Lichtenbergian Charter: Article III – Meetings


Section 1, Regular meetings of the SOCIETY shall be through its regular incorporeal Correspondence, whenever such topics as engage the interest of its Members shall arise.

Section 2, The Annual Meeting of the SOCIETY shall take place on or before the day of the Hibernal Solstice. It shall be an occasion of solemn FESTIVITY, allowing the Members the opportunity to reflect on the State of Lichtenbergianism.

Section 3, Special Meetings may be proposed any Member for any occasion.

Section 4, Notice of any Meetings shall be by the SOCIETY’s accustomed incorporeal Correspondence.


  • Section 2 amended 12/15/07 to include “the day of,” since technically this year, the actual Solstice is at 1:08 a.m. Saturday morning; we would have been in violation of the Charter from the get-go.

28 thoughts on “Lichtenbergian Charter: Article III – Meetings

  1. OK, we’re missing one thing. An annual report or journal? We should list all of ambitious goals at the beginning of each year, knowing full well that they will NEVER be accomplished, and then have a report summarizing our failures, to be submitted at the annual solstice meeting. The Annual Report can also contain failed attempts at art/drama/poetry, failed political campaigns, failed attempts to forward scientific knowledge, failed or incomplete conversations, etc. If we wanted to do one for this year, we could include my failed political ambitions, William Blake’s Inn’s failure to get a sponsor, etc. Dues could go toward publishing this. Of course, failure to publish said Annual Report is no big deal, and is in fact to be expected. Tomorrow is better.

  2. We can come up with annual goals at the annual solstice meeting, if we so choose. The grander the ambitions, the bigger the potential failure, so let’s not be shy. Let’s go down in flames.

  3. Of course, the goal is not really FAILURE, but the putting off or delay of eventual (assumed) success. So the proper thing would be to go through the list at the end of each year, and say “TABLED” or some such thing.

  4. Also, it should be noted that ACTUAL success of any member in the fields of arts, literature, science, etc will require immediate forfeiture of membership in the Society.

  5. The Society should also commit itself to the old-fashioned notion of an “all night sitting” on the event of the death of one of the members of the Society, wherein all members are required to show up at the wake and drink themselves silly, toasting the abbreviated life of said member and soliloquizing about what “could have been.” These events will be CELEBRATIONS of lives lived in true Lichtenbergian style, upholding the ideals of Lichtenberg, etc. etc.

  6. I like the idea of listing all the projects we didn’t get around to accomplishing during the year and publishing those.

    Why wait until the summer solstice to proclaim new goals? The second order of business could be the stating of goals for the coming year. That way we can use that as the basis for the next year’s Annual Meeting.

    I also like the idea of the Lichtenbergian wake; that would fall under the Special Meetings topic and could be called.

  7. I call for annual reports in which we truly crunch the numbers. I have put in time the morning “not going to Lowe’s” and I kind of want a cumulative accounting. If this has already been covered in previous suggested bylaws, forgive me. Though I have put in time “not going to Lowe’s,” I have decided repeatedly during that time not to read things until later when I “have the time to really enjoy it.”

  8. To translate my prior post, we should keep in mind that objectives need not be fully tabled to be consistent with the GOALs of the SOCIETY. It is needful only to complete “no more than a few pages…”

  9. Well said, Turff.

    It seems appropriate that we should call such journal or annual report “The Waste Books,” or, alternatively, Sudelbücher, beginning with Volume A, taking a cue from the following Wikipedia entry:

    The “waste books” (Lichtenberg rendered it roughly as Sudelbücher in German) are the notebooks he kept from his student days until the end of his life. Each volume was accorded a letter of the alphabet from A, which begun in 1765, to L, which broke off at Lichtenberg’s death in 1799.
    These notebooks first became known to the world after the man’s death, when the first and second editions of Lichtenbergs Vermischte Schriften (1800-06 and 1844-53) were published by his sons and brothers. Since the initial publications, however, notebooks G and H, and most of notebook K, were destroyed or disappeared. Those missing parts are believed to contain sensitive materials. The manuscripts of the remaining notebooks are now preserved in Göttingen University.
    The notebooks contain quotations that struck Lichtenberg, titles of books to read, autobiographical sketches, and short or long reflections. It is those reflections that help Lichtenberg earn his posthumous fame. Today he is regarded as one of the best aphorists in the Western intellectual history.
    Some scholars have attempted to distil a system of thought out of Lichtenberg’s scattered musings. However, Lichtenberg was not a professional philosopher, and had no need to present, or to have, any consistent philosophy.
    The waste books nevertheless reveal a critical and analytical way of thinking and emphasize on experimental evidence in physics, through which he became one of the early founders and advocates of modern scientific methodology.
    “The more experience and experiments are accumulated during the exploration of nature, the more faltering its theories become,” he noted in the Waste Books.
    The reflections also include keen observations on human nature, Ã la the 17th-century French moralists.
    Schopenhauer admired Lichtenberg for what he had written in his notebooks greatly. He called Lichtenberg one of those who “think … for their own instruction”, who are “genuine thinkers for themselves in both senses of the words”.[3]Other admirers of Lichtenberg’s notebooks include Nietzsche, Freud and Wittgenstein.[4] Lichtenberg is not read by many outside Germany. Leo Tolstoy held Lichtenberg’s writings in high esteem, expressing his perplexity of “why the Germans of the present day neglect this writer so much.”[5] The Chinese scholar and wit Qian Zhongshu quotes the Waste books in his works several times.[6]

    So perhaps our annual report/Journal can be discovered and enjoyed by others long after we are gone, and we can enjoy a kind of posthumous fame, as our namesake?

    Or perhaps not. In any case…

    It’s just an idea. I will volunteer to edit said Journal / Annual report, if everyone would like. If I can get submissions QUICKLY, I may even have it ready for our first annual gathering. I will probably throw in Sun Gone Down, my aborted musical.

  10. But if want to just do a list, that’s fine, too. Less work! We could, after all, put the whole thing off until next year, in true Lichtenberg style.

  11. I just ordered The Waste Books from Amazon.

    The first aphorism: “The great artifice of regarding small deviations from the truth as being the truth itself is at the same time the foundation of wit, where the whole thing would often collapse if we were to regard these deviations in a spirit of philosophical rigor.”

    We’ll have a reading at the Annual Meeting.

  12. My favorite so far (no surprise for me):

    “The American who first discovered Columbus made a bad discovery.”

  13. An abandoned catalog of phrases held dear by our Society:

    More later.

    You get the idea.

    Then I know I have to make something happen there.

    I could try sketching it out.

    Here’s a great idea for a book or movie or something.

    We ought to collaborate on it.

    How ’bout this?

    Why hasn’t anyone ever…

    Somebody ought to…

    I know it needs fleshing out.

    No, I know…

    I just need to really sit down with it sometime.

    What we need is…

    You know what you ought to do….

    It’s just roughed in so you get the general idea.

  14. What about officers? I know one thing. Anyone who ASPIRES to be an officer should be automatically disqualified from holding office. But it seems we should at least have a president, a secretary/treasurer, and a Court Jester. The role of the Court Jester would be to constantly remind us that, in the words of our founder, “Doing the opposite is also a form of imitation.”

  15. Add to the list of comments and such that may apply to us, the round wooden token with the word “TUIT” printed on it…

  16. Then I’m on it! I am open for submissions, which can come by email or snail mail (2 Camphor Dr., Newnan 30265) or by dropping them off at the Times-Herald with my name on it. Fun!

  17. I don’t think we know yet. Aren’t we making this up as we go? We certainly can’t get too ambitious. Shouldn’t we model it on the Waste Books? What would Lichtenberg have included? Certainly our stabs at Tom Jones, that goes without saying. Our first charitable effort? Posts on the website? Aborted poems? Bills we’ve never got around to paying? I’m not at all certain. I’ll be happy to take direction. If someone actually feels up to such ambition.

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