One week and ten readings, all designed to make us think about what is this thing called the good society, if it even exists.
After a week of unexpected holiday, ALU and its “co-founders” (read students) came together for a second round of Seminal Readings. The last time the readings happened, the theme was Identity, this time, The Good Society. Sounds like the title of the next crime drama, doesn’t it? Instead of everyone sticking to their cohorts as was the last case, ALU switched things up and had people in groups they probably would not have ever been in before this, regardless of their cohorts. A real Christopher Columbus experience: I am sure a few people discovered more of their ALU peers or learnt the names to vaguely familiar faces.
Plato was on many people’s minds once again, him and his caves, “Does your cave shape what you think a good society is? Can you ever escape your caves when building a good society? Let’s let that float…”
Another thing we can (but probably shouldn’t) let float forever is, now that we have gone through this process, so what? So what we read about Zimbabwe and how their history affected their infamous land grabs? So what you probably said a few “deep” things, had a few people agree, then someone, claiming to add to your point, said something completely unrelated to what you said and had a few more people nod? Or even, so what that your group had marvelous conversations that were actually deeper than the shallow end? The bigger question should be, what next? Now that you have gone through this, how do you take the things you learnt down to reality and use them in real time? Real life situations. It is nice to create theories and push each other’s thinking forward for a week and have everyone feeling like Plato’s job is a piece of cake, all that philosophical talk. But it would not mean anything if you just let it float until it dissipates.
Until the next time ALU has everyone reading a few profound texts and talking about them, I hope at least a few of us will get to the so what.
Photo credit: ALU Education