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Meetup Report Thread: September 2014

8 Post author: Viliam_Bur 30 August 2014 12:32PM

If you had an interesting Less Wrong meetup recently, but don't have the time to write up a big report to post to Discussion, feel free to write a comment here.  Even if it's just a couple lines about what you did and how people felt about it, it might encourage some people to attend meetups or start meetups in their area.

If you have the time, you can also describe what types of exercises you did, what worked and what didn't.  This could help inspire meetups to try new things and improve themselves in various ways.

If you're inspired by what's posted below and want to organize a meetup, check out this page for some resources to get started!  You can also check FrankAdamek's weekly post on meetups for the week.

Previous Meetup Report Thread: February 2014


Guidelines:  Please post the meetup reports as top-level comments, and debate the specific meetup below its comment.  Anything else goes under the "Meta" top-level comment.  The title of this thread should be interpreted as "up to and including September 2014", which means feel free to post reports of meetups that happened in August, July, June, etc.

Comments (5)

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 31 August 2014 08:33:28PM *  7 points [-]

I already posted my notes in LessWrong Hamburg Meetup Notes - Diet, but I'd like to relay an anecdote that just happend: My two oldest sons (8, 10) participated in our meetup. Actually they were told that it would be boring grow-up talk and didn't need to participate. But they sat in the circle, listened and occassionally commented or asked something. I though they just socialized. But I was wrong. They did listen. This evening one of them came out of his room with his alarm clock and told me:

  • He: "It has a blue light and that's bad for sleeping."

  • Me: "Why?"

  • He: "Because red light is good for getting tired and blue light makes one awake"

  • Me: "How do you know?"

  • He: "I learned it on Friday at the LessWrong get-together"

Obviously he did listen and reflect what we talked about.

Lesson: Don't underestimate your children and better let them participate in any rational discussion. The can just profit from it.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 30 August 2014 12:32:44PM 4 points [-]


Anything not related to a specific meetup goes here.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 30 August 2014 02:42:35PM 7 points [-]

Maybe we could have a rule to up-vote meetup notes to encourage more postings. After all the meetups are the flesh or practical rationality. Whatever topis work or don't work as part of a meetup is important, or isn't it?

Comment author: AnnaLeptikon 30 August 2014 01:12:19PM *  9 points [-]

Review about the Rationality Meetup in Vienna on 23.08.2014

People who were there: Marko Thiel, Monika, Andreas, Matthias Brandner, Viliam Búr, Ivan, Manuel Moertelmaier, Pascal, Anna Leptikon, Marianna, Adelheid Gfrast, Jana and Austin Franzoni

We did the "open microphone" idea again and had our first meetup at Andreas' and Moni's place - thank you again for organizing it and all the food and drinks :)

Our (official) topics on Saturday were:

  • "money creation" by Andreas

  • "time" by Lea

  • "remembering and experiencing self" (Kahnemann) by Andreas

  • "money and happiness" by Matthias

We still have this open mic topics open:

absolute morality, antitheism, Esperanto, motivation hacker

We defined this topics for a full meetup in the future:

  • "Superintelligence" (Marko Thiel)

  • maybe Motivation Hacker? (Moni & me)

  • introduction and current research about happiness (me)

I collected this feedback ideas (from me and other people) during and after the meetup:

  • defining "homework" for the next meetup to have a better base for upcoming topics (like reading specific articles)

  • trying more settings in one meetup so it "feels like doing more" (for example going for a walk, changing sitting positions et cetera - we had the idea because of "remembering vs experiencing self")

  • before starting a specific discussion about a topic first thinking about which level of thinking is the best/most important one

  • after each topic or 30 "open mic" minutes -> thinking what this new information means for myself/how I can use it

Comment author: AnnaLeptikon 30 August 2014 01:05:35PM *  8 points [-]

Review about the Rationality Meetup in Vienna on 19.07.2014:

People who were there: Marko Thiel, Heinrich, Erik Unger, Monika, Andreas, Matthias Brandner, Peter Mühlbacher, Viliam Búr, Axel, Ivan , Manuel Moertelmaier, Anna Leptikon, Andreas Villarreal, Tom Madl, Marianna, Lio Kaufman

We tried the "open microphone" idea by Manuel the first time (which means: we collect topics people have to offer in the beginning, vote which ones we want to hear and every speaker gets 30 minutes - discussion included - for his topic) Donclusion: more information density and variety - so it's a great idea and we should do it more often, but there also is a need for meet ups with just one topic (it's more relaxed and some topics just can't be discussed and explained in 30 minutes)

Our (official) topics on Saturday were:

We didn't have time (officially) for the topics: absolute morality, antitheism, debating, Esperanto and money creation (but I think it was discussed later anyways, some will follow the next meetups)