Bay Summer Solstice

post by Raemon · 2018-05-21T04:28:11.730Z · ? · GW · 5 comments

[Updated June 6th]

Exact details are still being finalized, but here's the shape of this event. We'll be heading out to a place where we can barbecue, explore, build things together and watch the sun set on the longest day of the year.

Suggested donations are $15/$35/$50+ depending on whether you just moved to the Bay and don't have a job yet or are one of those 6-figure tech folk.

The overall vision of the event is described here [LW · GW].

We'll be arranging a big caravan for people who want to head out together.

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comment by Raemon · 2018-06-14T03:49:09.428Z · ? · GW

tldr: Suggested donations for Bay Summer Solstice are $15/$35/$50+, sliding scale. I think this is a generally good approach for large, ambitious events.

Big Rationalist Events tend to lose money or barely break even. One issue is that there's a range of incomes – for some people paying anything at all is a hardship, for others the event is easily worth $50 or more.

I think a good sliding scale is a $15/$35/$50+, and that this is a nice schelling-suggested-donation (from things from Solstice to experimental stuff like Tessa/Cody/Patrick's Heist event)

$15 – if you're new to the community, or funds are a bit tight, or you're not sure if the event is going to be for you.

$35 – if you've got a steady job and would like the community to keep putting on cool, ambitious, experimental events

$50, $100, whatever! – if you're one of those programmers with 6 figure salaries and want to go above and beyond to make a cool event happen and help the organizers feel more comfortable splurging on ambitious cool things

comment by Raemon · 2018-06-02T21:14:54.986Z · ? · GW

We still haven't finalized the location. But last week I did a whole bunch of Summer Solstice location scouting, some of the experiences I had were Deeply Good and I wanted to talk about them.

...

There's a couple places that look quite good, and I was struggling to convey them because the pictures don't do it justice, and then tonight I learned *Google Maps Just Like Lets You Fucking Go There OMG I Knew This Was a Thing But Didn't Realize It Had Gotten This Good*

So, here're some links to 3D maps that in some places you can spin around, and in some places zoom so far in that it turns into street view. It *still* doesn't really convey what the places are like, but it's hella neat.

(The two places are 45 minutes and 60 minutes from Berkeley, respectively, and in both cases I'd be helping to arrange a single, massive caravan departing from Berkeley at 2pm)

...

Place The First: Baker Beach

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7907307,-122.4832039,110a,35y,11.5h,78.51t/data=!3m1!1e3

Baker Beach is not really a "remote wilderness" like I talked about in my blogpost, but it's got a lot of neat stuff going on that Ocean Beach does not – there's a mixture of literal beach, foresty area with picnic tables and barbecue equipment, bathrooms, etc, some light hiking trails, and neat ruins of some old bunkers built a hundred years ago.

And all these things are basically right next to each other, so it's easy for people to find the spot that's most fun/comfortable for them while all still being roughly in the same big group.

This is just south of the golden gate bridge. I expect it to be a bit crowded, but it's got a lot of nice things going on and is relatively close.

...

Place the Second: Marin Headland Coast

https://www.google.com/maps/@37.8158013,-122.5176399,415a,35y,300.5h,77.61t/data=!3m1!1e3

This was deeply beautiful, remote and surreal.

I'm not sure if the logistics will work out for Summer Solstice – if not, there should definitely be some other event someday where we trek out here together.

It felt optimized the way a video game zone is optimized – there were several different areas with distinct features and styles, each within about a 7 minute walk of each other.

The area begins with an area of picnic tables, bathrooms, some parking, next to a large bunker with a tunnel, and a hilltop overlooking the entire coast. It's a nice, safe, child-friendly place. (There is a sealed vault-door in the bunker that leads to _less_ safe places, but like a good Metroidvania game, you'll need to be pretty high level before you can unlock the tools to access the Dangerous Place Right Next to the Newbie Zone)

The place is warm, welcoming, convenient and when you climb the hilltop there, it serves as a nice introduction to the overall world around you.

As you wander off from that area, things get more interesting, surreal and somewhat dangerous (at a rate that seems basically perfect for people who self-calibrate on how much adventure they want).

There are trails along hilltop.

There are hidden tunnels.

There are secret beaches.

There are stone circles.

There are Mario Pipes.

There are rocks to scramble around.

There's a sprawling fort that you can play capture the flag in, climb walls, parkour around.

There's this tree that feels like one of those Mother Trees from a movie where all the forest creatures come to gather to commune with the earth.

Past the Mother Tree is a winding trail that leads to more ruins and tunnels, where things have collapsed in upon themselves but if you navigate around you'll find yourself at the Edge of the World, where you can look down upon the rocks jutting out of the water.

(You know the phrase "the rocks jutted out of the water?" That phrase was invented for these rocks specifically. The picture of them is what should appear in the dictionary, except the picture would not do it justice because it would collapse a huge, visceral scene into a tiny rectangle)

And throughout the area are places where you look out into the west, the vast endless ocean and sky, and see the sun set on the infinite blue.

comment by ozymandias · 2018-06-02T22:04:41.851Z · ? · GW

I realize there are constraints because of when the summer solstice actually is, but this overlaps with Pride, which lots of rationalists (including me) probably want to go to. SF Pride is consistently the last weekend in June, and I am going to be pretty annoyed if I have to choose between Pride and Summer Solstice every year.

Replies from: Raemon
comment by Raemon · 2018-06-02T22:28:21.408Z · ? · GW

Hmm. I think Summer Solstice usually ends up being third weekend.

Is SF Pride all weekend, primarily Saturday or primarily Sunday?

Replies from: Raemon
comment by Raemon · 2018-06-03T19:58:16.226Z · ? · GW

(In general, a part of the Summer Solstice Paradox [LW · GW] is that there's a _lot_ of things competing for time which makes it hard to plan)