Meet ups are great and all, but a lot of us live far away from the large masses of LW-participants.  I live in the Toledo, Ohio area, and I'm also one of those people who are looking for people who I can relate to.  Most people I can't relate to, intellectual conversation makes most people I know uncomfortable.  Even people who are intelligent are often too timid to speak their minds (this could be because of the before mentioned people).  Nothing against people who are more ordinary than I am, but I have this sense that the people I read here are people I have more in common with than most people I will ever meet by chance.

I'm not looking for a date (well, I am, but not in this case), just people who I can relate to better than people I will meet by chance.  This isn't my personal ad, but I was wondering what would be the best place to put such an ad, to see if there are people in my area who are the kind of people who would read this website?  I'm not a transhumanist, but I'm not religious either.  I've been an atheist since I was 12.  I'm not autistic, but I have ADHD which I've only recently been treated for.  This is also the main reason why I never finished college, which probably would have been *the* best way to meet people.  So I'm looking for second or third best.

After reading the recent post about the LW user who committed suicide, I realized that I could lose a lot by not making the effort of trying to reach out and meet people.

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What would people think of a LW-specific Chatroulette? No clue if we'd have enough users, but it could be nice to have that venue for one-on-one facial communication with other LWers.

I'm probably in the minority with this opinion, but I think for non-homeschooled people (and especially the male kind), taking time off between high school and college can be a really good idea. It can be a period of discovering the self. Rediscover the love of learning. Mature socially. Do. Be.

I did such a thing (took time off in the middle) and found that even the meager 3 years in age between me and my fellow classmates made a huge difference. My ability to really think and focus was miles what it was before I took a break. I was also less affected by social pressures. Before my break I went to classes reluctantly when I went at all. Afterwards, I really really wanted to be there. What professor wouldn't prefer the latter student?

Many people are not ready for college right away--and it could be argued that this is more the case for the exceptionally bright. The education industry can be an unforgiving factory-like process. And, of course, there are people that do quite well without prolonged schooling at all.

I realized that I could lose a lot by not making the effort of trying to reach out and meet people.

post upvoted for this initiative.

Thanks for your reply, and I think right now I would be a much better student than I was eight years ago, when I was twenty. Either I'll go back to college or, if I can't manage the funding, I'll try a more disciplined self-study approach. Not giving up.

Not entirely related to your post, but some of us have been trial-running the idea of "virtual meetups" HERE. At the least you could join the google group and stay tuned for upcoming planned events? Two have successfully happened, and that might be a way to get some "people time"?

At the very least, you have some people who are into "virtual communication" and it might blossom into members of that group just initiating one-on-one discussions on topics that they find interesting to another? For example, I had a one-on-one talk with SilasBarta that I found similarly enjoyable compared to in-person dialog, even though it was through a computer. I think real-time audio (and video if possible) produces a much, much more personable experience compared to typing messages, regardless of it's commenting here or even real-time chat. Hearing one another's voices and seeing facial expressions really helps.

I have found insanely helpful, but I also live in a populous area. I'm a member of the Minnesota Atheists, Minnesota Skeptics (like a critical thinking group), and a group called "Former Fundamentalists" for those who have left various religion and are dealing with the social difficulties. It has been amazing to find real, live people to talk to.

Lastly, you might try craigslist personals. I've seen people request all kinds of things there -- dates, just hang out times, etc. People get pretty specific, so you might be able to just post there and ask to find someone interested in rationality, critical thinking, etc. Post in the "strictly platonic" section so it's known that you're not looking for romantic entanglement.

Good luck with your search; I'm in a similar situation, so these are some things that have helped me or at least that I've thought about using/am aware of.

With regards to virtual meetups, I have recently found that video chatting is remarkably close real life chatting. I haven't participated in a virtual meetup, but I have video chatted a fair amount. I didn't think it would be a very good substitute, but after doing it a couple of times, I realized it actually works fairly well for socializing.

is there any convenient framework for setting up a lesswrong skype group?

I haven't used Skype video chat. I've used gmail video chat and for group video chat. TinyChat worked decently for a group of 6 people, though it can be a little tricky for everyone to get their camera and mic working.

Glad you think so! I agree. I (probably obviously) advocate for local, in-person discussion if possible... but sometimes it's just plain hard to find.

This reminds me of a startup idea I've been thinking about. Is there interest in a website done in the dating website format, but only for people looking for close friends, casual friends and penpals (not groups, as in, and not dating), and specifically geared toward introverts?

Wonderful! Thank you. An alternative hypothesis, however, is that friend matching has not been tried competently as of yet. That bears testing.

Friendly Nitpick: I think you mean "relevant".

I don't think you need to limit yourself to the LW community. I'm fairly certain that you can relate to a lot of other people. Start checking out for local groups near you that sound interesting, and make some friends. I don't know how grown ups make friends, though.

Yeah, I've checked out before. Good idea, by the way, there is an atheist group near here, but their activity seems to have died off, and there only seems to be a few people who are active. But this is a good reminder to look into it further.

Just to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with, however, one of the most active groups local around here seems to be the Tea Party Patriots.

Keep an open mind, you might be surprised. There might be a few thoughtful libertarians there just because its a focal point for people of that persuasion.

If you're in a low activity area, that might mean that you have to take more initiative and be more of a leader/organizer in making things happen. Create your own Rationalist community :)

Just to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with, however, one of the most active groups local around here seems to be the Tea Party Patriots.

Toledo also has a democratic party, believe it or not. You could maybe get involved with them, if you find the left more appealing.

I met my fiancée through OKCupid, but it just so happened that she was big into science; that's not why I messaged her. The site isn't exactly taylored to finding people with similar views as yours, but it will get you a head start on whom to ask the right questions. It will, for instance, not generally try to match you with religious people if you say that you're not into that.

I'm already on OKCupid, and I have been messaging someone on there. But I was more interested in looking for friends or even just intellectually interesting acquaintances. Doesn't have to be single or of the opposite sex :)

OKC is also not bad for this! I know lots of people who have made friends from the site, though I haven't personally.

OKC is probably not a good venue for making friends since that's not what most people signing up for it primarily intend. The context of interaction is tainted with romance.



I agree with you that its a false dichotomy, but I'm not entirely sure that I can become friends with a girl on OKC who is not otherwise attracted to me. In my mind, she's not here looking for friends, she's looking for potential suitors, and if I'm not one, she simply doesn't respond or responds in a perfunctory manner, and never invests the time that would be required to make a new friend. If she does, our friendship is tainted by the knowledge that I am attracted to her (otherwise I wouldn't have contacted her in the first place), and then we're in the age old question from countless romcom chick flicks.

Yes, it's possible, but if the objective is to maximize close friendships made per time spent socializing, OKC is not the most efficient way to do so. is.



I guess I never tried this. It would be weird though. How do I message another guy, for instance, without that guy thinking that I'm hitting on him?

Include the phrase "no homo" somewhere in the message. Actually, I've both messaged and been messaged by guys on OKC, and as far as I know, neither of us thought there was anything romantic going on.

Well, how do you message a woman without that woman thinking you're hitting on her?

I suspect many of the same techniques would apply.



There's been discussion here before about using OkCupid. Consensus seems to be that it is one of the better dating sites out there for somewhat rational individuals. might be of interest, though I realize it's not exactly what you're asking for.

I live in Philadelphia now, but I'm a former Toledoan (hopefully also a future Toledoan, if my career permits). I used Toledo area craigslist with some success. Another possibility would be attending public lectures at UT or BGSU. You could even enroll in classes if time and money permit.

There also seem to a fair number of Ann Arbor Less Wrongians. If you don't mind the drive, you could try to coordinate a meetup with them.

Thank you.

I have close to the same problem. There is a skeptics group in the area but many times i feel like i have to explain to much. Like all the different biases and basic logic (recently had to explain bayes theorem to them. I used a technique i learned in college that has been experimentally proven to increase peoples understanding of bayes theorem at least when applied to diagnostic tests.) I would love to be able to talk about things with people who i can assume understand what the status quo bias is or what the availability heuristic is.

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