In case the Blizzard of 2009 kept you from our 2nd club meeting, here’s a recap. Mostly, we discussed what the club should do. As a club devoted to having fun and promoting intellectual honesty, we broke down potential club goals into three categories: meetings, activism, and fun. Thanks to Abi, Amber, Ashley, Bora, John, Kyle, Ray, Rebecca, and Wes for showing up and offering the following great suggestions!
One popular idea for our semi-regular club meetings was holding discussion nights. Each night could focus on one specific topic that we want to know more about. Suggested topics included: physics; anime; movies; music; books; video games; politics; and the economy. We also talked about a Misconception Night: some of us who are semi-experts on a topic could lead a discussion and set the record straight on common misconceptions about that topic. Suggest more discussion topics here!
Another good suggestion was to invite smart people to lead discussions or give talks. Ashley knew a historian at a museum, Bora knew a former general, and Amber knew a U.S. states expert–all cool-sounding smart people we could invite. I’m going to try to contact several nearby professors who focus on stuff related to intellectual honesty, ignorance, close-mindedness, etc. Suggest other smart people here!
We then discussed ways to promote intellectual honesty outside the group. In general, we want to let others know about the value of reasoning and being intellectually honest, and call out powerful people on their blatant intellectual dishonesty.
Some suggestions included: writing letters to politicians or lawyers; writing letters to the editor of newspapers; writing op-eds; start petitions; creating publications, like a magazine or newsletter, either online or printed; and creating videos or podcasts calling politicians on their intellectual dishonesty. These ideas were a little more iffy. I’d like to know which suggestions you like AND which you don’t like. Tell us what you think here!
We can get away with a lot of fun activities in the name of raising awareness for our club goals. We had a bunch of suggestions for fun!
Suggested fun “Ignorance Awareness” stuff included: board game night (Trivial Pursuit?); movie night; TED talk night; book release or movie release parties; house party; formal night (The Ignorance Prom!); beach party; potluck dinner; open mic night; Def Jam poetry; drum circle; bowling; skating; trip to an amusement park; trip to the zoo; trip to the Palmyra Cove Nature Park; field trip to a themed cafe (like the Jekyll & Hyde Club in New York City); and Weird NJ outings (where we can be our own MonsterQuest or Mythbusters). Suggest more fun activities here!
Our next meeting will be in a few weeks (I’ll let us all know the specific time & location soon). We’ll try to start planning some of this, and maybe get some organizational/logistic stuff accomplished, too.