Chicago Rationality

Welcome to the homepage for the Chicago Rationality meet-up group. Our group includes people interested in Rationality, Effective Altruism, and more. Many people find us through weird corners of the internet like LessWrong, Slate Star Codex/Astral Codex Ten, Overcoming Bias,  Marginal Revolution, and other Rationalist-adjacent sites.

If you’re interested in hanging out in real life with other people interested in these kinds of ideas, attend our next meet-up! We typically do one “topical” meet-up per month focused on a specific reading suggested by a group member and one “social” meet-up per month with no particular agenda.

It’s ok to come if you’re not sure if you’ll fit in, if you’re not the “typical” kind of person who would attend a meet-up like this, or you’re just kind of intimidated by coming to a new social event. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions as well: info@chicagorationality.com

If you’d like to be notified of upcoming meet-ups and social events, please fill out the form below and you’ll be added to our mailing list. We usually send out emails a few times per month.

CALENDAR

Click through on the event description for more details including address, suggested reading, etc.

You can also add this calendar to your calendar of choice

MEETUP TOPICS

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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June 2019 Meetup: Causation and Explanation: Monocausal vs. Polycausal Accounts

1. Pragmatism versus principles (i.e. prioritizing the practical effects of choices/policies versus prioritizing fundamental principles, for example because of the negative long-term effects at the individual or societal level of violating said principles) 2. Mono-causal versus poly-causal accounts of a given phenomena: The Omnigenic Model As Metaphor For Life (https://slatestarcodex.com/2018/09/13/the-omnigenic-model-as-metaphor-for-life/)

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May 2019 Meetup: Tradition vs. Modernity

When is it worth sacrificing “traditional” ways of doing things in the name of modernity, progress, clarity or efficiency? Possible readings — SSC’s review of Seeing Like A State discussing (often argued to be failed) modernist attempts at improving “legibility” by scrapping traditional ways of life. Chesterton’s Fence principle https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Chesterton%27s_Fence

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Links and REsources

Looking for more internet to read? Curious about what Rationality groups talk about? Want to go go to other meetups in Chicago? Here are some helpful links: