Americans don’t agree on much these days, except that things really haven’t been going all that very well. Of course the consensus ends there, as fingers shaking with anger point in opposite directions to explain how in the world we got to this place so few of us enjoy. Sure, there are many deserving targets for our wrath, but are we citizens even living up to what a functional democracy expects of us?

Lately we’ve pretty much stopped living out the habits of a free and democratic people, like mutual tolerance, humility and grown-up levels of cooperation and compromise. Our divisions have gotten the better of us and it’s not made us better human beings along the way — we’re isolated, angry, petulant and far surer of ourselves than we ever ought to be.

We say it’s time for a post-pandemic reset, a spring cleaning, a democratic spa retreat of sorts, a year of finding our way back to our better selves (and maybe even to each other) — a year to get our groove back. Read on (and see below) to see what we’ve got in store in our journey back to our better selves (dinner included, up charge for massage oil).


This year we’ll be talking about our identities (and how they can lead us astray), happiness (personal and societal) and how we might better pursue the truth in our habits and practices. Stay tuned for speaker announcements as we get into this groove.


February 8, 2022 @ 6 PM | DINNER AT THE SQUARE
And the Pursuit of Happiness: Being a citizen in a democracy that wants us happy.

Say what you rightfully will about what’s wrong with America, there isn’t a country on earth nervy enough to hold as a central ideal the pursuit of happiness. Yet we spend precious little time contemplating this founding charge to American citizens. Are we succeeding at it?

April 12, 2022 @ 6 PM | DINNER AT THE SQUARE
Be a Scout: Seeking Truth in a Time of Blinding Moral Certainty (and Russian Bots)

We humans have quite the capacity for self-deception, as is increasingly on display in our politics. But instead of the usual back-and-forth smackdowns in the partisan war for truth, it looks like there’s another way — one that’s probably been in front of us our whole lives.