London Utopian Discussion Group
posted June 6, 2015 7:44 AM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Thu July 16 at 7:00 PM, Weatherspoons
Main Concourse, London SW1V 1JT, UK (Map & Directions)
Come and discuss ideas about utopia - fiction, historical, contemporary, philosophical, political, scientific...! Surrounded by bad news so much, it will be nice to meet and think about how things could be.
First meeting will be in London, in the Weatherspoons at Victoria Station (so coffee or beer is available) and a chance to have a general chat about utopia. A number of us will, however, have read and be familiar with Red Plenty by Francis Spufford so we at least have one common point of conversation, so feel free to read if you're coming along.
posted by jonrob to Meetup (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I would be interested in this if in london. Some utopian conceptual things I have been wanting to read or go back to in more detail. 1. Slate Star Codex's series on his utopia Raikoth 2. David Brin's The Transparent Society 3. Red Plenty by Francis Spufford a semi-fictional look at the utopianism of 50's Soviet Union
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:58 AM on June 7, 2015

I'd be interested as well. London preferred.
posted by atrazine at 2:59 AM on June 8, 2015

As it looks like being three of us who are interested, and London is preferred, can I suggest evening of Thursday 9th July in a pub/coffee place near Victoria or Waterloo? Red Plenty looks excellent and I hadn't heard of it, so I've just ordered it and would expect to read that by the 9th July...
posted by jonrob at 2:24 AM on June 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

That time would be fine for me.
Also - if it is a success we should try to rope in adrianhon for a future session whose A history of the future in 100 objects I never finished for lack of enough plot but had lots of interesting utopian (and non-utopian) ideas.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:21 PM on June 10, 2015

I think I may have to be in France by the 9th but will be going into and out of London around that period and happy to discuss this.
posted by biffa at 2:51 PM on June 13, 2015

How dare you!


Sounds fun!
posted by adrianhon at 12:38 PM on June 16, 2015

OK, shall go ahead and confirm the details as Thursday 9th July at 7PM. I don't know London well, so the venue will be the Weatherspoons in Victoria station unless anyone has a better idea - not glamorous but functional for a friendly drink or coffee while chatting about utopia. Hope that works for plenty of you 😀
posted by jonrob at 3:34 AM on June 21, 2015

I have put that in my Calendar and will be there! For an initial foray that sounds like as good a location as any :) if others are interested I have additional reading materials tagged about Red Plenty in my Evernote. Or we can just make this a general " if you like the idea of talking about utopia come along" session and get more into books later or whatever.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 2:33 PM on June 22, 2015

Cool, I have (finally) confirmed the details :-)

Feel free to share any notes. I imagine this will be a 'come along and talk about utopia' session, but it will be nice to at least have a starting point for conversations... so if anyone is coming and wants to be on a similar page, consider skimming Red Plenty. No doubt I'll have my copy with me in the pub so I'm spottable.

Look forward to seeing people there.
posted by jonrob at 4:11 AM on June 30, 2015

I won't be able to make it to this one unfortunately (work thing) but I hope it goes well - keen to come along to the next.
posted by adrianhon at 7:26 AM on July 5, 2015

Gah, in a decidedly non-utopian turn there is apparently a tube strike scheduled for Thursday. If that goes ahead then I won't be able to get from work to here in a reasonable amount of time. I know these things sometimes do and sometimes do not happen but perhaps best to reschedules for a time when public transport is not so up in the air?
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 3:55 AM on July 6, 2015

Gah indeed... Assuming that the Thursday evening slot worked well, I'll bump the date to the following Thursday but keep everything else the same. Checked the Tube closures look ahead PDF, and can't see anything for the 23rd, so looks promising. Hopefully that works well for adrianhon too.
posted by jonrob at 5:01 AM on July 6, 2015

And by 23rd, I obviously meant 16th.
posted by jonrob at 5:02 AM on July 6, 2015

Yes 16th would be fine for me
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:22 AM on July 6, 2015

Yep, I'm in as a yes/maybe
posted by adrianhon at 8:25 AM on July 6, 2015

This sounds super fun! I'll be around 18th-22nd...
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:18 AM on July 14, 2015

Coming on bus if anyone is there should arrive about 19:15/20 :)
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:52 AM on July 16, 2015

Great... Got a table on the terrace next to a giant WH Smiths sign.
posted by jonrob at 10:59 AM on July 16, 2015

Not clear where that is? What do you look like?
posted by adrianhon at 11:12 AM on July 16, 2015

Urm light blue top, bit of a mop of hair at the moment. Think I'd describe it as the back side of WH Smiths... I can see KrispyKreme doughnuts and have my copy of red plenty 😀
posted by jonrob at 11:14 AM on July 16, 2015

Nice to see everyone! Apropos of the decline (or not) in working hours, here are some interesting and up-to-date graphs. Certainly there has been a levelling off in the last couple of decades but my optimistic eye detects a slight downward trend nonetheless ;)
posted by adrianhon at 3:18 PM on July 17, 2015

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