What does winning look like to you? Lots of rationalists have pretty successful careers as programmers, which depending on what they are going for, could be considered winning. Is it that they aren't "winning" by your definition, or theirs?
Can you describe the thing you think rationalists are failing at, tabooing "winning"?
Not the author, but my guess would be this:
On various metrics, there can be differences in quantity, e.g. "a job that pays $10k" vs "a job that pays $20k", and differences in quality, e.g. "a job" vs "early retirement". Merely improving quantity does not make a good story. And perhaps it is foolish, but I imagine "winning" as a qualitative improvement, instead of merely 30% or 300% more of something.
And maybe this is wrong, because a qualitative improvement brings qualitative improvements as a side effect. ... (read more)
If you don't want to have the conversations yourself and don't know who to talk to about it, consider reaching out to one of the members of the REACH Panel
I'd like to point out that high status does not automatically equate with happiness/high life satisfaction. Status comes with responsibility, including dealing with people nitpicking all of your public decisions and statements, and even some private aspects of your life.
If anyone is trying to get status in order to feel safe and comfortable, they are confused about how status works.
I'll note that I got significantly higher status after deciding to ignore what all the "high-status" people were telling me to do and instead did an ambitio... (read more)
Whoops, I requested access to the slack then forgot about this. Haven't actually gone on the slack yet.
Just now saw the edit.
The regular meetups REACH hosts get ~50 people to attend at least four EA meetups a year when they wouldn't have attended any.
This seems plausibly already the case? There were no EA meetups in Berkeley before I started REACH. Most of the EA meetups draw 8-25 people and it's not always the same people (there's a core set of 4 or so who are usually there).
As a result of the things they learned at those meetups, at least ten people change where they're donating to or what they're prioritizing in the next year.
T... (read more)
I am not very good at making up numbers in this way and have stopped trying. I am not a superforecaster :) So I'm not going to make any actual predictions, but I'll give some categories where I see potential for impact.
First, let me give an overview of what has been achieved so far based on the metrics I have access to:
FWIW, at least one person has gotten at least one short-term-contract from REACH.
I haven't had a chance to read through this in detail yet, but I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this before! I'd be interested in chatting and comparing notes. I'll post a more detailed comment in a few days (I'm way overscheduled for the next few days).
Jan, I'm curious after seeing REACH again this month if you still have the same impression as before.
I disapprove the epistemics surrounding REACH. E.g. the "Reflections on Berkeley REACH" post does not represent reasonable criticism of REACH the author was aware of, and in contrast includes a call to discourage public negative comments
I actually had more of a response to your email in the original draft, and was advised to cut it for the final version by multiple people as being too personal/specific for a public post.
I admit that I am not perfectly rational, and have never tried to be. Harsh public criticism of me and my project hurts me, and... (read more)
Further update: the lease has been signed! REACH is on for at least 14 more months!!! (The lease starts Aug 1 and goes til Aug 31 for some reason.)
Still figuring out how to fund management of the space, and still appreciate further contributions.
Update: The bare minimum "making rent" goal of $5k/month on Patreon has been reached, along with around $1500 in one time donations today!
To really be sustainable, we need more like $6.6k/month, but the swell of support has been really great, thank you all! <3
This is the first time the space had been so full, and it coincided with me being quite busy volunteering for EAG. In retrospect, maybe I should not have done that :P
I like the idea of putting nametags/other marker of who is in what room, which would also help with the "is it ok to use this room for a private conversation or is someone staying in it?" question (often answerable by visual tells but still).
I do have sheets and towels available, but given how close we were to max capacity, I wasn't sure if I'd have enough and didn't want to promise that. I definitely could've been cleared about what to expect, though.
Thanks for the feedback!
I think it *could* be financed by room rentals, but that would require raising prices which kinda defeats the point of the guest rooms. I would then need to optimize harder in the AirBnB direction, which would mean less focus on being good for community events and hanging out.
It's also possible that it could be funded by people paying to cowork or host events there, but again, I want to keep the barriers to entry for using the space fairly low.
There are certainly options we could pursue that would take it in a more commercial direction that would probably make money, but then it wouldn't have the ethos I'm attempting to create, and I'd want to pass the project off to someone else.
Yeah. For me, events at REACH are a good way to get to know new people and decide if I trust them enough to invite them to more private events. I think a lot of folks in the community are already at capacity for how many social connections they can keep up and so don't end up wanting to get to know new people.
I think some of this stems from the fact that many people seem to prefer talking to folks one on one which makes it hard to parallelize social time. My personal preference is for groups of 5-10, sometimes within a larger social setting, and have been sorta trying to impose this preference on others through doing things at REACH :P
I'm sorry that happens to you.
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Ah, yeah, it did happen at last summer's solstice, I had forgotten. I was not involved with the winter solstice and didn't know about similar problems there.
I do agree that house parties are often selective, but I have never seen an event with a topic (as opposed to a purely social party) have more interest than the space allowed, which was the category of thing that was in my head when I said "event" above. I consider house parties to be more about hanging out with friends than about "the community" or whatnot.
Perhaps? I am not sure if if there is even a coherent top-tier. If there is I am not part of or aware of it.
I think funding REACH before there was a track record would've been financially risky. I chose to take that risk personally because I didn't see how it would happen without someone doing something risky. It certainly would have been nice to have gotten support from CEA right away, but I don't think they were wrong to choose to focus resources on people who'd been working on community building for longer, and likely had fewer resources to spare.
I can appreciate that. If CEA is budget constrained, and used all its resources on proven community builders doing valuable projects, I can't really argue with that too hard. However...
If CEA did it because you had personal resources available to sacrifice in their place, knowing you would, that seems like a really bad principle to follow.
If CEA feels it can't take 'risk' on this scale, in the sense that they might fund something that isn't effective or doesn't work out, that implies curiously high risk aversion where there sh... (read more)
CEA turned down my proposal because there were other, more established groups than REACH with clearer track records of success and better thought out metrics for success/failure applying for the same round of grants. I am working on building up a track record and metrics/data capture so that I can reapply later.
I read this as "CEA cares more about procedures that appear objective and fair and that can be defended, and not making mistakes, than doing the right/best thing." That may or may not be fair to them.
I do know that someone recently claiming to be brought in to work for CEA (and raided by SF from NYC, and who proceeded to raid additional people from NYC), claimed that CEA is explicitly looking to do exactly this sort of thing, and was enthusiastic about supporting an NYC-based version of this (this was before either of knew about REACH, I believe)... (read more)
I'm working on building up a similar reproducible set of operating guidelines for REACH and would be very interested in comparing notes.
I don't think I've ever seen an event with more people interested than able to attend in Berkeley. If anything, it's difficult to get people to come out for events.
I actually think this happens fairly frequently, although may be happening sort of invisibly:
A couple friends of mine who were early attendees of a CFAR workshop lived in the Bay Area for several months in 2013, and returned home with stories of how wondrous the Bay Area was. They convinced several of us to attend CFAR workshops as well, and we too returned home with the sense of wonderment after our brief immersion in the Berkeley rationality community. But when my friends and I each returned, somehow our ambition transformed into depression. I tried rallying my friends to try carrying back or reigniting the spark that made the Berkeley rationali
it's a general issue with the way CFAR operates, building up intense social connections over the course of a weekend, then dropping them suddenly.
So, this is definitely a thing that happens, and I'm aware of and sad about it, but it's worth pointing out that this is a generic property of all sufficiently good workshops and things like workshops (e.g. summer camps) everywhere (the ones that aren't sufficiently good don't build the intense social connections in the first place), and to the extent that it's a problem CFAR runs in... (read more)