil "Buck" Knight bares his soul in this fine memoir." "This book is well worth every hard-won word, shared and earned over 50+ years of grueling competition. More than once the story looked like impending failure. Most would have given up. Perhaps Phil's greatest advice, and example, are the words he shared on his book tour in Portland where he told us all, "The only time you must not fail is the last time you try."" ----------------------- PLEASE use the RSVP correctly, it really helps me out. Don't set yourself to attend if you are not planning to actually show up. Also, if u are very prone to last minute cancelations, set yourself NOT to attend please, just decide last minute to go or not.

Interesting psychology + sociology studies

The Duke of Antwerp

Let's get together and talk about of the most interesting studies in the fields of psychology and sociology. There are a few studies I encountered in my life that I never forgot. I will also discuss more recent interpretations on the book "Lord of the Flies", and the Milgram Prison experiment. WHAT TO BRING: Bring 3 interesting studies (summary in your mind or digital or on paper) you want to share and discuss. If you don't have any lying around, just take some time to Google and read a bit. That way, we should get a good amount of delicious brainfood! ---------------------------- PLEASE use the RSVP correctly, it really helps me out. Don't set yourself to attend if you are not planning to actually show up. Also, if u are very prone to last minute cancelations, set yourself NOT to attend please, just decide last minute to go or not. PLEASE read the group description to know what this group is (not) about: https://www.meetup.com/nl-NL/discussion-based-on-realistic-worldview/ I have planned a bunch of subjects that interest me, each more or less a month apart. I’ll start each subject with a little intro, which will serve as the conversation starter. Purposes are to get to know random people, while sharing stories around interesting subjects, and learning a thing or two about that subject and perspectives other than your own.

Vorige evenementen (10)

[BOOK DISCUSSION] Home Deus (Harari)

The Duke of Antwerp