How do we make and enact better decisions?

In the early 1970s, a retailer, projecting their growth forward into the future, began construction on a 108 story office building in downtown Chicago. It was never fully used by the company and large portions were vacant throughout the 1980s.* Today, the 103rd floor of the tower has a good demonstration of the difference between alief** and belief, as you can look straight down 1353 feet through a glass ledge.

The time, money, and effort put into that building could have been used instead to improve lives though effective charity, or simply been used to improve the retailer's marketing instead. While most decisions that we make in our everyday lives do not have that much impact, what we believe about the world (epistemic rationality), and how we interact with it (instrumental rationality)***, can have a large impact on our lives.

This Meetup group is for all those in the Chicago area who want to improve their thinking and deciding, with particular interest to the Less Wrong community blog.

*See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_Tower
**An overview of aliefs is at http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Alief
***http://lesswrong.com/lw/31/what_do_we_mean_by_rationality/

 

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Aspiring Rationalists in Chicago

Recent Meetups

  • March 14 · 3:00 PM

    Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality party

    3 Aspiring Rationalists

    The last chapter of the Epic Fanfic, Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality  will be posted on Saturday March 14th (pi day). To celebrate, we're holding an HP:MoR... Learn more
  • May 31, 2014 · 3:00 PM

    Calibration Game

    4 Aspiring Rationalists | 2.00

    This Saturday, we'll be playing a personal calibration game. From the LW wiki: "One person reads the question aloud, and everyone writes down their 50% and 90%... Learn more
  • April 5, 2014 · 3:00 PM

    Biweekly Meeting: Seeing with Fresh Eyes

    6 Aspiring Rationalists

    This week, we'll be focusing on the highlighted entries in the Seeing with Fresh Eyes sequence: • Cached Thoughts • We Change Our Minds Less Often Than We Think • Hold... Learn more
  • February 22, 2014 · 3:00 PM

    Costs of Rationality

    4 Aspiring Rationalists

    Instrumental and epistemic rationality don't always go together perfectly. Sometimes, knowing the truth can hinder us in our goals. We'll be discussing some of the... Learn more
  • February 8, 2014 · 3:00 PM

    Biweekly Meeting

    4 Aspiring Rationalists | 4.00

    This is an regular meeting planned for every other week to discuss the group's progress and ideas for possible future meetups.
  • See all past Meetups

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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