One genre I’d like to try on my new blog is Socratic dialogue. The first one will go up on Friday. This post gives an overview of the characters and background I created for that purpose.
The parishioners at St. Hypotheticus mostly like one another. But many of them are colorful characters and sometimes maintaining their sympathy requires them to keep a bit of a distance. For example, at last summer’s parish picnic some of the nerdier parishioners got started on math jokes. It began small, with Carl quipping “Let \( \varepsilon<0 \) .” But soon the slightly intoxicated nerds where boring the crowd with math puns. After half an hour of hearing about Piano curves, Abelian soups, and Bananach spaces, Sally made them stop. Sally is the organizational backbone of the parish. She does most of the work and even Fr. Bill is afraid of her. The parish picnic, said Sally, was supposed to be family friendly fun and fellowship. If they wanted drinking and nerdery they could separately meet for that purpose. That was the beginning of the St. Hypotheticus drinking and nerdery club.
The inaugural members are:
Carl, Sally’s Husband. Since Sally isn’t a member he got stuck with the presidency, i.e. with buying the beer. Carl is an electrical engineer and model railroad enthusiast. When they married Carl reluctantly agreed to live by Sally’s very conservative interpretation of 1 Cor. 11:3. But after 20 years of headship he sometimes wonders if there might be some nerve damage.
Jenny, the social justice Catholic. She is always carrying a petition for everyone else to sign. People who agree with her pretend they don’t, just to see her get agitated. Occasionally she tries to bribe potential signatories with books. The deal is worth taking, because she’s read everything and knows who will like what. Still in high school, Jenny plans to study psychology in college.
Bob, a starving Thomist philosopher barely surviving by adjuncting at a nearby college. Sally regularly pesters him to get rid of his ratty clothes, arguing that Carl’s cast-offs would still be a massive improvement. Bob doesn’t see the need. The remote final cause of better clothing, he argues, is marriage and look where that led Carl.
Matthew, the grumpy news-junkie. Matthew likes to joke he doesn’t attend mass in the extraordinary form because he won’t be satisfied before they go back to Aramaic. A Student of economics at St. Hieronymus university Matthew subscribes to several magazines and hundreds of blogs. While reading he fumes about people never learning. After all, he maintains, every political philosophy now extant is a replay of an early Church heresy. Still underage, he’s dissatisfied about not being allowed to participate in the club’s drinking.
Clara, who’s dual goals in life are practical research into creating the perfect pizza and the eradication of the Bayesian heresy. Clara works as an actuary and is alway busy preparing for exams.
Albert, who found his dream job as a teacher of math and sciences at the local Catholic high school. Albert loves explaining things. He’s not too particular about his victims actually wanting to know what he explains to them. Most of his free time is spent on hobby electronics.
Kate, Albert’s newly-wed wife. A lawyer and Harry Potter fan, Kate is working on her opus magnum on the constitution of magical Britain. She also maintains the drinking and nerdery club needs a proper charter and is trying to recruit a second member of the drafting committee.
Somewhat unrealistically the club will not be seen praying on screen. That is because I don’t want to give the impression of invoking divine sanction for the viewpoints I’ll be arguing for.
On friday we will listen in on the club’s inaugural meeting, where they will discuss quantum mechanics and philosophy.
- Sally is also auspicious about all alliterations absolutely anywhere.↵