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Pondering the South African Memesphere – Looking for the Good in Everything

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A New Organisation! Yay!

October 28th, 2007 · Posted by Hugo · 6 Comments

It is currently 02:46. Yes, early morning hours. Ideas do not keep a schedule.

On Friday night, I attended a brilliant set of talks given by the NG Church. This is the church that used to be married to the state during Apartheid era South Africa. My respect for this church is growing tremendously.

At this meeting, I met an old friend of my father’s. They were paratroopers together, in the army, during the conscription years. (Around 1970, I believe.) He told me that the best ideas come in three places: the bath, the bed, and the bus. (He suggested the bus example might have been Edison, who had forgotten what he thought of in bed the previous night, and remembered when he climbed on a bus. Fact checking needed… The bath legend was Archimedes, understanding water displacement, and shouting “Eureka!”)

I was lying awake, every now and then recording some ideas (that is now my preferred method of taking thoughts down, anytime, anywhere), and every now and then reading and sending email… yea… cellphones are evil. I do all this with my Nokia N70. I was pondering Johan Swarts’ encouragement for us to just start another organisation and be done with it.

Some time ago, I created the Facebook group Stellenbosch Humanists, with an invitation extended to all “humanists”. This group could possibly have become the organisation we are considering, however, “humanist” is still a label, and I don’t feel comfortable with it. (If you have not done so already, please read The Problem with Diversity, it is the defining post for the organisation.)

On Friday I created the I label myself as someone that rejects all labels group. (‘Nuff said.) This group just epitomises my feelings on the matter at the moment. The idea then, is to turn this into the organisation we want. I don’t know how good an idea it is, but for now, it will have to do.

We don’t want a virtual community only, this thing has to be real, so we have to meet. As such, I just created the Stellenbosch Branch, for people in the Stellenbosch area. (Feel free to create other branches as necessary. If you do, you can let me know in the comments below.) What is the membership requirements or membership policy? Everyone is welcome!. Yes… everyone. Anyone and everyone that feels they want to join in the conversation, can join. Anything goes. Anything can be discussed, anything can be said, anything can be joked about.

For those not on Facebook, thinktoomuch.net will serve as Mecca for the time being. (Until such time as something better comes along.)

Spread the Word! Spread the Good News! Shout it from the mountain tops!

I hope to see you there.


Just over 30 minutes. Not bad. Now I gotta go sleep.

Categories: Religion and Science
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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve // Oct 28, 2007 at 11:44 am

    What if I’m not revolutionary enough to reject all labels.

    I think labels are a useful thing, but the problem is how people make use of them.

  • 2 gloep // Oct 28, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    Ek is selfs nie te versot op labels nie, maar Steve is reg – mense se vooroordele is meestal die bliksem. Labels kan bevrydend wees – en ook as ‘n handy tool dien as jy dit reg kan gebruik.

  • 3 Hugo // Oct 28, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    Indeed. Please notice the irony in the group names… very intentional, very significant.

    I have also found labels can be very useful. For a short while, I embraced the label “secular humanist”. It was a damn scary thing to do, at the time. Two days later I felt so much more free. A week after that, I embraced labels such as “atheist”.

    Right now, I’ve lost my labels. I don’t know what labels I have left. It matters not. The temporary embracing of stigmatised, demonised labels was one of the smartest, most inspired things I’ve done. It set me free. So labels are useful. Use them. As you need them.

    I believe in God.

  • 4 Hugo // Oct 28, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Eish! Someone points out that could sound condescending. “Please notice the irony”… amazing how not saying “please” can help, how’s this:

    “Indeed. The irony in the group name is very significant, self-aware.”

    Better? Resisting the temptation to “correct” the previous comment. Communication is always flawed, we must get used to that, and avoid the temptation of perfectionism.

  • 5 Steve // Oct 28, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    “Communication is always flawed, we must get used to that, and avoid the temptation of perfectionism.”

    Hmm. Perfectionism in the moral sense or the psychological sense? In any case, I think it’s an admirable quality to try and address flaws, despite acknowledging that one cannot attain perfection.

    I don’t find the group name “I label myself as someone that rejects all labels” ironic, just self-contradictory. (I’d find the group name “Facebook groups are overrated” ironic. But YMMV.)

    So I guess I’m not spotting the significance, then.

    “anything can be joked about” – does this include deriding Creationists and fundamentalists for their beliefs?

  • 6 Hugo // Oct 28, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Excellent comments and feedback, as always, Steve!

    Re: prefectionism, I dunno. I’ll hack that out later, I have some thoughts defining it better, but won’t try a concise answer right here, right now.

    Re: ironic, yea, self-contradictory is maybe a better “label” for it. I consider it “ironic”… The point being, we cannot escape labels. Ever. We use labels to communicate. Such is life…

    Re: jokes, yea, you may deride if you like. But then I may also come down hard on you, with the whole weight of the book. ;) It does sound like anarchy, doesn’t it? We’ll see how it works. It is all built on relationships.

    Consider for example the second comment on Obligation (Future Prophet, lostgirlfound)

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