Conveying rational thinking about long-term goals to youth and young adults

post by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-02-07T01:54:30.519Z · score: 10 (18 votes) · LW · GW · Legacy · 9 comments
More than a year ago, I discussed here how we at Intentional Insights intended to convey rationality to young adults through our collaboration with the Secular Student Alliance. This international organization unites over 270 clubs at colleges and high schools in English-speaking countries, mainly the US, with its clubs spanning from a few students to a few hundred students. The SSA's Executive Director is an aspiring rationalist and CFAR alum who is on our Advisory Board.

Well, we've been working on a project with the SSA for the last 8 months to create and evaluate an event aimed to help its student members figure out and orient toward the long term, thus both fighting Moloch on a societal level and helping them become more individually rational as well (the long-term perspective is couched in the language of finding purpose using science) It's finally done, and here is the link to the event packet. The SSA will be distributing this packet broadly, but in the meantime, if you have any connections to secular student groups, consider encouraging them to hold this event. The event would also fit well for adult secular groups with minor editing, in case any of you are involved with them. It's also easy to strip the secular language from the packet, and just have it as an event for a philosophy/science club of any sort, at any level from youth to adult. Although I would prefer you cite Intentional Insights when you do it, I'm comfortable with you not doing so if circumstances don't permit it for some reason.

We're also working on similar projects with the SSA, focusing on being rational in the area of giving, so promoting Effective Altruism. I'll post it here when it's ready.  


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-02-07T03:07:07.436Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

For those who disapprove and do/wish to downvote, I'd be curious about your motivations if you're open to sharing them, either in comments or a PM. Looking to improve my postings, and thanks!

comment by Dagon · 2016-02-07T23:21:08.011Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

speaking only for myself - I have both upvoted and downvoted various of your posts, but mostly ignored them. I'd intended to ignore this as well, but since you ask...

"disapprove" is the wrong word. I wish you luck and success in raising the sanity waterline. I am voting more along the lines of "this isn't why I come to LessWrong". It would be fine in bragging or media threads, or if you started a monthly "outreach" post that'd be fine too. But I 'd rather see fewer top-level posts that don't have a direct point or actual question for debate.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-02-07T23:28:05.072Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for letting me know! I hope some of the upcoming changes to the LW infrastructure will allow more clear delineation of posts.

comment by [deleted] · 2016-02-10T05:10:33.535Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Just chuck em in an open thread instead

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-02-08T22:16:58.791Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Oh, and here's an idea - I'll put a [Outreach] in the title before future posts to clarify things so that people don't click on it if they don't wish.

comment by pinyaka · 2016-02-08T22:17:48.680Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

My wife and I are the high school youth leaders at a UU church. Most of our youths are atheists or agnostics. I looked over the page you linked and subsequent pages on the course itself as I am very interested in helping our youths to think more rationally about goals. As the course is outlined now I would not suggest it to our youths because:

a) The course requires a lot of time and there's not enough information about how that time can be broken up. We meet for two hours per week and could maybe spare an hour of that for a program, but it's not clear that it can be broken up like that. Also, there's no way they would agree to do this for 7 weeks anyway. An abbreviated course that involved 2 or 3 1 hour sessions with maybe 20-30 minutes of homework in between sessions would be more realistic for our group. Most of our youths are very competitive academically and do not have lots of spare time to do stuff.

b) I have no idea what you're suggesting the youths should be taught because all the actual content is hidden behind the registration. Given that I see no way to get the youths to agree to the course (because of the time thing above), I am not inclined to hand over personal information to get details about the courses actual content.

I hope this helps.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-02-08T22:51:05.757Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I gotcha, thanks for the feedback!

We have specifically UU-themed content here. For a one-hour session, I suggest using the videotaped workshop. You can have youth take the web app beforehand, watch the video, and then have a discussion, with youth taking the web app afterward.

We're also working on developing other UU-themed curricula for youth-oriented classes and covenant groups.

Hope this is useful for you!

comment by pinyaka · 2016-02-22T22:22:29.884Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thanks, Gleb. I will look into this more.

It really seems like you have gone out of your way to not actually share any content until I give you personal information. After looking at a few of your pages I still have no idea what you're offering except that it's something to help people find meaning in their lives using methods that (probably) have one or more scientific study to back them up. This is the kind of sales pitch I usually associate very strongly with scammers. The main differences between the way you look and the way a scammer looks are:

a) I found your recommendations on Less Wrong and you are an academic at an accredited university b) You are charging very little for your material by requiring time watching videos, contact information, or nominal fees (~$2-$3)

If you're open to it, I would suggest writing up a summary or description of what your methods actually are (or if you have such a thing already, prominently link it somewhere). Generally, if you're unwilling to make your methods known to this community it looks like you're not really open to feedback or criticism about them.

comment by Gleb_Tsipursky · 2016-02-23T03:22:55.640Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have lots of free content on this topic that does not require sharing personal information, for example here:

You can download a free version of my book (minus the worksheets), without sharing any personal information here:

Let me know if other stuff would be helpful for you.