Current Affairs Discussion

The group meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2.00pm in the Bolsover Library. All interested members are very welcome, to join in, or just to listen to the discussion. We have a lot of interesting debates and it’s great fun. Do give it a try – for free!

Please send any articles, news, photographs etc. for this group to bolu3a@outlook.com

To access the CADG Archive click Current Affairs Discussion – Archive

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Topics for the next two months are:

April 9th: How can the future of the BBC be protected? Should it be protected?
May 14th: to be discussed . . .

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Comments on previous discussions from members:

March 12th 2020
Our March meeting of the CADG was attended by 12 members, and we welcomed 2 new members to our group.
This month’s topic was ‘Understanding transgender people’. As usual it was a lively discussion that was introduced by Sue Garfoot, who provided interesting information about procedures that are followed, both medically and legally.
We discussed the terminology,  the hormone treatments available,  the process from going to see your doctor, right through to  having surgery,  the mental issues and stress on the person and their families going through transgender changes. Josie read a lovely poem that she had written about this subject, and there was much additional knowledge and experiences from group member.

February 13th 2020

Mental Health was the subject for February’s meeting. We discussed the different types of mental illnesses and the serious effect it can have on individuals and their families. Michael talked us through his experience of living in Rural France and what was available from their health authorities, in comparison to the help we have here in England from the NHS.
Mental health awareness is being discussed openly in many public arenas, along with showing people how to take the practice of ‘Mindfulness’ seriously and how to include this in our daily lives.We looked at what help was available from statutory bodies, supporting charities and community support groups.
On the way out of the library we checked the notice board, and were encouraged to find 14 posters,offering support from the NHS to local charities and community groups. Offering help for severemental health issues, to dealing with loneliness, anxiety, depression, and many other relatedproblems in Bolsover.
I think everyone  agreed it is a huge subject and it has touched each and every one of us in varying degrees.  Consult any source of news and the topic of mental health will appear in some form.

And another comment:
We heard a comparison of how the French and English health systems work.
The paucity of Mental Health Services was pointed out and the need for timely intervention was stated.  We considered the pressures of modern life with addictive games and fractured family networks and then the extra pressure that mental illness brings.  We shared information about local support groups.
With successful treatments few, it’s a subject we may consider again from a different perspective.
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And another comment:

January 23rd 2020

The subject for January was: Science Fiction in relation to reality – as knowledge progresses, does science fiction increasingly become reality?

David introduced the subject.

Conceptual:
Jules Verne
– discussed in two of his books the concept of space travel but without appreciating physical laws that limited the way this could happen.
Star Trek – “beam me up Scotty” – a communication device was used, this was a fictional development of existing radio technology and although the handsets are similar in appearance to mobile phones had no solutions to the concept of mobile communication?Karel Capek – was a Czech playright and in 1920 wrote a play about robots. Robots was derived from the Czech word for “forced labour” and has since been adopted into the English language.

Informed:
Arthur C Clarke – was a Science Fiction writer in the 1930s who advocated space travel – he was one of the first people to talk about satellite communication, being a practical solution to the problem of limited intercontinental radio traffic ie because of the curvature of the earth. He proposed solutions to foreseen problems, eg in 1974 he predicted online banking and other commonplace things today (ie internet).

Scientific Reality
Albert Einstein –Used thought experiments – (ie science fiction without the storyline) to formulate his Theory of Relativity, and the relationship of the Speed of Light and Time. This has since become accepted and proved to be correct.  Fiction that proved reality.
Dr Who and Time Travel – So far nobody has come back from the future to our present time – AS FAR AS WE KNOW! – Since nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, with our present understanding of physics, this makes time travel impossible.

The above brought about discussions about possible changes in the fundamental laws of physics and the nature of the universe including parallel dimensions. Other Science fiction writers were discussed and these included the following:-
1899  – HG Wells predicted the atom bomb – in a novel The World Set Free.
1964 – Asimov predicted global video calling, flat screen TV.
1665 – Margaret Cavendish who lived in Bolsover Castle, The Blazing World novel, imagined what could be classed as a black hole/wormhole as we would describe it today.
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