SSC Atlanta

  • SSC Atlanta

    The January SSC Atlanta Meetup – Science Fiction and Insider Trading

    We had out January meetup at the usual spot – topics included

    • Jeffrey Epstein (again)
    • Science Fiction – always good
    • Our general “meh” to The Lessons of History by Will and Arial Durant
    • Virginia Gun laws
    • My theory that Epstein – and maybe a lot of hedge funds in general are just covers for insider trading. Also – I think a lot of machine learning is a cover for unethically obtained information – I did not elaborate enough on that theory
    • Ant society as an aspirational goal – and Game B

    I think next time we will try to have a short (1-3), pre-defined list of topics hashed out to better use time (I think we spent a lot of time defining a topic before we actually discussed it).

    Reference links:

    • The Gig Economy – the excellent short story that spawned our HP Lovecraft/Sci – Fi Discussion
    • Kettlebells (me) and deadlifts (BJ)- side note – why is so little of the rationalist community devoted to physical self-improvement? It’s not zero by any means, but physhical health (and it’s related effects on the mind) seem to be a solvable optimization problem – that we are not working on in relation to it’s importance. In the words of Jack Lalanne (lived to a healthy 96) – Life is an athletic event.

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    Undercover cop from the seventies uncovers a confusing conspiracy – The 14th SSC Atlanta Meetup roared on

    Mid December saw the 14th meetup of SSC Atlanta – I’ve let it go too long to present a detailed summary, but this one was centered around books and conspiracy theories. We also decided to start a book club perhaps as a secondary meetup – the first book will be The Lessons of History by Will and Arial Durant.

    I’ve decided to put random links and timeless classics on the main SSC Atlanta page,as they get referenced quite a bit meeting to meeting.

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  • SSC Atlanta,  Uncategorized

    Thoughts about our non-upcoming domestic civil war

    At one of the earlier meetups the topic arose of the remote possibility of a domestic civil war caused by Social Media divisions – my thoughts on the matter are:

    • Social media is really the world’s loudest tranquilizer – people take to FB/Twitter/Reddit/Chans as a substitute to doing something
    • The rare people who have the opposite reaction (spurred to action) are loud, terrible and tragic, but by and large the harms of social media are confined to the consumer. On net social media is an activity reducer on par with marijuana or opiates
    • Should there be a civil war I think we would find that the split would be 1% Antifa/1% Alt-Right (or whatever they’re called now) 98% people who would not pick a side, but would support whatever harsh measures needed to suppress the two percent. I think the 1980s are a useful example in that regard.
    • At this point I don’t think gun ownership is a useful metric of progressiveness – i.e. my immediate neighborhood is both very woke and pretty well armed – I think we would find gun ownership is much more distributed than one might think.

    My original thought behind writing this post was that ideological compatibility between one side and law enforcement/military was irrelevant, since both of those professions select highly for following orders much more so than discretion. Now that I write it all out I think that is a moot point.

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  • SSC Atlanta,  Uncategorized

    Tankies sacrifice Jeffrey Epstein to the Aztec Sun God and unleash weaponized feminism – the 13th SSC Atlanta meetup

    We had our monthly SSC Atlanta at the usual spot – topics included

    • Tankies – evidently there are enough modern day defenders of Stalin/Lenin/Bolshevism to merit their own derogatory nickname
    • Jeffrey Epstein – and the many, many conspiracy theories surrounding his demise
    • Reasonable seeming things at the time and place (i.e. the religion of the Aztecs)

    Many more things were discussed – but I lost my notes and I can’t recall them specifically right now.

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  • SSC Atlanta,  Uncategorized

    The 12th SSC Atlanta meetup

    Last Week, Oct 12th, we met for the 12th time at Hodge Podge Coffee House in Atlanta.

    The meeting was notable by the addition of lots and lots of new people (thank you SSC mention) – and a very long conversation – which ended with us getting kicked out after four hours (there was another event about to happen in our area).

    Topics included

    • China – a long discussion of the current state of china and what is likely to happen to minorities and minority opinion (all bad things)
    • Obligations of corporations – where does silence equal consent/sanction, and what not
    • The Universal Basic Income – without Nathan to defend the notion we reached a negative opinion rather quickly
    • Wage subsidies in general (mixed opinions on this)
    • Health care
    • Voting – obligations to, group participation rites, etc. It sparked some interesting thoughts in me after the meeting on what people get out of voting – more or less and affirmation of self – I need to flesh that out more
    • Addition – specifically the Never Enough book by Judith Grisel – I need to reread the chapter on MDMA – there were several questions on how the recent psychiatric treatments work, or don’t work as the case may be

    It was quite a good meeting – with lots of new people, including many who were not directly in the software field, which is sort of rare for us.

  • SSC Atlanta

    The 11th SSC Atlanta Meetup – the longest talk

    We had the 11th SSC Atlanta meetup – and I think it was fair to say that it was one of our best. This will probably be a series of blog posts. Notable facts

    1. This was our longest ever meetup – clocking in at slightly over four hours
    2. We had two new people, both in the math field, which is quite weird and cool (not software! Diversity!)
    3. We had the most actual disagreement of any meetup so far (also yay!) – it was all quite civil – a surprising amount of it against Nathan – who was quite up to the task.
    4. No discussion of generational differences (rate for us)
    5. No discussion of guns at all (quite rare for us)
    6. Almost all topics were speculation on the future
    7. We beat the topic of UBI into the ground – it is a good proxy for views on human nature IMHO


    1. UBI – some talk of Andrew Yang, but mostly UBI
    2. Percentages of intolerance
    3. Global Warming/Climate Change
    4. Technological unemployment (not enough!)
    5. Transmitting DC power (more interesting than it might sound)
    6. Klamath county Oregon
    7. Occasionalism
    8. The velocity of money – and deeper meanings it might have

    More posts to come out of this meeting – it was quite stimulating. And the only time I’ve written a blog post on the same day as the meetup.

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  • SSC Atlanta,  Uncategorized

    The tenth SSC Atlanta Meetup

    Sadly I’ve let too much time go by between the meetup and writing this to cover it fully.

    We covered lots of economic and marketing, and a myriad of other topics. I attempted to explain the Austrian theory of business cycles, I don’t think I did it that well.

    May M * V == P * X be written in stone.

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  • SSC Atlanta

    The ninth Atlanta SSC Meetup – If by Whiskey You Get One Miracle

    On Saturday, June 22nd we had the ninth SSC Atlanta meetup. Six people attended (up a bit) and the topics included

    1. The Nile river and the development of the calendar (revising my opinion of the ancient Egyptians a bit upward)
    2. Social Media – it’s purposes and anti-purposes. I’m currently thinking that the main purpose of Facebook is to keep people off reddit so it can still be interesting – that was my conclusion, not the groups
    3. Open Source hiveminds
    4. Neural networks
    5. Failing faster

    The quotes of the meeting were “Give me one miracle and I’ll explain the rest” and the “If By Whiskey” speech (as an example of speechcraft) – which is below in it’s entirety

    My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:

    If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

    But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

    This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

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