Seattle Meetup This Sunday

Why: Because I’m in Seattle this weekend

Where: 5238 11th Ave NE, Seattle WA (private residence). If there are too many people we’ll figure something out.

When: 4 PM on Sunday 12/23

Who: Anyone who wants. Please feel free to come even if you feel awkward about it, even if you’re not “the typical SSC reader”, even if you’re worried people won’t like you, etc. People who fit those descriptions who decided to come to previous meetups have mostly enjoyed them.

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25 Responses to Seattle Meetup This Sunday

  1. Enjoy yourselves, everyone who manages to go! 🙂

    I’m commenting for two minor technical issues: (1) There are two “Leave a reply” boxes at the moment. (2) The notification email for this had “This post is ad-supported” in it. I’m not sure if that was intended; if not, now you know.

    (I’ve already disabled my browser extensions to rule out this is because of those.)

    • Harry Maurice Johnston says:

      (1) is normal, though you might not usually notice it because one appears above the comments and the other below them.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      I don’t know what’s going on with the “ad supported” thing.

    • dick says:

      For me the two report links appear next to each other. The “Report” one goes to a WordPress plugin called crowd control. The “Report comment” one goes to something called old.reportcomments so I’m guessing that’s the older one. AFAIK they both work (although you need to be on https for either to work).

      I also see ads on the most recent email. They were inserted by a tool called Powerinbox. So, @Scott Alexander if that’s not something you signed up for, that’d be a problem.

      Also of possible interest: the recent “Refactoring Culture” essay is blocked my work’s content firewall. If you put its url in to their lookup page it’s categorized as “Hate and Racism”. Not sure what’s triggering that; other essays and most open threads are categorized as “Personal sites and blogs”.

      • Viliam says:

        Seems like an opportunity for curious people to experiment.

        Copy the article to your website, check whether your copy is classified as “Hate and Racism”, make modifications, check again. (Keep publishing the modified versions under new URLs to prevent potential caching of results. You could probably achieve this by simply adding a dummy parameter, like this: “your website / test html ? dummy=123”.)

        I suspect the problematic part is somewhere in the comments, not in the article itself. But I am still curious which part it is.


        Okay, I tried to do this, but… when I copy the whole page on my website, the category of the article is “Personal Blogs”.

        At this moment I am confused. It is not the website as a whole, because other Scott’s articles are okay. It is not the page itself, because a copy on my website is okay. A combination of both? But in general, Scott’s website is rated higher than mine, and the article is the same, so how could a total result be in favor of my copy?

        Either I did something wrong (quite likely), or … I guess the page was reported by someone manually. Sometimes people do that. — A few years ago, Less Wrong was reported somewhere as a hate speech website, by some religious guy who simply reported all atheism promoting pages as hate speech. When there is a rating service that relies on reports, sometimes a single person can put you in a bad category, if that is the only person who rated you at given service.

        • johan_larson says:

          Did you copy the comments too? Some of the commenters here are much more conservative than our host, and some of them take hard lines on hot-button issues like immigration, education, and employment. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the comments section were classified as racist by a system that fits liberals’ sensibilities.

          • Viliam says:

            I did two variants. First, I used “Select All” in the client, and copied everything as a plain text into a file named “culture.html”. This way, everything should be there, only without the HTML markup. Second, I used “View Source” in the client, and copied that. That way, the HTML markup should be okay, and I believe I saw the comments there, too, only there is a risk some relative links would lead to nonexistent pages. Neither of these counted as “Hate Speech”.

            No more experimenting from my side, because I am very low on free time these days. I just wanted to try the obvious before telling other people what to do… but the results I got don’t explain much.

            Of course there is a chance I messed up something, so if someone is willing to experiment, it probably makes sense to replicate my experiments, too.

      • Deiseach says:

        If you put its url in to their lookup page it’s categorized as “Hate and Racism”.

        That was weird, but I think what might be going on is a combination of two things; they work on a guilt-by-association model (so if someone or some site considered ‘bad’ ever linked to SSC before that would cause an association) and they use terms for the “Hate and Racism” category specifically as follows: “Sites that contain content and language in support of hate crimes and racism such as Nazi, neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, etc.” So any post here that ever even mentioned the KKK, Nazis, etc. even if it was to say The KKK are bad and awful will get the idiot AI treatment: this site mentions the KKK, so it is one of the Bad Sites (the same as Tumblr’s “this photo of sand dunes looks like breasts to the algorithm so it’s flagged as NSFW content” is working out).

        Select data points are correlated across URLs, IP addresses, files, and mobile apps to enable predictive determinations on where threats may emerge, based on a guilt-by-association model.

        The only other thing I can think of is that some word or words is setting off the classification (the same way as the filter here has a List of Naughty Words) and that could be anything in the post from “government”, “censorship”, “immigration” (that seems like it might be one of the Hot Button Words on a list of “How To Tell Naughty Sites” if we assume that racist sites are full of rants about immigration) onwards.

        • Viliam says:

          This is how I imagine a glorious future:

          “You are a racist! You will be fired, and you can no longer use any of the one hundred most popular internet services.”

          “What did I say?”

          “Our algorithm calculated a Fourier transform of your blogs, multiplied it by a checksum of your horoscope, and the result contained digits ‘666’, which is a dog whistle for ‘KKK’.”

          “Wait, that’s completely absurd!”

          “LOL, that’s exactly what all racists say when we catch them.”

  2. Ashley Yakeley says:

    I feel kinda awkward about it TBH, so I guess I have to go.

  3. Georgia says:

    We, and by we I mean Kinley, made a facebook event if you do that kind of thing:

  4. Pingback: Rational Feed – deluks917

  5. Mark Atwood says:

    I can walk there from my home.

    I plan on being there.

  6. skholiast says:

    Looking forward to this.

  7. cryptoshill says:

    Have fun everyone! I can’t go because I have work.

  8. qv says:

    I may be able to make this, for at least a little while. Should we RSVP someplace so you can get a count?

  9. Exetali Do says:

    How about a brief visit from a long-time lurker? (Since the LJ days…)

  10. ronpdavis says:

    That’s my neighborhood! I think I’m going to be st a family thing. Will try to swing by before hand if possible.

  11. Mjreard says:

    Can’t make it because I live 2000 miles away, but please, someone bring a pole!

  12. NaSultainne says:

    $2 million dollar home.

    It’s just how the ‘better half’ live.

  13. Mark Atwood says:

    That was fun. Really crowded. Lots of interesting conversations happening everywhere.

    I saw Scott in passing a couple of times, surrounded by knot of people moving with him.

  14. dumky2 says:

    That was a cool event. Thanks Scott for visiting!
    Thanks to the organizers, in particular the unidentified hero who cooked lasagna 🙂

  15. alex111 says:

    Social policy bonds sound like something to which the Campbell’s law would apply. The article suggest indicators like less pollution, less crime, better health, and universal literacy. It would be quite hard to define them in a way that cannot be perverted. If you measure health by average life expectancy you encourage policies that may hurt healthy life expectancy. If you measure healthy life expectancy then the question is who decides it and sets the definitions.