Future Topics

This page is a placeholder for topics for future topics that have been suggested. The idea is that a topic would be broad enough to allow for fruitful discussion for many weeks, but perhaps not so broad that we would never feel satisfied that we’d never finish it.

The next few topics will stick on the very broad category of information.

  1. Conversation—what is it good for?
  2. Gödel’s incompleteness theorems
  3. The purpose of education
  4. Mastery
  5. Cognitive bias (potentially from the LessWrong sequences)

Other topics

  • Ancient Western Philosophies: Stoic, Cynic, Epicurean, Pythagorean
  • Ancient Eastern Philosophies: Buddhist, Taoist, Vedic
  • Selections from SlateStarCodex (starting here)
  • Selections from RibbonFarm (starting here)
  • Selections from Sebastian Marshall
  • Intelligence: Artificial and Otherwise
  • Aesthetics
  • The History of Rationality
  • The Canon, as it pertains to literature, philosophy, and so on

Possible Manifesto Season, looking at various manifestos that have been written over the centuries:

  • The United States Declaration of Independence (1776)
  • The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789)
  • The Communist Manifesto (1848)
  • The Anarchist Manifesto (1850)
  • The Fascist Manifesto (1919)
  • The Humanist Manifesto I, II and III (1933, 1973, 2003)
  • The SCUM Manifesto (1968)
  • For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto (1973)

We welcome suggestions; please comment on this post if you’d like anything to be added to this list.

Meeting on Zoom

On 30th March 2020 we held our first online meeting, on Zoom. Since we will be doing the sessions online for the foreseeable future, the best way to get the latest information is to subscribe. You can also see our recent announcements here. The next meeting, discussing the Communist Manifesto (PDF) is on Monday 13th April 2020.

Information: Part 2

The next meeting will be on 3rd June at 7pm. The overall topic is information, which could include changes in the volume of information, the methods by which it is disseminated, as well as aspects of epistemology. 

The second reading is an excerpt from John Brockman’s new book on AI, Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI. The essay in question is by George Dyson, who was mentioned at the last meeting. He posted his essay in its entirety: “The Third Law: The Future of Computing is Analog.” He also has a rather interesting bio.

We are staying on this topic as some who expressed interest in the book from last time couldn’t make it. That is John Von Neumann’s The Computer and the Brain (PDF), published posthumously in 1958. It is well-worth reading if you did not have time last time.

Please note: We’ll be meeting at The Sekforde, in Clerkenwell, near Barbican/Farringdon stations.


Future Meetings

Please let me know if you have any material that might be of interest or relate to a future topic—this could include books, articles, videos, podcasts, exhibitions, films or anything else you can think of.

I would also welcome suggestions for other topics that we could consider.

Freedom: Part 8

We’ll be discussing Digital Freedom at 7pm on 8th April 2019. Overall details for the structure are on the About page.


  1. Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralise the web. Liat Clark, 6 Feb 2014.
  2. There’s more to decentralisation than blockchains and bitcoin. Irina Bolychevsky, 18 Sep 2018.
  3. One Small Step for the Web… Tim Berners-Lee. 23 October 2018.
  4. Where next World Wide Web? BBC Sounds podcast. 21 March 2019.
  5. Federation is the Worst of all Worlds. Sarah Jamie Lewis. 10 July 2018.

Freedom: Part 6

I hope you’re well. Here are the notes on our 5th March meeting. Thanks Zarina for taking the notes, and thanks Shane and others for your recommendations.

Optional Materials

We’ll look at two articles about free will. If the modern views prove less than insightful then we can do another session using more classical philosophy—please do let me know if you have any other resources.

  1. Harris, Sam. “Life without Free Will.” (9 September 2012).
  2. Horgan, John. “Will This Post Make Sam Harris Change His Mind About Free Will?” (9 April 2012).
  3. Life is a Coin With One Side. This American Life. 662: Where There Is a Will Act Two: Life Is a Coin With One Side.
  4. Fruit Flies, Freeloaders, free will, post on No Moods, Ads or Cutesy Fucking Icons.
  5. Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, and Walter Kaufmann. 1966. 188: “Natural History of Morals” in Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. New York: Vintage Books.
  6. Worth having a look at the recommendations from our last session.

Plan for Future Meetings / Request for Help

This is a tentative plan of topics, subject to change as the conversation evolves:

  • Monday, 11 March: Free Will/Determinism
  • Monday, 25 March 2019: Sovereignty?
  • Monday, 8 April 2019: Digital freedom?

Please let me know if you have any material that might be of interest or relate to a future topic—this could include books, articles, videos, podcasts, exhibitions, films or anything else you can think of.

I would also welcome suggestions for other aspects of freedom that we could consider.