The sessions and exhibits listed on this page are subject to potential change if necessary, but this is expected to be more or less the final schedule.
Sessions will begin at 6pm on Friday, September 22, and end at 3pm on Sunday, September 24. We have arranged transportation from Detroit Metro Airport to our AirBnBs and from there to the venue, to get everyone to the venue by 6pm for Opening Ceremonies.
We ask each attendee to contribute something. It could be almost any form of creative participation, even if it’s surprising or different. Not all of them are talks; as you can see below, several of the presentations are offerings of home made food. We had some exhibits submitted, but those who were bringing them canceled this year.
Title links go to descriptions.
Orchard Fruit Preserves, by Morgan Butkiewicz
Homemade Kombucha, by Eileen Martz
Bread, by Emily, Linguist
6pm - Opening Ceremonies
throughout - Friday Dinner
7pm - (Post|Meta)rational Computer Programming, by Joshua Brule
8pm - Grounding Statistics, by Joe Cecil
8pm - Nonviolent Communication (aka Compassionate Communication), by Bruce Webber
9pm - Go To AirBnB
10pm - Singing Jam, by Hart
10am - Play-fighting, by Hazard Spence
11am - Thought Strewn All Around Us, by Collin Lysford
11am - Group discussion: Evolution and Ethics by Blake Elias
noon - The Style is the Subtext, by Philip Goetz
noon - Frame and Framework: Non-Verbal Communication In Waltzing, by Feast Of Assumption
1pm - Saturday Lunch
2pm - Rationality And Relevance Realization, by Anna Riedl
2pm - Consulting the I Ching, by Milan Griffes
3pm - Fluid Awareness Is A Heart-Powered Protocol by Duncan Horst
3pm - Qualia Diversity, by Alex Ellis
4pm - Lewis & Clark Linguistics, by Suspended Reason
4pm - Testosterone and the Drive to Thrive, by Sam Bernstein
5pm - Saturday Dinner
6pm - A Missing Abstraction to Formalize Communication, by Ari Holtzman
6pm - The History of Amateur Science by Evelyn McLean
7pm - Models of Introspection & Self-deception, by Hazard Spence
7pm - Designing Positive Social Experiences In Game Design, by Harry Gao
8pm - Visual And Artistic Meaning In Machine Learning, by Morgan Butkiewicz
8pm - Competing Dimensions to Optimize for in Literary Translation by Alexis Wu
10pm - After Party
10:00pm - Social Deduction Game by Christian Dungca
11am - Welfare Economics: A Very Useful Myth, by Richard Bruns
noon - We Are All Emperors Now, by Jane Flowers
noon - Moving Meditation, by Richard Bruns
1pm - Sunday Lunch
2pm - Meditations on the Middle Distance, by Jake Orthwein
3pm - Closing Ceremonies
Sunday Carpools to airport: 4pm & 5:30pm
Monday Carpools to airport: 2pm, 4pm & 6:30pm
Orchard Fruit Preserves
by Morgan Butkiewicz
I’d like to share some orchard fruit preserves from the San Joaquin community who have been sponsoring me for the last few springs.
by Eileen Martz
When I brought my kombucha to Vibecamp, the immediate response was that it was the best they’d ever had.
by Emily, Linguist
I’ll bring some bread for everyone to try.
Friday 6pm - 7pm, stage, Fluidity Forum organizers
The intention is to cohere as a group. Attendees are asked to gather on the sidewalk outside the large wooden double doors. We will open them at 6pm.
Assorted wrap platter
(Post|Meta)rational Computer Programming
Friday 7pm - 8pm, stage, Joshua Brule
Computer programming seems like the quintessential rational activity: tell computers exactly what to do via commands written in a formal language. I propose that “meta-” or “post-rational computer programming” might look more like interactive play than problem solving. For example, live coding makes programming an integral part of the running program and is particularly prevalent in computer music where a live coder writes improvised code to create a musical performance.
I’ll present a brief, incomplete (and possibly misleading) history of computer science to characterize its rational origins — and compare and contrast this with what I see as an emerging post/meta-rational discipline, including demos and discussion of existing tools and techniques as well as predictions and speculation about the future of programming.
Friday 8pm - 8pm, stage, Joe Cecil
How we ground statistical theory in meaning. Grounding statistical theory in meaning is tricky. Statistical theory is about random variables, which represent abstract outcomes. This makes grounding harder to think about than for, say, graphs. Informal theories of statistics explain it as a way of approximating unobservable true parameters of distributions, but when examined in detail this view falls apart. However, we can say something about the way grounding seems to work in practice in specific examples and the nebulosity that remains.
Nonviolent Communication (aka Compassionate Communication)
Friday 8pm, lounge, Bruce Webber
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a powerful tool for peacefully resolving personal, professional, and political conflicts through empathic listening and honest self-expression, which empowers us to see and connect with the humanity in ourselves and others. Marshall Rosenberg created and began teaching NVC in the 1960s.
NVC is based on the assumption that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and empathy and that people only resort to violence or behavior harmful to others when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs.
“What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.”
– Marshall Rosenberg
Go To AirBnB
Friday 10pm or whenever enough people have gathered, AirBnB, Hart
A fully participatory singing jam for non-musicians and musicians alike, focusing on meditative awareness, play, and metaphorical + literal vibration.
Go from AirBnB to The Congregation - Saturday Breakfast
Saturday 10am - 11am, lounge
Bagels and coffee in the lounge area at The Congregation. Before you leave the Motown AirBnB you may also wish to make yourself an espresso.
Saturday 10am - 11am, picnic shelter, Hazard Spence
A fun way to get some physicality energy and low-stakes-fun competitiveness energy into the weekend. The two things we’ll be doing are push hands and finger fencing.
Thought Strewn All Around Us
Saturday 11am - noon, stage, Collin Lysford
Our environments do some of our thinking for us. What we think of as “thinking” is more like “pointing.”
Group Discussion: Evolution And Ethics
Saturday 11am - noon, lounge, Blake Elias
Discussion around evolutionary models of ethics. How can we ground our warm and fuzzy ethical theories in the cold, hard science of evolution? Could a rigorous definition of ethics help get humanity through the 21st century and beyond?
The Style is the Subtext
Saturday noon - 1pm, stage, Philip Goetz
I’ll show art from Mesopotamia, Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, 19th century Africa and North America, modern art, Nazi and Soviet art, post-modern art, and Norman Rockwell, and describe, when possible, what that art was supposed to communicate, the metaphysical subtext, and how that subtext dictated the stylistic techniques used. I’ll try to convince you that all that Western art can be divided into three different styles, corresponding to three different metaphysical belief systems, which correspond to the thermodynamic phases of solid (stasis), liquid (chaos), and gaseous (random).
Frame and Framework: Non-Verbal Communication In Waltzing
Saturday noon - 1pm, picnic shelter, Feast Of Assumption
Couples’ dancing is a context that fixes many variables, so others can be maximally fluid. Join a waltz lesson for beginners, with the dual purpose of learning to waltz and identifying the patterns by which dancers communicate. This workshop includes deltoid, shoulderblade, and hand contact with other attendees.
Second Opening Ceremonies For Late Arrivals
Saturday 1pm - 2pm, stage, Fluidity Forum organizers
We cohere as a group with late arrivals.
Saturday 1pm - 2pm, lounge
Rationality And Relevance Realization
Saturday 2pm - 3pm, stage, Anna Riedl
Anna Riedl’s work connects the current academic rationality discourse, particularly the second great rationality debate, with Vervaeke’s relevance realization and Chapman’s metarationality, which she has both converged on from a different angle.
Consulting the I Ching
Saturday 2pm - 3pm, lounge, Milan Griffes
Why divination? And how to work with the I Ching (using my favorite translation!)
Fluid Awareness Is A Heart-Powered Protocol
Saturday 3pm - 4pm, stage, Duncan Horst
Mind based processing provides awareness of state space, but compassion and heart-field awareness is the ‘quantum leap’ which fuels multiple mental models. We will combine theory and practice to illustrate the necessity of the heart to reach Kegan V, post-integral awareness and render other meta-modern and beyond concepts real in your somatic experience.
Saturday 3pm - 4pm, lounge, Alex Ellis
A workshop or discussion group on what I tentatively call the “landscape of cognitive and perceptual experience” and how it affects the ways we communicate and empathize with one another. This is a not-quite-thesis I have, and I want to workshop it with folks.
Lewis & Clark Linguistics
Saturday 4pm - 5pm, stage, Suspended Reason
What “is” language? Previous work by S. Reason and the TIS group have tried to answer this question pragmatically, by asking what problem language exists to solve, and describing communication as a form of agent manipulation. Here, Reason attempts an alternate (but complementary) conceptualization: Language is a practice of joint action undertaken for the adaptive solving of inter-agent coordination problems. Linguistic interaction is therefore itself best characterized as a series of intertwined coordination problems which must be solved by interactants in order to make progress on the problems they actually care about—problems of cohabitation, mutual benefit, and strategic complementarity.
Testosterone and the Drive to Thrive
Saturday 4pm - 5pm, lounge, Sam Bernstein
A talk on why testosterone levels in the US in men have declined by 40% in the past 40 years, its effects, the neurobiology of why it’s so great for mental health and productivity, the social and societal aspects of declining testosterone levels, and everything one can do to optimize one’s testosterone levels if desired + Q&A.
Saturday 5pm - 6pm, lounge
A Missing Abstraction to Formalize Communication
Saturday 6pm - 7pm, stage, Ari Holtzman
To study complex communication, we need to study language. To study language, we need to think in terms of what it does to the world and how we learn about language by what the world does back to us. In the rising age of non-human language users, we need to think about behavior rather than cognition as the fundamental unit of communication, because cognition will never be as parallel across language users as it has been for the last few millennia. I argue that what is most missing is a proper abstraction for talking clearly about “communication” — similar to the way natural selection allowed us to talk more clearly about the “adaptation” of a species — and that a marriage of Information Theory and Causality is a good candidate for the parents of this abstraction.
The History of Amateur Science
Saturday 6pm - 7pm, lounge, Evelyn McLean
The concept of an “amateur” scientist is a modern creation. Throughout history scientific advances were made by individuals pursuing their interests autonomously. The rise of a professional scientific class represents a paradigm shift which determines how science is created, who can call themselves a scientist, and what kinds of questions can be asked. This lecture will trace the role of the amateur throughout the history of science, and will consider contemporary amateur scientists like Aella, Slime Mold Time Mold and Roger’s Bacon as examples of independent researchers finding ways to operate outside of this paradigm.
Models of Introspection & Self-deception
Saturday 7pm - 8pm, stage, Hazard Spence
This talk is about:
- Exploring social pressures that exist on theories of self-deception and introspection.
- Providing a naturalized theory of self-knowledge that explains both how it goes right and how it goes wrong.
- Exploring what self-deception feels like from the inside and how this differs from existing models.
Designing Positive Social Experiences In Game Design
Saturday 7pm - 8pm, lounge, Harry Gao
Games are wonderful tools for testing how simple rulesets can dramatically shape players’ experiences - for good and bad. Let’s discuss how we can design better frameworks for encouraging teamwork, trust-building, and community in games, especially games which are not typically known for social design. We’ll draw from in-game examples as well as lessons from real life, such as improv comedy.
Visual And Artistic Meaning In Machine Learning
Saturday 8pm - 9pm, stage, Morgan Butkiewicz
A show-and-tell on how visual/artistic meaning is being discovered & drawn out in specific computational processes of machine learning models.
Competing Dimensions to Optimize for in Literary Translation
Saturday 8pm - 9pm, lounge, Alexis Wu
Some thoughts, musings, and perspectives that have been formulated through my decade-long personal experiences as a 1) producer of literary translation, 2) avid consumer of translated literature and scripted media, and 3) academically-trained linguist. I’ll be delving into some clashes of philosophy that I’ve been embroiled in as I navigated the translation and publishing industries, as well as making a case for some of my own stances, a lot of which can, I would in fact argue, be tied to a certain dreaded but relevant word of our current age—alignment.
Owing to the nature of the examples I have on hand and the languages I work in, this presentation will inevitably be more friendly to those proficient in Mandarin Chinese than to others, but I will try my best to make it as universally friendly as I can by contextualizing as needed. Thanks for understanding.
Saturday 10pm, main AirBnB
Social Deduction Game
Saturday 10:00pm, main AirBnB, Christian Dungca
A new social deduction game.
Go to The Congregation - Sunday Breakfast
Sunday 10am - 11am, lounge
Bagels with cream cheese and coffee.
Welfare Economics: A Very Useful Myth
Sunday 11am - noon, stage, Richard Bruns
In this talk, I discuss a branch of economics that is completely fake, and also amazingly useful. ‘Welfare’ is a myth that somebody made up, but so are other things we really care about, like ‘Liberty’ and ‘Natural Rights’. I will discuss the philosophical foundations of good cost-benefit analysis, teach the basics of VSL and QALY, discuss how to improve the methodology to cover more aspects of human flourishing, and show you how to do your own surveys to estimate the QALY scores of your abstract sacred values.
We Are All Emperors Now
Sunday noon - 11am, stage, Jane Flowers
“When fashion designers get together they talk about Form and Structure and Meaning. When consumers get together they talk about where you can buy cheap basics.” — Picasso, kinda.
“Cheap basics,” be they Uniqlo or a billionaire’s “quiet luxury” Uniqlo dupes, have long been a Schelling point for most consumers, a kind of artificial island of stability in the heady currents of sartorial style. Nobody was ever fired for choosing IBM; nobody was ever called tacky for wearing a black T-shirt. How egalitarian! A gentleman’s agreement (it’s a little more precarious if you’re a woman) that invents the option of merely lacking style, of bowing out of the race entirely, rather than being rightly pilloried for your bad taste. And as GQ recently noted, this dynamic of Schelling Point Basics, if you will, has even worked its way up to the lower echelons of what may be considered “good” style: “Dressing ‘cool’ no longer says anything beyond ‘I too look at the Internet.’” More and more, those who nurture and practice a truly personal style of their own are beginning to feel like the namesake emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fable, merely for having the indecency to exhibit themselves so unabashedly in public!
Most great aesthetic practices, and especially the ornamental, I’ll argue, die this way. Philistines ontologically remodel “bad” as “neutral,” and later, cement “neutral” as “normal,” and “good” as, at best, “fussy.” But there’s a lot of irreducible “living structure,” as Christopher Alexander would put it, in these practices, the fruits of centuries of evolutionary path-finding. The tastemakers must learn to harness and intensify this power in new ways, and with the very technological advances that threaten them with erasure. I’ll use my own fashion brand, AFFALÉ, as a detailed show-and-tell case study.
Sunday noon - 1pm, picnic shelter, Richard Bruns
A participatory workshop. We will practice the basics of walking meditation and other types of mindful movement, and learn several drills and concepts from Tai Chi and martial arts.
Sunday 1pm - 2pm, lounge
Meditations on the Middle Distance
Sunday 2pm - 3pm, stage (via Zoom call on projector), Jake Orthwein
[Jake Orthwein is no longer able to attend, but will remotely present this talk to the in-person attendees, with time for Q&A.]
The concept of an ever-shifting ontological “middle distance” applies in:
- attachment and relationships
- ritual and social organization
- developmental psychology
“Although we have no word for it, establishing an appropriate degree of ‘middle connectivity’ to the world is such a basic feature of the human condition that doing it successfully has been lifted into the rarefied reaches of sainthood and enlightenment; failing to accomplish it, identified as a cause of paralytic anxiety. The theme arises in diverse cultures, too… what is even more impressive is their agreement on the ultimate goal: of maintaining a dynamic equilibrium of detachment and separation, on the one hand, and active engagement, on the other.” – Brian Cantwell Smith
Based on this paper by Smith: https://inferenceproject.yale.edu/sites/default/files/bcs_third_day.pdf
Sunday 3pm - 4pm, stage, Fluidity Forum organizers
We will look inward and turn outward. “Looking inward is about taking a moment to understand, remember, acknowledge, and reflect on what just transpired—and to bond as a group one last time. Turning outward is about preparing to part from one another and retake your place in the world.” – Priya Parker, The Art Of Gathering
Carpool To Airport
We will pick up luggage that was moved from the Motown AirBnB on Grand Blvd to the AirBnB on Euclid and go from there to the airport, arriving at McNamara Terminal by 4:30pm.
Carpool To Airport
Departing from the AirBnB on Euclid to the airport, arriving at McNamara Terminal and Evans Terminal by 6pm.
Carpool To Airport
Monday 2pm, Euclid AirBnB
Departing from the AirBnB on Euclid to the airport, arriving at McNamara Terminal by 2:30pm.
Carpool To Airport
Monday 4pm, Euclid AirBnB
Departing from the AirBnB on Euclid to the airport, arriving at Evans Terminal by 4:30pm.
Carpool To Airport
Monday 6:30pm, Euclid AirBnB
Departing from the AirBnB on Euclid to the airport, arriving at Evans Terminal by 7pm.