Updates from Amsterdam

by toonalfrink 1 min read16th Dec 2017No comments


Riffing off https://www.lesserwrong.com/posts/QkoRbPv4XmZFQaSCz/updates-from-boston

Inviting other organisers to hop on the bandwagon!


Theme of the week

Every week, one member is asked to post their favourite reading material. Something not larger than a sizable blog post, so everyone will read it. Rationalist or non-rationalist. It's been a schelling point for closing inferential gaps and getting deeper into the material. It's also a nice way to put people in the spotlight once in a while.

Petrov day

We did Petrov day. We expected it to be awkward. Our skeptical/uneasy attitudes dissolved quickly. There was a strong sense of meaning and tranquility about the thing. We loved it.


At our public meetups, we often practice CFAR techniques. Sometimes we do an authentic relating game. Sometimes we make up something ourselves. In any case, as opposed to just discussion, there is always activity. This has turned out to be necessary for some people. They need to be able to self-justify showing up. Socializing or talking about things can be useful, but it doesn't feel useful.

Meditation at meetups

Before the active part of our meetup, there is always a 10-minute meditation session. We listen to guided meditation. The 2 minutes after that is always my favourite part of the meetup, because it's quiet. everyone is just sitting contently. It's an island of peace in an ocean of chatter. Nice bonding effect too.


I'm terribly sorry, but I couldn't think of anything. Not trying hard enough maybe?

Awaiting evaluation:

Boundaries, rituals, belongingness

Inspired by Ribbonfarm and Melting Asphalt

We want to try doing what they do at fraternities and temples. They must know something that we don't when it comes to fostering a sense of community.

  • We used to have public meetups every 2 weeks at a coffee shop. Now we meet up every sunday, but only once a month in public. The other 3-4 sundays are a dojo, 2 private hangouts for members, and something random if there is a 5th sunday.
  • We are gradually adding boundaries and social tech. We have a name (the Home Bayes), "official" membership with a €5/mo (facultative) contribution, a motto, a logo, a mission statement, and an initiation ritual that includes a bit of hazing (nothing extreme, just a lightning talk).

New ideas to try:

Gender segregation

note: this is not sexist. It's about social norms loosely based on gender. Let's not make this political. Thank you.

Some of you may be aware that all-male and all-female group norms are usually vastly different from mixed groups. I dare say that there is something essential about these that people are missing out on.

I'm not sure why, but I do know that both masculine and feminine rulesets work well as long as each member of the group is attuned to them, and for some people they can work better than a mixed setup. Mixed groups can be stifling (for the masculine) or intimidating (for the feminine).

Anyway, I'll leave it at that. This needs a post of it's own.

Tribal apparel

Maybe bracelets. We thought of beads to represent achievements (like "finished the sequences").

Group house

So far no luck in finding one, plus not enough interest. We thought of boats, but in the stage we are in it is too risky.