The Idler Symposium Series with Tom Hodgkinson

Tom Hodgkinson|Monday 23rd September to Monday 18th November

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Tom Hodgkinson at the Three Kings pub in Clerkenwell. Pic by Chris Floyd

Join Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson for a series of six seminars on a radical approach to everyday life.

1. Idling: The First Thousand Years – Monday 23 September
Tom brings us a history of dynamic loafing from the Taoists and ancient Greek philosophers to the early Christians.

2. Idling: The Second Thousand Years – Tuesday 1 October
Tom discusses the two major historical blows to idling: the Reformation and the Industrial Revolution. He praises the romantic rebels from Isaak Walton to Blake to Oscar Wilde to Johnny Rotten to John Lennon.

3. Plato’s Symposium: An Introduction to the Foundation Text of Philosophy – Wednesday 9 October
Philosophy was invented by a Greek slacker called Socrates and a temple prostitute called Diotima. Plato’s Symposium relates the story of a discussion on love.

4. Waste Not: The Advantages of Frugality to the Idle Life – Monday 28 October
A history of frugal philosophies and a discussion how being financially sensible today can open up acres of free time.

5. Smash the System: An Introduction to Anarchism – Tuesday 12 November
A new history and reevaluation of anarchism as a practical political approach.

6. What Did Silicon Valley Ever Do For Us? – Monday 18 November
How to escape the clutches of the big tech barons and make the Internet great again.

The Idler Symposium Series takes place at the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell. Each seminar will consist of a 50 minute talk followed by 30 minutes Q&A. Tickets include a glass of wine.

Cost: £15 for one seminar / £12 concessions / £60 for six seminars



About the Speaker

Tom is editor of the Idler and author of the best-selling manuals, How to be Idle and How to be Free. Other books include a book on smallholding called Brave Old World, a book on parenting, the Ukulele Handbook and, most recently, a manual for creative entrepreneurs, Business for Bohemians.



Lecture 1: Monday 23 September | Lecture 2: Tuesday 1 October | Lecture 3: Wednesday 9 October | Lecture 4: Monday 28 October | Lecture 5: Tuesday 12 November | Lecture 6: Monday 18 November


7pm – 9pm

Talk Starts





Marx Memorial Library & Workers’ School, 37a Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU


£15 for one seminar, £12 concessions, £60 for six seminars


Glass of wine, Idler Academy exercise book


The first half of this event will be filmed for the Idler\’s website and YouTube channel.


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