A high/small example with someone who isn't physically petite: Stringer Bell, from The Wire, especially when he's interacting with Avon.
“Witches don’t often get angry. All that shouting business never really gets anybody anywhere.”
After another pause, Letitia said, “If that is true, then maybe I’m not cut out to be a witch. I feel very angry sometimes.”
“Oh, I feel very angry a lot of the time,” said Tiffany, “but I just put it away somewhere until I can do something useful with it. That’s the thing about witchcraft—and wizardry, come to that. We don’t do much magic at the best of times, and when we do, we generally do it on ourselves.”
-Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight
"Some newcomers often find the culture impenetrable and unwelcoming" seems like a feature (not a bug). If anything ought be changed about it, I think the unwelcoming attitude ought be more discerning - excluding people based on properties most of the community actually doesn't want around, rather than or in tandem with whatever criteria it's currently operating on.
I grew up in a hippie commune and I recommend this!
I voiced my reservations about this project in the feedback form, but in summary for public record:
I approve of:
a thriving in-person rationalist or rationalist-adjacent community ("community" for short) existing somewhere that's not a metropolis
a community that does not oblige its members to "live rationally" according to some consensus definition thereof
a community encouraging people to experiment with their lives and gain real-world rationality skills
I have reservations about:
In particular, it seems very likely to me that Bendini's sense of alienation from the UK Cambridge Solstice is best explained by the demographics of Cambridge, rather than the demographics of rationalists. I know many high-profile rationalists who do not come from upper-middle-class backgrounds and who spend their money carefully. Most of the rationalists I know in-person are college dropouts, not Oxbridge elites. There's plenty more I could say on this issue.
the tone of the project
the difficulty of immigrating to the UK
the degree of similarity to Alicorn's bagruppe idea - there's one line about kids, but this doesn't seem like a thoroughly kid-oriented project.
Source on those statistics, please? I find the claims dubious: in particular, the 25% figure seems to come from this "information packet", which is unsourced and uncited, suggesting that it may not exist. The two Jensens, Cory Jewell and Steve, seem to build a career around inflating the numbers associated with child sexual assault. I can't find sources for either of the other figures.
My stake in the game: I strongly distrust statistics given about child sexual assault unless they are highly specific about what is being discussed, for two reasons.
One is that the definition is incredibly vague: some sources mean "an adult engaging in intercourse with a minor under 13", others mean "touch intended to be sexually gratifying, of a minor under 18, by another party of any age", and definitions run the gamut. Another example: under this website's definition of child sexual abuse, "any sexual activity between adults and minors or between two minors when one forces it on the other (...) like exhibitionism, exposure to pornography", I was sexually abused at 11 when a chatroom troll sent me a link that turned out to be Two Girls, One Cup.
My second reason for reservation around these statistics is that they rarely take into consideration the preferences of the minor. When I was a minor, I had healthy and fulfilling sexual relationships; under many existing definitions, I was sexually assaulted by my loving sixteen-year-old boyfriend when I was sixteen, and under many more I was sexually assaulted by him when he turned eighteen and I was still seventeen. This seems ridiculous and objectionable to me.
A last note: I agree that it is impossible to tell from a few hours of interaction whether someone will abuse your child. Many people can't tell even after years of loving marriage whether their spouse will abuse their children, so "demonstrating acceptable qualities" is not a very good intervention. The absolute best defense against one's children having unwanted/traumatic interactions is to tell them how to set boundaries, tell them to yell if they're touched in a way they don't want, tell them that their body is their own and that nobody gets to touch it without their permission. This has the virtue of defending against all manner of abuse and mistreatment, at the hands of parents, extended family, family friends and acquaintances alike.
For the author and the audience: what are your favourite patience- and sanity-inducing rituals?
I'm up for doing this, because I think you're right; I notice that commenting/posting on LessWrong has less draw for me than it did in 2011/2012, but it's also much less intimidating, which seems useful.