Update: Well this seems to be a bust =/. Maybe people don't check the "new" section, only "promoted", or maybe the site visit statistics are deceptive.

Just saw here that Sydney has the 2nd most LWers of any city without a meet-up. So, let's have a meet-up!

Let's instant-runoff vote on the specifics until Sunday 6th, and I'll update the post with the verdict then:


1. Which date and time of the following work for you? Rank the ones you can attend in preference order

a) Evening of Tuesday, 15th March

b) Evening of Wednesday, 16th March

c) Afternoon of Saturday, 19th March

c) Evening of Saturday, 19th March

e) Afternoon of Sunday, 20th March


2. What kind of setting do you prefer?

a) Bar

b) Restaurant

c) Other (park for picnic, cafe, etc. Please specify)


3. Which area of Sydney is best for you? Rank the ones you could make it to.

a) City/Central 

b) Lower North Shore (e.g. Neutral Bay, North Sydney, etc)

c) Greater West (e.g. Parramatta)

d) Inner West (e.g. Newtown, Enmore). Tempted to suggest the Humanist House in Chippendale, although I don't know what the deal with it is.


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18 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 11:07 AM

I organized the first few London Less Wrong Meetups. My experience is that what you need to do is announce date and place, and say it's going to happen to matter what.

This allows people who aren't sure to plan for it. If it's uncertain, people who aren't sure just ignore it.

You can have discussions about the second meetup. Don't start with votes.

I'm really glad you're taking the lead on starting a Sydney LW meetup! To get the ball rolling, I strongly suggest that you hold this meet-up unilaterally and without waiting for feedback on time/dates/location from others. The paradox of choice is paralyzing everyone. Just pick some details and do it. I've lived in Sydney before so I'll help by suggesting the details I would use if I were there.

Meet at the Sydney Fish Market and hang out on the wharf outside Peter's Fish Market from 2-4PM, Saturday, March 19th. Bring a small sign that says Less Wrong to set on your table.

Commit to being there every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at the same time until people start showing up. Bring a book to read in case no one actually shows up. If so, no big deal, just go a few more times like this until it gains traction. In the mean time, you'll be getting some good reading done so you win either way. This is how the New York and Berkeley groups got off the ground.

Good luck!

Don't commit to repeating it. That just gives people an option to ignore the first one.

It's not worth getting into a big thing about, but as it happens, instant runoff is the Wrong Way to run a single-winner election. I recommend a Condorcet method instead - MAM is good, though in practice you'll usually have a Condorcet winner so the details of the method won't matter.

IIRC Approval Voting is both close-to-Condorcet and very very simple.

Australian lower house elections run by instant-runoff, so it's familiar to all. I've found voting methods a bit interesting since reading about arrow's theorem, though, so thanks for the note.

Australian lower house elections run by instant-runoff, so it's familiar to all.

It does seem that it isn't possible to declare a Wrong Way to run a single winner election without specifying the agents involved or the desired outcome. :)

You're right, although syllogism's response that Australians are familiar with IRV is good. Approval voting is also a good method for cases like this (and is simpler to implement).

But the important thing is not to use that horrible most-top-votes system.


Upvoted (while I don't live on your continent, I hope your meetup is successful), but I suggest that you follow the practice of the other meetup posts, putting the entire body behind the "continue reading" link.

Thanks, didn't realise I could do that, and didn't notice it looked wrong.

Update: Well this seems to be a bust =/. Maybe people don't check the "new" section, only "promoted", or maybe the site visit statistics are deceptive.

Plausible factor: People don't really like having choice all that much. Voting is sometimes less enticing than a take it or leave it opportunity. (But I'd rate it incredibly unlikely that this effect would be sufficient to be any sort of deciding factor.)

I'm a Sydney-sider and I'm keen for a meet up in Sydney. Saturdays during the day would be ideal for me. Unfortunately I missed the 19th March date, I've only just discovered Less Wrong. I'll check back on this post now and then, and if nobody else organises a time and a place within the next couple of weeks, I'll take the initiative. Cheers, Joel.

It only occurred to me NOW to check if there was a Sydney meet up. Would hate to remain a lurker. Assuming ignorance, how does one keep promoting this?

Sigh... I haven't checked "new posts" recently, and would have loved to attend this. I mostly read Less Wrong through its RSS feed, which only shows the promoted posts. Man, I've got to start checking the actual site more often.

I might as well start. Looks like the Sydney crowd is composed mostly of lurkers :p

  1. b, then c, then e, although all availabilities are subject to interference from work rostering. The rest I suspect I will be unavailable.

  2. c (RSL or similar), then b (but only if it's a relatively quiet restaurant - had a bad experience recently where conversation was all but impossible)

  3. a, then d, then b.

Well thanks for replying, but it seems like nobody else is keen. So maybe some other time.

I won't be attending for a year or so (I'm currently in the UK), but in the hopes that this group will be going strong by the time I get back home... I'd like to put forward a preference or two :)

I'd like to put in a vote for restaurant over bar - because you can: a) guarantee that you can actually sit down b) hear yourselves talk (rather than shouting over loud music and drunk people) c) allow people under the age of 18 if you so wish d) choose not to drink if you like

Second preference goes to cafe for the same reasons... though a cafe has the advantage that you aren't expected to eat a full meal, and the disadvantage that it may be closed in the evenings.