July 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
Next Thursday, July 26, is our fourth etcetera meeting (7:00 at the Good Work Collective). So far we have covered the search for truth (“Was the Reason Rally Right? Knowledge, Reason, Faith and the Search for Truth”), the Occupy movement (“If Occupy is the Answer, What Was the Question?”) and the American Dream (“The Status of the American Dream in the 21st Century”). As always, thanks to Porterhouse Productions for the building and Aroma’s for the coffee (click on the links to the right to learn more and support them!) And thanks to all of you who have made our first three months truly enlightening ones.
This month’s topic segues nicely from the discussion of America last month. Chris Kuchuris will be giving a short presentation, then hosting a symposium-style forum as we look at “Orwell, Huxley and the Hunger Games: The Allure of Power and Pleasure.”
Chris Kuchuris earned his Bachelors Degree in Philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. He also attended graduate school there and at the University of Nevada, where he obtained a Masters Degree in Ethics and Policy Studies. He has been working in philosophy for the past 21 years teaching classes in Ethics, Critical Thinking, and Existentialism (at the College of Southern Nevada for a number of years and currently at NMC). Mr. Kuchuris has been involved in the struggle for human rights and civil rights since the 1960′s. He is editor of a series of translations and commentaries on the works of Aristotle and he has published a book titled Puncturing Our Illusions: Developing Our Critial Thinking Attitude. Chris has also contributed to An Anthology of Philosophical Studies Volume 6 (“Aristotle’s Greatest Contribution to Science,” which he co-authored with Mella McCormick, one of our previous speakers).
My last post featured links to a number of articles about dystopian literature. This time, I offer a number of memorable quotes from literature both old and new.
“Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way. But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.” ― Veronica Roth, Divergent
“He, I know – for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made – thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilisation only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end.” ― H.G. Wells, The Time Machine
“I never thought it would get this bad. I never thought the Reestablishment would take things so far. They’re incinerating culture, the beauty of diversity. The new citizens of our world will be reduced to nothing but numbers, easily interchangeable, easily removable, easily destroyed for disobedience. We have lost our humanity.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
“Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us . . . But what if there are no cries of anguish to be heard? Who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements? To whom do we complain, and when, and in what tone of voice, when serious discourse dissolves into giggles? What is the antidote to a culture’s being drained by laughter?” ― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
“…I’ve spent the last fifteen years of my life railing against the game of soccer, an exercise that has been lauded as “the sport of the future” since 1977. Thankfully, that future dystopia has never come.” ― Chuck Klosterman, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
“The more the media peddled fear, the more the people lost the ability to believe in one another. For every new ill that befell them, the media created an explanation, and the explanation always had a face and a name. The people came to fear even their closest neighbors. At the level of the individual, the community, and the nation, people sought signs of others’ ill intentions; and everywhere they looked, they found them, for this is what looking does.” ― Bernard Beckett, Genesis
“But Humanity, in its desire for comfort, had over-reached itself. It had exploited the riches of nature too far. Quietly and complacently, it was sinking into decadence, and progress had come to mean the progress of the Machine.” ― E.M. Forster
“Their misery came with all your other miseries, from that incapacity for cooperation which followed from the individualism on which your social system was founded, from your inability to perceive that you could make ten times more profit out of your fellow men by uniting with them than by contending with them.”
– Edward Bellamy, in Looking Backward