This page contains a sampling of some of the events we have held in the past. For the most current list of events and to RVSP to any of them, see our meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/KW-Hungry-Minds/
Sunday Lunch & Debate: We Are Not the 1%
Debate/Science Workshop: What's a GMO?
This week's debate statement: The government should be doing more to ban or draw attention to the GMO products in our food sources, at least until there has been more research into their effects on human and environmental health.
The GMO "debate" has been waged across the internet for years now and most of us generally know which side we are supposed to be on. If you label yourself a skeptic then your response to the crazies and the conspiracy theorists has been canonized for you. On the other side, there is the group of people who automatically side with anything sounding like it's promoting pure living and anti corporatism. However, these are both great examples of what Will Storr pointed out in his book The Unpersuadables -people who base their decisions on belief and group membership rather than on true knowledge of the facts.
For this one we are going to work together to learn the facts and debate what they mean. We are also going to use it as an opportunity to have a discussion on the nature of this particular debate within popular culture and whether science literacy can have any impact on either side.
Bookclub: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
December Social Fun: The Apocalypse is Now!
What Makes Us Us: We Aren't
This is a part of a five-part series looking at theories of human behaviour. This month we look at the idea that we don't actually exist at all. Perhaps we are just a brain in a vat, or a sophisticated computer program. What evidence do we have for our existence? How much evidence is there for another sort of existence?
What Makes Us Us: Our Inner Caveman
This is a part of a five-part series looking at theories of human behaviour. This month we look at the idea of evolutionary psychology. Can we really trace all of our behaviour back to who we were in the caveman era? Has fighting against this been the downfall of the modern era?
What Makes Us Us: The Great Greater Power
This is a part of a five-part series looking at theories of human behaviour. This month we look at ideas of spirituality and greater power. Is it possible that there is a something outside of us that controls our existence? Be it an all powerful or simply a balancing force that pulls us along. There are tons of theories out there, is it so crazy that they might be onto something?
What Makes Us Us: Our Calvin Kleins
This is a part of a five-part series looking at theories of human behaviour. This month we look at the idea of genetic determinism. What are genes? What do they say about who we are? Does the mapping of the human genome say something about what we can and can't be?
What Makes Us Us: The Social Creature Within
This is a part of a five-part series looking at theories of human behaviour. This month we look at the idea that we are prone and primed to the draw of social influence. In essence, that we are no so far away from ants. This includes the idea that those in power are out to manipulate this 'herd' tendency in us -to control our thoughts and actions in a very well tuned manner. But does this really matter? Even if we can decipher the control of the man behind the curtain, does that make us outside of his reach?
CIGI Lecture: Dealing with Losers
Sunday Social & Debate: Reconciliation Is..
We have victims of crime, people whose lives are derailed by the abuses of others. We have entire communities whose history is blackened by systemic injustices. What should our society be doing to try to redress the pain and suffering of others? Should we be doing anything at all? Why would we do something and what difference does it make? Does it just create new victims of the people who have to sacrifice in order to make amends?
With an understanding of the personal and the commonality of humanity, we will be focusing on communities that have been struggling with reconciliation, including our own Native people, the South Africans, the Maori of New Zealand, the Mau Mau of Kenya, African Americans, and the Mayan of Guatemala. Within this we will look at what it means to be a victim and what it means to be a perpetrator of crime, what this means for the individual as well as for community and cultural groups.
Movies for the Mind: Suite Française
Movie about France under occupation -with a discussion about the realities of resistance and collaboration in wartime to follow on the patio of Barley Works.
Here's the movie description:
Based on the best-selling book by Irene Nemirovsky and set during the German occupation of France in the 1940's, Suite Française tells the story of Lucille Angellier as she awaits news from her husband, a prisoner of war. As Parisian refugees pour into their small town, soon followed by a regiment of German soldiers who take up residence in the villagers' homes, Lucile's life is turned upside down - further complicated by the arrival of refined German officer, Bruno. A story of the power of love and the tragedy of war.
Sunday Social & Debate: Art Is...
Bookclub -Two Books on Gender
Sunday Social & Debate: Self Is...
Social/Debate: Wees Awl So Smrt Now
Sunday Social & Debate: Love Is...
Social/Debate: Picking a Winner
Bookclub -The Righteous Mind
Subtitled "Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion," Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind puts forward the argument that human political and moral leanings on both the left and the right have way less to do with rational thought than most people are willing to acknowledge and they are not so different from each other.
Sunday Lunch & Debate: Violence Is...
This location is fully accessible. We will be in the small meeting room behind the bar, near the couches.
Debate/Social: Got Consent?
This week's debate statement: The "Consent is Sexy" campaign simply an unrealistic view of human sexuality and a ridiculous way to address the problem of rape.
In the last six or so months, the issue of consent has made headlines both in the U.S. and in Canada. Questions have been raised about what constitutes consent, why a person may not explicitly say no but still be unwilling to engage in sex, why assaults go unreported, and how much a government can dictate what an adult can consent to. This debate will focus on these issues, try to understand the problem that the campaign is attempting to address, and discuss how effective it is as a solution.
Debate/Social: Happiness Is...
This week's debate statement:
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” (W. Shakespeare, Hamlet)
To celebrate the return of spring we are going to talk about the secret to happiness. What makes us happy? Should we strive for more hedonism or more stoicism in our lives? Should we all mimic the monks? What is or what should be the role of happiness in our lives? Why are people nowadays seemingly so unhappy? Can a turtle feel angst?
Debate/Social: Playing with our Inner Trolls
This week's debate statement: Computers and the Internet are fundamentally changing, for the worse, what it means to be human.
This is a basic issue of our time and it would be good to look at the effects of computers and the internet at an international and cultural level. I am also very interested, in connection with Hungry Minds launching a stronger online presence, in looking at the personal -what it means for our relationships and our community as well as whether there is a divide between who we are interacting in person and who we are online.
Bookclub -The Once and Future World