For a city of its size, and especially for one with its percentage of tech-bros, Seattle has a tiny EA/Rationality community! What better way to increase both our (sEAttle) and Manifold's retention than to hook aspiring rationalists/altruists with a gambling addiction?
If this project is funded, I will commit to hosting at least bi-weekly, 2+ hour meetups about Manifold Markets for 3 months. At first I'll try to focus them towards creating/betting on markets, discussing interesting information presented by them, and fostering good natured competition. Additionally, like any good meetup, I'll ensure there are ample consumables freely available for attendees.
I will use funding received here to improve the quality/quantity of meetups in the series I will run. For example, if the minimum funding is exceeded then I will find a venue other than my house, or I will offer prizes for sEAttle specific tournaments, or I will invite market focused speakers, etc.
Create a core group of
gamblers forecasters who attend periodical (likely bi-weekly to start) Manifold focused meetups.
Improve the cohesion of the Seattle EA/Rationality community by offering a communal activity people want to participate in! (so far, our meetups are undirected 'socials' alongside a monthly book club).
Improve the foothold of Manifold in a city outside of San Francisco! I don't see why we should let proof-niks have all the fun!
See the below "How will this funding be used" section for how I will achieve the above goals.
I will use the given funding to get the meetup series off the ground. Given the time/personal property I plan to put into this project, receiving a token amount of funding here validates this is a worthwhile idea and makes it easier for me to justify creating.
Some of my initials plans for uses of funding over the minimum amount are:
Tournaments! Sure, everyone likes winning fake money but you know what they like even better...
Venue! Sure, I am a master of interior design, I have a warm and inviting home, etc, but not everyone wants to be surrounded by tech bros in Redmond (on the eastside of Seattle).
Community! While I've yet to meet better people than Rats, at some point Manifold will have to. If I get further funding I could attempt to branch away from the ACX/Rat/EA specific groups and build a more general interest community.
Speakers/Talks! We all may already spend too much time on Manifold, but wouldn’t it be easier to justify to yourself if you also got to hear people give educational talks on market mechanics, economics, etc? If I get further funding I will try and involve people who know what they’re doing.
I currently plan on being responsible for running these events. I do expect enthusiastic support from a couple members of our community though who I will let comment if they feel like de-anonymizing themselves.
I have on and off hosted events for the sEAttle community; I got funding for them and ensured we had catered food, etc. I stopped hosting due to interpersonal issues with the group house we were hosting the events at. I also spent a significant amount of time growing up volunteering at and organizing events within the local Grange.
I will define abject failure of this project as: less than 6 people regularly attend the meetup series.
I believe the most likely symptom of this project failing is I am unable to establish a core group of members outside of myself and the few other friends of mine I have managed to already. Causes for this could be
Typical Mind Fallacy; maybe I assume people are more susceptible to enjoying this site than I am
Negative Founder Effects; maybe I assume I am not as likable as I hope and have trouble with market penetration outside of the people close to me
Failure to follow through; My partner's family has poor health and I am a consultant; maybe we need to move on short notice for one of those reasons (although if that is the case, I will personally ensure any investors are refunded/square).
I am likely going to get food catered and paid for by the ACX/Rationality Meetups funding pool so not only am I getting people addicted to the dopamine of winning fake money, I am also causing them to associate that fake money with real, dopamine granting food!
I personally get funding for non-manifold related expenses through my employer 😛
3 days ago
I think the knock-on effects of these things can be disproportionately large. I don't personally care that much about growing the rationalists/EA's in one particular area, but do think this shows more promise than random Manifold-related tech projects that aren't really used by many people or a poor-quality podcast.