2019 Plans For EpicurusCollege.com

  • Thanks to everyone who has allowed me to participate with them in studying Epicurus in 2018. I'd like to take a moment to discuss my plans for 2019.

    Over the least several years I have concentrated on "infrastructure." My primary time has been invested in refining Epicureanfriends.com so as to provide a reliable and searchable base for detailed discussion of Epicurean philosophy. I also set up Epicureanradio.com in 2018 as a platform for beginning to generate the kind of audio content that is needed beyond the typed word. I have continued to update NewEpicurean.com, and in 2018 I converted that website to a new theme for the first time since it opened in 2010.

    For 2019 I plan a new project that I expect to become the most important of them all. I have registered the domain Epicuruscollege.com and begun work to set up an online learning platform using the "Moodle" e-learning software, which is used by a very large community of people at many educational institutions across the globe.. There were several good software options, but I choose Moodle because it is "open source," which means that it is not only "free," but it is installable on a private server. That provides some security against corporate and social media censorship, which is becoming an increasing problem. Moodle is capable of running a learning community that is as good as any anywhere, and what is required is not money, but time and effort.

    Participation at the EpicureanPhilosophy Facebook groups and similar public sites will always be an important opportunity to interact with new people. However by their nature discussion forums, even Epicureanfriends.com, have only one goal - discussion. Unless there is also an ongoing program of activity, it's all too easy for people to meet and then immediately slip away if they have no opportunity for joint action toward a common goal.

    It has always been my goal to work with others to spread my appreciation for Epicurus to other people. If indeed Epicurus is right that friendship is our greatest means of securing a happy life, then it's necessary for us to develop real-world friends who think the same way about Epicurus we do. I know of no better way to develop real friendship than to work together on joint projects. The first goal will be online learning, supplemented as soon as possible with live seminars, like our friends in Greece have been doing for years.

    There is much work to do before EpicureanCollege.com is ready to launch, but I hope to have something active by the first quarter of 2019. E-learning systems like Moodle are much more complex than Wordpress sites or discussion forums. There is a tremendous amount of planning involved in designing a course, preparing lectures, preparing testing, and then setting up a system for people to attend and grade and process their results. I will appreciate all suggestions and assistance.

    Once again, thanks to all who have taken to the time to interact with me on any of our online locations. I have enjoyed my time with everyone, especially those who are Epicurean content producers themselves, and I look forward to working further with everyone in 2019.

  • Here is a screen clip that will distinguish what I want to do from what you'll find other places. See the highlights:

    (1) It won't cost 700 pounds;

    (2) It won't teach that Epicureans need to live in frugal communes;

    (3) It won't teach that "the highest pleasure...is to be free from mental and bodily pain" without a complete framework of how that applies to *quantity only.* Instead it will teach that the quantity equivalence is true but deceptive standing along. The more full and accurate statement is: "living in the continuous enjoyment of numerous and vivid pleasures alike of body and of mind, undisturbed either by the presence or by the prospect of pain" (Torquatus, On Ends) and "Nothing is better than a life of ease, full of, and loaded with, all sorts of pleasures.” (Cicero, In Defense of Publius Sestius 10.23);

    (4) It won't teach that Epicurus advocated "an ascetic approach to virtue and happiness."

    Otherwise, my goal will be pretty much the same as Oxford's ;-)