May LocSec Column

“So what do you talk about in Mensa?” Surely, I’m not the only one to have heard this from folks. Moreover, I’m confident that I’m not the only one who crafts my answer depending on who’s asking. If the person isn’t a moron, I’m honest and say that we talk about random things like anyone else and use bigger-than-usual words to hurl insults back and forth. If I wonder who the person hires to tie their shoes in the morning because knots seem way over their head, I’ve been known to weave complex fables involving the Bavarian Illuminati and Bank of Japan.

All that said, I plan on trying a new kind of recurring event for the chapter. Socrates Café has its origins with author Christopher Phillips (NPR interview from 2004 https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1688260). Long story short, it’s a group where individuals, using the Socratic method, delve into philosophical topics. From the meaning of life and the existence of morality to every manner of “is” and “should” you can conjure up, the group picks a topic, and the discussion begins. Extensive knowledge of particular philosophers and philosophies isn’t a prerequisite. We discuss topics and inquire with each other from our different perspectives. It’s not a formal organization, merely an idea in the public domain. I participated in a local Socrates Café group for many years since moving to Colorado. There was a core group of people from all walks of life, all generally cursed with thinking too much. When the bulk of the pandemic is in the rearview mirror, I will find a venue and invite all of you to attend (though more than 15 can get unruly). The hope is that we get enough interest in the chapter to hold different rounds with different groups of people, Mensan and otherwise. This way, when somebody asks you what we talk about in Mensa, you can throw something interesting in their direction.

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