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Comment author: Davidmanheim 12 January 2017 09:09:07PM 1 point [-]

We tried one of these in LA, and while I wasn't there, I heard people liked it - but it's a lot of work to run, and so it only happened one time. Part of that is that it was much longer, and part is that finding a venue was hard.

Comment author: luminosity 15 January 2017 12:47:35PM 0 points [-]

Venues are definitely a problem -- we're lucky enough to have a relatively central humanist group who let us hire out their meeting space once a month, but occasionally it has been difficult to scramble to find an alternative.

I wonder if there'd be some value in having a list of suggested ways to find a venue for people organising meetup groups.

In response to comment by therufs on Meetup Discussion
Comment author: therufs 10 January 2017 11:08:02PM 1 point [-]

HPMOR meetup

Sometime mid-HPMOR, we had a biweekly Saturday midday meetup group to discuss some number of chapters. We started at the beginning and would read (or not read) ?5? or so chapters per meetup until we ran out of new material, after which we met sporadically when there was a new chapter. If memory serves, we met for brunch a couple of times, then shifted to doing food truck food + hanging out a local brewery. After discussion these meetups would generally segue into at least a whole afternoon if not a whole day of hangouts.

At least once or twice, we got some folks who ardently insisted they'd never ever ever ever come to a LW meetup. We also occasionally got attendees from places outside the Triangle for whom it wasn't feasible to make the trip to our LW discussion meetup.

We talked about moving on to other rationality fic (Luminosity in particular) after HPMOR wrapped but that didn't happen for some reason (possibly it got cold before we got around to it, and the food truck+brewery combo is somewhat less enchanting in such weather.)

I rarely have a whole Saturday to devote to discussion, beer, ping pong, coffee, and Bullitron anymore, but I remember these with a lot of fondness.

In response to comment by therufs on Meetup Discussion
Comment author: luminosity 15 January 2017 12:45:54PM 0 points [-]

Did you get people that did crossover from these meetups to the others? It seems like a more lightweight / fun topic like this might be good for letting people get involved more easily?

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: JoshuaFox 11 January 2017 07:42:15AM *  1 point [-]

In Tel Aviv, we have three types of meetings, all on Tuesdays. Monthly we have a full meeting, usually a lecture or sometimes Rump Sessions (informal lightning talks). Typical attendance is 12.

Monthly, alternating fortnights from the above, we do game nights.

We are graciously hosted by Meni Rosenfeld's Cluster startup hub. (For a few years were were hosted at Google.)

On other Tuesdays a few LessWrongers get together at a pub.

Comment author: luminosity 15 January 2017 12:42:54PM 0 points [-]

How did you go about finding people to come to your meetups? Pre-existing friends? LW site postings? Something else?

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: Davidmanheim 12 January 2017 09:21:04PM 1 point [-]

Lesswrong LA / Los Angeles Rationality

We ran a couple varieties of meetup, but the group changed over time, and most of the original people moved away or moved on. Most of the organizing was done in a Google Chat group, which is still pretty active.

I'm no longer there - but we had a couple of great activities I'll encourage others to try.

1) http://lesswrong.com/lw/muy/aumann_agreement_game/ - This was fun, and we've played a lot. It has a lot of replay-ability value, and it a valuable calibration and group cohesion / getting to know others activity. The big downside is that it's 4-person + 1 Scorekeeper as long as you use the typical 4-answer quiz questions. If you found a different source of questions with more multiple choice options, it would scale well, but would start to get unwieldy by 10 people.

2) Presentations / Thinking Questions / Guided discussions - We had fun sometimes having someone pose interesting solved or unsolved issues, or just general things people were interested in. I gave a couple on formal decision theory-related topics, and others covered topics as diverse as various types of formalisms for infinite numbers, to how to be more persuasive and personable at social gatherings. Downside: this can't be more than half the time of the meetup, and sometimes there were some people who were uninterested in the topic who would wander off.

3) Rationality Moments - 15 minutes long, a good component of a longer meeting. Described here: http://lesswrong.com/lw/mlj/meetup_west_la_problem_solving/ - this was a good thing for me, and I think others, especially since it meant there was a component of explicit rationality-boosting and thinking about how to get better. at practical skills.

4, 5, etc.) General discussion / Game Nights / Other - We had done lots of random things, but usually the devolved into just hanging out, which was fun and fine, but not usually particularly rationality focused.

Comment author: luminosity 15 January 2017 12:41:57PM 0 points [-]

When you say most of the original people moved away, do you mean the group stopped meeting, or its meetings acquired new members and a different focus?

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: philh 13 January 2017 05:15:15PM *  1 point [-]

London rationalish

We rebranded from "Less Wrong London" because several of us had stopped reading Less Wrong. I currently advertise meetups on our facebook group and /r/slatestarcodex.

Currently we have no topics or agenda; we just meet in a pub every other week and talk about whatever we feel. As the organizer, I've said that if anyone wants to do something beyond this, they're welcome to take over for a week, but I'm not likely to do any more than that any time soon.

We've attempted other things in the past (themed discussions; games; outings) with mixed success. I think the main reason we're not doing them now is because nobody wants to put in the work for them.

We briefly used the conversation system I wrote about here, and I think it worked quite well when we did, but we don't use it now for no particular reason. (I think we're smaller than we were then, so there's less need for it.)

In response to comment by philh on Meetup Discussion
Comment author: luminosity 15 January 2017 12:37:40PM 0 points [-]

Do you track where new people come from? I'm wondering about what channels it makes sense to focus on maintaining a presence in. (Hadn't thought of doing it on r/ssc)

Meetup Discussion

7 luminosity 08 January 2017 05:14AM

One of the most valuable services the Less Wrong community has to offer are the meetup groups. However, it strikes me that there isn't a lot of knowledge sharing between different meetup groups. Presumably there's a lot that the different groups could learn from each other -- things that can be done, experiments that have or haven't worked out, procedural and organisational tips. Hence this post. Please go ahead and write a summary about your local less wrong meetup below:

  • What meetups do you run?
  • What's worked?
  • What hasn't?
  • How is the group organised?

 

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 04:53:04AM *  2 points [-]

Less Wrong Sydney

We've run three different types of meetups over the last several years, each of which will get a sub-comment below.

Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 05:06:03AM 3 points [-]

Social meetups

Shortly after we started back up, we ran intermittent social meetups, such as a night out at laser tag, or a walk over the Sydney harbour bridge, followed by a picnic. These were pretty enjoyable, but organisation fell through and these lapsed. We're currently thinking about how we want to start these back up.

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 04:53:04AM *  2 points [-]

Less Wrong Sydney

We've run three different types of meetups over the last several years, each of which will get a sub-comment below.

Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 05:04:07AM 3 points [-]

Dinner meetups

We have a monthly meetup at an RSL in Sydney -- we've found this is a good venue, as people who want to can get food and drinks, but not everyone needs to. At a cafe there is more pressure to have to make purchases over time if you're taking up their floor space.

This was the first meetup we ran when the Less Wrong Sydney group resumed meeting -- at first we ran them with a focus on group discussions, and talking about a particular topic, but we found that often a topic was more of a reason for people to stay away, than for people to come. With the advent of the dojos, there wasn't as much pressure for this to deliver on applied rationality, and so it has turned into more of a group discussion space.

We're currently in the middle of an experiment of trying to drive people to these meetups from a meetup.com group -- if people seem interested, we can then invite them to come along to the dojos also.

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 04:53:04AM *  2 points [-]

Less Wrong Sydney

We've run three different types of meetups over the last several years, each of which will get a sub-comment below.

Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 04:59:28AM 4 points [-]

Rationality Dojos

We started these off using material taken from CFAR workshops -- gradually over time related topics such as Kegan's Immunity to Change have been introduced.

We started off running these as one two hour session, all given by the same person, but after a year we switched to a new format, where we break off into two - three segments run by different people. This keeps people's attention better, reduces the amount of work individual presenters do, and allows us to experiment with new material without having to worry that if it doesn't work out the whole session will be rendered pointless.

There's a strong focus in the dojos of doing work on real problems people have -- we want to avoid sessions where people give talks, everyone feels enlightened, but people then don't go ahead and use the new knowledge. We also take advantage of the monthly timing to allow people to lay down goals for the next month that they'll be made accountable for at the next meetup.

In response to Meetup Discussion
Comment author: luminosity 08 January 2017 04:53:04AM *  2 points [-]

Less Wrong Sydney

We've run three different types of meetups over the last several years, each of which will get a sub-comment below.

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