LW - Contra Ngo et al. "Every 'Every Bay Area House Party' Bay Area House Party" by Ricki Heicklen
Welcome to The Nonlinear Library, where we use Text-to-Speech software to convert the best writing from the Rationalist and EA communities into audio. This is: Contra Ngo et al. "Every 'Every Bay Area House Party' Bay Area House Party", published by Ricki Heicklen on February 23, 2024 on LessWrong.
With thanks to Scott Alexander for
the inspiration, Jeffrey Ladish, Philip Parker, Avital Morris, and Drake Thomas for masterful cohosting, and Richard Ngo for his
Last summer, I threw an Every Bay Area House Party themed
party. I don't live in the Bay, but I was there for a construction-work-slash-webforum-moderation-and-UI-design-slash-grantmaking gig, so I took the opportunity to impose myself on the ever generous Jeffrey Ladish and host a party in his home. Fortunately, the inside of his house is already optimized to look like a parody of a Bay Area house party house, so not much extra decorating was needed, but when has that ever stopped me?
Richard Ngo recently
covered the event, with only very minor embellishments. I've heard rumors that some people are doubting whether the party described truly happened, so I'd like to set the record straight. Thus, this is part linkpost, part exegesis, and part
shameless promotion of my events for potential future venue-lenders.
The party had 60 attendees, at least according to the
Manifold Market on the topic. Upon arrival, partygoers put on tags with their name, professional title, and LessWrong karma. Attendees were also instructed to put on a wristband that successfully communicated their flirting policies. I took the wristband for people who glomarize about their flirting preferences; Richard took the wristband for those who flirt with all and only those who don't flirt with themselves.
You scan around the living room, trying to figure out who to talk to first. The host is sitting on the sofa, with two boxes attached to the front of her shirt. One is filled with money, the other empty. A guy next to her is surreptitiously one-boxing, but she presciently slaps his hand away without even looking.
This is defamation. The second box wasn't (necessarily) empty, and Richard certainly never got the opportunity to look inside it. You might be wondering what was in the box. Unfortunately for you, I glomarize not only about my flirting policies but also about my box contents.
He is correct, though, that I managed to fend off all the surreptitious one-boxers, with the exception of my girlfriend Avital. She still doesn't know the contents - I would never date someone irresponsible enough to let unknown entities out of a box.
The party was PYOL (provide your own liquidity), but we did offer two punches: one for "Contextualizers," and one for "Decouplers or Homophobes". Avital and I drank the punch for "Decouplers or Homophobes." We're still coupled, so you can come to your own conclusions about how homophobic we must be.
My favorite part of the night happened when a circle formed around a Jewish Orthodox Rabbi friend of mine who had never heard of Rationality or Effective Altruism. Everyone at the party was eager to give him context. I joined the circle as they were discussing expanding moral circles, and the relative weight of animal lives and future people. "Eliezer doesn't even think cows are sentient," one attendee was saying. "But shrimp are!" another interrupted, causing the group to crack up.
"What?" my Rabbi friend said.
"Okay, back up, how much Peter Singer have you read?" another attendee said. "Like, have you read Animal Liberation and The Expanding Circle, or just Famine, Affluence, and Morality?" Avital and I tried to explain to them that our friend had not heard of any of the people they were naming, but they didn't seem to understand. Avital turned to me and said "I guess when you've read The Sequences too many times you forget about
Eventually, my Rabbi friend said "Okay, so what I'm hearing is: you're expected to t...