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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents


1. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Kolby Granville

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2. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Liam Kofi Bright

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Can you verify the surrounding world is real? In this work of René Descartes inspired philosophical short story fiction, death has come for a rational philosopher at his beach house. The Philosopher recognizes the figure as death, but insists the most likely scenario is that Death is a hallucination, a figment of his imagination. Death attempts to convince the philosopher of his authenticity through various means, but is unsuccessful. Even after showing the Philosopher his “true form” the Philosopher is not convinced, saying, “No isolated event, no matter how favorable the circumstance and how unable to otherwise explain by reference to an identifiable flaw in my person or reasoning capacities, could suffice to outweigh a lifetime’s worth of counter evidence.”

3. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Mark Bessen

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Are drags shows modern minstrel shows for straight party girls? Can defense of values be compromised for special occasions? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Hannah is getting married and off to Miami for a girl’s weekend bachelorette party. Her longtime gay friend Kyle, is not invited. Hannah’s mother has budgeted $100,000 for the wedding and bachelorette party on the condition Kyle not be invited. Hannah’s wedding is her special day, the money will make it perfect, so she has her bridesmaid (who should have been Kyle!) message Kyle, last minute, to uninvite him. Of course, she supports, gay rights, but not at the cost of her special day. While in Miami the over-the-top bachelorette group goes to a gay night club, then for mimosa and a drag show the next morning to recover. Kyle tried to contact Hannah to talk to her about her reasoning, but she refuses to pick up the phone, so he flies to Miami and confronts her at the drag show about being a fair-weather liberal, in spectacular fashion.

4. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Michael Shainsky

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If connections and experiences make us happy, why do we buy things? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Nikolay runs a tour company in Uzbekistan. When his employee gets sick, he must take a group of American tourists to see a local walnut tree in a small village, then to Lake Urungach for photos. Their bus breaks down in the small village and they are forced to spend the day there while waiting for replacement transportation. A tough situation becomes festive when they decide to have a BBQ by the town walnut tree. Beer becomes wine as the day winds on and, eventually a traditional band comes out to play and keep them company. As it gets dark the power in the small town goes out so they decide to build a fire to continue their drinking and revelry into the night. Steve, an unhappy lawyer on yet another vacation meets Sevara, the beautiful Cambridge educated daughter of the village elder and is forced to wonder if its too late to start the type of life he wishes he’d always been living; a life full of simple joy, instead of acquisition. Finally, the replacement bus shows up and the tourists (many of which are now too drunk to walk) are sent home to their hotels.

5. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Lissa Muir

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What human values would you deny to save your life? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a group of families are on vacation touring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater when they hear gunshots. While most are confused, one attuned man realizes the danger and quickly gets the children safely into the basement. The remaining group is then confronted by men with guns looking to sort out, and kill, everyone who are not Christian. They are, they say, trying to bring America back to its true values and roots. An offended black man confronts them, but they assure him, they aren’t racists, they are good Christian men. They kill a Jewish man, who makes clear while he believes Jesus was a good man, but not the son of God. The narrator’s husband is then picked next and asked to confirm his Christian faith. His wife knows he’s an atheist and tries to will him to lie. Instead, her husband confesses both his Canadian citizenship and his lack of Christian faith, and is killed. Shortly thereafter police snipers show up and show the gunmen dead. The families are safe, but the narrator must now explain to their two children in the basement, that their father is dead.

6. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Ken Nordstrom

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Can race neutral facts/policies causes racist outcomes? In this philosophical short story fiction, Victor is fresh out of college and has applied for a prestigious internship at an insurance company. While at the interview, Deion, a seemingly more qualified classmate is also waiting to interview for the same position. Victor decides to ask his friend’s father, who works at the company, to put in a good word for him. However, he discovers the friend’s father is actually quitting the company because the data for the actuarial underwriting causes African Americans to always have a higher insurance risk rating, and the associated premiums. A few days later Victor is offered the job, but is left wondering if the company’s underwriting policy is racist and if he only got the job over Deion because the company discriminates against hiring people of color.

7. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
E.L. Tenenbaum

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It is wrong act without reason? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, a young boy is born for the first time in 1,000 years into the “Great Sky Of Reason.” Unlike those around him, he laughs, smiles and plays, even when there is no reason. His parents find him confusing and give him to the Great Purveyors at the Great Observatory of Reason. In time, under their constant training, he learns reason and discipline. He no longer smiles as he understands all conclusions simply follow from their logical causes. He is eventually appointed to the Great Observatory where the Purveyors look over earth and the actions of all its inhabitants. From above, they sprinkle emotions that encourage reason on humans at just the right moment. Empathy, understanding, reflection, in moments when they are most needed. After some time, the young boy (now a young man) comes to question the logic of influencing humans towards a path of reason. At first, he simply stops sprinkling emotions on them. Later, he goes about destroying the store of emotions the Great Observatory has, thus making it impossible for others to influence humans as well.

8. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11
Deb Rogers

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How do the friends your child makes change their life outcomes? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, two suburban families and their daughters (Tamara and Kate), live next door to each other. However, over time, Tamara’s parents, William and Beverly, get mixed up in a drug scheme. Things go wrong and William’s daughter, Tamara, is put in prison while their father, William, makes a deal to stay out of prison. The narrator blames them for their own daughter, Kate’s, current issues. Years later, when William is sent to hospice and the house is empty, the narrator breaks into their house to find and steal the left over money from the drug deals from time past. He plans to use the money to help his own daughter (Kate), whom he believes has a right to that money for the harm of their negative influence on their daughter.

9. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11

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10. After Dinner Conversation: Volume > 4 > Issue: 11

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