How was your meetup?

post by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2012-04-16T06:11:24.129Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 11 comments

Lots of meetups recently - great to see!  We hear surprisingly little about them here on LW.  Did you attend or host a meetup recently? How did it go?

11 comments

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comment by [deleted] · 2012-04-16T15:27:40.496Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

We had an Ohio meetup yesterday. 11 attendees.

One idea that worked out really well: One of our members brought some individual-sized whiteboards and lots of colored markers for it. That way we could write a question on the top, and pass it around.

The first question we asked was for meetup activities you were interested in. You could write new ideas down, and also make tallies next to ideas you liked. We got a LOT of ideas this way, and we went through and discussed them quickly after they had been around the tables twice.

Off the top of my head: Camping, Hocking Hills (local park with activities like zip line and paragliding), "biased" board games, TED meetup (everyone submit a couple of vids), local atheist conference, karaoke, trampoline park, laser tag, vineyard, wall climbing, hosting a 2-day "Megameetup" (especially for all the OH, KY, IN people that live more than an hour away from our meetup locations), chess tournament, LAN party, etc

We also had a very surreal "Add something to this picture" pass. The final product was an alien riding an elephant, while a UFO abducts a confused, tipped cow (there had been a conversation about cow-tipping earlier...). A giant hand is rising out of the earth to grab the UFO (a bunch of us had just watched Pnova va gur Jbbqf). Meanwhile a giant asteroid/moon is blocking out the sun, and possibly about to crash into Earth. It is covered in flags, and encircled by people of all colors (and Cthulu) singing "It's a Small World after All". I think there was an Enterprise on there too.

We were joking about how many people does it take to consider an activity a "LessWrong meetup"? A lot of us come in pairs (roomies, couples, brothers, father/son, etc), which would make our entire lives one big meetup, lol. And a lot of the Columbus people hang out casually a bunch, since we "recruited" from our pool of friends anyways. (gaming, weight lifting, swing dancing, frisbee golf, movies or GoT nights, etc)

We broke into two groups to play Ergo (a Boolean logic card game where everyone is assigned a variable and you try to prove your own existence, while disproving everyone else), and Dominion. After the meetup was officially "over" we went to the lobby next door and played Resistance. On the downside, I don't recall there being a lot of rationality discussion at this particular meetup, but we've discuss rationality things at most of our previous monthlies, so that was fine.

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-04-17T08:45:29.996Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

One idea that worked out really well: One of our members brought some individual-sized whiteboards and lots of colored markers for it. That way we could write a question on the top, and pass it around.

The first question we asked was for meetup activities you were interested in. You could write new ideas down, and also make tallies next to ideas you liked. We got a LOT of ideas this way, and we went through and discussed them quickly after they had been around the tables twice.

This is an awesome idea, I added a mention of it to the meetup booklet. Thanks for sharing.

comment by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2012-04-16T06:16:12.685Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The first London meetup in a while was yesterday. We got a dozen people and lots of lively discussion. We tried playing the Five-minute Debiasing game which was fun but I needed to do more work in advance to make it run smoothly. At about 17:30 we decamped to a nearby pub and got into lots of philosophical discussion. We're talking about organising the next one on Tuesday May 1. Hello to everyone who came along - how was it for you?

Join the London Less Wrong mailing list.

comment by oliverbeatson · 2012-04-16T10:32:58.254Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I had a good time and enjoyed the conversation. I appreciate the effort everyone took to come out and be interesting!

Does anyone have any plans to draw up the cognitive biases hierarchy that was suggested? (Maybe a collaborative Google Documents drawing would be useful for this.) Given I'd find use in such a diagram myself, I'm not in a position to start one. At a later stage I could throw together some html and javascript to present the diagram as a web page, possibly with interactivity to reveal more detail on examples, the experiments, counter-heuristics and citations, etc.

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-04-16T08:07:46.965Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can you be more specific about the kind of preparation that you noticed was necessary? And say a few more words about in what way it was fun? (Looking to copy your answers right into the meetup booklet. :-))

comment by Paul Crowley (ciphergoth) · 2012-04-16T09:30:56.004Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Will do when I get a moment - thanks!

comment by Kaj_Sotala · 2012-04-24T08:38:37.986Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(Reminder)

comment by [deleted] · 2012-04-20T00:10:15.557Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

We took a bunch of photos of the Ohio meetup, and the Columbus sub-meetup. You can see them here . Hope more people post photos of their meetups too!

comment by Utopiah · 2012-04-16T18:39:37.789Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Brussels meetup, my second LW meetup so far.

We were 9 (3 women) in their mid-twenties, mostly europeeans. We discussed about many topics including sociability, choosing or creating a country and doubts on the education system. The weather was also nice here so we enjoyed an extended session in the nearby park and even took some pictures which should be available soon.

I'll surely go to the next one the 19th of May.

comment by GuySrinivasan · 2012-04-16T18:06:41.281Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Fun! We had a potluck in the park to enjoy the newly available awesome weather in the sunnytimes half of the Seattle year. Just for hanging out, 7 people, food and drink and frisbee/hackysack/juggling and sun and conversation. Three high points for me were

  • I brought some "in case we forgot" items like paper plates, and everything I brought was otherwise forgot and several things I considered bringing but did not were not forgotten. Super gratifying. And I don't know when 'forgot' versus 'forgotten' should be used.

  • Teaching Nadya to juggle. She learned fast. Teaching is fun and seeing someone learn is fun and these happening in a pretty tight loop is very fun. This is in contrast to trying to teach Joe to juggle at a party the next day and watching his interminably slow progress. :D

  • Learning about CAPM, or more specifically the interesting factoring of assets into undiversifiable risk (that component which tracks overall market growth) and diversifiable risk (that component which is uncorrelated with overall market growth).

(Notes for the interested: CAPM is a fairly mainstream model which proposes that undiversifiable risk should be commensurately rewarded, empirically that seems to maybe not be true, and some dude proposed that the discrepancies can maybe be accounted for by noting we seem to care about relative rather than absolute wealth.)

comment by [deleted] · 2012-04-18T20:21:02.086Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

As a meetup organizer, I really, really wish more people had commented in this thread.