RECENT AND UPCOMING MEETUP TOPICS

July 2020 Meetup: Modularity and Problem Solving

And here’s the suggested reading (reading any one of these should be sufficient): “The Network Structure of Exploration and Exploitation”from David Lazer and Allan Friedmanhttps://ndg.asc.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Lazer-Friedman-2007-ASQ.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2zzOtVAsm_yzRCF77wvy3JAcmrWsF-t3cq_MrXpk44wmLpDriTfCmSc78 “Modular structure within groups causes information loss but can improve decision accuracy”from Albert Kaohttps://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rstb.2018.0378 Press release: https://www.santafe.edu/news-center/news/group-decisions-when-more-information-isnt-necessarily-better?fbclid=IwAR0hVWRvd4NRuBbGQJrbF8rHnHxpGirXaN9fX7atF6AV7afrpwHF6t8K5wg Two podcasts from SFI discussing these topics: Nicole Creanza

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May 2020 Meetup: Harmful Knowledge

The topic: Is any knowledge inherently harmful, on either an individual or a societal level? The readings:• from Scott Alexander: https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/06/06/asymmetric-weapons-gone-bad/• from Nick Bostrom: https://nickbostrom.com/papers/vulnerable.pdf• from Wired, concerning Bostrom: https://www.wired.com/story/technology-could-end-humanity-how-stop-it/ The readings are not limiting factors — participants are encouraged to think Outside the Box™ to come up with possible examples of inherently

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March 2020 Meetup: Democracy as an Epistemic System

Chicago Rationalist—Topic List Archive 1. Is democracy a system which produces pervasive error in our society? i.e. moldbug strikes again (https://americanmind.org/salvo/the-clear-pill-part-1-of-5-the-four-stroke-regime/)2. Should proponents of free markets oppose capitalism? (chapters 4 and 9 of this book: http://radgeek.com/gt/2011/10/Markets-Not-Capitalism-2)3. What is an optimal course of action when you encounter a situation in which

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February 2020 Meetup: WEIRD Psychology and Kin Marriage

Topic for this meet-up will be the paper by Jonathan Schulz et al. discussing possible origins of WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich & Democratic) psychology being tied to the Catholic Church’s restructuring of norms surrounding kin marriage. If you’re going to just read one thing, read Tanner Greer’s blog post

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December 2019 Meetup: Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

Thanks Noah for suggesting the following readings & podcast! 1. https://www.princeton.edu/~cuff/voting/theory.html 2. https://www.electionscience.org/commentary-analysis/voting-theory-podcast-2012-10-06-interview-with-nobel-laureate-dr-kenneth-arrow/ 3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow%27s_impossibility_theorem 4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbard%E2%80%93Satterthwaite_theorem

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November 2019 Meetup: Going Critical – Phase Transitions in Social Behavior

1. On critical thresholds and cultural/scientific diffusion: https://www.meltingasphalt.com/interactive/going-critical/ 2. A second reference on critical thresholds (sorry for the self-reference but I’m rushing): https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6393/1116 3. Look up the definition of “phase transition” [possible cool topic for future meeting—things that hover near criticality..]

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September 2019 Meetup: Free Will

Hey all—by some kind of emergent process, we have self-organized a topic for next meetup: Free Will. This is a VAST topic with a ton of writings. Any recommendations? Here are a few possibilities, H/T Shane with an addition by myself: a) Rationalist: Yukdowski (I’d grab the last few posts):

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August 2019 Meetup: Field Trip: Depolarizing the Politics Within

1. A Human’s Guide to Words: What are words, how are they useful, how can they be wrong, how can we avoid being wrong? Drawn from this sequence: https://www.lesswrong.com/s/SGB7Y5WERh4skwtnb 2. Inside/outside views : People are oftentimes bad at estimation. This can oftentimes be improved by reference class forecasting (“Outside view”).

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July 2019 Meetup: The Repugnant Conclusion

1) What is an optimal course of action when you encounter a situation in which you have a good amount of epistemic uncertainty? We exist and act in the world, so we have to do something before we have all the information, right?  No Half-Speed https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/FMkQtPvzsriQAow5q/the-correct-response-to-uncertainty-is-not-half-speed In this reading, how

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