Discussion article for the meetup : Any Salt Lake City residents who might be interested in a meetup?

WHEN: 29 December 2011 08:37:29PM (-0700)

WHERE: Salt Lake City, Utah

(This post has been edited to reflect the fact that several people have expressed interest.) As for the purpose of the meeting, I'd love to hear suggestions. I will think about it in the meantime, and also let the first meetup refine the direction of a potentially regular meetup. Just to clarify, the date and time listed are not for a planned meetup. It looks like there are already a healthy amount of people interested, when I count four others, so I find this very encouraging! To make this work, it would be helpful to create a mailing list, so I'll ask for emails later or will create a Meetup group. The idea is that about mid-January I'll clarify the purpose and gather availability in terms of day, time, and place, and we'll first meet in the last week of January. TO CLARIFY: the date is NOT a suggested a meetup. I will make a second announcement in mid-January.

Discussion article for the meetup : Any Salt Lake City residents who might be interested in a meetup?

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27 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 12:00 AM

What a great idea. I would be interested in seeing if any fellow Mormons will be attending? I have been studying a lot of the work on Bayes by Tim McGrew and have been applying it to the claims of the Mormon church. With well adjusted priors the evidence seems pretty good! I recommend the influential work on Bayes done by Tim and Lydia McGrew.

As a non-Mormon Christian the application of Bayesian principles to religious claims, particularly claims made by ancient documents where the primary evidence is no longer available is of great interest to me. I hope I can make it. Work may have me traveling in late January though. :(

Me too. I second the idea of exploring how the McGrews apply Bayes to religious claims. Then we can contrast that with how someone like Richard Carrier uses them against religious claims. I think the difference in uses will be enlightening.

I recommend the influential work on Bayes done by Tim and Lydia McGrew.

Past Less Wrong discussion did not paint a favorable picture of their 'Bayesian apologetics': arbitrarily restricted sets of hypotheses, abuse of dubious infinite-strength independence assumptions, etc.

r_claypool provided some good links in that thread that addressed those issues. Additionally Lydia and Tim McGrew have penned a number of posts and papers dealing with the issues you raise.

I actually think that the topic could prove fruitful at a gathering in Salt Lake. Apply Bayesian principles and also discuss topics such as "belief in belief" and "fake explanations" prior to engaging the topic of Bayesian Mormon Apologetics.

By the way, I'm a university student, discovered Less Wrong about 6-9 months ago, have read HPMoR and some of the Sequences (&plan to read more).

Count me in! I am working my way through the Sequences and would love to further discuss the key ideas contained within them! My journey from a traditional rationalist to a more LW style rationalist has been enlightening.


Meeting suggestion: I'm particularly in love with the idea of formalizing chavruta pairs/triplets for specific learning/winning-at-life goals. (Studying, Weight Loss, Poker....) I find I already have many insane rivals, who are very good at dragging me into anti-logic and then beating me with experience, but none that are actually interested in winning. And studying in a vaccuum usually leads to lots of unrelated open tabs on wikipedia, at least for me.

Actually, I think it would be beneficial to talk about social-based hacks in general. Go all meta on why we're doing meetups at all. We're making an explicit point of gathering socially, so clearly we think there is some value to it...

I'll have to look into that more, that sounds awesome! I had a vague idea of doing something like that too.


Why can't the purpose of the Meetup be to meet up?

We can, but as this case study points out, social/unfocused discussions usually have poor attendance because hanging out is harder to justify than having a specific purpose. It would be fine for a first meeting, probably, but I'd expect most would find more important things to do the second or third time around if we're not doing anything obviously useful.

My experience with similar groups bears this out, although I think I'd loosely construe "obviously useful" as things that make us better/stronger and things that are fun to do.

I'm interested.

I would be interested

I would be interested.

I might be interested as well.

I'd be interested.

Gah! Mid-January seems so far away...

Anyone here perchance frequent Mestizo's coffeehouse?

I know where that is, there's an atheist Meetup that meets there, I think.

My original thought on waiting until Jan was to have time to plan ahead. Also, I honestly had no idea there were this many LWers in SLC!

I would be interested. It'd be a bit of a drive, but I would make time :) It's good to know that there are more of you out here.

I'm not a Salt Lake City Resident, but I'm going to be skiing in Utah over my winter break. I'm going be returning home around New Years, but if the meetup is before then, I'd love to meet you people. Previously I tried to make a meet-up in Indianapolis, but there doesn't appear to be anybody within a 60-mile radius.

I'm down!!!

I am interested.

If you've seen my LW article on For-Profit Rationality Training, you know that Dan Nuffer and I are trying to put together a business aimed at helping people develop better instrumental rationality. As anyone who follows LW knows, if you want good ideas, you need to generate a lot of ideas. So... could I convince you all to participate in a business model brainstorming session with Dan and me, either as part of the meetup or immediately afterwards? What do you think?

Maybe. I'd love all the help I can get to make a great LW Meetup. I think I remember seeing that article and having, um, strong positive affect (haha) towards the idea.

I'll get back to you - I plan on announcing the actual Meetup in 1 week and doing it in about 2 weeks.

I'm interested

Anybody near/in Park City/? I'm skiing up here and would love to meet some rationalists while I'm at it.