Month: 2021-07


caleb 20:00:37
<!here> meeting if you're interested 🙂


Gather is a video-calling space that lets multiple people hold separate conversations in parallel, walking in and out of those conversations just as easily as they would in real life.

caleb 21:27:38
cameron froze with a hella serious look on his face
caleb 21:27:49
Screenshot from 2021-07-01 21-27-14.png


caleb 12:16:18
<!here> so far our two meetings have been a great success! Some of the most interesting conversations I've had all year. I've updated with my notes, and would like to eventually take some time to consolidate notes into a brief, interesting tidbit delivery... thing. As far as I can tell, Cameron has finished the book. Progress-wise, how is everyone else doing? I'm planning on regularly holding the meetings at thursday at 8pm until we can start considering meeting in person. Thoughts?

"Man's Search for Meaning" Book Club Notes - HackMD

Woah, love the range of topics covered in the notes. And the fact that there are call notes in the first place.

I'll be at this week's Thurs 8pm.
Re: MSfM part 2 — Much of Frankl's logotherapy feels status quo in 2021. Perhaps it has already been absorbed into mainstream culture (though "meaning" and "happiness" are often conflated)? In any case, we've come a long way from Darwin, Hobbs, Freud, Skinner.

A constellation of adjacent ideas:

1/ IMO, Frankl's meaning derives much strength from the extreme suffering of his Holocaust experiences. Yet I get the impression that the link between suffering and meaning is glossed over when trying to generalize his ideas. Does meaning scale in proportion to hardship?

2/ If too much comfort and too much emotional safety, leads to a lessened ability to feel meaning? Hard to isolate this against all the other modern factors that potentially dampen meaning, but it's an interesting angle to explore.

3/ Sebastian Junger's "Tribe" is another instance of the same class of epiphany — taking US soldiers in Afghanistan as its vehicle. The "human animal" craves meaning, and derives it from some pretty basic conditions (belonging to and relying on a group, etc). But these conditions are actually hard to sustain in modern life.
Cameron Chow 2021-07-07 10:53:44
Thanks for the above Kai, I feel (in an r/unpopularopinion type way), that the guidance feels trite for want of a better word? While also not wanting to be disrespectful to both the experiences and the historical significance of the book itself. The conflation of meaning and happiness is a common pitfall for me at least, and I haven't spent a huge amount of time on either in my life 😃

1. Jumping onto your 1) I wonder whether Frankl's conclusions gain a huge amount of gravitas from his experience - specifically a halo effect or credibility. I put this in contrast to a different, more contemporary 'advice' book that might have said similar words but the writer certainly did not carry such weight or historical significance, and this prevented me from taking in the advice fully - I _did_ care who the messenger was. (And if this is the case, so what?)
2. I thought Frankl's point about not pursuing something you want directly as "A forced intention makes impossible what one forcibly wishes" (hyper-intention) - is probably one of the more interesting insights I noted from part 2. This vaguely maps to my experience (see also "the pursuit of happiness"), I'm curious what the takeaway would be.
3. Some of the internal voice I brought in as I read part 2 of the book, was also along the lines of "Think positively" - reminding me of The Magic of Thinking Big (which I loved from way back). It felt optimistic and uplifting to read and is a message that I appreciate the reminder of, and I wonder if the internal shift (for modern life) really is _that_ simple. "YOU CAN DO IT and LIFE IS AMAZING (Gratitude essentially)" being a clear 80/20 or even 90/10 dose for an effective outcome for most humans.
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caleb 12:35:10
<!here> another meeting tonight on, 8pm!
Kai 19:50:49
Sadly running a bit behind... Might not be able to join until 8:30 or so.
caleb 19:58:08
no worries, just hanging in there
Cameron Chow 20:03:58
Sorry, joining now!


Cameron Chow 12:56:35
Updated with a couple of books (Sapiens and The Beginning of Infinity), which others might have read before (they are also long)


caleb 13:52:20
For funsies I've started a sort of "Senior Superlatives" with trophies in the room! press `x` on one of the statues to see if you've gotten a trophy!


Gather is a video-calling space that lets multiple people hold separate conversations in parallel, walking in and out of those conversations just as easily as they would in real life.


caleb 19:48:34
8pm tonight! I have some discussion questions from the book, and we can start talking about what to read next


caleb 08:03:29
Last discussions have been going really good! I'm gonna update the documents soon, but FYI the next book is the communist manifesto, and we've already started reading!
kellyldavis1 19:37:39
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shaochieh.chiang 04:53:16
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caleb 13:47:41
Tonight at 8pm, there's another book club meeting! We're reading the communist manifesto. Feel free to come discuss. We meet on gather town for now
isabelhou 14:10:40
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