Rationality Freiburg

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Statistics & Feedback 2022

January 23, 2023 (Updated: February 22, 2024)

Rationality Freiburg started in May of 2022 and we had lots of fantastic events this year. 15 to be precise! On average 7 people attended every meetup, 2 of them completely new. The maximum was 12 people and the minimum 3 people.


Recurring is any person coming for the second, third etc. time whereas New is anyone coming for the first time to a Rationality Freiburg event.

Meetup attendance 2022




After (almost) every event I collected feedback from people. Here is just a list of things people have said, without any context. Is this useful? Possibly not, but it might give a general impression whether people enjoy coming (they do!). It was also noted a few times that negative feedback actually lead to changes, which was appreciated by participants. If after a feedback it says x3 it means 3 people reported the same.

  • The discussion went off rails at times. The discussion group was too big. [Solution: Split the group] x3

  • Having such a discussion in English is hard. [Solution: Split the group into German and English]

  • Having a public feedback round is not so great. [Solution: Distribute paper for written feedback]

  • Doing something hands-on was very nice.

  • The meeting place was great [Stadtgarten].

  • I liked the playful character of the calibration game.

  • We should keep some instrumental rationality in every meetup.

  • Very well prepared, with Snacks etc.

  • Discussions need to start off a common ground. People may have very different knowledge. Today it was good.

  • A lot of fun.

  • Good balance of moderation/leading the discussion and letting people discuss by Omar.

  • There was little time to do the Double Crux.

  • People came a little late, which initially left me fearing that nobody would come.

  • Double Crux does not work well with 3 persons.

  • Everyone felt that it was a useful technique and that we should do it again in the future.

  • The group size was ideal.

  • Practical exercises were very good.

  • We did not discuss one of the posts that we wanted to and instead went off topic. We should try to stick to our plan.

  • I liked your and X’s contributions a lot and most other people were good too. One person was terrible and I don’t know how to manage people like that, I think you did your best. I liked everyone else. The structure was pretty good and your moderating was pretty good, I’d just echo what other people said about time allocation.

  • Overton Gymnastics is a good exercise!

  • Very interesting to see a meetup with people who are all quite new to rationality!

  • The game [exercise] was not well explained at all!!

  • I found the Sequences posts rather boring / not super interesting.

  • I’m not sure if having newbies to rationality in the group is a good idea.

  • Maybe more moderation?

  • Great seeing all of you again!

  • Happy to again exchange thoughts with all of you.

  • The dynamic of the discussion round was not ideal this time.

  • Not enough air circulation [because of COVID].

  • We should allocate fixed time slots to every post [to avoid the discussion getting too deep into other subjects].

  • The group was too large [10 people] for one discussion round.

  • Discussing three posts [as we did] and not more is ideal.

  • We should have split into two groups of five people.

  • There was not enough time for the exercise. The discussion should only take up half the time.

  • Please arrive 5 minutes before the start to avoid the entire session starting 15 minutes late.

  • 5 people group size is good. x2

  • Prediction game. Manifold Markets. The chosen questions. All very nice.

  • Well organized.

  • Interesting experience. I will come back. I was irritated by the music [coming in through the windows from the street]. The UI from Manifold Markets is confusing and I won’t be using it. 2 hours was too short for the event.

  • I was missing a little more “instrumental rationality” e.g. TAPs.

  • Giving a short summary of every text is a good custom that we should keep up [we did not do it this time] for people who have not read the texts. One person is responsible.

  • The goal of the meetup was unclear beforehand. I was unaware it was so formal. It would have been better to arrive on time. If you host such a structured meetup it would be better to go all the way and make it even more formal. Having conversations about [ACX] posts would happen naturally during dinner anyway.

  • I really liked the meetup.

  • The exercise was weird.

  • I really liked the summaries of the ACX posts.

  • Thank you for organizing this. I appreciate very much how serious you take feedback and how attentive you are as a organizer by adapting the meetup according to it. There is however a risk that catering too much to the participants could lead to stagnation of the group. Nevertheless, trying to keep things in flux (for better or worse) is a great quality for an organizer and is better than sticking only with one formula.

  • It was my first time in the group. I think it is very unusual to find people who try to do such exercises to improve themselves. The exercise [falling drill] was not very effective because it was clear that it was only a simulation.

  • During the exercise [falling drill] I was in fact wrong about something where in fact I thought I would be right. That was unexpected, but it was very easy for me to admit this and that is unusual. Usually it’s hard for me to admit a mistake, but I felt comfortable doing it in this group.

  • During the first part of the meetup it would have been better to go deeper into one or two ACX posts instead of briefly presenting one per person.

  • I will return!

  • It was my first time and the first round [discussing ACX posts] was great! It gave me new things to consider that I had never thought about. Concerning the game [falling drill] I already train being able to be wrong a lot so I probably fail more often in the opposite direction [being too unsure], so it wasn’t very effective for me.

  • The setting was too artificial for the game [falling drill].

  • I really appreciate your [organizer’s] work. We should have spent more time on the first round [discussing ACX posts]. It was too short.

  • Forming two groups of 5-6 people was great! The perfect size. In bigger groups people get lost.

  • It was a very nice way of spending the evening.

  • I am blown away by the effort you invested in preparing this.

  • The accoustics of the room were annoying.

  • The group size was ideal.

  • The exercise [falling drill] would work better if you had to give confidence intervals and could be criticized for choosing those badly.

  • Best: Hike on the next day.

  • Best: Getting to know new people and discussing our favourite posts from the ACX/SSC blogs.

  • Best: Discussing our favourite articles by Scott, and also the hike on the day after.

  • Best: The sheer number of new, astonishing insights.

  • Best: Level of conversation was high.

  • Best: Improving my ability to say out loud when I’m wrong, without feeling bad about it.

  • Worst: The room.

  • Worst: Felt a tiny(!) bit cultish.

  • Worst: Disturbing political opinions.

  • Worst: The location was uninspiring.

  • Worst: The room had bad accoustics.

  • I don’t like going to restaurants that much, it’s much more expensive than what I usually spend on food.

  • Less structured meetings or a way to branch ideas into spin-off collaborations in a structured context might make me more excited to come.

  • Omar is cool. He’s a little obsessed with perfection. He needs to loosen up a bit. These things take time to grow.

  • Interesting concepts shared. Rationality is certainly a toolkit that can be applied in everything and can benefit many people and a lot of lives. But it’s not universally seen as a good because it’s a competitor to many classic frameworks like organized religion. So developing a model that competes on the same playing field is tough.

  • The exercise [Hamming circle] was probably helpful for an issue I have been thinking about for several years.

  • I was not so happy that only four people came.

  • What you [the organizer] are doing here is really valuable.

  • I enjoyed the exercise [Hamming circle]. It made me make up my mind.

  • We should keep the exercise part of the meetup.

  • I really enjoyed it.

  • I liked the Hamming circle very much. Especially having to turn around while the advisors were discussing, something which I had anticipated I wouldn’t like.

  • The discussion round about “Trusting experts” didn’t get to the core of the issue. It would have required drawing on the whiteboard and a couple of hours of time.

  • Acoustics of the room were great.

  • TAPs was interesting.

  • Getting to know cool people.

  • I didn’t get Occam’s razor.

  • Lack of structure and bad time allocation.

  • Valuable meeting.

  • I liked the mix of discussions and practical things.

  • I liked both parts.

  • Very nice joint event [with EA Freiburg].

  • I learnt something. x2

  • Nice mix of input and exercises.

  • I am glad it was so interactive.

  • Interesting. It took longer than expected to get into the subject [long introduction]. I liked it.

  • I liked the refreshed [on probability theory]. Took too long to get started. It would have been better to define some terms and present a clear agenda for the evening upfront.

  • I liked it. It was a good refresher. I was missing a little the “how to apply it” part.

  • Good mix of presentation and exercises. Good refresher.

  • Fun and interesting.

  • The content of the talk has good applicability to life.

  • Considering the prior probability of events before evaluating the evidence was something I had not thought about before.

  • I have a better understanding of Bayes’ theorem now.

  • Timing was not optimal. It would have been better to have more time to think about a strategy for the Poker game.

  • I realized that I do not think enough about priors.

  • You should have focused a little bit more about why our intuition fails us and how to come to a better intuitive grasp of these concepts.

  • It opened new perspectives.

  • The talk was well prepared.