Request for advices on small presentation about LW community

post by efim · 2015-05-26T07:30:15.308Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 10 comments

In a couple of weeks I'll be giving a small (~50m) presentation about LW community on "social sciences sunday" in Saint Petersburg.

Target audience - students, teachers and young recearcher mostly from social sciences and humanities.

I'm planning to at least mention in passing:

1) rationality: epistemological and practical division

2) virtues of rationality

3) big part of learning is by osmosis

4) about sequences => some ideas I found engaging (but those that are at the same time would be easier to explain in 10 minutes)- definetely about inferential distances and looking wise

maybe mention Milgrams experiments or anecdote about Pain and Gain motivation

5) study hall (I tried it just for a bit), meetups, related projects - CFAR (anything else?), International Insights, slatestarcodex?

There is also this

I'm not sure LW is a good entry point for people who are turned away by a few technical terms. Responding to unfamiliar scientific concepts with an immediate surge of curiosity is probably a trait I share with the majority of LW'ers.

I am going to spend some more time prepairing and would probably have some good ideas, but I would be really great to have opinions from others. Am I missing something? Or if anyone had relevant experience?

10 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by adamzerner · 2015-05-26T15:02:30.006Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I've seen the situation of someone giving a presentation about rationality pop up a few times. Perhaps it'd be a good idea to keep some sort of record of ideas, what did/didn't work etc. Maybe have a wiki page for "Presentations on Rationality"?

comment by James_Miller · 2015-05-26T14:53:13.020Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Feel free to use anything from this powerpoint on Map and Territory I've given in my game theory class.

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-05-26T11:40:14.377Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What's your intention with the presentation?

comment by efim · 2015-05-26T14:11:30.306Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It probably would be best described as 'raising awareness'. I was introduced to LW when by chance I saw an hpmor mentioned on social network.

Before that I was completely oblivious to concrete examples of cognition malfunctions. I want to reduce involvement of chance in propagation of memes of rationality.

Concrete goals:

a) make personal need for clear-thinking visible and perceptible

b) show that some work (book abstracts, ideas introductions) is available here.

comment by shminux · 2015-05-26T17:43:49.649Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Think of the intended targets and their learning outcomes. What itch of theirs do you intend to scratch?

Do you want to maximize the odds that a couple of people in the audience will type lesswrong.com and don't close the tab a minute later? Despite all the unfamiliar terms in a foreign language? Maybe SSC topical posts will be a better start? Those about the non-central fallacy, or the plight of growing up a nerd (not a big issue in Russia, but still), feminism, or neoreaction? It all depends on your target audience. Can you describe it in a few words?

comment by ChristianKl · 2015-05-26T16:33:10.971Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Those aren't concrete goals. What do you want the audience to do afterwards?

comment by LizzardWizzard · 2015-05-29T09:01:38.094Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Liron Shapiro gave an introductory talk to kids about epistemic rationality, if I remember correctly.

Why you don't like to include ageless "Politics is a mind-killer" fable? This is I beleive part of the reason why rationale keeps failing in our world and views remain one-sided

BTW, gl mate!

comment by efim · 2015-05-29T09:10:35.950Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the link, I'll look it through!

"Politics is a mind-killer" is a great idea for an opening! I didn't think about it at first, Robin Hanson is interview for "Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot" (http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=1911 number 67) describes the core point very in a very short and meaningful way.

comment by LizzardWizzard · 2015-05-29T09:27:44.171Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also don't forget to introduce the biases and give some kind of shining example of fallacy. Maybe you should have an actor in the hall, or you just go with an improvisation of course. I mean asking someone from the audience about whether Linda seems to be more a bank-teller or a bank-teller and a feminist and similar stuff. With your 'raising awareness' goal it would be halfway if someone says oops

comment by Gram_Stone · 2015-05-26T15:40:02.526Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Good luck on your presentation.

It seems like a better idea to introduce the ideas of rationality and then to introduce LessWrong afterward. I also notice that LessWrong is mentioned as an afterthought in some presentations that I've seen, and that also seems suboptimal. So, I like the idea of LessWrong getting its due in a presentation but I also think that the thrust of the presentation should be about rationality itself.

Also, if you're talking about the Twelve Virtues of Rationality, I've seen people say that they're difficult to understand for people who haven't been introduced to many other LessWrong ideas, and that sometimes they seem cultish. Probably best to stick to the psychology.

But I like your 'concrete goals'.