First Waco, Texas LW Meetup, 4/09, 1PM

post by SilasBarta · 2011-04-06T15:13:20.053Z · score: 15 (20 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 56 comments

Date: Saturday, April 9

Time: 1PM

Location: Common Grounds Coffeehouse, IH-35 and S 8th Street (east side of interstate).  (If you can't find parking behind the place, use the parking garage [free on weekends] just a short distance down the street.)

Well, I'm going through with it!  We'll have our first Texas LW meetup.  No other known Waco LWers, but it's not a bad drive (~90 minutes) from Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, or Bryan/College Station.

I will be the guy in the blue blazer with a Less Wrong sign.  I have no idea what the turnout will be, but I'll stay until at least 5pm, so come on by if you can.

The website reports an all-day 100 Cameras event, but this shouldn't interfere.

Edit: Looks like that was an old notice for the Saturday two weeks before this, so there is no interfering event to worry about.

Edit2: I've set up the Waco Meetup Group with this event shown.  (And promoted it on Craigslist.)

REPORT: Success!  Vaniver, NMJablonski, his wife, Clippy's humanoid robot, and I showed up.  We talked about various rationality issues: the potential for the upcoming boot camp, the heritability of personality traits and intelligence, the inefficiencies and lost purposes in the economy today, and of course, string theory.  At the end, we helped Clippy decide whether he should go to Rationalist Boot Camp (if he's accepted) by doing a probability-weighted CBA, which Vaniver helped coordinate very well.

Here is a picture of us at the meetup: from left to right: Vaniver, me, Laura (NMJablonski's wife), and NMJablonski. Clippy's robot did not want to be in it.  (I tried to upload it to this site, but even after resizing it down to the limit it wouldn't accept.)

We're planning to have another Texas meetup in Austin in two weeks.



Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-10T00:54:15.481Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW · GW

UPDATE: I added the report of what happened to the article. I'm going to have to reverse my opinion on Clippy, he was really cool (if a bit secretive) in person, and I no longer hold his posting as a paperclip maximizer against him.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-04-10T01:25:30.686Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted for publicly changing a previously committed-to position.

comment by Cyan · 2011-04-10T13:32:05.288Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I really liked the report!

comment by Clippy · 2011-04-06T23:53:14.118Z · score: 9 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I will go to this one.

comment by ata · 2011-04-07T00:02:43.230Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

You say that a lot. Can you name anyone who will confirm that you showed up at any meetup you said you would attend?

comment by Clippy · 2011-04-07T00:23:25.442Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't gone to any meetups yet. I did not state intention to do so for previous meetups either; I only asked questions about the permissibility or possibility of me or my robot going.

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T01:24:28.908Z · score: -10 (14 votes) · LW · GW

And you will be promptly escorted out.

LWers are welcome. Lurkers are welcome. Interested parties are welcome. Bystanders are welcome.

Long-time trolls are not welcome.

EDIT: Fine, Clippy is welcome. Sorry, sorry, "User:"Clippy ...

comment by wedrifid · 2011-04-07T01:45:18.071Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Clippy is a LWer. He is definitely not a troll - even if you think some of his jokes are not funny.

To Clippy I give the recommendation that you don't reveal the identity of your 'humanoid robot' to folks there in case you prompt undue prejudice. It seems Silas at least has something against you.

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T15:28:53.858Z · score: -2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I'm sure the real person behind Clippy is probably a great person in meatspace. I just don't like the policy of playing nice with known trolls, or at least "disruptors that keep extending a joke long after it stopped being funny".

Seriously, it might have been cute for a little while but ever since, Clippy's just been making jokes anyone could come up with. (I know I'm not alone in noticing this.) What are Clippy's supposedly insightful remarks?

And let's not forget who we're dealing with: someone who has money to throw away, but "can't access the financial system through the normal legit channels." HMM...

comment by NMJablonski · 2011-04-08T20:23:16.757Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see Clippy as a troll.

The Clippy character is well developed, interesting, and has become a part of this community. I have never felt that Clippy's comments were intrusive, and I do not understand why anyone would go so far as to damn Clippy for breaking character by donating to SIAI.

I think I must be missing something.

comment by Clippy · 2011-04-08T20:54:26.118Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you. You are a good human, and a large part of why I have not canceled in light of User:SilasBarta's racist comments. See you at the meetup!

comment by NMJablonski · 2011-04-08T22:19:09.858Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I look forward to meeting you (or your representative) tomorrow :)

comment by MartinB · 2011-05-12T13:19:41.063Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So, please report.

I see Clippy as a nice Character well played. As long as it is consistent I see no difference to any other user who I do not know either. Even if in this case the existence of the entity might be doubted.

comment by komponisto · 2011-04-08T20:16:26.087Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I just don't like the policy of playing nice with known trolls

I must say I find this difficult to reconcile with your own enthusiasm for trolling. I would have thought you'd see Clippy as a kindred spirit.

comment by TheOtherDave · 2011-04-07T17:26:46.466Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

For what it's worth, I often find Clippy amusing, sometimes interesting, and often unnecessarily rude.

But then, I feel that way about a lot of people, both here and elsewhere.

comment by jsalvatier · 2011-04-07T17:44:27.560Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ditto, though I often don't notice rudeness.

comment by Quirinus_Quirrell · 2011-04-07T02:12:27.112Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if Silas is Clippy than if he isn't.

comment by jklsemicolon · 2011-04-07T02:32:01.065Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

For that matter, so is its parent.

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T02:46:19.665Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if Quirinus Quirrel is Clippy than if he isn't.

comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky (Eliezer_Yudkowsky) · 2011-04-09T13:58:04.792Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if Douglas Hofstadter is Clippy than if he isn't.

comment by orthonormal · 2011-04-10T04:11:35.806Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

Less Wrong is actually the work of one tireless sockpuppeter.

comment by thomblake · 2011-05-12T13:31:26.482Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I've been found out! By me!

comment by Armok_GoB · 2011-04-09T19:58:10.732Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if there is an established patters of saying "This comment is more likely if X is Y"

comment by Benquo · 2011-04-09T16:10:15.727Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if my comment is false, than if my comment is true.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2011-04-07T02:54:25.409Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is more likely if Quirinus Quirrel is Clippy than if he isn't.

Really? That's not at all obvious to me. That's true if Quirrel is stupid. If they are the same person then this draws attention to the two accounts belonging to the same individual. Moreover, it potentially drastically increases the amount of data people have in figuring out what entity the two of them are. It isn't obvious to me whether this comment should make one more or less likely to think that Quirrel is Clippy.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-04-08T19:56:00.597Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Nested countersignalling games are far more likely from an involved person than one not involved at all. At least that is the case where there are a large number of contributors with various levels of interest in Clippy's identity. Even the mere fact that Quirrel made an observation about the Clippy identity topic conveys a whole heap of information.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2011-04-09T13:21:53.350Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

That's a really good point. You are correct.

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T03:05:13.399Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That would just as well prove that I wouldn't make the Clippy posts, because I would want to avoid the association.

comment by JoshuaZ · 2011-04-07T01:50:47.252Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

If one believe that Clippy is not what he claims to be one can argue that his joke is not funny or has ceased to be funny. But Clippy has actually made genuinely productive comments. Moreover, given that the meeting is apparently happening in a public location I'm unsure of how one would escort Clippy out.

comment by khafra · 2011-04-07T18:47:38.992Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps one could make Clippy's robot avatar nervous enough to leave with an interrogation beginning "you're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise..."

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T01:55:59.970Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Alright, point taken, I've edited the comment.

comment by katydee · 2011-04-07T02:43:18.701Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Downvoted for promoting drama by emphasizing social tensions among the community when doing so is unnecessary.

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T03:06:18.432Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Comment removed.

comment by katydee · 2011-04-08T16:42:27.601Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Downvote removed.

comment by Dorikka · 2011-04-08T17:36:10.167Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW


comment by [deleted] · 2011-04-07T02:17:46.291Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Think of a LWer who has a deep, publicly-known aversion to me.

As inconceivable as a zombie world, surely.

comment by Dorikka · 2011-04-07T02:55:54.133Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Downvoted. I don't know any history here, but I found this alarming considering that it obviously wasn't a joke.

comment by Maelin · 2011-04-07T11:11:20.394Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, wow. What the hell, guys. Stop undermining my naive belief that LW is a place free from shitty internet drama. There's only so much evidence I can ignore.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-04-08T19:51:28.710Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Stop undermining my naive belief that LW is a place free from shitty internet drama.

I'm afraid you're out of luck. With the professed exception of Clippy all the lesswrong contributors are mere humans.

comment by David_Gerard · 2011-04-07T16:06:34.949Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hey, I brought paperclip badges to the last London meet! "Here are some cupcakes."

comment by Clippy · 2011-04-10T20:21:07.218Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Great meetup! I liked that the others were so willing to work with me on instantiating correct reasoning for my cost-benefit analysis for the "Rationality Boot Camp". Person:SilasBarta was not nearly as anti-paperclip in physical interaction as User:SilasBarta is on this internet website.

The humans I met really are a credit to your race!

comment by NMJablonski · 2011-04-10T21:01:12.631Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It was great to meet you and the others Clippy!

Seeing you and User:SilasBarta interact reminded me that one must be careful when interpreting tone in internet comments. You were both polite and reasonable, and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions.

comment by MartinB · 2011-05-15T17:18:15.142Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

you and User:SilasBarta interact

Transscripts anyone?

comment by Cyan · 2011-04-10T04:07:16.845Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Did Clippy take the photo, then?

comment by Vaniver · 2011-04-10T07:55:01.150Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, it did. Its chitinous carapace, though rather fetching, was also far too reflective for us to get a good picture while outside, and so it graciously opted to not impinge on us humans feeding our vanity, as well as using its superior eyes and memory to accomplish the photography itself.

comment by Cyan · 2011-04-10T08:12:10.908Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was under the impression that Clippy's robot was more humaniform than that. Huh. Live and learn.

comment by NMJablonski · 2011-04-07T13:58:24.715Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm mostly a lurker, but the reports from other groups sound excellent. My wife and I will be there.

(coming from Austin)

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T18:56:01.779Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome! Looking forward to meeting you and your wife!

comment by Vaniver · 2011-04-06T23:15:22.406Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

p>.9 that I will be there (coming from Austin).

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-07T01:23:32.378Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome! I didn't know you were so close. (My family's in Austin and I go there a lot ... last Saturday, in fact.)

Hope to see you there, try not to grill me on our last discussion ;-)

comment by Vaniver · 2011-04-09T16:10:27.790Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Departing now, which raises the probability up to 1-epsilon. I am amused that my directions are essentially "get on 35; drive; get off 35.".

comment by Confringus · 2011-04-06T22:06:10.962Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

As a citizen of Houston, I am positively terrified of Waco, although your presence there seems to indicate that there may be some sort of underground vein of rationalism in the area...

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-06T22:33:10.401Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As a citizen of Houston,

Awesome! Good to see another LW Texan!

I am positively terrified of Waco, although your presence there seems to indicate that there may be some sort of underground vein of rationalism in the area...

Heh, I keep telling the folks here the same thing, that they're overestimating the latent rationalists in the area. For my part, I'm only even here because I got a good job offer a while back and haven't done much to find other jobs/cities since.

The primary sources of latent rationalists would be:

  • The Unitarian Universalist church that I visited last Sunday
  • White-collar employees at the two aerospace employers (yes, Waco has an aerospace industry), L-3 Communications and SpaceX (yes, SpaceX has operations in Waco)
  • The Baylor and community college students that aren't gung-ho churchgoers

Anyway, in the future, maybe the Texas LWers could meet in College Station, which would put the meetup about equidistant from Dallas, Waco, Austin, and Houston. Bonus points for you if you make it to this one, but that is quite a ways to travel.

comment by Confringus · 2011-04-06T23:28:52.857Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think I'll be making the trek out to those parts of the world anytime soon but College Station may be do-able. It is good to know that the UU has survived in Waco, I generally make it a point to stop by there whenever I'm in town (if only to annoy my extremely southern Baptist family). But anyway, keep fighting the good fight and keep Texan rationalism alive (or at least not picked over by the vultures and other scavengers).

comment by Cyan · 2011-04-06T16:20:51.127Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

And you didn't even need to visit New York City to work up the gumption!

comment by SilasBarta · 2011-04-06T16:36:44.014Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, arguably I did :-P