Seattle’s Socrates Cafe 05/07/2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Socrates Cafe

Tonight at Belltown’s Uptown Espresso, the practice of discussing practical philosophy met with the minds of young professionals from the business community. Today I was the liaison between BEAN and Seattle’s Socrates Cafe. BEAN is a social networking group for young professionals living in the Seattle area. Socrates Cafe is a discussion group that meets for discussions that employ the Socratic Method.

Howard raised a question about competing values of living in a local community, but working in a global community. I reframed this as, “Is it possible to be a yuppy and a hippy?” This is the question that was voted in. The discussion went back and forth between both questions. The dialogue circled around several recurring topics. We discussed globalization and small communities. We analyzed the values that differ between two sets of lifestyles. The heart of the discussion seemed to be centered around a conflicting set of values: those of communalism, nationalism, and globalism. Phrased another way, tribal society vs modern society.

My contributions to the discussion drew from a recent Point of Inquiry podcast with Michael Shermer, author of the Mind of the Market. In his book, he discusses the evolutionary history of the human species and how that is at odds with our current economic system. As I later concluded with Howard, the neurosis of today’s world seem to revolve around the conflict between a complicated, globalized, technologically advancing society and the way that nature has configured humans.

The conversations from today’s event have brought together many different areas of my personal studies. I have more questions about living in modern society as a result.