Reading Group featuring 'Walden Two' by B.F. Skinner
Every three weeks from April to June, 2013

Dear reader,
Between April and June we run a reading group around 'Walden Two', the influencial novel by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner that was published in 1948. It describes an experimental community that is located in a rural area and has around a thousand members. Within this community, behavioral engineers use positive reinforcement in organizing and "gently guiding" all aspects of society, enabling the rest of the citizens to lead happy and carefree lives. The community is self-governed; the members subscribe to the Walden Code of self-control techniques, which allow maintaining a happy, productive life in Walden Two with minimal effort. The community encourages its members to view every habit and custom with an eye to possible improvement and to have a constantly experimental attitude toward everything. The community members are happy, productive, and creative; happiness derives from the promotion of rich social relationships and family life, free affection, the creation of art, music, literature and a focus on basic needs such as eat and sleep.

The aim of our reading group is to read and discuss the original text. Specifically, we want to place it in the context of the time that Skinner developed his ideas for Walden Two, and we want to see what, if any, is the relevance of Walden Two for our current times.

Practical things about the reading group
– The sessions will take place every three weeks;
– the first session will be on Sunday April 7th from 15 – 16.30 h;
– there will be 4 sessions in total, the last one ending in June;
– we aim for a group of 8 to 10 participants;
– participation is free;
– the participants commit themselves to the reading group for the duration of the period (April – June);
– the dates will be set together with the participants.

How to sign up
The reading group has started... Please join us next time!

Joost Nieuwenburg, Mischa Poppe and Maarten Overdijk