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therufs comments on Meetup Discussion - Less Wrong Discussion

7 Post author: luminosity 08 January 2017 05:14AM

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Comment author: therufs 10 January 2017 11:28:54PM 2 points [-]

LW discussion meetup (shotgun rules)

The outcome of the State of the Meetup Meetup was that people were mostly coming for social reasons and we probably didn't need to freak out about topics all the time.

We drafted and sorta-unilaterally instated the Shotgun Rules (flagrantly cribbed from the Bay Area Debian group.)

Relevant highlights:
* Anyone may call a meetup for the appointed day
* If the meetup is not called it does not happen
* If there is no designated topic we will just hang out and that is fine.

In practice, I think a meetup has been called by someone who wasn't an organizer of the previous group only once or twice, and we've almost always had a "topic" (sometimes a post from a rationality blog that someone found interesting, sometimes "play Zendo" or "do some other-optimizing"). We usually stay more or less "on topic" for 60-90 minutes, then digress at leisure.

A side benefit of the shotgun rules (though I have fairly strong evidence that new members of the mailing list categorically do not read them) is the opportunity for folks to get a sense of approximately how serious any given meetup can be expected to be (not very), and to signal for certain values (e.g. gender inclusive restrooms) without beating folks over the head with them.