What a year it has been! To all of you reading this, thank you for your interest in our journey. For those who aren't reading this... well.
Firstly, let's celebrate our milestones:
- We've earned a notable reputation! Meetup organizers have shared that they use our workshop material, and others are keen on closer collaboration with the Guild.
- In last year's Less Wrong Census, we were a write-in for "What Rationalist organizations are you a part of," ranking in the top 5 alongside Effective Altruism itself!
- We were also honored to contribute a question to the latest LW Census.
- Councilmember Matt is spearheading the first in-person Cohort in Denver, with their inaugural meeting scheduled for next month.
- We've officially surpassed a membership level that we can handle! This brings us to...
The council experienced near-total burnout in 2023. For the past four years, we've dedicated ourselves to building this community without compensation. Any minimal charges, which are optional, have gone toward server costs and administrative expenses; none have filled our pockets. The apparent solution might be to increase charges, but our commitment to accessibility has been unwavering. We aim to keep our pricing competitive with platforms like Coursera and clubs like Scouts and 4-H.
Therefore, we've decided to focus primarily on enhancing our main deliverable: the skill tree.
Drawing an analogy to martial arts dojos: The Guild's project is akin to a new martial art form. We've shared valuable moves but, like novice practitioners, we need to refine our art before teaching more. Meanwhile, the Dojo remains open for all. The community is intact, and you have our full support to utilize it as you see fit. We'll keep you updated on our progress via monthly Town Halls in our Discord.
A Dojo, Yet Also a Community
In 'The Aspiring Rationalist Congregation,' LessWrong user Maia expresses a longing for community reminiscent of Churches. This is a role we've aspired to fulfill, alongside being an educational platform. Cooperation is a founding value of ours, and Community is a vision. While we prioritize being "online first" for broad accessibility, we dream of physical spaces in major cities, akin to local Rotary Clubs or Boy Scout Troops—welcoming places for belonging and growth.
If you share this vision, you're welcome here. The Guild extends beyond a workshop platform; that's merely the most tangible aspect we've created.
Our Values, Vision, and Goals for 2024
As a reminder, our guiding values are: Honesty, Empathy, Effectiveness, Cooperation, and Courage—these virtues shape our approach. Our vision: Building a Community of hyper-agents to enhance the Eudaemonia of humanity, fostering long-term Service to truth, ourselves, and each other. While not exclusively a "Rationalist" community, we adhere to those principles, and earnestly pursue the mission of "raising the sanity waterline." We aspire to be a place of safety, education, and positive regard beyond the Guild.
In 2024, our goals include:
- Resolving our admin bottleneck through member self-sorting into Cohorts, freeing up time and energy so we can...
- Release the next iteration of the skill tree.
- Prioritize in-person meetups, both creating our own and supporting existing ones.
- Explore funding opportunities (consider this an informal call for potential investors).
A heartfelt thank you to all who continue to believe in us. We believe in you too.