My Plans For 2021

  • Here is a quick note that my thoughts are beginning to clarify as to what I'd like to target for my own activity in 2021 in addition to the ongoing projects.

    Most of my thoughts revolve around continuity and stability, and I continue to see two things that I really want to accomplish:

    (1) I want to get back to developing a completely free and open set of core texts that will always be easily findable and downloadable. What I mean here is I want to take the work I've already done in compiling digital text versions of the core documents and get those better organized for further editing and organization. Being the computer geek that I am, I continue to play with the idea that Epicurean philosophy is closely akin to a computer's "operating system," and I know the way that people collaborate to refine operating systems and computer software is to use facilities like "github" to publish into the public domain core material that others can "fork" and use however they see fit. I think a good clean copy of the Diogenes Laertius biography, plus Lucretius and the collection we have through Bailey's "Extant Remains" would be a good core set of material that everyone who has any interest in Epicurus at all should have a copy of from the very beginning. It's going to be a decade or more (I forget) before DeWitt's book can be added to that, but setting up some sort of standard reference would be a big help to a lot of people and would make sure that the material never gets "lost" again. So my specific goal here is to set up some text at a location like this ( ) and set up a structure to refine it over time on the condition that everything in it is totally public domain and totally "open source" and re-pursose-able by anyone who wants to use it for any purpose, free or for-profit or whatever. I don't completely understand how the "professionals' do this, but here is a page of explanation of how people work together on something like this:

    (2) Item one is more my area of expertise, and this item is not at all, but just like we need a set of standard reference texts for the knowledge / abstraction side, people really need a standard method of thinking about how to organize their Epicurean friendships in real life. We've never been able to develop a workable structure for a real-life Society of Epicurus or even a pattern for a Meetup Group, but there's got to be a way to make progress on that. I suppose is itself a prototype for how people can get together online, but there's got to be a way to develop a structure for people to get together at least a small group in their local communities (at least if those communities are large enough). This probably means a short but clear "organizational plan" that would be something like what one would expect to be used by the Kiwanis Club or Lions Club or whatever - a pattern for getting together locally and live at least once a month, and a set agenda for what is to be done at that meeting. Getting much more detailed than that has proved unworkable so far, but I would at least like us to devote a thread to the topic so we can brainstorm to see what is possible. So my specific goal here is to at least make a start at an organizational document that can provide a structure for local teamwork, probably also basing it totally openly and public domain as with the github link above.