Friday, September 24, 2004

The future is here..

I sent the following announcement to a group of people I know. We're planning to meet sometime in October for the first time. The whole idea is to start with something and gain or learn from all the other participants. A friend of mine who's decided to join in noted that he missed the late night discussions in the dormitory hall-way. While I don't think these discussions will run through the course of the evening, I think this will be a good diversion for me. Maybe we're just a bunch of 30 somethings (former college geeks, now geeks who work in high tech) so embroilled in the duldrums of corporate life that we long for a reprieve... something that will remind us that "No, there doesn't have to be a damn point to everything (ie. not everything has to have a practical application)." Hence, an attempt to revisit philosophical discussions we may have encounted in the past or at least bring up the questions you are discouraged to ask in our daily lives. I wish I could do this first invitation more justice. If you all have any suggestions for future discussion topics let me know.

Chimera

Definition:

1. [n] a grotesque product of the imagination
2. [n] (Greek mythology) fire-breathing she-monster with a lion's head and a goat's body and a serpent's tail; daughter of Typhon

'Monsters cannot be announced. One cannot say "Here are our monsters", without immediately turning the monsters into pets.' – J. Derrida.

Monsters are creatures of our imagination, and so Derrida alluded that the future is a monster that we should welcome not fear. Throughout human history, oral and recorded, monsters have embodied everything we fear from our failings or sins to plagues and storms. It’s often common for humans to assign mythical creatures to personify the things they cannot understand…

What are some of the monsters that plague the world today? What sort of fears of the general public are embodied in the mythical creatures in the contemporary world? Do they differ from the ancient beasts?

Disicipline/Thought in Focus: Deconstructionism

Readings for This Discussion:

Derrida and Monsters:
http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/monster.html

Deconstructionist Thought:
http://www.fact-index.com/d/de/deconstruction.html#The%20meaning%20of

Articles of interest (that you may want to read in addition).
WiredMonsters:
http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,13208,00.html

MonstersinArt:
http://www.decordova.org/decordova/exhibit/terrors/essays.htm


Ground Rules:
1.) Anything is game as long as it somehow pertains to the main thread of thought at the core of the discussion… the discussion can go anywhere.
2.) If you can tie the principles of philosophy or the topic discussed to contemporary subjects, things, and people this is a plus…
3.) No one individual can dominate the conversation
4.) We meet somewhere where we can enjoy both good food and drink as well as discussion


These rules are subject to change, by suggestion and agreement of the discussion participants.


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