Here's the meetup room link: https://meet.jit.si/HoustonRationalists
Password is HelloWorld
This is great! Thank y'all for putting this document together, it's difficult to track down Peter Thiel's thoughts in one spot so this is an excellent resource, and I look forward to going through it.I wonder if Andrew Yang is familiar with Thiel's writings / thoughts? While it seems they disagree about the impact and/or potential threat(s) posed by automation (Thiel isn't worried at the moment, Yang is), Yang's book "Smart People Should Build Things" seems to echo or at least be compatible with many of Thiel's thoughts regarding what types of work an enterprising individual should consider pursuing, the brokenness of current institutions, and the threat to "progress" when too many smart people funnel into law, finance, et alia instead of entrepreneurship, institution-building, hardware, space related things, etc.
Hey! I'm here at Empire Cafe :) I'm sitting outside on the farthest out patio and am wearing a blue and black flannel shirt. I don't have my sign today because it broke :(
We're here! Come to the side patio outside, you'll see me in a blue and black plaid shirt and we have a sign.
Hi all! I'm here at a table outside, I have a small sign and am wearing a blue and white plaid shirt.
I'm at Empire Cafe for the meetup inside near the back; when you come in, keep walking forward past the cashier area and into the large back room and I've got 4 tables put together and a sign. See y'all soon :)
Hey! We're at Cafe Brasil in the big room to the right of the entrance hall after walking in. I'm in a green shirt and we have a Houston Rationalists sign. Come join us!
Follow-up post for August meetup:
We discussed the ethics and practices of marketing and advertising industries, though admittedly we should have narrowed the questions we were concerned about instead of attempting to make large general claims.
We discussed the US's civic / political process and infrastructure, especially with regard to voting and civic engagement. We also discussed ideal forms of government and political regimes, though we mostly all had different views regarding what such ideal forms might look like. Twas fun :) What is the ideal civilization and how do we get there?
We discussed cybersecurity + free and open source software, especially how both of those things relate to US election security. Plus, we talked about the wannacry ransomware attack, cybersecurity + free and open source software more generally, and programming stuff more generally too.
We talked about Effective Altruism and received a really good overview of what EA does and is about from a member of Effective Altruism UH (https://eauh.wordpress.com/). We talked about cause areas and cause prioritization, common failure modes of charitable giving and charitable organizations, and more! Also discussed the possibility of a Houston-wide Effective Altruism group, though that's still very tentative, still, might we see such a group? Stay tuned for more updates next time!
And that's all for now. I didn't take very good notes this time, I was enjoying the discussions too much and didn't force myself to take notes. If you think I missed something, please comment about that and describe what we discussed!
Follow-up post for July meetup:
We made some musings on existence: this included discussing Aquinas' conception of how to know we exist through knowing God exists, and then went into more materialistic and atheist metaphysics things and also we talked about a number of thinker’s thoughts on the topic; including Plato’s.
quantum mechanics uncertainty principle: https://www.gregegan.net/FOUNDATIONS/04/found04.html#s5;
the first color viewable in visible light spectrum was pink produced by some bacteria: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/09/scientists-discover-worlds-oldest-colour-bright-pink-sahara
We had some conversations about consciousness and its deterministic or lack there of qualities.
Marvin Minsky's article "WHY PROGRAMMING IS A GOOD MEDIUM FOR EXPRESSING POORLY UNDERSTOOD AND SLOPPILYFORMULATED IDEAS": https://web.media.mit.edu/~minsky/papers/Why programming is--.html
Mormon transhumanism: https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/mormon-transhumanism-and-the-immortality-upgrade
block chain identity thing called keybase (https://keybase.io)
How to allow for deep and far reaching conversations in a social setting that often aren't held elsewhere: see also https://boingboing.net/2017/05/04/the-sandwich-alignment-chart.html and intense discussions around categorizing things.
Discussed potential winter solstice celebration and bonfire thing we could do in Galveston, would be fun.
There were other things too, but these were the things I wrote down.
We're here and have moved to the outside area.