A lot of us enjoy a bit of banter here on Forumosa, and in the pub (though I’ve never done the latter with any of you, to my knowledge). Sometimes it descends into abuse, other times into drivel and in the pub you risk boring the guy next to you at the bar who just wanted a quiet drink or to talk about what was on TV last night.
So I’ve been thinking about the possibility of something more formal - i.e. a meeting in a pub with a prearranged subject, possibly a motion and either someone who knows a little or has done some research to introduce it, or speakers on either side to lead a debate.
As I’ve said, this would avoid the risk of boring your mates or the conversation slowly moving on to other topics without feeling you’ve really got your teeth into this one. My motivation is to learn from others who know more than me, and a spot of intellectual exercise.
The individual meetings could be based on broad topics - philosophical, ethical, political, economic etc, or on writers/thinkers and their ideas. Some ideas for the former might be “what can we know?”, “what is right?”, globalisation, new age ideas/ the decline of reason, crises of capitalism, etc. The latter could be any thinker/writer we came up with.
It would probably require a minimum of organisation - a time and a place obviously, an agreed program for x number of meetings ahead, someone to take responsibility for researching and introducing individual topics and perhaps producing a reading list for it.
I have one or two venues in mind. One good thing about it would be a regular, organised, ‘worthy’ opportunity to go the pub to ‘talk shit’.
If there is enough of a response, I shall take it further.