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Meetup : Mountain View: More on Reinforcement

0 fiddlemath 22 April 2013 03:18AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: More on Reinforcement

WHEN: 23 April 2013 07:30:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 167 Jasmine Ct, Mountain View, CA

More from Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog, as we only got through about half of it last time. Including:

  • A (fast!) review of last week's stuff
  • How to train responses to specific cues
  • Methods for training away an unwanted behavior

Though they sound straightforward, that the ability to do the last two tasks are the primary atoms that let you program your brain -- to institute appropriate, perhaps-unintuitive behaviors at the right time, and to get rid of such behavior. If we can do this -- practice doing it, make a habit of this practice -- then we can make ourselves more awesome in fine detail.

I'd love to have a conversation about what it'd look like to take these ideas seriously. And, since we only did one round last time, let's play a bit more of the Training Game. Maybe with a little more structure. :j

See you there!


If you're in the San Francisco Bay area, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list. Regular meetups in Mountain View and Berkeley, and other events, are announced and discussed there.

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: More on Reinforcement

Meetup : Mountain View: Reinforcement

1 fiddlemath 15 April 2013 05:15AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Reinforcement

WHEN: 16 April 2013 07:30:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 167 Jasmine Ct, Mountain View, CA

I just read Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog. It's full of things relevant to our interests, like:

  • how to learn skills and good habits
  • how to unlearn unwanted behavior and bad habits
  • how to attach behavior to a trigger

and so on. I suspect this is fundamental stuff if you're interested in becoming an excellent human.

I'll basically present the contents of Don't Shoot the Dog, highlighting those points most salient to our interests. I'd love to have a conversation about what it'd look like to take these ideas seriously..

And also, let's play the Training Game, therein described, which sounds silly and enlightening. "Silly and enlightening" is my favorite combination. :D

Hope to see you there!


If you're in the San Francisco Bay area, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list. Regular meetups in Mountain View and Berkeley, and other events, are announced and discussed there.

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Reinforcement

Meetup : Mountain View: Board Game Night

1 fiddlemath 04 April 2013 06:33AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Board Game Night

WHEN: 09 April 2013 07:30:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 278 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

It's been four whole weeks since we last played board games! How has this happened!?

The Quixey office has quite a few board games, so we won't be short, but you're more than welcome to bring anything else you might like to play. I will ensure that both Zendo and The Resistance are available. :)


If you're in the San Francisco Bay area and reading this, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list. Regular meetups in Mountain View and Berkeley are announced and discussed there, and other events of interest to the local community.

Entering the Quixeyplex: Our doors will be locked in the evening, and it's not always the case that someone's watching them for passerby. If you need to be let in, you can call me at 608.698.2959.

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Board Game Night

Meetup : Mountain View: Cure Light Aversions

1 fiddlemath 01 April 2013 05:02AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Cure Light Aversions

WHEN: 02 April 2013 07:30:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 167 Jasmine Ct, Mountain View, CA

In the time I've spent volunteering with DI, I've learned a few fun improv games. I also know a few other tricks for evoking helpful, unusual social atmospheres. Let's try these:

  • The Repetition Game - this sounds absurd. It feels absurd, too, but maybe not how you'd expect. You should try it.
  • Various improv games. I know several, and will be prepared with more. If you have some favorites, let's do those, too.
  • Comfort-Zone Expansion: a brief, mild round of comfort-zone expansion.

Aaron and Jess will open the doors at 7:00pm; we'll get started at 7:30.

If you're in the San Francisco Bay area and reading this, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list. Regular meetups in Mountain View and Berkeley are announced and discussed there, as are other events of interest to the local community.

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Cure Light Aversions

Meetup : Mountain View: Invoking Curiosity

1 fiddlemath 26 March 2013 08:54AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Invoking Curiosity

WHEN: 26 March 2013 07:30:00AM (-0700)

WHERE: 278 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

Get Curious is an explicit injunction to practice becoming curious whenever it's useful. Or pleasant, I suppose. I've just started, in the very most tiny way, to think and play with this, and I have a couple more ideas about how we could try to practice this skill. I want to bounce these ideas off of people and see if they work for anyone else. I really want to know if anyone has alternate suggestions for inducing curiosity that work for them.

In any case, Let's Try It, and see what comes of it.

Moreover, invoking curiosity seems like a skill that could be fruitfully practiced for something like 5 minutes a day. I'm very interesting in putting together some social mechanism to practice this and similar skills; I'd quite like to set one up at the meetup.


(Standard mailing list plug)

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list Regular meetups in Mountain View and Berkeley are announced and discussed there, as are other events in the local community.

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Invoking Curiosity

Meetup : South Bay Meetup: Be Specific

3 fiddlemath 18 March 2013 07:27AM

Discussion article for the meetup : South Bay Meetup: Be Specific

WHEN: 19 March 2013 07:30:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 278 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

"Being specific" doesn't seem like a skill that we can say much about, in the abstract. (Though this post does anyway.) Nonetheless, we usually aren't all that specific. How might we practice to become more specific?

I have a few ideas, a couple of concrete exercises, and at least one moderately amusing game to try in this vein. You all get to try them!

If you're at the Quixey door and need to be let in, you can call me at 608.698.2959.

See you there!


If you're in the San Francisco Bay area and reading this, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list. Regular meetups in Mountain View are Berkeley are announced and discussed there, and other events of interest to the local community.

Discussion article for the meetup : South Bay Meetup: Be Specific

Meetup : Mountain View: Rough Numbers

4 fiddlemath 04 March 2013 06:51PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Rough Numbers

WHEN: 05 March 2013 07:30:00PM (-0800)

WHERE: 278 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

Various techniques for performing estimation in your head, how you can actually practice this on a day-to-day basis, and why you should care. This is the first in a series of meetup topics on Actually Using Math -- a simple skill, really, that even this community rarely practices enough, given its utility. And I'll happily explain why I think this is, and what to do about it. Pure conjecture, of course, but it might be interesting.

Also, I'll start with another quick problem-solving game. :)

If you're at the Quixey door and need to be let in, you can call me at 608.698.2959.


If you're in the San Francisco Bay area and reading this, consider joining the Bay Area Less Wrong mailing list Regular meetups in Mountain View are Berkeley are announced and discussed there, and other events of interest to the local community.

Discussion article for the meetup : Mountain View: Rough Numbers

Meetup : Madison: Prospect Theory

2 fiddlemath 12 October 2012 04:34AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Madison: Prospect Theory

WHEN: 14 October 2012 07:00:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: 325 Rethke Ave, Madison WI

Prospect theory is a very simple, but reasonably predictive, model of actual human decisions. This Sunday, I'll give a short presentation on prospect theory -- in particular, what kinds of predictions it makes, what ways agents using it exhibit irrational behavior, and what we can do with this knowledge. Probably, I'll ramble about some other bits of behavioral economics, too. :)

Also, of course: general discussion, and probably some board games.

This Sunday, we'll meet at David's place. If you're in town, or near it, but you don't have an easy way to get to David's place, then ask for a ride, either here or on the mailing list. Someone will surely offer; if no one else does, I will pick you up. :)

Also, also: if you're near Madison, do join our mailing list! There's some discussion there that never quite reaches this forum.

Discussion article for the meetup : Madison: Prospect Theory

Meetup : Madison: Generating More Ideas

3 fiddlemath 23 September 2012 07:20PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Madison: Generating More Ideas

WHEN: 23 September 2012 07:00:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: 4371 Doncaster Dr, Madison, WI

We've discussed some methods and basic principles for idea generation.

But, of course, there are more!

I'll review what we've discussed before about straightforward, rapid, "make a list" idea generation, and introduce some other methods; in particular, DeBono's "concept fan" and "provocations". And, of course, we'll actually try these out a few times.

Discussion article for the meetup : Madison: Generating More Ideas

Meetup : Madison: Reading Group, Seeing with Fresh Eyes

1 fiddlemath 12 September 2012 02:56AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Madison: Reading Group, Seeing with Fresh Eyes

WHEN: 16 September 2012 07:00:00PM (-0500)

WHERE: 1053 Rutledge St #3, Madison, WI

At this meetup, we'll discuss the Seeing with Fresh Eyes sequence. Roughly speaking, this sequence is about the stickiness of old ideas, and how hard they can make it to have new ideas. Try to read this before showing up -- as usual for our reading group sessions, you're welcome to come if you haven't read these lately, but some of the conversation might be incomprehensible. To keep the reading down to a reasonable length, I recommend the following handful of pages.

First, a few well-documented studies, pointing vaguely at the general trend:

Then, a mad plunge into related speculation and advice:

As usual, I also like the rest of the posts in the sequence, but they don't fit together with these so well, I think; so I'll leave those out of this list. If you have the time for those, too, go ahead and read the full sequence.

Also, thanks to Nick for offering to host this week!

Discussion article for the meetup : Madison: Reading Group, Seeing with Fresh Eyes

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