Bay Area Meetup for Singularity Summit

post by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2008-10-06T12:50:04.000Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 46 comments

Posted on behalf of Mike Howard:

This is a call for preferences on the proposed Bay Area meetup to coincide with the Singularity Summit on 24-25 October. Not just for Singularitarians, all aspiring rationalists are welcome. From the replies so far it's likely to be in San Jose.

Eliezer, myself and probably most Summit attendees would really rather avoid the night between the Friday Workshop and Saturday Summit, so maybe either Saturday evening or sometime Thursday or Sunday?

Please comment below or email me (cursor_loop 4t yahoo p0int com) if you might want to come, and if you have any preferences such as when and where you can come, when and where you'd prefer to come, and any recommendations for a particular place to go.  (Comments preferred to emails.) We need to pick a date ASAP before everyone books travel.


Comments sorted by oldest first, as this post is from before comment nesting was available (around 2009-02-27).

comment by Stirling_Westrup · 2008-10-06T16:15:23.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I can't afford the Summit itself, but I'd love to attend the Meetup. I work on Thursday and Friday and it would take me at least an hour to commute to San Jose.

So, my only request is that if its on a weekday, that arriving at 7:00 or 7:30 pm wouldn't make the trip futile. (ie, doesn't pack up by 8:00 pm, or feature a 6:00 pm supper...)

comment by Ulrik_Buchholtz · 2008-10-06T16:32:56.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'd like to attend the meetup. I can probably be there at whatever time you choose, but I have a slight preference for Sunday.

comment by AnnaSalamon · 2008-10-06T18:13:07.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm game any time and live in Sunnyvale. Depending on who is in town when, we may want to consider two meet-ups to accommodate different schedules (e.g., one Thurs night and one Sat. night). Last time I went to an OB meet-up, in Manhattan, there were more interesting people than there was time to get to know all of them.

comment by nazgulnarsil3 · 2008-10-06T20:56:00.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

sunday lunch seems ideal to me. that way no one is rushed or tired.

comment by Patri_Friedman · 2008-10-06T21:18:01.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm interested in the meetup. I live in Mountain View. Thursday or Friday evening are best for me.

comment by Rolf_Nelson2 · 2008-10-07T05:32:02.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Count me in.

comment by Maksym_Taran2 · 2008-10-07T06:58:28.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I will be coming to San Jose for the summit with 12 other students (11 from HMC and one from Caltech). We'll probably stay around until 6:30 to 7:00 on Saturday to get past rush hour since we'll be driving back down to LA.

I'm the only regular OB reader out of the group (with the possible exception of the Caltech guy), and I would definitely like to attend the meetup, if only for a little while. I'm sure my friends would like it too, especially after hearing everything they've ever wanted to hear about the future of humanity and the singularity at the summit.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-07T12:58:48.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for the reponses so far. Pioneer responders Nick Tarleton, Z. M. Davis & Michael Vassar, have you any place/time preferences?

In 4 emails so far preferences have been expressed for Sunday, for meeting somewhere near the train station, and for meeting not too far from Santa Clara.

comment by Z._M._Davis · 2008-10-07T15:23:54.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I normally work starting at 0600 on Friday and Saturday, so I would prefer Sunday, but I'm pretty sure I can reärrange my schedule if needed, so don't weight my preference very heavily. Train access would be nice.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-08T13:19:48.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I need to give a date soon for people making travel plans.

So I'll give it till tomorrow then count up your date choices, giving extra consideration to those who otherwise can't make it. So far it's...

1 vote for Thursday (Patri) 1 for Saturday (Maksym) 4 for Sunday (Ulrik, Nazgulnarsil, Z.M. and an emailer) but another emailer can't make it on Sunday as they're flying out early. 1 for either Saturday or Sunday (Sterling) 1 for having 2 meetings (Anna)

comment by Z._M._Davis · 2008-10-08T16:28:19.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Update: I can definitely reärrange my schedule if needed. So you can change me to "no preference."

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-08T18:42:29.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Update: another emailer who definately wants to come is flying away on Sunday lunchtime.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-09T08:13:01.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Adding the 2 who can't make Sunday afternoon or Thursday, that makes 3 for Saturday evening. I'd like everyone to be able to come, so I vote Saturday too.

Saturday wins by 4 votes to 3.

So... where shall we go? I suggest somewhere central, not too far from the Summit and the Train Station.

comment by Paul_Rhodes · 2008-10-09T11:39:07.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I should be able to join the group on Saturday as well. Standing by for location.

comment by Paul_Rhodes · 2008-10-09T11:39:32.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I should be able to join the group on Saturday as well. Standing by for location.

comment by Paul_Gowder2 · 2008-10-09T21:50:23.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Sounds fun enough that I can probably drop by.

comment by Z._M._Davis · 2008-10-10T00:15:36.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

"I suggest somewhere central, not too far from the Summit and the Train Station."

By my reckoning, the midpoint is around 37.331°N, 121.896°W.

comment by Ben_Rayfield2 · 2008-10-11T07:02:51.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would probably come thursday or sunday.

I live in the San Jose/Milpitas area, if anyone is interested, not just at those times.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-11T11:55:01.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ben, please read the comments :)

I hope you can come, but I hope you can appreciate it would be unfair to change the date now for several reasons. It will be following the Summit you're going to, are you sure you can't make it?

comment by Ben_Rayfield2 · 2008-10-12T01:01:10.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I am not sure if I can come "following the Summit" because with all the things going on around the summit, other events may be offered at the same time, and I can not predict such events. I can only guarantee I'll be at at least 1 of them.

I did not mean to reschedule anything. I meant some of you singularity-related guys may want to meet me at other times, possibly at my apartment. I guess this was not the right place to post such an offer.

comment by Recovering_irrationalist · 2008-10-12T12:22:44.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ah, I see...

other events may be offered at the same time, and I can not predict such events.

As far as Eliezer is currently aware, Saturday night should be clear.

I meant some of you singularity-related guys may want to meet me at other times, possibly at my apartment.

I'd love to come to another meet, Anna would too, probably others. I just wasn't sure there'd be enough people for two, so focused on making at least one happen.

I guess this was not the right place to post such an offer.

If the invite extends to OB readers, you're very welcome to share this page. If it's just for us Singularitarians, it's probably better to plan elsewhere and post a link here.

comment by Richard_Hollerith2 · 2008-10-12T18:41:48.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm not going to the Summit or the meetup, but will meet one-on-one with anyone for discussion of rationality or AI ethics especially if the meeting can be in San Francisco or anywhere within walking distance of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station.

Oh by the way, one thing I did not like about the last Bay Area meetup was that three extroverted people dominated the conversation at the big, 12-person round table at which I sat. That meetup was at a crowded restaurant. If there had been more room to move around, it would have been easier for me to contrive to hear from some of the less-extroverted attendees.

comment by John_Maxwell_Old (John_Maxwell) · 2008-10-12T19:44:29.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Richard, can you think of a better format than a round-table one? I imagine it might be difficult to find a room for people to mill around in.

comment by Recovering_irrationalist2 · 2008-10-14T13:09:19.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

A week and a half to go, we should choose an actual place soon.

Z.M. Davis provided a restaurant list near the summit & station.

An emailer suggested somewhere near San Jose station but like 'Round Table Pizza in Palo Alto, they have an upstairs which you can reserve'

Richard suggests somewhere you can move around rather than a crowded restaurant. I do like this of UKTA pub meets - if you're not interested in the nearest conversation it's easy to move to another :)

...and that's it so far. Suggestions please!

If you have no ideas to add... (I wouldn't normally encourage these evil things, but...) please post "me too" comments so we know what the popular choice is.

Vote vote vote!!!

comment by Mike_Howard · 2008-10-14T23:01:17.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

To give an ideas of numbers... so far 20 people (including me) have expressed interest, and about 3-quarters of those have confirmed they want to come. Some will probably join later but a few might drop out too.

comment by Robin3 · 2008-10-14T23:36:45.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm sorry I haven't commented here earlier, I've been getting the emails but I think blog comment threads are a poor way of communications, here are some points that I wished I had made earlier but may still have some validity.

I don't like Saturday for the following reasons: 1) It will be easy to round up a bunch of people for dinner and discussion after the summit is over without any online correspondance. Last year I hung around (whatever the hosting building was) for a while after the event had died down and Peter Voss, Sam Adams and about 10 other people and I went to a nearby restaurant. It wasn't that difficult to organize at all, it happened almost spontaneously.

2) My brain will be fried after listening to all the speakers that are lined up, thinking about what they said will lessen my ability to hold high level intellectual conversation, I'd prefer to have some personal time to reflect on the speakers before charging into a discussion.

My proposed solution: get everyone's email and move this conversation to that medium, yeah it will lead to a lot of extra emails but it would be easier than scrolling through a bunch of blog comments every now and then, most people check their email everyday but do not check the comments here everyday. Mike says we have 20 people but in the email I received from him had only eight names on it.

comment by Richard_Hollerith2 · 2008-10-15T00:31:43.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I imagine it might be difficult to find a room for people to mill around in.

Well, the restaurant in which we met was crowded, so I suggest a less crowded restaurant.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-15T12:39:47.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't like Saturday for the following reasons:

It was picked as more chose it, including 2 who'd otherwise be excluded.

1) It will be easy to round up a bunch of people for dinner and discussion after the summit is over without any online correspondence...

But then OB readers who aren't coming to the Summit would be excluded.

2) My brain will be fried after listening to all the speakers...

All else equal I'd rather meet on a fresh day, but I'd rather not exclude people just to feel refreshed. I'll find caffeine.

the email I received from him had only eight names on it.

That excludes responders from this blog.

My proposed solution: get everyone's email and move this conversation to that medium

I'll do this if everyone wants, I just didn't think everyone would want to use or get a Reply All for every comment.

Anyone who wants an update when the meetup status changes, email me for an exclusive report.

comment by John_Maxwell_Old (John_Maxwell) · 2008-10-18T01:21:10.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Here's a link to the Yahoo Yellow Pages with various types of restaurants near Montgomery Theater.

Does anyone who reads Overcoming Bias live in San Jose? If so, can you recommend a restaurant?

comment by Recovering_irrationalist · 2008-10-19T14:16:46.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

So far hardly any feedback on places & no restaurant recommendations. If I get no more responses by tomorrow I'll just search the net for a well-reviewed restaurant that's walkable-to from Montgomery Theater, good for groups, accepting of casual attire and hopefully not too crowded/noisy (with a private room?), book it for Saturday probably around 7pm for 21 people, post the details and directions and hope everyone turns up.

If you'd rather a different time, or have any preferences at all, please let me know before I do that. So far no one's mentioned vegetarian, parking or wheelchair access needs, or preference for or against any food except one vote for pizza. How do you feel about Chinese? Italian? Mexican?

comment by Z._M._Davis · 2008-10-19T15:07:21.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(Cross-posted to Recovering's email address)

"So far hardly any feedback on places & no restaurant recommendations."

Well, it's hard to be an informed voter when you don't live in San Jose--so you shouldn't feel too discouraged; this could be noble absention rather than apathy. (Or not. "What's true is already so ...")

Maybe we could go to, um--Chacho's? It's a Mexican place; four-tenths of a mile from the Summit and seven-tenths of a mile from the train station, casual dress, open until 2300, and that "Banquet: 50 - 100 People" listing suggests to me that they have a private room.

But I'm not familiar with the San Jose restaurant scene--I just mention Chacho's from a few minutes of web inquiry, and I don't know that it's not terrible, or whether there is a vastly superior alternative that my few minutes of google-fu failed to turn up, so you can hardly call this a suggestion. also gives us twenty-six other restaurants in the Summit's zip code.

Long live the Conspiracy!

comment by Michael_Howard · 2008-10-19T18:02:55.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for the feedback, a hardly suggestion is better than none. I'll add that list to my meta-list too.

Well, it's hard to be an informed voter when you don't live in San Jose

Indeed. I haven't got within 5000 miles of it since the Clinton administration, so going by that my choice may be an interesting one.

I thought people would have an opinion about at least the type of food though. I guess after airline food people will eat anything :)

comment by Michael_Howard · 2008-10-19T19:49:49.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Update: 2 Vegetarians (so vegetarian options will be checked for), one more preference for pizza, and a preference against Mexican.

Pizza is winning! Anyone who doesn't like it, let him speak now or forever hold his peace of pizza.

This is becoming quite an interesting diffusion of responsibility experiment.

comment by Michael_Howard · 2008-10-20T23:44:01.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

We've a Saturday 7.30pm reservation for 21 people at Il Fornaio, 302 S Market St, San Jose, in the Sainte Claire Hotel.

They have a wide variety including the requested vegetarian options & pizza from an oak wood burning oven, mostly good reviews, casual dress code, the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007, and are just down the road from Montgomery Theater.

7.30 should give people time to finish chatting at the theater or freshen up at their hotels, but if you want to come a bit earlier they say they'll probably be able to seat you. If lots of people think 7.30 is too late I could change the time or suggest a cafe for early birds to grab a coffee in before dinner.

Please RSVP whether or not you'll be coming, either in a comment or email me at cursor_loop 4t yahoo p0int com. That way if new people want to come as they can take unclaimed places, and I can let the restaurant know if the number changes. If you think you'll be late, please let me know that too so we can ask the restaurant to keep your seat.

Also, as my cellphone won't work San Jose, please could someone volunteer their number for unexpectedly late or lost people to ring?

Hope to see you all on Saturday!

comment by Nick_Tarleton · 2008-10-21T01:36:30.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Will come. Thanks!

comment by Z._M._Davis · 2008-10-21T01:58:56.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

RSVPing in the affirmative; thank you for getting this together.

comment by Paul_Rhodes · 2008-10-21T16:20:15.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'll be there. Thank you!

comment by Paul_Gowder2 · 2008-10-21T17:23:26.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I will probably drop in.

comment by John_Maxwell_Old (John_Maxwell) · 2008-10-22T04:48:14.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'm planning to come. Does "casual" mean "jeans and t-shirt" or "collared shirt and slacks"?

comment by Stirling_Westrup2 · 2008-10-22T13:37:45.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'll be there!

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-22T17:03:43.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks to everyone who's responded so far!

Someone mailed me worried if the Singunality Summit registration fee is relevant to our meeting. Don't worry. While the Summit is excellent value for money and for a hugely vital cause for the future of humanity, ours is an informal gathering and nothing to do the Institure. It's a gathering of aspiring rationalists, many of us just happen to be Singularitarians too.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2008-10-22T17:12:10.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I shall endeavor to be present.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2008-10-22T17:25:46.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

John, jeans and t-shirt should be OK as long as it's not too scruffy.

comment by Ulrik_Buchholtz2 · 2008-10-22T17:51:32.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I'll be there.

comment by Emil_Gilliam · 2008-10-25T08:46:37.000Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Count me in, if you can squeeze in one more at this late date.

comment by MichaelHoward · 2009-10-01T01:19:40.662Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

To avoid confusion... Recovering_irrationalist was me, and the thread continues here.