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comment by Peter_de_Blanc · 2012-06-20T06:57:28.882Z · score: 13 (17 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Shannon is a network hub. I spent some time at her previous house and made a lot of connections, including my current partners.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-06-20T05:58:11.329Z · score: 11 (13 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ooh, interesting idea. I'm throwing dinner parties once a week. I'll throw in an invite for these visitors while they're here provided I'm notified of their contact info and dietary needs and the date of the stay in advance.

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T16:03:06.709Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

That would be fabulous, I'll definitely put you in touch.

comment by oliverbeatson · 2012-06-20T14:50:18.543Z · score: 10 (18 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Darn! If only I were a female androphile, rather than a male one... I eagerly await the day this post reads "large group of female rationalists now requires gay-best-friend figure for company, dialogue about hair and SAVING the WORLD".

This is a really neat idea, yay for propagating relationships that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T16:18:53.377Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for the acknowledgment :) I have quite a few friends of "its complicated" gender, I think it kind of gives you all superpowers in the sense that you are so much more aware of a very large and frequently used set of assumptions most people are making, and exceptions to them - you are forced to see more of the structure of the matrix just by virtue of being who you are. Please let me know if you ever make it to out to California.

comment by oliverbeatson · 2012-06-20T22:31:05.143Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

You're welcome :) yes, in that sense it does confer (by confer I mean involuntarily foist upon you) a handful of learning opportunities, especially as you grow up with a wider view of gender-stuff. I'm not certain I'd go back in time and choose the norm, for the variety having an extra order of weirdness.

Though fitting in with weirdness never seemed like it'd be a huge problem with Less Wrong.

I totally will, thank you.

comment by thomblake · 2012-06-20T17:27:45.106Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T17:56:42.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)


comment by Iabalka · 2012-06-20T18:22:32.967Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

What does it mean "being agenty" ?

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T18:29:49.880Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Taking personal responsibility for making things happen. Observing opportunities and going for them. Taking risks. The act of filling out the form I posted would be a form of being an agent.

comment by lukeprog · 2012-06-20T21:56:51.057Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Also see: The Power of Agency.

comment by KatjaGrace · 2012-06-21T15:59:36.453Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

FYI, I'm female and visiting for the month of July anyway, staying with Anna etc.

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-21T23:19:03.926Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Awesome! I look forward to meeting you :)

comment by KatjaGrace · 2012-06-22T01:41:30.811Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

And I you :)

comment by Alicorn · 2012-06-21T16:05:33.090Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

The whole of July?

comment by KatjaGrace · 2012-06-22T01:39:47.255Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes. June 30-Aug 1.

comment by Alicorn · 2012-06-22T01:47:55.892Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Remind me of your dietary requirements and I shall tuck you into a dinner party.

comment by JGWeissman · 2012-06-21T16:05:48.382Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Will you be around for the Rationality Minicamp?

comment by KatjaGrace · 2012-06-22T01:44:53.647Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I know very little about the times or places of specific minicamps, nor am I an official participant. If there's one nearby in July I might drop by, if that is acceptable behavior.

comment by MinibearRex · 2012-06-21T05:32:40.941Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

This does sound like a good idea, and it's a very generous invitation. Unfortunately, I am neither a woman, nor will I be traveling to Berkeley anytime soon. I do have one concern though.

The sorts of things that I am likely to find compelling are:

Caring about progress for humanity in the areas of living longer, healthier, and happier

Caring about FAI

Being agenty

Having interests in the sort of geeky things that a lot of the community is interested in (math/sciences/psychology)

The second item on this list strikes me as perhaps not very well thought out. In the last LW survey, 16.5% of respondents identified uFAI as the most likely existential risk, well below two other responses, despite the fact that it is the only one that gets a significant amount of discussion here. In fact, I don't think I've seen any discussion of whether, if uFAI is not the most likely existential risk, that FAI is the risk that rationalists should be focusing primarily on. So part of the point I want to make is that I'm concerned with how much we have equated in our minds the concepts of "rationalist" and "supporter of the Singularity Institute".

The other, more specific point I wanted to make is that it seems to me to be a bad idea to try to recruit members, for a group based around one topic (learning to think better), exclusively from a sample of people who are interested in a different topic (FAI). I would predict that there are a large number of female aspiring rationalists who don't really get the concept of CEV, or are all that interested. If you filter for that, I think you're going to miss out on an awful lot of people that we would like to become part of the community.

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-21T05:58:06.148Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hi There,

Thanks for the feedback and the opportunity to clarify. That list was meant as the sorts of things I would find intriguing/be interested in as examples, not requirements or filters. Any sort of wanting to improve the world in a way that creates value is of interest to me. And I'm not even asking for success, just some amount of desire. Just having it as part of their mental model and having an eye out for opportunities would be something I would value.

comment by Jolly · 2012-06-25T04:46:47.295Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Shannon is a connector and will help introduce you to other interesting people! I'd advocate that people stay at her place even if they already have other crash space in Berkeley - as this way you are likely to meet new people that you otherwise would not have met.

I recently (June 10-18th) stayed at Shannon's place in Berkeley - additional advantages include it being within walking distance of public transportation! :)

comment by coffeespoons · 2012-06-21T16:06:48.428Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd love to meet more rationalist women, but sadly there's no way I could visit the US this summer. If any of you are ever in the UK, it would be great to meet you.

comment by nephari · 2012-06-20T20:16:16.290Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Anything for a female rationalist already planning on moving to Berkeley in August? :)

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T20:40:44.839Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Absolutely. What are your needs and requests? Feel free to email me about yourself or fill out the form or we can just talk in person once you're here. In general I'm on a mission to try to help the community be outputting awesome as much as possible, which for my specialties means helping people out with networking, resources, strategy, becoming aware of and dealing with big irrationalities/blocks, seeing opportunities, and a few other things like that.

comment by CassandraR · 2012-06-20T20:51:22.104Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I imagine I would need to provide my own transportation, yes?

comment by Jolly · 2012-06-25T04:34:24.625Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I will help find/sell plane tickets to friends (and those in my extended friend network, such as LW) at a discount :)

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T20:53:22.642Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, sadly, for the flight and whatnot.

It shouldn't be too hard to coordinate rides from the airport (I'll do it if I can) and there are tons of people around who would be happy to give you rides to events locally and whatnot.

comment by CassandraR · 2012-06-20T20:57:50.888Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hrm. I doubt I would be ready for a cross country trip in the next few months. Maybe I can do it later. Yep. :)

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-06-20T21:04:02.827Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Cool, keep me posted. I doubt I'll still have access to a room, but I can poke around and see who has couch space available.

comment by mindspillage · 2012-07-01T18:43:29.483Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not applying for this because I'm not quite in the right circumstances for it--but I'm female and moving to the peninsula in mid-August for work, and would be interested in being part of social events. (I've been to 2 or 3 Berkeley meetups in the past when on other trips in fact.)

comment by Alicorn · 2012-07-01T19:19:33.257Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Send me dates and dietary requirements and I will attempt to tuck you into a party.

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-07-03T00:29:32.435Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Cool! Drop me a line when you get here and I'll be happy to hook you up with social events and introductions.

comment by vinayak · 2012-06-21T11:53:13.474Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Haha! Very curious to know how this turns out!

comment by ShannonFriedman · 2012-07-19T08:15:21.447Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Really great! Our first guest, Evelyn (, is amazing, as is her friend Copt who came with her. The second of three women who have booked flights to visit is here right now along with her brother, she's a physics major from Vienna, Austria. The third is someone who is into math, japanese literature, meditation, and programming! I also have had several contacts with people via the post either tangential or who would like to visit at later dates.

comment by Nova_Division · 2013-04-19T06:33:35.505Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

If this opportunity ever comes around again, I want to do this! Female-mathy-transhumanist-educator sums up a lot of me. I organize the still-fledgling Atlanta LessWrong meetups, and I want to bring them back some memes from a highly concentrated rationalist community!