AI, Rationality and Circling in Challenging Environments

In Workshop by Kathryn

Led by Pete Michaud,

Almost everyone who circles does it because they want to. Both people who choose to lead and people who choose to participate regularly are virtually all called to circling because of some innate interest and value they hold. Those self-selected people have a lot of values, sensibilities, and patterns in common. In most circles those shared values are an invisible part of the context.

In the Bay Area I brought circling practice to Rationalists–people who would not have chosen circling on their own. Some of them simply weren’t interested. Some of them were actively hostile to putting attention on emotional nuance and vulnerable sharing. Many of them didn’t even know what circling was at all, or why they would do it, when they sat down to participate in their first circle. These people have a whole different set of values and experiences, and exploring those in full surrender during a circle became my practice for years.

I developed a distinct style in contact with them, in response to the challenges and value differences I found. I’d like to share some of what I learned and shed light on some of the hidden context we as circlers share.