How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

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chel_of_the_sea
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:39 am

How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by chel_of_the_sea » Tue May 09, 2017 6:30 am

The eight hours I spent at the meetup in Seattle were some of the most comfortable social hours of my life, but it was the first time I'd ever met anyone from the community in person. The house it was in, on the other hand, had like eight people, all in the community, living there. So what about all of you? Do you live with / work with / hang out with other rationalist-inclined people, or are you stranded among the metaphorical Gentiles?
:arrow: TL;DR: 27, trans woman, M.A. in math, Seattle area. Tutor by current trade, but in a bit of professional limbo (if you know anyone hiring, let me know!).

anthusiasm
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 2:36 pm

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by anthusiasm » Tue May 09, 2017 2:39 pm

I actually met and befriended a rationalist-adjacent person almost immediately when I started college (which surprised me because I figured most rationalists would avoid my college like the plague for Politics Reasons) and we've remained fairly close.

Also, a bunch of my friends read/became obsessed with HPMOR. To the point where people were considering starting a student org called "Eliezer Yudkowsky's Harem" and trying to get Eliezer to give a talk on campus.

andrewflicker

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by andrewflicker » Wed May 10, 2017 2:04 am

Absolutely none! I've linked a few friends the rare LW or SSC article when they brought up something online that really matched well to a particular topic, but none have encountered the rationalist community without my intervention that I know of, and certainly none of them have gotten involved or read much of it.

Despite efforts to share, it does sort of occasionally feel like being on the cutting-edge of things... I heard about various philosophical arguments, existential risks, and the psychology replication crisis before they made it significantly into the mainstream news, so a number of my friends considered me "suspiciously well-informed". But in general, it doesn't change things much.

My friend circle is still composed largely of smart, moderately-well-read professionals that would culturally fit in with the larger rationalist groups, so the dynamic isn't very different for me, I think.

cactus head
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 3:37 pm

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by cactus head » Wed May 10, 2017 9:40 pm

The other day I said hello to a guy with an Unsong tshirt. That was my second-ever interaction offline that involved anything connected to LessWrong rationalism, the first being when when I was reading Slate Star Codex and a friend recognised the site. Apart from that, nothing.

house-carpenter
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 10:42 am

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by house-carpenter » Fri May 12, 2017 11:37 pm

None of my offline friends are rationalists (though some online friends are). The only offline interactions I've had with rationalists were at the one SSC meetup I attended, which went reasonably well, although I was only there for a couple of hours so I'd consider my impressions of the real-world community still quite provisional. I don't think I'd like all my friends to be rationalists. Compared to my established friends, the people at the SSC meetup were more appealing in some ways and less appealing in others. My ideal would be to be part of multiple social groups, just one of which, and not the primary one, is the rationalist community.

phaedrus
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 4:01 pm

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by phaedrus » Fri May 12, 2017 11:50 pm

I only have one friend who self-describes as a rationalist, but most of my friends have heard of LW.

dsp
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 11:24 pm

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by dsp » Fri May 12, 2017 11:58 pm

"Real-world friend group"? Like, talking, with your flapping flesh noises? I don't think I know anyone who does that.

znk
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 2:43 pm

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by znk » Sun May 14, 2017 2:39 am

3 people in my social circle are (afaik self-IDing) rationalists, and another is very familiar with LW and HPMoR. They all study at the same uni, mostly CS/AI, and I first met them at a related workshop - no big surprises there. ^^ I'd always expect to find some people familiar with ~LW among that kind of crowd. I rarely talk about specifically rat-y topics with them b/c I almost always meet them together with others from our more generally nerdy circle (which by now have heard about some things from them, but don't seem very interested).
The other social circle I regularly interact with is through music/band stuff; they don't seem be inclined towards thinking about it, and it hasn't really come up in conversation. I feel more at home with the others regarding personality and outlook, but the relevant factor here seems to be STEM-nerdiness.
Oh, I just remembered I wanted to introduce a philosophy-affine friend I know back from highschool to the sequences...
TL;DR: I know some, but most of my interaction with rationalism still happens online and passively.

chel_of_the_sea
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:39 am

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by chel_of_the_sea » Sun May 14, 2017 7:56 am

dsp wrote:
Fri May 12, 2017 11:58 pm
"Real-world friend group"? Like, talking, with your flapping flesh noises? I don't think I know anyone who does that.
Sometimes my roommate and I even cuddle. It's obscenely biological, I know.
:arrow: TL;DR: 27, trans woman, M.A. in math, Seattle area. Tutor by current trade, but in a bit of professional limbo (if you know anyone hiring, let me know!).

liskantope
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 11:33 am

Re: How much of your real-world friend group is made up of other rationalists?

Post by liskantope » Mon May 22, 2017 8:28 pm

For me it has always been zero. I have a few distant acquaintances who have acknowledged the existence of SSC in one way or another on Facebook and recently talked about SSC with a new colleague who was already familiar with a few of Scott's posts, but IMO that comes nowhere near being part of the rationalist community. Most of my friends of the last ten years in one way or another don't seem all that compatible with it.

For me it would be very exciting to be able to hang out in a room full of rationalists, especially if some of them were people I already knew online. This thread is reminding me of how I intended to write a rambly Tumblr post about how and why I fantasize about that. Actually, though, I completely share house_carpenter's sentiment that I probably wouldn't be able to handle my whole social life revolving around rationalists and instead need to be part of several different types of social groups.

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