I could use some help.

There exists somewhere a group of people that takes the whole "systemized winning" thing extremely seriously. Their ambition probably sounds insane to normal people. These people set themselves unreasonably difficult goals and achieve them anyways. They develop systems and tools to assist them, and in that group, share them.

Such a group doesn't advertise itself, and probably works by invitation. I don't know where they are or could be, but I want to find them anyways. This is where you guys come in:

I need you to point me in the direction of another group, community, discord server, subreddit, forum or whatever that gets me *closer* to what I'm looking for. *It doesn't have to be the group itself, just closer than this group*. Please let me know if any of you have an idea on where to go next.



- "I don't think such a group exists"
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small-world_experiment - Again, I'm not asking you to point me to the group, but to another group that's closer to my target group. It doesn't matter that you don't know of such a group, but just that I get closer. Imagine the small-world experiment, but I'm the letter going from group to group, so to speak.

- "Isn't that kind of desperate/low status/cringe to put that effort into finding that group?"
- Maybe. Status considerations don't hold a lot of weight, so I'm doing it anyway.

- "What makes you think they'd take you in even if you find them?"
- There's no point in premature capitulation, they can reject me once I get there.

New Answer
New Comment

4 Answers sorted by



There is a lot of diversity within the LW community. Some people just read the web. Some people run companies (yes, plural). You say you have already read the web, but have you also been at meetups? Join some, and ask people what they are working on.

That is, "LW meetups" may be the one step closer to your goal from "LW website".


I find your approach fascinating. Like, my immediate reaction is "this cannot possibly work", but then I struggle to explain why exactly (so maybe I am wrong). Uhm, if you happen to find the "Illuminati" this way, please be so nice and come back here and post a pointer for the rest of us. I mean, if they don't mind being found, they might benefit from being contacted by more LW readers.

I guess my intuition says that if you want to meet some extremely impressive people, and want them to pay attention to you, you better have prepared some presentation about what makes you impressive and worth of their attention. Because you probably won't be the only person who wants to meet them. And if they are insanely ambitious and winning systematically, they are probably not sitting on their butts and waiting for someone like you to join them. Rather, they are probably very busy working on their plans already, whatever those can be. They might need people with certain skills.

Also, I think there is a high chance you may find a group of overconfident people who believe they are winning systematically, but actually are just some form of cult or scam.


Meetups, possibly LW ones, might just be the next step. In general, the idea of networking in person has come up a few times now, but my hope was to jump from forum to forum until I end up on e.g. some discord server with a handful of people doing what I've described. I'm reasonably certain that that kind of server exists somewhere and has for some time.

One would think that this is a simple graph problem, but I've so far only got really few answers that actually would get me to jump into another server - most people just love to discuss everything about th... (read more)

I doubt that. Productive people usually do not spend much time online. And when they do, it is usually focused, so would expect their online time to consist of: * video conferences with selected people, * discussing on private forums, * watching selected YouTube channels, * and maybe occasionally reading an article or two on websites such as LessWrong, but rarely leaving a comment unless it is something personally interesting for them. People who spend a lot of time debating online are usually: * procrastinators who do this instead of being productive (this includes me and probably also you), * salesmen, journalists, and other kinds of people for whom writing online is an essential part of their business, i.e. they are advertising their products or creating controversies that will help sell their products. So I am afraid you will only find people who talk about systematized winning online. Look at it from the opposite perspective: Imagine that you have already become very productive and successful. And you also know other productive and successful people that you like to discuss with, because you inspire each other and cooperate effectively. I think you would prefer to meet them and talk in person, because that is way more efficient (assuming there is a lot you want to discuss) and also better from the privacy perspective than leaving a public written record on some forum (some topics are better to keep secret, such as the details of your financial situation, or how you handle your physical and online security, which is what successful and productive people would definitely discuss among other things). If meeting in person is inconvenient (e.g. living in different countries), something like Zoom would be the next best option. Also, people who are productive in something typically go to conferences, not really to listen to the lectures (those are probably also available online) but to meet other people interested at the same things, so that they can disc



What do you want to win at? There are different possible directions


It starts with making my first few millions and ends with solving all the fun technological problems that are still open once I'm there. Finding a group of people sufficiently motivated to make significant amounts of money and somewhat along the process would be a win condition.

How old are you? What do you know? What have you read so far? Where do you live? Are you living in a shack in India or you have a wealthy comfortable life somewhere in London? I think the feedback you obtain might be much better if you give some context about your current situation (though I would understand too that you don't want to share those details online)
>How old are you? 27 >What do you know? What have you read so far? I don't think I can list all of that. I've been doing software engineering for about a decade now, have a baseline level of competence in everything entrepreneur, and then read / implemented everything that seemed useful >Where do you live? Are you living in a shack in India or you have a wealthy comfortable life somewhere in London? Germany, wealthy comfortable I'm not entirely sure whether my circumstances are super important. I'm not necessarily looking for a group of wealthy people. I'm more interested in people who are working on improving the trajectory of their wealth. For example, a guy in a shack in India implementing an algorithm that calculates the optimal portfolio allocation for a set of bets beats a wealthy guy that's just cruising on fund money.
You should network with startup scene in the field that you are trained in. Getting VC and angel funding is a huge part of it, and probably the easiest way to make your first few million. The best way to present your business proposal is to have a solid prototype, much better if you have customers already. I took this course, and that's what I learned from it. Else you have to either climb the corporate ladder, which is slow, or get lucky in investing which requires a substantial initial investment. For a few million, I would consider $100k the absolute minimum.
I'll have to give the whole "make a product prototype" thing another try. I've been postponing that until have I employees, but maybe hacking together a prototype is good enough to impress some angel investor.
I've personally not had much success in seeking out VC and angel investors. Not that I actually tried. I've always focused on the technical side of things, but that's just a result of my educational background. I think the skill required for this is just general social networking that aren't really domain specific. The work involved to get funding has very little to do with the R&D side of things. It's just how the world has come to be. Of the teams I've worked with on micro-startups of less than 5 people, we've not had much success seeking out funding sources, so I can't really give you much advice there.

Shoshannah Tekofsky


Two things that worked for me:

  1. Produce stuff, a lot of stuff, and make it findable online. This makes it possible for people to see your potential and reach out to you.

  2. Send an email to anyone you admire asking if they are interested in going for a coffee (if you have the funds to fly out to them) or do a video call. Explain why you admire them and why this would be high value to you. I did this for 4 people without limit of 'how likely are they to answer' and one of them said 'yeah sure' and I think the email made them happy cause a reasonable subset of people like learning how they have touched other's lives in a positive way.


I think this place, LessWrong, is what you are looking for: Rationality is Systematized Winning 


Do you think there's really nowhere to go from here? I've been lurking here for a year now and read a ton of great stuff. But even though the people I've met sharing this space are great, there's a severe lack of ambition around that could actually stress test everything developed and discussed on here.

Some versions of "ambition" are evil (e.g. wanting to commit fraud), some are dysfunctional (e.g. wanting to be a hedge fund manager or CEO of ECorp), and some are worthwhile but have been severely damaged. Your mission isn't to get into the inner ring https://www.lewissociety.org/innerring/ , it's to understand why the worthwhile ambition has been damaged (see https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/KktH8Q94eK3xZABNy/hope-and-false-hope ), and then create contexts where that sort of thing can grow. 
7 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since:

Have you looked at the Guild of the Rose at all?


Alright, I'm not getting around giving a little bit more info here, am I.

I've been a Guild of the Rose member for more than a year now. A while ago, in there, I started up a group that does what I've described in the question. The reason I'm looking for another group like that is to hopefully either merge the groups, or exchange information, or anything that speeds this whole development up, as our processes and tools only develop slowly.

The issue with the guild is that even in there, with most people working on improving themselves, the level of ambition is disappointing. The way the guild is structured, it's working well on ensuring that members don't lose. They're working on getting rid of weaknesses. They're doing it well. But they're not working on winning.

This is now the third time I've been pointed at the guild. The good news is, the algorithm is working: I keep getting pushed towards the type of group I've been looking for. The bad news, it's mine.

I really appreciate the feedback and the pointers coming in, and it feels nice to have confirmation that the algorithm is working, but I was hoping there'd be other communities out there I could check. There have to be other people who had the same idea.

I'm much more interested in hearing why you should be expected to be prosocial once such a group discovered you.


Being prosocial in the context of the group: They probably have a way to ensure everyone puts work in.

Being prosocial in general: I don't think a change in ability to execute on my intentions translates into a change of my social alignment. I'd just do whatever I do right now, but with an accelerated timeline.

my apologies, I am habitually suspicious of everyone. I suppose I should just focus on sharing why it doesn't matter how selfish one is, honesty is the best policy even in competitive games, and until we reach our universe's energy use limits, we have a lot of (mostly fission or someday fusion) power sources left to build and diseases left to end, as a society, and the world is primarily a cooperative game of "build more power sources and prevent damages incurred by them". that way I don't even have to ask, just share why I think trying to win at anything long term ends up implying wanting to end bad things as quickly as technology permits. If you're interested, I'd suggest checking out work on evo game theory - the summary is that a cooperation network of generous tit for tat with forgiveness has always been humanity's strength, and increasingly wide circles of cooperation and coprotection network are the historical norm and how we've gotten where we are. I'll leave it up to you to figure out what life you'd like to have and how this works into it.

I don't mean to imply a change; just that I have a prior expectation, arising from evolutionary game theory, that a large percentage of people are prosocial by default, but that in some circumstances, people can choose to activate genetic networks which are not, and that it's important to start out guardedly friendly in case someone has chosen to reach into, to speak approximately, destructively competitive lineage self-actualization. I see others have given mostly the suggestions I'd have given anyhow.

Except, I'd have mentioned guild of the rose.


There is a problem in that any group that is generating alpha would likely lose alpha/person if they allow random additional people into their group.

Think Renaissance Medallion fund.  It's been closed to outside investment since near its inception 30 years ago.  Prerequisites for the average person joining would be something like true-genius level Phd in a related STEM field.

An analogue which is closely related is poker players who use solvers to improve their game.  The starting stakes are a bit lower.  The solvers are like a few thousand dollars + equipment to run them, a class on how to use them runs a similar couple thousand bucks, and then there is the small matter of memorizing the shape of a few thousand tables.  As a side note, I think poker is inherently limited because at the top of the heap, you are fighting for single digit to tens of millions of dollars, which is somewhat chump change in the ultimate scheme of things.

Magic the Gathering is similar (cards+variance+strategy/tactics as alpha).

Crypto is similar because of the variance/volatility.  There was a decent pipeline of people who went from MtG->Poker->crypto.  However, I don't think crypto groups are what you are looking for because at this point, the alpha is you.

There is also the superforecaster group.  You can try metaculus.com or reading https://www.amazon.com/Superforecasting-Science-Prediction-Philip-Tetlock/dp/0804136718 

I'm not sure what the end goal is for individual forecasters.  On metaculus you accumulate points for correct predictions and there is a rankings board.  So it looks primarily status driven, but it's hard to put food on the table with this level of status.  Maybe when you hit top 100 you get an invite to an exclusive group?