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Almost every Sunday, HGP members gather in Portland, Oregon, for a program which is free and open to the public. With the invited presenters' permissions, we record those talks for our members, and with further permission, make them available here. Hovering over a thumbnail below shows its full title and [date] of that program, and clicking it brings it to the top window to view its "Description" and/or video. Most programs start with a very short reading chosen by a member. See http://www.portlandhumanists.org for more info about HGP and our programs. Members also get access to videos not authorized for public release, as well as the HGP library and member-oriented events. Video credits: For most videos, camera is done by Mike Birtchet, audio is done by Bill Maiden, and final editing was done by Dave DiNucci and is currently done by Laurent Beauregard. None of these videos would be possible without the excellent work of the HGP Program Committee to schedule speakers and to carry out the programs, or without the contributed time and effort of the speakers themselves.
Updated: 25 min 32 sec ago

Genetically Engineered Foods [2015/01-18]

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 1:55pm

HGP member David Gray discusses genetically modified foods. He looks at the health risks and at the environmental effects. He examines reasons for opposition and considers the limitations that other countries have imposed. He also touches on the controversy over labeling foods containing GE ingredients. Gray holds a BS in Civil Engineering.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags:

Land Ownership and Democracy [2014/11-30]

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 1:04pm

Jeff Strang presents an overview of the history of U.S. land and natural resource ownership, development of democracy, and economics of land ownership. He also outlines a proposal for more democratic ownership of land, related to a bill scheduled for the 2015 Oregon legislature proposing a Constitutional amendment to be put on the ballot.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: democracy and land ownwership

Portland Climate Action Report [2014/10-19]

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 1:25pm

Kyle Diesner presents an overview of how the City of Portland addresses climate change. This includes the history of efforts to date, plus a preview of the Draft 2015 Climate Action Plan. He provides an in-depth exploration of Multnomah County’s impact on global carbon emissions. Diesner is a Policy Analyst for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning. He has been working on sustainability initiatives at the City of Portland since 2003.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: climate change

Franklin, Jefferson, and the Common Man [2014/12-28]

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 5:47pm

Presentation by HGP member Dave Collamer. Humanists in general support democratic principles, especially the responsibility of common people to solve problems, plot their destiny, and govern the republic. To what extent did the Framers really believe this possible? Collamer looks at the attitudes of the Framers, especially Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to see what they were really thinking.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: american history

Complexity [2014/12-14]

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 2:12pm

Computer scientist Melanie Mitchell presents examples of how the interdisciplinary field of complex systems science is discovering principles underlying different natural and technological systems. As science probes the nature of life and society, what it finds is complexity. The behavior of social insects, the genome, and the structure of the World Wide Web -- these are examples of systems that challenge scientific understanding. Melanie Mitchell is Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University. She has published books and papers on artificial intelligence, in cognitive science, and about complex systems.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: complexity and computer science

From Citizens to Enemy Aliens [2014/11-23]

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 8:15am

Presentation by Kimberly Jensen. The full title is “From Citizens to Enemy Aliens: Oregon Women, Marriage, and the Surveillance State during the First World War.” Federal legislation in effect from 1907 to 1922 required women who were U.S. citizens and who married men of other nations to forfeit their U.S. citizenship and take on the status of their husbands. During the First World War, some 400 Oregon women became "enemy aliens" as a result of their marriage to German men in the state. Kept under surveillance by state officials, many of the women resisted actions against them and definitions of themselves as enemy aliens. Ms. Jensen is professor of history and gender studies at Western Oregon University.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: history, world war 1 and women

Bridge Meadows [2014/11-02]

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:40am

Dr. Derenda Schubert tells us about Bridge Meadows, a unique and innovative solution to the current foster care crisis. Located in North Portland, Bridge Meadows is a three-generation housing community consisting of homes for adoptive families and apartments for elders 55 and older who act as surrogate grandparents and as mentors to the children who live there. Dr. Schubert is a psychologist with experience in counseling children and in creating and managing programs in foster care, mental health, and developmental disabilities.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags:

An Appeal From The Heart [2014/10-26]

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:39am

Doug Matheson conducts a rotating oral reading (involving audience participants) of his essay titled "An Appeal from the Heart." Doug grew up a missionary kid in India, and was educated in Christian schools until graduate school. Despite a loving Christian indoctrination he came to realize that, when beliefs and evidence are in contradiction, personal honesty requires that we impose the evidence on our beliefs, instead of attempting to impose our beliefs on the evidence.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags:

Post Election Analysis [2014/11-09]

Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:38am

Jeff Seward summarizes key results of the 2014 midterm elections, analyzes their significance, and makes predictions about their implications for the rest of Obama's second term and for the 2016 presidential election. Seward, an associate professor in the Department of Politics and Government at Pacific University, has been a popular speaker at HGP. He teaches comparative politics, political philosophy, political economy, and courses on Latin America. Prior to his academic career, he was a reporter and documentary film producer.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: politics and elections

Water: It's Complicated [2014/09-28]

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:10pm

Presentation by Catherine Howells. Our urban environment is dependent on basic infrastructure (water, sewer, electricity and garbage) for our health and survival. This infrastructure is ignored by most of us because it runs so well that we take it for granted. This talk will look into what it really takes to deliver water to our taps.
Catherine Howells is an adjunct professor at Portland State University where she teaches and researches about urban water systems. She has served on the City Club committee looking at water and sewer rates and is currently a member of the Portland Public Utilities Review Board.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: water and infrastructure

Why Are We Here? [2014/09-21]

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:07am

Presentation by Paul Wathen. Existence can be thought of as a four-dimensional metaphysical space in which human consciousness is the lynchpin. This model has profound implications for discovering who we are, and it also leads to some crucial paradoxes. Unraveling them leads to a new understanding of how we’re all interconnected, and to a powerful way of understanding why we exist at all. Mr. Wathen has worked as an editor, television production manager, and as a certified public accountant for 30 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. This has made him wonder what it’s all about. His presentation summarizes the conclusions he’s come to so far.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: philosophy

Why Are We Here? [2014/09-21]

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:29pm

Presentation by Paul Wathen. Existence can be thought of as a four-dimensional metaphysical space in which human consciousness is the lynchpin. This model has profound implications for discovering who we are, and it also leads to some crucial paradoxes. Unraveling them leads to a new understanding of how we’re all interconnected, and to a powerful way of understanding why we exist at all. Mr. Wathen has worked as an editor, television production manager, and as a certified public accountant for 30 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. This has made him wonder what it’s all about. His presentation summarizes the conclusions he’s come to so far.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: philosophy