Discussion article for the meetup : Winter Solstice Megameetup - NYC

WHEN: 15 December 2012 05:00:00PM (-0400)

WHERE: 316 W 138th Street New York, NY 10030

Nearly a year ago, in NYC we held the first Less Wrong Winter Solstice - a celebration of the past, present and future of winter, and the progress humankind has made over the years, and the progress we will continue to make.

We'll be doing it again this year, on the weekend of December 15th and 16th. Our exact plans are still in motion, but people who want to come from out of state may want to start thinking about travel plans.

It is likely that the communal music celebration will be on Saturday evening, and that Sunday afternoon will be freeform discussion with refreshments. Due to limited seating, my recommendation is that people who primarily want to meet a lot of Less Wrong folk should come to the Sunday party, and people who specifically want to participate in ritual should come on Saturday.

(Don't shy away from coming to the evening celebration if you want to, we can make room. I just know that there are people who like big LW community events but don't care much for ritual/tribalism, and figure it's better not to try to cater to everyone all at once)

The event will be held at Winterfell House, a three story apartment building that 5 of us recently acquired in Manhattan. It would be useful if we knew, sooner rather than later, how many people to expect, so we can plan the scale of the event accordingly.

Discussion article for the meetup : Winter Solstice Megameetup - NYC

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I haven't been to any LW meetups but I'll be hosting my own small solstice gathering in central Ohio. I gather from your posts surrounding the solstice meetup that you intend for the ritual portion to be adaptable, and for people to modify it as they need? If this is the csae, I'll be pulling some meditations and song recommendations from the 2011 solstice PDF -- is there an updated 2012 version yet reflecting changes based on your experience running it?

Awesome! Have you already talked to daenerys? There were several Ohio people who were considering making the trip to NY but hadn't worked out the logistics last time I checked. Holding a local event may make more sense.

Send me a pm with your e-mail address and I'll send you what I have so far.

What date are you expecting to hold it?

I can't make it because of a family obligation, and if I can't make it, I doubt any of the other locals will either. :/ Some day!

I would also love to have the info for the rituals. My boyfriend and I are having an Solsti-pocalypse Wedding Party, which I would love to make an annual event with Traditions (it would be a Solsti-pocalypse-iversary in the following years).

About to pm brainiac with info on the local stuff.

It's going to be a combination Solstice event slash housewarming party as my wife and I recently moved (are still in the process of moving, actually) so I hope nobody's offended if I don't make an open invitation. I am totally open to the idea of attending another meetup though but my availability (due to my work) is quite limited. Our event is the evening of the 21st.

Also: last year I promised not to have the bulk of ritual-meta-discussion take place on Less Wrong (signals bad things), but if you're interested in collaborating on the Solstice design process, you can join the rational-ritual mailing list. (send me a PM with your e-mail address)

I'd be interested in hearing reports of how it went, but am not interested in collaborating. Should I sign up for the list anyway? Will there be reports posted elsewhere? (I'm reluctant to sign up for new mailing lists because I frequently end up reading all the traffic even if I don't really find it that interesting.)

I will be posting one followup post on Less Wrong (possibly another mini-sequence if I think there's enough worthwhile content that the community as a whole would benefit from), so you can probably just wait and see.


Could you give an example of “ritual-meta-discussion”?

In descending levels of meta that may occur on the list:

1) Discussing what purposes we should or shouldn't use ritual for

2) Discussing how how many events should be held throughout the year, what types of events they should be, how similar or different they should be, how many people should we attempt to bring to them, which groups we should be targeting, how should various events be thematically tied together

3) How should the emotional arc of a particular event be? In the case of the Winter Solstice, how far do we want to push emotions in particular directions (it gets at least somewhat grim before it becomes uplifting - do we want just a little grim, or should people actually be, like, crying at the unfairness of the universe, before we start

4) Events have numerous "niches" that need filling. The Winter Solstice, for example, needs a combination of fun/loud songs, silly stories, quieter/prettier songs, grimly realistic songs/stories, and then uplifting songs/stories. It doesn't matter what specific pieces fill those niches, as long as they all fit together harmoniously.

5) Feedback on individual songs, stories and potentially other activities.

Earlier in the year, I posted most of my thoughts regarding all of these levels of the design process. I didn't end up getting enough response to be worth the time to distill my thoughts into organized e-mails, so eventually I started working off the list. But as the Winter Solstice approaches I'll be soliciting more feedback, specifically for 3, 4 and 5.


I see, thank you.

Can you collaborate on the design process without actually planning to attend?

yes. (Realized afterward I need e-mail address, so send me a pm)

I would give 60% probability to me going to this.


Roger and I very much want to come. That said, our finals week starts literally the same day as the celebration, and we won't know until later in the semester whether we have exams that weekend. (Yes, our finals week actually includes the weekend.)

Also, holy crap, Winterfell House sounds awesome.

Aww man! Sorry this keeps being conflicting for you folks.

It basically had to be this weekend, since the following weekend leads into Christmas and a lot of people will have family obligations then. Hope you can make it!

The 15th and 16th of December aren't Saturday and Sunday, but Sunday and Monday. Should the correct dates be the 14th and 15th?

Is there a new version of the songbook?

Is there a form of this in California?

Update because a few people were wondering - yes there is also crash space available on Sunday.

We have plenty of floor space, but at this point we're running low on mattress space, so we recommend you bring a sleeping bag and mat if you have one.

What time does the Sunday meet up start/finish?

Is this really happening? Is there a list where I would see more discussion of it? It sounds pretty up in the air to judge from this. I just discovered "Less Wrong" and might very much like to come at least for free form socializing though I have no idea what to make of the references to "ritual".

Thanks, Hal (hal@panix.com)

It is. There's a facebook event you can RSVP at here if you're on facebook.

For some context on "ritual", here is the pdf from last year's Book O' Rituals.

I would like to come Sunday, but I have never been to a meetup before. What should I expect it to be like?


Me too, I'm far from vocal but I'd be very interested in coming along on sunday.

Usually meetups have some kind of presentation, topic or activity. This particular one will mostly be free-form mingling, getting to know a lot of interesting people and the projects they are working on. There'll be a bit of a "Developing New Years Resolutions for rationalists" subtheme, but rather than try and get an entire room to talk about it at once it'll be more encouraged as a conversational prompt.

I really wish I could go to this. Oh well, there's always next year.