CARROLLWOOD-Tampa Bay Thinkers Discussion Group

Monday, November 19th 2012 at 6:30 pm
Monday, November 19th 2012 at 8:00 pm
Carrollwood Cultural Center,4537 Lowell Road, Tampa, FL

Don't forget to bring a pot luck treat. And study the referenced preparatory material. 

 To The Fraidy Cat Thinkers:

Many live their lives in fear, constant fear. Evidence of this is everywhere.
Millions of us are willing to suspend disbelief and fall into frightful fantasies as we appreciate popular entertainments in film, television, books and the like.

And what about the entire industry of home security systems that exploded at a time where crime rates were crashing and continue to fall annually.

And our popular politics are rife with considerations for being afraid of this group or that group and to a great degree people love to fall into the pratfalls of this thinking.

We do love to be frightened and often live in a nearly constant state of being afraid. And this has so many practical and profound implications for our average everydayness in modern America … and elsewhere.

For our November Thinker meeting I would like to consider why we apparently love to be frightened. The centerpiece of our talk will be around a person who has written a nice book that constructs a philosophy of fear, a good summary of some of the things in this work are presented at the link below:

Deeply connected to our need for fear is our desire to have enemies. In one of my more structured writings I have noted that there is a straightforward way to figure out fairly quickly what people to hang with. It works around how a person you know would answer the following two queries. First: I can run your life better than you can or you can run your life better than I. Second: I need enemies to survive or I don’t need enemies to survive. You should choose to hang with those who think you should run your own life and don’t need enemies.

But having enemies is directly connected to our desire to be fearful in our lives. This is well known in many circles in the social sciences. Look at one of the greatest works of thought, Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer. And you don’t have to go much further than Orwell to know about switching enemies on the fly. ‘We have always been at war with Eastania!’

And part of our desire to be afraid is also a latent desire to be controlled.

Such possibilities in a discussion that could move from our love of getting the crap scared out of us in works of fiction to our abilities to fall into mass social movements out of fear and paranoia. Sounds like something fun to think about, in our fear and trembling.

Please think about coming. I promise it is less scary than it sounds.

Dale Friedley
Head the Dork