Orange County, California Extropians/Transhumanists Meeting?
First, a shameless plug:
I suggest Natale Cybercafe at Harbor and Adams, NE corner, Costa Mesa, about
2 miles South of the 405 (olcity.com/natale). This particular Natale boasts
four Wintel machines with a high-speed DSL connection, XLNT coffee and real
quality food at very reasonable prices.
The staff of mostly college students and the atmosphere are equally
high-quality (impressionist paintings, jazz, classical or refined "rock" in
the background, or quiet classical guitar live by one of the staff, or bring
your own CD) as is the typical clientel of software developers and techies.
No tie required, but intelligent conversation is mandatory. (I recommend
it, regardless.) The attitude is very tolerant. One elderly patron
occasionally falls asleep in a comfy armchair and everyone just works around
her until either she wakes up or they lock the door.
For $20, you can buy 10 hours on-line, and you get 15 minutes free with
coffee. The hours are outstanding, as the posted hours really only indicate
when the staff start cleaning up and giving away the unsold food. Altho
technically closed at 10pm - Sundays 9 - I have been hacking away many a
night at midnight (10:56pm right now). The owner of this franchise location
is a local startup Wintel software/hardware company, and one or more of
their reps usually show up to lock up and will be happy to talk hardware
sales or setup, if you are so inclined.
There appear to be enough chairs for at least 18 people, plus the carpet in
the main conversation section, and the space is conveniently divided so that
several possible conversation centers are feasible. The noise level and
acoustics are quite good for meeting purposes.
So, if you're local and think that a physical meeting might be worthwhile,
let me know and we'll figure out a date. Or, if you have alternate
preferences for location, I am reasonably flexible, altho I think that
Natale will be hard to beat.
(I only have a conflict on Thursday nights, and 2nd Sunday mornings, when
Atheist United breakfasts, or 3rd Sunday afternoons, the local Amiga club.)
I don't have an agenda planned, but I'm sure we'll find something to
disguss, such as future topics, books, etc. Meanwhile, check out Natale, a
hub of OC culture.
BTW, at the other Natale, 17th and Main, Santa Ana, just South of the 5, on
alternate Wednesdays - there is the Socrates Cafe, hosted by a philosphy
professor from Chapman, Martin Young (madwizard.com/cafe), and recently
written up in the OC Register. Martin is very much an extropian, altho I
doubt he calls himself such, with an excellent background in physics and
other hard sciences, and is also a science fiction fan. The meetings are
pretty much open-ended directed discussions of applied philosophy.
There's no attempt - except by individual fanatics, of course - to deliver
doctrinaire sermons, but principles of rational discourse are enforced.
Claims of general invalidation - i.e., any claim that requires that
knowledge itself be impossible - are generally gleefully shot down in very
short order, especially as usually about half of the attendees have
The typical attendees have ranged all over the map, including some Mexican
blue-collar types who had no real idea what philosophy was, but they wanted
to find out, and made some interesting contributions to the discussion. A
good time is to be expected. Be there.
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