Current Discussions

New Spring 2012 Discussion Page!!


Hello and welcome to the new Reeder St. Fellows discussion page for spring 2012.  We will be updating at least once a week to reflect the current state of affairs at Reeder.  We hope to make this website once again a vital and vibrant showcase of life at Reeder.  Most importantly, we hope you join us every Sunday at 7 pm this semester for dinner and lively conversation!!


March 25:  College Tuition

Led by, Rachel Gordon


Not too long ago we received a note in our mailboxes saying our tuition was to increase by about  3.7% (give or take a few tenths of a percentage) next year. There was also an article about it in the Lafayette on March 2nd. Currently college tuition is in a “bubble”– just like the housing market was until it burst about a year ago. Questions to consider are: is the ever-rising college tuition just? Do we (or colleges in general for that matter) offer enough aid packages and scholarships to compensate? One can argue yes, based on some statistics offered in the Financial section on the Lafayette website. One can also argue that this doesn’t justify the bubble that is ensuing as aid and scholarships don’t cover everything. Should tuition and other costs be lowered at the expense of some quality? Or can costs be lowered without cutting into quality?
Here are links to some references:
Also attached is a copy of the article in the Lafayette about the rising activity fee and tuition costs in general.

March 18:  A Clockwork Orange

We’ll be cooking dinner on the BBQ.  why not?  it’s such a nice day!  And we’ll be watching A Clockwork Orange tonight, Kubrick’s famously disturbing dystopian film. All are welcome! We will discuss the film informally afterwards.
Any of you interested in checking out the house and living here next year, this is a great opportunity to learn more. If you’ve never been here, walk 2 blocks past WaWa and make a right on Reeder St. We are the second house on the left side of the street. It is brick bottom with a white top.
Hope to see you all here!

March 4:  Personality Tests

Hosted by, Liusha Geng


Many of you may have heard of  the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test, or have done the test. Originated from Carl Jung’s theory, MBTI suggestst that  individuals are either born with, or develop, certain preferred ways of thinking and acting. Person’s preferences are sorted into four opposite pairs: extravert(E)/introvert(I), sensate(S)/invuitive(N), thinking(T)/feeling(F) and judging(J)/perceiving(P). The various combinations fo these preferences result in 16 personality types.
Excerpted with permission from the MBTI Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I).
Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or iNtuition (N).
Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Your Personality Type: When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
On the other hand, The Jungian basis of personality, instead of just associate the four letters with each type, it works based on the concept of dominant functions.
Here is a detailed functional analysis according to Jung’s theory:
Some psychologist who are in favor of the model claim that it  “helps you improve work and personal relationships, increase productivity, and identify leadership and interpersonal communication preferences for your clients.” Others criticize the statistical validity and the vague descriptions of the MBTI thus argue that it cannot be used in the professions.
What do you think of the MBTI? Another psychology fluff or a useful reference of exploring your personality? Please come and join the talk tonight at 7pm!
Here are some useful links you might want to take a look,

February 19:  Intelligent Life

Hosted by, Michael Pinkard


Friends of Reeder!

A lot of our topics have been fairly serious lately, I was thinking we might mix it up a bit!  Links will be in a forthcoming email, but I was hoping you would spread the word about this week’s topic:
Intelligent life
Will we ever make contact? What do you think it would be like to encounter other life?  Would we be able to communicate with it?  Would it resemble at all the intelligence that is encountered in such films as 2001:  A Space Odyssey or Independence Day?
There are a number of interesting Youtube videos on the subject, I particularly enjoy one with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins, and I will link to them in an email coming shortly.  For now, think about your own picture of an intelligent, alien life form.
Here are a few links regarding the subject of intelligent alien life in the universe, just to give yourself a background in interesting thoughts and ideas on the topic.  In trying to understand how possible intelligent life is, it is a good idea to take a look at the Drake Equation.  For its flaws (and there are a few) it is still an interesting thought experiment.
I hope to see you all tomorrow night!!
-Michael Pinkard
Video with Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing intelligent life.
Neil deGrasse Tyson discussing intelligent life
Summary of the Drake Equation for the possibility of intelligent life. Read down to the end of the section to see the Fermi paradox
Our current Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence

February 12:  Sustainability Achievable?

Hosted by, Austin Weidner


I want to invite all of you to the first Reeder St. Fellows discussion of the semester. We will meet from 7-9 pm tonight at the Reeder House to discuss the question, “Is sustainability truly achievable?”

Sustainability is a buzzword we hear often in the media when advertising products and new ideas. But can we as the human race, really reach a point where we are economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable? Can we rely on technological advances to reach sustainable development or must we as humans change our behaviors as well? Does the Earth have a limit or carrying capacity for human population? Will we have to sacrifice quality of life for quantity? Topics that might come up: UN Millennium Development Goals, The Tragedy of the Commons, and human behavior. I am purposely not providing links for background reading which could sway opinion.

One thought on “Current Discussions

  1. I’d like to see some follow ups to Obama’s first year in office. It would be nice to have transcripts of the discussions. I personally feel that our government will never get rid of gitmo. It seems like we want to fight terrorism but we don’t want the fight ever to take place on our soil, especially if that means housing them on our soil.

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