Interested in a European lesswrong meetup

by MartinB1 min read7th Aug 201031 comments

11

Personal Blog

There are readers on this blog from all over the world - many of them spread out over Europe. How many of you would be interested in a European meetup of LW readers?

We do not have big clusters like Silicon Valley, but we have low cost airlines, and lots of interesting places.

If interested please comment.

31 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 11:23 PM
New Comment

I'm pleased to report that consequently to earlier exchanges here the first ever Parisian LessWrong meetup took place today at 6:30pm, consisting of Emile and myself having a chat in a bistro on Place de la Nation, discussing old and recent topics. According to an informal survey, at least 50% of the attendees enjoyed the meetup and are looking forward to further occasions.

There are at least two more of us living here, and who knows how many still lurking. Please don't be shy: reply to this if you're interested in the next. :)

Please comment on the Where are we? thread - don't duplicate it here!

I just noticed there are now advanced preferences including a 'Location' field. Could someone plot that data?

I didnt notice the location field.

@ciphergoth, this one is specifically for people interested in a European meet-up, which is a smaller number than the readers who respond in the other thread. Some people are not interested or able to travel anywhere, while others have a few locations where they regularly hang out.

A map generated automatically from the Location fields would be the simplest thing. I've added the suggestion to the bugs and features thread.

I believe that thread is not observed; you need to create an issue in the bug tracker.

This thread has it's value for planning a meetup, which invloves a lot of time-dependent discussion (who's available when in the coming weeks?) that would be clutter in the "Where are we?" thread.

I do agree that a link to "Where are we?" would have been useful in the top-level post, over there, people say where they are, and here they discuss planning.

Apparently, I'm the only one from Austria here. I'd be willing to travel to London though, especially during Christmas this year or summer next year.

Other cities are not out of the question, but only if the meet-up is longer than a day.

Sure. Paris, and I know there are a few others here.

Yup, such as me.

Two might just be enough to declare a meetup, and see who else comes along.

Are you going to be around during Aug 16-21 by any chance? My schedule will be more flexible than usual in that period.

Otherwise I can free up an afternoon (with slightly more difficulty an evening) from September on.

Yup, I'll be around Aug 16-21, at least, outside work hours.

There have been quite a few meetings in London, with many participants not from London itself.

I guess the most sensible thing would be to gather data where people actually are first. (I'm in London)

[-][anonymous]10y 1

I am. I'm sitting in Stuttgart, Germany.

I might be. I'm in Heidelberg, Germany. Calling all in S(W) Germany!

To answer myself: I am in Nurenberg, with regular visits to Berlin.

I'm sitting in Berlin.

To give this some resolution: It seems like we do not have enough traction for a bigger meeting in a particular location in Europe. One way to bring the Europeans together is to promote some of the UK/London meetings on a bigger scale to invite traveling from abroad. For small scale meet-ups there are some cities or regions with a few LW-readers in them, that can meet informally.

I'm in Nicosia, Cyprus, if there's anyone else here.

I'm interested, I live in Helsinki, Finland.

I'm most likely unable to participate no matter where the meetup is held, though. If something unlikely happens, however, I'd be really interested in joining.

Helsinki here as well.

[-][anonymous]10y 0

I'm too shy because I'm not educated enough and not trained speaking English (pronunciation). I suppose English would be the language of choice ;-)

Generally, coming over would be no problem though. I suppose the best choice is the UK.

I'd be interested. So far my schedule has prevented me from attending most of the London meetups, and I live there, so i can't guarantee anything.

I'm in Lund in the south of Sweden, close to Copenhagen.

I would be very interested in a meetup, provided it's not too expensive for my budget as a student!

I'm in Uppsala, close to Stockholm. Not sure on my travel options/interest though, I guess I'd like first to read some 'reports' about what LW meetups are like.

I'm moderately sleep-deprived now so the following may or may not be a sensible observation: do not discount slightly out-of-the-way locations for the possible meeting place. London/Paris/Rome/Berlin are heavenly, but (1) everybody's been there before and (2) they are relatively expensive. Smaller capitals like Budapest, Lisbon or Dublin are still full of low-cost flight connections, but they are cheaper and, despite them having a ton to offer, people are less likely to have seen them already.

Putting together a small meeting of like-minded smart people in the EU is quite a different proposition compared to the US, speaking from personal experience (and in fact with fresh memories of just such a meeting near Strasbourg this past week, with 11 people from Sweden, Denmark, the UK, France, Italy, Germany and one from the US).

In the US you fly or drive everywhere, and people tend to all have the same options, it's a relatively egalitarian geography.

In Europe people have different preferences re flying, driving or taking a train, depending on where they live (mainland or island countries for instance), what the local infrastructures are like, and so on.

For a "meetup" defined as less than a half-day, I have a hard time seeing it happen other than locally, e.g. I'd be up for having one in Paris. (I've gone to a London meetup; that was expensive relative to the duration, though I consider it money well spent for having met a few LWers and transhumanists in person for the first time ever.)

For a one- or two-day seminar you can usually find a place where people from various parts of Europe are willing to come in, stay the night, and ship out the next day, where the cost of the stay remains reasonable compared to the cost of travel.

That's a little different from a more informal meetup though; may need slightly more structure. The "unconference" formats could be suitable, such as Open Space or BarCamp.

My sense of things is that it would be a judicious plan to first grow local communities with something like a "Rationality BarCamp" series, recruiting well outside the core LW readership - which would probably require making the topic a little more catchy than just "rationality". Then after a few of those, aggregate the more enthusiastic members of each of those communities into a larger regional unconference.

I've participated in and helped organize what is in retrospect a significant number of such campaigns. I'm willing to contribute that expertise and a fair chunk of my time, given enough interest.

Dublin wasn't much cheaper than London when I left it, and that was less than six months ago. I know the economy's cratering but I don't think the economy's adjusting that fast.

Edinburgh. Might be able to travel to other places in the UK.

I'm normally in Norwich, but I'll be in Edinburgh next week (arrive Monday 16th late evening, departing morning of Sat 21) for the Festival and visiting my mother. I believe there are a couple of others in Edinburgh as well, so I'd be willing to meet up with whoever's around then.