A little while ago, on Facebook, I asked:
A lot is happening quickly. We are in big bold idea territory. History time.
What if we started a reading group that covered works by great thinkers on topics like: political economy, how power works, authoritarianism, crises, how business works from a sociological perspective, radical politics (pro and con)?
Would you be interested in something like that?
Turns out, a few people were interested. But there were a lot of questions for how one might structure a thing like this online. Would discussions be synchronous or asynchronous? What role would we have to writing? How much time and commitment would work for people?
So, I created a form to sign up. (Feel free to sign up yourself)! The responses, however, were split: there’s definitely a role for synchronous meetings / video, but disagreement on the role of text and async discussion. Some people wanted to use Slack. Others (like me) hate Slack.
So — how might we go deep, but also accommodate people’s desire for this not to turn into a chore? How might we stay off walled gardens (Facebook, Slack)? How could we end up with artifacts coming out of this, instead of just ephemeral conversation?
I had some long talks with some friends, especially Anne Gomez and Danny Spitzberg. Here’s our draft idea of how it will all work.
- Meetings are conducted by video. They both kick off discussion of a book / article / work, and also serve as organizational meetings to choose the next work to discuss
- Someone posts a recap of discussion, summary of the book, or general essay based on the reading.
- The discussion continues via text, probably in response to that post.
It’s intentionally loose. Each book (or article, video, etc.) will have a different facilitator, who can structure discussion however they like.
Anyway, we are starting up soon. Wanna join?
2 replies on “History Time: The Book Club”
[…] Our book club is reading Debt, The First 5000 Years. A prompt before starting has been: “What is your professional and personal experience with the concept of debt?”. This is lightly adapted from my response: […]
[…] classes I audited were cancelled. I started writing. I applied to Berkman (a weeks-long endeavor!). I started a book club, restarted my matchmaking hobby. Ran a dungeons and dragons game. Joined […]