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The Culture Dance
Hey beautiful people,
We will be having a “focus group” this Sunday called “Building The Stoa: Website Edition,” which will be lead by Raine Revere. Please RSVP if you’d like to help out. 🙂
Building The Stoa: Website Edition w/ Peter Limberg and Raine Revere. September 27th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP by clicking the link below:
Conscious of Selfish Genes and Meme Machines w/ Susan Blackmore. September 24th @ 12:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
Naturalising Sense-making w/ Dave Snowden. September 3rd, 10th, 24th, and October 1st. 2:00 PM ET. RSVP here.
God Bless the Broken Bones w/ William Ferraiolo. September 24th @ 7:30 PM ET. RSVP here.
September 23, 2020
One thing that has been consistent here, after a guest has visited, is them saying they had a great time. This happens with guests from all sides of the political spectrum.
For example, Jon Davis from War Elephant, and Derrick Jensen from Deep Green Resistance, who have very different views on patriarchy, amongst many other things, told me they had a fantastic time and would love to come back.
The plan is working. As mentioned in an earlier entry:
While these wisdom gyms are forming, the other front of the liminal war that The Stoa is involved in is memetic mediation, which I am viewing as getting all of the memes into the right relationship with each other. The approach here is to invite chieftains of memetic tribes, which are key nodes in the noosphere, to come think at The Stoa, and eventually get them and their followers to dialogue with each other.
From the same entry:
I sense this talent stack would help invite these representatives to come in, and allow them to feel the warmth of The Stoa's digital campfire, so they can become inspired to put themselves at the knife's edge of their thinking. It is at the knife's edge of one's thinking where the truth bleeds out, and where unknowingness emerges.
Yes. People are feeling the warmth. As Bret Weinstein said at the end of his recent session at The Stoa: This has been a great conversation. I do feel like I've stepped into a parallel universe of fellow travelers and that is a very reassuring thing to discover.
Two recent sessions that really made me sense this plan coming to fruition were the sessions with Peter Sjöstedt-H and John Zerzan, both of whom have very distinct worldviews, Neo-Nihilism for the former, and anarcho-primitivism for the latter. Great questions were asked, and the people in attendance did not hold back from asking challenging questions, ones that could potentially undermine the guests' whole worldviews, and they did so in a loving way.
This is what makes The Stoa special. It is not only me asking questions. Amazing questions are being asked by amazing people who come to The Stoa: Anjan, Nicolas, Hannah, Raine, Raven, Tyson, Margaret, Maybe, Khalil, Arran and many more. All these people happen to be hot as well, which is doubly great.
I am gently whispering now and again, but for the most part this is emerging on its own. Now imagine that this capacity to ask penetratively loving questions, which are disarming, and can create an exciting aporia to those on the receiving end of the question, is a skill that can be learned. I would like to see an ecology of practices develop here that would support this.
I sense a course on critical reasoning might be good, to understand the basics of reasoning, e.g. deductive reasoning compared to inductive reasoning, the crucial logical fallacies, etc. And maybe a course on cognitive biases, à la the Center for Applied Rationality. It would then be good to develop regular practice sessions based on these. Maybe group exercises around reading current articles and spotting the arguments, fallacies, and biases. And we can develop a fun way to practice answering argument questions together, by repurposing the “logical reasoning” questions from the LSAT.
This would need to be coupled with various conversational practices. We are going to have training in Empathy Circles here at The Stoa in October, which is a great method to gamify and practice Carl Roger’s active listening approach. Luke Archer’s Verbal Aikido might be a smart addition, as it is a great technique to disarm egoic verbal attacks, while allowing the attacker to save face. As well, Street Epistemology is a wonderful method to get at the person’s epistemological foundation.
All of the “intersubjective practices” we’ve been practicing at The Stoa, such as Collective Presencing, Circling and Surrendered Leadership—which John Thompson from Circling Europe wonderfully displayed yesterday—could also be repurposed. These practices help us immediately call attention to what triggers us, so we can process them in each other's support, and tease out what the metamodernists call our philosophical allergies. This is a much better approach to deal with our emotional triggers rather than creating safe spaces full of “trigger warnings” that police where the truth wants to go.
Lastly, I imagine some loving-kindness practices could be added here, that can be practiced in a group. I sense Vince Horn’s Social Meditation techniques, which he demonstrated when he came to The Stoa, could be quite good for this.
Now I might be crazy, or maybe just a Stoic cowboy, but I do not think we need huge investments to do this. I sense we can bootstrap all of this through the collective intelligence that is emerging here, and develop some kind of decentralized system, and have Sangha whisperers summoning Temporary Autonomous Stoas all over the world. Okay. Maybe I am a little crazy, but most of you already knew that.
Most of the intellectuals who visit us for the Q&A sessions are autodidacts, who have really high IQs, and have developed coherent and distinct worldviews. They may even have memetic tribes forming around their ideas. Asking penetrative loving questions to these individuals could itself be a form of practice for the digital meta-sangha that is emerging out of The Stoa.
It could also serve to ameliorate culture war tensions, by putting the more contentious culture war figures in a state of political aporia. A new front of the culture war may be emerging. The memetic tribes—the disembodied followers of galaxy brain chieftains—will be seduced by embodied tribes, who are armed with penetratively loving questions.
The war metaphor may have to be shed now, as I sense it would be more adept to call this a culture dance instead of a culture war.
The Stoa has hosted over 300+ free events since the pandemic started, and it will continue to do so, but it could use your support to continue to do so with quality and integrity. Support The Stoa @ https://www.patreon.com/the_stoa