Today I submitted a “press release” of sorts to the Springfield (Missouri) News-Leader regarding our bi-weekly Socrates Cafe discussion group. It remains to be seen what they will actually do with it, but here it is anyway:
Springfield residents Ryan & Christina Wiksell began in September 2005 to gather those interested in discussing a wide range of topics over refreshments. They call it the “Socrates Cafe” and it meets twice a month on Saturday evenings at the Radish Infoshop at 417 N. Boonville. The reference to the Greek philosopher Socrates is due to the nature of the discussions; the moderator (usually Ryan) brings a list of questions, along with the occasional video, artwork, or book excerpt, to ask of the participants in order to plumb the depths of comprehension. Although arguments are against the rules, vigorous debate and disagreement are par for the course. In the end, the goal is to gain a richer understanding of ourselves through relevant, provocative, and respectful discourse. Upcoming topics for the summer include, “Are the terrorists winning?”, “Will the real Jesus please stand up?” and “Is China the next superpower?” Everyone is welcome, and no expertise or advanced knowledge of topics is expected. Refreshments typically include cold sodas and bottled water, fruits and/or veggies, snack foods and a few desserts. If you are interested in participating, please e-mail Ryan at email@example.com or call the Radish at 866-7903.
And now, exclusively for the blog reader… a list of the dates and topics of all upcoming Socrates Cafe sessions for the summer of 2006:
June 10 – Is there a crisis of character in American leadership?
June 24 – Are the terrorists winning?
July 8 – Who are the true Muslims?
July 22 – Will the real Jesus please stand up?
August 5 – Is China the next superpower?
August 19 – Is the mainstream media feeding us propaganda?
And just so you know, we really prize the opportunities this activity has afforded us to gain a wide variety of perspectives on real issues, so I would discourage you from coming, and bringing a bunch of friends who think just like you. In fact, I would discourage you from bringing a bunch of anybody without at least buying us some extra snacks. ~
Hope to you see you there.