Less Wrong will be having a meetup on Saturday at 7pm UTC (convert to other time zones), in the #lesswrong IRC channel on Freenode. If all goes well, this will be a recurring event. If you haven't used IRC before, Mibbit provides a web-based client you can use.

We may do some Paranoid Debating. Discuss rules and procedures here. A few people should bring questions, but avoid looking at the answers if you can avoid it. Depending how many people show up, we'll may need to break into multiple groups. Once we've finalized the rules and done it a few times, I (or someone else) can write a bot to assign roles and keep score.

(Edit: Downgraded Paranoid Debating from being the purpose of the meetup to being a likely activity.)

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Be warned that the last online chatroom I started SUCKED OUT TIME AND LIFE FORCE LIKE A BLACK-HOLE-POWERED HOOVER VACUUM CLEANER.

I would suggest having IRC meetups at most monthly on an informal basis, and having "official" LW meetups at most quarterly.

(delq nil
      (mapcar (lambda (x) 
                (and (not (erc-server-buffer-p x)) 
                     (buffer-name x)))
              (erc-buffer-list)))

("#startups" "#xkcd-signal" "&bitlbee" "#wesnoth" "#wesnoth-dev"
 "#wesnoth-mentor" "#sporks" "#xkcd" "#not-math" "#math"
 "#haskell-blah" "#haskell" "#gatorlug")

Go! Save yourselves! It's too late for me... gasp.

I note you are /joining both #math and #not-math. Surely those alone should, by definition, be fully comprehensive?

In the spirit of paranoia, we shouldn't trust a bot maintained by one of the participants to assign roles for us. Let's figure out a cryptographic protocol for doing it :-)

There is a cryptographic protocol for this already - see "mental poker".

I think it's possible to do it that way, but I'm not sure how. That would be an interesting exercise. Actually doing it, however, is impractical, because it would require participants to have special clients, and we want to make it as accessible as possible.

(A much bigger issue than rigging the role assignment, is using the web to looking up answers.)

(A much bigger issue than rigging the role assignment, is using the web to looking up answers.)

I think the trick is to find questions that only you know the answer to, but that aren't in any way about you. For example, "I dropped a quarter at this google maps location and checked ten minutes later whether it was still there; was it?" qualifies; but there should be easier ways to accomplish the same thing.

You could solve the specialized client issue by writing it in javascript.

I would like to request that the .log file of this chat be archived and made available somewhere (Less Wrong Wiki?).