RECENT AND UPCOMING MEETUP TOPICS

July 2022 Meetup: Aliens and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

For this meetup, we’ll be discussing Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (AKA UFOs) such as those observed by the US military. There’s a range of topics we can touch on, including conspiracy theories, Bayesian priors for aliens, and the non-alien, non-conspiracy explanations for UAP/UFOs. We have a few different resources related to

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June 2022 Meetup: America’s Internal Instability

For this meetup, we’ll be discussing America’s internal instability. Issues include the factors contributing to the instability, the degree to which this is new, and how the instability might evolve in the future. Suggested (and optional!) reading or listening (Thanks for these, Le!): “We Are Living in the Age of

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May 2022 Meetup: Scientific Progress

Note: This meetup is one of the Astral Codex Ten Schelling Point meetups for Spring 2022.   For our May meetup, we will be discussing the seeming slowdown of progress and lack of “genius” in many fields — despite the vastly larger and better resourced population working on, well, just about everything.

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March 2022 Meetup: When to Believe Smart Outsiders

For our next meetup, we will be discussing when we should believe smart outsiders who make claims that go against expert consensus in a different field. Recent global events have provided lots of examples of people making claims that contradict “the experts.” In some salient cases, these claims have turned

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February 2022 Meetup: Theories of the Rise of Obesity

For this meetup, we’ll be discussing theories explaining the rise in obesity. One such theory is the contamination theory, which proposes that the large increase in obesity seen in the industrialized world since 1950 is largely caused by contaminants in our food and water. There has been a very dramatic increase

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January 2022 Meetup: What Kind of Intelligences are Possible?

In 2011, Eliezer Yudkowsky gave an obscure but fascinating presentation on evolution and “outcome pumps”. It has garnered only 7.8K views on youtube over the last decade [1]. These two processes are examples of optimization systems that can exhibit seemingly intelligent behaviors, yet these behaviors differ radically from human behaviors

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December 2021 Meetup: Rationality and the Real World

This month, we’re going to start with a case study to discuss applying rationality to solve real-world problems and the broader concepts of Systematized Winning[1] and Asymmetric Weapons[2] (see links below). The case study is dealing with the recent congestion at the Long Beach port complex, as discussed in more

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November 2021 Meetup: Education

For the next meet-up, we’ll be talking about education. Everyone has a bone to pick with our current education system, and the rationalist community has not shied away from adding their own two cents. There are many issues to consider, including whether students can/do learn what we want them to

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October 2021 Meetup: Robin Hanson Talk on Elites

We are excited to announce that Robin Hanson will be giving a talk on “elites” for Chicago Rationality. To get a sense of his thoughts on the topic, and to come prepared with your thoughts and questions, see some of his writing on the subject: https://www.overcomingbias.com/?s=elite Thank you to those who had

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