Discussion article for the meetup : First Salt Lake City Meetup: 22 January 2012 03:00PM

WHEN: 22 January 2012 03:00:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: 631 West North Temple

Hello and Happy Belated New Year! After the December announcement revealed that there were many residents of Salt Lake City who were also Less Wrongers, it is time for a Meetup!

It will take place next Sunday the 22nd at 3:00 pm.

The venue is Mestizo Coffee House. It's located at 631 West North Temple. I've been there once before and I liked the atmosphere. The 22nd was the first available time I could book the gallery space. The coffee house does not allow outside food or drinks.

While browsing current Meetup announcements, I stumbled across this inspiring account (http://lesswrong.com/lw/4ul/less_wrong_nyc_case_study_of_a_successful/) of a successful meetup. It posed the question: "Do you want a community badly enough to build one yourself?" That reminded me that yes, I think I do. I have quite a large number of ideas for future meetup possibilities already.

The agenda will first and foremost be to meet each other. We'll also discuss future meetups, both logistics and possibilities. We could also start with a short discussion near the end about some Less Wrong topic: leave a comment as to what you think that should be.

Just to clarify: the December announcement was just to gather information and in no way means that there aren't LWers in SLC determined to have a meetup. There are plenty and we will have a meet up.

That is all.

Discussion article for the meetup : First Salt Lake City Meetup: 22 January 2012 03:00PM

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16 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 10:58 PM

I'd like to propose a stipulation that we consciously make an effort toward keeping the meet from turning into a bitch-fest about how the Mormons have oppressed and victimized us :)

Not that I don't sometimes agree with that perception, it's just that in many of my experiences, otherwise constructive and rational discussions about learning and advanced knowledge sometimes have a habit of falling into that trap within this region ruining a normally pleasant conversation and information exchange.

I thought I saw a couple of other meets for SLC posted but I guess they never moved beyond that initial meet or they had an extremely low turn-out or something.

I hope you're not the only one with the perception of week meet ups in SLC.

We will be STRONG in the ways of the force... there was only ONE previous announcement, and the reason why it "didn't amount to anything" is because I didn't think there would be anyone interested so I was just gathering information. And then there were about 15 or 20 people who replied, so believe me, there are enough people interested

Re: Mormonism. I totally agree. I don't want a LW meetup having anything to do with Mormonism, but in the previous announcement, about four people expressed interest... regardless, I've edited the original announcement. If a LW Meetup is to discuss a mindkiller like religion, let it to be after several meetings, I feel.

"I don't want a LW meetup having anything to do with Mormonism..."

Weak. It would be a good chance to discuss the proper use of priors, belief in belief, and curiosity stoppers - key LW themes. Those would help the group advance along more fruitful lines of communication.

You are right. Mormonism is an especially relevant and important topic in Utah. It would be a fantastic example to explore those LW themes and more as part of real life reasoning, and it's practically a MUST that we discuss it in-depth at some point. Are we ready though?

Are we REALLY ready? Are we certain that our internalization of LW basics, our ability to keep a conversation level-headed and on-topic, is strong enough to keep our heads and discuss to Aumann Agreement instead of attacking each other(s arguments)? (Same thing really, when the conversation goes far enough south.) Keep in mind it's not just yourself you are answering for, but everyone in the conversation.

Some of us want LW meetups for a supportive community in which to learn and perfect personal rationality before we want them for heady conversation and debate. I would personally prefer that we are all on the same page about how to discuss topics effectively before we try to defuse irrationality minefields like politics or religion. Might I point out that such mind-killing topics are avoided even here, on the main site? There's a reason for it. Devolving into unproductive arguments is unproductive. Arguments cause resentment, which leads to subconscious avoidance of situations that cause them, which leads to SLC LW community wheezing and whining then puttering out like an old beater.

I can't believe I'm saying this to a LessWronger, but let's look at the context of the quote.

What I actually believe is that holding off discussing Mormonism is the best policy. And true, I personally don't want to discuss Mormonism. But if you look just a few comments down on the same post, I mentioned how it would be a great idea to form a subgroup for those interested. No, I actually went further: I thought it would be a good idea as a fourth or fifth meeting.

I just don't want to start with a mindkiller like Mormonism, nor give some false idea that Meetups would have Mormonism as a core focus.


I don't see a meetup about Mormonism in SLC ending well for anyone.

I'm looking for a ride down from Cache County. Either way good luck

I plan on going. Thanks for organizing it.

This sounds excellent. Barring situations beyond my current knowledge, I shall be attending.

I, too, intend to attend. Just have to make sure I haven't forgotten about any overlapping plans. You have my thanks, as well, for putting this together!

Thanks for putting this together. See you there!

Hi Adam. I'd enjoy participating, but Sundays generally don't work for me. I'll catch you guys next time hopefully. By the way, it's quite likely that my involvement would lead to discussion related to Mormonism, so if that's out of scope then I'll respectfully bow out. Either way, I'm glad you're promoting this!

Well, I see no reason why there couldn't be a subgroup formed for those interested in discussing Less Wrong and Mormonism. I mean there were several LWers interested on the December announcement; a minority, albeit a definite handful. If the first couple of Meetups draw a large enough number of people, there will almost certainly be subgroups formed anyway for those interested in different aspects of possible Meetups.

Also: if you felt like you could guide a main-group discussion on the topic that would be great for, say, a fourth or fifth Meetup.

Regarding Sunday: noted. The second Meetup, assuming there is one, will probably not be on a Sunday. What days, times, or places work best for LWers is information to be gathered on the first Meetup.

I want to echo the sentiment that Sunday typically isn't a real great day for me for meeting up. Thanks for noting it, and thanks for organizing the meetup. I'll look forward to meeting you all next time.

I'm setting an alarm in my phone, and on my computer, and then I'm going to write it on my person in pen every morning just to be sure. If I miss this meeting I am going to be extremely cross with myself.