I have been thinking again about how to prioritize time among projects.
Charles made a comment in the most recent Lucretius Today podcast that 98% of the people who come into his Discord or Reddit groups, or the Facebook group, are essentially "NeoEpicurean" in their thinking. They have little interest in the physics or the epistemology, and they think that they have captured Epicurus fully in a couple of remarks about "absence of pain" or "tranquility." We have much better percentages here at EpicureanFriends.com, but that's because we started by actively recruiting people who we knew had read DeWitt or had otherwise shown by long-time posting that they were really motivated to dig into the details of the philosophy.
Elayne made a comment in the same podcast that I thought was so worth emphasizing that I highlighted it in a short three minute video:
Given that so many people who are curious about Epicurus are so far off base to start with, probably the best thing we can do for them is to highlight ways that they can consider that there might be more to Epicurus than they realize. I posted about that previously in: How To Convert A Neo-Epicurean Into A Classical Epicurean
But beyond reading list suggestions, I think by far the best thing to do is to continue working on the Lucretius podcast, which is going to end up producing a long series of educational shows that will step people back through the basics. I may make some more short "highlight" clips like the one above, but primarily what I think needs doing is to both set up new episodes and then make more notes and extend the discussion on each one.
With the results we will have a full step-by-step progression through the philosophy, from which we can make quizzes and use as "lectures" or background material for more organized presentations such as the as-yet-unlaunched EpicurusCollege.com website with a more extensive on-line learning system.
So for the moment I think we're on the right track by going through Lucretius in detail and that seems to me to be the thing to focus on for a while.
But the big holdup in making progress on these and other initiatives is "content," so if you have any extra free time here are things I would ask people to consider doing:
- Post comments and questions on the existing episodes of the LucretiusToday podcast. Those are organized by topic, so each episode can have here on the forum an active discussion of the topics in each show.
- Post comments and questions about each of the Twelve Fundamentals of Nature, the Principal Doctrines and the Vatican Sayings. Eugenios lately has been doing some of this, and I know other people have too. Rather than post in the "General Discussion" forum, if you post under the individual Doctrine or Saying then we develop a database on the particular items. I took the time to set up a separate subforum, rather than a single thread, for each of these doctrines and sayings so that we can carry on detailed discussions over time.
- Post comments and questions about anything that interest you in terms of Art and Literature from the past and present. There's a lot of fascinating material to be dug out of the history books like Joshua and Charles and others have been doing, and the place to post those is here.
- We don't have an immediate schedule but we need to open up on-line live discussion to more people. The place to post about that is here: EpicureanFriends Open DIscussion
If you have ideas about things to be added to this list please post here. Thanks!