tldr: CFAR’s running updated versions of our mainline rationality workshop this fall in the Prague area. Apply here

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CFAR workshops are back! After a nearly three-year hiatus during COVID, we're going to be running a series of four workshops this fall in the Czech Republic. 

So what is a CFAR workshop again? 

These workshops are four-and-a-half-day intensive retreats that are designed around the rationality techniques CFAR developed in its 10+ year history. These techniques vary: some we pulled straight from academic literature (looking at you TAPs), others we adapted from outside practices (Gendlin’s Focusing), while some we developed wholesale (hello Double Crux, Goal Factoring, and all that which is still unnamed). Our goal with this workshop is to create an environment in which participants are able to gain new insight into their minds and their decision-making processes.

Why would you come to a CFAR workshop? 

Because you want to! That’s the most important part. 

But maybe also you’ve got a sense of stuckness, and a new frame or tool might help you shift. Maybe it’s exactly the opposite of stuck; you’re moving and changing, and you want to be deliberate about how you move forward. Maybe you’re just intrigued and excited about this thing you’ve heard about from your friends. No guarantees from us on the result, but folks often walk away with insight, new fascinating friends, and some outstanding ideas. Most participants answer that they were glad they came (the only trick is figuring out how to select yourself into the correct reference class.)

We think that the workshop would be particularly valuable if you:

  • Are enthusiastic about rationality and you want to nerd out
  • Have an exploratory/playful/experimental mindset - you like to try things!
  • Are looking for an environment where you can have open and honest conversations about what you care about

A caveat, about this workshop...

It’s experimental. Which, if you’re familiar with CFAR’s history, is true of much of our workshops. If the material isn’t alive and real and practiced by our instructors, we don’t believe it will be for participants. And since it’s been a significant nearly-3-years since our last workshop, we and our beliefs have shifted a bit. It’ll still be fairly recognizable for those familiar with our applied rationality, but we want to set your expectations. The most notable shift is we’re saying goodbye to our problem-oriented approach (colloquially known as “bugs”) and focusing on the perspective of asking: what do you actually want and how can we move toward that? We’ll also be incorporating a holistic approach to your goals and needs, an understanding of the limits of improved productivity, an orientation to uncertainty, and more. 

Where and when?

There will be four workshops this fall in Prague, Czech Republic (precisely: in a village about 90 min from Prague). All workshops start at 6pm on arrival day and finish with breakfast at 9am on departure day.

  • September 29 - October 4
  • October 20 - October 25
  • November 3 - November 8
  • November 16 - November 21 (to be confirmed)

There’s also going to be the Prague Fall Season (more info soon!), full of fun and interesting events that will be happening concurrently. Consider coming early or staying late if you want to spend some time taking part in that or just exploring. 

If going to Prague is too inconvenient or expensive for you, the odds of spring 2023 workshops in California are higher than ever (but no promises at this point). 

How do I get in on this?

Apply here. We’ll be processing applications on a rolling basis. We’re aiming to get back to everyone within 2 weeks of their application. Depending on the demand, we might ask you to provide more information later in the process. You’ll want to apply through the google form even if you’ve previously shown interest via our rationality.org website.

How much does it cost?

It’s free! Partly due to the new and experimental nature of the workshops, but moreover, we want to shift from a stance of, “Hey we’re offering you a product” to more of a collaborative spirit where everyone at the workshop is in it together, building something beautiful. 

The team is full of optimism, excitement, and new ideas. Come join us.

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Sounds great so far, some questions:

  • How does travel work? Do you get to Prague on your own and then there's organized transport for the last leg, or do you have to do the whole journey yourself? (I don't drive / only use public transport. Car-less travel to "a village about 90 mins [by car?] from Prague" could be anywhere between slightly annoying and near-impossible.)
  • How does accommodation & food work?

And (different category)

  • Are some of you at LWCW to chat in person?

Hi, I'm running these workshops with John so I can provide more information:

  • We will arrange transportation to the venue from Prague but you can also get there yourself using public transportation. It's quite straightforward.
  • The workshop is at a venue that has accommodation and food provided for the participants. Confirmed participants will receive more detailed information about logistics later.
  • It is possible that some of the instructors will be at LWCW but many are flying in later and some will be in Prague preparing for the workshops. I also expect that by late August we will have filled most of the spots for CFAR I and CFAR II. There may be still room in CFAR III (and CFAR IV if confirmed). So if you have questions about applying, feel free to message us so we can talk earlier.

Not an organizer, but when they refer to a village "90 mins from Prague" I'd assume they mean by public transport, since it is quite good in the Prague area.