🕯️ Prepare for nuclear war and learn the Guild's values

Community Updates

Upcoming events:

  • Naturalism event every week on Thursdays
    • This Interest Group discusses the 'Naturalism' sequence by Logan Strohl, practicing the techniques it describes.
  • Meaning and Spirituality event every other week on Tuesdays
    • This Interest Group concerns itself with determining how we can help each other live more meaningful and rich lives.
  • Social Butterflies event every week on Tuesdays
    • This Interest Group discusses social connections and how to improve them. Often, this will involve examining some material on relationships and discussing how to apply it.

You can add all the events to your calendar by clicking here.

You can join our events and conversations by creating a free Guild account!

Workshop Updates

New and revised workshop content

This month at our Denver chapter of the Guild, Guild member Alex Fauble ran an in-person Guild workshop on our Emergency Preparedness workshop. In his presentation, Alex makes the case that nuclear war is the riskiest disaster. Given its wide-ranging effects on everything from logistics to breathable air, preparing for nuclear war also prepares you for nearly any other disaster or emergency.

The Emergency Preparedness workshop will help you take the most valuable steps to prepare for the likeliest dangers, culminating with stocking your own emergency bag for quick response. Emergencies happen to everyone eventually, so you had best be ready!

To start using this workshop with our skill tree, create a free account!

Skill of the Month

Here is an example of a skill from our Skill Tree. Use this opportunity to do the skill and start making changes in your life!

[Empiricist] **Map and Territory** - 1 XP

1.  Read one of the Map and Territory articles. (Choose one at random, don't just pick the first one.)

2.  Write an informal explanation of the concepts described by the article, and briefly connect it to your life in some way. (For example, if you read Your Strength as a Rationalist, you might recall a time when you should have noticed your confusion, but didn't.)

3.  Share your explanation with the Guild, in #meta-and-theory or #skilltree-updates.

Example Submission  

Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences)

The article gestures towards a definition of belief, requiring that the the belief's consequences would produce a sensory experience. This constrasts with "floating" beliefs, whose consequences are only further beliefs and does not include something which can be sensed. A belief should also constrain what experiences are possible, providing a way to falsify the belief.

In practice, I might use this framework in troubleshooting a lawnmower that stopped unexpectedly. If I believe that the issue is due to damp or thick grass, I would expect to find grass clogging the blade. If I believe the issue is in the fuel system, I would expect that the issue only occurs when the mower is at too much of an angle.

For advice on how to further apply this, or to see the full Skill Tree, create a free Guild account and join a Cohort!

Council Corner

Honesty, Empathy, Effectiveness, Cooperation, and Courage by Alex Hedtke

The Guild is composed of many different systems. We have workshops, a Discord community, and interest groups. We also have cohorts, the Skill Tree, and the Council. Yet, these systems are not what make the Guild. The Guild is a guiding philosophy. These systems are just its current form. From the beginning, we have set out to never let the Guild’s systems get in the way of what the Guild is trying to do. But what is the Guild trying to do? I’m glad I asked.

The Guild is our answer to several different problems. Below are some of the biggest ones.

It’s born out of a desire for effective self-help. You can’t go to any bookstore without seeing a whole wall choked with a sinful glut of self-help books. To be fair, there are many good ideas within them, but there are more bad ideas. It’s a sad fact that there are more ways to be wrong than there are to be right, and it can be difficult to sort through that. How do you test what works? Also, how do you make sure that you’re doing it correctly, or keeping up the habits you’re trying to make? The Guild’s value of Cooperation and Effectiveness come into play here. 

Other humans are the greatest force multiplier. When we cooperate, we create something greater than the sum of its parts. Also, clear thinking needs community. Our biases can cancel each other out when channeled correctly. You cannot become the best version of yourself without the help of others, or if you lack the tools to test your beliefs.

It’s born out of a desire for an art of Rationality. All the founding members of the Guild roughly identify as Rationalists, from the online community of the same name. We love this community and still take part in it. However, it has failed to provide what many have envisioned. We saw the potential for a "Martial Art of Rationality", a group that gives structure to its members and a system for progress. One reason for this lack of success is that it can be very cold. It is cerebral and has some elitist and hard-to-reach norms. You will ~never get a person off the street to join LessWrong, and without appealing to the average person you will never be a successful movement. The Guild strongly believes in Empathy and accessibility for the common man. 

We seek to understand what laypeople think is important. We acknowledge that everyone has wisdom and strengths to share, even if they are not self-taught geniuses. Yes, even your cousin Chad who spends most of his time watching football. Everyone is valuable and has something to teach you. 

The Rationalist community has done one thing very well: they have developed skills for Honesty, both with yourself and others. The search to make your map of reality as accurate as possible. We will continue that tradition as we bring these lessons to everyone.

It's an attempt to help resolve the meaning crisis and the metacrisis. We want to provide a place where people can come together under the same values. They can then help each other with their individual search for meaning in life. They will need our Empathy to feel safe to work on their issues in our space. They will need to learn Honesty, to confront hard truths. They will have to learn Effectiveness to create an effective plan. They will need Cooperation with their fellow members, because none of us can do this alone. They will also need Courage every step of the way; the chutzpah to go against groupthink and to face the darkness both within and without. If Honesty is the discovery of truth, then Courage is the willingness to first find it, then act on it (Honesty is clear thinking, Courage is clear action). This will also instill in them the value of going out and making the world a better place with what they have learned.

If these values speak to you, you can participate in our mission by creating a free Guild account and joining our Discord.

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