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European Community Weekend 2017

15 DreamFlasher 02 February 2017 07:17PM

We are excited to announce this year's European LessWrong Community Weekend. For the fourth time, rationalists from all over Europe (and some from outside Europe) are gathering in Berlin to socialize, have fun, exchange knowledge and skills, and have interesting discussions.

The event takes place September 1st to September 3rd and, like last year, it will be held in the beautiful Jugendherberge Wannsee which contains a large room for central events, several seminar rooms, and lots of comfortable spaces inside and out to socialize or relax.

This is primarily a community-driven event. That means that while there will be a keynote and pre-planned content, the bulk of the schedule will be filled by the participants. There will be space to give talks, short or long, provide workshops, or just gather some people to do an activity together. In previous years we had the talks, lightning talks and workshops you would expect, as well as lighter activities such as 7-minute-workouts, an improv acting workshop, swimming in the lake and a workshop on modular origami. Of course there will also be time to reconnect with friends and form new connections with other aspiring rationalists.

Some valuable information

Most of the talks and discussions will be held in English, so you do not need to be able to speak German to attend.

The ticket price of €150 includes accommodation for two nights, on-site meals and snacks, and a welcome lunch on Friday at 12:00.

The event wraps up Sunday afternoon around 15:00. In the days after the weekend, participants are invited to stay in Berlin a little longer to explore the city, go bouldering, play frisbee, etc. While this is not part of the official event, we will coordinate couch-surfing opportunities to avoid the need for hotels.

To sign up, fill out this form.


If you have any questions, please email us at lwcw.europe@gmail.com.

Looking forward to seeing you there,
The Community Weekend organizers and LessWrong Deutschland e.V.
Comment author: DreamFlasher 02 February 2017 03:25:45PM 3 points [-]

Would somebody be so kind to promote this to main? :) Thank you!

Meetup : Sequences Reading Group

1 DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 10:01AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Sequences Reading Group

WHEN: 23 February 2017 07:15:00PM (+0100)

WHERE: Berlin

We meet about monthly to read the sequences posts. We focus on extracting insights from the LessWrong sequences and applying them to improve our rationality.

We read together and then discuss, no preparation necessary. Each session is independent, as the blog posts are independent, any time is a great time to join.

This group is mainly coordinated via meetup.com: https://www.meetup.com/de-DE/LessWrong-Rationality-Meetup-Berlin/

Discussion article for the meetup : Sequences Reading Group

Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:23:33AM 2 points [-]

Is my idea correct why this is in Mysterious Answers?: Due to positive bias you don’t try to falsify a theory -- and if a theory does not predict anything for the negative case, then it does not have any predictive value and thus is a mysterious answer.

Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:21:29AM 2 points [-]

My summary: A mysterious answer is a fake explanation that acts as a semantic stop sign. Signs for mysterious answers:

  • Explanation acts as curiousity-stopper rather than anticipation-controller

  • Hypothesis is a black box (no underlying principles to derive from)

  • Social indication that people cherish their ignorance

In response to Science as Attire
Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:19:53AM 2 points [-]

key take-away:

  • Many people can’t judge the difference between plausible and implausible scientific explanations, for them it’s just ‘science’

  • Science as a new authority to explain things (similar to religion)

Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:18:46AM *  2 points [-]

my summary:

  • For abstract concepts we need to drill down to relate them to empirical testing

  • We shouldn’t be satisfied with just saying the keywords, but seek to genuinly understand what’s going on.

  • The human brains tends to value what it gives social approval than which it matches physical reality.

  • Test as much as possible.

In response to Fake Explanations
Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:18:06AM 2 points [-]
  • We can be swayed by the context we are operating in, thinking inside-the-box
  • Don’t use terms and explanations if you are not really sure about the concepts
Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:16:31AM 2 points [-]
  • There is a difference between probability and uncertainty
  • Optimization is possible when you know the probabilities, hard/impossible if you don’t know them/are uncertain about them
Comment author: DreamFlasher 01 February 2017 08:15:36AM 2 points [-]

My main take-away message: There is a difference between: Passing neutral judgement, declining to invest marginal resources, pretending that either of these is a mark of deep wisdom. Sometimes being neutral is wise, sometimes just lazy. Not taking a side is taking the stronger side.

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