This made me think of the And Furthermore Club: “what is meant by the ancient term /scholÃ©/, which designates ‘school’ and ‘leisure’ at the same time. It means a refuge where discussion takes place, in total independence — that is, without the interference of practical goals. Rather, it is a zone of truth that is set aside in the midst of society, a hedged-in space to house the autonomous engagement with reality, in which people can inquire into, discuss, and assert the truth of things without let or hindrance; a domain expressly shielded from all conceivable attempts to use it as a means to achieve certain ends.” — Josef Pieper
I don’t want to over-sentimentalize or distort what it was, but Greg’s quote does get at what made the And Furthermore Club so memorable. You could exercise your brain without fear that you would pay some emotional price for saying something someone else didn’t like. It was a safe, welcoming environment that actually enouraged you to think about what you thought, and your “place” was assured by being who you are, not what you currently happened to be thinking about an issue. As we know, some people don’t actually know what they think about an issue until engaged in an argument – or stimulating discussion. Inconsistencies, knowledge gaps, and outright contradictions were regular features of the And Furthermore Club – not hanging offenses or mortal sins.